“I tried to figure out a way to draw people in through the first line (of my essays). It didn’t have to be something outlandish but it had to be something interesting that would keep you reading. And I made sure I read it to other people to see what they got from the story. What parts of my personality am I showing through the essay? If it looks like they’re drawn in, then I’m doing a good job.“
Sabaina Kamara, a Touch MBA listener and Admissions Edge Member, details what she did each step of the way to craft her best story – one that got her admitted to 4 top 20 US b-schools, including Michigan Ross, where she will head to this Fall. Sabaina also shares the benefits of applying through the Consortium, and her best application tips on career goals, school selection, GMAT, resumes, essays and MBA interviews.
Also Sabaina has generously shared her Michigan Ross MBA essays below – check them out!
- How Sabaina decided on her MBA career goals and researched b-schools (4:08)
- Applying through the Consortium (11:56)
- Sabaina’s best tips on the GMAT, and MBA resumes, essays and interviews (22:30)
About Our Guest
Sabaina Kamara got her B.A. in Economics from the University of Maryland and worked as a Human Resources Analyst for a top management and employment law firm in Washington, DC, where she advised federal contractors on diversity related issues such as affirmative action and equal employment opportunity compliance. Sabaina will be starting the Michigan Ross MBA in Fall 2017.
Sabaina’s Michigan Ross MBA Essays
What are you most proud of outside of your professional life? How does it shape who you are today? (up to 250 words)
Throwing an empty bucket over the wall, I hollered, “David!” The twelve-year-old boy with piercing green eyes ended his conversation and caught it. It was day four of our trip to Honduras and it was 100 degrees. While I awaited a subsequent bucket filled with dirt, our trip leader shouted, “Fifty more buckets until water break!” Before I could wipe sweat from my face, I was handed the bucket; I emptied it into the classroom and tossed it to David. Our assembly line of 20 students and 15 children continued until we heard, “Fifty!”
Volunteering in Honduras to lay the foundation for an elementary school was a transformative experience. Therefore, I am most proud of raising money to contribute to my team’s goal of $25,000 to complete the construction of the school. Through crowd-sourcing, bake sales, throwing parties for profit, and soliciting donations from church and family members, I met my personal goal of $5,000; but it was bigger than just reaching a goal.
Growing up, I learned of my parents’ upbringing in Sierra Leone. Knowing the sacrifices my grandparents made to nurture my parents’ educational development shaped my view of education as a means for success. Having the opportunity to contribute to the children of Honduras in the area of education not only provided the greatest fulfillment, but also served as a reminder that for most, education is a privilege. Accordingly, I relentlessly challenge myself to take advantage of the opportunities that I have.
How will the Michigan Ross program help you achieve your personal and professional goals? (up to 250 words)
I believe that organizations have a social responsibility to ensure that their workforce reflects the diversity of the world. Considering the global impact of the high-tech industry, it’s imperative that high-tech companies develop and sustain diverse labor forces. Given my background in affirmative action and equal employment opportunity, I recognize the challenges high-tech companies face with improving diversity. Therefore, my immediate career goal is to become a human capital consultant for a high-tech company. Ultimately, I aspire to transition into executive leadership for diversity and inclusion.
The Ross MBA program will help me achieve my goals by providing opportunities to enhance my leadership abilities through its Management & Organizations curriculum, global exchange program, and +LAB venture. By enrolling in courses such as “Leading and Leveraging Difference” and “Developing Global Competency”, I’ll gain the education and perspective necessary to excel as a leader for diversity and inclusion. Furthermore, becoming a +LAB fellow will provide the ideal training ground as I prepare to become an organizational change agent.
In addition to the referenced endeavors, I intend to become a Co-Chair of Diversity in the SGA. Given my experience advising major corporations on diversity-related matters, I’m well equipped to support my peers in handling diversity related issues that affect the Ross community. Therefore, my involvement as Co-Chair would not only enable me to collaborate with my peers to develop strategies that support Ross’s commitment to diversity, but also gain the strategic skillset necessary to deploy sustainable diversity visions in the high-tech sector.
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