long-term career goals. How will your academic background and prior work history, coupled with a Smith MBA degree aid you in achieving those goals? -- 2 pages
As an international student seeking to complete my education in the United States, I am a firm believer in the American dream. One might think that Coming to the United States for my undergraduate education was the first step in my pursuit of the American dream; however, my pursuit of the American dream actually began when I was still in Taiwan and began working at the same time as I attended high school. It was through that work experience that I began to understand that hard work, done in the proper manner, really can help a person achieve their goals and dreams. In fact, my ultimate long-term career goal is to be able to be my own boss and open my own business, dealing with the information systems aspects of the global economic market. My short-term career goals are to find employment on Wall Street, in an area where I will gain the practical knowledge to make my business a success, including developing a product for the international finance market, learning how to successfully market that product, and making the contacts I need to be a success in the business world. In addition, I plan to sit for my CFA exam in 2006.
I am fortunate to come from a very hard-working family and to have parents who gave me the opportunity for an early introduction into the business world. When I was a high school student, my father informed me that I would need to earn my own tuition. Therefore, I searched for a job and worked with a tutor at night to complete my education. I worked as a waiter and an assistant, in a position similar to an internship, but full-time. I chose to continue my education through the use of a tutor so that I could be fully involved in the company's decision-making process. At a young age, I had the privilege of being involved in every level of executive decision-making, such as board meetings, and in various facets of the business, for example investment road shows. The company was multi-national, which helped me appreciate the fact that we truly live in a global economy. I was able to experience first hand the way businesses were run in Japan, China, and Taiwan. Given that the eastern world, especially China, is on the verge of an explosion in business opportunities, I feel I was given an invaluable gift when I received the opportunity to learn about business customs in those countries.
My education since coming to the United States has continued to prepare me for a job in the global economy. I studied finance and information systems, because of my belief that technology is the product of the future. Because we share the belief that business is currently undergoing a technology-driven transformation, I think that Smith would be a perfect place for me to complete my graduate work. I understand the ever-changing nature of the technological world, and I am looking for a school that teaches me how to adapt to that environment, while maintaining a consistent skill set that is necessary for leadership. Although I know it is impossible to completely predict business trends, I feel like the education I would receive at Smith will teach me how business has changed in the past twenty years, which should help me spot future business trends. As a student, Smith's distinguished faculty holds appeal for me; however, the most appealing part of Smith's MBA program is that Smith students experience hands-on involvement in the business world. I look forward to the opportunity to participate in business, not simply learn about it.
Of course, simply learning about the business world is not going to be sufficient to prepare me to open my own business in the global marketplace. With the widespread benefits of globalization of the economy, there is no way to escape global problems. One issue that comes to mind is how a business reconciles finances with human rights, especially given that there are so many easily exploited workforces throughout the world. I feel like my background as a volunteer with the Creation Social Welfare Foundation, where I worked with impoverished people in persistent vegetative states, and with the Voluntary Home Services, where I worked with the elderly, has given me tremendous respect for those among us who are the most easily exploited. With that background, I am certain I will be able to use the skills I acquire at Smith to develop my own business, which is not only aids the global economy, but also those citizens who are sometimes overlooked by that economy.
ESSAY 1 - Smith's tagline is "Leaders for the Digital Economy." What are the characteristics of a good leader? Also, discuss your leadership skills. -- 1 page
Whenever I am faced with a question such as "what are the characteristics of a good leader," I find myself presented with an interesting dichotomy; many of the characteristics of good leadership appear absolute, but the most characteristic of a good leader is the ability to be flexible. Therefore, when I describe what makes a good leader, I do so with the understanding that, above all else, a good leader is flexible and knows when to change. Because of this, I have to say that flexibility is the most important characteristic of a leader. As my move to the United States at the age of 19 demonstrates, I am unafraid of change, which I feel has prepared me to be flexible in the business world.
The second-most important quality that a good leader should have is to be open-minded. An effective leader whose only goal is to carry out his own visions, no matter how compelling those visions may be, can be more damaging than an ineffective leader, because he may have stifled the good ideas and creativity of those working below him. In contrast, a leader that really listens to the ideas of those working below him has the opportunity to fully utilize the individual skills and knowledge of the workforce. Furthermore, a leader who keeps an open-mind encourages creativity in those below him because the workers understand that their ideas will be treated with respect and not simply dismissed. While working as a waiter, I was often presented with requests that might be considered unusual or odd. Rather than dismissing those requests, I worked to try to make the customers happy. In doing so, I often found that I learned something by fulfilling their requests. In this way, I developed the open-mindedness necessary to be a successful leader.
While a good leader must be flexible and open-minded, it is essential that he also have a strong character and not be concerned with popularity. Sometimes good leaders have to make unpopular decisions, and a leader that is crippled by the thought of delivering bad news cannot effectively lead. The reality is that there are bad times in the business world, and an effective leader deals with them in an honest and forthright manner. However, a good leader also demonstrates compassion and understanding. For example, managers are going to inevitably be placed in positions of hiring and firing. There is a difference between telling someone that they are incompatible with a business and that are not worthy as people, and a good leader always respects that difference. It is through my volunteer work that I feel I developed the most as a leader. Everyday I worked with people in some of the most dismal of conditions. Doing so helped me learn how to talk to people about negative things without developing a negative attitude. I learned that, even if I must make decisions with my head rather my heart, I should always be compassionate when doing so.
ESSAY 2 - If salary was not a factor and your living expenses were covered, what would you do for a living and how would you spend your time? -- 1 page
If salary was not a factor and my living expenses were covered, I do not think that would effect a dramatic change in my career goals or how I currently spend my free time. I am extremely interested in both finance and information systems, and I can think of nothing more fulfilling than to combine the two of them with the global marketplace, and developing my own businesses. Even if salary was not a factor, I would still want to spend time working in other companies and pursuing my MBA because I have always taken pride in my work and I know that there are invaluable things I can learn from school and from mentors in the business community. The most practical change I would imagine, which may or may not be possible for me immediately upon graduation after I complete my MBA, would be that I would…