It was his father’s unique approach to business and to life in general
that influenced Daniel to write this essay about the duo’s experience in
an open-air market in Israel. Daniel may follow in his father’s footsteps
with his desire to work in marketing or consulting. At Brighton High
School, he was the regional president of the Distributive Education
Clubs of America. He was also an all-state saxophone player, varsity
baseball player and active member of United Synagogue Youth. Daniel
wrote this essay to gain admission to the Wharton School of Business
at the University of Pennsylvania.
The Beer-Sheva Marketplace - University of Pennsylvania
We stroll through a marketplace in Beer-Sheva, inhaling a conglomeration
of smells and sounds that feel as though they are part of a different century.
My father and I enter a small stand. A little woman sits in the corner
scanning her livelihood like a hawk monitoring her nest. She promotes
her wares not for a quarterly report but to feed and clothe her family. My
father picks up a small wooden camel and calls out in our native tongue,
“Fifty shekel," she responds. Her reply is automatic. This is what she does
all day, every day.
My father eyes her directly. He doesn’t fl inch. “I’ll give you 10." He remembers
the game as if he’d been playing it daily since he left his homeland.
She opens high and he counters low, each one hoping the other will give
in first. I observe, taking mental notes.
She replies with conviction, “It’s handmade, I can’t go lower than 40." We
all know the camel was made in a local factory, but he doesn’t contradict
her. To call her credibility into question at this stage could ruin the transaction.
“I only have 20," fi res my dad, as if he had rehearsed his line. I glance at
his back pocket bulging with Israeli currency but don’t let on, for she’s searching my face for a sign of weakness. I’m beginning to see what the game is all about.
“I cannot sell for less than 40," she retorts. My father squeezes my hand
subtly and I latch on to his paw. We slowly start to leave the stall.
“So be it," he voices over his shoulder with an air of studied ease. We continue
out of the cool shadows toward the fascinating frenzy of the exotic streets.
Just as our sandaled feet touch the dirt road and we are about to rejoin
the crowd, we hear a shriek. “Wait! Give me 30." My father winks at
me, turns nonchalantly and swaggers toward the woman. I quickly pull
30 shekel out of my pocket and thrust them into his hand, so the woman
won’t discover the treasures buried in his pocket. I smile at my quick
thinking. My father plays it straight, as if I were supposed to hand him the
He works his thick fingers around a 5-shekel piece and with a magician’s
sleight of hand swiftly transfers the coin to his other palm. “I only have
25." The woman hastily nods.
The negotiations are successful. The woman is satisfied for she had invested
only 10 shekel in the knickknack. My father smiles. While he would
have paid any price for the camel, he enjoyed the challenge of a worthy
opponent. We rejoin the streets to once again immerse ourselves in those
ancient sounds and smells.
From my earliest childhood, I have learned many such fascinating business
concepts at my father’s side. These experiences have long intrigued me.
Formulas, figures, accounting cycles and textbooks do not tell the whole
story. Cultural traditions of negotiation, respect and the dynamics of people
coming together to buy and sell are the most captivating parts of trade.
Society is an interdependent web, relying on its members to meet each
other’s needs. Business is centered on the exchange of one good or service
for another in an effort to improve society’s standard of living. The intricacies,
methods and strategies involved in this exchange are what I hope to
acquire and master.
Why This Essay Succeeded
Daniel’s essay works because he not only shares his relationship with
his father but also draws astute conclusions from his interaction. He
takes the time to explain the meaning of the experience and uses it to
give insight into his interest in business. Through his essay, you learn
about him on a personal level through the way he relates to his father
as well as on a professional level by seeing his career goals.
A successful essay is not just an interesting story. What captivates the
admission officers is the meaning within the story. This is the real challenge
of the essay.
Admission Essay for University of Pennsylvania - Admission Essay for University of Pennsylvania