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I frequently encountered the need to make decisions of considerable importance during both my managerial and my military work. However, one of the most difficult decisions I ever made was a personal decision that concerned my future. This internal conflict could better reflect who I am.

In the last four years I have progressed, with great effort, in two areas: the business-managerial area and the political area. In both fields I have accomplished, considering my age, significant achievements. In the business area, I served as Vice President in a private company owned by my family. In the political area, I worked in a few positions in my municipality, and as an assistant to the Deputy Minister of Defense. My aim was to acquire diverse experiences and knowledge, and this aim was achieved.

A year ago, I reached the conclusion that it was time to decide if in the near future (in 10-20 years), I wanted to attain a career in business management or a career in politics. I reached a point where without setting a general goal, I could not progress to other decisions (my next job, my masters degree field etc.).

To resolve this conflict, my first step was to decide to make my decision by the deadline I set (June 2000). I realized that my years of experience in both areas were a part of a learning and searching process that granted me the necessary instruments to make this decision. My conflict was very sharp, because I knew that any decision I would make would mean giving up one area of activity and one career aspiration- political or managerial. Moreover, much data concerning the future was naturally missing and my decision had to be rather arbitrary – a very difficult situation for a strictly rational person. Nonetheless, I knew that having numerous options could be a dangerous situation. Not concentrating on one career option, out of fear of missing the others, might leave a person behind in all areas, and this contradicted my ambition.

Eventually, about half a year ago, I decided to steer my future to a business management career. I feel that in this area I will be able to express my talents effectively and to bring a significant contribution to society. I believe that turning to a political career in the far future, after a successful managerial career, is an adequate and natural option.

From the moment I decided, I have not looked back or hesitated. I started to focus on how to implement my decision. Consequently, a few days later I sent a Request For Application Material to Harvard Business School.

I learned a lot about myself in the decision process I went through. I underwent an important and healthy process of developing, focusing, and maturing. I devoted numerous hours to contemplating basic questions – What do I like to do? What am I good at? What role should I play in the community that surrounds me? I solidified my perspectives and came out stable, strengthened, and determined.

Long Run Objective

My long-run objective is to achieve a senior managerial position in a large multinational corporation that markets, or preferably manufactures, commodities. One of my highest aspirations is to be one of those who establishes, or significantly advances, such a corporation. Therefore, I intend to develop within the scope of one firm. I believe that on my way to achieve my goal I will express my talents and interests and contribute to society’s prosperity.

Short Run Objectives

Looking ten years back, I view my interdisciplinary experience in business management, army service, political and public positions, and traveling as a part of the solid background that can generate a successful senior manager in a multinational commodities corporation. To complete my preparation process, my short-run objectives are:

a. First – to acquire quality general academic education in business administration while also mastering the English language.

b. Second – to develop within the scope of one firm.

HBS – a Measure and a Target In Itself

I wish to say, sincerely, that in my opinion HBS will fulfill my first short-run objective optimally. HBS has the qualities that best fit my expectations, objective, and background. The more I hear and read about HBS – the more I feel I belong there; it is considered the best school in the world for developing general management skills and acquiring management tools in the marketing and consumption areas. Graduates gain excellent placement services and leading positions. HBS has no competitors in academic level and in world-wide fame (I learned that from talking to people in China, Eastern Europe, and Arab countries).

In conclusion, I believe that studying at HBS will be a great experience. Moreover, it will provide the optimal accomplishment for my first short-term objective, as well as a significant advancement towards achieving my long-term goal.

As a project manager in Business and Strategic Development, I very much enjoy the challenge of uncertainty that comes with developing an idea into a business. It requires me to be at my best, in order to anticipate problems and therefore reduce the risk of failure. I had to take an idea and conceptualize it to a cash-flow-producing concept. Every decision that I made regarding this project was driven by assumptions. Inherent in these assumptions was a high degree of uncertainty. My effectiveness was measured by the extent that I was able to eliminate uncertainty, and this challenge made my assignment very exciting and enjoyable. I had to use my creative and analytical intellect to its fullest to successfully eliminate some elements of uncertainty. In specific, I had to challenge myself to find new and inventive ways to acquire information about a young but very competitive industry segment. Every time I was able to eliminate another element of uncertainty, I felt a sense of achievement, which enabled me to pursue the end goal with full dedication and commitment.

On the other hand, I don’t particularly enjoy conflicts between team members fought on a personal level and the resulting need for arbitration. When working in a team, there are very often differing views on the direction of the project. These conflicts are very healthy for the team, but can be destructive when fought on a personal rather than on a professional level. As project manager, I had to mediate between team members fighting such a conflict. The challenge lay in the fact that this conflict was fought on a personal level. Consequently, I could not take sides with anyone, in terms of project direction, without causing one of the team-members to feel personally attacked. Moreover, I would create a sense of favoritism, and therefore risk losing one team-member, which I could not afford.

In every company there are two kinds of customers; the internal customers who are the employees, and the external customers, who are the consumers and the business partners. In the past, I focused too much on the internal customers and neglected my relationships with the external customers. I strongly believe that if you take good care of your employees, they will take good care of your external customers. I understand, however, that I have to find a balance when dealing with these constituents.

During my time as a project manager, I realized that my constant interaction and communication with team members took away from building good relationships with prospective business partners. Consequently, I did not have a solid relationship with business partners which I could build on in times of conflict. In addition, the lack of familiarity with some business partners had a negative impact on my managerial abilities. Occasionally, my information on the progress of a business partner’s assignment was not up-to-date, which led me to provide my team members with outdated information. Consequently, some decisions had to be reverted since they were based on wrong facts and assumptions. A more balanced approach will enable me to avoid these mistakes in the future.

Saving Lives

Four years of intense training led to this moment, and I knew what to do without thinking. As squad commander in the elite Air Force Commando Unit, I served my country during a war. I received notice that a platoon of 50 soldiers was under heavy attack, and my squad had to save them.
I had ten minutes to process the situation, devise a plan, assign tasks, communicate status to superiors, and make life-and-death decisions. We had exactly sixty seconds to execute the mission with complete precision. Bullets sailing overhead, my mind was completely focused on leading my brave men and saving the trapped soldiers.
I felt the full weight of the situation only after all soldiers were safe and able to return home to their families.
As a squad leader for three years, I often had to get my men out of dangerous situations. Planning a mission to save so many lives during wartime made this experience the most substantial in my military service.

Creating Synergy

Flying to Microsoft Headquarters, I couldn’t believe my luck! Selected as lead developer on the Microsoft Unified Communications Sync Server project, I convinced my manager to permit me to initiate collaboration with our American counterparts and persuaded a senior colleague in Washington that working with us would benefit his product.
When I first got the assignment, I knew that working with Americans could add significant insight to our development. A history of failed collaborations by senior marketing managers made my managers reluctant to approve the plan of a junior engineer like me. Undeterred, I reached across two continents and ten Microsoft ranks and convinced a senior software architect in Redmond that working with us would develop their product while stabilizing ours. Everyone finally agreed, and I went to lead the collaboration in December 2007.
In Redmond, I established relationships transcending this project, aligning both teams’ development processes and paving the way for future joint ventures.
This accomplishment gave me international experience and exposure to senior colleagues at an early stage in my career. That the partnership benefited both people and products makes it my most substantial contribution in a professional situation.

Validating My Vision

Leading a software development team to overcome obstacles and build a floral service website is an accomplishment that confirmed that creating state-of-the-art consumer products was what I wanted to do with my life.
After a month of work on our final computer science project at the University, we discovered we were going in the wrong direction. We were frustrated, but nothing gets me going like a challenge. I had a plan, and I knew I had to lead by example to motivate the group. I was always the first one in the lab and never the first to leave. I constantly improved my own task, the graphical user interface, demonstrating that I required the same commitment from myself I asked of them. Each time we met, I focused on one of the guys with a smile on his face and leveraged the opportunity by making him an ally to help me get the others motivated. I even stressed the fact that this project gave us experience with new technology that would be very beneficial in upcoming job interviews.
My team chose me to present the final project. We got a perfect score, but I received something even more substantial: a vision of my professional future.

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