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Scope Of Mis Essays About Life

raman2k4u wrote:

Hello,

I am in a similar situation.I am currently drafting essays for a top 15 US MBA program. I come from a first-generation family business -it is a startup. We are into the marketing of certain capital goods. My real short term career goals are to work in B2B marketing for a few years before returning to our business. This is essentially because first,the post MBA work experience would really prepare me for bigger responsibilities for our business and second, i would need some time to recover the cost of the program.
However, i have heard that to improve my chances of admission, i mention in my essays that i shall return to business immediately after MBA, i can always work for a few years after MBA and there is no need to mention that in the essays.

I am worried that if i do as mentioned above, the school might start viewing me as one of those wealthy family business candidates and might as well suggest me their other programs. Also, they might assume that I already have a job ready after MBA.
I am a bit confused on this, please help !

Regards



Raman,
Why don't you go ahead and say it like it is?
Tell them that your short term goal is to work in a B2B marketing role with a different company, gain some experience and in 4-5 years' time, join your family business. You can leverage your business background in other ways: you can touch upon your understanding of business functions, market trends, vendor management and customer engagement, something you have gained as a result of being part of a business family. Highlight your own contributions/participation in decisions related to the business.

Secondly, make sure that you articulate your goals very clearly. Answer the following points in your essays:
1. Why do you want to work with a different company after your MBA? What sort of exposure and experience do you hope to gain?
2. Specify what kind of company you would want to work with - in terms of industry, domain and role.
3. In the long term, when you join your family business, what is your vision and goal for the business? Expansion? Diversification? Make sure you let them know that you have a vision of your own and that you will contribute something valuable to the business.

Hope this helps.

Gowri N Kishore
Admissions Consultant
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As "personal historians," Tom and I often use these terms interchangeably when blogging or teaching about the concept of writing one's life stories. But does that signify that they all mean the same thing?

Non, nein, nope. Each of the terms we use to describe life writing has a discrete meaning. (The reason, quite frankly, that we mash them all together so often is that each term has "keyword" value in a blog, and using them all helps more people find our blog posts online.)

Each of you will have your own purpose in writing about your life, and each of these forms of writing has its own benefits and challenges. 

Here's the rundown:

Autobiography. In an autobiography, one writes the story of the whole of one's life, a comprehensive overview of life experiences from birth (or ancestry) to the present. An autobiography usually contains factual or historical data such as names, dates, and places, and is often, though not always, more concerned with accuracy than dramatic license. Traditionally, it has been the most common form of life storytelling. An autobiography, although comprehensive in scope, does not necessarily have to be long. Autobiography is written in the first person (told from the writer's viewpoint and using the pronoun "I").

Memoir. Also written in the first person, the author writes about his/her life in a more limited scope, with an emphasis on past events viewed through the lens of the present. A memoir could be one's reminiscences about a particular time period (childhood), challenge (coping with mental illness) or experience (hiking Mt. Everest). It can also encompass stories from a wide scope of the writer's life that connect to a single theme (being a first-generation American). Also the term "memoirs" plural -- as in, "I'm writing my memwaahs" -- is essentially an autobiography but more concerned with personal experience than historical accuracy. 

Personal History is kind of a catch-all term that could mean really any kind of edited life story writing, but most people think of a personal history as being more comprehensive, such as an autobiography or "life highlights" book. Usually written in the first person, but could also be a biography.

Biography. A biography is also a comprehensive account of one's life, highly concerned with accuracy, but written in the third person (using pronouns "he, she, and it") by someone other than the subject. Many published biographies are written about noteworthy or famous persons, but this is not always the case. We have written quite a few third-person biographies for clients. Some prefer to hire a writer to pen their life story from an objective point of view, so that their life stories are not perceived as self-indulgent or boastful. 

A third-person biography can also encompass several different viewpoints, including the subject's friends, family, co-workers, etc. A biography can be about a person who is deceased or too advanced in years to give a complete narrative; details and memories supplied by others can help complete the story.

(Just because someone hires a professional writer does not automatically qualify the work as a biography. People often hire "ghost-writers" to write their story in the first person, compiled from oral interviews and other research. Because it is written from the subject's viewpoint, it is still classified as autobiography.)

Other forms of life writing:

Fictionalized memoir is just like it sounds -- a memoir, written as a novel. With all the dramatic license desired, because, hey, it's fiction, and the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

A Personal Essay is like a personal op-ed piece, usually describing a contemporary personal experience and voicing one's opinions about it. Usually short, a personal essay is journalistic. Think magazine article. Also "reflective essay," which means a personal essay that also includes reminiscence of past events. I guess. Personal essays can also be compiled into a collection, which then more resembles a memoir, but without so much memory. (Getting confused yet?) Personal Narrative is also a newer term that seems to me indistinguishable from a memoir, but whatever. Also "creative personal nonfiction." 

The point is, what matters is that you get your life stories out of your head and into the world. In any form, or none at all!