First of all, a tip that always works:
Prior to every meeting concerning essays, ask your consultant: “which essay will we be working on during our next meeting?” Prior to the next meeting, think about alternative topics for that essay. This will make the meeting more efficient and shorter.
In addition, here are four alternatives for efficient shortcuts to the outline process:
- Some candidates find that the following process works well:
- Write the outline on your own and send it to your consultant.
- Review the outline with your consultant during a meeting or by phone.
- Write the essay.
- When working on career essays (“What are your goals?” “Why an MBA?”, etc.), instead of creating an outline, just do a brainstorming session with your consultant before writing the essay. It might save about half an hour of ARINGO work. Doing more than one outline for career essays is not recommended, since these types of outlines are usually very similar to one another.
- Skip the outlines for personal essays (for example: “What matters most to you and why?”) and instead do a brainstorming session with your consultant before writing these essays. The benefits of doing outlines for personal essays are medium (at best) or even negligible.
- Completely skip the outlines. Just do brainstorming sessions with your consultant before writing the essay. Many clients find this option the most efficient and cost-effective of all.
This vision did not fit Jane. She left a large corporation where she worked long hours, and one of the main reasons she chose to join us was the laid back and relaxed atmosphere of a small company- exactly what we were determined to change. Although talented, she did only the minimum necessary, and was not willing to make any sacrifices and commit to our goal.
I faced a tough decision. On the one hand, firing a talented and experienced employee, in a time when most of the employees were new (as we wanted to drive growth we recruited new people), seemed unwise. In addition, I knew that our relationships with major clients might get hurt and a substantial knowledge base would be lost
On the other hand, not firing her would mean establishing double standards for our employees – most were required to work hard, whereas Jane was leaving early and refused to contribute extra efforts. Her opposition to the change had already begun creating undesired effects, as a few of the employees resented her.
In order to solve the problem, I tried to make Jane relate to the new goals and change her attitude. In addition, we also improved the company’s bonus program, based also on her comments, in order to reward the extra efforts. When all milder measures failed, I had to make a decision.
I decided to fire Jane. Although I knew that in the short run things would be difficult, I concluded there was no other way. I needed the most dedicated team possible, a team who was personally committed to the growth of the company. Jane, as head of a major division, would have undermined this effort in the long run.
Personally, making the decision was very hard. It meant firing someone with whom I had worked with closely for a long time. However, In terms of team spirit, matters improved greatly, and we succeeded in building the right team to lead the company forward. The new division head that replaced Jane was a highly motivated manager, and with her I had a team that could reach the ambitious goals we set, and indeed, in two years we have doubled the company’s project capacity, with a great improvement of research quality and customer satisfaction.