Dear Mr. and Ms. B school admission,
I understand that it has been a long day, week and even month for you to get through thousands of applications to get to mine. For that, I appreciate the last 15 minutes you have spent reviewing my resume, my extracurricular, what others have to say about me, etc. in summary, my life in the last 26 years on the face of Earth.
As we only have 15 minutes left of my allotted 30 minutes, I hope I can take you through my inspiration, what I wanted to go from here and how you can help me.
Post college, I have gather a significant amount of time working in a giant tech company, from the customer support function to sales driving part of the business. I had joined the company excited to be working for a market visionary who brought transparency to the fixed income market allowing investors no longer be duped by brokers, excited to be explore a version of myself as a salesperson that was as foreign to me as flying to penguin. I was excited to take a huge risk in letting my personality guide me and venture into an area which I thought I have zero skill and competence at. You are probably curious why, I took the job because I was being bored and unmotivated at my hedge fund investment internship and started to question if investment research/analysis was for me. Four years later, I’m happy to report that I have been further along the way of defining what type of salesperson I would be, though realistically I’m far from what people would think as a conventionally successful smooth-talking salesperson.
It is because I see sales as a way to change the world. In my job, I was trained to cultivate a curious mind, to explore the pain points in other people’s lives that they do not necessary see, and to show them a solution that will change their business for the better. As my product is expensive, we often had to think long and hard about the real ROI for the client, as adding value is the only way to close. The few times that it occurred to me I had really touched someone and changed their workflow in significant ways were precious. It is very gratifying to realize I have been able to relate to and , even better, transformed some aspect of their lives where moments ago we were complete strangers.
I envision the future when I could use my skills to contribute to innovative technology, in the broadest sense as how-we-do-things, and the social changes those innovation were going to enforce. For me, it’s never the job you do from 9-5, it’s about more the change you are part of from wake to sleep.
Change has been part of my making since I left home for college at 18 years old. I changed my environment, the culture I operate in, the people I interacted with. But most significantly, I have changed how I see myself, from a Vietnamese high school girl, to a global citizen in the making. It was roughly a year after Thomas Friedman’s “The World Is Flat” came out and I wouldn’t be way off to say the book has changed my world view forever. No longer am I constricted within the geographical and political territory of country and the socialism that reigns. No longer would I be afraid to speak up against violence in fear of retribution. No longer it was such a big deal to disagree with your teacher. For the change I was able to experience, I was forever grateful for a group of selfless Vietnamese college students whom I knew via an online forum.
They were VietAbroader, and soon enough I became one of them. It was a group of Vietnamese college students who decided that together they will write articles about how to get scholarships and financial aids to study in the US and make it available to all Vietnamese high school students with an internet connection. I started helping them with the projects in Vietnam, out of admiration and desire to give back. One short summer project turned into 10 years of involvement, and one group of strangers on the internet became my new “comrades”, for lack of better word, as we dream and create 3 conference concepts, obtain the 501 (c)(3) status, and put in place a succession plan to recruit and train future leaders of the organization.
My career at Bloomberg has been gratifying but as I look to connect my passion in change with my career, I believe business school is the right answer. A broad management education will expose me to area of business management such as strategy, operations, talent management, that I have zero experience with, but crucial to becoming a leader of change. I will learn from classmates smarter than me and benefit from those life-long connections. Being part of the alumni community, the majority of whom are successful change maker, will continue to inspire and help me realize my vision. Finally, business school, with…, is the perfect training ground for future challenges as my professors and classmates will challenge but will also teach me about team skills and management skills. [general as i will connect with what the school offers]
At this point, I hope it has been clear to you how I wish to leverage my sales skills, combined with a business education from …, to become a change maker through the use and operation of business.
[appropriate to write more about how non-profit may be not as great of a vehicle because of the resource structure, talent management, etc but will be too long]
[ also need to talk about immediate post-mba goal, wihch is management in practice ie strategy and management consulting]
[but will sleep on this first. good start]