1,200 words (+/-100 words) The range frees you from worrying about wordsmithing to meet the specified length. However, if you go beyond the range, you will be penalized (see the rubric). So shoot for 1200, not 1100 or 1300!
Management students typically learn discrete facts without spending time reflecting on bodies of knowledge. This assignment is designed to make you reflect. I’ve given it in every course I have taught since 2011 at Hult (on multiple campuses) and at other schools. It will be one of the toughest assignments you have ever had to do. If you do it thoughtfully, you will, like many prior students, in effect craft one or two elements of a “personal leadership philosophy” for your career.
Here’s the topic:
Tell me 1 or 2 things you learnt in this course that added meaningfully to your perspective about management. Focus on ideas you haven’t read about elsewhere or issues you haven’t thought about or issues which you have wondered about but for which you had no credible answer earlier. Tell me why this/these idea(s) is/are important to you. Bring in other ideas from this course (or other courses) to cogently support your argument. Tell me how you will apply your new-found reflection once you graduate: Focus on changes in mindsets, behaviors and actions and discuss if it/they will allow you to do things which you might not have otherwise done or will it keep you from doing things which you otherwise might have done. Think of mindsets, behaviors and actions that are transferrable across work environments, NOT “I will reorganize the team in my family company so that …”
Do not write about more than two issues. If you do, I will not read beyond the second idea. (One is absolutely fine.) Why? Because it is easy to create a laundry list without thinking; it is hard to identify the few things which are truly important. In the first few years after you finish your education, you’ll soon forget much that you learn: Most jobs require you to use only a fraction of what you are learning and knowledge atrophies from non-use. So, I want you to write about things which you feel you can’t afford to forget.
You may feel the need to describe your pre-course experiences in order to make your case. If so, limit such descriptions to 200 WORDS. If you write a shorter essay, say 1,100 words, limit such descriptions to 150 words. Any more WILL cost you at least one grade. This essay is in lieu of an exam; instead of my telling you what I think is important, I’m asking you to decide what is important to you and write thoughtfully about that. Rather than assess where you are weak, I will assess where you think you are the best. I have no means of evaluating content, critical reasoning, or synthesis (elements of the rubric) if you merely describe your past or future.
Education is meant to teach you how to think for yourself; knowing what you don’t believe in is as important as knowing what you do. So, it’s possible that you genuinely feel you learnt nothing of such import. In that case, say so and say why. The assessment rubric for such essays is the same as the one for positive ones. While very few students choose this option, it can be done brilliantly.