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Sample MBA Essay - Describe when you were part of a team where the group process and/or intended outcome failed. What did you learn?

This sample mba essay answers the question - Describe when you were part of a team where the group process and/or intended outcome failed. What did you learn?

I am sure you might have faced failures in your work/college life. As you know, various factors influence the outcome of a group process. In some occasions, you might have played a major role in the negative outcome of a team. You have to be honest with it. The admission committee is not expecting you to blame your team members or lack of synergy (the most overused word in essays and in b-schools) for the failure.

Failures can be due to

1) Lack of skills/Early stages of skill development

For example:

You were the event manager for a conference hosted by your college. Most probably, if that was your first experience, you might not have gone through a confident motion of events. There might have been coordination issues or lack of awareness on the schedules of the attendees, lack of contingency plan etc. Once you have experienced the series of events, you would have a clear understanding on the factors that influence the success of an event. Mention clearly on the turn of events and the factors that resulted in a challenging experience. Explain what you have learned and what skills you lacked at that time. A clear understanding of your weakness shows maturity.

2) Overconfidence: Another factor that affects novices is overconfidence. Once we have picked up the basic skills for any course of action, we normally tend to be a little overconfident in tackling the toughest of the problems. There is a thin line between being confident and in being overconfident. On being overconfident, we tend to give lesser priority towards planning and in monitoring the tasks. In your essays, mention how the lack of planning had an impact on the team's output.

3) Not giving your best: You can mention events where your team began to lose momentum and started giving less than 100% (due to fatigue, overconfidence, lack of confidence,clash of personality etc). If you have been part of a sports team at college, you might have faced this situation.  Expand on the factors/events that had created this challenge. Have you faced a similar situation at a later stage? What actions were you able to take this time around that had resulted in a positive outcome? Compare the two scenarios and the factors that had led to the team’s failure in the first case. Give your perspective on such events with a clear explanation on what you have learned.

4) Unforeseen circumstances: Even if you have planned and managed your team effectively, there can be series of events that can derail your team. Be very careful with using this factor in your essay. Any indications that suggest that you are finding an excuse for your failure can hit you back with your candidacy. Despite the "unforeseen circumstances", were you able to lead the team towards the common objective? If you have tried hard and failed then "unforeseen circumstances" will not be a deal breaker.


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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.

ATTENTION is the secret ingredient. How will you get the attention of the essay reviewer?

You know why parables shared 1000 years ago are still shared among us?

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Winning MBA Essay Guide: Includes the latest Essay Tips for
+Harvard (2018 Entering Class)
    Sample MBA Essay – Gratitude & Giving Back   
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Stanford (2018 Entering Class)
    Sample Essay A
+ Chicago Booth (2018 Entering Class)
    #1. Modern Art = Make you Think   
    #2. Teamwork and Individual Ambition   
    #3. Adventure   
    #4. Diversity = Creativity   
    #5. Classroom Experience   
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+ Columbia (2018 Entering Class)
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+ MIT Sloan (2018 Entering Class)
     Sample Cover Letter
+ Kellogg (2018 Entering Class)
     Sample Essay - Leadership and Challenges   
     Sample Essay - How you have grown and intend to grow   

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NYU Stern
(Coming Soon)
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Insead
(2018 Entering Class)
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Haas (2018 Entering Class)
     Sample MBA Essay: Non-Profit   
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+ Ross (2018 Entering Class)
    Sample MBA Essay: Finance Professional who was a former member of a rock band  
    Sample MBA Essay: Technologist (Idea to Action)  
    Sample MBA Essay: Creative Marketing (Idea to Action)  
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    Sample MBA Essay: Finance to Marketing (extra-curricular)  
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    Sample MBA Essay: I find it Challenging when People  
    Sample MBA Essay: A valuable thing I have taught someone  
    Sample Essay – Part 2 (Short-term & Long-Term Goals, skills relevant to your career goals and how
    Ross prepares you for the goals) 
  

+ Wharton (2018 Entering Class)
    8 Professional Gains
+ London Business School (Coming Soon)
+ Sample Essays
+ The Art of Storytelling 
+ Leadership Narratives
+ Review Tips
+ Persuasion Strategies
+ The Secret to "unleashing" your unique voice
+ How to write about your Strengths
+ How to write about your Weaknesses

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