USC Marshall Application Essays 2020-21
- What is your specific, immediate short-term career goal upon completion of your MBA? Please include an intended position, function, and industry in your response. (word limit: 100)
- Please draft a letter that begins with “Dear Admissions Committee” (word limit: 600) This letter is meant to be your personal statement that provides the Admissions Committee with an understanding of your candidacy for Marshall beyond what is evident in other parts of your application. This essay is purposely open-ended. You are free to express yourself in whatever way you see fit. Our goal is to have an appreciation for and an understanding of each candidate in ways that are not captured by test scores, grades, and resumes.
USC Marshall Winning Sample Essays – 1
Marshall Essay 1 (Required) – What is your specific, immediate short-term career goal upon completion of your MBA? Please include an intended position, function, and industry in your response. (word limit: 100)
I have been associated with Unilever for more than five years now. Unilever has given me the opportunity to work across diverse functions of supply chain varying from an operation-oriented role to a long-term strategy-oriented role.
Working on business strategy has been extremely exciting and that’s why, post MBA, I wish to transition into a strategy consulting role with the CPG arm of consulting firms like McKinsey, Bain, BCG. In the long run I aspire to become the CEO of a CPG firm and follow in the footsteps of Ms. Indra Nooyi (ex-CEO PepsiCo.) who has been my lifelong inspiration.
Marshall Essay 2 (Required) – Please draft a letter that begins with “Dear Admissions Committee” (word limit: 600) This letter is meant to be your personal statement that provides the Admissions Committee with an understanding of your candidacy for Marshall beyond what is evident in other parts of your application. This essay is purposely open-ended. You are free to express yourself in whatever way you see fit. Our goal is to have an appreciation for and an understanding of each candidate in ways that are not captured by test scores, grades, and resumes.
Dear Admissions Committee,
I believe, we are the sum-total of our experiences and the experiences that have defined me as a person can be expressed in a nutshell by the following two narrations:
1) “Adversities cause some men to break, and others to break records” – William Aurthur Ward.
I am glad the latter happened with me and I am proud of defying the stereotypes for an Indian girl and braving the adversities that came my way.
I was born into an extremely conservative family as a girl and my aspirations to pursue undergraduate education antagonized many elders. My family was saving more money for my marriage than for my education. My father was my only supporter in my pursuit of higher education and due to his support, I was able to dream big for myself.
But as fate would have it, a few months before my undergraduate admissions I lost my father. His untimely demise created a huge void both psychologically and financially. Under an assistance program, the government offered me an entry level employment opportunity and everyone in my family pressured me to take up the job and get married to reduce the financial burden on my family. Even the funds my father saved up for my education had to be reprioritized to meet our daily essential needs. This was one of the most challenging times of my life as it seemed like my dreams were crashing down.
Our dire circumstances motivated me to make something of myself so that my family would never have to feel helpless. I secured an admission in one of the best engineering colleges in India with a scholarship, which helped me convince my family to pursue my dreams. Fast forward 4 years, I was amongst the top performing graduates in my class and amongst the first to receive a great job offer from Unilever. I blazed the trail for a new journey for my family, becoming the first woman in my family to have a professional career and an undergraduate degree. Having inspired my cousins, I support 2 of them financially to help them achieve their dreams.
2) “Dance is the hidden language of the soul.” – Martha Graham
I’ve always resonated with this quote, ever since I was a kid, dance has been my passion and has had a therapeutic effect on me. However, my family disapproved of this interest as they considered it a distraction and unrepresentative of a cultured woman. Let alone joining dance classes, I wasn’t even allowed to learn it by myself.
When I stepped out of their shadows of my family to pursue my undergrad, I utilized my newfound freedom to reconnect with my passion for dancing as well. I joined the choreography club and regularly attended dance sessions. My love for the art form taught me much more than the art itself. Through dance, I’ve learned that grace requires practice; synchrony needs teamwork; and perfection entails dedication. Furthermore, dance allowed me to connect with people and learn from their experiences. My love for dance enabled me to become the one of the lead dancers to represent the university in dance competitions and win awards for my alma mater.
During my final year, my family came to watch my performance. The admonishments from my childhood came back to me before walking up on stage. The thunderous applause that followed my performance was my answer. At that moment, I hoped they had forgiven my adamance and accepted my love for the art form.
I look forward to bringing this passion to Marshall and introducing my peers to the wonders and magic of dance.