Basically, I feel as though I've developed leadership skills and other soft skills through a training program and ultimately a project management position with a large commercial bank...but I would like to enhance my analytical and quantitative skills to pursue a position in finance.. ( I even have a poor quant score for proof!!)
Good, now just tie that back to how that relates to your peers, your classroom and your extracurricular activities. How will these soft skills help the classroom environment? How will they add value to your study group? You need to tie these back to the school as specifically as possible.
Bad: "My leadership skills will allow me to lead other students throughout my time at X"
Better: "My leadership skills, combined with my interest in finance, will allow me to take an active role in the Finance Club"
As for why mba: I'd urge you to choose something beyond just quant skills - there are many degrees that will give you that - say, why not an masters in financial engineering? An MBA is more than quant - so you'll want to find something else that it is going to do for you.
My theme is 'Growth'. And how I've showed growth so far, and how I feel like the MBA will provide the impetus for the next stage in my growth progression by helping to combine enhanced analytical skills w/ my 'soft skills'..
You should have already demonstrated this in other parts I think, I wouldn't focus here on it, but it might fit.
For dramatic effort, I want to start the essay by describing a true scenario about how I was leading a meeting for a multi-million dollar branch teller software upgrade 2 years ago...and how I was so nervous I wanted to die.. I will tell the story in the 3rd person.. and end it with... 'This person was me'..or something along those lines..
A good story, but again, I'd venture that there are other essays where this fits better. Also, telling it in the third person and then saying "and im him", or something, quite frankly is pretty cheesy and will likely be quite transparent. You really think the adcom is going to read a paragraph about someone and then go "OH MY GOD, THAT WAS HIM?", or you think they'll know its you by the end of the first sentence?
Also, and I don't know specifics here, but it sounds like the story may not be congruent with your plans. That is, you lead a major software upgrade and you were nervous - OK, but wait, I thought you said communication skills and leadership were your strengths - this story seems to highlight that they are areas of development? (again, based only on what i've read). Moreover, how would this story relate to your goals? It's about software development, and has nothing to do with finance (at least from what you've said). So how do you go from "heres this great story about how I'm just awesome in software related stuff" to "and therefore I want to do finance". ?? Where is the tie in? The story should, ideally, highlight your strengths but also highlight how you could have done a better job if you only knew more about finance. Then you can say "And thus I want to pursue bla bla".
I don't know if it's brought up anywhere else in other essays, but if not, a critical element here is to be specific about both your short term and long term goals.
Bad: "I did a great job on the software upgrade, and thus want to pursue a position in finance"
Better: "I did a great job on the software upgrade, but didn't achieve my full potential due to a lack of knowledge around accounting and finance. I thus seek to focus my studies in these areas while at X"
Better yet: "My experiences on this project highlighted just how little I knew about finance, and how I truly needed to address these elements in order to achieve my short term goal of moving into POSITION NAME at a firm in SPECIFIC INDUSTRY, focused on IDEALLY SOMETHING."
Again, if there isn't another essay to discuss it in, you need to highlight exactly what you want to do both in the short-term and in the long-term.
I used this situation to motivate me (growth)... and now I feel like I have shown I can be a leader. I've come a long way since this meeting.. and I even have a reccomendation letter that could attest to this..(is this a good idea)
Recs that resonate your own stories are always good.
I'll continue to talk about why I want the MBA..etc.. etc..
I'm concerned that this is the section you say "etc etc" about. This is the CORE of the essay. I mean look at the question again:
What are your expectations of the MBA program? What do you hope to gain from your study at Georgia Tech? What contributions do you think you will make? .
Both the first and second part of this question are focused on why MBA and why Georgia tech. This is not the section you want to "etc etc", this is the section you want to focus on most deeply.
And I'll end the essay with another recent story about how I lead a very important project w/ ease and was commended for my performance..maybe in the 3rd person again.. and end it with something along the lines of'..'that person was me''... sort of reiterating the 'growth theme'.. and showing that I have a lot of potential..
You really think the adcom will fall for this twice in the same essay? I'd also argue that - again not knowing what other questions exist for the school - a story like this belongs elsewhere.
Also, I don't think this will flow well. Your essay will read somethng like:
Here's what I'm great at.
I want to go into finance.
I want an MBA
Here's why I'm great again.
Your essay should really end with what you will bring to the school (they are even nice enough to make this the last part of the question) so that the adcom is left with a clear idea of what you need and what you will bring. Simply telling a story again isn't going to highlight that - at least not at a level that is SPECIFIC. Again, specifics. Specifics.
Beyond this - think about everything you really need to cover in here - do you even have space to talk about these stories? I'd venture no.
- Where am I today and why do I want to go into finance
- What specifically am I looking to do short term
- And long term
- And why is an MBA appealing to me?
- Two or three critical elements that appeal to you at Georgia Tech
- What can you bring, again, ideally to both classroom and extracurriculars at the school?
Where do you fit in these "stories". Maybe the first one - told very very succinctly (I'm talking three or four sentences).
what do you guys think?.. Be brutally honest.... thanks!!
Again, its hard to comment without seeing the essay, but i'd venture that -
you are focusing far too much on telling stories about how good your experiences are, and FAR too little on what the question is really asking. They want to know the items I highlighted above.