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"International Student with Awkward English"

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Unedited Version (the "Before")

1)Discuss the factors that influenced your career decisions to date. Also discuss your career plans and why you want to obtain an MBA.
2) Describe two events in your life to date that demonstrate your ability to do well in business

1) Since I was four years old, my father has left my mother and I for Indonesia to start his textile company. He has come back to Hong Kong once for a year. In order to enhance our relationship, we used to talk over the phone. As early as when I was Grade 8, I possessed my first computer for the main purpose of sending electronic mail to my father. From that time, using the Internet has captured most of my spare time. In the summer of 1992, I had a valuable chance of volunteering in the library to assist people using computers to look for the books or to get access on the Internet. At the same time, my father's business had been suffering from keen competition and out-dated machines for two years. He then started to automate the production line by investing in new innovated technologies, and hiring some technicians. When I visited him, the new automated production line and the whole computerized firm amused me, because this was the system that rescued my father's business. Since then, my interest in information technology has been ever growing. After I came to Canada, I even use electronic mail and ICQ to communicate with my parent, and choose MIS as my core course. I found that IT is so powerful that it not only helps companies become more competitive, but also bridges people ocean apart. This arouses my desire to work in IT industry.

Second, self-satisfaction also affects my career decision. Although monetary reward is practically important in reality, opportunity to learn and job prospect are even more crucial factors for me to be really happy and satisfied. I like learning new skills and acquiring up-dated information, because they can help me adapt the fast-changing world, enrich my experiences, explore my interest, and give me higher self-esteem as I am a valuable person. In addition, a job with a bright prospect gives me incentives to improve myself. Thus, as I become more experienced and knowledgeable, I can pursue a higher level of career and help others. This is my true happiness. For instance, I am now volunteering in an on campus organization, Job Link, in which I am responsible for posting jobs on the World Wide Web, answering questions and making information handouts. I am interested in this job because I can learn how to use a software program, can improve my interpersonal skills by answering students' questions, and can enrich my research experience. These skills are valuable because I can use them in future. I can feel myself to become more productive and knowledgeable.

In short run, after graduating from the Master degree, I will work in an IT related industry, either in a consulting firm or financial institution, as a system analyst or a consultant. Moreover, in my private time, I will attend a computer-programming course in order to continuously update myself and become more competitive. In long run, when I have gathered enough managerial and analysis skills and experiences, I plan to have my own consulting company.

Therefore, attending a Master Science program definitely can smooth my path to pursue my goal. The program can deepen expertise and broaden my perspectives. Moreover, the MIS option can help me to specialize my skills in IT areas that I have not yet learned from my undergraduate degree. Since I have been in UBC for four years, I am familiar with and have confidence in the faculty professors whom I believe can help me become an IT professional.

2) Without this disease, I might not have been initiative and willing to face challenges. Without the chance of being a Special Event Director, I might not learn what the leadership skill was.

During my six years in primary school (Grade 1 to Grade 6), most of my classmates always kept distance from me and called me "alien" and I was very lonely. The reason is that I had a severe Dermatitis since I was born. My arms and legs were full of ulcers, sores, bandages and scars. I always felt itchy and painful, and I dared not play with others. Moreover, my hairs had never been longer that two inches and I must have to wear T-shirts and shorts in summer in order to keep my skin dry and from getting infection. Some dermatologists even said that I was hardly fully recovered. However, my parents and relatives had not been given me up, and they always encouraged me and gave me unconditional tenders. Therefore, I had a belief that I would be recovered one day, and thus I was eager to take any challenges of trying different kinds of medication, including Western and Chinese Herbals. Although my life in the primary school was only full of pain and lonesome, I learned to be brave and to face any challenges positively. Fortunately, during the summer vacation after graduating from the primary school, my power of resistance gradually became stronger and my disease got greatly improved. I only had some ulcers on my legs although my body was still full of scars. Since then, I realized that I should change my long-lasting lonely life and should not waste my precious secondary school life. Thus, since in Grade 7, I actively talked to my classmates and helped them. I also took part in many various extracurricular activities, such as VolleyBall Team, Girl Guide and Art Club. Nevertheless, one thing I still have not changed is my attitude toward risk. During every examination and competition, I told myself that I was able to do the best because nothing was tougher than the time when I was in the primary school. Before I came to Canada, I was fully recovered and earned a lot of friends. Although I had been suffered a lot from my disease, I have learned a precious lesson that I should have confidence, initiative and not afraid of failure.

When I was in the ESL program in the college in Canada, I joined the Culture Club as a Special Event Director responsible for managing a group of six members in designing and organizing various functions. Since I was in the highest level of ESL program than all of the other members, I had a tendency to think that I was the most capable. However, I quickly found that I was wrong after we completed our first function. In preparing the Singing Competition, I followed up my members' tasks very strictly and did not accept their idea very often. This turned out that I finished most of the jobs by myself and my members only assisted me in the minor tasks. The outcome was that we only had four days to promote our activity, only ten people joined the competition and the function room was not fully decorated yet. I was very depressed, and when I talked to my Club's supervisor, she just said, "I assigned you as the director because I trust you." I was shocked. Why didn't I trust my members? They were weak in language, but this did not mean that they did not have other talents. After this lesson, I started to let my members to choose the task that they were interested in and let them finish by themselves. We also expressed our ideas freely during the meetings and voted for the best. I found that not only the preparation procedure had become smooth, but also the atmosphere among us had greatly improved. We were happier and eager to devote much more time together. Most importantly, we became friends. I was proud to have opportunity to learn what a real leadership skills was and I believe that this skill will become my asset for my future career.

Edited Version (the "After")

1)Discuss the factors that influenced your career decisions to date. Also discuss your career plans and why you want to obtain an MBA. (300-500 words)
2) Describe two events in your life to date that demonstrate your ability to do well in business (300-500words)

1) When I was four years old, my father moved from Hong Kong to Indonesia to start a textile company, leaving me with my mother. In order to alleviate the pressures of separation, I developed the computer skills needed for electronic communication at an early age - my eighth school year. The Internet caught my attention immediately, and became an enjoyable tool.

In the summer of 1992, I utilized my computing skills by volunteering at a library, where I helped with computer and Internet related questions. During that time, my father’s business had launched many technological changes that led to automation of its production line. These improvements had saved his company from bankruptcy. Visiting him and seeing how the new system had increased his profits heightened my interest in Information Technology (IT). I now live in Canada, where computers continue to play a large role in my daily affairs. I use electronic mail and Internet chats to communicate with both parents, and have chosen MIS as my course of study. Information Technology fascinates me not only because it makes companies more competitive, but also because it can bridge great distances to bring people together. I have much respect for and interest in the IT industry.

Personal satisfaction also plays a key role in my career decision. While monetary rewards are of practical importance, true job satisfaction springs from the opportunity to grow and learn within an industry. I enjoy acquiring new skills and information, which help me adapt to the fast-changing world as well as piquing my interest. In addition, a career with open prospects would give me constant incentive to improve myself and gain more knowledge. I currently volunteer for an on-campus organization, Job Link, in which I am responsible for posting employment opportunities on the World Wide Web, answering questions, and preparing informative handouts. This position has broadened my computing abilities and has improved my interpersonal skills, which are crucial to any business endeavor. I enjoy the sense of productivity and usefulness I gain from the work, and feel it is a valuable experience for future employment.

In short, my goal is to obtain a Masters degree, and then work in an IT-related industry, either with a consulting firm or as a systems analyst with a financial institution. In addition to this, I plan to use my private time to attend computer-programming courses in order to maintain a competitive knowledge of technology. When I have gathered enough experience and skills, I hope to launch a consulting company of my own.

Attending a Masters of Science program will definitely smooth the path to these goals. The program will deepen my expertise and broaden my perspectives. Moreover, the MIS option will help me to hone my skills in IT areas that I have not yet encountered. As I have attended UBC for four years, I am familiar with and have confidence in the faculty professors who I believe can help me become an IT professional.

2) During my six years in primary school, my classmates referred to me as “the alien,” maintaining a definite distance from me. Their reasons were clear; I was born with severe dermatitis, which filled my limbs with ulcers and scars. My life was one of pain and isolation. Doctors predicted I would never fully recover, but my parents refused to believe this. They encouraged me to hope for the future, teaching me that any obstacle could be overcome. I therefore took an active role in my health, trying many medications and herbs.

I learned to approach my loneliness with bravery, viewing it as a challenge to rise above. The summer after I graduated from primary school, my disease improved dramatically. Although my body remained riddled with scars, the ulcers vanished. The self-confidence this gave me was profound; I realized that my personal will had led to this improvement. I began to seek out friendships at school, and took part in activities like volleyball, Girl Guide, and Art Club. Through it all, my attitude toward challenges remained the same. In every examination or competition, I told myself that I could easily excel; nothing could be more difficult than the pain I had already overcome. By the time I moved to Canada, I had fully recovered both socially and physically. Moreover, I had learned to be confident and never fear failure. This credo echoes through my personal life, and gives me the inner resources to succeed at any endeavor, including my professional pursuits.

I have also developed a firm foundation of leadership skills. While enrolled in an ESL program in Canada, I joined the Culture Club as a Special Event Director. I managed a group of six in organizing various functions. I was the most advanced ESL student among the group, and thus assumed myself to be the most capable. I quickly learned my mistake. In preparing our first function, I was strict with my team members and often rejected their ideas in favor of my own. I performed most of their tasks myself, allowing them to assist me only in minor details. As a result, the function was not very successful. Few people attended, and we had problems with decorations and presentation. The setback disheartened me, and I spoke of it to the Club’s supervisor. She responded that she had trust in my ability to succeed in the future. That comment filled me with surprise, for I realized I had never trusted my own team members. Although they were weak in the English language, they had many valuable talents. I immediately changed my policy, allowing team members to choose the tasks they desired and complete them on their own.

Meetings evolved into group brainstorming sessions, which yielded many good ideas. Most importantly, the atmosphere among us improved dramatically. We were happier and more eager to devote time to the program. I learned what true leadership is, and this experience will undoubtedly be of use to me in any business situation.

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