Maybe it was the excitement of reaching the playoffs or the pressure of living up to my brothers' examples, but sometime during that game, I'd lost sight of why most of us played summer league baseball. It wasn't to win the championship, as cool as that would have been. It was because we all loved to play. I didn't need a trophy or a Hollywood come-from-behind win to have fun playing baseball with my friends, but maybe I needed to strike out to remember that.
A Critique of Richard's Essay While the essay is successful, keep in mind that your own essay needs to have nothing in common with this sample. There are innumerable ways to approach the idea of a "challenge, setback, or failure," and your essay needs to be true to your own experiences, personality, and writing style.
The Focus College admissions officers read lots of essays about sports. Indeed, many college applicants seem far more interested in playing sports than they do in getting a college education. However impressive the moment may have been, such essays tend to come across as self-absorbed, self-congratulatory, and detached from the actual qualities that make for a good college student.
I also realized that I cannot do everything on my own, and that teamwork is a crucial element in success. Once you picked excellent people, you need to trust them with your ideas and with their work. For example, by cooperating with professionals and even starting a partnership, I could have boosted my idea. This experience affects me to this day. For example, it reflects in my aspiration for a business career, including my MBA candidacy. I am not afraid to invest as much time or money as needed.
I also believe I could leverage my MBA experience to meet partners I can cooperate with in the future. Most importantly, I now look for the opportunity instead of being afraid of it.
Question: Please provide an example of a team failure of which you've been a part. If given a second chance, what would you do differently? The following essay was submitted to the Columbia MBA program by our client.
Although a new industry to us, management and the board of directors were excited. Professionally researched surveys promised profits. As a company board member and manager I felt particularly proud of this aspect.
My involvement in the project was minor at first. I attended management meetings, approved project reports and collaborated on critical marketing and strategy decisions. All seemed to be following our business model. Then after 9 months, numbers started diverging. I was surprised and became more involved to help our Sports Betting Department turn things around. Together with the department team and manager we reexamined the business plan and constructed an elaborate new plan we believed would help bring profit.
When the department manager and I presented this plan to the board and CEO, they expressed concern about prolonging the project. The CEO said he no longer thought it could succeed in Ghana, since the local population seemed not interested in Sports Betting. Where: provide the details When: provide the details Why: why did it qualify as a failure in that setting?
Talk about the failure that was behind the failure. Was there a lack of communication? If so, what led to it? Again, this is material that many people avoid, but it can be valuable. That is essay gold! The beauty of writing about a time you failed at something is that you also naturally present yourself as very human, humble and vulnerable, and someone with the maturity to recognize when you messed up.
Her routine was always to fill up the tub, do exactly 10 minutes of assigned reading, and come back when it was just about full. Instead, she crafted a light, funny story about the failure at hand—her tendency to space out—and that was sufficient. Not All Failures Are Failure Stories Sometimes students are compelled to talk about a trait or circumstance that is not actually a direct result of their own decision-making.
Why This Essay Works This essay is a good example of how to turn an ostensible weakness into a strength. The writer takes a prompt, which explicitly acknowledges a failure of some kind, and shows how it leads to later success.
This can be a winning combination, as it shows a certain amount of humility, which can be in short supply amongst students. The writer also uses humor, but does not let the essay get overpowered by quips and jokey asides. Humor can be a wonderful way to liven up a piece of writing, but allow it to work in the service of the piece rather than the other way around. In addition, never be afraid to cut a joke that just isn't working. It's better to have no humor at all than forced attempts at it.
Good writing is all about using concrete examples. In this case, the writer is able to point to a specific incident that shows the prompt in action. This specific failed test gives the writer a sense of immediacy and allows them to explore the idea.
In this way, the reader gets the sense that this is truly wisdom gained.
As I reflect on my battle with Anorexia Nervosa, I realize that it never consumed my life but rather shaped me into a better person, one who was unshakable by the slightest of miseries. My mind is consumed in dread and fear, emotions that have made a habit of inviting themselves every time before a performance. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
Students are sometimes hesitant to highlight failures. By my failure, that D, I had already learned the consequences of not studying. However, since our earlier polls indicated otherwise, I was confused and pressed the CEO for a more established reason for his pessimism. I spent the entire car ride home tuning out my parents' words of consolation, replaying my strike-out over and over in my head. To truly answer a prompt like this, you have to be completely honest about your failure, whatever it might be. It is never easy acknowledging personal weakness or disappointment.
In retrospect, what should you have done? He is a strong writer; his essay has an engaging voice; he seems mature and self-aware; and most important of all, he seems like the type of student who would be a positive addition to the campus community. We are experts at helping students address gaps in their resumes. My involvement in the project was minor at first. A Final Note: Whether you are writing about failure or one of the other essay options, keep in mind the primary purpose of the essay: the college wants to get to know you better. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure.
On a certain level, your essay isn't really about your failure. Sadly, we had to admit the project failed and consequently it was terminated. Did you let down someone close to you? I wrongly assumed that what I consider useful would be pertinent for all.
Did you want to give up or did the setback motivate you? Even though I invented several products for commercial use in the past, such as a mechanism to keep the freshness of food at restaurants, I felt this idea had the greatest potential. Did you let down someone close to you? Sure, Richard isn't the world's best baseball player, but he is perfectly aware of this fact and is comfortable with it.
Indeed, many college applicants seem far more interested in playing sports than they do in getting a college education. That could have been a failure. Even though I invented several products for commercial use in the past, such as a mechanism to keep the freshness of food at restaurants, I felt this idea had the greatest potential.