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If at First You Don’t Succeed…

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The school year came to a close and with that came the end of all my extra-curricular commitments as well. I had one more thing to accomplish before graduation day and that was DECAU Internationals. DECA is an organization that has both high school and college level business case competitions. Both these competitions in turn have provincial or state level rounds and then international finals. They comprise many business areas such as: Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Human Resources, Finance, Hospitality, Marketing, and many more. I was fortunate enough to have attained a high score at my provincial competition thereby advancing to the DECA Collegiate International Case Competitionwhich were held in Washington D.C.
We had all come prepared for our own case categories, however when we arrived we had discovered a new competition: The Entrepreneurship Challenge. We were mostly drawn to the fact that first place had a prize of $5,000US so we had to at least give it a shot. The task was simple: create a business that was operating in an emerging economy and that had the ability to be franchised.
The competition was fierce consisting of over 60 teams from universities all over North America and many had come specifically prepared for this challenge. My friends and I came up with the idea to transform shipping containers into homes for displaced people in Colombia. There are millions of people without a home there and there are millions of unused shipping containers sitting idle in ports. We believed that we could solve two problems and make a profit at the same time. We had worked hard on our presentation and managed to get through to the final round. At 3am that morning as we were finishing up our business plan, we decided that if we won we would actually start this company.
The next day we won.
This considerably changed my life and consequently my application. I now had two international awards (first place for the Entrepreneurship Challenge and second place for Business Ethics) and ended up starting a business called Second Chance Homes. After the competition I started my intense GRE training with a Kaplan instructor. I am not advocating this particular organization but the use of any material would be of great advantage to people. I personally needed a structure to follow when studying and they provided me with one. I ended up getting above a 650 score when converted to GMAT scoring scales. All of these experiences and accolades helped show my true potential and enhance my master’s candidacy.

Now that I had more quantitative personal achievements it was time to write the personal essays and begin my application process through the SAI.