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# Chicago Essay 2 - seeking advice

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Senior Manager
Joined: 08 Feb 2007
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16 Oct 2007, 21:35
If you could step into someone else's shoes for a day, who would it be and why? (500 word maximum).

Do they want something relevant to my short/long term goals? Or do they want a witty story? I'm assuming that the person who's shoes I would like to step into has to be alive? Or can it could be somebody from the past? Should it be somebody noble and who has done great things? Or could it be just another person on the street?

Oh Chicago, why do you make it so complicated. Or am I just complicating things? I've taken to subtly bringing this topic up in conversations with friends.

What was your approach to it?
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16 Oct 2007, 21:43
If you could step into someone else's shoes for a day, who would it be and why? (500 word maximum).

Do they want something relevant to my short/long term goals? Or do they want a witty story? I'm assuming that the person who's shoes I would like to step into has to be alive? Or can it could be somebody from the past? Should it be somebody noble and who has done great things? Or could it be just another person on the street?

Oh Chicago, why do you make it so complicated. Or am I just complicating things? I've taken to subtly bringing this topic up in conversations with friends.

What was your approach to it?

The person may be one from the past and not alive, but he/she should have left a nice pair of shoes that you can get into. Just another person on the street may not be the right person for the same reason, i.e."no shoes".
Director
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16 Oct 2007, 21:50
hbs.aspirant wrote:
If you could step into someone else's shoes for a day, who would it be and why? (500 word maximum).

Do they want something relevant to my short/long term goals? Or do they want a witty story? I'm assuming that the person who's shoes I would like to step into has to be alive? Or can it could be somebody from the past? Should it be somebody noble and who has done great things? Or could it be just another person on the street?

Oh Chicago, why do you make it so complicated. Or am I just complicating things? I've taken to subtly bringing this topic up in conversations with friends.

What was your approach to it?

The person may be one from the past and not alive, but he/she should have left a nice pair of shoes that you can get into. Just another person on the street may not be the right person for the same reason, i.e."no shoes".

Correct. Jesus and Ghandi didnt have shoes, so you cant pick them.
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16 Oct 2007, 22:41
dabots wrote:
hbs.aspirant wrote:
If you could step into someone else's shoes for a day, who would it be and why? (500 word maximum).

Do they want something relevant to my short/long term goals? Or do they want a witty story? I'm assuming that the person who's shoes I would like to step into has to be alive? Or can it could be somebody from the past? Should it be somebody noble and who has done great things? Or could it be just another person on the street?

Oh Chicago, why do you make it so complicated. Or am I just complicating things? I've taken to subtly bringing this topic up in conversations with friends.

What was your approach to it?

The person may be one from the past and not alive, but he/she should have left a nice pair of shoes that you can get into. Just another person on the street may not be the right person for the same reason, i.e."no shoes".

Correct. Jesus and Ghandi didnt have shoes, so you cant pick them.

And should have feet at least as large as yours, so you can actually step into them.
GMAT Club Legend
Status: Um... what do you want to know?
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16 Oct 2007, 23:32
I think Avi would be the expert on this question... if he's not sick of this essay already...
SVP
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Schools: Ross '10
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16 Oct 2007, 23:35
LOL. Second that! He must be sick of it though, by now.

kryzak wrote:
I think Avi would be the expert on this question... if he's not sick of this essay already...
VP
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
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16 Oct 2007, 23:40
Director
Joined: 03 Mar 2007
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17 Oct 2007, 10:57

I am the king of this essay ...

let us break up the question.. the question itself is very interesting

If you could step into someone else's shoes for a day, who would it be and why?
Focus on the first part - If you could step into someone else's shoes for a day

The question specifically asks for one day - not life time not years.. one day... moving on
Whose day - your day or the person you stepped into. what type of day - eventful or mundane..(make a choice here..)

If you nail that.. then u r half way done. Again others may not focus on just one day but rather focus on the person..

I chose to take this approach...I am not sure if its right or wrong..but its my opinion

Next part.. who could it be..and why

Gandhi - no.. walked around barefeet
MLK - too noble - I am not that noble
Jesus - over used on car bumper stickers
Oprah/ Bill Gates - join 2000 other applicants

So, after you wade through many many personnas.. who do you choose..

2 choices -

1. someone whose skills reflect ur personality. Could be your father, your brother, your high school friend, Napolean, George Patton, Paris Hilton ( I hope not).. etc
2. Somebody who works/worked in a business field that you want to go to.. if you are into Entrepreneurship ..steve Fossett, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Akio Morita.. and a few more..same applies for Ibanking,. MC. etc

your goal is to bring out the association with that. The association has to be strong enough to justify that you can be in that person's shoes.

The why part is tougher. You can answer why you want to be the person, or why you want to do something that person did - your choice.

I went with this flowchart..

Hope this helps.
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17 Oct 2007, 11:57
aviroop wrote:
Oprah/ Bill Gates - join 2000 other applicants

And Warren Buffett - Join 2500 other applicants.
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17 Oct 2007, 12:00
Agreed. But, it is also important to remember that whats sets you apart is not just who you choose, but for what reasons you make the choice.

mNeo wrote:
aviroop wrote:
Oprah/ Bill Gates - join 2000 other applicants

And Warren Buffett - Join 2500 other applicants.
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17 Oct 2007, 12:11
I am sure that there are very few people they do not see. I was tempted to write I would be George Bush and would pull the troops out of Iraq if I was in his shoes. I doubt anyone would have the balls to write that so it might score some big points. Then again any political figure probably isn't a very good person to use.

The person I used isn't someone that I want to go into the same field as or anything easy like that. Then again I am sure my answer probably isnt as original as someone pickin some obscure person. An advantage for picking someone rather well known is that you dont have to spend 200 words explaining who the person is...you can ge right to the nitty gritty of the essay.
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17 Oct 2007, 12:19
I would say "I want to be the dean of admissions and admit me with a big fat fellowship". Now, that would be original?
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17 Oct 2007, 12:21
Yeah. I think that a lot of applicants will fall in the trap of focusing too much on the "who". I agree with riverripper that the "who" need not be very unique (Although that won't harm). The "why", however, should be unique and, more importantly, should be inline with what you are trying to project about yourself. Also, do not spend too much time and words on the "who". Save them for the "why".

Last edited by mNeo on 17 Oct 2007, 12:23, edited 1 time in total.
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17 Oct 2007, 12:22
I would say "I want to be the dean of admissions and admit me with a big fat fellowship". Now, that would be original?

They might take you in seeing your passion for B-School.
Though I would settle for Warren buffet and transfer all my money (When I am him) to my (When I am me and NO aspirant for HBS account.
Director
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17 Oct 2007, 12:31
riverripper wrote:
I am sure that there are very few people they do not see. I was tempted to write I would be George Bush and would pull the troops out of Iraq if I was in his shoes. I doubt anyone would have the balls to write that so it might score some big points. Then again any political figure probably isn't a very good person to use.

The person I used isn't someone that I want to go into the same field as or anything easy like that. Then again I am sure my answer probably isnt as original as someone pickin some obscure person. An advantage for picking someone rather well known is that you dont have to spend 200 words explaining who the person is...you can ge right to the nitty gritty of the essay.

River, I actually went along a similar route and first thought of writing about Col. Stauffenberg, the guy who tried to kill Hitler - it ended up being all political, gory and more importantly using someone obscure tends to make you justify about the person more than about urself, like u said

So more than choosing someone famous, choose someone whom you can associate with urself easily and not waste more words trying to justify how u can fit urself into the person's shoes.
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17 Oct 2007, 13:00
In a way I think if you write about a person who is very commonly choosen but manage to write a very strong and convincing why essay can actually make you stand out. If someone has read 100 essays on "Oprah" but yours actually makes them go WOW that was an awesome answer, then that really makes an impression. Then again you could fail terribly and have them roll their eyes by the 3rd line when you refer to her girls school in south africa.
17 Oct 2007, 13:00
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