Last time around I told you how I committed the rookie mistake of going on to write an essay without the initial brainstorming. So this weekend I took time out to put my life on a storyboard. I started out with where I am now and put it under four threads – professional, extra-curricular, personal, academic. I jotted down what am I doing in my job, what I am good at and what I need to improve (need not be accurate but I wrote down my perception of myself), ditto for personal and extra-curricular. Having gone back a little in history I started putting stuff under academic.
That was the easy part. Next I started forming chains. Why I ended up being what I am professionally ? What were the choices I made and what were my preferences. And my life started become a web of sorts. For example I got my current job because I was good at analysis and problem solving in my previous job (professional) but also because I love traveling and hence wanted to get a job outside India (personal). And so on and so forth continued the exercise. The farthest I went in my history was the instance that inspired me to become and engineer. It was quite a fruitful exercise. MBA application apart, my life hadn’t been like white water rafting where the current took me wherever it wanted to. I had made conscious decisions to get where I am today. So far so good :).
Next came the time to look again at the questions. For each essay I identified several instances of my life which I could use as examples. There were innovations, leadership examples, failures, ethical dilemmas, conflicts and successes galore. And now when I started writing I could not stop myself. I had just relived my life. I was in touch with every joy, hope, despair and frustration I had. And I had no problem putting that on paper.
With the road to first stage clear. I have started thinking about the second stage – the revisions. I do not want my essays to not have passed through a scrutiny from people with different perspectives. At the same time I am unsure of who or how many to ask to read my essays. This is my decision as of now :
Three reviewers – a close friend, an MBA student and a person with 5+ years of experience post MBA. I think that should cover all perspectives for my essays. Anyone else with a better suggestion please help me out!