Advice on the optional essay (shortcomings in application)

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Hi,
I a working in a reputed investment bank as a software developer. By fall 2016, i will have about 4 years of experience. However, I do not see a promotion in cards for me. The politics and an understated misogyny are the primary reason. I am also at fault as i did not push for the promotion.
Can i mention these reasons in the optional essay? I clearly will have to explain the flat organisation structure.I have no reportees. How badly will this impact my chances. Are misogyny and politics worth mentioning or will the reasons backfire?
Kindly advice.

Thanking you in advance.
:cry:

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by Kaneisha Grayson » Mon Sep 28, 2015 9:46 am
Hi Lost Soul,

Misogyny and office politics definitely are a challenge to deal with-as an employee and then again as you have to wonder if you should explain your lack of promotion to AdComs.

I think it's very hard to write persuasively about misogyny and office politics in your optional essay (especially since you mentioned you didn't actually push for a promotion), so unless you are confident you can address the issue very well in your optional essay, I would leave it out. Instead, focus on how your responsibilities and achievements have increased over time even if an actual title change hasn't occurred.

That way, you can draw the AdCom's attention to what YOU have been doing right rather than what your employer and coworkers have possibly been doing wrong.

Best of luck!
Kaneisha
Harvard Business School MBA 2010, Harvard Kennedy School MPA 2010
Founder, The Art of Applying
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by lost_soul » Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:42 pm
Thank you, Kaneisha!

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by [email protected] » Sat Oct 24, 2015 10:02 am
I personally would not do it. You run the real risk of sounding like you are complaining about your situation. And the school will have no way to verify what you are saying is the truth or not. You open up in the admissions committee's the chance that you aren't getting promoted because you didn't deserve it. There is an old quote, "better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." Besides, the school might not even care if you are already a strong candidate.