Imperial MBA Application Essays 2019-20

 

Essay 1. List your target organization (s) and role? (200 characters) for first choice and second choice

Essay 2. What gaps in your skillset will you need to develop to prepare for this career? (800 characters)

 

 

Imperial MBA Winning Sample Essay – 1

 

Statement of Purpose

I plan to move into a strategic role of product management in technology firms immediately post-MBA and eventually become Chief Product Officer in companies such as Amazon, Google after gaining the necessary experience and required skill sets over the years.

“Digital, Data, and Marketing” – My experience revolves around the intersection of these three words. After starting my Digital Analytics career with a Bangalore-based startup, I got an international opportunity to work with Mindshare, Dubai – #1 media agency globally. It exposed me to the chance of meeting people from across the globe and learning about different countries, their people, and cultures. I came across various thought processes that have influenced me in many ways. This role also gave me the chance to work directly with clients in the online marketing space and consult them on marketing technology and data analytics. I led projects for Fortune 500 clients such as HSBC,  Pizza Hut, etc. where I helped the clients on their digital transformation journey. I introduced many innovative solutions, such as a location intelligence tool that helped Pizza Hut aggregate online and offline customer journeys and optimized the target audience to achieve 30%YoY more online sales in the middle east. Eventually, I was promoted to Manager position from Analyst to become one of Mindshare’s youngest managers. This experience enabled me to gain a firm grounding in client management and improved my collaboration skills, simultaneously enhancing my confidence.

Leveraging my analytical and leadership skills, I decided to take up more significant eCommerce challenges and build more scalable solutions. Hence, I decided to join the eCommerce team of Alshaya (a multinational retail franchise operator). I set up the digital analytics team and implemented the eCommerce analytics measurement strategy for more than ten fast fashion brands (H&M, Mothercare, etc.), resulting in 50M website footfall annually.

My fascination with business and technology, understanding customer behaviour, and building innovative solutions to create value for the organizations motivates me to work in tech-oriented business roles. However, to achieve my goals, I need to hone the required core skill sets such as Brand Strategy, Market Research, Design Thinking, etc. to be a successful product manager. I think a holistic program such as an MBA will help me fill the gaps and provide a “CEO perspective” to make the strategic decisions.

With eCommerce accelerating and the product industry booming, I feel this is the right time to do an MBA. After extensive research and conversations with alumni, I believe Imperial is the best place to receive my MBA education. Academically, Core courses will help me in building a strong foundation, and electives such as Design management, Advanced Strategy will help me strengthen my arsenal towards product roles. By taking subjects like “Leadership”, “Managing Negotiations”, I look forward to refining my “soft skills” to deal with situations effectively that require interpersonal skills in future positions.

Imperial’s close community, London(booming tech industry), and the strong emphasis on innovation create a unique atmosphere. Being from a data analytics background, I will leverage Imperial’s famous business analytics research center’s learnings and apply them to industry challenges post my MBA. I also look forward to a collaborative learning opportunity with the Design Studio research center to gain more in-depth knowledge of Design Thinking frameworks.

During my conversation with current student Varun Bakshi (MBA’20), he highlighted the benefits of the “Entrepreneurial Journey” track and how it aligns with my post-MBA goal of product management. He also specifically mentioned the advantage of the “Imperial Entrepreneurs” society to network with London startups. I look forward to these opportunities and am excited to enrich the class’s learning with my digital marketing and analytics experience across different industries in my 5-year international stint. Learning from a diverse group of peers, I believe Imperial will provide a broad toolkit of skills with practical experience that will help me achieve my goals.

List your target organization (s) and role? (200 characters) for first choice and second choice

GoCardless, Bumble, Snap Inc. – Product Manager, Senior Product Manager. 

Working with engineers, designers, and other teams to build cutting-edge products that enhance the customer’s experience.

What gaps in your skillset will you need to develop to prepare for this career? (800 characters)

My current Marketing analytics role restricts me from exploring all aspects of product management. I need to develop strategic management, design thinking, and Cross-disciplinary knowledge to be a successful product manager. I need to learn about different strategic frameworks to conduct industry analysis and empower me to define product vision. Design thinking will help me find innovative opportunities to enhance the customer experience. Cross-disciplinary knowledge will strengthen analytics skills to identify and solve business challenges from holistic understanding. I would also like to build on my entrepreneurial skills to improve my understanding of launching products to the market.

Criteria 1

Collaborative leaders:

I was given charge of a website personalization project for all brands at Alshaya. It was a challenging task since we had 40 live websites and needed required efforts from multiple teams –  IT, Design, Marketing, Brand, Merchandising, and external Vendor. I prepared an extensive task list for each team and set up a daily progress update to keep the team’s motivation. I also designed an automatic data flow plan and worked with teams to build data pipelines that enabled us to live on any brand in just one day. Finally, we delivered the project successfully one week ahead of the deadlines. Within three months of rollout, Victoria’s Secret user engagement increased by 20% and generated $500k in additional revenue. 

Criteria 2

Problem-Solving and Entrepreneurial  skills:

When working with Mindshare in Dubai, I observed that the performance team was running the awareness campaigns for HSBC but could find the direct impact of these campaigns on online sales. After researching, I introduced a new methodology – Multi-touch attribution based on AI, which provided accurate results of these campaigns on topline numbers. Then I educated HSBC’s senior leadership team through several workshops, leading this solution’s quick adoption. Using the solution, we reduced the cost to acquire new customers by 30% and saved 300K USD in a year, and launched the solution to other clients in the market, which helped win other projects. 

Criteria 3

Analytics skills

I have almost seven years of experience in the Digital analytics space, working with many brands from Retail, Fast Food restaurant chain, and eCommerce industries. My analytical skills have grown over the years. There are many instances where I used these skills to improve the customer experience. For example, I introduced the A/B testing service in Mindshare’s analytics team’s portfolio. I used data-driven insights to identify the opportunities for enhancing the customer experience on platforms using Testing frameworks. We improved the conversion rate of Pizza Hut in the UAE market by 30% YoY and generated an additional $300k revenue in a year.

 

 

Imperial MBA Winning Sample Essay – 2

 

Statement of Purpose

It was in the early years of my life that I realized adversities are the greatest teachers; it’s a lesson that has taught me to be humble and ambitious in my pursuits. My father passed away while I was still young, and his untimely demise exposed me to life’s acute hardships very early in life. However, it was my mother’s fortitude that re-invigorated my diligence, determination, and aspirations.

I worked hard on my way up to be a part of an Engineering college. During my Under Graduation, I took part in several extra-curricular activities. I developed a keen fascination for football, and it helped me shape up who I am today as a team player and a leader. The early life hardships, academic excellence and extracurriculars, taught me how to optimize my resources, troubleshoot problems and lead a team, to overcome last-minute challenges.

I started my professional career at Industrial Automation & Control frim, Yokogawa India Limited in July 2014. As an Executive Engineer, I worked in multiple Oil and Gas projects in Abu Dhabi, the Netherlands, Russia and Saudi Arabia. These on-site experiences have given me a basic understanding of the oil industry and helped hone my technical skills. I have mentored multiple teams and currently, I am directly leading a team of seven engineers. These experiences and international exposure helped me enhance my skills to include client management, stakeholder interactions, provided me with opportunities to acquire leadership experience in the professional domain.

Now, after over five years of diversified technical experience, I believe an MBA can help me to supplement my technical skills with business knowledge and enhanced leadership skills to grow my career as an operations leader in a leading Oil and Gas company. After thorough research and interaction with students from Imperial, I believe that an MBA from Imperial perfectly complements my career aspirations. I know that a key challenge in my future career will be to oversee various departments to help them coordinate to work towards shared goals. For that reason, the Imperial’s elective on Project Management will be vital, and the elective on Energy Business will help me to widen my rudimentary business acumen in the Energy sector.

During the program, I would like to chair the Energy & Sustainability Club and help organize events and talks to give an insight into the experiences in the Energy domain. The Global Experience Week can help to gain a unique experience in different sectors and will help to engage with people from different business schools. Also, the Personal Leadership Journey will help rebuild my leadership and team-skills with industry best practices, and the one-to-one Career Coach will help fulfil my career objectives, and networking events will help me grow my network.

I sincerely believe that my strong professional experience complemented with an MBA from Imperial will help me to fulfil my career goals to be an operation manager in leading Oil and Gas firms. The UK is the second-largest Oil and Gas producer in Europe, and I am confident that after an Imperial MBA, I will be able to achieve my short term and long term career aspirations.

List your target organization(s) and role (Please do not exceed 200 characters)

GE Oil and Gas – Operations Management

British Petroleum – Strategy and Finance

Schlumberger – Project Engineer

Baker Hughes – Project Manager-Strategic Role

What key criteria does your target company use in their recruitment process?

For each criterion, give examples that demonstrate how you meet it from your experience so far. Please do not exceed 750 characters.

Criterion 1

I believe that one of the main criteria that Oil and Gas companies look for in regards to operations roles is prior leadership experience in operations itself.

I have more than 5 years of experience in oil and gas operations and a good amount of leadership experience. I have led teams in Russia where I had to mentor a team of four engineers for the Engineering of Vendor package. 

My most recent project, DUQM oil refinery, is allowing me to transform my leadership and professional management skills, where I am directly leading a team of 7 people. I am leading pre-factory acceptance tests operations on the shop floor. 

In the last 5 years, I have had to wear a lot of hats and gained substantial hands-on operations and leadership experience.

Criterion 2

The next criteria that I think would be necessary for my future career are Interpersonal skills.

During my time in Saudi Arabia, I was overseeing a functionality test for a product. The test was behind schedule as one of the technicians kept on making errors. I pulled him aside to ask how I could support him and he confessed that he did not have any technical training. With two kids and no job, he had lied to get this job. 

Understanding his situation, we assigned him to the job he is comfortable in, and during free time, we sent him with other technicians for training.

This experience really taught me the value of empathy and establishing interpersonal relationships to help my team grow, deliver on results and made me a better leader.

Criterion 3

The third and most important criteria in the Oil and Gas sector is the ability to work in an international environment.

So far in my career, I have worked and led teams in more than 5 countries. I have successfully completed the Factory Acceptance Test in the Netherlands to ensure on-time delivery for clients. After that, when I was deputed to Kazan in Russia, I mentored four engineers and finished our task well ahead of time. I have also led teams in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain on client sites. 

All these diversified experiences across different countries give me the confidence that I possess good operation leadership skills and international experience to  succeed in the Oil and Gas sector post my MBA as well. 

What gaps in your skillset will you need to develop to prepare for this career? (Please do not exceed 800 characters)

In the last 5 years, I have worked on multiple projects, with people from more than 15 countries. Each project has helped me to elevate my leadership skills and technical knowledge. Although, my on-site experience has given me immense technical knowledge. I feel that I lack the business knowledge and acumen that are required to propel myself into a managerial position where I would be dealing with financial budgets, project planning and resource hiring.

I am confident that the core courses at Imperial and Electives such as “Project Management ” and “Advanced Strategy ” can help me bridge the business knowledge gap and prepare me for my future roles. Sharing experiences in a diverse class can broaden my horizons outside of my industry and help me prepare better for challenges ahead. 

If you are not successful in your first choice career goal, which sector will you pursue alternative opportunities within? This may be the same sector as your first choice if you are considering alternative organizations and roles within the same sector.

If I am not successful in my first choice career in the Oil And Gas sector, I am open to exploring the Automotive sector, aviation and any other manufacturing heavy industry where I believe my skills are easily transferable. 

List your second choice organization (s) and role (Please do not exceed 200 characters)

GE Aviation Systems.

Airbus UK.

BAE Systems.

Jaguar Land Rover.

Rolls Royce PLC.