小 目 录
Essay 1
Essay 2
Essay 3
Essay 4


Essay 1:

What are your short-term and long-term post-MBA goals? How will Columbia Business School help you achieve these goals? (Recommended 750 word limit)

Among leading business schools in the United States, the Columbia MBA program strikes me as unique for its heavy inclusion of non-profit management education. Columbia Business School’s unique ideal of “entrepreneurship is about anything you do” seems perfectly geared to my unique professional aspiration of working in the non-profit sector. This envisioned career path is the outcome of my past industrial experience, current educational experience and my future MBA training at your esteemed university.

Immediately after earning my MBA degree, I will seek a position with an established nonprofit organization providing support to education sector in the United States where I can learn how mature education-oriented non-profit management is practiced in the real world. In three to five years, I wish to thoroughly grasp the guiding concepts and standards of non-profit management. It is usually the case that the more advanced the countries, the more developed the nonprofit entrepreneurship. Those mature and advanced experiences are what I can borrow and apply to education in Hong Kong where I come from. Therefore, my long-term objective is to launch a nonprofit organization to operate free activity-based programs oriented to the education sector. The purpose of those programs is to provide students with opportunities to learn important knowledge and skills they need to excel in their future careers through participating in extra-curricular activities and to create opportunities for the Hong Kong business sector to channel its abundant corporate resources to improve our educational qualities.

I have formulated my career path with sufficient foundation and motivation. For the past three years as a teacher, I have witnessed how limited government expenditure on education has seriously constrained the resources otherwise available to students, thus depriving them of many valuable extracurricular activities from which to learn many important knowledge and skills. This dilemma has resulted in the failure of students to smoothly integrate into the job market upon their graduation and in their employers’ complaint over their lack basic knowledge and skills to carry out their jobs even though they perform well enough in public examinations. However, as a leading financial center in the world, Hong Kong has the financial resources to supplement government’s limited input. My one-year experience of working as an auditor in Hong Kong’s business community gave me an insider’s knowledge of the willingness of the business sector to support extracurricular programs because such programs would develop graduates with critical thinking abilities, problem solving abilities, analytical abilities, decision making abilities, creativity as well as leadership. Equipped with those qualities, graduates can make immediate and meaningful contributions.

This means that, without burdening the governmental budgeting, the schools, teachers and students can enjoy ample resources for satisfying their individualized needs. During the past two years, I have counseled students who participated in program offered by Junior Achievement, an international nonprofit program. I am aware that extracurricular programs like workshops, competitions and summer interns can be a valuable addition to students in their preparation for the future. But similar local nonprofit programs are virtually non-existent. I am convinced the nonprofit organization I am to inaugurate is wholly feasible because it can alleviate government spending, creating expanded resources for schools, and allowing the business sector to build up a positive corporate image by exercising their social responsibility—a truly exciting win-win-win situation. I believe my experience across both business sector and education sector will give me advantages for designing programs that best fit the needs of students. It is with special insight into the gap to be bridged between the business sector and the education sector and with a heartfelt love for the well-being of our younger generation that I decide to commit myself to the sorely needed nonprofit management.

My proposed Columbia MBA education will be indispensable to fulfilling my career goals as its well-designed curriculum perfectly fits my learning needs. The Individual, Business and Society curriculum in core courses will increase my understanding of the conflicts and trade offs that arise in balancing business conduct with the concerns of individuals and society. Also, the Social Enterprises Concentration within Columbia’s MBA program offer a full rage of elective courses, activities and initiatives that will give me maximum exposure to the field. Without minimum course requirements, I will enjoy great flexibility in designing my course of study. Courses such as Board and Executive Management of Nonprofits, Social Entrepreneurship, Launching New Ventures, Entrepreneurial Selling and Entrepreneurial Finance will provide me with opportunities to explore the common strategies and pitfalls in creating and operating stable, sustainable, and successful nonprofit organization through cases studies, lectures, in-class exercises, group discussions and team projects. I will also have chances to put the theories learned into practice by participating in a wide rage of social enterprise activities including CORPS Fellowship Program, Social Venture Internship Fund and Global Social Venture Competition.

New York is a global corporate center and home to more nonprofit organizations than any other city in the world. Through Columbia’s MBA program, I expect not only to learn the conceptual and managerial know-how to operate a nonprofit organization but also to meet leading practitioners of social enterprises there. This will facilitate my short-term post-MBA goal, the success of which will bring me ever closer to my long-term goal.

Essay 2:

Leading in the global economy requires enabling high performance from a diverse set of employees, colleagues and partners. Tell us about a manager you've observed who enabled or inspired others to do their best work and analyze how this manager did it. (Recommended 500 word limit)

Though not an institution of global economy, the College of Commerce I am currently working with nevertheless demands high performance from a diverse set of employees and colleagues. At the center of this high performance is Mrs. Annie Lee, deputy head of the College and an educational administrator with over 20 years in the education sector. Acting as my supervisor when I joined the College 3 years ago, she has been my role model in motivating others to do their best work.

According to my observation, Mrs. Lee’s greatest strength lies in her insights into individual talents and personalities of individual employees and assigning them to right responsibilities. Even if different teachers possess the same qualifications, she tries to discern their individual strength by observing their classroom teaching, communicating with them regularly and referring to the feedback from students. In this way, teachers with strong verbal or quantitative abilities find their way to their appropriate places where they are at their best. In this way, apart from maximizing the overall teaching efficiency of the College, individual teachers have kept honing their individual talents to the point of becoming leaders in their respective fields. This in turn has infused the employees with a strong sense of achievement, pride and job satisfaction, thus creating a high level of employee morale and organization loyalty.

Mrs. Lee is a person of vision. Recognizing the college’s mission to cultivate business leaders, she tries to update and upgrade the college curriculum in response to the rapid changes of the business world. Curriculum redesign necessarily involves the introduction of new subjects and reallocation of responsibilities. In view of the general inertia of senior instructors, she ingeniously accomplishes this by encouraging junior teachers, more willing to face challenges, to broaden their teaching portfolio and illuminating its importance to their long-term career development. Naturally, junior teachers are more than eager to respond to her initiatives.

Mrs. Lee’s effective management would have been impossible without three key elements—setting objectives, formulating plans and evaluating performance. Training students obtain qualifications in local and international professional examinations such as LCCI is one of our college’s primary goals. Instead of arbitrarily setting a rigid and uniform passing rate for all subjects and students, she sets feasible and measurable objectives in accordance with the nature of individual subjects, the abilities of students and teachers. She helps teachers formulate detailed implementation plans and closely follows the progress of the plans. Finally she requires all departments to undertake performance appraisals twice a year. The performance-based reward system motivates her subordinates toward a strong sense of self-esteem, bringing them into concerted efforts to strengthen the College’s century-long prestige of cultivating business leaders.

As a Department Head myself, I have been deriving infinite inspirations from Mrs. Lee, for she commands my utmost respect as from all other employees. She manages to do so not by means of her administrative authority but by her personal charisma. She is a powerful motivator because she is highly motivated herself. Everyday, she is the first to report to duty and the last to leave. Despite her huge administrative work, she assumes the same workload as an average instructor and spends much time on counseling students. By showing good examples to her subordinates, she illustrates how to be a committed, responsible, and contributing person to the institution to which one is a part. I believe I will take Mrs. Lee as my lifelong role model, one who makes possible high performance from a diverse set of employees and colleagues through effective and productive managerial skills.

Essay 3: (Optional)

In discussing Columbia Business School, Dean R. Glenn Hubbard remarked, "We have established the mind-set that entrepreneurship is about everything you do." Please discuss a time in your own life when you have identified and captured an opportunity. (Recommended 500 word limit):

To identify and capture an opportunity means making the right decision at the right time. Being an immigrant to Hong Kong from the Mainland China, I arrived in this international financial metropolis in search for a first-rate education in finance that would result in a rewarding career. My Bachelor’s degree in business administration at The University of Hong Kong did land me in the business sector as an auditor. However, the business world, with its sheer drive toward profit seeking,did not agree with my people-oriented temperament. Therefore, I quitted.

A seemingly unnoticeable small job advertisement by the community center near my home for a voluntary teacher signaled a new beginning for me. In my quest for a meaningful life, I assumed the voluntary position, helping newly-immigrated children from mainland China improve their academic performance and adapt to the new environment. Assisting those with similar backgrounds to mine allowed me to derive tremendous professional and moral satisfaction, which my parents duly shared. This proved a turning point in my understanding of the meaning of my personal endeavors. From an egocentric financial professional to a sociocentric voluntary teacher, I have experienced a catharsis whereby I have charted out a new direction for my personal pursuits—to work in the educational sector where the knowledge I impart could create infinite possibilities of personal success for a multitude of my prospective students. This motivated me to a Postgraduate Certificate of Education Program (June 20xx), which has qualified me as a teacher on the cutting edge of education over the past three years.

I view my transition to the educational sector as a vital opportunity because it initiated me to what I believe is my true calling worthy of my lifelong commitment. It allowed me to understand what I can do for the educational system of Hong Kong. It pains me to observe two fatal weaknesses inherent in the existing system—that the exam-oriented system of Hong Kong makes schools focus on developing students’ exam skills, and that the insufficient government budget on education forces schools to devote the limited resources primarily to academic activities, depriving students of crucial extracurricular experiences to acquire varied important skills. Inspired by the international nonprofit organization “Junior Achievement” that delivers different kinds of activity-based education programs, I believe that launching a nonprofit organization to offer free activity-based programs with the help of business sector can play a role in changing some of the deep-entrenched inadequacies of the existing education system.

Indeed, entrepreneurship is about everything we do with love and commitment. My entrepreneurship is to launch and manage a local education-oriented nonprofit organization. As the organization develops, I expect to create a nonprofit network that benefits students and teachers in both public and private schools. Through my nonprofit endeavors, the government, the educational sector and the business sector will be brought into a benign and sustainable process that enhances Hong Kong’s overall educational quality, competitiveness as an international financial capital, and the career successes of the future generations. By that time, I will feel truly proud for having captured a crucial opportunity that can ultimately lead to an innovative and socially responsible entrepreneurship.

Essay 4

Please select and answer one of the following essay questions. (Recommended 250 word limit)

a. Please tell us what you feel most passionate about in life. b. If you were given a free day and could spend it anywhere, in any way you choose, what would you do?

A free day to be spent anywhere in any way seems to be a condition of absolute freedom. Naturally, I would commit this rare opportunity to the most important undertaking.

As a forefront educator, I would like to have Mr. Donald Tsang, the newly-elected Chief Executive of Hong Kong, visit our school. Intensely concerned with the on-going educational reform, I expect a vis-à-vis dialogue on educational issues, issues with far-reaching consequences for Hong Kong as an international metropolis.

With my insider’s knowledge of this government-promoted reform, I will argue the policy of designating Chinese as the medium of instruction, despite its patriotic orientation, will deteriorate students’ English proficiency. Conventionally, the competitiveness of Hong Kong as an international metropolis derives much from the tradition of English education cultivated over the past century under the British rule. In this age of globalization, English as an international language should be adhered to. Changing teaching medium would fatally undermine Hong Kong’s global competitiveness. Also, I will explain to Mr. Tsang how the current exam-oriented education system creates heavy burden for teachers and students and I will urge him to incorporate this issue into the educational reform.

Additionally, I will propose to Mr. Tsang that government’s expenditure on education be expanded to help schools develop holistic education. I will also propose that government encourage the business sector to support free learning programs delivered by nonprofit organizations to students. This will allow the business sector to assume greater corporate social responsibilities by participating in synergic efforts with other sectors for the long-lasting prosperity of Hong Kong as a whole.

Determined to engage myself in an education-oriented profession, I believe sound decision-making process precedes sound education. It can be attained by taking into account the society’s real needs and by devising innovative initiatives. This is how we can meet new challenges in the knowledge-based global economy of the 21st century.



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