University of Michigan Application for MBA – Example Essay
1. What has been your most significant professional achievement? What has been your toughest professional challenge and how did you address it?(500 words)
After graduation in 19xx, I was granted job offers from big 4 enterprises including xxx. Nevertheless, I entered the xxx, one of the leading companies in Korea in the field of international marketing. I was stationed at the export department in charge of xxx. During that time, the trading companies in Korea were in the middle of making research on availability of the so-called ‘positioning’ technique. That is, it was related to the prediction of the market tendency of the cargo to sell and purchase in timely manner.
Despite the mandatory period of time for about 3-4 years to become a person in charge of one item in the trade department, I have visited xxx, xxx in Japan in order to check the data after I had worked for three months. That’s because I was highly recognized for my outstanding ability to conduct the business for standardized price variable and controls over the exchange rate fluctuation in order to reach the rational conclusion in an objective manner when I made a decision on the international oil price fluctuation and announced the research on the case of position deal such as xxx and xxx, which are the materials of xxx. After all, it became to be a source of research in the company.
Based on my outstanding job performance, I was officially appointed as a person in charge of exporting the cargo of xxx, xxx whose annual turnover came up to x million dollars on the average. As a result, we were placed at the top in terms of sales in Korea because the sales in xxx sector revealed the increase of xxx% in 19xx compared to that of last year. In addition, the net profit has been increased around xxx %, compared to that of last year after I took in charge of this sector. Therefore, I became the main source of jealousy from my seniors and fellow workers. In addition, on May in 19xx, we were awarded about x million dollars worth of Tender under my supervision, which xxx Authority under xxx Government started in the process as World bank loan was made, beating 17 companies such as xxx, xxx and Japanese companies.
Therefore, I was selected as the employer of the year in the trade department by achieving net profit of about xxx$ by delivering pre-positioned cargo from domestic industries.
When I was recognized as ‘the employee of the year’ in the department of trade in 19xx at xxx. thanks to the affirmative introduction of the position skill, my colleagues took my potential success as a trader for granted. Thus, the interview with the general manager for the transfer to the new field to which I had never been before was a great shock to my fellow workers. When I got the proposal of scout from international marketing team, a brand-new department in xxx, I considered Which factor would be more favorable to my potential career among good success as a trader, high annual salary, and the acquisition of knowledge on the field of international market analysis.
I am a kind of risk-taker based on the rational calculation on the side of the so-called ‘Frontierism’. The sense of challenge as a risk taker rather than simple decision-making such as ‘High risk, High return’ serves as basis for my decision-making procedure. Since the international marketing team, a brand-new department in xxx was so risky due to no base for every task, I assessed my analysis ability and experience that I had obtained in the process of task as an analyst would be essential element for the establishment and management of specialized trading firm, my long-term goal. In return, my role as an analyst was successful. Due to vigorous efforts of my colleagues and me, it was possible to introduce the business policies of xxx and xxx into the mainstream of business policy of xxx. In this regard, I am proud of its crucial role of decision-making procedure in terms of business policy.
2. Describe your post-graduation career plans. How you’re your education,experience,and development to date support those plans? How will an MBA from the University of Michigan Business School help you attain your goals? (500 words)
In 2007, I might be in the middle of wrestle with my brain in terms of purchasing conditions such as local buyer, price, and market in the Bulk cargo-trading firm. I might have to decide how the change in the market will happen and also how the decision-making procedure should vary. My short-term goal is to conduct the business as a trading manager who can analyze current situation of market, grasp the tendency of future, and make accurate decision as well as to maintain and develop the flow of efficient business with all the partners in East Asia including Korea. My long-term goal is to establish a professional trading company, introducing new selling technique based on a cutting-edge mechanism such as Internet Web Site.
To the best of my belief, I am confident that my experience for the past 5 years will serves as great help achieving my goal. During the xxx, I learned the technique such as bridge loan, project finance, and risk hedge in the field of international finance as well as international marketing utilizing positioning in the field of international trade.
In addition, I have analyzed the market price and the factors of demand fluctuation such as exchange rate occurred in international deal and the oil price. In terms of international business, a variety of skills in reference to the management skill and negotiation skill as well as global way of thinking obtained in the xxx Seminar held in xxx in April 19xx will be great basis for the potential and quality in the upcoming future.
Since the January of 19xx, I have been in charge of collecting and analyzing the data on the Asian xxx market for the most part for 3 years, moving into the department of international marketing, which was newly built in xxx. During that time, I was able to enhance the capability related to the decision- making procedure through data analysis and the establishment of follow-up measures.
Meanwhile, I helped the executives, who were stuck on the concept of traditional decision-making procedures, face the changes in business environment more positively by serving up continuous analysis on the business policy of advanced companies such as xxx, xxx, which were world leading companies. While working at xxx for about 3 years, I have improved my capability to conduct business based on a rational decision through my main work of the collecting and analyzing the market data. I learned the role as a member of our team and a coordinator in the sense that we can create synergy effect that might go beyond each and every one’s ability based on the teamwork.
It is clear that only those who possess the well-balanced capability both in academic and practical context along with accurate prospect for the future are likely to survive in the sharp whirlpool of future economy. Along with the necessity of lifelong education, the rapid change in the environmental factors in worldwide economy, as you might see in the IMF economic crisis in Korea at the end of 1997, expedites my desire for the pursuit of MBA program. Based on this decision, I chose University of Michigan for the following reasons:
First, small-scale classroom and small group interactions that University of Michigan provides is the primary reason why I apply for. I will be able to learn the process of reaching the conclusion with reference to the specific theme based on the close interpersonal relationship with classmates and faculty at your school. In addition, the process that I will have learned at your class will serve as the basis for practical business in the future. My colleagues and I will be able to learn the importance of cooperation in supportive environment that University of Michigan will provide. Moreover, a variety of ethnicity of my colleagues will enhance my global perspective.
Secondly, University of Michigan will help me achieve a series of processes such as strategic pursuing, negotiation skill, finalizing business deals with the limited data in an efficient manner.
In this context, I believe it will be great basis to establish and manage a trading company, which is my long-term aspiration. Besides, I am confident that case-base approach, team & field project, and computer simulations that University of Michigan provides will serve up highly efficient standards in terms of the solution to the problem in actual business practice.
Third, the program of University of Michigan will serve as a decisive role in cultivating leadership in terms of the role not only as a manager on the spot in the short term, but also a leader in the establishment of a trading firm in the long term. I strongly believe that it is quite clear when it comes to every single achievement of graduates of University of Michigan in each company.
3. Describe a failure or setback in your life.How did you overcome this setback?What,if anything,would you do differently if confronted with this situation again?(500 words)
On December 7th in 19xx, I had serious conflicts with a general manager in our department as hard as I should consider the resignation as a last option when our vessel heading for the xxx with x million dollar’s worth of xxx was caught on the rock. Through this experience, I realized the important fact that the role of leader is basically the coordination of the group rather than the implementation for the purpose of obedience. In this case, I also experienced the fact that leadership is derived from the fairest judgment by collecting and analyzing information after the accurate evaluation of the situation. At that time, I had conflicts with my general manager in terms of the benefit in the future and the cost at the present. This experience put me into an ethical dilemma between the ethical responsibility of the company and the pursuit of interest.
During that time, the team head and I had conflicts in various aspects such as potential gain, present loss, the commitment to the integrity in terms of contracts. The net profit in a xxx trading was about xxx$ worth, whereas it required xxx$ worth of expense to pay for the repair in place of missing ship owner after declaring general average. In the situation in which there was more possibility for ship owner to declare bankruptcy, I powerfully insisted on managing all business in the burden of our company because I judged that there was grand anxiety to lose long-term customers and moral commitment to conduct the contract with due integrity if we spent more time. General manager, however, avoided making a decision which could serve as major damage in his career. Therefore he was wasting lots of time by ignoring my opinion although I was in charge of the matter.
As a consequence, we were able to deliver the xxx to the buyer in xxx after refilling the vessel under the instruction of the boss who recognized the seriousness of situation through the interview with me around 5 months later. Since then, however, Buyer in xxx got our firm to disqualify in the same bid in 19xx, which produced serious conflicts as to who was to blame inside the firm. It is self-evident fact that the enterprise is in pursuit of its interest. Therefore, the team head has good reason to emphasize the aspect of Profit & Cost in decision-making process. Yet, it is much more important to enhance the credibility in the long term and secure the long-term contractors by accomplishing the commitment rather than pursue the short-term profit. That is the main lesson that I obtained from this case. No matter what is big or small problem, we are always in the situation where to find out the solution, and meet a great turning point in life by what decision we make. I found the important lesson from this case in the sense that the decision was not performed by the same fixed standard in every situation. In addition, it required accurate judgment of situation, the rational assessment of one’s own capability, and the bold determination for the purpose of more desirable decision-making procedure.
4-b.What ’s the most creative solution to a problem or situation you ’ve ever developed?(500 words)
Many contingent problems arise in the process of making contract and delivery in international trade. Sometimes, additional terms and conditions, which were not part of original contract, are inevitably added and various unacceptable demands are requested later on. Once, I contacted buyer to make confirmation about the vessel chartering in order to deliver the xxx to the xxx in April 19xx. At that time, the chartered ship was made in Korea, meeting every single condition required in the contract. That’s why I thought there would be no problem in getting confirmation. Out of the blue, however, the buyer suspected the quality of Korean ship and asked for xxx ship as a substitute, denying the vessel confirmation. As a result of investigation on the buyer through various sources, some importers in xxx experienced the damage in cargo transported by Korean ship. Therefore, the buyer didn’t seem to trust the quality of Korean ship and the technology of shipbuilding in Korea. Rather he argued that he would reject the vessel confirmation on a continual basis as long as we wouldn’t transport the cargo by xxx ship. Moreover, the buyer seemed to make claims as a last option. In effect, in the vicinity of Korea, there was no xxx ship that could meet the xxx of delivery during that time.
Korea has been competing with Japan for the top in terms of the number of shipbuilding contracts, which means the competitiveness in price and the technology of shipbuilding in Korea is in the realm of the top-notch quality. As far as my conviction goes, it was a hidden intention of coming down the cost of contract to suspect the technology of shipbuilding in Korea. I sent to the buyer the data on the number of shipbuilding contracts in Korea as of 19xx, the table comparing the figure of Japan with that of Korea, and 500 won worth of Korean bill in the 1960’s. In addition, I accounted for the meaning of ‘Geobookseon’ (turtle ship) portrayed on the bill in the sense that it was the first and foremost steel ship in the world designed by the General Lee, Soon-Shin when Japan invaded Korea in 16th century. In addition, Korea was able to get the better of Japan thanks to the ‘Geobookseon’ (turtle ship). Based on my further explanation, the buyer was impressed by the early development of the shipbuilding technology in Korea. Therefore, he faxed me that he would confirm the Korean ship. The lesson that I obtained in this case is that creative idea rather than accurate figures or specific data could serve as much better solution to the problem from time to time.