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the "professional accomplishment"

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the "professional accomplishment" [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2008, 08:26
when your essays call for a significant professional accomplishment or an example of leadership, do you tend to write about one specific event or one that may occur over several months or even over a couple years?

i'm trying to write about a professional accomplishment that takes place over two years - it's about how i took on the role as a team leader on a consulting engagement as an analyst on the team (so going beyond expectations). this happened over time and there's lots of things involved i can talk about (managing upwards and downards, managing the client, presenting in front of senior managers, etc.). i'm finding this essay is more difficult to write than a specific event - for example if i were to write about preparing for a presentation where my manager was way too busy and then i had to take on that process from start to finish, make executive decisions along the way, etc.

how have you approached this type of question? what do you think works best?
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Re: the "professional accomplishment" [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2008, 08:35
Usually in a question that asks for one example, I usually go with writing about one specific incident. To me, the important differentiator in essays is not your story itself, but your explanation about why that story means so much to you and what you really gleaned from that story. So, if it's a 500-word essay, I would spend 150 words setting up the situation and then spend 300 words digging deeper into the story and making some broad generalizations that give the adcom some insight about who I am and what my values are.

Just my two cents.
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Re: the "professional accomplishment" [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2008, 08:58
peaceyall wrote:
when your essays call for a significant professional accomplishment or an example of leadership, do you tend to write about one specific event or one that may occur over several months or even over a couple years?

i'm trying to write about a professional accomplishment that takes place over two years - it's about how i took on the role as a team leader on a consulting engagement as an analyst on the team (so going beyond expectations). this happened over time and there's lots of things involved i can talk about (managing upwards and downards, managing the client, presenting in front of senior managers, etc.). i'm finding this essay is more difficult to write than a specific event - for example if i were to write about preparing for a presentation where my manager was way too busy and then i had to take on that process from start to finish, make executive decisions along the way, etc.

how have you approached this type of question? what do you think works best?


What was the end product of the consulting engagement? I also wrote about managing projects, but made sure examples I chose had specific end products that changed the organization positively. I think as long as you wrap it up into one main point which shows why it was such an accomplishment that's fine.
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Re: the "professional accomplishment" [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2008, 09:12
jlola21 wrote:

What was the end product of the consulting engagement? I also wrote about managing projects, but made sure examples I chose had specific end products that changed the organization positively. I think as long as you wrap it up into one main point which shows why it was such an accomplishment that's fine.


this is a ross question, so it does ask for how it impacted the organization. (Describe your most significant professional accomplishment. Elaborate on the leadership skills you displayed, the actions you took and the impact you had on your organization.)

i'm still figuring out how to wrap it up nicely - which is why a specific example seems easier, but they could include:
- doubled our business with that client by expanding work to other regions and now have nearly $1M in proposals to them (more than any other client we work with)
- coached two new analysts and ramped up their development
- enabled managers to tackle other responsibilities by spending less time on this engagement
- set an example of how to go after european prospects (most of our business is in the US)
- created deliverables that are now being utilized in other client engagements
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Re: the "professional accomplishment" [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2008, 09:24
peaceyall wrote:
jlola21 wrote:

What was the end product of the consulting engagement? I also wrote about managing projects, but made sure examples I chose had specific end products that changed the organization positively. I think as long as you wrap it up into one main point which shows why it was such an accomplishment that's fine.


this is a ross question, so it does ask for how it impacted the organization. (Describe your most significant professional accomplishment. Elaborate on the leadership skills you displayed, the actions you took and the impact you had on your organization.)

i'm still figuring out how to wrap it up nicely - which is why a specific example seems easier, but they could include:
- doubled our business with that client by expanding work to other regions and now have nearly $1M in proposals to them (more than any other client we work with)
- coached two new analysts and ramped up their development
- enabled managers to tackle other responsibilities by spending less time on this engagement
- set an example of how to go after european prospects (most of our business is in the US)
- created deliverables that are now being utilized in other client engagements


It sounds like your project potentially altered your company's industry or international focus. Have you become a subject matter expert when it comes to future company proposals or marketing strategies or have you taken any leadership role with these proposals because of this project? Did the analysts get promoted since the project ended and have you established long-term mentoring relationships with them?

I would think about the above, it sounds like you have a story here, just make sure you wrap it up tightly in the end since it seems there are different angles to approach the subject. I would swing it and say that your project set the standard for other projects for X industry, increased the business by X for your company, and increased your company's visibility internationality if applicable. (I'm not sure if I know enough to say that my recommendation is a good one ;))
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Re: the "professional accomplishment" [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2008, 09:48
jlola21 wrote:

What was the end product of the consulting engagement? I also wrote about managing projects, but made sure examples I chose had specific end products that changed the organization positively. I think as long as you wrap it up into one main point which shows why it was such an accomplishment that's fine.


If it is a IT project,how do I figure out the impact on the organization?
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Re: the "professional accomplishment" [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2008, 09:52
fall09 wrote:
jlola21 wrote:

What was the end product of the consulting engagement? I also wrote about managing projects, but made sure examples I chose had specific end products that changed the organization positively. I think as long as you wrap it up into one main point which shows why it was such an accomplishment that's fine.


If it is a IT project,how do I figure out the impact on the organization?


It depends on the business goal of the IT project - pick a project that had a meaningful goal, not a project that captured a company's audit trail if you know what I mean ;). If there are no meaningful projects per say - approach it in the manner of the people perspective - did you generate any white papers after the project to help other teams within the firm? etc.
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Re: the "professional accomplishment" [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2008, 13:12
msday wrote:
Usually in a question that asks for one example, I usually go with writing about one specific incident. To me, the important differentiator in essays is not your story itself, but your explanation about why that story means so much to you and what you really gleaned from that story. So, if it's a 500-word essay, I would spend 150 words setting up the situation and then spend 300 words digging deeper into the story and making some broad generalizations that give the adcom some insight about who I am and what my values are.

Just my two cents.


That's what I did too.
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Re: the "professional accomplishment" [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2008, 21:02
thts wht i did too! and my accomplishment is over a period of time as well!

ac8706 wrote:
msday wrote:
Usually in a question that asks for one example, I usually go with writing about one specific incident. To me, the important differentiator in essays is not your story itself, but your explanation about why that story means so much to you and what you really gleaned from that story. So, if it's a 500-word essay, I would spend 150 words setting up the situation and then spend 300 words digging deeper into the story and making some broad generalizations that give the adcom some insight about who I am and what my values are.

Just my two cents.


That's what I did too.

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Re: the "professional accomplishment" [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2008, 21:14
My accomplishments occurred over time, however they always involved me taking initiative and going above and beyond my normal job duties by finding opporunities to improve the organization. I don't think your accomplishment has to be some amazing feat that doubles the company's revenue, but it should be something that's not necessarily in your job description that shows you look to contribute to your organization in more ways than your stated job duties.
Re: the "professional accomplishment"   [#permalink] 20 Dec 2008, 21:14
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