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(MBA) アプリケーションエッセイ 書き方 #2

MBA application essay 添削/代筆のbefore/after及び他のnative counselorのサンプルエッセイになります (全て同一人物のMBA essayです)。サンプルエッセイを紹介後にMBA essayを元に書き方のlectureをさせて頂きます。

提出頂いたdraft essay #1(about 1000 words)を 500 wordsへ圧縮及び内容/表現を更生させて頂いております (#2)。下記はご本人様の許可を得て公開させて頂きますが、本人特定を避ける為に一部essayを編集させて頂いております。転載等はご遠慮お願い致します。



#1 Before

Describe an impactful experience or accomplishment that is not reflected elsewhere on your application. How will you use what you learned through that experience to contribute to the Wharton community? (500 words)

My father died due to XXX when I was XXX years old. My father was diagnosed with the disease while I was studying abroad in XXX. My family kept this fact from me for a while so that I could focus on my studies. However, when my family discovered that he did not have much time left, my mother finally told me the news via e-mail. It was and is still one of the most shocking moments in my life. I decided to return to Japan right after hearing about the news to see my father. Knowing that he will not live for another year, I felt I needed to stay home and to not return to XXX. However, my family, especially my father, insisted that I return to XXX to continue my study. My family took turns taking care of my father so that I could leave Japan to finish the last school year. Returning to the XXX, my attitude toward study completely changed. I focused on my studies even more than before knowing that my family is supporting my studies even in difficult times. I studied harder than before in all of my classes. My father’s condition suddenly worsened in the beginning of April. I immediately returned to Japan in the middle of the school year, but I could not make it on time and saw him only after he passed away. After his death, I once again thought of not returning to XXX and quit my university so that I could start working to support my family. Although this was the most difficult moment for all of my family, they all again thought the best for me and pushed me to go back to XXX. This was a tough decision for each of us, but this experience made our family bond even more solid.

While my father was alive, I always took for granted the environment around me. I never thought of the necessity and difficulty to earn and make a living, and of the pleasure of the various opportunities I was given. However, when he passed away, suddenly everything started to look different. I began to think about my social life and how it is secured. I finally truly understood the very simple principle that the income my father made supported my living and the fact that he will no longer be able to do so. The death of my father taught me that I need to get on my feet and be responsible for everything that happens in my life. In addition to that, I also came to realize the responsibility to support my family both mentally and financially. Before, my parents used to discuss and decide important family matters. However, after his death, my mother started to turn to my brother and I for advice on everything, even on important matters such as XXX. This was the moment that made me realize that I turned from a dependent to a supporter. His death provoked many thoughts about responsibility inside me and consequently made me a more responsible person.

This sense of responsibility benefited me both professionally and personally. As long as we spend a social life, responsibility is a building block of trust. Since I realized this, I came to voluntarily and responsibly embrace and tackle difficult challenges to achieve my responsibility. When I was first assigned to XXX business, I had no knowledge on the industry nor XXX work. At that time, we had dozens of bidding projects, and were in great need to frequently coordinate both internally and externally to allocate each contractor to our bidding project. Although I lacked professional knowledge then, I focused on collecting as much information as I could utilizing every available resources. As a result, I became the person who has the most information about our bidding projects and the contractor’s workload and willingness to take on new work. Having those information, many people from our sales team and XXX team came to rely on me and to ask for my advice on which contractor to allocate on which project. Consequently, I was able to contribute to my bidding team by adequately and efficiently coordinating with contractors and allocating each of them an appropriate amount and scope of work.

In this experience, I was able to gain trust and contribute to my team without special expertise, but solely with my tremendous effort to support my team, and what motivated me to do so was my sense of responsibility. Through such experience, cherishing the sense of responsibility has become one of the most important things for me, because I became aware that it is the very first step to build confidence with people we work even if we do not excel in a certain skill.

As demonstrated above, responsibility has been the foundational value of my every behavior and what guided me to make the right decision in my life. The problem in our societies are becoming increasingly complex due to various factors such as development of technologies, globalization and environmental issues. For example, in my XXX industry, there has been a disruptive change in trend caused by XXX , which led to the sudden transition from XXX to XXX. In such complex and rapid changing world, the business judgement is becoming more and more complex likewise. There is no doubt that we can no more thrive by simply applying frameworks and financial models. Instead, we are now required to hold a broader sense of responsibility to take various non-monetary factors such as ethical or environmental ones into consideration to achieve a sustainable growth. Having such sense of responsibility and awareness stemming from my own experience, I will surely be able to diversify and contribute to any discussion by shedding light on such societal factors that have the potential to influence the business.

#2 After

Q. Describe an impactful experience or accomplishment that is not reflected elsewhere in your application. How will you use what you have learned through that experience to contribute to the Wharton community? (500 words)

A myriad of applicants to Wharton MBA program would be likely to have a main goal of earning money through business. However, with a keen awareness of responsibility, I can diversify the value of Wharton Community.

My father, who had supported me for XXX years, had suddenly passed away because of XXX. In addition to grief, I felt great anxiety over losing my blessed environment that I had innocently enjoyed. My mother began to rely on me for significant decisions that my father was once in charge of. Since then, I protected my family in place of him and took all his responsibility, which made me someone who firmly stands on one’s own feet and thinks of others before oneself.

My strong sense of responsibility became an asset in life, especially in business. I serve the management role in XXX Club, a XXX club held on a bi-weekly basis, where we sharpen our leadership and public speaking skills in both English and Japanese. Our common purpose is to improve those skills, so the time-consuming backstage role is unpopular. However, someone needs to take that role in order to run the club smoothly. I willingly raised my hand so that I could contribute to the successful administration of our speeches. Even in business, regardless of how shiny it appears, it is founded with many backstage roles in the shadow. Although guiding a team is important for a leader, I believe that doing the thankless jobs for the ultimate success is one of the most essential parts of running a business.

The sense of responsibility can expand the self-centered focus to the whole picture. There are many non-monetary factors attached to business expansion more than many people think. XXX, which promoted the sudden transition from XXX to XXX, largely curtailed the world’s demand of XXX that used to be one of our primary business. My company has incurred great loss as a large number of our partners cancelled contracts due to the Agreement. It was my proposal to sign contracts with small companies that saved us from crisis. The XXX is definitely more XXX, yet not a very efficient to XXX. Nonetheless, companies are increasingly expected to exercise socially responsible actions, and not abiding by such expectation can lead to business failure.

Many potential business leaders, like myself in the past, would doubtlessly claim that profit-making is the first and foremost mission in business. In the radical pursuit of profit, however, they often miss the significance of non-monetary factors in the generation of profit, failing to see the whole picture. With my awareness of responsibility issues in business, I can convey the value of non-monetary factors in business to diversify Wharton communities.

#3 都内某 counselor

Q. Describe an impactful experience or accomplishment that is not reflected elsewhere in your application. How will you use what you have learned through that experience to contribute to the Wharton community? (500 words)

I have experience working in XXX projects in collaboration with leading companies such as XXX and XXX. I also have experience in the purchasing division for XXX construction projects, working with global companies such as XXX, XXX, XXX, XXX, and XXX. From these cross-border experiences, I have acquired various business skills, including project management, business development, supplier management, accounting and business law. Consequently, I could contribute to the Wharton community by providing various business perspectives in class discussion or group projects based on my actual work experience with global players.

In the past six years working with diverse specialists (e.g. designers, XXX, sales/marketing/business development staff) and international partners, I have played a major facilitating role in a variety of projects from initiating discussions, to analyzing and reconciling discrepancies, to key point negotiations. Based on these experiences, I will be able to benefit my classmates by not only sharing my broad-based perspective, but also stimulating discussions and taking initiative to resolve problems we may face.

In addition to having several professional roles, I also have a multicultural perspective from living in Japan, XXX and XXX, and visiting several countries for business and pleasure. As a result, I have strong, flexible communication skills – in Japanese, English and XXX– that enable me to represent our business partners and customers internally and my company externally. I am an independent thinker who enjoys taking on difficult tasks, and always strive to reach mutually acceptable and beneficial solutions by involving people around me.

I am also self-motivated, open-minded and driven by a strong aspiration to cooperate with others to achieve goals. I persistently take steps to improve my personal and professional skills. For example, I am an officer of the XXX, where I am sharpening my XXX and leadership skills with members of many countries, professions and age groups. These experiences have provided me with a team-first mentality, which will enhance my collaboration with diverse classmates while making constructive contributions to the Wharton Community through course discussions, team assignments and extracurricular activities such as XXX, XXX, and XXX. Most importantly, I will strive every day to build strong teams and lasting relationships among my classmates.

代筆後 (#2)の評価点で7.5/10程度になります (10: outstanding, 9: excellent, 8: very good, 7: good, 6:acceptable, 5以下:essay評価のみの場合不合格)。評価6でadvantageにもdisadvantageにもならないという目安です。

GMAT/GRE/SATといったテストは学力を測定しますが、難易度自体は大変低い為、多くの賢い方は点数が振り切れます(internationalの場合はplus英語ができるかどうか)。結果ほぼ皆が高得点になり選抜が困難になります。しかしながら様々な(uniqueな) 経験をしている人/日頃から目標を持っている人とそうでいない人との間ではEssayの内容にはっきりと差が出ます。結果としてqualified applicants(一種人間的な厚み)の選定がより正確に行える為、application essayは非常に重要視されています。日本の国立入試制度に置き換えると、GMAT/GRE/SAT等はセンター試験でessay/推薦状が2次試験に相当するイメージを持つと良いでしょう。

MBAに限らず大学院のEssayに仕事実績や自分の経験/長所等を記述されているessayが散見されます (#3)。これらの大半は推薦状やresumeに既に記載内容であり、これをessayに盛り込むと内容が重複します(Essayがなぜ課されているのかを理解できていません)。Admission committeeにそもそも目を通してもらえない可能性すらあり、合格率を低くしますので、これらの描写を主体にessayを書いてはいけません(膨大な量のessayに目を通さなければならない状況であるのに、単純に読んでいてとてもboringです)。

TOEFL/IELTS essayでもMBAでもその他のadmission essay (NOT statement of purpose) においても全てのessayで求められているのは同一で、書かなければいけないことは何故あなたはそう思うのか?という考え方/内面です。経験、仕事、研究等の内容は重要にはなりますが、そこから何を感じ、何を学んだのかという説明です。上記sample essay (#1 and #2)の場合も単なるimpactful experienceのdescriptionではなくそこから何を学んだか。どのように貢献ができるかというanswerではなく、なぜそのことが可能かという説明が主体となって書かれています。一方Essay #3は単純にXXXの経験があるからXXXできるというvery superficial argumentの繰り返しになっており、supportが全くもって不十分です(この内容であればMBAに興味のない人にでも簡単に書けますね)。また、#3のessayの場合どのような人物なのかの想像はできません。#3のようなessayでも他のmaterial (GMAT/Letter/Resume等) が良ければ必ずしも不合格にはなりませんがessayのみの評価では相当behindします(数十万investmentをされたようですが…)。

求められていることが明確な以上、一種のテンプレートは存在します。例えばWhy XXXのquestion universal topicですが、Why MBAのanswerとして企業したいから、であるとするとします。例えば商社勤めの方が海外出張中に貧困国での物流の重要性を認識したから、これを実現させたい。そのためには例えばmarketingの重要性を一種痛感した、という内容で書いたとします。この内容の場合、余程書く能力が高く無い限りは5-6点のrangeに収まります。志望動機自体のuniqueさは表されていますが、まともな他のapplicantsも同様に一種uniqueな理由を描写しますので差別化がはかれません。より良いessayは何故そう思うのか、という説明が深掘りされています。例えば上記の例の場合企業したい理由は説明されていますが、起業をしてpoor countryにcontributeしたい理由が抜けているため構成が浅くなっています。

Why XXXに対して将来XXXがしたいといから、という大元のanswerの多くは手段であることが多いです。昇進したいから、企業したいから、研究がしたいからetc…というanswerは全て手段なので研究/企業でどんなことを実現したいのかという目的を根元に据えて、その上で更に何故そのように思うのか、という説明を乗せてくると差別化がはかれます。例えば今回であれば貧困国に出張中にこの衛生環境は耐えられん…と思う人は多いかもしれませんが、poor countriesにcontributeしたいと感じる人は多くはないでしょう。何故自分はpoor countriesに貢献したいと感じるのか、という説明には自分の価値観の描写が必要になり、自分の価値観/background等のuniquenessをappealできます。

自分のgoal (meansではなくpurpose oriented preferred、商社マンの例の場合はpoor countriesへcontributionがしたい) 及びそこからさらに深掘りして何故そう思うのか、という根源となる価値観形成を書くと(商社マンの例の場合はwhy do you want to contribute to poor countries)Essayのみの評価ではadvantageが取れるでしょう。ここまで書く内容が定まるとApplication Essayにはテンプレートが存在します。以下はWharton Application Essayの代筆後のessayをreferします (#2)。

1st paragraph: Hook and thesis


2nd paragraph: 価値観形成の描写

自分はどのような価値観(強みor uniqueness)を持っているのか、またどのように形成されたのかという説明をします。商社マンの例の場合ここのpartが抜け落ちています。

3rd paragraph: 価値観を元に何を学んだか/感じたか

Responsibilityを元に自分が持っているuniqueな考えがどのように形成されたのかの説明になっています。商社マンの例の場合ここにpoor country出張中にcontributionしたいと思うようになった、という説明がきます。

4th paragraph: Goalの描写

Essayのmain ideaがここにきます。商社マンの場合何故MBAへ行きたいか(何を学びたいか)、という説明を書きます。Sample Essayの場合3rdまでnon-businessの内容で書かれているためbusiness topicへのbridgeをしています。

Final paragraph: Conclusion

Essay answerの解答をbriefに行うのが無難ですがEndingが与える影響はかなり大きいので、plus αのdecorationをするもアリでしょう。

上記のテンプレ構成にはめ込めば7-8の評価にはなりますがuniqueなnon-business/non-academicの経験及びuniqueなbusiness/academic経験の内容を一本のstoryになるように抽出してflowを組む作業は非常に骨が折れるのでessayを書く腕を養っていない場合膨大な時間が掛かるでしょう。実際に取り組んでみると理解できると思いますが、counseling料金が1時間3-4万円の100万単位での費用が掛かる場合もありますのでご注意を。実際に提出して頂いたdraft (#1)も何時間もcounselingを掛けています。費用を抑えてhigh qualityのessayを書く方法はTOEFL/IELTS Essayのpreparationをしっかりと行うこと、これに尽きます。

またtechnical answer, XXXの skill/experienceがあるからXXXの面でdiscussionやassignmentにcontributionできる, はadmission committeeには受けませんので避ける必要があります。理由としてはこれも“誰でも”書けてしまうので差別化がはかれません。今回のWharton Essayのようにより強く XXXをすることが自分には可能と主張をした方がappealingになります。

尚10/10評価のsample essayは下記になります (一部の抜粋になります)。こちらも我々で代筆を行っています。ご本人様の許可は頂いておりますが同様に転載等はご遠慮お願いいたします。

Why XXX?

Originating from a poor XXX immigrant family, my Japanese native tongue and ethnicity, and twenty-years of stay in Japan did not qualify me for a Japanese citizenship. Surviving on a year-to-year family visa, I always lived with anxiety over my next visa since the worst case scenario was the loss of my visa—the order by the government to leave the country I considered home. I lived my entire childhood disempowered by the fear of being expelled and by the knowledge that I could not even choose the country where I wished to live. When I was XX years old, my nightmare became reality — the government stopped offering my family a visa, and then forced us to move to XXX.

Due to my life background, I became deeply aware of the power of governments in greatly changing the fate of individuals as well as nations, both to the better and the worse. I did not starve nor reside at the center of a war zone, but in one of the richest and safest countries, my life was never at peace. I viewed my personal struggles as human rights problems since my well-being was significantly undermined solely for my race. I became interested in the political mechanisms of protecting and violating human rights, which I believe are directly relevant to the level of peacefulness of a nation and the whole international community. That is why I want to XXX in less developed countries, likely to be the least peaceful regions of the world.


伝えたいことはピンク色の部分になりますがその説明である水色が大部分を占めています。読んでいただければわかると思いますが、超高評価のessayはエッセイのネタ自体に非常に特別なuniqueさが必要になり、かつ考え自体もdeepになる為、一般人にはまず書けません。無難に(とは言っても重労働なのですが)7-8評価の構成が組めればapplication essayは十分です。

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