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Kellogg Essay 1: Briefly assess your career progress to date. Elaborate on your future career plans and your motivation for pursuing an MBA.
After graduating from IIT-Roorkee, I joined Company 1 as a software engineer. Three weeks into the job, I presented an innovative idea of recording songs via mobile phones to leverage FM Radio growth. Through my diligent efforts, we launched six mobile models of the “Guru” Series, making Company 1 a pioneer in mobile phones supporting FM recording and increasing Company 1’s mobile market share by 2%. I also gained international exposure working in South Korea for 15 months to launch many commercially successful handsets.
After two years at Company 1, I joined Company 2 Networks to gain more leadership exposure in a fast-growing start up. At the California headquarters, I created innovative multimedia applications that led to $1.8 million revenue in 2008. After returning to India, I spearheaded a team to create the world’s first live streaming solution over iPhone, winning many clients including Yahoo! and NSN. Additionally, I led efforts to create a demo portal that allowed sales team to demonstrate products to customers, online, saving $150,000 annually in travel arrangements.
The pinnacle of my achievements is to broker an acquisition deal between OnMobile and Company 2 when the latter was foreclosed. Being the sole senior executive of Company 2 in India, I took leadership at that critical juncture and negotiated with various companies to get Company 2 acquired. Finally, I settled a deal and helped Company 2 board to sell the company to OnMobile and hire key former Company 2 employees for Company XYZ. Thereafter, I joined Company 3 Ltd. as Vice President and established its first India office in Delhi, hired many talented employees and have been spearheading all technological developments and expansion of this center for worldwide customer base.
In 2008, I co-founded an NGO “ABC NGO”, with the objective to provide education to rural and slum dwellers in India. In dealing with the challenges of getting teachers to work in such impoverished places, realization dawned on me regarding the need for a virtual university that will educate and train the mass through online portals.
Post MBA, I intend to expand the horizons of ABC NGO and gain a broader perspective of virtual education industry by working in a management role at a related venture, preferably in USA, a market already with many virtual education providers. In this role, I will learn ways to deal with various challenges associated with the virtual education. Leveraging my professional knowledge of real-time video and long distance communications, I wish to expand these solutions so that motivated individuals can educate rural and slum dwellers remotely.
My long-term goal is to create virtual universities that will receive educational content from well recognized education centers and by employing scalable and economical video conferencing, transmit student queries to virtual teachers. Multimedia applications will make it possible for even a farmer in a remote village in India to discuss online the best practices in farming with another farmer in Mexico with the help of language translator technologies. In order to achieve such global changes, I must have in-depth knowledge of accounting, marketing, finance and strategy.
Kellogg will definitely help me accomplish my goal by providing me with the tools such as effective planning, execution, marketing, and strategy building. I am looking forward to immensely benefit from courses such as “Entrepreneurship & New Venture Formation” and “Social Entrepreneurship in the Developing World,” and subsequently gain a major in Entrepreneurship & Innovation. To successfully manage global organizations for sustainable social development, I would also major in Social Enterprise at Kellogg (SEEK). A discussion with Professor Jamie N. Jones about the opportunities offered by “The Levy Social Entrepreneurship Lab” and the potential introduction of the “Kellogg Social Entrepreneurship Fellow Award” has already strengthened my belief that
an MBA from Kellogg would help me fulfill my goals.
Kellogg Essay 2: Describe your key leadership experiences and evaluate what leadership areas you hope to develop through your MBA experiences.
I have had many opportunities to lead culturally, economically, and socially diverse groups during my professional and non-profit experiences. Starting from a small town, to working in metros in India, USA, South Korea, and Israel, I have witnessed and assimilated the best of diverse professional and cultural experiences, which I hope to bring in the rich discussions inside Kellogg.
At Company 1 India, I became the youngest team leader in the 2,000-person R&D division. In September 2007, I successfully led a four member project in South Korea to
implement fast video telephony, making Company 1 the first company in the world to
support such an application in mobile phones. One of the primary challenges in this
project was to change people’s perceptions that a young person can successfully manage
a team. By showing respect to each team member’s viewpoint and asking for ways to
improve my leadership skills, I soon gained the trust of senior members in the team.
During initial team meetings, I acted as a facilitator with our Korean counterparts by
showing my team members how to communicate effectively with people from other
cultures. After the successful completion of this project, I represented Company 1 in Israel
for an international telecommunication event showcasing fast video telephony. This project was judged as the most innovative and commercially successful project at the annual Company 1 award ceremony because of the wide appreciation it received from customers such as Vodafone.
Since inception of ABC NGO, I have expanded the membership to 75, touching the lives of 460 students. Leading by compassion, I always struck a chord with people from rural and slum areas and they also look at ABC NGO to meet their educational needs. Realizing the need of an education center in a slum of Delhi that had been ignored by other NGOs, I created a team of volunteers and ventured into this slum, only to realize that people in this area were much more concerned about making daily ends meet than educational opportunities for their children. However, this did not change my aim of establishing the center. For three months we operated the center with only two students. Many called our efforts futile and advised us to leave. But, I stood my ground and continued to inform parents about the benefits of education by organizing several street plays with a common theme of how education changes people’s lives and ushers positive change in the society. When I saw some volunteers getting impatient with this long going battle with seemingly no end, I immediately switched them to our other ongoing programs and replaced them with new volunteers to keep the energy level high. Gradually more people started realizing the center’s worth and our efforts. A year has passed, and we now have 100 students and 20 volunteer teachers at this center.
To expand my NGO and to leapfrog virtual universities in future, I must sharpen my ability to inspire team members. By taking a leadership role in Kellogg’s “Social Impact Club”, I will work with like-minded individuals. I always believe that to be a great leader, one should also know how to be an effective team player. I would like to actively participate in clubs such as the “Education Industry Club” and “Habitat for Humanity” to further improve my team work and leadership abilities through real-life projects. In all my professional leadership experiences it was always a challenge to make sure each individual team member grew his skill set while also ensuring the overall project’s success. At Kellogg, I hope to learn better leadership strategies to make each of my team members strong and motivated in order to achieve sustainable results and also to be able to draw a better balance between being a demanding and a compassionate leader.
Kellogg Essay 3: Assume you are evaluating your application from the perspective of a student member of the Kellogg Admissions Committee. Why would you and your peers select you for admission, and what impact would you make as a member of the Kellogg community?
After reviewing the application of Mr. applicant, I highly recommend him to Kellogg’s Class of 2013. His wide-ranging leadership experience in global IT industry, and valuable exposure to community service, coupled with strong cross cultural competence, and academic background, would allow him to be an outstanding asset to the Kellogg community.
As an IIT graduate, Mr. applicant has already demonstrated his strong academic competence that is much required to excel in Kellogg’s rigorous MBA curriculum. Additionally, he has been deeply involved in diverse extra-curricular activities such as setting up a club to encourage running, playing badminton, creating web site for his alma mater, and managing various organizations such as PARAMSHRAYA and ABC NGO, clearly showing that he is a well-rounded business leader with a balanced focus on out-of-the-classroom activities.
From working in diverse countries such as India, South Korea, Israel, and the US, Mr. applicant has gained a distinct set of experience and a strong cross-cultural respect. Within months of joining his first company, he exhibited great technical and creative prowess in developing innovative mobile phone applications. He conceptualized the idea of FM song recording via mobile phones and fast video telephony. His excellent leadership talents were instrumental when he founded Company 2’ research group in India. Leading many successful projects, his pinnacle of accomplishment was perhaps – finding an acquirer for Company 2 after its sudden foreclosure. Having worked in various roles in multiple companies, and having participated in the growths and challenges of these companies, Mr. applicant could benefit his future Kellogg classmates by sharing these experiences during
class discussions and group projects, especially during entrepreneurial case studies. He has a lot to contribute in courses such as “Power in Organizations: Sources, Strategies and Skills” and “Leading the Strategic Change Process”. By becoming Vice President of a start-up with just four years of work experience and by successfully setting up an office in India, Mr. applicant has clearly demonstrated his extraordinary talent and potential as an exceptional business leader for tomorrow.
It is also evident from his application and resume that whenever Mr. applicant realizes any need, he never hesitates to fulfill it. This is clearly apparent from his co-founding a non-profit, ABC NGO, and a club to encourage running. The way Mr. applicant has nurtured these organizations clearly demonstrates perseverance, a key leadership trait in the globalized world. I have no doubt that he will do the same in Evanston, following Kellogg’s vision of creating world leaders who will contribute positively to their communities.
His technical expertise and deep community involvement, especially with ABC NGO, clearly blend well with his long term goal of creating virtual universities. In his essays, Mr. applicant has highlighted the courses and majors he would like to complete at Kellogg, very evidently showing his passion and talent for his post-MBA career. Mr. applicant also has a clear vision of what he wants from his upcoming Kellogg experience, and I welcome classmates who are pursuing “different path” opportunities where they can make great impacts on the people and communities that influenced them throughout their lives.
Mr. applicant’s involvement with Vivekananda Kendra adds another interesting perspective to his application. At such a young age, he led a very successful guest speaker series that included such luminaries as the Dalai Lama. Additionally his eight years experience as a fundraising ambassador for IIT-Roorkee’s School for the Deaf would position him well to perform leading roles in similar organizations at Kellogg such as “Business with a Heart” and in the greater Evanston community.
Mr. applicant’s diverse professional experiences and a true “heart” for social service and strong academic background make him a perfect fit for Kellogg. I highly recommend his acceptance for the Class of 2013.
Kellogg Essay 4: People may be surprised to learn that I…..
… run marathons and founded a club to encourage running. I believe that running is the most economical and sustainable way to stay fit in today’s fast-paced world.
For most people residing in my neighborhood, running has always been a personal activity rather than a group one. However, I have always felt strongly that there is nothing better than a group to get people motivated, so I decided to establish a club to bring together like-minded people who have a passion for running and also to encourage others to pursue running.
Despite poor enrollment in the first few months due to prevailing doubts in the mind of the local residents on the necessity for such a club, its membership has increased to 55 people in the last one year. Initially, some of my neighbors were apprehensive. However, I constantly reinforced the idea of group running and tried hard to spread this idea by demonstrating its various benefits. I brought many successful runners to share their story with people. Eventually people started realizing the benefits and appreciated the club’s value. This club is now the most active club in my neighborhood.
The science of running is complex and varies from person to person. I have always motivated the experienced runners in the club to share their knowledge and experience of racing, training, and dieting with runners who share similar passions or who are developing an interest for a particular type of race (e.g. sprint, half-marathon, and marathon). In the last marathon in Delhi, more than half of the club’s members participated and six of them finished toward the leaders. I also improved my own performance, finishing 320th out of more than 50,000 participants; in my previous attempt I was barely able to finish the race in time!
Inspired by this club, other runners have started more than 50 clubs in other localities. I recently organized a 10 mile race for people in my neighborhood. Getting 300+ people to participate in a running event on a Sunday evening during India’s cricket season is one of my most notable personal achievements!
At Kellogg, I hope to meet and interact with classmates and faculty members while running on the campus and in downtown Evanston. I look forward to actively lead the various activities of “Running Club” in order to keep people fit and expand their network by training people for the Chicago marathon!