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USC Marshall MBA Sample Essays

USC Marshall MBA Sample Essays

  1. 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)
  2. 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.

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USC Marshall 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. 

USC Marshall Sample Essays – 3

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)

Over the past x years, I have worked with organisations such as IBM, Accenture and BT in the finance function and saved x dollars in operational efficiency. Although I have grown in my career, my learnings have been limited to a narrow section of finance. I am at a career stage where I would like to understand the various aspects of business and upskill myself. Post MBA, I want to transition into a full fledged finance professional and land a role as Finance Manager in an Ecommerce or Consumer Goods fortune 500 company such as Amazon, P&G. 

Marshall Essay 2 (Required) – Please draft a letter that begins with “Dear Admissions Committee” (word limit: 600) 

Dear Admission Committee,

I was born in Nepal, where poverty prevails with limited access to electricity, and educating girls is considered sinful. After my family moved to India, we lost our father to cancer. Both I and my sister had to start working at an early age to support ourselves and our family. I had to overcome incredible obstacles to complete my education and create an identity for myself in the newfound nation that I call home. 

Coming from such unfortunate circumstances, I strongly believe in the power of helping and caring. At college, to improve my financial condition and continue studies, I started working at a small coaching centre, where I taught primary-school students. Simultaneously, I volunteered at an NGO, where I taught 35+ women reading and simple math, motivating them to continue their education and spreading social awareness about domestic violence. I strongly believe education has the power to transform people’s lives by providing them access to the job market and thereby gaining financial independence.

Despite all the difficulties, after college, I secured a job in a Fortune-500 company and secured coveted roles. I have grown in my career in the finance domain. Post MBA my goals is to land a full fledged finance professional role. Such a role will sharpen my finance skills from a strategic standpoint and expose me to business aspects and industry practices. Long-term, I want to leverage my experience, international exposure, and industry connections to set up my own boutique finance services venture in Nepal which will assist the SMBs. Nepal’s economy revolves around the agriculture industry and the services industry. With 70% of the population employed in the agriculture space, there is immense scope for small businesses. MBA at USC Marshall will prepare me holistically to succeed as a finance manager and thereafter pursue my vision of bringing about sustainable change in Nepal.

I find USC Marshall’s MBA program perfectly in alignment with my career goals. 

The rigorous curriculum with electives in Finance will equip me to be a full-fledged finance professional in the corporate world. I look forward to interacting and learning from the international diverse cohort, that would shape my thinking and broaden my perspective. As part of the student club, I want to empower women by sharing my experiences and creating avenues and forums for mentorship. 

With the best talents from the world, international faculty and enriching student experience I believe USC is best suited to achieve my goals and make the next step in my career.

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