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1- Please discuss the factors, both professional and personal, influencing the career decisions you have made that, in turn, have led you to your current position. What are your career goals for the future, and why is now the appropriate time to pursue an MBA at XXX? How will you avail yourself of the resources at the XXX to achieve these goals? (3 pages or 1000 words)
2- Describe a personal achievement that has had a significant impact on your life. In addition to recounting this achievement, please analyze how the event has changed your understanding of yourself and how you perceive the world around you. (3 pages or 1000 words)
The Admissions Committee believes the required essay topics address issues that are important in understanding your candidacy for the MBA Program at XXX. If there are extenuating circumstances or concerns affecting your application that you feel the Admissions Committee should be aware of, please elaborate here (e.g., your academic performance as an accurate measure of your potential, unexplained gaps in your work experience) (3 pages or 1000 words)
1-PAST CAREER DEVELOPMENT AND FUTURE GOALS
Have you ever seen, heard of or witnessed any of the following things?
-- The surface of the sea littered with dead sheep.
-- A domestic waste landfill explosion leading to a number of deaths due to the resultant flood of waste?
-- Tea vendors offering radiation-contaminated tea for half-price?
-- A little girl’s death resulting from her fall through an open sewage manhole in her school garden?
-- Radioactive waste sold to unsuspecting scrap dealers, causing their deaths.
-- A twenty year-old tanker breaking into pieces, spilling hundreds of tons of crude oil and killing sea life.
Unfortunately, such environmental disasters have become common place in Turkey.
Concerned about such situations, and aware of the insensitivity of the authorities towards our environment and health, I sought to learn ways to prevent these types of disasters. At the age of fifteen, I decided to focus my studies on environmental sciences, in order to equip myself with the technical tools I would need to do just that.
I went on to earn a Master’s degree in environmental sciences, subsequently attending a professional international management certificate program in order to gain management perspective.
In order to make use of my technical knowledge and management skills in an effective way, I was aware of the fact that I should start working in a large company that would in turn would provide me insight experience from various industries and the international business arena.
I have now worked in the energy and environment group of Koc Holding headquarters, the first and biggest diversified conglomerate, for nearly two years as a project engineer, mainly responsible for environment and energy sector investments of our holding companies.
This work position gave me an opportunity to interact with businessmen from all over the world which expanded my international perspective. Working with American partners and English consultants, I gleaned the subtle meaning of being a professional. Though it was unusual for a young associate to be a representative for my company at such events, I am proud to say that my outstanding work performance allowed me to seize the opportunity to attend various meetings with local and international governmental bodies such as OPIC, IFC and the World Bank that increased my self-confidence and improved my management skills.
While working in various business lines, such as automotive industry, consumer durables and energy sector, I have realized that the root cause of many environmental problems is financial. I believe that many people in the environmental sector are so ignorant or insensitive that they will cheat customers to increase profits. Furthermore, businesses do not prioritize environmental investments and, as a result, insufficient funds are allocated to adequately prevent problems. For instance, with a population over eight million people, Istanbul, the biggest city in Turkey does not have a properly operating sewage system, and in most of the areas waste water is discharged directly to Bosphorus.
Ultimately, I am interested in helping to solve my country's problems by starting my own environmental services business in Turkey, serving both local and international customers giving cost effective and appropriate solutions differing from waste management to safety management.
WHY MBA AND XXX SCHOOL?
Despite my experience, I still lack some important knowledge and management experiences/skills, especially in finance, marketing and entrepreneurship. I also miss important knowledge of American environment. It is essential that I master these skills since dealing with aspects of international business will be an integral part of my job as an entrepreneur.
The XXX School’s MBA program is the bridge where I am and where I want to be.
The inventiveness and uniqueness of the XXX School’s both entrepreneurial and finance programs impressed me. I believe that I will increase my practical knowledge of entrepreneurship from interacting with my XXX School classmates. I value the fact that at the XXX School, entrepreneurial education does not stop at the classroom but continues through internships and extracurricular activities. I feel that a business school for entrepreneurs should balance a dose of theory with real-world application. The XXX School’s curriculum and hands-on experiences through associations, internships and the management field study provide this balance, as demonstrated by the variety and success of its alumni.
I am also drawn to XXX School because of its emphasis on teamwork and technology. XXX School’s MBA program proposes such exciting courses and programs as High Technology Entrepreneurship, International Finance,12-week field application projects, global immersion program directed to teach thinking and acting globally.
Further, the XXX School's flexible entrepreneurial program allows students to choose electives from 200 courses that will allow me to tailor my course of study directly to my career interests.
After a long search I found in XXX a top quality business school, able to provide me with the opportunities to gain the knowledge I need for my future in addition to putting me in contact with a diverse student environment and ensure my perception of American values. Moreover, my background and my desire to succeed will allow me to flourish in the XXX program.
I liked the alumni network and student clubs present at XXX.XXX has one of the strongest and largest alumni networks with 70,000 alumni in more than 130 countries of which I would like to be honored to be a member of.
I count very much on earning a XXX School MBA degree to help me strengthen both my finance knowledge and entrepreneurial skills, necessary to enable me to secure a position as an environmental specialist in a multinational American-based firm; this, in turn, will prepare me to accomplish my long term ambition of starting my own company and helping Turkey improve its environmental record.
I am now on my way to the next step in my career planning which involves receiving an MBA degree from XXX. My experience and technical knowledge guided my success during each new venture I attempted. These early accomplishments boosted my confidence that I would soon be closer to my goal of being a successful young entrepreneur.
I believe I am on the right path to achieve my goals. I now anxiously await the next phase in my development. I know that my skills along with my experience will continue to aid in achieving my long-term objective.
2-When I was an undergraduate, I was asked, as part of a class, to select a project on which I wished to work with supervisor whom I was interested in studying with. I had chosen to study with the Head of the University’s Environmental Engineering Department on a project named "Environmental Risk Assessment of Hazardous Materials." After the earthquake disaster that hit Turkey, causing approximately 30,000 people to die, the State Planning Organization of Turkey has used the model we developed in the project to determine the risks posed by materials spilled around the region devastated by the earthquake.
In addition to working with me on my project, my supervisor also provided me with other important assistance. My supervisor was a person who not only lectured about the issue at hand but also shared his vast knowledge about the practical experience of his professional and personal life. His main goal was to shape his students into well-educated and socially active engineers with strong personal and professional ethics. He took me to many seminars, fairs, and conferences in order to give me the background necessary to become an engineer of whom he could be proud. On my own, I became president of the Environment Club, organizing technical site visits and meetings regarding environmental engineering for freshmen students.
One day, my supervisor told me about a non-profit organization named Cekul of which he was a member. I was impressed with the group’s activities. Cekul's main activity is a tree-planting campaign called "Seven Trees." The idea for the campaign comes from the assumption that the average person consumes almost seven trees for his or her needs annually.
I decided to organize a planting day with Cekul. We have rent a bus and went to the decided planting are together with forty-five students. There were also small kids of ages between eight to fifteen associated with Cekul representatives. When I asked who they were, I am informed that they were the participants of one of the other Cekul activities named “ Education for our future”. Main purpose of the program is to educate children of poor families who can not afford to take preparatory courses for college and/or university entrance exams. At that day we have planted 650 trees and named the little forest as our Club’s forest.
I was impressed with Cekul’s activities and decided to work at Cekul as a volunteer especially for the education program. While working with cekul , I have also learned about their other activities such as restoration of historical houses.
I have noticed that Cekul is the place to make one of my childhood dreams come true.
I spent much of my childhood moving around Turkey because my father was an officer in the Turkish army. The perspective and insight gained during that time have been significant factors in my personal development.
In the early 1980's, there was a great deal of political unrest in Turkey, and security was a major issue for citizens. For a time, we attended school in the company of soldiers. I attended three different primary schools because my family moved so often.
We stayed in least developed towns of Eastern Turkey. People were suffering from unemployement as a result welfare. My classmates were from poor families who could hardly speak Turkish and could not afford to get school uniforms even hardly afford to receive basic human needs such as medicine, food, education to survive. Those regions were much affected by the unpredictable economic conditions and terorism present in Turkey in those days.
Because of this instability, the quality of my education suffered. Yet I was well aware that I would need to study hard in order to succeed in life. With my determination and perseverance, I did well in my college and university entrance exams, winning admission to one of the best colleges in Ankara and to university in Istanbul.
With our luck and ambition, we succeeded in receiving the best education possible, but I knew first hand the difficult lives these children were facing. Early in life, I vowed to help the people if I was ever able to do so. Knowing about the facts of Turkey as a well educated and a loyal Turkish youngman., I am feeling responsible for those people
I started allocating approximately six hours at the weekeneds educating those kids. Giving them mathematics, physics and chemistry lectures. I took the responsibility of two kids who were at the age of ten and eleven years old. We targeted to make them pass through the private college entrance exam that will be governmentally sponsored all through their education life.
After a seven months of period we succeeded. They entered the colleges. This summer they are going to graduate from high school. I not only lectured them but also became their brother by listening their problems and trying to solve them. We also went to picnics and arranged city sight seeing tours to make them also socially strong citizens. Cekul became the chance I needed to honor my vow.
I consider helping these two kids to be my most significant personal accomplishment to date.
As one of our famous poets Nazim Hikmet mentioned;
“Karanliktan sikayet edecegine bir mum da sen yak”
“Do not complain about the darkness, instead add a candle”. My candles are still burning.
3-WHAT WOULD MY CLASSMATES BENEFIT?
My goal upon finishing my graduate studies was to obtain a position in a large corporation. I received and accepted an offer from Koc Holding, a diversified conglomerate, and began my professional career as a project engineer at the Energy and Environment group headquarters. I believe that the perseverance and determination that enabled me to attain these goals are positive values that I can demonstrate to my classmates by setting a good example. In addition, I can share my experiences in successfully motivating others by discussing the Environment Club that I founded while at university.
In terms of software applications, I am very skill full at word, excel, power point and many other programs. Because of my big expertise, I am always asked to prepare presentations to be made for almost every meetings. Although we have an information center at the heaquaters I am asked to solve the problems occurred with the Pcs first.
In the workplace, I have learned how to function successfully despite unpredictable social, economical and cultural conditions. I played a crucial role in my company's new line of business regarding lignite-fired thermal power plants during the process of energy privatization. I have worked not only on the environmental end but also on the legislative and economical end of those projects in order to gain a "big picture" of privatization. The insight into unpredictable emerging market issues and especially the energy sector privatization development in Turkey that I have gained through these experiences is valuable and unique, and I look forward to sharing it with my classmates.
In the course of these experiences, I have worked with many different people; this has helped me to develop strong communication skills. I am able to express myself well by adapting my communication style to specific people or audiences. My communication skills might be helpful in moderating group discussions or disagreements.
And as a successful project engineer, I have represented my company at various meetings in London, Germany and the United States, which is unusual for someone in his first years at a Turkish company. I am very proud of what I have accomplished so far, and I look forward to sharing my experiences handling these responsibilities with my classmates.
The Case Study method used at XXX School may be a new challenge for some candidates; however, I encountered this method during my professional certificate program. I found several successful strategies, such as active participation and thorough preparation, investigating the case from many perspectives. I believe my experiences will be very helpful to my classmates.
As a result, I may bring my unusual work background from a developing country, my experience working with groups, and my energetic and adaptable personality.
SIGNIFICANT LEADERSHIP ROLE
In 1997, the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources tendered the transfer of the operating rights of Kangal, a lignite-fired, 450 megawatts thermal power plant, to a consortium comprised of Koc Holding A.S., Demir Export A.S., NRG Energy, Peabody Holding Company and Egem Energy A.S.. It is my work on this first-ever energy privatization project which has been my greatest professional achievement.
The development of this energy business project has been handled by our energy and environment group. I started working within the environmental task team formed by the consortium members early on in the project. Our main task has been to establish the scope of environmental activities for which the consultants would tender. The coordination of refurbishment activities has become my main responsibility due to my technical expertise in environmental issues. Specifically, my duties have included defining the current environmental status of the plant and the surrounding area as well as defining the areas requiring refurbishment; obtaining required documentation and permission from the Turkish Electricity Authority, interviewing on-site personnel and providing Turkish-English translations, organizing consultant work schedules, accommodations, and transportation, gathering information and creating presentations to consortium members in London and Istanbul, and attending meetings with lenders comprised of Overseas Private Investment Corporation and World Bank in Washington, D.C.
To achieve these responsibilities, I have had to utilize many managerial skills, work hard, analyze situations from many perspectives, plan and respond in a timely manner, lead and motivate people and enabling people aware about the importance of the environmental issues.
Because I have been able to achieve these duties, my colleagues and supervisors have increased their trust in me. As a result, I am now delegated to work on several aspects of the project including legislative and financial issues. I have become one of the contact people and company representatives in internal and external meetings among consortium members and investment institutions. Through this project, I have had a chance to gain important international experience and also to improve my verbal and written communication skills both in Turkish and English.
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You answered the questions vividly and comprehensively, so my major concern was to tighten up the pieces. The weakest points involved content: the introduction to the first essay, for instance, had too much information, and read like a long list of images that are best made apparent through the narrative itself (more on this later). I've taken extensive notes on these and other more substantial changes, so you will find there a lengthier explanation of this point.
In terms of structure, the only major adjustment was the elimination of subheadings. As I mention in the notes, American admissions officers -- or, for that matter, American readers in general -- are usually looking for evidence of the ability to compose a formal essay where the ideas flow smoothly one into the next. In other words, unlike business briefings, where dividing the text into subsections allows the reader to easily pick out the passage containing a certain kind of information, in this type of essay (where you are attempting to construct a persuasive argument), it is to your advantage to substitute subheadings with well-constructed transitions (I've done that throughout the essay).
With all three essays, I condensed the conclusions somewhat substantially.
In each of the texts it seemed like you were off to a good start but sort of ran out of breath towards the end -- the essays petered out rather than ending with "a bang". Since they involved very different types of changes, I've written more about these alterations in the notes.
Elsewhere, rather than making radical (and unnecessary) structural changes, I concentrated on refining your language, highlighting your most interesting points, and making the logic of your ideas stand out clearer. Many of these changes are quite subtle, but they have a powerful impact on the overall flow of the pieces.
I rephrased passages that contained awkward English, eliminated phrases or sentences that seemed extraneous or repetitive, and varied the vocabulary to render the text more lucid and vivid. I also varied the length of sentences, in order to make the rhythm of the text more interesting (HINT: Avoid starting too many sentences with "I"; instead, try adding more transitional phrases like "Additionally", or inserting clauses before the pronoun: "In 1999, I began to work...)
Here and there I also fou
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