This situation was unacceptable. I was always clear that our value systems were non-negotiable and that our success should not be at the cost of a clear conscience. This helped us raise our first round of angel investment. However, lack of product-market fit and our inability to raise further rounds of financing meant that my first tryst with building a high growth enterprise was all but over. So, while I may have fallen flat the first time, my core guiding philosophy of doing well by doing good continues to egg me on and seek the next disruptive idea.
In the last decade, I have assisted approximately American applicants and nearly got admitted to top 25 MBA programs. Thanks to Sandip for his guidance during the admission process. Your essay reviews were insightful and meaningful, but the extra interview preparation might have been decisive to get admitted to ISB.
Excellent work, Thanks! Thanks a million for showcasing my uniqueness in the essays. You made my Harvard dream a reality! Thanks Sandip for all the help you provided. The essays are absolutely superb. Getting you as my mentor made a key difference. I will recommend your service to my friends in future. Thanks for making me think about every essay from the bottom up and giving me honest feedback. I wish I had taken your service last year. Through our brainstorming and those detailed evaluations, I was able to make a totally new set of essays.
Thanks a bunch for showing me the way! I was confused with what to write in the essays and how to express my thinking. Your feedback on essays, interview and recos were really in-depth and well-thought. Sandip helped me to get into Wharton! His understanding of the school, strategic planning on my essays and editing were all superb, not to mention his dedication and passion in achieving the very best.
I would not have achieved this without his help. Sandip made a huge contribution to my chances with Stanford through his charismatic writing style, in-depth questions and extensive background knowledge of the schools. Using his help was in my control and I believe that was the single most important decision I made in getting in. The brainstorming sessions were really eye opening. It really helped me to focus on the few schools. Sandip was fantastic to work with. He was incredibly responsive, and challenged me to deepen my thoughts about who I was and why I wanted an MBA degree.
He met all of my expectations of what an MBA admissions consultant should offer. Thanks very much for the support, and I look forward to making the most of my MBA experience! Thanks a million! Adcoms are looking for individuals who are ready to take full advantage of their MBA programs, which requires a willingness to learn and grow.
For example, spending a year in a foreign country can help you understand intercultural connotations of business in ways you could never have experienced before or how to communicate in completely new ways.
Demonstrating leadership by getting out of your comfort zone can be expanded to experiences about polishing foreign language skills, helping international colleagues understand your home region, or expanding a business internationally. All of these can reveal and train global leadership skills and intercultural competencies — something all schools are looking for in their candidates. Of course, we cannot forget the most obvious way to demonstrate leadership.
If you have taken on an explicit leadership position within your company or organization, this is a great way to express this value to the admissions committee. Professional leadership positions can include leading teams, guiding clients through transformation processes, presenting results to senior leadership, or taking on a senior leadership position itself. If you have had experiences like this, be sure to include them — and the challenges you faced — in your MBA admissions essay.
These ideas not only help you demonstrate leadership in your MBA essay, they might also give you bonus points for connecting leadership to other values a school might share, like community, innovation, teamwork, creativity, and a drive to make an impact. Naturally, just explaining one of the above situations in your essay will not cut it. There are a few other things that you should keep in mind and try to apply when focusing on leadership in your MBA essay.
Telling a story that thoroughly highlights your leadership role does not automatically mean it will be compelling. Often, candidates fail to show how leadership was necessary — in other words, what the problem was that required them to take on a leadership position in the first place. That is where storytelling — and specifically the STAR method — comes in.
The STAR method will help you highlight not just the problem that you faced, but also your specific role in solving it that led to success. If you want to make your story about leadership convincing, you must include all of these elements. This translates to:. Situation — clearly presenting the context for your story. Task — demonstrating that there was a problem to be solved or a challenge to be faced.
Action — showing exactly what you did to solve that problem or overcome that challenge. Results — the outcome of your actions. This can range from personal growth to helping other individuals to producing company-wide results. Using STAR is a great way to make your leadership role very clear throughout your essay and utilize storytelling strategies successfully.
At Ellin Lolis Consulting , we believe that one of the keys to a compelling essay is effective storytelling. This technique transforms your example of leadership from a stale image that adcoms have heard a thousand times to a colorful journey that highlights you as unique and valuable to their community.
Your MBA essay is the place to discuss your personal achievements. Telling a story about leadership that does not thoroughly explain your part will not be a good demonstration of leadership. This means that it is important to show the admissions committee what you specifically did in your story.
Just saying that you were part of a team that produced fantastic results will not achieve this. Instead, you must show them how your work — what you did and how you did it — was essential for collective or individual success. Not only does this allow the readers to see your contributions, but also demonstrates your capacity for collaboration! We have already established that leadership can manifest itself in many different forms, and that admissions committees see it that way, too.
This means that the adcom is not only looking for your professional leadership experiences — or that they will condemn you for demonstrating leadership in your personal life. In fact, a good mix helps the adcom understand that you have a well-rounded, flexible understanding of what leadership means. To do so, she included the following stories in her Berkeley Haas essays :. This is also a great way to show a clear pattern of leadership. When writing your MBA essay, it is good to not just show a single instance of leadership, but instead to demonstrate how your tendency for leadership is part of your brand using multiple stories.
For example, you could show how you led a school club as a teenager, started a project at an NGO during college, and went on to lead recruiting initiates at your current consulting firm. This way, the adcom has a number of examples to go on to understand that you will make for a good leader in the future. Often, the greatest way to demonstrate a pattern of leadership is by establishing it via your central theme.
A theme is a great way to connect your message to your reader. A theme is a central topic that is reinforced throughout your essay via one or more stories. If you are curious about how to effectively apply a theme in your MBA essay, check out this article. Many candidates decide to use leadership as their central theme in one or more of their essays. This is a great strategy and is definitely a winning possibility. However, you can also choose a theme with a bit more subtlety and still create an effective argument for leadership.
Their question specifically asks candidates to talk about a single! Here, Carolina uses ballet to help the reader visualize discipline and determination. She goes on to explain that she later used these traits to successfully demonstrate her leadership capabilities to overcome hurdles while implementing a membership program at her company.
As you can see, she uses the theme ballet to focus the reader on specific leadership qualities discipline and determination that helped her succeed in her career. This strategy will work for other schools and essay prompts just as well. Our client Isabella, for example, began her essay like this:. As you can see, it is possible to demonstrate leadership in your MBA essay indirectly and implicitly — and even in unique, creative ways.
Choosing your theme like this may even help reveal a new side of your personality that the admissions committee might not have otherwise been exposed to. In life, we work hard to avoid conflict as much as possible, yet when it comes to stories, conflict and tensions are not only important, but essential to captivating attention. Would Breaking Bad have been as interesting if Walter White was already an established drug lord when the show started?
Probably not. Watching him take the news of his cancer diagnosis and find an unusual way to drum up the money for treatment is just what makes the show so addictive. In an early version, the story was conflict-free. Here, not only does she show initiative, she also shows she has an ability to clearly communicate and add value to her firm , even when the odds are stacked against her.
This tactic shows development and engages the reader, making your story more memorable. So, when writing your leadership essays, make sure to give your stories some much-needed drama to really demonstrate how much impact your actions generated! There are many factors to consider when deciding how you will demonstrate leadership in your MBA essay.