The UNC Kenan-Flagler community lives by its core values: excellence, leadership, integrity, community and teamwork. (250 words)
- Pick a core value that resonates most deeply with you.
- Identify the most challenging situation that you have encountered and how you responded while upholding that core value.
250 words isn’t a lot. Certainly not enough to philosophize much about “the word” and what it means to you. You really only have time to get into the meat of the “situation” you’re gonna talk about, and explain your relationship with that word THROUGH the telling of that experience itself.
Paragraph 1 – Explain the dilemma/challenge. Explain why it was not just challenging… but a THREAT to “one of those words.” In other words, explain how ONE or SEVERAL choices you had at solving this problem required COMPROMISING one of those values. This is key. Because the whole point of this essay is to explain why you chose an even MORE DIFFICULT course… which was to solve the challenge AND uphold one of those values, which presumably increased the risk, made it harder, increased the stakes, etc. [125 words]
Paragraph 2 – Take us through the ACTION, explaining at each step (maybe two or three highlights) how you had a choice between upholding your chosen value, or, taking the easier route. And how in each instance, you prioritized upholding that value. Justify this choice from both a businessman’s perspective (it won’t play if your devotion to your beliefs UNDERMINED the objective) but also a personal/moral perspective. That balance is key. If you seem stubbornly devoted to certain principles which are “feel-good” in theory, but ultimately make you a terrible businessman, it’s not really… what Kenan-Flagler is after. They’re after the guy who MEETS the threshold of “good businessman” but ALSO has a strong moral compass which makes him far preferable to the other guy who might ONLY be good at business, but is untethered to any morality. See the difference? So make sure to demonstrate smart business sense AT THE SAME TIME as a sense of principals, which ultimately guided you to a better version of success. [125 words]
You can also read through our team’s analysis of the rest of Kenan-Flagler’s Essays.
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