I’m requesting an essay for McKinsey & Company’s application essay questions. I’m applying for their permanent job position as a JD student.

Here’s McKinsey’s website:

Here’s what it said:

Short Essay Question
The online application will ask you to attach a response to the short essay question given below (only medical interns, residents, and fellows are exempt from this requirement). It is an important part of your overall application and weighs heavily in our assessment of each application.
Please respond to the following short answer question in four parts (i.e., we would like to see a distinct response to each part). We find that most examples can be effectively communicated within 500 words total, across the four parts.
Working in teams is critical to the role of a McKinsey consultant and can be challenging at times. Please think about a time when you found it a challenge to work together with another person or other people in a team.
1. Briefly describe the situation and the person/people you worked with.
2. What specific challenges did you have in working with this person/these people?
3. Describe the key things you did to overcome these challenges.
4. What was the outcome of this situation?

As specified above, the length must be limited to 500 words.
I will send you my resume and cover letter so that you know my background.

Contents of the essay:
I was an external VP for APALSA, Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, at Santa Clara Law School. One of my main duties as a VP was to plan a conference, called Bay Area APALSA Conference, which is participated by 9 law schools in the bay area, including Sandford and berkeley. We, as in all the representatives from the 9 law schools, plan the conference from June to Feb. The conference was held Feb 4, 2006. Here’s the conference website: http://baapalsa.org/index.html I want to answer the above essay question by using this experience, however, I don’t really know how to answer it. One thing is that the answer has to be related to “teamwork.”

Here’s some helpful notes on teamwork essays:

All of us have worked in teams at some point in life and can recall interacting with others to meet team objectives. Bring to mind both the good and bad experiences that you went through while working with team members and others. How did you perform? Were you able to lead the team to meet its objectives? What did other team members feel about your presence in the team? Were your interactions positive or negative? Did you learn anything from your interactions within and outside the team? Look back into your own life. As you dwell on these points, you are sure to come up with hitherto unnoticed aspects about your personality and work that will qualify you for management school.

Good teamwork releases group synergy so that the combined effect of individual contributions far exceeds the sum of their individual effects. There is mutual accountability and togetherness amongst members of a well-knit team. The basic premise here is that individual contributions cannot be as good as all of us working together in a team.

Look back at your experiences. Were you able to define the team’s objectives and the roles of members clearly? How did you understand your different team members, appreciate them and make the most of their special skills and abilities to substantially improve the result of their joint efforts?

Good team players place team objectives ahead of their own personal goals. If you are able to recall an experience on these lines, you have identified the right team experience for your essays.

They (McKinsey) really need an example of where you had to deal with interpersonal dynamics (rather than compensate for the absence thereof, which is what it sounds like you did). Better examples from the lab would be some sort of collaborative effort (e.g., a joint project across labs, coordinating a multi-author grant proposal, organizing a conference). Or look to your experiences outside of the ivory tower.

I really wish that you guys study on what McKinsey is really looking for, or hopefully you guys know already.

Thank you in advance for doing this.
There are faxes for this order.