The Schulich School of Business – Example Admission Essay
The Schulich School of Business is global and widely recognized for its diversity. Each applicant has a set of unique experiences and perspectives which contribute
to the program. How will your background enhance and broaden your learning and that of your classmates in Schulich’s dynamic environment?
I am an Asian-American woman living and working in the global city of New York. Growing up in an international city allowed me to become a multicultural individual and develop into a young woman different from my counterparts in Asia and here in the United States as well. I was taught by my parents not only the values of a Chinese culture but also to strive to enhance my strengths and to go forth and establish a successful career in business while always relating back to my Chinese roots. These values of diligence, perseverance and selflessness influence my everyday work and personal life.
During my childhood and adolescence, I maintained a Chinese identity at home and an American one at school. In the presence of family, I attended Chinese language school, learned Chinese calligraphy and Chinese folk dancing. My parents were treated with the extreme respect due to our elders as taught by Chinese culture. At school, my grades were always near perfect due to the pressure of my parents. My Confucian influences led me to always think of my family’s needs above my own.
While at elementary school, I conformed to American culture at school, happily chatting with my friends about American pop culture. In high school, my school was no longer majority Caucasian. It was extremely minority-based and thus I began to merge the two culturally different sides of myself into a “Chinese-American.” When I started college, I chose a top business program with a large Asian population. In doing so, I felt that I could relate better to my fellow classmates.
As a child and an adolescent I tried to separate the two parts of my identity. It was during my years as an undergraduate that I became fully Chinese-American, merging the strengths of each individual culture and developing my own sense of self. I value the ideals of diligence and perseverance taken from my Chinese culture. These principles allow me to lay a foundation for my ability in my career; to always improve myself by learning new things and to always accomplish any goal I set for myself. However, I also take in the American beliefs of ambition and individuality.
When I began my post-undergraduate career, I experienced what I can only describe as “culture shock.” Up until that point in time, my entire world revolved around the Asian-American society and there was no one in my new office that could relate. However, as time progressed, I began to once again merge my two worlds bringing a bit of the Chinese in me to the office and taking home a bit of the American in me home.
Now, being an Asian American woman in the world of business, I feel that merging both of my cultural backgrounds can only make me a stronger and more successful person in business- especially the realm of international business. With Asia rising as a new economic powerhouse, my ability to relate to both cultures will enable me to cultivate a career in either Asia or North America while maintaining my multicultural identity.
The challenges faced as an Asian-American woman is usually that I am expected to conform to either one culture or another. As the world has not completely developed in this newly begun internationalization trend, the pressure to be either fully American or fully Asian is something I that I face on a day to day basis. Beyond just the cultural differences, my gender also affects my daily life as women hold different expectations than men – especially in Chinese culture.
As an Asian American woman in business, the general stereotype is for me to work diligently and not understand nor embrace the concept of relationship management. Cited in a New York Newsday article published in 2001, the value of selflessness is often reflected in the work of someone from an Asian descent. Attending one of the top business undergraduate programs in the United States taught me that this school of thought could only lead to my demise; a future that did not include moving up in the business world. In order to differentiate myself from this stereotype, I have always tried to be outspoken although it can be difficult and intimidating for me. I’ve learned that relationship management and networking are extremely important in the business world and in order to achieve my goals, I cannot be quiet and reserved but rather outgoing and assertive.
What I bring to the table at my current job and what I would bring to Schulich is a multi-cultural mindset from a female perspective. In the world of marketing, the focus is always on selling to your target market. As someone who can relate to numerous target markets, I can offer numerous perspectives as opposed to my counterparts elsewhere. The strengths I’ve taken from all aspects of my background – from being Chinese, being American, and being a woman- are all reflected in my work ethic and are deeply embedded in my sense of self.
In all aspects of my life, I always offer a different perspective than those of my friends and colleagues. It is this that makes me unique in the way that I approach business. I believe that it is my background and cultural differences that allows me to think differently than others. It also allows me to develop my own distinctive combination of strengths that are not found elsewhere.