Sample MBA Application Essay - Before
Discuss the effect that an increasingly global economy may have on your future responsibilities as a manager, both generally and as regards your chosen field, and what you hope to learn at XXX to enable you to meet this challenge?
In the 1990s, globalization has changed the business world profoundly. Companies of different country origins now can reach customers worldwide and cut their production and operation costs through international chains of production and distribution. Today, Gillette Co. is manufacturing razors in Russia, Fidelity Investment is selling its funds in Germany, and Citicorp is serving millions of customers from Asia to America. Meanwhile, global markets are featured with constant changes, intense competition, and heightened customer expectation, making it ever more difficult for a company to gain and maintain its competitive edge. Managers have to take broader responsibilities in the global economy. A successful manager will monitor the competitive landscape and decide if his organization has the strategies, structures and the people that can fulfill its global interest. In spite of the different approaches he may take, he always has to build the commitment to the global economy and develop the necessary strengths for international business throughout his company. Being exposed to global economy does not mean that a company will easily become international. Transiting from a national company to an international one will take an adjustment of attitude as well as operation. Explaining the challenges and opportunities, and addressing to employees' concerns, such as how globalization affect their jobs, are a manager's first steps to make the transition.
An excellent salesman in the U.S. may not work equally well in China or Brazil. In order to act globally, a company needs the right people with the right skills. Developing global working teams that have the necessary skills to work with people of different countries and cultures, then, is the next thing on a manager's agenda.
Also, a successful manager will help his company tailor its global strategies to its resources and capacities. It would be great to have 1 billion customers by the year 2010 like Citicorp might, but not every company has the size and global reach of Citigroup. Nonetheless, size is not everything. It's the quality of the products and services that a company can offer that matters. In stead of being all the things to all the people, a smaller company can take alternative approaches to the global market, such as focusing on a certain market sector in which it can compete efficiently. A manager must find the best strategies available and then establish appropriate policies in international marketing, finance, and human resource management accordingly. And then, these strategies will be continually monitored to take into account new advances in the business world. Furthermore, different cultures, laws, and market conditions make international operation a complicated process of system engineering. A manager has to shape his company into a flexible organization so that it can learn from and respond to fast-changing environments. In addition to developing global working teams, mastering technology is another central part of this action. With the help of technology, a manager will be able to direct and control operations on diverse scopes and scales. More importantly, since everyone has access to technology, how a manager leverages technology for competitive advantage will make the difference. In a world fraught with intensive competition, ideas become the ultimate power that makes a company stand out. In order to be recognized and chosen by customers, a company has to be creative and do things special. A manger's responsibilities must include encouraging and stimulating new ideas and techniques. To this end, he will look for new markets, customers, and allies with the purpose of generating new revenues and reducing costs.
In the field of finance, globalization has compelled managers to make their decisions in the shadow of uncertainty. Numerous forces affect international capital markets. As the markets become more and more integrated, the changes in one market will induce chain reactions that will eventually sweep all the markets. One of such an example is the Asian currency crisis that happened in 1997, which is still affecting the world's economy at this time. On the other hand, as the world moves toward common standard of financial governance and market valuation, new opportunities have arisen for international financial operations.
Financial managers must look for innovative ways to manage risk. In every global company, corporate financial managers will have to deal with the cultural and legal differences among countries to protect corporate assets and earnings. This requires that they have to take bigger roles in their companies' decision-making process in order to develop effective strategies that make the most of an uncertain situation. At the same time, accelerated innovation from financial service industry has given rise to arrays of resources for international financing. Keeping pace with the changes in the financial tools and effectively making use of different financial productswill be an important part in corporate financial manager's work. In financial service industry, globalization has triggered new operation standards. The emergence of Citigroup has demonstrated an example of one-stop shopping for financial products, which has combined different kinds of financial services such as banking, insurance, brokerage, and investment banking. But again, bigger is not always better. Instead, introducing new services, tailoring individualized solutions to customers' needs, and inventing more options for customers to access may lead to success. There are always new ways to compete, and managers should never give up finding those ways.
For a future manager, tackling the global economy is an inevitable task. In addition to the knowledge international business, he must have such skills as leadership, communication and cooperation, and organization to take the responsibility. As the leading school in global management issues, XXX will equip me with cutting-edge business knowledge and skills thatwill help me understand and anticipate the expectations of international guests and business associates. Also, the school's international environment will give me first-hand exposure to how people of different cultures think, act and communicate. These upgraded knowledge and skills, I believe, will pave my way to a global player in my future career.
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The following essay was submitted to the Berkeley MBA program by our client. The client was accepted to the program.
One of the most difficult situations I have ever had face during my tenure as VP of my company was the decision whether to fire Jane, an experienced employee, who I had worked with closely for two years. The decision arrived at my desk after a new CEO was appointed, and I became his VP, in charge of most employees. Together, we decided that we were going to transform our small and quiet company into a leading research firm with a target of 50% sales growth over the next 2 years. For that, we needed a devoted team that was committed to this goal.
This vision did not fit Jane. She left a large corporation where she worked long hours, and one of the main reasons she chose to join us was the laid back and relaxed atmosphere of a small company- exactly what we were determined to change. Although talented, she did only the minimum necessary, and was not willing to make any sacrifices and commit to our goal.
I faced a tough decision. On the one hand, firing a talented and experienced employee, in a time when most of the employees were new (as we wanted to drive growth we recruited new people), seemed unwise. In addition, I knew that our relationships with major clients might get hurt and a substantial knowledge base would be lost
On the other hand, not firing her would mean establishing double standards for our employees – most were required to work hard, whereas Jane was leaving early and refused to contribute extra efforts. Her opposition to the change had already begun creating undesired effects, as a few of the employees resented her.
In order to solve the problem, I tried to make Jane relate to the new goals and change her attitude. In addition, we also improved the company’s bonus program, based also on her comments, in order to reward the extra efforts. When all milder measures failed, I had to make a decision.
I decided to fire Jane. Although I knew that in the short run things would be difficult, I concluded there was no other way. I needed the most dedicated team possible, a team who was personally committed to the growth of the company. Jane, as head of a major division, would have undermined this effort in the long run.
Personally, making the decision was very hard. It meant firing someone with whom I had worked with closely for a long time. However, In terms of team spirit, matters improved greatly, and we succeeded in building the right team to lead the company forward. The new division head that replaced Jane was a highly motivated manager, and with her I had a team that could reach the ambitious goals we set, and indeed, in two years we have doubled the company’s project capacity, with a great improvement of research quality and customer satisfaction.