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Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Investment Banking (IB)(404 Words)

Essay prompt: Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. (500 words)


Post-2008, Investment Bankers, have been looked down as a Pariah. But not many know the time commitment required for an associate or an Analyst role. If you had a chance to work in IB as an associate, you could share the nature of work and time commitment clients expect from the team. On call for work, 24x7 is a norm in the industry. Work assigned at 7:00 pm for a deadline at 3:00 a.m can sound monstrous for an 8-5 traditional office, but the sporadic nature of work assignment might have revealed the commitment Banks have developed with clients.

One reason is the billing, or the responsibility Banks have taken for the client (Buy-side and sell-side). The constant monitoring for offers that benefit the client, and a continuous commitment to capturing relevant information impacting the clients require sacrifice in personal time, and your attention for other hobbies.

The 80-100 hour workweek might have demonstrated the investment required to develop your craft and create a reputation in your domain.

What was your internal motivation for choosing Investment Banking?

Why did you choose to commit the hours required to be successful as an associate?


Don’t mention the drawbacks of the culture. Focus instead on how your intrinsic value matches the culture of Investment Banking. If your post-MBA plan is to continue in IB as an Analyst, create narratives that reveal your strengths in seeing the bigger picture instead of just quant, pattern matching and finding trends from diverse data sources.

An applicant used commitment to teaching and the bigger picture in investment banking as a driving force in finding the value for the client.

“AI has taken over the trend monitoring and stock picking function of an analyst but understanding what clients’ value cannot be programmed on offer value or reputation of the seller. Our team constantly interacts with clients to dig deeper into the fears and uncertainty they face. Not all deals are worth pursuing if there is a mismatch in culture or we are aware of the post-deal complexities that might arise with a change in market conditions or the regulatory environment. A commitment to pursue the client’s goals has helped me develop empathy for the challenges start-ups, established companies looking to exit, and Businesses in financial distress face.


It is never easy to convey what it means to work in an environment where lack of commitment can mean the loss of millions and in some cases billions of dollars for a client.

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Pages: 695

Winning MBA Essay Guide Includes
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+ The Art of Storytelling 
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+ Persuasion Strategies
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+ How to write about your Strengths
+ How to write about your Weaknesses

Download Winning MBA Essay Guide (2019 Entering Class)




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