Sample Business School Essays
Since many business school admissions officers encourage applicants to “write less, say more,” it is important to communicate your background and career ambitions in a concise and clear way. The essay gives admissions officers an opportunity to learn who you are, where you're going, what you have done and why their school is right for you. Use this small space to give the admissions officers a deeper sense of who you are by answering the prompt with brevity.
This section contains three sample business school essays:
- Business School Essay One - The Business of Recovery
- Business School Essay Two - Leadership in Action
- Business School Essay Three - Repair and Restore
The Business of Recovery — Sample Essay One
Prompt: What are your career goals? What skills do you expect to gain from studying at ABC Business School and how will they contribute to your professional career? (500 words).
Watching my brother transform from a man who had lost his ability to walk to a man who can play basketball with my father kindled my fascination of the physical therapy world. The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates the field of physical therapy to grow faster than average in the upcoming years. I hope to join this field during an exciting time of growth, furthering the rehabilitation of those who have been injured.
Following graduation from ABC Business School, I intend to serve a marketing team in a local physical therapy company, such as Ridgeview Physical Therapy. My short-term goal is to lead a team, furthering success in the Ridgeview area. Due to the popular physical therapy company thirty miles from Ridgeview, much of the local population is unaware of the quality services Ridgeview Physical Therapy has to offer. I hope to increase visits by 40 percent in the first 5 years of my employment. My long-term goal includes extending the company’s reach into surrounding cities, and eventually beyond national barriers, becoming a global marketing manager.
I expect to gain skills and experiences from ABC Business School that will propel my short and long-term goals. I hope to develop an experiential and diverse learning experience and have the opportunity to interact with different groups of people to learn from their business insights and endeavours. From ABC Business School, I seek the tools and resources needed to further engage in my marketing knowledge, perform professional strategic analyses, and re-evaluate my past work experiences. I look forward to taking courses from Professor Jim. W. Reid, who has published the research of the success of Matthews and Marketing in his book, “Matthews Commerce,” which has helped me continue my career this far. I also look forward to taking the unique classes taught by Professor Rachel E. Davis, introducing me to the physical therapy world and enriching my business skills in that area.
When my brother’s car accident in 2011 caused immobility in his left leg, he never thought he would be able to play his favorite sport again. David Andrews, a 1994 graduate from ABC Business School, ensured that that would not come to pass. I spoke with Andrews about his journey, and he told me that it was through the opportunities and education he received from the professors and students at ABC Business School that helped him open his own practice. I hope to follow in Andrews’s footsteps. With the passion I have for the success of Ridgeview Physical Therapy, and the determination I learned from watching my brother, all I need to complete my goals is the knowledge available to me through an MBA at ABC Business School. I look forward to completing my career aspirations using the tools received from ABC Business School to contribute to my professional career.
The world of physical therapy is growing, and with my skills in marketing, I hope to grow the local Ridgeview services across the globe.
In this essay, the applicant is assigned to answer the prompt in approximately 500 words. The admissions officer expects a clear and concise essay that does not veer off the question and exemplifies quality writing, grammar, and punctuation. In questions similar to these, the admissions officers are looking for:
- Student’s understanding and knowledge in answering questions: The writer explains his short and long-term career goals, referencing the future of the career (Bureau of Labor Statistics) and quantifying his goals (Increase by 40 percent within the first 5 years).
- A deeper look into who the applicant is: Writer shares personal information that also relates to answering the question (brother in physical therapy). Make sure that any personal information you share does not veer off of the question that needs to be answered.
- Proper research on the school to adequately answer the second question: Student mentions names of professors who have demonstrated help in the past (professor’s business research book) giving credibility to the student that he believes they will be able to help him in the future. Avoid flattery and only speak of the school in a way that shows proper research and answers the question presented.
Leadership in Action — Sample Essay Two
Prompt: Present evidence of your leadership capacity and/or potential. (Approx. 550 words)
Nancy, the CEO of Jasmine Publishing House, bought me a coffee and told me I should invest in warm gloves as we sat down at a corner diner for what would be a game-changing business meeting. As the leading publishing house in Europe, Nancy informed me that JPH was interested in closing a multi-million dollar deal with our fashion magazine, Zoelle, provided we changed the magazine's appearance to attract a broader European audience.
As production manager, my job was to lead and supervise a staff of 30 to match Nancy's vision, working closely with the design team, photographers, production staff and marketing team. After three weeks of heavy brainstorming, we developed a fresh appearance for the magazine.
I invited Nancy to a meeting with me and three of our executive producers. I shared with her the strategy we had created in order to solve our appearance problem, as well as estimated costs and complications. Nancy agreed that the direction our magazine was going fit well with her vision and audience, and that JPH would be happy to work with us within the next week.
Although the team was excited to accept the offer, I was concerned that we were not prepared to complete the project so quickly. Though the executive producers did not understand, as our production team was to begin work on the next issue the following day, I explained that there may include deep financial consequences if we rush into the process. I wanted to ensure that JPH received a consistent layout from Zoelle magazine. Nancy agreed to wait until the upcoming issue was complete before beginning work on the new look.
We began work the following Tuesday, after the latest issue was produced. I collaborated with an eight member marketing team to develop new branding for our magazine and mediated this branding with the design team, ensuring that it was able to blend well with their ideas and insights based on the first meeting with Nancy. I led the operation of the first issue to be published via JPH, supervising 30 employees.
After the issue was published, our sales increased by 42 percent in the first week. After leading the Zoelle team to a business deal close and a fresh start, I learned that with the proper leadership, a staff of varied talents, insights and opinions can work closely together to produce a magazine that continues to increase its sells each issue. My initiative helped provide Zoelle with its largest new contract that year, a $2 million deal. Customers from Europe and the United States commented with positive remarks on the new look, showing interest in the replacement of the former look, which had been being published for seven years.
After this leadership experience, I was able to see my potential as a leader. I can communicate effectively with all members of a group and help connect them with one another to make a larger picture. I protect my business discernment even against an upset crowd, and am able to properly persuade others to understand other perspectives. Through learning more about leadership every day with my work in Zoelle, I hope to continue to strengthen these abilities and witness the success they can bring to media production.
In this essay, the applicant was asked to detail her leadership abilities through the application of a relevant example. She was asked to do this in approximately 550 words, using concise language and proper grammar and punctuation. In questions similar to these, the admissions officers are looking for:
- Applicant's ability to share leadership qualities with a relevant example: This writer shared leadership qualities of communication (brainstorming with different staffs and helping them connect their ideas together), listening (brainstorming and understanding staff concerns), delegating (ensuring each team did what was supposed to be done), and managing (managed and supervised a staff of 30) through the use of an example from her work with Zoelle Magazine.
- Proof of a potential growth in these leadership skills: The writer hopes to “continue to strengthen” her leadership skills. She provides examples of how she learned from previous leadership roles.
- How these skills will help further your career: The writer used an example from her current career and concluded her essay with a look into the potential of leadership in her field.
Repair and Restore — Sample Essay Three
Prompt: Describe a challenging situation you have faced in the past. How did you overcome the challenge? (450 Words)
I looked across my celebratory cheesecake and beamed up at my new coworkers. I couldn't believe I had finally landed my dream job. All of the senior editors were having lunch in the cafe across the street from the bakery where the finance team and marketing team shared dessert. I had been hired as a budget analyst at my favorite magazine. My job was to work alongside the business manager to help create a more healthy marriage between the finance and marketing departments, thus improving our sales and workplace environment. On my way home, I reflected on my relief in finally having an exciting and secure career.
Just three months later, we met at the same bakery where I had celebrated my new job. Every department from our small, close-knit staff was present. As the publication manager began to tell us the news, I remember how our faces fell. Our publication company was going out of business, and every publication was to be shut down. She explained that they had tried to find another publishing company without success.
Not only did I feel as though I failed the company, I also knew that I, as well as the other 17 employees, was out of a job. We went back to our offices and packed up our things. Writers and designers were frantically calling around, asking for open positions. An employee from the finance department began tweaking his resume, and the marketing department apologized to the publication manager and editor-in-chief, who responded graciously.
I had to leave my apartment not long after losing my job. I stayed with a friend on the north side of town as I tried to find a job in a shrinking economic suburb. It took six months to find a position, and though I had to move and leave behind my dream, I found a new way to work toward my new dream.
From this experience, I learned the importance of adaptability. Only through my ability to embrace the change happening around me was I able to find a new job and start a new life with new visions and goals. Applying for my MBA would have sounded bizarre to the disheartened, homeless idealist who lost her dream. But now, after finding in me the strength to persevere, I am able to take what I learned from my previous job and pair it with what I learn from the university. This knowledge will help me ensure that the future companies I work with will not have to endure a similar fallout.
However, if there comes a time when I am again involved in a lost company, I know how to repair. I know how to restore.
In this essay, the applicant was asked to recall a challenging situation to which the writer overcame the boundaries. The writer was asked to do this in approximately 450 words, using concise language and proper grammar and punctuation. In questions similar to these, the admissions officers are looking for:
- Applicant's ability to identify a challenging moment in her life: This writer uses a relevant example of a challenging situation, describing the challenge of losing a job, losing housing, and having to move to a different city.
- Examples of how the applicant overcame these challenges: The writer cites her “adaptability” as the reason why she was able to overcome this challenge. Instead of giving up, the applicant tells of applying for other jobs, even ones that were out of her comfort zone and in another city.
- Brief insights to what the applicant learned from the challenge: This writer learned how to maintain strength, perseverance and adaptability in challenging situations. The applicant tells of continuing the learning process in her MBA program and allowing it to help future companies.
Here are our top five tips for writing a business school admissions essay:
- State specific reasons as to why you are a good “fit” for the school, rather than simply stating “I am the ideal candidate for your program.” Why are you the ideal candidate?
- Use real life examples in your essay. This will help to bring your essay to life.
- If you’ve taken an unorthodox path to business school, don’t be afraid to play that up. Business schools appreciate those who are unafraid to take risks.
- Thoroughly research your target schools in order to have a clear idea of how to appeal to each of them. Every school is looking for something different in their students.
- Avoid flattery. A good school knows that it’s good, and telling them so just wastes valuable space in your essay. Use that space to talk yourself up, instead.
Introduction to Management Report
Introduction to Management - REPORT
In large organisations, management represents the key factor that propels businesses and industries to attain growth and development. The rise of modern organisations is not only due to the rapid advancements in technology and communications but on the ability of competent managers to struggle and confront emerging challenges to the organisation’s very existence.
There are a variety of views about management. Practically, the term management refers to planning, organizing, leading, and controlling of organisational activities and their resources (McNamara). Planning involves identifying goals, objectives, methods, resources, and responsibilities and dates for the completion of tasks. Planning and organizing human resources can be quite a challenge given the complex structure of today’s organisations. Establishing the strategic direction and vision for the organisation involves influencing people to follow that direction and share the same vision. Management is also about controlling the human resource processes, the human resource systems, and the human resource structure of the organisation in order to make it more adaptable to change in its internal and external environment.
This report will try to make an analysis of the existing organisational culture, structure, and management style of Harvester Restaurant. It is presented with adequate emphasis on how management, when confronted with a new reality, was able to identify its weaknesses in its management structure, style, and existing culture and the corresponding remedies and management initiatives through empowerment and other changes in the style and structure of their management.
Harvester Restaurant is a wholly owned brand within the Forte Restaurants Division and was recently purchased by the Bass Group (Ashness and Lashley, p. 18). By 1995, it had 78 chains of restaurants around the United Kingdom. Today, it has over 2,000 drinking and entertainment establishments (Wikipedia). Its previous management setup was thought to be obstructing the way its employees commit themselves to the quality of their service to customers.
Management Structure and Problems
Harvester was initially managed in a traditional hierarchical manner. Each restaurant unit was managed by a restaurant manager and two to three assistant managers. This management team was responsible for the day-to-day running of the unit which includes ordering stocks, maintaining the security of materials and money, cashing up and banking takings, locking premises, staffing and management of all the people within the unit (Ashness and Lashley, 1995). The restaurant unit manager reports directly to a regional manager. Four regional managers are directly accountable to the operations managers (north and south divisions) while the operations managers report to the managing director. This structure produced five layers between the customers and the managing director.
The management team then became aware of the new emerging demands and discerning attitude of customers. At this point, there seems to be a problem with the layers of management. In this structure, decisions are made at the top and passed down through several intermediaries. Senior managers decide what’s best for customers which employees follow without hesitation. But according to studies made, people resist solutions imposed by people who lack familiarity with day-to-day operations (Harvard Business Essentials, 2003). Today’s organisational structures need to have collaboration between willing and motivated parties in order to effect changes. The problem then is that in this structure, senior level managers are better at telling people what to do than at getting employees to collaborate and made significant contributions.
Under this Harvester management setup, a lot of problems emerged. There was low commitment from their employees. The rate of turnover was high. The organisation itself was too dependent on their managers for decisions. Resources and skills were under-utilized (Ashness and Lashley, 1995). Too much attention was given to processes and not on the attentive values. Employees, who are usually the ones in direct contact with customers and who usually hold direct knowledge on the day-to-day operations are usually not listened to. But there are other factors which might have been influencing these happenings. According to Duck (2001), most leaders do not have enough vertical contact with others in the organisation or enough time to stay in touch. She notes that most members of the management team of organisations are not actively using information networks that keep them up-to-date on what’s happening and who’s saying what. While most leaders recognize the value of being connected with people at every level and of getting unfiltered information, very few know how to make it happen without investing more time than they feel they have available. In short, the organisation’s strategy was not consistent with the management of its untapped human and intellectual resources. While it has set up long term goals and mechanisms to satisfy its customers, it has failed to address their immediate needs and concerns.
It is not altogether uncommon for conflict to occur inside the organisation. Conflict occurs when individuals or groups are not obtaining what they need or want. People in organisations bring with them different educational backgrounds, interests, preferences, religious and ethical values, and personalities. Usually, it causes the flow of real communication which results to the identification and resolution of problems. In a hierarchical structure however, there is a greater chance that conflict would occur. The communication process passing through different layers does not always guarantee that the right information flows correctly. Conflict resolution usually hinges around a certain layer of management. The situation at Harvester is no different. There was selective communication going on. Accountability was limited to a few.
The present management setup has instilled a culture not bent on proactively managing the focus on guests. There was a lack of trust and feeling of ownership prevailing at this time. Information was not valued either.
New Management Structure
In planning for change, it is important to identify the dimensions of change. Theory E and Theory O includes the organisational goals, leadership, and focus (Harvard Business Essentials, 2003). Theory E and Theory OChange involves embracing the paradox between economic values and organisational capability. It also encourages setting management directions from the top while encouraging participation from the people below. It also focuses simultaneously on the hard (structures and systems) and the soft (corporate culture). This theory was what had been applied to Harvester’s changes in its management structure, style and culture.
The reorganisation at Harvester Restaurants involved the removal of two layers of management within the entire organisation through a process called delayering (Ashness and Lashley, 1995). At a senior level, the two operations manager posts were removed and three regional teams were created. Each team was based on a regional office which included one training manager, one control manager, and three regional managers who would each be accountable for eight to ten restaurants. In all cases, the teams became autonomous, with a senior member of management taking special interest in each team. The team became the focus of business performance and assessment. Regional teams were allocated budgets and made decisions on how best to use these funds within the team.
In discussing the wider aspects of organisational culture, Handy (1993), suggests that diversity in the organisation puts on what he categorizes as a task culture, with influence based on the expert power. Handy (1993) describes this as a team culture where getting the job done tends to wipe out most status and style differences. At the restaurant level, the team manager and the team coach were no longer managing the staff but were more responsible for encouraging the staff to be more self sufficient and empowered. Each restaurant is organised around three teams which reflect the different operational areas like the bar, the restaurant, and the kitchen. Each team has its own team responsibilities. Johnson and Scholes (1997, p. 35) say that a major challenge for managers is to help develop an organization which is able to simultaneously meet stakeholder expectations while meeting the needs of customers better than competitors within a changing environment. Micro management of the operational areas has helped address immediate customer and restaurant concerns while increasing employees’ awareness to their responsibilities, accountabilities, and total commitment to the organisation’s new set of goals. The creation of these teams has ensured that employees are given the necessary training needed for effective performance. Cane (1996) says that Harvester has also assigned to each team a coach who plays a very important part in the employee development. The task of the coach is to give the support, advise, training, and development necessary to enable the team to fulfill its role as well as put into practice the concept of continuous development. Each coach is carefully selected and trained for his or her work and has continual close support from Harvester’s central training team.
There were short and long term tangible and intangible benefits which were derived from the initiation of changes to the management style, culture, and structure. Turnover has fallen by 19 percent. Wage and administration costs were reduced. There was also a noted low level of customer complaints. Problems were resolved more quickly without resorting to the manager. The cultural context of the organisation was moving to a trust-based culture. Within the limits set, individuals were trusted to do their jobs without constant and close supervision.
The reorganisation has led to improvements in the communications process. Team members liked to know how they were doing. They seemed to take personal interest and pride in the unit’s performance (Ashness and Lashley, 1995). They began to value their contribution to the team.
In terms of conflict resolutions, problems can easily be locally settled and decided immediately just as they arise. This has helped Harvester channel much needed resources for team building activities and other skills enhancements programs.
In analyzing the management structure, culture, and style of Harvester Restaurants, it is clear that the management of organisations today does not solely lie on senior managers’ decision making prowess but also on the involvement of the other significant members of the lower and middle levels of the organisational hierarchy. Sometimes, the higher the number of management layers, the more likely that problems and solutions cannot be communicated on quickly enough. Given today’s competitive atmosphere, the need to make quick decisions and communicate problems faster can spell success or failure for the organisation. The key to sustaining competitiveness rests on having every member of the organisation involved in the decision-making process, having a management approach and management style which is similar to autonomous teams and empowerment, and having a leadership style capable of building local team loyalties while securing their commitment to the overall goals and visions of the organisation. It may be a risky proposition but it is better to live in an organisation that has a trust-oriented culture, where members value the service and information they share to the organization than in an organisation that controls and filters everything. The changes that took place at Harvester Restaurant’s management setup and the corresponding success that came with it proves that change strategies are slowly being influenced by the need to develop small teams which can foster better teamwork and provide avenues for continuous learning and sharing of information. If an organisation has the right structure and right management style, then the best people will ultimately shine and commit themselves invaluably and weak spots will eventually be discovered.
- Cane, Sheila (1996), Kaizen Strategies for Winning Through People, Pitman Publishing, London.
- Duck, J (2001), The Change Monster, Crown Business, New York.
- Handy, C (1993), Understanding Organizations, Harmondsworth, Penguin.
- Harvard Business Essentials, (2003). Managing Change Transition. Harvard Business Press.
- Johnson, G. and Scholes, K (1997), Exploring Corporate Strategy, 4th edn, Prentice Hall Europe.
- Electronic Sources
- Mcnamara, C (n.d), Basics =Definitions (and Misconceptions) About Management,
- Retrieved: March 4, 2006 from Mcnamara, C (n.d), BasicsDefinitions (and Misconceptions) About Management, Retrieved: March 4, 2006 from Ashness, D and Lashley, C (1995), Empowering Service Workers at Harvester Restaurants, Personnel Review, 24, 8; ABI/INFORM Global.
Source: Essay UK - http://www.essay.uk.com/free-essays/business/introduction-to-management-report.php
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