In most of the essays, it is asked to describe a situation when one had to face some ethical dilemma , or when one exhibited leadership, etc.
I feel that in my work experience I did not get many chances to deal with such situations.
Also I think my profile is too academic, and I might me lacking in co-curricular activities. Is this a significant weakness in my profile?
I have another question: I took GMAT in Sept 2004 and would be applying to the schools for the session starting in Oct 2006. Will this delay be looked upon negatively by the admission committee?
I am in New York, and have access to some good schools such as NYU and Columbia. Will my application become more interesting if I do some part time courses in Finance?
Regarding community service, what are my options and how important is it in the application ?
As far as the ethical dilemma question goes--do they specify that this has to be a PROFESSIONAL situation? In my experience, even when people have a hard time pulling a professional ethical dilemma out of their memory banks, they can usually come up with something from personal experience.
In terms of leadership--you say "I have always been involved in interacting with teams spread all over the world." Even if you aren't the actual LEADER of these teams, you've almost certainly had opportunities to show leadership, to drive things forward. Have you worked as a liaison between upper management and your peer group? Have you ever managed to re-unite a crumbling team effort by taking charge, breaking a stalemate, or...? There are many ways to show leadership that don't involve being the official "boss"--you may have to get creative to draw out these experiences in your essays, but they will be critical to your application.
You also write: "Regarding community service, what are my options and how important is it in the application" --well, your options are practically endless! If you're not planning to apply for another year, as you mention, this gives you a great opportunity to get involved in something, and to demonstrate consistent involvement over time. Extracurricular & community service activities are important elements of these applications, because they help you to demonstrate commitment to something OTHER than "the bottom line"--they also help you to establish "well-roundedness," to show that even if you DO work 80-hour weeks, you still manage to have a life, still have something to keep yourself sane and "grounded" outside of work. (I note that you say you MIGHT be lacking in extra-curric stuff--so it sounds like you DO have something in this area--are you just worried about how much is "enough"?)
But in terms of your options--just choose something you believe in. There's so much out there that needs doing! I've worked with people who delivered Meals on Wheels, helped with fundraising for educational & health-related initiatives (in the US and in their home countries) made sandwiches for the neighborhood Food Bank, shared their skills--everything from financial planning expertise to sports coaching for underprivileged kids--joined "Big Brothers/Sisters" & other "mentorship" type organizations, or even started their own non-profits! There are SO many things that you can do to get involved in your community, even if you can only spare a few hours a week.
I hope this helps.
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