This sample MBA essay will answer the question
"Please explain if you have been involved in charity/volunteer and/or entrepreneurial activities, giving examples of your involvement, the amount of time you gave to each activity and why you chose to get involved."
What the Business School wants to know?
B-School wants to know about your outlook and commitment towards the well-being of your community. There are hundreds of charity and not-for-profit organization around the world. Were you a volunteer in one of them? Mention your role and the activities that you had to do. What skills did you develop?
“During the summer of 2007, I received a mail from my friend, X. He wanted me to be part of an NGO (mention the name) that he was managing. The process of managing the NGO became a little overwhelming for him and he wanted someone to share his responsibilities. I had just moved from City X to City Y. I agreed to be part of the NGO to help my friend. As I got involved with the day-to-day activities of the organization, I realized the value that my friend was adding to the society. This thought forced me to retrospect on the priorities of my life. Working for <NGO Name> not only changed my outlook towards life but also polished some of the skills that I thought I never had.
During the time in <location of NGO>, I had the privilege of working with a dedicated team, on projects that were slowly reaching out to a larger section of the community. Our reach was not wide enough to cover the cost. We developed a plan for the fundraising event. Our marketing plan pointed us to the fact that a celebrity’s presence can make a huge difference in covering our cost.
My mission was to find a celebrity for our event. I was the public relations lead of our team – a role that I had never taken in my life. I began my cold call routine with some interesting response ranging from cursing to tentative “Yes”. I can whole-heartedly vouch for the old saying - “Perseverance pays”. My 98th call was a man by the name of Y, who was the agent of the 90s popular sitcom, <name of the sitcom>. He agreed to set up a meeting with the actor. I was elated but a little nervous on the prospects of meeting this star. I prepared a pitch for him. We had a meeting over coffee at <name of the restaurant>. I started my pitch and before I had completed he said “Yes”. I was delighted and knew that his presence would change the response of the event.
Our perseverance and entrepreneurial approach had paid off. We hosted our fund raising event on <date> at <hall name/location/premise>. The response was overwhelming and we were able to cover the cost of the operations for the next two years with a single event. This was beyond our imagination. Now we were able to focus on expanding our NGO to other parts of the country.
In the past two years, we had opened centers in five cities across the country. We are a <member count> member organization with our operations helping more than <number of children> underprivileged children in <state names/city names>. This was possible because of the untiring work of our team“
Does financially supporting an organization matter?
Supporting an organization financially is no small task. However, think about roles where you used your skills (leadership, communication, task management etc) in helping organization/start-up/church/temple/mosque etc.
Do entrepreneurial experiences count?
Entrepreneurial experiences are equivalent to volunteering work. However, you have to convince the admission committee on your plan to do an MBA . Your argument should answer the following question
1) Why you want to pursue an MBA after starting a venture?
2) Was the venture successful?
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Only 1 in 900 gains admission to Harvard MBA program. If you write your essay focused only on your achievements, post-MBA goals, and your pre-MBA experience, you will be among the 899 rejected applicants.
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