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Success Stories: Ready for some barbecue? Washington University in St. Louis MBA!

Washington University's Olin School of Business is currently ranked #21 in US news. It is defined by one of the highest job placement rates, a truly collaborative culture, and the ability to know your professors and peers personally - by first name. If you are looking for a tight-close-knit community with the traditional Midwestern values of honesty, integrity, and excellence, you should apply to Olin today!

Here is a successful essay sample:

At Olin, we pride ourselves on our close-knit community and aim to know every student by name and story. In an essay of no more than 500 words, please introduce yourself as you would to your future Olin classmates.

I admit that I am not the most naturally talented in physical activities or in social situations. My nicknames among my family members is “lam-eh”—translated as the “weak one.” For as long as I can remember, I have had hyperhidrosis and hyperacusia. Imagine having to shake hands with sweaty palms and being unable to go to concerts and loud bars due to a hearing range of 15 decibels below average—effectively changing a pianissimo to a fortissimo!

The greatest predictor of success—“grit”—translates to having mental stamina. The key building block of grit is something she calls the “growth mindset”—the belief that the ability to learn is not immutable and can be changed.

The growth mindset has become a part of me. To physically improve, I bulked up in high school by eating over 4000 calories a day to fuel my consistent weightlifting and even trained in Krav Maga for added mental toughness after work. I was the worst badminton player in fourth grade PE, but I played “backyard badminton” to build powerful legs and dynamic footwork. I eventually trained under two former national champions in the Philippines. For my “hyper”-conditions, I have learned to accept and adjust to them, diffusing the social landmines they bring about through humor and levity.

People have often doubted my ability to reach the finish line, yet my failures taught me to keep pushing myself and to challenge others’ perceptions of me. I was the underdog, but graduated with three degrees in four years, landed an advisory job at Ernst & Young as the youngest member in our group, and founded the Berkeley Club of the Philippines as a recent graduate. Perhaps I was not born with natural talents, but my “growth mindset” has taken me far and beyond. I hope to apply continue to apply this mindset with an MBA at Olin.

While I have already lived and worked in Singapore, the Philippines, and the US, I strongly believe that an MBA is critical in order for me to receive the formal management training I need to accelerate my career and open up opportunities to work in management positions. At EY, I led groups of managers, associates, and analysts at India and San Francisco. Interacting with our clients and managing projects brought out my passion for leading, mentoring, and training people.

Long-term, I plan to go back to the Philippines and drive technological and sustainable progress in our family businesses. I will embed sustainable practices in our department stores by stocking our shelves with “green” products, and supporting suppliers that value, promote, and operate in eco-friendly ways. At our savings bank, we can provide accessible capital to rural farmers and businesses that operate sustainably. I have always been interested in the intersection of strategy, technology, and sustainability. Please reach out if you have similar interests, I would love to know more about my new family at Olin!

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