Washington Foster MBA Winning Sample Essays
Essay 1: Tell us your ideas about what lies ahead for you in your career. What are the gaps or deficiencies currently preventing you from pursuing these potential career paths? How do you plan to use your time in the Foster Full-time MBA Program to fill these gaps and advance your career? in 750 words
Essay 2 : At the Foster School of Business, we embrace diversity as one of the foundations of both successful business strategy and a world-class educational experience. We share the University’s dedication to promoting the understanding and appreciation of human differences, and the constructive expression of ideas. We welcome you to share some of the ways you have practiced inclusion, promoted equity, or supported the advancement of underrepresented groups.
Essay 3: Please tell us about an experience that inspired or confirmed your decision to pursue the MBA. 500 words.
Washington Foster MBA Winning Sample Essays – 1
Foster MBA Essay 1: Tell us your ideas about what lies ahead for you in your career. What are the gaps or deficiencies currently preventing you from pursuing these potential career paths? How do you plan to use your time in the Foster Full-time MBA Program to fill these gaps and advance your career? in 750 words
I want to pursue product management post-MBA at a mature venture like Khan Academy or at the education division of a technology company like Microsoft.
Growing up in a family and culture where values and the greater good are given utmost importance, community service is a way of life. My grandmother has been a source of inspiration for me. She used to teach underprivileged children at our home, and I sat through many of her classes. I started collecting donations for foundations such as HelpAge India early on. And I continued the same during my college days by teaching underprivileged children middle school science and mathematics with the help of the NSS chapter at BITS. After working for two years at OTIS, I decided to create a more consistent and direct social impact in my hometown as a teacher. I left my job as a Project Manager at Otis and joined Abhimat Jan Vichar Manch, an NGO that runs an orphanage and a skill training center for residents of the nearby villages. It allowed me to combine my teaching and management skills for the greater good of humanity. I taught middle school Mathematics and the Basics of Computer Science. As each student responds differently to coaching techniques, I adopted innovative methods mixed with a hand-holding approach. This experience made me more patient and widened my horizon.
The technology reach in smaller cities is not great, which hampers students’ education. I wish to change this situation and realised that to uproot this issue I needed more experience in team management, creating tech solutions , handling large scale projects and most importantly learning the skills required to become an entrepreneur. Hence, I joined Urban Company, Asia’s largest home service company, where i worked as a category manager for the salon category, the category alone was responsible for ~35% of companies revenues, the category had a very low conversion rate for hiring professional service providers, and my first task was to improve this conversion rate. I worked with product managers towards the solutions and was able to improve the conversion rate threefold. I worked continuously towards gaining the skills I needed. And then an opportunity to join QCI as a product manager arrived. I was responsible for building end to end solutions for various government bodies of the Indian government and it has provided me with the kind of exposure and experience I needed to be sure that I was moving in the right direction. While working with product managers at QCI, I was impressed by their understanding of the user requirements and deep product knowledge. By working with these firms I realised the gaps in my armour.
As a product manager, I want to gain mastery over the product management cycle and be exposed to business functions like pricing strategy and market segmentation. By working for an established EdTech player, I will develop expertise in leading technologies carving this nascent field and gain experience implementing solutions at scale. Finally, as product managers collaborate with teams ranging from engineering to sales, I wish to hone my ability to influence diverse stakeholders to pilot new initiatives at the same time this will enhance my project management and leadership skills and give me insights into how large projects work, which will help me attain my long-term goal of starting my firm.
I realized that is something that Foster can help me improve. I would need to improve my strategic execution skills. I also need hands-on experience in projects different from my own to develop my higher-order thinking.
Foster’s close proximity to Seattle is a great benefit providing opportunities to work with big firms such as Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and many more. 100% employment rate in the last few years and building a strong alumni network across the world in firms such as Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing etc. makes the Foster MBA even more valuable. I am excited to attend Professor Dilip Wagle’s course on ‘Developing Strategies for Social Impact’ to learn, collaborate, participate in field trips and create models to develop solutions to create the impact.
Working with clubs such as Foster Technology Club and Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital club will help me learn by collaborating with local technology communities and learn to drive meaningful impact will help me grow by attending various competitions and events. I am convinced that an MBA at Foster will give me the critical skills and invaluable learning experiences necessary to reach my professional and personal goals.
Foster MBA Essay 2: At the Foster School of Business, we embrace diversity as one of the foundations of both successful business strategy and a world-class educational experience. We share the University’s dedication to promoting the understanding and appreciation of human differences, and the constructive expression of ideas. We welcome you to share some of the ways you have practiced inclusion, promoted equity, or supported the advancement of underrepresented groups.
According to a study by Bezbaruah Committee in 2014, 86 percent of Indians from the northeast region faced racial discrimination in Indian cities – commonly in the form of lewd comments, often directed towards their features and sexual harassment. This has been prevalent in Indian culture for a long, and as a child, it always irked me whenever I heard people say that.
When I entered college, my roommate, Arpit, was a person of dark complexion, and he, too, had faced similar kinds of name-calling in his hometown. Some of the people had also joined the same college as him, and this name-calling continued and spread among other students in the class. Arpit never bothered about what people said about him, and I could see his self-esteem and confidence being hit daily.
His response shook me, and I realized I couldn’t sit quiet about this. I firmly believe, doing nothing about an issue is as good as promoting the problem yourself. And I confronted a few of the friends I was close to about it and tried to make them realize how this was hurting Arpit. Few of the friends realized their ignorance, but others did not take it seriously, and after a few days, they returned to their old ways.
I collected a few like-minded friends and conducted various skits, and street plays on campus. This made the university authorities and general student body extremely conscious about such concepts as racism and color-shaming. Strict policies were established on campus, and Arpit and many other Arpits after him could lead a life of dignity.
I, as an individual, have always tried to practice inclusivity in my daily life to be present and not be complacent about these issues. It may sound insignificant to us as an individual, but when we do our job as individuals, it might inspire others, and we can become a beacon for change in our surroundings leading to more significant changes in life.
I would also love to join clubs such as Diversity in Business and Global Business Association to learn about diversity in our work environment and practice them in our daily business practices.
Foster MBA Essay 3: Please tell us about an experience that inspired or confirmed your decision to pursue the MBA. 500 words.
Chasing my aspirations of a managerial position in a project management capacity, I was preparing for one of my job interviews during the last semester of my undergraduate degree, and I faced adversity that changed my outlook towards the importance of child education and their upbringing/mental well being.
One odd day, I received the information of my aunt passing away. She had accidentally lit herself on fire at her home. I was very close to her, and we used to celebrate all the main functions together. Many thoughts came to my mind, but the sight of my aunt dying was something that I could not believe.
My cousin was at home when the incident occurred, and the incident happened due to continuous heated discussions between the two over the course of time. When the incident occurred, he was intoxicated and hence couldn’t understand the situation and couldn’t stop the incident from happening. All the neighbors rushed to help her, but it was too late.
I was traumatized initially, but it further led me to research the root cause. Initially, what came to mind was addiction issues, but then upon looking deeply into my cousin’s childhood and the reasons that could have pushed him into this, led me to realize the importance of child upbringing. I also understood the value of education and mental well-being. As a teacher at the NSS chapter at BITS, I realized how important a teacher is to a student from not just an education perspective, but also they can help inculcate better habits and listen to the issues they might be facing in their lives. I took this learning and have instilled it in my life journey. I have made it my life’s mission that no child should have a fate as cruel as my cousin and his mother.
I have always tried to support the teaching and upbringing of the underprivileged from a very early age. When I was a teacher at Abhimat Jan Vichar Manch, I did my best to show empathy for the children facing problems with their mental well-being. I used to stay after classes and discuss with children the issues they were facing at home, understand their problems, and counsel them. My passion for early age education and mental well-being has evolved through such experiences in life. In this endeavor, I helped a young boy, Arun, deal with his temper issues and, in due course, developed a close bond with him. He is now a responsible citizen and works in a respectable MNC. This experience strengthened my inspiration to become a leader in the social sector. However, I do realize that I still have miles to go before I sleep.
To develop a clearer understanding of the functioning of the social sector and contribute holistically through the strategic, operational, financial, and marketing aspects of running a business. I believe an MBA from Foster will help me achieve my goals of creating an impact in the social space.
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Washington Foster MBA Winning Sample Essays – 2
Foster MBA Essay 1: Tell us your ideas about what lies ahead for you in your career. What are the gaps or deficiencies currently preventing you from pursuing these potential career paths? How do you plan to use your time in the Foster Full-time MBA Program to fill these gaps and advance your career? (750 words)
Over the past 4 years, I have been working in analytics within the fintech and healthcare industries. This experience has given me the opportunity to work with cross-functional teams, including marketing, product, and pricing based out of India, USA, Ukraine and Indonesia. One of the most significant accomplishments of my career has been helping to scale our active user base at Brightmoney from 20k to 150k. This required me to use my analytical skills to identify key growth opportunities and implement strategies to drive user acquisition. In addition to scaling Bright’s user base, I have also played a crucial role in improving customer retention at Acko from 63% to 79%. This has involved analyzing customer data to understand their needs and preferences, and then implementing targeted retention campaigns to keep them engaged and loyal to our brand. Overall, my experience in analytics has been invaluable in helping me develop a deep understanding of data-driven business strategy.
With this experience in mind, my short-term goal is to become a product manager at a big tech company like Amazon or Microsoft. I am excited about the opportunity to build user-friendly products and learn the best practices in product management from industry experts. Looking further into the future, my long-term goal is to build up on my experience as a product manager and become the VP of product at a global tech company. To achieve these goals, I know that I need to develop a range of skills beyond my current understanding of analytics and marketing. I need to learn more about consumer behavior, product strategy, and product pricing in order to transition from analytics to product management.
Foster’s comprehensive curriculum and focused electives are well suited to my learning needs. Courses on Consumer Marketing, Brand Management and Pricing Strategy will provide valuable insights and help me develop the skills I need to fill in the gaps in my knowledge. These courses will give me hands-on experience in designing a brand, a practical understanding of marketing and brand management in the real world, and the ability to blend analytical frameworks, marketing strategy, and microeconomic theory to formulate actionable pricing strategies. Additionally, the small class size at Foster School of Business will allow me to build strong connections with both my professors and classmates, which will be beneficial for my future professional development.
In addition to the academic opportunities at Foster School of Business, I am excited to get involved in extracurricular activities that will complement my professional goals. As a member of the Technology Club, I will organize visits to local tech companies and lead workshops on data science and programming. These experiences will provide me with leadership and people management skills and build connections in the tech industry. Through my participation in the Foster Marketing Association, I will contribute to the club by sharing my knowledge in data-driven digital marketing, and collaborate with my peers to develop effective marketing strategies for case study competitions. The club will also give me the opportunity to learn from guest speakers and marketing professors, and to network with alumni and professionals,
As someone who has always been drawn to the excitement and innovation of big cities, I can’t wait to immerse myself in the thriving community of Seattle. As a hub for tech companies and startups, the city offers endless networking and job opportunities for business students like myself. But beyond that, I’m also excited to continue exploring my personal interests and hobbies in such a diverse and vibrant city. From trying new restaurants and attending cultural events, to hitting the trails and taking in the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, I know that the location of the Foster School of Business will provide endless opportunities for personal growth and development alongside my professional pursuits.
Foster MBA Essay 2: Please tell us about an experience that inspired or confirmed your decision to pursue the MBA. 500 words.
I have always been interested in pursuing an MBA, but it was my experience working closely with the VP of Product at my current company that really confirmed my decision. Our VP is someone who I have always looked up to and admired, and I have always been impressed by his clarity of thought and his strong understanding of consumer needs.
After working on close quarters with him on multiple assignments I believe MBA has been instrumental in his overall growth in 3 broader areas:
Ability to effectively prioritize business and customer needs:
One of the things that really struck me about him was how he used his MBA from a top US business school to pivot from an engineering role to a product management role. He told me about how the people and business skills he obtained in business school helped him to better understand customers and develop user-friendly products.
Refined team- and stakeholder- management skills: He polished his ability to lead and motivate teams through the MBA program. He attributes this ability to his participation in clubs and events at business school, where he had the opportunity to lead and work with diverse teams. In his current role, he is responsible for leading a large cross-functional team and he uses his leadership skills to create a positive and productive work environment.
One specific instance that really inspired me was when he led a product launch for a new product feature we were introducing. He brought together all of the necessary stakeholders, including the development team, marketing team, and sales team, and clearly communicated his vision for the product. He was able to identify and address any potential issues or roadblocks before they arose, and as a result, the release was a huge success.
Broad and relevant Industry Connections and Network: I first hand witnessed how the MBA helped him have access to business network and industry leaders. For example, during our company’s fund raising process, he was able to use the connections he made in business school to introduce us to potential investors. We eventually ended up raising funds from one of his contacts at a VC firm. This experience really showed me the value of having an MBA and the doors it can open for both individuals and organizations.
After working with our VP and observing the impact of his MBA on his career and on the company, I recognized that there were some areas of my own knowledge and skills as an analyst that were lacking. I came to understand that obtaining an MBA would not only help me address these deficiencies, but also provide me with the tools and resources necessary to advance my career. It was this realization that ultimately motivated and solidified my decision to pursue an MBA.
Foster MBA Essay 3: At the Foster School of Business, we embrace diversity as one of the foundations of both successful business strategy and a world-class educational experience. We share the University’s dedication to promoting the understanding and appreciation of human differences, and the constructive expression of ideas. We welcome you to share some of the ways you have practiced inclusion, promoted equity, or supported the advancement of underrepresented groups. (500 words)
As an analyst in India, I’ve had the chance to work with team members from a range of cultural backgrounds, like the United States and Indonesia. While working with diverse teams can be rewarding, it can also bring challenges, especially when it comes to managing conflicts caused by different working styles.
One such conflict I encountered was between my Indonesian teammates, who managed our call center, and my American teammates, who were business stakeholders in operations. My American teammates had a more direct communication style and tended to speak their minds openly, while my Indonesian teammates were more reserved and tended to be more indirect when expressing their thoughts or opinions.
One day, during a meeting with my American stakeholders, they suggested a new approach to improving the efficiency of our call center that involved implementing a new calling algorithm. My Indonesian teammates, however, disagreed with this suggestion and felt that it would be too costly and time-consuming to implement. Rather than expressing their disagreement directly, the Indonesian teammates simply nodded and agreed with the American teammates, but later raised their concerns with me and other team members.
As a result, the American stakeholders were under the impression that the Indonesian teammates were on board with their suggestion, while the Indonesian teammates felt that their concerns were not being heard or respected. This created tension and misunderstandings within the team.
To resolve this conflict, I facilitated a meeting between the American stakeholders and the Indonesian teammates where they could openly communicate and discuss their differing views on the project. I encouraged the American stakeholders to be more aware of the Indonesian teammates’ communication style and to listen to and understand their concerns. I also encouraged the Indonesian teammates to be more open and direct in expressing their views and concerns.
Through this open and honest communication, both parties were able to come to a resolution that took into account both of their concerns. They were able to collaboratively come up with a new approach to improving the efficiency of our call center that involved implementing a more cost-effective solution.
Having this experience early in my career highlighted the importance of proactive communication in resolving conflicts caused by diverse working styles. By being candid and respectful of cultural differences, teams can effectively work together and accomplish their goals. I’ve held on to this lesson in my future professional career, and it has helped me in becoming a more cooperative and inclusive professional.