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U of Washington. MBA. Involvement Essay

A chief executive of a very successful Taiwanese textile manufacturer once told me that the secret to how he operates was, “find the right message, develop your story, and give back to society.”


Not only was he an environmentalist, he also found success in business by making polyester fabrics from recycled plastic bottles, and mixing in recycled coffee grounds as a natural odor absorbent. His message highlighted the importance of being authentic, of embarking on a career that reflects one’s personal passion.


My passion has always been in public service and sustainable development. After college, I decided to teach math for two years in an under-resourced, rural high school in the Mississippi Delta. My will to help kids pushed me to get 50 percent of my class to pass the state exam, with many kids gaining two grade levels in one year. During graduate school for public policy, I wanted to do something for the victims of China’s 2008 earthquake, so I applied and won funding to travel to China and wrote my thesis for a local non-profit on how to rebuild a small Chinese city into a sustainable community. As a journalist, my mission to inform the public compels me to keep the highest standards of accuracy, and resist influence from special interests.


At Foster, I plan to pursue extracurricular activities that would both sharpen my business acumen and augment my resume so that I can find a job that utilizes these passions. This is my plan using the executive’s framework:

  • Finding the right message involves joining clubs to learn about business in a way that deepens my interests and values. I plan to contribute to the Global Business Association by using my contacts in Taiwan to bring good speakers to Foster, especially those who are part of the global technology and manufacturing supply chain. I also want to join Net Impact, with a keen interest to connect students with executives who have started businesses built on sustainable technologies.


  • Developing my story means seeking out activities to show my commitment to what I believe. I plan to put together a team for the Environmental Innovation Challenge. The EIC will test my interdisciplinary management skills, and allow me to contribute my communication skills. I aim to write a very sharp and appealing business summary, and successfully pitch my team’s innovation to a panel of judges.


  • Giving Back to Society is what keeps me grounded, and I will do so by joining the Board Fellows program in my second year. In every community I have lived in, I’ve taken up a cause, whether it is a book drive in Boston to benefit at-risk youth, or walking shelter dogs in Taipei. Board Fellows will not only allow me to contribute my analytical skills, but also give me a chance to join a non-profit group as a volunteer. I would love to work with kids in organizations such as Communities in Schools, or engage in conservation work through The Mountaineers or EarthCorps.

Author: Lin Yang. To connect with the author, book a Free Session from below.


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