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Kenan Flagler Sample Essays Set 1
Kenan Flagler Essay 1 : Please describe your short and long term goals post-MBA. Explain how: your professional experience has shaped these goals; why this career option appeals to you; and how you arrived at the decision that now is the time and the MBA is the appropriate degree.
For the first five years of my career, I worked in the area of Sales and Operations Planning at Medreka Analytica. Over this period, I worked with multiple clients in the Energy sector, designing new forecasting models for energy generation and consumption. Here I gained significant exposure to different analytics models and their application to different areas of business. Leveraging my experience, I now wanted to move up the career ladder and apply the frameworks, techniques and business understanding of analytics into larger business challenges. Subsequently I got a very good opportunity to work in the Process Excellence team at a ‘Gamma’ (dummy name) one of the most promising E-Commerce startups in India. In my current role, I have helped my startup understand consumer buying patterns, mapped various discount streams, researched the effectiveness of marketing campaigns etc and helped my organization spend its >$15 Mn annual marketing budget in a very effective manner. My fascination with sales analytics has only grown over the past six months.
Although Analytics has provided significant exposure into different commercial aspects of the business, at this Juncture I want to pursue my MBA and transition into a consulting role in organizations like Delloitte helping corporations build effective Sales and Marketing strategies leveraging Analytics. Over the long-term, I wish to open my own Analytics consulting firm. My target would be helping SME’s from India, who would build significant online presence and hence are yet to discover the power of Analytics and Big data. I want to help companies build competitive differentiation by leveraging analytics and big data in their daily course of business.
Although I have a good quantitative background, I believe to transition into a consulting role I need to gain a good 360 degree perspective about business. While gaining more functional knowledge in the field of Sales and Marketing, I also need to gain deep dive perspectives in Strategy and Finance to better appreciate the dependencies between different functional units of an organization. Additionally I need to strengthen my problem-solving skill and other soft business skills, such as networking and negotiation skills. Additionally the resources available at Kenan-Flagler, such as the STAR program and the consulting club will provide access to consulting resources, alumni in the field and also opportunity to develop deep dive network with professionals in this sector.
I am sure the one year spent a Kenan Flagler will be a transformative experience both personally and professional and will act as an inflexion point to reach my career goals.
Kenan Flagler Essay 2 : What personal qualities or life experiences distinguish you from other applicants? How do these qualities or experiences equip you to contribute to Kenan-Flagler?
I believe that my experience of working with a major E-commerce company, my experience of successfully leading projects coupled with my ability to draw actionable insights from data distinguish me from other applicants.
I look forward to sharing the information and facts about the Indian E-commerce industry with my future classmates. For example, I want to share how my employer, gamma.com, successfully transitioned from an ‘app also’ strategy to ‘app only’ strategy. I am very interested in discussing the unique characteristics of the Indian market, the story of how start-ups scale up, respective challenges associated with them and critical success factors required to make the transition from startup to a organization etc. Working through analytics, I have been able to map the entire value stream of various process and I can share very interesting aspects of the business such as: How an order placed online reaches your doorsteps in 24 hours, the various process behind it etc.
I also look forward to sharing my project management experience with the students. For three years, I was leading a team of 5 analysts. I initially made mistakes and learned valuable lessons from them esp. around driving team motivation, delegation, managing conflicts, developing a tem vision etc. I believe these experiences are valuable and I would like to bring these experiences to the table during class and case study discussions. I am excited to learn and share similar experiences from my peers who come from such diverse backgrounds and believe this eclectic mis will enhance the learning environment at the school.
Additionally look forward to helping my future classmates in making sense out of data. I can help my peers understand data and learn the tools required to analyze data and derive meaningful insights from it.
Kenan Flagler Essay 3 : Is there any other information you would like to share that is not presented elsewhere in the application? (300 words maximum)
Through this essay, I would like to share my reason for pursuing my second MBA. My first MBA was part of an integrated dual degree. It was a five- year program, wherein all the coursework for the engineering and MBA the degree was combined and completed in four years. While my first degree helped me get a basic understanding of different functional areas of management, given the minimal focus on soft skills development and the fact that we were allowed to take only four electives, my first MBA failed to equip me with the soft skills and the functional knowledge required to build a career in Consulting. This is why I find it necessary to pursue a second MBA.
Secondly, I strongly believe that my GPA is not a true reflection of my academic abilities. My GPA for the entire five-year degree is 5.49/10. During my first three years, my grades were low for now particular reason. However, in the fourth year, in spite of several extra-curricular activities I tried improving my GPA. I learned a big life lesson that nothing is handed over to you on a silver platter, you need to work hard to achieve things. I have followed this mantra ever since. I believe that my performance on the GMAT and successful career progression in the analytics space (That requires a deep quantitative rigor) fare better indicators and current indicators of my ability to cope with a rigorous MBA program such as the one offered at Kenan Flagler.
Kenan Flagler Sample Essays Set 2
Kenan Flagler Essay 1: What are the 2 or 3 strengths or characteristics that have driven your career success thus far? What are the other strengths that you would like to leverage in the future?
A structured thought process and ability to work in a multicultural diverse environment is one of my greatest strengths. In my previous role as Configuration Manager, I led and managed geographically dispersed teams in Denmark, Japan, New Zealand, Srilanka & Bulgaria, and frequently lead presentations to Senior Leadership. My ability to relate to people from diverse cultures at a personal and professional level was crucial on these projects, and have enabled me to develop appreciation and sensitivity to diversity.
I relied on my strength again when I got into a completely new role in XX Consulting where I had the responsibility to lead email-marketing campaigns for BFSI and Retail clients and provide valuable marketing insights. Most of the solutions required unconventional approaches to problem solving and required me to have a structured thought process. The transition from Technology to Marketing posed different set of expectations that couldn’t have been met without clarity in thoughts and effective dialogues with client teams. I leveraged the technology cognition to explore new functionalities and derive consensus, on their capitalization to the business, among all factions of the team, ensuing increase in the volume of email campaigns and increased patronage by clients.
My problem solving abilities have yielded a significant competitive differentiation for myself in my career. In my first project for XX, when the project had budgetary constraints to hire senior resources, I took the initiative to groom 14 junior resources and saved significant overheads. As a member of XXX, I took the initiative of Configuration Management to coordinate with different software development teams to manage integrity of all hardware and software assets. The effort helped the leadership and the teams to identify the impact of failure of any asset in 1/10th of the estimated time.
Empathy is the attribute which bolsters my work ethics and fosters my risk-taking abilities. In today’s business environment it is ever more important to build closer relationships because it leads to greater collaboration and improved productivity. In my experience, I've got a chance to work with employees from different countries and empathy as a personality dimension has helped me to assist my struggling peers as they feel more comfortable in expressing their true opinion and thus assess challenges to provide a fair timeline for closing issues.
Moving forward, I would like to leverage empathy as a business tool even more. I believe that using empathy to build consensus around a common goal and bring an emotional tone to the work environment will be a crucial advantage, not only to understand a client’s requirements earnestly but also to help build satisfaction for my employees.
Kenan Flagler Essay 2: Please describe your short and long term goals post-MBA. Explain how: your professional experience has shaped these goals; why this career option appeals to you; and how you arrived at the decision that now is the time and the MBA is the appropriate degree.
I treasure my experience at XX and the way it has enabled me to develop analytical, leadership, communication and inter-personal skills. At XX I have been fortunate to hone my professional skills by choosing diverse roles, each helping me take a step closer towards my short-term goals.. I developed a deep sense and understanding of team dynamics during my first project working in a team of more than 50 engineers. Later the Business analyst role enabled me to understand the importance of project metrics and subsequently hone my analytical and aptitude skills.
Based on my strong aptitude and leadership skill-sets, I was offered a role in the XX Team for Financial Services much ahead of my promotion cycle. Having cognizance of the fact that I lacked the right skills to arrogate marketing opportunities within XX, I undertook a course in Advanced Program in XX from one of India’s leading center for Advanced Learning, XX and transitioned into a marketing analytics professional. After months of effort and commitment and advocacy for client’s satisfaction, I have been ascribed to lead all email marketing campaigns for FS clients.
..Over the years I have been able to gain critical insights into technology, marketing, product development and process engineering. I am now passionate to leverage these experiences and transition to a product manager. I strongly believe that Product management offers one all aspects of management – operations, finance, strategy etc. Over the years I hope to develop critical skill-sets such as defining product strategy and roadmaps and manage technical partnerships, progress to assume vast roles as Marketing Director, and then evolve as Chief Marketing Officer for a technology product company in the long-term.
Keeping in mind my short term and long term goals, a Kenan Flagler MBA in a marketing concentration with a focus on leadership will will be a catalyst helping me transition towards my goals. Kenan-Flagler’s small class size, liberty to craft individual educational experience by participating in case competitions such as International Tech Strategy Business case, Marketing case competitions or involving in Global Immersion and Exchange opportunities, will enable me to develop deep dive insights into practical aspects of management. Through my interaction with various student ambassadors such as XX XX XX XX, I have begun to appreciate the the strengths of marketing program at UNC bolstered by an active Business Technology club, The networking potential at Research Triangle Park and multiple career treks hosted to RTP/DC/CA etc. I am positive that my visit to UNC on Dec 15th, 2008 will provide me with a unique opportunity to meet current students in person and experience the UNC culture myself. I am particularly keen in courses such as Technology Strategy and Market research courses by Dr. X as they provide compelling marketing and technology insights and have scheduled a visit these professors.
I am sure that the two years spent at Kennan Flagger will be an inflexion point both personally and professionally to me.
Kenan Flagler Essay 3 : What personal qualities or life experiences distinguish you from other applicants? How do these qualities or experiences equip you to contribute to UNC Kenan-Flagler?
A number of unique life experiences have significant contribution in shaping my personality. The two most significant experiences include being involved with a startup and joining a non-profit organization. Not only have these experiences provided me with practical business experience, but also have strengthened my leadership and teamwork skills.
Coming from a Technology background and joining a Digital Marketing Team infused in me the exuberance to explore different aspects of business. It encouraged me to widen my horizons and inspired me to reckon myself as a visionary and I joined a NY based Big Apple award winner, XX, a XX funded startup. XX is a Smartphone utility App assisting travelers, tourists and local inhabitants. I led the XX email marketing initiative and helped them build the tool from scratch. The email-marketing function of the tool will correlate user interests and focus on launching email campaigns in real-time. The learning is limitless and assignment is exciting as I work with industry leaders in Business Analytics, Statistical Analysis, and Ph.Ds to build the tool. The opportunity has also given me insights into modeling the budget, recruiting and most importantly, sourcing business and in the days ahead, I expect to assimilate the overall exposure. Kenan Flagler has a history of entrepreneurial pedagogy with more than 60 startups since inception of the core programs and in such an environment I’ll able to contribute to initiatives such as ‘Launching the venture’ and ‘Carolina Challenge’.
When I was 16, my …………. was diagnosed with XX. This disease impaired her cognitive abilities and basic motor functions such as sitting and walking.
I used to accompany my aunt and cousin to hospitals and communicate with pediatricians, physiologist, neurosurgeons, physiotherapists and counselors to understand my cousin’s treatment options, helping the family implement her doctors’ recommendations. During these visits I became committed to the idea of treating disability with a “care model” rather than a “cure model.” To promote this vision across India, I joined the board of directors of a non-profit rehabilitation center for physically and mentally challenged children, XX Welfare Society, in Delhi region, India. I began as a volunteer in 2005 and was appointed as a member of the NGO’s board in 2007.
In two years of involvement with the XX Welfare Society, I have raised $20,000 in donations, by reaching out to corporate and individuals and have led the Special teams for Airtel Delhi Half Marathon.
As community practice is one of the core values at Kenan-Flagler, I hope to contribute from my experience in unique initiatives such as the Global Business Project and the non-profit board fellows program volunteering as a fund raiser.. Drawing on my experience as a volunteer for the “Teach India” initiative, teaching poor students at government schools on weekends, I am eager to join the Durham Scholars Program at Kenan Flagler to mentor underprivileged students.
Through my research on KFBS blogs, online chats and interaction with UNC Ambassadors, I am inspired by Kenan-Flagler’s strong focus on impacting society for creating a better tomorrow.