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AIM Essay 1 : What school and community organizations did you join while in college and what are your major contributions to these organizations?
During my graduation, I had joined the Organizing Committee of the institute’s annual flagship technical fest, XX. XX, touted as one of the leading technical fest in the country, is an annual national level technical symposium that brings budding software and hardware engineers on a single platform to compete against each other. The organizing committee was responsible for managing various aspects of the event such as Publicity, Marketing, Logistics, and judgment.
During the first year, I took up the task of Publicity and visited various technical institutes in the city to persuade the concerned authorities of the institutes to collaborate with this event. I was instrumental in generating tremendous interest and subsequent registrations in the event by putting up attractive posters, using personal networks in the respective institutes.
During the later years, I was a part of the Marketing team and was responsible for generating sponsorship by approaching various companies, technical and non-technical, and to convince them to sponsor the event, and in-turn helping the companies promote their brand in front of an extremely talented youth. This task was a major learning curve for me, as it helped me analyze and ramp up on my Marketing, Communication and Negotiation skills. I was successful in creating a unique position for our event and convinced the sponsors of the national stature of the event and the brand recall it would create.
I also worked as a placement coordinator in the Training and Placement (TNP) cell of XX and was responsible for acting as a SPOC between visiting companies and students during the interview process. This activity has helped me enhance my networking and public relation skills.
While working at XX, I joined XX, the Corporate Social Responsibility wing of the organization, and regularly visited the group’s community partner “XX NGO” in XX. Working for the NGO to help its mission of Championing Child Education was a thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying experience. I witnessed the zeal in the underprivileged children to learn and grow and made my contributions to their education and well being.
AIM Essay 2 : Describe your three most substantial accomplishments to date, and what personal traits or qualities enabled you to accomplish these?
Winning Nine Prizes for Final Year Research Project “Touch Me Not”
One of my biggest achievements till date was the immense success achieved in my BE Final year research project “XX”, an Image Processing Project designed to perform Human Computer Interaction with the help of Static and Dynamic hand gesture recognition. It felt proud to attain a winning position in almost all major competitions across the country where this project and its paper were showcased including prestigious institutes like IIT Kanpur, Bits Pilani etc(India’s finest technical engineering institutes). This was the only project from the Computer Science department to receive research funding from XX University. We managed to get an edge over other competitive projects by our path breaking approach to the UI, presentation of the project with the extremely intuitive graphics. The software had different applications such as Gaming for children, Photograph browsing for graphics enthusiasts, Sign language conversion into text for the handicapped etc, all without touch. On my journey to achieve this feat, the effective time management and leadership skills applied were instrumental. One of the most significant factors contributing to the success of the project was our innovative approach and out of the box solution deployed.
Improved Cash Conversion Cycle at XXX
This achievement induced a sense of great accomplishment as I could use my education and analytical skills, right after graduation, to introduce new cutting-edge policies to the traditional family business. After deep dive analysis, I discovered a problem area, where scope of improvement was there in cash conversion cycle. I realized that in the existing model, the recovery of the Account Receivables was delayed by up to 4 months. This delay added to the transaction cost and increased interest outgo in the business. To improve the situation, I introduced new promotional incentives to be awarded to distributors for timely payment of dues, which helped reduce the CCC substantially and ended up in savings of about 20% at our end despite the concessions given.
Awarded as the Best Performer of the Team for Quality Improvement
Having gone through a very competitive process to get a job at XXX, I was inspired to excel further at the organization. As part of my effort to do so, I voluntarily joined the quality forum, which was responsible for the Quality Standards improvement in the project. I got insights into various organizational quality processes and also identified scope for further improvement. I was given the task to improve the performance of the automated software testing process, and within a very short time span, I reduced the time taken for daily automated testing by more than 30%.I also reduced the test scripts count by 50%, and further improved scalability and maintainability of code by making the test data portable across the project. These were significant improvements, as the time taken for daily automated testing was a huge bottleneck to the daily maintenance of the project. These contributions were highly appreciated and recognized by my peers and higher management, and I was awarded as the Star Performer of the Team.
AIM Essay 3 : In addition to academic qualifications and work experience, what other personal factors can you cite to strengthen consideration for your application?
Entrepreneurial Ambitions: I can add to the diversity of the class by bringing strong Entrepreneurial Ambitions as analyzing various business scenarios from the entrepreneurial perspective adds value to the system. I got tremendous satisfaction as that of an entrepreneur, when my BE project was awarded research funding from the University for commercial deployment. I can leverage this experience to bring about insights into how concepts can be taken to market.
Innovative bent of Mind: Being a part of the R&D team at XX, I augmented my innovative and out of the box thinking skills, which helped me display ingrained innovative capabilities and strong commitment towards process improvement, not only in professional, but also in my personal life. For instance, I developed an application to manage various aspects of my sister’s marriage and reduce my parent’s manual efforts in the management of the event.
Familiarity with Traditional Business Environment: Along with the professional experience in the corporate sector, I bring a wealth of knowledge of the traditional Indian business and value systems to the class. I believe any business perspective from emerging markets like India would be valuable to the whole class. I have exposure to Marketing & distribution of FMCG products in the rural areas. With more than 70% of the country’s population residing in rural areas, I believe these markets will continue to provide a lot of business opportunities as per capita income in these is growing.
Effective Planning ability and Time and Stress Management skills: I have been in a project based environment throughout my career, and evolved to excel in its effective implementation. Starting with the identification of task modules as per priority, I set targets for myself and plan accordingly for their implementation and strive to keep up pace of work in accordance with the planning. I have always followed strict adherence to the timelines and effectively executed the task under intense pressure of deadlines to deliver the modules.
Team Orientation: Time and again, I have proved my skills as an effective team player. I have collaborated with teams in different spheres of my career and achieved great success, be it winning team project competitions at graduate level or receiving accolades for highest team standards at professional level.
AIM Essay 4 : Describe two business problems or opportunities you wish to investigate for your thesis. How would your investigation contribute to your community, business organization, or the national economy?
Having worked in Agile Software development framework, its advantages over the traditional SDLC models such as Waterfall became evident. By adapting to such frameworks, we encounter a drastic improvement in productivity, quality, efficiency and customer satisfaction. Lean, as a general concept, is important in any business, software, services or manufacturing industry. Its guiding principle is simply to reduce waste. In my research I would like to study about Lean Technology and its application to different industries. It is imperative for industries to improve operational efficiency in time of resource constraints especially w.r.t raw materials and infrastructure. I believe this study will go a long way in helping industries improve their process and product efficiency.
I also would want to research on the feasibility of adapting to Clean Technology. With the rising costs of oil & gas and current wasteful and dangerous geopolitics of energy, it is a mandate for industries to adopt to Clean Technologies in the coming decade, which will help them increase productivity and economic growth. Although the Asian countries have increased their dominance in clean energy markets, many companies try to justify green investments due to high initial costs, government interventions and other hurdles. I would like to study, how these factors like economic viability and maintenance impact the decision to adapt to clean technologies, and what can be done to come around them.
I am very positive that a study on customization of Lean and thesis on National productivity drivers will add significant value to business, governments and public sector institutions and will help in improving the overall quality of life for people in the APAC and BRIC region.