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CEIBS MBA Application Essay 2023-24

  1. Discuss your post – MBA career aspirations (short term and long term) and explain how you plan to achieve them (400 words).
  2. (a). CEIBS is situated in Shanghai – a truly global city, and most importantly, the economic center of the world’s soon to be largest economy. Given its unique location, how do you expect that Shanghai will transform your MBA experience and contribute to your goals? (400 words).

    (b). Discuss a situation where you have demonstrated significant leadership ability. (400 words)

  3. (a). Many would argue that entrepreneurship is not necessarily a state of being, but a state of mind. Describe an entrepreneurial experience where you went against the grain or conventional way of thinking, to discover and create new value. (400 words)

    (b). Identify up to two trends, big or small, that you see unfolding in the next decade. Discuss how the(se) trend(s) might affect you and your career, and how you plan to address them during your MBA and/or after you graduate. (400 words)

  4. Optional Essay 1: Is there any other information that you believe would be helpful to the MBA Admission Committee in evaluating your application? Re-applicants are suggested to describe the progress they have made since the previous application. (200 words)

  5. Optional Essay 2: You are encouraged to showcase your life and career in a short video, no longer than three minutes. Please provide a downloadable link below (preferably from wetransfer.com).

CEIBS MBA Winning Sample Essay-1

CEIBS Essay 1: Discuss your post – MBA career aspirations (short term and long term) and explain how you plan to achieve them (400 words). 

I have three years of experience as a strategy consultant working for Ernst and Young (EY) and Chain IQ. Post-MBA, I would like to continue growing my career as a strategy consultant, preferably in a technology consulting role for a global consulting firm like Mckinsey, Bain or BCG.

Post my undergraduate degree from the University of St. Gallen (HSG), I started my career as a strategy consultant to the CEO of Ernst & Young Switzerland. Later, I followed him to Chain IQ when he joined as the Group CEO. As a strategy consultant, I manage all external mandates for the Group CEO consulting digital switzerland and Europa Forum on behalf of Chain IQ. Through these experiences, I have developed excellent data analysis skills, a strong network in Switzerland across the private sector, and a ring-side view of how long term strategies are formed and implemented. However, my current role primarily restricts my scope to strategic data analysis; I aim to expand my horizons and create an impact beyond data analysis. But to do so, I lack the business knowledge of monetising analysed data and addressing its broader implications for business strategy. That is why I now aspire to pursue an MBA and enhance my business acumen before transitioning into a front end strategy consulting role. 

After extensive research and conversation with Alumni like Sizhen Rao and Simon Liang (Both Co ’21), I believe CEIBS’ MBA is in perfect sync for my desired learning from an MBA program. First, CEIBS’ extensive curriculum with specialised electives on strategy and especially the “Economics and decision sciences” led by Prof. Dr. Bala Ramasamy will enable me to deepen my knowledge of data analytics and monetisation. Outside of the academic curriculum, I loved the activities like the 88 km trek in the Gobi Desert, which I am sure can help me develop my leadership skills via the program’s experiential learning nature. Finally, CEIBS’ MBA Strategy Project can give me the opportunity to implement my classroom learnings, learn about real challenges faced by business and provide excellent networking opportunities with the consulting firms in Shanghai. Similarly, I aim to give back and would be thrilled to represent Switzerland as a student ambassador for CEIBS.

Overall I am confident that with my prior strategy consulting experiences, CEIBS’ unique approach to leadership, and career transformation can enable me to achieve my desired learning and career goals from an MBA.

CEIBS Essay 2: Describe your most significant achievement to date and explain why you consider it such an important accomplishment. (400 words) 

My most significant achievement to date is climbing the Cross of the Seas (Cruz de los Mares) in Chile on October 31st, which marked the symbolic end of my nine months solo trip in South America.

This trip to South America holds a special significance in my life because it was the first time I stepped out and broke away from society’s expectation of me to find my true self. During my studies, I had spent all my energy in interning and receiving offers from firms such as BCG, EY and Goldman Sachs to gain the appraisal of my fellow students, friends and family. 

However, growing up in a privileged world of possession, I sensed a feeling of emptiness. That is why I decided to take a gap year and find my own calling.  I went on a solo nine months trip from the northernmost to the southernmost point of mainland South America. Three months into the trip, all my possessions, including the backpack, were stolen. For the rest of the trip, I only invested in the bare minimum and carrying less made me see the world from a different perspective. To quote Steve Jobs: “The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again.”

I now spent my nights in a tent in the backyards of local people. Being out of possessions and hotels led to incredible experiences and exchanges. I experienced astonishing kindness, gratitude and hospitality of locals, who themselves had limited means. It led me to develop compassion for people living in other circumstances than I do. I learned to listen to people more holistically, and I have come to care more about relationships than objects.

After returning to Switzerland, I donated most of my possessions which I no longer use to a local charity and initiated a programme where I volunteer and teach skiing to children who can’t afford their own skis or snowboard. Until today, my trip to South America is the achievement I am most grateful and proud of for the way it shaped me as a sister, friend and member of our society. I now look forward to spending 18 months at CEIBS, where I am convinced that the diversity of culture and backgrounds can further help me understand even more different perspectives and reconcile conflicting interests, including my own. 

CEIBS Essay 3: Identify up to two trends, big or small, that you see unfolding in the next decade. Discuss how the(se) trend(s) might affect you and your career, and how you plan to address them during your MBA and/or after you graduate. (400 words) * Word count 

I think the two trends unfolding in the next decade that are key in defining our global economy, political systems and society are 1) accelerated application of data monetisation and 2) China’s increasing global influence. 

On the one hand, I am convinced that the current trend to monetise data will significantly increase within the next decade, shifting companies towards a more ecosystem-focused approach. I have personally experienced this as part of a project from digital switzerland that aimed to lower the Swiss population’s blood pressure by  1%. The plan was to develop an app that enabled users to measure their blood pressure and make recommendations accordingly. Within a short time, we managed to onboard over 40 partners to co-finance the app development, including the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies and one of Switzerland’s largest insurance companies. The main factor that convinced them to invest was leveraging and monetising the data collected via the app. 

On the other hand, I firmly believe that China’s increasing global influence will define our generation. While consulting the Europa Forum, I am in charge of a project where every year 25 of the most influential people in Switzerland and Europe from business, academia and politics give their views for a strong Switzerland in the context of Europe. In 2020, more than 70% anticipated China to be the dominant economic power in the near future with whom Switzerland should develop strong relations. The view and opinions were so strong that as a result, we decided to rephrase the annual conference’s topic for 2021 and put the key focus on China. The recent signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade agreement and China’s strong involvement in the UN are expected to impact the global economy and political stage significantly. 

I am confident that the trends towards data monetisation and growing influence of China will significantly impact my career. As I aim to work for a global consulting firm, I need to enhance my business acumen and address my lack of experience working with Chinese counterparts.

In pursuing an MBA at CEIBS, I firmly believe that I am best prepared to address both the trends. CEIBS’ focus on data analytics and monetisation and the digital economy are internationally acknowledged. I am convinced that my China experience will be viewed by my employer as a valuable asset and result in opportunities to work on projects in China, connecting the best from across the world.

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CEIBS MBA Winning Sample Essay – 2

1. Discuss your post – MBA career aspirations (short term and long term) and explain how you plan to achieve them (400 words).

My post-MBA career aspirations revolve around making a significant impact in the healthcare sector, particularly in the area of clinical research and pharmaceutical development. In the short term, I aim to secure a position as a Clinical Development Manager at a leading pharmaceutical company. In this role, I will leverage my experience in clinical trials and management to oversee the development and execution of new drug trials, ensuring they are conducted efficiently and ethically.

To achieve this short-term goal, I plan to utilize the comprehensive education and networking opportunities provided by the CEIBS MBA program. The program’s strong emphasis on healthcare management and its integration with global business perspectives will equip me with the necessary skills to excel in this field. Additionally, the extensive CEIBS alumni network will provide valuable connections and mentorship opportunities, helping me navigate the industry and secure a suitable position.

In the long term, my goal is to ascend to a leadership role, such as Clinical Development Director or VP of Clinical Research, within a global pharmaceutical company. In this capacity, I will drive strategic initiatives to improve clinical trial processes, enhance patient care, and foster innovation in drug development. My vision includes leading large-scale projects that address global healthcare challenges and contribute to the creation of life-saving treatments.

Achieving my long-term goals will require a combination of advanced business acumen, leadership skills, and industry expertise. The CEIBS MBA program is uniquely positioned to provide these through its rigorous curriculum, focus on leadership development, and strong industry connections. Courses in strategic management, leadership, and innovation will be crucial in preparing me for higher levels of responsibility and decision-making.

Furthermore, the program’s international perspective will be invaluable in understanding and addressing the global nature of healthcare challenges. Engaging with a diverse cohort and learning from experienced faculty will broaden my outlook and enhance my ability to implement effective, globally-informed strategies.

Active participation in CEIBS’ healthcare-focused clubs and initiatives will also be a key component of my plan. These activities will allow me to apply classroom knowledge to real-world scenarios, further developing my problem-solving and leadership skills.

In summary, my post-MBA career aspirations are centered on advancing to a leadership role in the healthcare sector, with a focus on clinical research and pharmaceutical development. The CEIBS MBA program offers the ideal platform to achieve these goals, providing the education, skills, and network necessary to drive innovation and improve patient outcomes on a global scale.

2. CEIBS is situated in Shanghai – a truly global city, and most importantly, the economic center of the world’s soon to be largest economy. Given its unique location, how do you expect that Shanghai will transform your MBA experience and contribute to your goals? (400 words).

Shanghai’s dynamic environment and strategic position as an economic powerhouse make it an ideal location for pursuing an MBA at CEIBS. The city’s vibrant business landscape, cultural diversity, and innovative spirit will significantly enhance my MBA experience and contribute to my career aspirations in the healthcare sector.

Firstly, Shanghai’s status as a global economic hub provides unparalleled opportunities for networking and professional growth. The city is home to numerous multinational corporations, leading pharmaceutical companies, and cutting-edge research institutions. This proximity to industry leaders will enable me to build valuable connections, gain insights into global healthcare trends, and explore potential collaborations. Engaging with professionals and experts in Shanghai will enrich my understanding of the industry and open doors to exciting career opportunities.

Secondly, Shanghai’s entrepreneurial and innovative ecosystem aligns perfectly with my career goals. The city is known for its thriving startup scene and emphasis on technological advancements. This environment will foster my entrepreneurial spirit and inspire me to think creatively about solutions to healthcare challenges. By participating in Shanghai’s innovation hubs and attending industry conferences and events, I will gain exposure to the latest developments in healthcare technology and management practices, which will be crucial for driving innovation in my future roles.

Additionally, Shanghai’s cultural diversity and international outlook will broaden my perspective and enhance my ability to work in global teams. The city attracts talent from around the world, creating a multicultural environment that encourages collaboration and cross-cultural understanding. This experience will be invaluable in preparing me to lead diverse teams and implement globally-informed strategies in the healthcare sector. Understanding different cultural nuances and business practices will enable me to navigate the complexities of international healthcare management effectively.

Shanghai’s rapid economic growth and its role in the global healthcare market present unique opportunities for learning and development. The city’s healthcare sector is evolving rapidly, with significant investments in research and development, clinical trials, and healthcare infrastructure. Being at the center of this growth will allow me to witness and participate in the transformation of healthcare practices firsthand. The insights gained from this experience will be instrumental in shaping my approach to clinical research and pharmaceutical development.

Moreover, CEIBS’ strong connections with the local business community and its emphasis on experiential learning will further enhance my MBA journey. The school’s partnerships with industry leaders and access to real-world projects will provide practical, hands-on experience that complements classroom learning. Engaging with Shanghai’s business community through internships, company visits, and consulting projects will solidify my understanding of the healthcare industry and prepare me for leadership roles.

In conclusion, Shanghai’s unique location as a global economic center will profoundly transform my MBA experience at CEIBS. The city’s dynamic business environment, cultural diversity, and innovative spirit will contribute significantly to my professional growth and help me achieve my career goals in healthcare management.

3. Discuss a situation where you have demonstrated significant leadership ability. (400 words)

One of the most significant leadership experiences in my career occurred during my tenure as a Senior Clinical Research Coordinator at the Texas Center for Drug Development/DM Clinical. In this role, I was tasked with leading a team in managing the COVID-19 clinical trials for Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson, a responsibility that required both strategic oversight and hands-on management.

At the onset of the pandemic, there was a sense of urgency and uncertainty. We had to swiftly adapt to the evolving situation while maintaining the highest standards of clinical trial conduct. My primary responsibility was to ensure that our team could effectively consent, enroll, and gather data from participants while adhering to strict safety protocols. This was a high-pressure environment where the stakes were incredibly high.

I began by organizing and developing the “#houstonfightscovid” campaign, aimed at raising awareness and educating the Houston community about the importance of clinical trials. This initiative required me to coordinate with local radio stations and media outlets, develop educational materials, and engage with the public to build trust and encourage participation in the trials. Leading this campaign not only enhanced our participant recruitment but also strengthened community support for our efforts.

Simultaneously, I focused on fostering a collaborative and supportive team environment. Recognizing the stress and burnout risks, I implemented regular team meetings to address concerns, provide updates, and ensure everyone felt heard and valued. I also established clear protocols and guidelines to streamline our processes and reduce any ambiguity that could hinder our progress.

One of the critical challenges was negotiating study budgets with study sponsors. This required strong negotiation skills and a deep understanding of the study requirements. Successfully securing the necessary funding ensured that our team had the resources needed to carry out the trials effectively.

Throughout this period, my leadership style was characterized by open communication, empathy, and a commitment to the well-being of both our team members and trial participants. I kept an open-door policy, encouraging team members to voice their concerns and suggestions. This approach not only helped in maintaining team morale but also led to several process improvements based on team feedback.

The result of these efforts was a highly efficient and motivated team that successfully managed the trials, contributing to the emergency approval and later full approval of the COVID-19 vaccines. This experience reinforced my belief in the power of collaborative leadership and the importance of leading with empathy and transparency.

In conclusion, leading the COVID-19 clinical trials team was a profound leadership experience that tested my abilities and taught me valuable lessons in crisis management, team dynamics, and strategic planning. This experience has significantly shaped my approach to leadership and prepared me for future roles in healthcare management.

4. Many would argue that entrepreneurship is not necessarily a state of being, but a state of mind. Describe an entrepreneurial experience where you went against the grain or conventional way of thinking, to discover and create new value. (400 words)

One entrepreneurial experience where I went against the grain to create new value was during my time as a Clinical Research Coordinator at the University of Texas Health Science Center. We were managing the Neurosciences Research Repository (NRR), which involved collecting and storing brain tissue and blood samples from patients for neurological research. The conventional approach was to rely heavily on manual processes for data collection, storage, and management. While this method had been the standard, it was time-consuming and prone to errors, which could compromise the integrity of our research.

Recognizing the inefficiencies and potential for improvement, I proposed a shift towards a more digital and automated system. This idea was met with skepticism initially, as the team was accustomed to the traditional methods, and there were concerns about the cost, complexity, and reliability of implementing new technology. However, I was convinced that modernizing our processes could significantly enhance our efficiency and data accuracy.

I began by conducting a thorough analysis of the current workflow, identifying key areas where automation could make a difference. I then researched various digital tools and platforms that could be integrated into our existing system. My proposal included the adoption of electronic data capture (EDC) systems and a centralized database for sample management, which would automate data entry, reduce manual errors, and streamline sample tracking.

To address the team’s concerns, I organized demonstrations and training sessions to showcase the benefits of the new system. I also highlighted the long-term savings and improvements in data quality that would result from this investment. By involving the team in the decision-making process and providing them with the necessary support and training, I was able to gain their buy-in and alleviate their apprehensions.

Implementing the new digital system was a transformative experience. The automation of data entry and sample management significantly reduced our workload, minimized errors, and allowed us to focus more on the research itself. The centralized database provided real-time access to data, enhancing collaboration and decision-making. Moreover, the new system improved compliance with regulatory requirements, ensuring that our research met the highest standards of accuracy and integrity.

This entrepreneurial initiative not only created new value for our team by enhancing efficiency and data quality but also set a new standard for how clinical research data could be managed. It demonstrated that going against conventional thinking and embracing innovation can lead to significant improvements and drive progress in any field.

In conclusion, this experience reinforced my belief that entrepreneurship is indeed a state of mind. By challenging the status quo and seeking innovative solutions, we can create new value and drive meaningful change, even in established fields like clinical research.

5. Identify up to two trends, big or small, that you see unfolding in the next decade. Discuss how the(se) trend(s) might affect you and your career, and how you plan to address them during your MBA and/or after you graduate. (400 words)

In the next decade, two significant trends are likely to shape the healthcare sector: the increasing integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in clinical research, and the growing emphasis on personalized medicine. Both trends have the potential to revolutionize healthcare, offering new opportunities and challenges for professionals in the field.

The first trend, the integration of AI and ML, is transforming how clinical trials are conducted. These technologies can analyze vast amounts of data more quickly and accurately than traditional methods, identifying patterns and insights that were previously unattainable. AI and ML can streamline patient recruitment, predict outcomes, and optimize trial designs, ultimately making clinical trials more efficient and cost-effective.

For my career in clinical research and healthcare management, this trend presents an exciting opportunity to leverage cutting-edge technology to improve clinical trial processes. During my MBA at CEIBS, I plan to take courses focused on data analytics, AI, and healthcare technology. Engaging with faculty and peers who are experts in these areas will help me understand the latest advancements and their practical applications. Post-MBA, I aim to collaborate with tech companies and integrate AI-driven solutions into my projects, ensuring that I stay at the forefront of innovation in clinical research.

The second trend, personalized medicine, involves tailoring medical treatments to individual patients based on their genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. This approach promises more effective and targeted therapies, improving patient outcomes and reducing healthcare costs. Personalized medicine requires a shift from the one-size-fits-all model to a more customized approach, necessitating changes in clinical trial design and execution.

As a professional in the healthcare sector, embracing personalized medicine will be crucial for my success. At CEIBS, I will focus on courses related to genomics, bioinformatics, and personalized healthcare strategies. Additionally, I plan to participate in research projects and internships that explore personalized medicine applications. After graduation, I will advocate for and implement personalized medicine initiatives in my role, working with interdisciplinary teams to develop and manage trials that consider individual patient profiles.

Addressing these trends during my MBA will involve not only academic learning but also building a network of professionals who are pioneering these advancements. By staying informed about the latest developments and continuously upgrading my skills, I will be well-prepared to lead and innovate in the evolving landscape of clinical research and healthcare management.

In conclusion, the integration of AI and ML and the rise of personalized medicine are two trends that will significantly impact the healthcare sector in the coming decade. By proactively addressing these trends during my MBA at CEIBS and beyond, I will be equipped to drive positive changes and contribute to the advancement of healthcare solutions.

6. Optional Essay 1: Is there any other information that you believe would be helpful to the MBA Admission Committee in evaluating your application? Re-applicants are suggested to describe the progress they have made since the previous application. (200 words)

In addition to my professional experience and academic background, I would like to highlight a few personal attributes and extracurricular activities that I believe will add value to the CEIBS MBA community.

Firstly, my leadership experience extends beyond my professional role. I have been actively involved in community service, leading initiatives to raise awareness about health and wellness in underserved communities. This has honed my ability to work with diverse groups and foster a collaborative spirit, which I will bring to the MBA cohort.

Secondly, my international exposure is a testament to my adaptability and global outlook. Having worked with multinational teams and participated in global clinical trials, I am comfortable navigating different cultural contexts and can contribute a unique perspective to class discussions.

Lastly, my passion for continuous learning drives me to stay updated with the latest trends in healthcare and technology. I am an avid reader and regularly attend industry conferences and webinars. This commitment to personal and professional growth will ensure that I remain a proactive and engaged member of the CEIBS community.

In summary, my leadership skills, international experience, and dedication to continuous learning will enable me to contribute meaningfully to the CEIBS MBA program and enrich the learning experience for my peers.

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