Sample MBA Application Essay - After

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Edited Essay

Discuss the effect that an increasingly global economy may have on your future responsibilities as a manager, both generally and as regards your chosen field, and what you hope to learn at XXX to enable you to meet this challenge?

The world of today is not the world that existed years ago--nor will it be the same tomorrow. The globalization of the 1990s wrought enormous changes in every facet of the business world, the biggest of which was introducing new variability into business relations.

Companies today can now reach customers in every nation and can cut operational costs through global production and distribution systems. Gillette Co., for instance, manufactures razors in Russia, Fidelity Investment sells its funds in Germany, and Citicorp serves millions of customers from Asia to America. Meanwhile, international markets undergo constant change, intense competition, and heightened customer expectation, which make it increasingly difficult for a company to gain and maintain its competitive edge. Managers in this brave new world must therefore master a broad range of business talents.

Successful managers must survey the competitive landscape and equip their organizations with the strategies, structures, and personnel to compete in a constantly changing environment. In spite of the different approaches managers may choose, one thing remains constant--they must instill a commitment to globalization throughout their companies. Simple exposure to an expanded economy does not make a corporation "international." Instead, there needs to be a widespread adjustment of attitude, as well as sweeping changes in operation, to ensure a company's profitability.

The initial steps a manager must take are twofold: He must clearly outline the challenges and opportunities of an international market, and he must address the individual talents of each employee. A successful manager will tailor his company's global strategies to suit its resources and capacities. This involves setting realistic goals without losing sight of more elevated ones. Not every corporation, for instance, has the size and reach of Citicorp, which will have one billion customers by the year 2010. While a manager should take the limitations of his corporation into account, he must also remember that the quality of his products and services can foster success that mere global reach cannot. Instead of being "all things to all people," a smaller company can take a more specialized approach to the global market by focusing on a certain sector in which it can excel.

To achieve this, it is critical to match the talents and experience of each employee to the task best suited to him. For instance, a salesman who excels in the United States may not possess the cultural knowledge needed to succeed in China or Brazil. Different cultures, laws, and market conditions make international operation a complicated process of system engineering. A manager must develop working teams that have the skills necessary to interact with people throughout the world. It is therefore the duty of the manager to decide which strategies work best and to follow up with appropriate policies in international marketing, finance, and human resources.

This is an ongoing task that requires continual monitoring of new advances in the business world. A manager must shape his company into a flexible organization that can learn from and respond to fast-changing environments. Another critical aspect of success is the proper integration of technological developments into the corporation. Technology enables a manager to direct and control operations in a multitude of business environments. With the growing availability of technology to all competitors, moreover, a manager must properly implement technological initiatives to give his company a market advantage. In a world fraught with intense competition, ideas are the ultimate asset of a successful corporation. In order to be recognized and chosen by customers, a company must be both creative and unique. A manager's responsibility thus includes stimulating new ideas and innovations that will push the company forward in the marketplace.

In the field of finance, globalization compels managers to make decisions in the shadow of uncertainty. Numerous forces affect international capital markets. As the markets become more and more integrated, changes in one region will initiate chain reactions that can eventually affect all others. One such example is the Asian currency crisis of 1997, which is still affecting the world's economy today. However, as the world moves toward common standards of financial governance and market valuation, new opportunities have arisen for international financial operations. Financial managers must therefore look for innovative ways to manage risk.

Every global corporation will have to address the cultural and legal differences among countries to protect corporate assets and earnings. This requires that the financial manager play a larger role in the company's decision-making process to develop strategies to address concerns. He must keep abreast of new resources for international financing that arise from improvements in the financial services industry. Globalization has also triggered new operational standards. Citigroup, for instance, is a one-stop destination for financial services that include commercial banking, investment banking, insurance, and retail brokerage. Much like traditional industries in which returns to scale are critical for achieving maximum profitability, Citigroup demonstrates that providing such a variety of options to customers ensures a continued revenue stream.

Tackling the global economy is a task that every manager must be prepared to meet. In addition to knowledge of international business, he must have such skills as leadership, communication and organization, as well as the ability to guide his company through any form of change. As the leader in global management education, XXX is uniquely positioned to equip its students with cutting-edge business knowledge and skills. The school's international environment grants firsthand exposure to how people of different cultures think, act, and communicate. Acquiring these crucial skills is the key to any future that involves globalization.

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Critique

Click Here for the Edited Version.

Dear John,

This is a very engaging essay that proves the depth of your meditation on global management. Your ideas are simultaneously strong and persuasive, and they do a great job of showing the reader your managerial potential.

However, there were ways in which this essay could be improved.

The simple fact that your essay is so comprehensive also means that it is hard to follow at points. You have so many ideas that your reader occasionally becomes overwhelmed by the nuances of your argument. To ensure that your essay reads smoothly, I made extensive changes to the structure of your text.

Throughout the essay, I took liberties to correct stylistic and grammatical problems. My changes largely took the form of making sentence transitions smoother and more compelling, varying sentence structure to keep the reader interested, and pruning unnecessary words to increase sentence comprehension and coherence. I consciously tried to leave your own voice and ideas intact.

Here are my specific notes on each original paragraph of the text:

Paragraph 1

Your original first paragraph was very dense, and I identified three main arguments, which I separated into different paragraphs.

First, I provided an introduction proper that grabs the reader's attention by expanding upon your reflections on business variability. Second, I expanded your discussion of the global reach of business today. Finally, I refined and expanded your engaging reflections on what makes a business truly "global."

"In the 1990s, globalization has changed the business world profoundly."

This is true, but the formulation of this sentence is too prosaic for an introduction. See the more creative approach that I suggest.

Paragraph 2

The details in this paragraph were misplaced. I have taken your core ideas and have used them to buttress arguments elsewhere in your essay.

"An excellent salesman in the U.S. may not work equally well in China or Brazil. In order to act globally, a company needs the right people with the right skills."

These sentences are redundant. It is better to make your point through an illustrative example than to state it explicitly.

Paragraph 3

This paragraph was also very dense, and the melding together your arguments made it hard to identify the important differences between them. I have separated this paragraph into three separate parts to ensure that the nuances of your ideas are appreciated.

First, I described the importance of adjusting company goals to exploit the competitive advantages of each company's specific resources. Next, I showed how human resources can be used to bridge cultural gaps in business. Finally, I drew upon and expanded your discussion of technological innovation.

"Nonetheless, size is not everything. It's the quality of the products and services that a company can offer that matters."

The tone of this sentence is too conversational for a formal essay. In addition, you should avoid all contractions in formal writing. Here is my alternative suggestion: "While a manager should take the limitations of his corporation into account, he must also remember that the quality of his products and services can achieve success that mere global reach cannot."

"Furthermore, different cultures, laws, and market conditions make international operation a complicated process of system engineering."

This is a very important idea that should be treated at greater length in your essay. See how I have marshaled details from throughout your original text to expand this idea into a complete paragraph.

Paragraph 4

Your reflections on the interrelations of global financial markets are quite developed. While your arguments in this paragraph are tight, they required new transition sentences to ensure that the reader understands the progression of your logic.

"On the other hand, as the world moves toward common standard of financial governance and market valuation, new opportunities have arisen for international financial operations."

You should draw this thought to conclusion. I suggest appending the following sentence: "Financial managers must therefore look for innovative ways to manage risk."

Paragraph 6

Your essay becomes a bit unfocused in this paragraph. It is essential that you do not unnecessarily repeat ideas that you have treated either implicitly or explicitly elsewhere in the text. I have mined this paragraph for new details that could be employed elsewhere and have streamlined your argument to ensure a more effective presentation.

"But again, bigger is not always better. Instead, introducing new services, tailoring individualized solutions to customers' needs, and inventing more options for customers to access may lead to success."

This argument is redundant. I have eliminated it from this paragraph.

Paragraph 7

The core argument of your conclusion was quite compelling. I provided a more natural transition sentence to introduce the conclusion and have adjusted your sentence-level diction to end on an eloquent note.

"...he must have such skills as leadership, communication and cooperation, and organization to take the responsibility."

You should be more precise here. I propose the following: "...he must have such skills as leadership, communication and organization, as well as the ability to guide his company through any form of change."

With all the changes I have proposed, you will have to use your judgment and accept only those which you think are best.

Overall, the refined essay does a great job of outlining your unique and highly-nuanced reflections on global management. I wish you the best of luck in the application process.

Sincerely,
Your EssayEdge Editor

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