Vivek: I had applied to Harvard and Wharton in the first round. I had listed down 15 top schools after referring down to rankings such as US News and Financial Times. I then listed down the strengths of the schools like Wharton was finance, Harvard is about General Management. I visited the schools’ websites and went through School Guidebook by one of the GMAT preparation companies. I then spoke to the alums and students from these schools. I finally arrived at a list of top 6 schools and made my choice: H , S and W in the first round and Kellogg , Booth and Columbia in the second round.
Looking back, it was an amazing experience. I learned much about myself, but two lessons stand out. The first was that, at the time, I didn’t question what drives each team member. For me, it was primarily an adventure, and losing some money because I was working less hours for a while was a risk I was willing to take. Later, I realized that one teammate, who was already in a long term relationship, was really worried about financial security. Then I understood that that was the core reason for many of our business strategy disagreements. Since then, I have learned to analyze others’ motives. I found out that it not only improves my communication with peers, but it also helps me convince my supervisors.
An achievement more significant than all others. This is not about writing about an experience where you overcame a challenge. Your choice of experiences will lend insight on what's important for you and why. You may want to write about an experience that makes you proud more than all other experiences you have had. For the failure, when you didn't achieve what you set out to achieve, what did you think, feel, do? What did you take away from the experience? How did you react to the reaction you received from others on your achievement and also on your failure?