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Essay 1 : What are your short-term and long-term goals? How will a Tepper MBA help you to achieve these goals? (Please include any information regarding what steps you have taken to learn more about the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.)
I treasure my experience at XX as it has enabled me to develop analytical, leadership, communication and inter-personal skills. I consciously chose diverse roles, with each one of them helping me take a step closer towards my short-term goals.
Coming from a Technology background, I had a fair exposure to the inbound Product management. Joining a Digital Marketing Team for BFSI vertical last year provided me with insights into outbound product marketing. This transition not only exposed me to the latest in the financial sector, but I also got a chance to work with some of the top performing Product marketing teams from FS clients across the globe, providing me end-to-end business perspective.
This experience has encouraged me to pursue an MBA from Tepper to gain a thorough understanding of business fundamentals and round out my gaps in the outbound marketing—such as marketing channel strategies, consumer behavior, managing customer value, new product management, brand management, product portfolio management. In a short term, I am inclined to take a position in the Product Marketing team for a Tech firm. As a product marketing professional I am excited at identifying unmet opportunities and creating innovative digital engagement models that will enable data and digital thinking to be integrated into the strategic planning process, while formulating range of value propositions around the product.
A Tepper MBA in ‘Technology Leadership’ track will be a catalyst helping me transition towards my goals. In today’s scenario, Product management is built around principles of effective collaboration and offers one all aspects of management–industrial design, organizational behavior, operations, finance, strategy, etc. Given the small class size and the liberty to craft an individual educational experience by choosing multiple concentrations such as Marketing, strategy, entrepreneurship and Information systems will enable me to develop deep dive insights into such critical skill-sets in order to define product strategy roadmaps and manage technical partnerships. In a long-term, having secured a holistic knowledge of Product development and Marketing, I want to progress to assume vast roles as Product Manager heading international marketing operations, and evolving as Chief Marketing Officer for a technology product company.
I had the privilege of working as a service provider with one of the alums of 2008, XX, from XX, and he shared with me his experience about concerted community and strong academics at Tepper. I accepted his invite and Visited Tepper on 22nd Oct’12 and experienced the close-knit community in a beautiful neighborhood. Walking through the University Center and Interacting with various students I gained a firsthand experience on the maturity levels of students, the diversity. During my visit, I got a chance to meet Gwen and discussed the unique initiatives such as Accelerate Leadership program, Development Dimensions International and specifically the Base Camp that provided an integrated view of the business by bringing core subjects earlier in the curriculum.
Through my interaction with various MBA students such as XX and XX, who share similar backgrounds and goals, I got to know that strong focus at Tepper to improve one’s analytical skills and develop a data driven approach for decision making is unparalleled and imbibes a sense of discipline making early on in a management graduate’s career. My belief to join Tepper was more than substantiated and I am sure that the two years spent at Tepper will be an inflexion point both personally and professionally for me.
Essay 2 : The Tepper School is looking for individuals who will make an impact. Give an example of a time where you made an impact in your professional or academic life.
After joining XX, I worked on multiple technologies, successfully assuming diverse roles. Owing to my dedication, persistence and ingenuity at work, I was offered an opportunity in the Financial Services vertical of XX to contribute to their ________ Team. The team was just being set-up t cater to digital marketing consulting requirements of MNC’s and the company wanted to empanel a team of A-listers. I felt motivated to take the challenge even though it required a steep learning curve and in a very short period of time I was expected to come out with actionable business insights in the area of digital marketing strategy for Fortune 500 corporations.
I was very clear from the beginning that I would have to employ innovative methods and device out of the box approach to showcase excellence to clients. Within months, I was made the Email Marketing Delivery Manager for all FS clients and worked with Global Internet Marketing teams. To enhance the efficiency of the process by integrating Web Analytics tool with Email Marketing tool and the Sales force. Right from the state of formalization to the state of institutionalizing the capability of the email marketing team, I worked with the team to introduce new metrics and functionalities, evoking more business and revenue.
To support the email marketing team in India, I was asked to setup a team of 3 in Manila that I was able to do in 2 months. I experienced the finer aspects of talent acquisition, which is one of the key ingredients in building any organization and had the chance to foray into the deeper aspects of people development that fostered my team management skills with respect to human resource.
By devoting full energy to sustaining and enhancing the culture of helpfulness, inclusion, and involvement at Tepper, I will be better able to accommodate with my peers in their individual thought processes and harmonize with them as we extend through our MBA curricula.
Essay 2 : Describe an obstacle or ethical challenge that you have faced in your professional or academic life. How did you deal with this situation and what did you learn from it?
As an Email Marketing Manager, I worked with the global marketing teams and Salesforce integration teams. For a specific client, after successful implementation of integration in August this year, we started executing campaigns through Salesforce platform.
In November, for one of the campaigns aimed at European clients, I was astounded to see that the client name had some junk characters in between while observing a sample client e-mail. At first, I couldn’t understand a possible reason for this. I did not want to ignore the issue as it could have impacted other campaigns in the past and could affect future pipeline. I worked with the Development team from the Email Marketing tool to find out that there was an integration issue between Sales force and Email Marketing tool team and Some European characters were appearing as Junk.
I ascertained the impact as the glitch had affected many client names at very senior and CXO positions, across 17 campaigns spanning thousands of dollars. Tampering with the First names of the esteemed intended recipients is the most absurd mistake. I had two options in front of me—either letting my clients know that their campaigns went through the glitch or keeping quiet about the glitch and setting it right in other campaigns. While I feared that a former approach could ruffle a few feathers, it seemed a better choice and seemed more ethical to me.
I immediately let my senior leadership know about it and after taking them into consideration, discussed the issue with all the clients. I explained them the groundwork that went behind the scenes to explore the issue and assured them the fix. After thorough discourse on the topic, I took an approval to initiate an apology email to all the affected recipients and also re-launch the respective campaigns that were affected without any billing. Over a period of 40 days, above our normal work hours we worked extra to get these campaigns executed. To my pleasant surprise, I got to know from the client teams that the recipients responded to re-launched campaigns.
I am glad that I took a right step to let everyone know about the issue and take corrective measures. Even though the fault didn’t lie with my team, I stood up to own the responsibility as I am the face of my organization for my clients.
Outside of my professional and/or academic life, I am especially proud of…
I grew up in an extended family in a small town 70 miles from Jodhpur. One of the greatest obstacles my family confronted was when my 5-year old cousin was diagnosed with ……….. This disease impaired her cognitive abilities and basic motor functions. She was born with the disease, but due to inadequate medical facilities in her hometown, the detection and treatment got delayed. All hopes of a cure were lost when traditional medical boundaries didn’t provide satisfactory answers.
However I was never to give up hope, I accompanied her to rehabilitation centers throughout India and communicated with the doctors to understand her treatment options and supervised the speech and physical therapies at home. Over the course of these travels with my cousin and her parents, I met dozens of “special” children and their parents, and encountered the myths and ignorance that often accompanies such a disease. I wondered why doctors and parents have not been able to setup a strong supportive ecosystem to help such cases whenever possible but I soon realized the challenges and short comings of the system. I had to do my bit because the ignorance made me feel that there is a lot that needs to be done at "the ground level" to create awareness about Cerebral Palsy such as educating urban and rural population about cause, preliminary preventive measures, treatment and most importantly remove misconceptions and apathy. To promote this vision, I joined the board of directors of a non-profit rehabilitation center for physically and mentally challenged children, the XX Welfare Society, in Delhi. ‘XX’ stands for ‘XX’ and symbolizes that every child, regular or challenged is special and evokes sympathy. At XX, I was assigned to operationalize various disability programs such as awareness campaigns, sponsoring disability equipments, machines for making craft work as per therapeutical needs of children and setting up infrastructure for special schooling. In four years of involvement with the XX Society, I was able to raise more than $30,000 in donations by reaching out to corporate and individuals.
I raised this money by hosting corporate stalls and community stalls where we sold goods such as beads, paper craft notebooks, paintings, etc., all of which were created by "special children" as part of their therapeutic exercises. The biggest challenge of raising the money was to convince the sponsors that there was significant work yet to be done to create the required awareness for the cause. For this, I worked as an evangelist delivering presentations to each sponsor and inviting them to visit the school.
The experience has helped me evolve as a mature human being. Not only I became more committed to social issues, but also I have learned to look at things and people, especially "special children," with a different eye—one of empathy, something that bodes across all aspects of my life be it work or family. Most importantly this episode awakened a crusader spirit in me and today I don’t tolerate myself in being a silent spectator when I come across any challenges related to disability.