In Great Application Essays for Business School, which will be released in December 2005 by McGraw-Hill, publisher of BusinessWeek, author Paul Bodine provides an inside look at successful application essays. Bodine offers suggestions throughout each of the essays to give readers an idea of what admissions committees consider a well-thought-out and insightful response to their essay questions. The following is one of four essays from the book that is being made available on BusinessWeek Online:
Essay prompt: Creatively describe yourself to your MBA classmates. You may use any method to convey your message: words, illustrations, etc. (2 pages)
Like any other test day, I was extremely nervous on August 3, 2003, and had slept poorly the night before. [Uses intriguing lead-in to pique reader's interest] The horror stories I had heard about Master Chang's black belt tests had been gnawing at me since I began my training, thirty-three months earlier. Knowing that this test was going to be even more grueling than that for my red belt, I was amazed at my courage in even showing up.
As I entered the gym, I remembered the beginning, the day I had asked the owner of the fitness equipment store next door what he thought of Master Chang. He said simply, "He offers real martial arts instruction. Most places don't." More than two years of continuous training and countless competitions against other schools' students had convinced me that the storeowner was right. I was part of a training program that had no equal. As my training progressed, I became fascinated by the philosophical underpinnings of our style of martial art, traditional Tae Kwon Do. I learned everything I could about the principles of sustaining determination and focus, maintaining an unassuming demeanor, and constantly remaining attentive to my surroundings so as to better respond to any situation. [Shows his dedication to this hobby has a deeper, "philosophical" side] The milestones of my journey to my black belt were still vivid: my first sparring match, my first successful spinning heel kick, the first time one of the high-ranking students told me my technique looked good. With each new achievement my resolve to complete the journey grew stronger
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