Business School Sample Essay
Wharton (University of Pennsylvania): Denied
I am going to assume a scenario in which two or more factions have broken off from the group and now have different ideas as to where the group should be heading. In spite of extensive discussions about each point of view, neither party will budge from its stance. The argument has evolved to contain certain personal elements between the different sides, making it even harder to resolve because the parties fear losing face in front of the group and become stubborn. People also tend to lose sight of the goals when arguments become personal, further complicating our dilemma because of our time constraints. In this situation, my first action would be to remind everyone that completing our project on time is the only goal. I would then emphasize that since each argument appears equally valid, we should just pick one and move on.
My first suggestion to help the group resolve the impasse would be to propose a vote. Because the Learning Team consists of five students, there would never be a tie vote. With the agreement of the group to abide by the results of the vote, this could redirect efforts into making progress on the assignment in a democratic fashion.
If the group did not want to take the matter to a vote, I would suggest setting up a chain of command among the Learning Team so that as disputes arose they could be resolved expeditiously. This would involve electing a member of the team to be the leader. The leader's responsibility would be to ensure the progress of the team.
If the group did not accept either of the above solutions, I would flip a coin.
The point here is not to identify one best way of handling a hypothetical situation. There are many effective ways to help the team past disagreements. The important thing here is to use your creativity to do whatever needs to be done to redirect the team from a stagnant argument into more productive work so that the team will be able to complete the project on time. Even though flipping a coin may seem like too simplistic a solution for the above situation, at least it offers a straightforward way to help the team move along.
This essay has no spark. The language is sometimes awkward, and often uninspired. While the writer does answer the question and pose a few viable solutions to the problem, the applicant does not really get into the meat of the topic. This essay could have been written by anyone; the reader learns nothing unique about the applicant. The situation presented is very real and common.. Deadlines and interpersonal conflicts are recurring challenges in the business world. The writer should have drawn from a personal experience, work related or otherwise, that approximates the hypothetical situation. Explaining how he reacted in the real-life situation and what he learned from it would differentiate him from other applicants.