I noticed one stark difference between North American and Asian applicants. The Cultural notion of managing time and the impact of their contribution was hidden beneath project schedules and the microscopic responsibilities. From the smaller responsibility, the North American applicant was trying to find meaning while the Asian applicants were already familiar with the whole and the parts of the project.
The cultural outlook towards time management and task were the reason for the difference in fluency of the project responsibilities.
American companies propagate the idea that tasks sub-divided into smaller manageable chunks of sub-tasks is enough to move the project towards the right direction. Often, Project Management involves scheduling while the responsibilities to solve the problem and managing communication is with each team member.
For American applicants, the recommenders praise the productivity of the applicant. The industrial revolution is behind us by over 100 years, but the metrics used in mass production is still a metric for problem-solving at an intellectual level.
In Asian/Latin, American/Middle-Eastern companies and family-based Businesses, scheduling are rarely the responsibility of the supervisor. The focus is on the task and how to approach the stakeholders. One reason is the strong bureaucratic roots that Asian countries experienced from the residues of the British colonization. The culture still prevails, and influencing or persuading a key stakeholder while focusing on the task is the singular focus. How the applicant managed time is never part of the objective. There will always be a deadline, but the flexibility of the deadline and the chaos that ensues, a couple of days before the dates, are self-evident in the narratives of Indian and Chinese applicants. The impact, the influences, and how the applicant understood power dynamics are referred in the recommendation letters.
North American Culture
Managing time should not be underrepresented in essays and recommendation letters. Without deadline the urgency of the task or the pressure under which you excelled will never be captured in an Essay. But an iterative product development rarely was responsible for iPhone, or Tesla Roadster. A revolutionary idea is sold to all the stakeholders with little input from the customers or the marketplace. This approach adopted by the American giants is counterintuitive and uniquely un-American. But creative results rarely work in a scheduled manner. It is always a combination of accidents and persistence. So if you are using a narrative to address your creative spark, avoid mentioning schedules, and focus on the tasks, the lucky accidents, and the process that resulted in the big break.
The reviewer's worldview depends on the culture she is exposed to. If influencing a stakeholder through persuasion is looked down upon as unethical, the narrative will never work. That is why understanding the culture of the school and the diversity of the admission team (demographic/gender/nationality) is important. For Asian applicants, balancing the narrative of IMPACT with the limitation of deadlines is ideal. I have seen Asian/Latin American and Middle Eastern applicants spend over 50% of the words on IMPACT without offering any context on why the task was important at that point in time for the company.
The gap in your narrative might not be self-evident on the first read. Your culture has merged with your identity. Let us help you out with a detailed essay review.
Sample Essays + Essay Writing, Review & Editing Tips + 15 School-Specific Tips = Winning MBA Essay Guide
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Winning MBA Essay Guide Includes
+Harvard MBA Essay Tips (2020 Entering Class) (NEW)
Sample Harvard MBA Essay – Gratitude & Giving Back (318 Words)
Sample Harvard MBA Essay – Entrepreneurship (Influence of Childhood) (667 Words)
Sample Harvard MBA Essay - Volunteering (Mental Health Awareness) (776 Words)
+ Stanford MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
Sample Why Stanford MBA Essay (Consulting)(399 words)
Sample Why Stanford MBA Essay (Tech Entrepreneur) (390 words)
Sample Booth MBA Essay #2: Leadership experience (Teach for America)(640 Words)
Sample Columbia MBA Essay 2: New York for Marketing Professionals (244 Words)
Sample Columbia MBA Essay #3 - Team Failure (Marketing Lead) (242 Words)
Sample Columbia MBA Essay #3 - Team Failure (Technology) (248 Words)
Sample Columbia MBA Essay #3 - Team Failure (Pharma) (244 Words)
+ MIT Sloan MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
Personality Type (Accepted MIT Sloan Students)
Cover Letter Checklist
Sample Essay 3: Extra-Curricular and How enriched you are
+ Haas MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
Sample MBA Essay: Non-Profit
Sample MBA Essay: Technology
Sample MBA Essay: Marketing
Sample MBA Essay: Getting Fired
Sample MBA Essay: Diverse and Inclusive Culture
Sample MBA Essay: Leadership
Sample MBA Essay: Post-MBA Goal & How Pre-MBA Experience will help
+ Yale SOM MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Business Development (Mobile Start-Up)(486 Words)
Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Investment Banking (IB)(404 Words)
Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Consulting (442 Words)
Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Technology (452 Words)
Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Marketing (492 Words)
Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Entrepreneurship (497 Words)
+ Ross MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
Sample MBA Essay: Finance Professional who was a former member of a rock band (96 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Marketing Professional with a hidden talent to do Impression (100 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Life Philosophy through the prism of an Entrepreneurial failure (94 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Consulting for a Pharma Giant (Made a Difference) (91 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Three-Level Sanitation Campaign (100 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Water Conservation Kit (99 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Losing client (100 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Misreading Market Conditions (93 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Strategic Planning vs. Tactical Dominance in Chess (97 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Out of my comfort zone(extra-curricular) (93 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Out of my comfort zone (Daily Science Show) (99 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Simplifying Operations for Manufacturing (extra-curricular) (90 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: I am aware that I am different (Leadership and Culture) (98 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: I am aware that I am different (Technology Project and Last-minute change) (98 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: I am aware that I am different (Making Business metrics relevant to a Creative team) (91 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: I find it Challenging when People (Timidity)(98 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: I find it Challenging when People (Laziness)(100 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: I find it Challenging when People (Pessimism) (96 Words)
Sample Essay – Short-term Goals and why the goal is the right choice for you (Technology to Marketing)(299 Words)
+ London Business School MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
London as the Financial Hub
London as the Technology Hub
London as the Consulting Hub
Sample LBS MBA Essay (A Career Switcher from Hospitality to Consulting) (499 Words)
Sample Short-term Goals Essay – Technology to Consulting (100 Words)
Sample Long-term Goals Essay – Consulting for Government (100 Words)
Sample Long-term Goals Essay – Plan B (89 Words)
Framework for Answering the Duke Fuqua 25 Random Things
Sample Duke Fuqua Essay: The Fuqua community and you (Max 2 Pages)
+ NYU Stern MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
Sample NYU Stern Essay 1: Goals (498 Words) (Finance)
5 Examples with Images
7 Professional Gains
Sample Wharton MBA Essay 1: Gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (473 words)
Sample Wharton MBA Essay #2: Math Tutoring and Experimental music’s value (388 Words)
+ 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