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The ESADE Business School, located in Barcelona, offers MBA programs of 12, 15, or 18 months.
The following MBA essays were written by ARINGO MBA candidates who got accepted to the ESADE Business School MBA program over the past few years. Read these free ESADE MBA Essay Examples to get a sense of what they are looking for at the ESADE Business School MBA Program. Contact ARINGO MBA Admissions for help with your ESADE MBA essays!
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There are several areas in which I continuously work to improve. The main area is leadership. When I joined my family-owned business I realized that in order to earn authority within the organization, I needed to have my ideas approved at the management meetings. I had no track record and, therefore, did not receive sufficient support for my ideas. I then adopted a framework I read about in the book “The Theory of Persuasion” and started preparing the ground for each meeting by first presenting the idea to each manager separately and gaining their buy-in. This strategy helped me build an internal network and create coalitions and greatly improved my ability to make an impact on the organization.

Two years later, I had another growth opportunity as a leader when one of our clients told me that he was dissatisfied with our production rate. Meetings I held with all employees to discuss ways to solve this problem failed to have a significant impact. I did some research and learned about “the meaning effect”, where the work rate goes up when workers understand the meaning of the project. So, I started gathering all of the production employees for weekly 15-minute presentations, during which I showed them the effects on people of the final product. For example, I illustrated how many lives were saved during the previous year thanks to a medical device we produced. Eight months later, I examined the reports and discovered, to my delight, that these steps had improved our production rate by 14%.

Another aspect I have developed is my teamwork capabilities. During my military service, I noticed that under stressful situations, I did not delegate enough to my team. I noticed that I took on myself the lion’s share of the work in order to have it completed faster. When the situation was calmer, I reflected on my behavior and understood that I could not continue to act in this manner. I started giving my subordinates more responsibility and realized that effective teamwork fosters creativity and learning, results in higher efficiency, and builds trust with mutual support.

Following conversations with ESADE Alumni, I realized I could play a significant role in several business clubs at ESADE.

Twelve years ago I joined my parents, sisters, and a few other family members and started working at our family-owned business. My family business, an R&D and manufacturing service provider owning 4 plants in my country, is my greatest passion and I see myself sharing my know-how with the members of the Family Business Club, as well as learning from their experience representing other family-owned businesses from around the world.

Our family supported my father during difficult times of financial uncertainty as he was establishing his business. I grew up in a poor neighborhood with no financial stability, so I am well aware of the hardships of such a life. As my father’s business became profitable, our financials improved as well. Knowing the challenges underprivileged people are facing, and being eager to help, I organized and took part in many volunteering events, such as soliciting donations for kids, renovating playgrounds, and painting classrooms at schools. I see myself continuing to do the same at the Net Impact Club.

As I advanced in my career, I developed a greater interest in green energy. I enjoyed working on projects that were related to this topic. During my undergrad studies, I wrote essays and presented this topic to the Entrepreneurship Club. I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge as part of the Energy & Environment Club.

Throughout my life, my main recreational interests have evolved around sports: I was an amateur tennis player and swimmer, and I love watching football and supporting Barcelona F.C. However while enjoying a variety of sports, I spent most of my time playing basketball. I played for 12 years until I was 18 years old and then chose to pursue academic studies over an offer I received for a professional contract from a number of basketball teams. Therefore, I can’t wait to play an integral part of the Sports Business Club.

After the MBA I plan to return to my family business, an R&D and manufacturing service provider owning 4 manufacturing plants in my country, and further develop the company and myself. As the next CEO, my mid-term career goal is to lead my family-owned business to become a stable international company, by penetrating strategic markets in North America and Western Europe, and surpassing our competitors on three major measures: the quality of our products, manufacturing lead-time, and competitive pricing while maintaining profitable growth.

In the long term, my dream is to drive the company to specialize in a smaller number of services, allowing us to gain a leading share in a larger market. I plan to focus on medical instruments and green energy, as I believe that these areas will be relevant for many years to come.

Completing an MBA will help me achieve my goals by acquiring the necessary tools required to manage a global business. Now is the perfect time for me to do so. On the one hand, I have gained several years of work experience. On the other hand, I am still at the beginning of my career and believe that an MBA degree from a world-class business school such as ESADE will help me develop an effective managerial style.

When researching different MBA programs I was looking for a small yet international program. With classes such as Doing Business Globally, Family Business Management, Innovation & Creativity, International Portfolio Management, and many more, ESADE is the ideal program for me. I am looking forward to learning from Prof. Alberto Gimeno, director of the international family business lab. It suits me professionally and would provide me with the tools I need to reach my goal and realize my dream.

The areas that I continuously strive to improve on are persuasion, leadership, and analytical skills.

When I first took charge of one of my company’s ships as a Marine Engineer I realized I would need to have my proposals approved by senior officers during critical operations like Maneuvering, Cargo Loading, and Discharging. To gain support for my ideas I would need to earn their trust. Since I had no formal training in specific communication skills, I adopted the inspirational and motivating communication approach taught to me by my coach when I was the captain of the school cricket team. During the weekly crew meetings, I would take excerpts from the machinery manuals and make clear and concise presentations that would lend support to my ideas and gain their buy-in. By the second half of my tenure, they believed in my judgment on critical tasks so much that the Master and Chief Engineer entrusted me to lead the safety survey in Montreal, Canada. This strategy helped to build a strong coalition with the senior officers on board and significantly improved my ability to make an impact on critical operations.

On my next ship, I had another growth opportunity as a leader after our vessel cleared an Oil Major Inspection held at XXX Terminal Brisbane, Australia. Although the vessel cleared the survey with only a few minor failures, the surveyor expressed his displeasure about the maintenance of the safety equipment on board. Upon reflection, I realized that instead of personally trying to maintain every piece of equipment, I should inspire the crew to understand the significance of the survey and motivate them to be thorough about their maintenance responsibilities. So, I made it my mission to instill a new safety culture onboard steeped in dedication, ownership, and pride. I began by giving presentations on mishaps on other ships that occurred due to breaches in safety. I also took four crewmembers on a tour of a XXX vessel at Fujairah, UAE, so that they could get a glimpse of the strong safety culture followed on XXX ships. I’m proud to say, five months later, we cleared the US Coast Guard inspection with zero failures. The Coast Guard official remarked that the crew’s quick response during the safety drills and the high maintenance standards of the safety equipment on board was the best she had witnessed in a long time.

Another aspect I have developed is my analytical ability. During a major malfunction of the propulsion plant at sea on my first ship, I realized my troubleshooting procedures lacked structure. Previously I would consider the myriad possibilities that could have led to the failure. After consulting with colleagues, I formulated an analytical rubric whereby I could analyze every problem by eliminating the simple possibilities first. Analyzing the simple possibilities first and ruling them out has saved a lot of time. When there was a major breakdown on another vessel I sailed later in my career, I utilized the elimination strategy and pinpointed the issue precisely, fixing it in time to avoid a potential delay in the vessel’s ETA.

Working in the Merchant Navy for six years has nurtured a strong passion in me for green energy. I worked on cargo ships transporting diesel oil, lube oil, and heavy oil across the oceans of the world. I’ve managed the safety checks at ports in the US and third-world countries, meeting their environmental regulations. By sharing my knowledge regarding the environmental threat posed by carbon fuels I can contribute to the Energy and Environment Club. I have intimate knowledge of the strict international regulations that are to come into force by 2025 and efficient ways of transitioning to clean & alternate sources of energy. The club’s emphasis on synergies with other clubs like Sea Connection, a social club that connects and supports healthy, vibrant oceans, and the Net Impact Club has impressed me.

I can also add value and experience to the Latin America Business Club. My family owns a Teak wood export business in Panama. During my time away from the ship, I interacted with our clients in LATAM and India. We maintain a great rapport with teak export companies in South America and container giants like CMA-CGM. We ship almost 25 containers a month from Panama, Costa Rica and Colombia to India and Vietnam. We are also keen on expanding our business into Singapore. I can leverage these contacts and contribute to Latin America Business club by leading a class visit to the region or networking within specific industry segments through my connections.

Ever since childhood, I have been passionate about sports. Being a professional cricketer and a semi-professional tennis player, I believe that sports are essential in shaping one’s character and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Sports are a great way to foster great relationships among peers. I look forward to playing an integral part in the Sports Business Club by hosting fun-filled meet-ups during Grand-slam Tournaments and coaching my peers to play tennis.

In the long run, I wish to be the Global Marketing Director of the fuel business at a major oil company like XXX to promote the use of eco-friendly fuels like hydrogen and develop products and services that help XXX’s customers lower their carbon footprint. Hence, my mid-term goal is to head the national business for a company in the energy industry. This experience would provide not only a big picture view of the company operations but also the cross-functionality. I believe my post-MBA objectives will be realized with ESADE,

Working in the international shipping industry for six years, I led many operations, surveys, and sustainability projects. When I took charge of a fuel discrepancy project that required a client-centric approach to establish a strong relationship with our client, I had to work across functions negotiating with onshore officials from various countries. However, I lacked the negotiating skills required to improve our company services (operations) with our clients. I anticipate the ‘’Innovative Learning Experience’’ methodology of ESADE will be immensely helpful and I feel that an ESADE MBA would surely bridge this gap. In addition, electives like Negotiation Mastery, Eco-Efficiency, and International Business Strategy will teach me to better influence decision-makers by explaining my solutions through rational analysis.

After researching ESADE’s curriculum, I feel strongly that the Student First approach to teaching, the personalized attention from faculty and career advisors, and the Marketing Lab specialization will propel me to my career goals not only by bestowing a strong skill-set needed to excel as a marketing manager but by bridging the gap between my pre-MBA and post-MBA jobs. In addition, the Exchange Program and Global Study Tour would enhance my Global Perspective. Moreover, the fact that over 50% of ESADE alumni live in the European Union could potentially lead to great networking opportunities to launch my career as a marketing manager.

After speaking to Akash Gupta, a current student at ESADE, I think that I can bring a global perspective to the Energy and Environment club through my experience in the Merchant Navy. Taking into account my career goals and the global trend to transition into cleaner energy sources, I think it is the right time to pursue an MBA and launch myself as a key leader in the world’s endeavor to establish an eco-friendly environment.

In summary, I wish to pursue an MBA from ESADE because the collaborative community and the experiential style of the curriculum will not only help to achieve my career goals but also make me a better leader, develop strong business acumen and elevate my skills to become a better professional in the future.

I am most proud of the moment when I took the initiative to step out of the engine room to fix a start failure alarm in the fire pump while pirates were chasing our ship.

We were 400 nautical miles off Somalia, heading south to Mozambique. On a Sunday morning, I received a call from the ship’s wheelhouse requesting maximum RPMs and the start of all the fire pumps because three pirate boats were chasing our vessel. I immediately started two pumps but the third one wouldn’t start due to the start failure alarm. This alarm had to be fixed locally and the pump room was on the main deck that was exposed to incoming assault from the pirates. Nobody from the engine room was willing to risk coming under fire, but the situation demanded swift action. Hence, I asked our ship guard whether he could divert the pirate’s attention from the port to the starboard side as the pump’s location was on the port side. He said he could, but warned that I would have very little time to reach the pump room without exposing myself to gunfire. Thanks to my training in the NCC, I planned to army crawl once I was outside the engine room to avoid being noticed by the pirates. Amid the chaos, I reached the pump room and started the third pump successfully. Together the three pumps shot gallons and gallons of water at the pirates and two boats ultimately capsized. Eventually, they gave up their pursuit and I was able to thwart a hijacking by Somali pirates.

Since I started my professional career six years ago, I have sought continuous improvement in both my personal and professional life. Following are three areas in which I believe I have made significant progress.

Leadership.

The first few projects I led in the army were a true learning experience. I chose a collaborative approach for assigning tasks and estimating timelines. The result was turmoil: people fought over the tasks and extensive time was wasted just planning the assignments. When we finally started working, each soldier came freely with their own ideas and implemented them in his own way. The end results were far from the desired goal and my personal vision.

Determined to improve and become the leader I envisioned, I continued with trial and error, learning from each project. I began to better understand each soldier’s talents and preferences, allowing me to assign the tasks strategically, while maximizing each soldier’s motivation and productivity. I also started to keep track of the deadlines in the next projects. Consequently, those projects were far more successful. It was a huge lesson for me, and I decided to become a leader who expresses his vision and ideas, and orientates and guides the other employees, while encouraging them to express their ideas.  Since then, in every project I have led, I have practiced these aspects of leadership.

Communication Skills.

In high school, I was a little shy and tended to avoid public speaking. After joining the army, I found myself in many projects that required not only collaborating with many soldiers from multiple bases and divisions, but also lecturing in front of large audiences. As I worked on these tasks, my personality gradually changed, and my fears dropped away. Today, I am excited to meet and talk to new people wherever I go, collaborate with new people at work and to present our projects in front of a crowd. I would love to assist my fellow ESADE students to develop their communication skills as part of the “advanced communication skills” elective, and when preparing presentations for other courses.

Analysis and Decision making

Before joining the army, I found decision-making stressful, trying to deeply understand the pros and cons of each case. Then, while training as an analyst in the army, I practiced on hundreds of analysis case studies to prepare for the extremely difficult decisions I’d need to make during the intense shifts ahead. Those skills were life-changing; since then, I have been able to perform deep and comprehensive analysis for every decision I have faced, both professionally and personally. I would love to share my know-how and experience in the domain of decision making, especially as it relates to consumer behavior, by joining the Decision Lab in the Rambla of Innovation.

At ESADE, I will take all of these skills another step forward, from developing international communication skills and fostering my unique leadership style to making high-stakes decisions.

Challenge.

In my first few years of serving in the army, I developed various apps to increase my team’s efficiency. One particularly hard and time-consuming task known to every analyst team in the army haunted me. Solving this issue, which could provide such widespread impact, became my Everest.

My first proposed solution was underwhelming. The commanders dismissed the project, saying that it would require too much time and reassigning several people, all for limited potential value. Convinced of its significance, however, I refused to give up.

After 3 weeks of rethinking, internalizing the feedback, gathering reviews from analysts in different teams and all in all improving my solution I was given one month and a team of 3. Not nearly enough. But we had to sprint up Everest, so we set to work.

With little time, I dedicated most of my waking hours to the project.  Collecting, processing and prioritizing the individual needs of every analyst team was time-consuming, but the tool needed to serve everyone. The analysts assigned to me were not direct reports and some were older and hesitant to cooperate. To win their loyalty, I regularly emphasized the project’s importance and the effect our success would have.

One month later, we launched the project, receiving many compliments from the formerly skeptical battalion executive officer and commanding officer. It was adopted by every analyst team in the army, saving over 100 hours/week of analyst work.

This experience taught me that I can initiate and execute my own ideas, and that being relentless, trusting my understanding, and believing in my ability to lead and execute complicated tasks can conquer mountains.

Carnegie

I identify with Andrew Carnegie, who’s ultra-innovative ideas revolutionized how steel was made. For years I have been inspired by his leadership styles and values, which included setting lofty goals for his company’s growth, advocating work-life balance, and giving back to society.

Combining elements of the coaching and pragmatic styles of leadership, Carnegie was very supportive of his employees, motivating, guiding, and helping them to unlock their full potential. A notable example was Charles Schwab, whom Carnegie mentored from young engineer to president of Carnegie’s steel empire at age 35.

My leadership style has been patterned on that of Carnegie. When leading a project, I devote time to mentoring and training any team members in need, so they can be invested and play a crucial part in the project’s success. If I call upon members to work late at night, I insist that we all allocate time for other important things, from exercise to family.  I also always strive to make time to give back to the community, so despite a very stressful few years with almost no free time, I still found time to volunteer for the army reserves.

At ESADE, I intend to continue in this same vein, setting high goals and devoting myself to them, as well as supporting the growth of others.

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