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Nanyang (NTU) MBA Sample Essays

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Nanyang (NTU) MBA Sample essays

Nanyang Essay 1: Briefly describe your involvement in any Social Responsibility or Sustainable Development activities (maximum 150 words). 

I have been an active initiator and participant in social sector activities right from my childhood when I saw my mother encourage her underprivileged students to study and skill themselves, often sponsoring their school fees. I supplemented her efforts in a small way by donating my old books and occasionally teaching the children. This aspect of my personality was further developed at college where l led the organization of blood donation camps, and being a fitness enthusiast, conducted fitness classes on weekends, and advised my peers on ways to lead a healthy lifestyle. 

At Company XYZ, I was one of the group members who initiated ‘AKSHAR’ – a project recycling waste/scrap paper into eco-friendly notebooks. Currently, I volunteer with ‘BHUMI’, an NGO that organizes classes and events for orphans, and provides them quality education. Having learned lessons for life from my involvement with the social sector, I aspire to increase my contributions.

 

Nanyang Essay 2: Briefly assess your career progress to date. Elaborate on your near-term (3-5 years) future career objectives and how pursuing a Nanyang MBA will help you achieve these. (400 word limit) 

Both learning and yearning for learning come naturally to me. As a child, I constantly questioned things and was fascinated with exploring and discovering. Since my early years, my father involved me in household chores, and although this slowed his progress, he always extolled my contribution, instilling in me a habit of taking up challenges and persevering until I succeed.
A fresh Electronics Engineering graduate passionate about technology, I joined communication giant Company XYZ, where I’ve spent the last 4.5 years working on ground-breaking projects in the telecom industry - I was part of Telcogiant first LTE project for San Francisco region and have extensively worked on Design and Optimization of telecom networks and independently led teams to deploy worldwide WCDMA+LTE sites. When one’s passion becomes one’s profession, it shows: ‘Team ACE’ and ‘Rockstar’ were some of the accolades that came my way.

As a telecom professional, I’ve developed competence in various industry-related technical aspects. While working on link budget analysis and model tuning, my extensive interaction with business consultants piqued my interest in business aspects of the industry. Since then, my fixation for technology has been supplemented by inquisitiveness about the business environment. 

Post MBA, I wish to work as a strategy consultant in technology in one of the leading firms like McKinsey or Deloitte, gaining diverse experience in terms of solving business challenges and helping develop deep-dive expertise in management along with building strong industry networks.

Keeping in mind my dream, I realize that my lack of knowledge of business fundamentals is hampering my prospects of evolving into an all-round Telecom Consultant who not only understands technology, but also its correlation with business. Hence, I’m looking at Nanyang Business School to acquire strong academic foundations of fundamental business disciplines.

Nanyang’s emphasis on applied learning, live case study pedagogy, accelerated program structure, and a small class size all signal an invigorative learning environment. SPAN (Strategy Projects at Nanyang) and Real World experience via live consulting projects will help me gain significant insight into my future goal of becoming a consultant with a prominent consulting firm. Participants with diverse professional backgrounds from all around the world and that too in the business hub of Asia make this program very inimitable. 

The role of Nanyang Business School as a key enabler to fruition of my goals cannot be precluded, and my stint here will empower me to achieve them.

 

 

Nanyang Essay 3: Tell us about two achievements (one as a leader and one as a team member) that you are most proud of, and why you feel that to be so. (400 word limit) 

After graduating in top 2.5% of my class in Electronics Engineering, I joined global communications giant Company XYZ as a Radio Frequency Optimization Engineer. While I mastered technical concepts of telecommunications through different projects, Telcogiant’s maiden LTE project in San Francisco region was my first experience of how team-work can create dream-work! Working with-cross functional teams, defining processes to streamline operations and meeting stringent deadlines were some challenges that we successfully overcame. I automated key processes, saving the team considerable man-hours, and introduced global project-management tracker, improving productivity by 20%. The project was delivered in record time of 4 months and we received the ‘Team Ace’ award. Acknowledging my contribution in this project, management entrusted me with LTE project responsibility for 2 key markets. This stint helped me evince my ability to easily adapt and efficiently work within a team.

ABC is among Indonesia’s largest mobile operators, and in 2013, it became the first in Indonesia to offer 4G LTE service on 2100 MHz spectrum. Driving this, I led a five-member team to plan and deploy 500 WCDMA+LTE sites in Northern Indonesia, a responsibility assigned to me even though I was the youngest team-member. Since most of the Thai team members couldn’t understand English and I wasn’t fluent in their native tongue, I faced a language barrier, especially when I had to provide product and technical training. However, I realized that their English writing skills were better than their verbal ones, and made suitable adjustments to training modules, a task that was time-consuming but paid off. I also initiated discussions, organized team out-bounds, and encouraged interactions with other regional teams to improve efficiency. My efforts resulted in the project’s on-time completion, 20% savings of turnaround time for site deliverables, and 66% reduction of call-drop rate by 66%, winning the ‘Rockstar’ award.

The work environment has been a fertile ground, enabling me to implement positive changes. Whether it was Telcogiant’s project in San Francisco or True Move’s LTE project in Indonesia, each of these instances demonstrates my ability and willingness to continuously look out for ways to improve chances of a successful outcome. In neither of these cases did I get overawed by the enormity of the task at hand, and maintained focus on the end-goal. While challenges are inevitable in any endeavor, I strive to consider every challenge an opportunity to do things smartly, every problem an opportunity to innovate.

 

Nanyang essay 4: Share with us a situation where you faced adversity. Describe how you resolved it and what you learned from this experience. (400 word limit) 

 

Living in culturally diverse settings and befriending people from different backgrounds has honed my ability to easily interact and adapt to a multitude of circumstances.  Also, my propensity for learning new things from my peers, and analyzing and solving problems equipped me to efficiently manage cross-cultural teams across polar-opposite geographies. I got a chance to showcase this facet of mine while working on the ABC project, which had its fair share of challenges as the client was very demanding: the network call-drop rate needed to be reduced to as low as 0.2% (the average at that time was 1% - 1.2%). The client also wanted to bring down the turnaround time of optimization of each site from 24 days to 15 days. The previous team had been deemed unresponsive by the client and many of the team-members had left the project, leaving me with an entirely new team, and we weren’t helped with constant comparisons with a competitor who was handling part of the project.

I started with identifying the white spaces, the most notable one being limited internal and external interaction within our various teams, hampering the turnaround time for allocated work.  I addressed this issue through weekly update meetings with the client and within internal teams to bring in more transparency about the project’s progress along with regular feedbacks. For the same purpose, I also suggested and implemented a system of KPI reporting 4 times a week.

By implementing automated macros for client reporting and alarm monitoring, I was able to drastically reduce man-hours by 2 hours per site and turnaround time for site deliverables by 20%. I conducted frequent knowledge sharing and brainstorming sessions within the team, thereby equipping us with better ideas to tackle problems and keeping us on the same page, resulting in increased efficiency. Working as a team, we were able to optimize the network to achieve a 0.4% call drop rate (best amongst all the regions), and reduced site turnaround time to just a fortnight. In return we received immense appreciation and our contract was further extended by more than a year.

I learnt a lot from this experience - My mettle was put to the test and I discovered unexplored facets about myself. I gained varied exposure to multiple functions that encompassed strategic leadership, problem analysis, multitasking, and crisis management, giving me a bird’s eye view and hands-on knowledge simultaneously.