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Kelley Indiana Essay 1: Please discuss your post-MBA short- and long-term professional goals. How will your professional experience, when combined with a Kelley MBA degree, allow you to achieve these goals?
Ambition and high standards of personal excellence are primary drivers of my career choice. At the face of it, I have almost every reason to be snug about my present job as XX at YY – My role offers great diversity, challenging assignments, good work life balance along with encouraging monetary reward. Yet, confidence in my abilities, passion to strive for something greater, fuels my ambition for assuming a larger role and higher responsibilities.
Just few years into my career, I already have significant experience in retail sales and supply-chain operations in the ZZ industry. I consider myself to be fortunate in a sense that I have had the opportunity to try my hands across various management functions - ranging from managing operations at oil depots to sales and from logistics to business development- and then ultimately had the choice of working in a role of my choice. These opportunities have not only instilled in me the confidence to take up higher roles but also created a realization that, I need to equip myself with very strong fundamentals in management by developing deeper perspectives in various disciplines such as operations, strategizing, finances, supply chain management etc. This cross-functional management perspective can only be ingrained from an innovative integrated curriculum that provides a top-ranked management education delivered by a remarkable faculty.
The Kelley MBA perfectly fits my needs and I believe that it will provide me with a strong platform for achieving my goals.
After graduating, I would seek a mid management role in logistics and supply chain management function of a large corporation. Over the next three to four years post graduation, each day would contribute to the building up of my knowledge base, as I supplement my learning at Kelley with real life experience of supply-chain management at a firm with global operations. In these years, I would diversify my industry footprint to manufacturing and retail, where supply chain operations typically tend to be very intricate and a competitive differentiator. Not only will this exposure satiate my natural curiosity to learn more, it will also hone my expertise by developing perspectives from different industries.
In the long run, I aspire to emerge as an authority in the field of complex supply chain operations, providing consultancy to firms on supply chain efficiencies. However, taking my plans from ideation to implementation would necessitate strong fundamentals in management disciplines, especially focused on operations and supply chain management.
At Kelley, majors in “Supply Chain & Operations” and “Management” along with along with the “Supply Chain & Global Management Academy” are most relevant to realizing my aspirations. The very idea of connecting with global leaders in supply chain on a one-on-one basis at the “Supply Chain and Global Management Academy” is very enticing and encouraging. I am sure the two years at Kelly will be a turning point in my career and is the beginning of a transformation personally.
Kelley Indiana Essay 2: Describe an ethical dilemma that you faced in your professional career. How was it resolved and what did you learn from the experience?
Three months into my current job, while analyzing competitor’s operational data ( Government mandated data collection process to determine market share, demand and accessibility of energy), I suspected some foul play in the sales data which had been handed over to me by my predecessor. On carrying out a detailed analysis, it revealed to me that the competitor companies’ historical sales figure had been intentionally inflated which resulted in low growth in the current fiscal year. This manipulation had helped my predecessor in artificially inflating his performance figures.
The main dilemma was whether to silently accept the past and benefit from it, (i.e. due to historically distorted high sales numbers) the subsequent years would have shown lower growth, or to stir the hornet’s nest and come out cleanly. This also meant that the MIS Manager, who had trusted on the wrongdoer and accepted this data, would lose his job. There was an intense pressure from my other senior colleagues to save the career of my predecessor and the MIS manager from getting a blot. My first instinctive reaction was not to rock the boat as that would have not only saved the career on the MIS Manager from being jeopardized but also saved me from the ire of my colleagues who were sympathetic to the MIS Manager. However, very soon I also realized that several key corporate decisions were made based on this data and any foul play with data may result in serious consequences for the corporation, and hence, driven by the strong value system instilled in my middle class upbringing, I stood for being honest and righteous in my approach.
In the end I decided to discuss the issue with my line manager. My line manager advised me to report the issue to the senior management and he also assured me of full support as this was in the interest of the corporation. On reporting the incident to the top management, an official enquiry was constituted and action was taken against both the people involved. As a result of the enquiry the MIS Manager had to go through a lot of difficulties for which I still feel guilty. We also suggested to the senior management that a multi-level (i.e. mutual exchange of data at senior management level amongst the oil companies) digitized data verification mechanism should be put in place. This would not only increase accuracy but also minimize chances of human error.
The most wonderful part of this incident was that rather than losing the warmth of relationship which I used to enjoy with my senior colleagues, I gained more respect from them. This experience also made me believe that one’s values are the cornerstone of one’s character and these values not only help in sailing through the most difficult of the times but also guides in taking the correct decision because it was only because of my strong values that I could gather enough courage to report the incidence.
Kelley Indiana Essay 3 : Describe what there is about your background and your experiences that will contribute to the diversity of the entering class and enhance the educational experience of other students.
I would like to apprise the admissions committee of a few unique professional experiences that enhances my ability to contribute to the learning environment at Kelley. For XX, I have had the privilege to run supply chain, operations, logistics and sales over a very large area comprising of ten districts of ZZ of India. I had a very diverse work stream, and in the course, got to know the intricacies and dependencies of various business functions and also to deal with varied challenges related to the diverse fields ranging from legal to real estate and from planning to business development. Each of these functional areas were different, challenging and developed expertise through sheer dedication and hardwork. This stint not only enabled me to gain a 360 degree perspective in business. but also has endowed me with a unique perspective of running operations in rural areas. I stand testimony to the tremendous economic potential of rural India, aka “bottom of the pyramid” and also bring deep dive perspectives on the potential, challenges and unique solutions required to tap this market.
I also have significant understanding of the working of the Government sector. When one works in the semi-government (public sector) corporation such as XX, getting one’s hand dirty in dealing with the Government is inevitable. Be it the quirks and idiosyncrasies of this sector or the contemptuous high-handedness of the bureaucracy, I have experienced it all and have managed to not just survive, but thrive in this complex sector. The acclaimed super-efficiency of the private sector is nowhere to be seen here, but things do move, albeit slowly. If nothing else, the experience does teach you the virtue of patience, persistence and sometimes th innovation and improvisation required to get things moving. I am sure my batch-mates would love to hear how I have successfully traversed my way inspite the bureaucratic maze, to make a meaningful difference to the work environment around me.
I also bring strong insights and experiences on transformations, re-organizations and re-alignment of Fortune 500 corporations like XX. During my tenure at XX, it has undergone complete transformation from a large conventional pen and paper based public sector organization in to a tech-savvy organization leveraging technology to maximize efficiency of its operations. I have been a witness of changes in the psychology and behavior of the employees and their transformation to a new way of working. In the modern era of business, where the cliché “ The only constant is change” rightly describes the dynamic environment existing in all most all global organizations, my first hand experience witnessing such a major change will definitely help in giving a wider perspective to any discussion on dynamism of today’s business world.
Harvard Essay 4 : Is there anything else that you think we should know as we evaluate your application? If you believe your credentials and essays represent you fairly, you shouldn't feel obligated to answer this question.
Through this essay I would like to apprise the admissions committee of a side of my personality which has not been covered by any part of the application. Teaching and empowering others is passion for me. I consider teaching as an art because as other forms of art, teaching not only requires some inherent qualities but also becomes a passion for those who truly love it.
For completion of my high school degree, it was mandatory to undertake some form of social service. Of all the options available, I chose the “YY” program run by the “XX” organization. In this program we had to adopt an underprivileged child who had no access to education and teach him basics of mathematics and language. I started working with the son of my domestic help. He was a bright boy and I helped him with mathematics. It gives me immense satisfaction to tell that the he successfully secured a Government job in the Post Office a year ago
Taking cue from the pleasure which I used to get from teaching in “XX” program and in order to satiate the urge to pursue my hobby I started the education program under the umbrella of “YY”, which is a student run social welfare body in my engineering college and it undertakes social welfare programs in nearby villages of “XX” and “YY”. I was in charge of coaching children of these villages for certain competitive exams. These children had access to education but the quality of education they were receiving was not good enough for the entrance examinations. We coached them in mathematics and science.
After taking up the job in XX, during my initial years, I was left with very little time everyday in which I could pursue my hobby. However a golden opportunity arrived before me in 2011 when XX implemented the internet based portal for all its dealers to access their SOA, place indents, lodge breakdown complaints, tax calculations, etc. Everything was shifted from pen & paper to computers. The responsibility of educating all the dealers in my area in using internet, computer, MS- Excel, etc came to me. It was a daunting task as it had to be completed within a very short time. Thanks to my interest in teaching that I could not only complete the task but also get another opportunity to pursue my hobby.
As a result I did not stop on completion of the task, rather expanded my activity by enrolling myself in a local computer institute where I take classes on Sundays for imparting computer education to youths and help them in making themselves ready for jobs such as that of computer operator. I have the advantage of using my old excel files which could be shared legitimately for the purpose of training. I have also sourced a few jobs for them in my retail dealer network. It gives me immense satisfaction to tell about these activities which I undertook just to pursue my hobby but in the process, I could bring smile on few faces.