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NUS Essay 1 : You are the head of production for a company headquartered in Asia. To save costs, the production activities are being moved offshore to a developing country. You have been entrusted with the implementation of the off-shoring initiative. Identify the critical factors you will need to address to achieve the desired outcome. (300 words)
As the world is becoming flatter and the barriers to trade more flexible, offshore manufacturing has become a fact of life.
The most dangerous part of off-shoring is that it is often being done with little or no understanding of what the true costs really are. It’s easy to get lured by tales of low labor cost and decide to transition production to a developing economy
However, as the Production head I would do a cost-benefit analysis and carefully evaluate the tangible and intangible costs of offshore manufacturing. The initial step would be to split the factors influencing the move into Internal and External and create a checklist to assess the costs.
The decision to offshore production first and foremost impacts the local market in terms of the cost of layoffs and severance. The manpower that will be either layed off or retrenched might create a lot internal resistance and the need to manage conflicting interests. The organization will either need to redeploy the labour or make suitable arrangements to help them survive through the sudden loss of employment.
In the external factors influencing the decision, the most strategic would be to choose the right destination as the production base and this would depend on a multitude of factors..
The economic and political stability of the country, abundance of natural resources, labour laws, trade laws, government policies towards production of goods (tax etc), a promising ecosystem that includes access to good manpower (institutions)-, access to suppliers (for materials) and supplier concentration, infrastructure, labour and material cost are a few aspects that need to be considered.
A careful view of all the aforementioned factors and a cost-benefit analysis will ensure that I choose the right destination and achieve the desired results with minimum damage.
NUS Essay 2 : You are working in an organisation in the energy industry and you have been appointed to lead the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) department. As a Department Manager, what department goals would you set? What are the major activities and initiatives that you would plan in the coming 2 to 3 years? (300 words)
CSR now is integrated with business and has also become a means to sustainable development. As the lead for the CSR initiatives, I would divide the CSR strategy into 2 critical aspects business initiatives and development initiatives. Business initiatives would link back to company’s operations and mitigating their impact on the society at large. While, the development initiatives would aim at creating a improved place to live in; through education, environment, healthcare and livelihood opportunities for local communities.
As long as fossil fuels remain the largest source of carbon emissions, the energy and utilities sector will have to work towards curbing climate change. The objective here would be a 30% reduction in the GHG emissions over three years. Our first step as a business would be conducting regular energy audits and maximum usage of ‘renewable energy sources’ to generate power such as wind, biomass, agri-waste based power generation and solar energy.
As a socially responsible organization that is wedded to the idea of sustainable development through conservation of natural resources, economic and social development, and empowerment of underprivileged communities we would pledge significant proportion of revenues in development activities. Its not about community service but its about staying involved to bridge the divide by educating and motivating the consumers, students and academia on power saving techniques, bridging industry academia gap through faculty and student enablement programmes and supporting local government organizations to address socio-economic issues.
The objective would also be to create an inclusive organization by promoting hiring of differently-abled. The target would be to have differently-abled comprise 15% of the total workforce over the next three years.
The CSR strategy will not only aim at creating a responsible business aiding development but also at creating an equal opportunity workplace with no discrimination basis race, colour, gender or physical attributes.
NUS Essay 3 :
Describe a specific experience/event/situation when you had to think on your feet to get yourself out of a difficult situation. (300 words)
There are numerous situations when a PR professional has to manage crisis and minimize damage. One such critical situation that I managed was during leading and managing one of the biggest annual media engagement tours hosted by company 1. So far, only senior resources such as Account Directors have managed such tours. However, my interaction with the client and trust of the senior management helped me contract this opportunity at an early stage of my career.
Asia being the prime focus for company ABC, this year’s media tour was held in Singapore and was the only platform media across countries to engage with the experts in the cloud computing arena. The PR deliverables ranged from nomination of seasoned journalists, managing media expectations, creating story ideas for the media, facilitating media interactions, to conducting an exclusive session for the Indian media with Mr ABC, Chairman, company 1. A crisis situation arose when the session was called-off twenty minutes before the scheduled time due to paucity of time. Veterans in their field, Indian journalists had extremely strategic questions but the Chairman’ss unavailability gave media the opportunity to write negative articles jeopardizing the image of the organisation. The situation was grave, as I had to ensure positive coverage along with managing the media fury. Toughest was to convince Mr. ABC for alternate time. I worked closely with the corporate communications team to close email interactions, ensuring a response to each query despite of few being controversial and with the media to work out story angles and ensure consistent flow of information to cover all gaps. Despite the adversity there were positive front page articles on company ABC in newspaper 1, newspaper 2 and an interview of Mr. ABC in Business ASIA. Personally, it was a great professional accomplishment, incredible on-job learning and a truly enriching experience.
NUS Essay 4 : Please describe your current job responsibilities. (Maximum 300 characters)
I am currently working with ABC Media India as a Senior Account Executive servicing three business units of Company1- Human Resource/Corporate Community & Corporate Affairs, company 2 and company3. As an Senior Account Executive, apart from planning and implementing the Public Relations and Communications strategy for my clients and ensuring a smooth functioning I also assist in new business pitches. The scope of work as an Senior Account Executive spans from consistent interface with the client, media, customers and analysts to create brand loyalists to creating content and story ideas to garner positive media attention. The job role primarily involves planning, strategizing and executing the communication plan to achieve varied business objectives, securing media interactions, generating interesting story ideas for the readers that are in-line with the business objectives, ensuring client visibility in the media and industry forums to establish thought leadership, implementing customer relations and analyst relations campaign and developing communication literature such as authored articles, case studies, executive briefing books, press releases, Q&As, media pitches, PR plans and quarterly/annual reviews. I am responsible for the on–job training and development of Account coordinators and Trainees working with me along with overseeing work of account executives and assisting them with media relations, writing skills and work-load management. Additionally, I am working closely with the social media lead at client ABC to understand the utilization of this space for clients in India.
NUS Essay 5 : If you are planning to make a career switch or work in a country that you've never worked in before, please write down the course of action(s) you intend to take in order for you to meet your post-MBA career goal successfully.
Five years into Media Relations has made me realize that communications is my forte. My career post MBA will be a slight digression as I intend to broaden my horizon and venture into other various aspects of marketing especially product and brand management. My immediate goal post MBA will be to work as a brand management and strategy consultant either in an agency or a corporate set-up in Singapore. I am confident that NUS would provide a strong foundation to help me build the domain knowledge, network with diverse set of people and develop strong industry connects.
As a first step, I intend to work closely with the esteemed and recoganised marketing faculty members such as Prof. Trichy Krishnan and Dr. Lee Khai Sheang to build strong industry knowledge. Networking is the door to tremendous opportunities, and therefore, I aim at being actively involved with the NUS marketing club to ensure participation in seminars, industry visits, networking nights, workshops and leverage each to garner face time with the industry representatives. Such platforms would also enable me to set-up informational interviews to gain greater understanding of the market and strengthen my profile as a professional. The NUS alumni organisations opens a sea of opportunities by creating a vast platform to connect beneficiaries across the world thus helping in building connects and sharing knowledge.
My long association with client ABC has helped me develop a strong professional network beyond India. I have had the opportunity to work with clients, internal and external PR teams in Singapore and Hong Kong. I am keen to strengthen this network during the programme to expand the professional opportunities available. The successful tenure with the group has opened doors to an extended association post completion of the programme.