MBA Application Essay
Why are you applying to the Executive MBA Program and what do you expect to gain from it?
It’sbeen almost two years that marked significant life changing eventsthat have impacted me, personally and professionally. The dissolutionof my eleven year relationship (first) that lasted over a decade wasthe beginning of a short, down whirled spiral for me and challengedmy willingness to accept change. While trying to cope quietly, anunforeseen layoff due to a corporate acquisition followed on theheels of my break up. I was incapable of processing what washappening in my life. Both the promising leader I had started outyears earlier and the personable, happy person I used to be wereunrecognizable. In addition, the choice I selected for anundergraduate degree and hasty decisions relating to job roles in apost-recession economy soon became self-imposed obstacles. This wasthe result of my own architecture. I was unable to land another job.Unemployment under normal circumstances is not a good situation, butin hindsight, it may have been a silver lining in the chaos thatengulfed my life during this period. It provided me time to manage myemotional wellbeing and shortly after, the ability to focus on takinga self-evaluation of my professional career.
Ispent a few weeks reviewing my resume, reading old performanceevaluations, and following bubble diagrams I had scribbled innotepads along with other professional leadership development goals Ihad established. There was a collective pattern in these documents. Ibegan to notice and somewhere along the way, I stopped taking anassessment of the skills I obtained at previous employers and saw agap where my strengths and weaknesses were once clearly identifiedand a detailed plan to not only meet, but surpass job expectations.This process was a helpful tool for me to address what steps ensuredI was performing at peak efficiency and provided future calculationsof how organic of a fit I could potentially for future roles and whatadditional measures, if any, needed to be taken to meet set criteria.The result was I stopped evolving in my career and lost my momentumby not having a bias for action and taking the initiative to performthese necessary steps on my own. This will always be a personalresponsibility like setting up an appointment to see a Dentist. It’sa routine health check performed by a person who has the most atrisk.
Yearshad physically passed without any self-assessment. I wasn’t awareof how to Engineer a solution to this unique problem. I had contactedone of the few colleagues I somehow managed to maintain and cultivatea relationship with over the years. Our friendship is based on mutualrespect and we both share similar personal life experiences. We alsoare passionate about learning. I knew this person’s opinion wouldbe honest and driven by genuine concern.
Wemet for lunch after connecting over e-mail and I just started toexplain without a hitch how I still felt displaced and she listenedwithout interruption. I think I talked the entire time and this kindperson allowed me the opportunity. When I was finished, she pulledout a piece of paper that had the school Logo and explained in a calmvoice, I needed to spend time around other leaders for a while andre-invent my Professional career.
Itstill didn’t trigger anything profound until later that evening Ibegan researching about the EMBA program and came across a whitepaper “Thinking differently about your Career.” I was reading thefirst page and about midway started to read out loud in disbelief.The problems I had endured where I felt the most alone were in blackand white right before my eyes. The light bulb went on this wasn’tmy story being told. This was many people’s story and circumstancebeing read. The embarrassment and shame I held onto was not a dirtysecret to hide. It was just my knee jerk reaction to change and fearof failure.
I’mapplying to the Executive MBA Program to reinvent myself as a Leaderand Professional in the community. This will position myself forsuccess through demonstrating hard work, team collaboration,available resources, and most importantly, asking for help when Ineed it. I’ve learned firsthand rather than to expect, I’ll seekout from this experience gaining an awareness of how Businessinterfaces through different cultures and industries. How Technologyand Marketing are huge factors in global competition and so areindependent factors like the Economy and Corporation stability. Iwill also understand how to question my assumptions and how my job asa business professional is critical for contributing growth andincreasing control of my new career. Ultimately, the EMBA programwill open a window of opportunity for me to finally be able to run myown interior design company. The knowledge and the exposure that theprogram will offer will not only be useful to me as an individual,but to the larger society.
Describe your major professional accomplishments.
Myprofessional journey started way back in my college years. When atThe Art Institute of Seattle (AIS) I developed my skills inleadership and management, between 2004 and 2009. I realized I neededto do more than a diploma to accomplish my career goals, of advancingin management and leadership. Despite the challenges that thearchitectural and interior design was facing at the time, I did notgive up. I worked hard to succeed through the bachelors program thatI the administration had given me a chance to partake. I performedwell in my academics, but I did not stop there. I knew that I neededto build a network with other professionals in order to open myperspective of the industry and have a mentor to show me through thetough road of professional development.
Theconnection with professionals was not disappointing. I was able tolink with International Interior Design Association (IIDA) in Seattlewhere I found a mentor who would become an important pillar in mybudding professional. My involvement with this organization and TheArt Institute of Seattle resulted to AIS gaining CIDA accreditationin 2009, becoming the second western Washington institute to achievethis status. This was a breakthrough for me. My fears had finallysubsidized, I could believe in myself even more. I was later made thepresident of the Seattle Charter of IIDA. During my reign as thepresident, I strengthened the presence of this charter in theprofessional and educational community, enhancing its associationwith students at my former school (IAS). Much to my satisfaction, theSeattle student charter was voted the leader in the country by IIDA.
Ialso worked with Panasonic Avionics in a newly established Inventoryand Logistics program. I had not worked in this area before. Withconfidence, I handled inventories. My performance at the inventorywas excellent as it lead to improved profits for the organization.This further boosted my confidence and I pursued excelling in what Iwas doing.
Discuss 5 characteristics that most appropriately describe you.
Asan individual, I have different characteristics that I can identifywith. The first characteristic that anyone who have worked with mecan ascertain is integrity. Integrity is to me is a value that Idearly value. I believe that, for one to live a fulfilling life, theymust live up to their word. Throughout my course of study as well asjob, I have been given various responsibilities that require a personto show a high level of integrity. I also encourage people to haveintegrity not only for purposes of their job, but also to have afulfilling stress free life.
Anotherinherent characteristic that can describe me is creativity. Since Iwas a small kid, I relied on my own to sort issues out. Regardless ofthe situation, I always had a way out. This combined with my problemsolving abilities are my greatest weapon even in my work. When I washired to work in the inventory program for Panasonic Avionics, I didnot have any training but worked confidently and succeeded.
Onecannot describe me better without mentioning that I am hard working.Though this may look like blowing my own trumpet, my records arestraight and clear. I am a hard working person who is always focusedon achieving the goals that I set. I work diligently to ensure that Ifinish my projects before the due deadline to avoid the stress thatoccurs with completing projects on the very due date. This allows meto review my work and correct any mistakes that may have occurred.
Leadershipis an inborn quality that I can establish with. During my interactionwith people, be it in social or professional life, am able to wintheir hearts and influence them towards a common course. This hasenabled me to perform my duties with a lot of ease, besides helpingothers achieve their set goals, and dreams. This I can ascertain as Ionce influenced a strong relationship between The Art Institute ofSeattle (AIS) where I completed my degree in interior design andInternational Interior Design Association (IIDA). Despite having noprior experience in corporate or institutional management, I was madethe president of Seattle student charter of IIDA where I performedwell.
Inlife, one cannot succeed without being responsible. The first step tosuccess is responsible. Knowing that I will be accountable for myactions is the basis of all the other virtues that I possessincluding integrity, creativity, and industriousness. I always takethe work assigned to be with the seriousness that it deserves andensure that, I do not put my interests before the interests ofothers.
Discuss 5 characteristics that you would most like to change/improve.*
Althoughbeing confident has been a useful characteristic in my achievement, Ithink am too overconfident. The risks that come with beingoverconfident are many and can damage a person’s self esteem ifthey are frustrated with negative results. I am always confident ongetting what I set out to do and achieving greatly in my endeavors.However, when I fail in my missions, I become frustrated.
Iam a very sincere person, which is a good thing. However, in someinstances I find myself in a hard place when I have to tell peoplethat I work with that they are not up to the task. As a manager and aleader, I consider motivating others to keep on pushing for results.However, my sincerity comes as an offence to some people who believethat I should not just put negative comments across their faces.Nevertheless I am sincere in giving feedback, which I also believehave made me the people’s choice of a leader.
Althougham personally confident in myself, I worry too much about what otherswill do. When leading others in the project, especially where theyneed to work independently, I feel anxious since I do not believe infailing. Sometimes I feel that the anxiety is too much. I wish I canlearn that I should not be concerned with what I do not have controlabout.
Iam one nagging person. I always like to get facts and even the finestdetails for an issue that concerns me and my projects. What is myresponsibility becomes an obsession and I before I act on a problemsolving or making any decision, I get every detail to base mydecision on. This trait has not been taken well by some people that Ihave worked with. Some feel that I am a micro managing. However, itis my way of ensuring that I make a sound decision, not based on merespeculation or propaganda, but on rich information.
Describe the type and level of work you expect to be doing in 5-10 years.
Mydesire to work in the interior design has been brewing for quitesometimes. Having taken a course that I passionately sought to pursuewas the best decision that I have ever made. I have been givenseveral opportunities to lead and show my professional maturity inmanagement and leadership. I have been able to successfully prove tomyself and my employers that I got what it takes to grow and developideas and bring about landmark changes. As such, am envisioningmyself working in my own interior design company. I want no work bothas a manager and a mentor.
Havinga close association with AIS and the link that I already establishedwith the IIDA, I am looking forward to proving mentorship to youngpeople pursuing art and design from Seattle and later expand it toother parts of the United States. Besides mentoring, I would like toexpand my interior design company to employ as many new talents thatI will mentor as possible. This is not just as part of giving back tosociety but as a way of growing my passion for interior designs.Thus, in 10 years time, I will be one of the people to reckon with inArts, and particularly interior designs.