NUS Sample Essays and Recommendation Letters

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NUS Sample Essays & Questions 2023-24


Please submit your response to the following 3 questions in a written essay in English (please submit a .doc or.pdf) or three-minute video (highly preferred) or both. If you wish to submit a video, you can upload it on various video hosting sites, change the privacy settings to “Unlisted” and provide your video link in your CV/resume. (Please refer to Tips & Advice on Video Submission)

  1. Tell us about your post-MSBA immediate career goals. 
  2. How your professional experiences have prepared you to achieve these goals?
  3. Why is it important for you to embark on your MSBA now?

NUS Winning Sample Essays-1 

1: Tell us about your post-MSBA immediate career goals.

Upon completing the MSBA program at NUS, my immediate career goal is to secure a product management role at a leading fintech firm such as PayPal, Square, or a major financial services company like American Express or JP Morgan. In this role, I aim to leverage advanced data analytics to drive product innovation, manage P&L, and develop strategies that enhance customer experience and expand business reach. Specifically, I want to focus on creating data-driven financial solutions that can increase financial inclusion and accessibility for underserved populations.

In this capacity, I will apply my analytical skills to understand market trends, customer behavior, and the competitive landscape, enabling the development of products that meet the needs of diverse consumer segments. My goal is to utilize data insights to create innovative financial products and services that are not only profitable but also socially impactful. By working closely with cross-functional teams, I will ensure that these products are user-centric, scalable, and aligned with the company’s strategic goals.

Ultimately, this role will serve as a stepping stone towards my long-term ambition of founding a fintech firm that provides affordable finance options to millions of unbanked middle-class consumers in India and other emerging markets. This vision drives my commitment to learning and applying advanced business analytics to solve real-world financial challenges.

2: How your professional experiences have prepared you to achieve these goals?

My professional journey at BYJU’S, the world’s highest-valued EdTech startup, has been instrumental in preparing me for my career goals. Over the past seven years, I have progressed from a Senior Business Development Associate to an Assistant General Manager – Digital Finance Operations, gaining extensive experience in product management, team leadership, and strategic decision-making.

In my current role, I lead a fintech business unit with $900 million in annual revenue, overseeing nine Operation Managers and 45 individuals. I have successfully launched the world’s first dedicated credit lending mobile app in the EdTech industry, achieving adoption across 250+ cities and contributing to 70% of the company’s total revenue. This experience has honed my ability to manage large-scale projects, drive innovation, and implement data-driven strategies.

My responsibilities included revamping loan platforms, integrating financial service agencies, and digitizing internal financial products. These tasks required me to analyze vast amounts of data to optimize processes, enhance user experience, and improve client retention by 67%. Additionally, I have led initiatives to upskill over 3,000 employees and improve internal talent acquisition, increasing employee retention by 11%.

These experiences have equipped me with a deep understanding of how to harness data analytics to drive business growth, develop user-centric products, and lead cross-functional teams. They have also instilled in me the importance of leveraging data to make informed decisions, a skill that is crucial for a product management role in the fintech sector. My background in managing high-stakes projects and delivering measurable results positions me well to achieve my post-MSBA career goals.

3: Why is it important for you to embark on your MSBA now?

Embarking on an MSBA now is critical for several reasons. Firstly, the fintech industry is rapidly evolving, with data analytics playing an increasingly pivotal role in shaping product development and business strategies. To stay ahead in this competitive landscape, I need to deepen my analytical skills and knowledge of advanced data techniques. The NUS MSBA program offers a comprehensive curriculum that covers cutting-edge topics such as machine learning, big data technologies, and data visualization, which are essential for driving innovation in fintech.

Secondly, my current role has highlighted gaps in my knowledge, particularly in advanced analytics and its application to strategic decision-making. While I have successfully utilized data to improve processes and drive business growth, I recognize the need for a more structured and in-depth understanding of data analytics to excel in a product management role. The MSBA program at NUS will provide me with the theoretical foundation and practical skills required to harness data effectively and make strategic business decisions.

Additionally, the program’s emphasis on experiential learning and real-world projects will allow me to apply what I learn in a practical context, further bridging the gap between theory and practice. This hands-on experience is crucial for transitioning into a product management role where I will be expected to lead data-driven initiatives.

Finally, the network and resources available at NUS will be invaluable for my professional growth. Engaging with peers, faculty, and industry leaders will provide me with diverse perspectives and insights, enhancing my ability to innovate and lead in the fintech sector. This is a critical juncture in my career, and the MSBA program will equip me with the skills, knowledge, and network necessary to achieve my immediate and long-term career goals.

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NUS Winning Sample Essays-2

1. Tell us about your post-MSBA immediate career goals.

Upon completing the Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) at NUS, I aim to transition into a leadership role within a top technology firm, focusing on integrating business analytics to enhance software development and user engagement strategies. With my robust background as a Senior Software Engineer at GeekyAnts, where I have led teams in developing applications that significantly improve operational efficiencies and user experiences, I understand the potential of data-driven decision-making in technology.

I plan to become a Data-Driven Product Manager by leveraging the analytical skills and advanced business knowledge acquired from the MSBA. This role will enable me to spearhead projects that utilize predictive analytics and machine learning to refine software development processes, enhance product features, and tailor user experiences based on insightful data analysis. My goal is to drive innovations that cater to user needs and anticipate market trends, thereby securing my company a competitive advantage.

Additionally, I am eager to collaborate with cross-functional teams to develop and implement data-driven strategies that optimize product performance and customer satisfaction. By integrating cutting-edge analytics tools and methodologies, I aim to contribute to the continuous growth and success of my future organization. This will not only advance my career but also position me as a key player in the rapidly evolving tech industry, where data-driven insights are becoming increasingly crucial for sustained business success.

2. How your professional experiences have prepared you to achieve these goals?

My tenure at GeekyAnts has equipped me with a strong foundation in handling complex software projects and leading diverse teams. One notable project involved spearheading a team to develop an application that reduced project estimation times from 40 to 25 hours, demonstrating my capability to implement efficient solutions. Additionally, my role involved creating Proof of Concepts (POCs) for technologies that serve over a million subscribers, which required a keen understanding of leveraging data to make strategic decisions.

This experience is complemented by my involvement in developing a white-label cloud platform for B2B customers like SoftBank. I was responsible for integrating a payment gateway and enhancing e-commerce functionalities. Such projects required technical expertise and an analytical approach to understanding client needs and market dynamics, which prepared me to effectively apply business analytics in real-world scenarios.

Moreover, my experience in leading teams and managing stakeholders has honed my leadership and communication skills, essential for a Data-Driven Product Manager role. I have learned to navigate challenges, foster collaboration, and drive projects to successful completion. These experiences have collectively prepared me to leverage the advanced analytical skills from the MSBA program to drive data-driven strategies and innovations in my future career.

3. Why is it important for you to embark on your MSBA now?

The rapid evolution of technology and the increasing importance of data analytics in shaping business strategies make this the ideal time for me to pursue an MSBA. The program at NUS is particularly appealing because of its focus on practical, real-world applications of business analytics and its renowned faculty. Engaging in this program now will allow me to stay ahead in the highly competitive tech industry, where being adept at interpreting complex data sets and applying them to enhance product development and customer engagement is crucial.

The MSBA will provide me with advanced analytical tools and methodologies, enabling me to lead my future organization toward more informed and strategic decisions. With the tech industry at a pivotal point of integrating AI and machine learning into everyday applications, the knowledge and skills from the MSBA will be instrumental in my growth and effectiveness as a leader in this field.

Moreover, the dynamic curriculum and collaborative learning environment at NUS will help me build a strong network of professionals and industry experts, further enhancing my career prospects. By embarking on the MSBA now, I am positioning myself to leverage the latest advancements in business analytics to drive innovation and growth in my future roles.

NUS Recommendation Letters- Key Questions

Two Referee Reports Upload at least TWO referee reports to the application portal. They can either be your academic supervisor, current and/or previous employer, or corporate client who can provide information about your achievements.

MSBA Recommendation Letters
(Free Samples & successful Examples)

Professor - Recommendation letter Sample 1
 

Date: 23 September 2023

Admissions Committee
Ms in Business Analytics Program
UC Davis

Subject: “Recommendation Letter for Akhila Mohan”

Dear Members of the Admissions Committee,

I am pleased to write this letter of recommendation for my former student, Akhila Mohan, who is applying for the Master’s in Business Analytics program at UC Davis. As her professor at COMSATS, where she pursued her Bachelor of Business Administration degree, I had the privilege of observing her brilliant academic and professional journey, which is punctuated with outstanding achievements. I am thrilled to support her application, as she possesses a unique blend of skills and qualities that make her an outstanding candidate for this program.

Academic Excellence and Analytical Skills

During her time at COMSATS, Akhila’s commitment to academic excellence was evident as she consistently ranked in the top 1% of her class and achieved remarkable results across all campuses. Her dedication to her studies and her exceptional intellect were further reflected in the numerous merit scholarships and medals she secured. She was an active leader in class discussions, curious and engaged, and consistently provided insightful contributions to diverse topics.

Initiative and Practical Application

Akhila’s interest in studying economic disparity within socioeconomic groups in Pakistan led her to survey women in underserved areas in her community. Using her research, she developed and implemented a financial literacy program to improve the livelihoods of economically disenfranchised women by imparting crucial money management knowledge and skills to enable their financial autonomy. This project showcases her ability to apply theoretical concepts to real-world problems, a critical skill in business analytics.

Leadership and Multitasking Abilities

Throughout her academic tenure, Akhila demonstrated a remarkable ability to balance a multitude of responsibilities while excelling in every endeavor, both within and beyond the classroom. Her multitasking prowess is evident in her successful completion of five internships while maintaining exceptional grades, and notably her involvement with AIESEC, which showcased her dedication to global awareness for SDGs and cross-cultural exchange. Through her leadership in promoting student exchange programs, she facilitated transformative experiences for over 100 individuals through international exchanges and professional internships.

Conclusion

In summary, Akhila possesses a rare combination of academic brilliance, practical problem-solving skills, and leadership qualities. I am confident that she will excel in the Master’s in Business Analytics program at UC Davis and make significant contributions to both the program and the broader field. I highly recommend her as an exceptional candidate.

Sincerely,

[Recommender’s Name]
[Recommender’s Title]
[Institution Name]

To,

Admissions Committee,
XXX University,

Date: 21 December 2022

Subject: Letter of Recommendation for Pranav

I have known Pranav for over two years now. He was a student in my Entrepreneurship course as part of his Minor in Entrepreneurship and Management. As a student in my class, Pranav showed great skill in applying these concepts in practical in-class quizzes, his final group business pitch at the end of the course, and his professional activities at UBS. Pranav also achieved remarkable performance in my course, earning the highest grade possible of A+.

Pranav stood out to me during the final project for the course evaluation. As a major assessment, I assign a project for students to work in groups and pitch a viable, self-sustaining business idea. Pranav took the initiative to create a multicultural and diverse team with students from different countries and majors, successfully delivering a business pitch for a student-run laundry and cleaning business. The idea was unique, and he actively sought my advice and mentorship to make the team and project successful.

Another noteworthy aspect is the analytical research Pranav conducted before and after seeking my advice. He made a concerted effort to learn about diverse topics he had not previously encountered and was able to grasp different aspects of entrepreneurship, such as management and finance. This demonstrated his goal-oriented and detail-oriented abilities. The idea, data-oriented research, and financial analysis were impressive, synthesized and executed effectively on assigned tasks. Additionally, the real-world considerations regarding the execution of the pitch and the cohesive delivery from a team collaboration perspective were excellent.

I was so impressed with the project that I asked Pranav if I could include the pitch and presentation as teaching material for my course. I also offered him a Research Assistant position for the following summer, which he was unable to accept due to his graduation.

Given his analytical skills and collaborative approach, it was no surprise to me that Pranav was able to transition into finance directly from his undergraduate studies in engineering, securing a role in finance with UBS in their Investment Banking Operations in Hong Kong.

In terms of areas for improvement, I believe Pranav’s analytical nature and attention to detail can sometimes lead him to get caught up in minutiae, affecting his time management. In the group project, Pranav struggled with time management and was a week behind schedule because he gave equal attention to all the details of the presentation, losing track of the bigger picture. With my guidance, he was able to get back on track and submitted the project by the deadline. However, I believe Pranav needs to develop a better overall view of projects to improve his time management.

Pranav is just beginning his financial career, but he already possesses analytical skills and an understanding of management, teamwork, and other organizational elements comparable to other top students I have recommended to Master’s programs. Pranav’s progress at CityU and UBS clearly demonstrates his intellect and dedication. He is capable and has a keen intellectual capacity for analytical thinking. I believe Pranav is on track to build a successful career that blends his quantitative inclinations with his qualitative skills, inspiring those he will lead and work with.

To conclude, I strongly recommend Pranav, and I would be happy to discuss his candidacy further if you have additional questions.

Regards,

XXXXX

Professor

XX university

Here is a quick PDF of a sample recommendation our client submitted for a successful admit. 

Ut Austin Recommendation Letter Page 0001 - MSBA LOR Sample - Template - Ameerkhatri.com

How long and in what capacity have you known the candidate?

I have known Pranav for roughly one and a half years. I was his mentor during his internship with UBS. Although he completed his internship and has moved on, we still continue to keep in touch to exchange different business ideas.

What do you think about the candidate’s professional performance and potential (including any room for improvement)?

When Pranav started his internship with UBS, he was one of the most proactive interns. Since he didn’t have a finance background, he showed keen interest in learning and came up the curve very quickly. 

The team assigned him Automation and Efficiency-related projects, and while working in the automation team he managed to stand out from other interns by providing solutions that were slightly outside of the box and impressed everyone on the team. 

For instance, he met with various team leads to understand their automation requirements and one team lead expressed her frustration with the manual risk report that used to take 10-12 hours every quarter. After the meeting, Pranav took the proactive step of helping automate this report for the team. The specific process automation that he implemented was for risk reports for the risk team. The team had a manual time consuming process in which they had to refer to multiple Excel sheets to create their quarterly risk report. Pranav understood and mapped the entire process before using an automation tool to automate it. This led to a time reduction of 90 percent in the compilation of the report. The automation process he designed was ingenious; no one had thought of using it before, and that is why I think everyone was impressed with his out-of-the-box thinking. 

Apart from that, another one of his biggest strengths is his willingness to take initiative. 

To highlight another instance, he noticed the dashboards in Operations and wider UBS were on Tableau, he took the initiative to compare Tableau and PowerBi and pitched shifting the employee statistics dashboard to PowerBi. The management team agreed and Pranav successfully created an Employee demographic dashboard on PowerBi. This led to cost savings for the department as UBS was already paying for PowerBi. He also took even more initiative, helping others in his team and UBS get certified on PowerBi and documented his knowledge for everyone before he left his internship.

On the flip side, when it comes to areas of improvement, I would also say this proactiveness and eagerness sometimes led to difficult situations. Like other fresh hires, he was also trying to prove himself in the initial months of his tenure with the team. However, this often meant that he would try to manage and solve things on his own instead of seeking help. This led to delays and situations becoming critical.

Pranav was tasked with getting certified on Automation Anywhere, another automation tool used by the team. He was unable to crack the certification according to the timeline assigned to him and was delayed by a month in getting certified. He tried to manage and solve the situation but was unable to do so without help from his team, this delay led to an increased workload for the rest of the team and longer hours as work had been earmarked for Pranav to do as soon as he would be finished with the certification. 

Overall, I would say that Pranav has great potential; he is not afraid to take the initiative and present his ideas.

Regards
XXXXXX
Manager – UBS, Hong Kong Offices

When it comes to writing great letter of recommendation, here are a few do’s and don’ts tailored for candidates applying to a Master’s in Business Analytics program:

Do’s:

1. Choose Relevant Recommenders:
Do: select recommenders who can provide detailed and specific examples of your technical and analytical skills. Ideally, these should be people who have directly supervised your work in relevant roles, such as data analysis, business intelligence, or any analytics-related projects.
Example: Your current or previous supervisors, project managers, or clients who have seen your analytical skills in action and can speak to your ability to handle complex data sets and derive meaningful insights.

2. Provide Context and Achievements:
Do: give your recommenders a comprehensive list of your accomplishments and the context in which you achieved them. Highlight your contributions to significant projects, especially those involving data analysis, statistical modeling, or the implementation of analytics solutions.
Example: Create a list detailing how your analysis led to actionable business decisions, cost savings, or process improvements. Share this list with your recommenders to help them write a more impactful letter.

3. Meet and Discuss Your Goals:
Do: meet with your recommenders to discuss your career goals, reasons for pursuing a Master’s in Business Analytics, and why you have chosen specific programs. This helps them tailor their letters to align with your aspirations and the program’s focus.
Example: Explain how the program’s curriculum, faculty, and resources will help you achieve your career goals in data science or business analytics.

4. Ensure Specific Examples:
Do: encourage your recommenders to include specific anecdotes that highlight your skills and accomplishments. Real-life examples add weight and credibility to your recommendation.
Example: Ask them to describe a particular project where you used your analytical skills to solve a complex problem, detailing your approach, tools used, and the impact of your work.

5. Set Early Deadlines:
Do: set early personal deadlines for your recommenders to ensure they complete the letters well before the application deadlines. This gives you a buffer period to follow up if needed.
Example: If your application is due on January 1st, ask your recommenders to submit their letters by December 1st to avoid last-minute issues.

Don’ts:

1. Avoid High-Ranking but Unfamiliar Recommenders:
Don’t: choose recommenders based solely on their title or status if they are not familiar with your work. Letters from high-ranking individuals who cannot provide detailed and personal insights will be less effective.
Example: Avoid asking a company CEO or a prominent professor you met briefly unless they have worked closely with you and can provide specific examples of your skills and achievements.

2. Don’t Write the Letter Yourself:
Don’t: write the recommendation letter yourself, even if a recommender offers to sign it. Admissions committees can detect self-written letters, which can harm your credibility.
Example: If a recommender suggests this, politely decline and offer to provide them with all the necessary information to write the letter themselves.

3. Avoid Generic Content:
Don’t: let your recommenders submit generic letters that could apply to anyone. Generic praise without specific examples of your work and skills will not make your application stand out.
Example: Ensure your recommenders avoid statements like “X is a great team player” without context or evidence supporting such claims.

4. Don’t Overlook the Instructions:
Don’t: ignore the specific instructions and questions provided by each business school. Different programs might have different requirements for recommendation letters.
Example: Make sure your recommenders address each question posed by the school’s recommendation form and follow any formatting or submission guidelines provided.

5. Avoid Subordinates as Recommenders:
Don’t: ask subordinates to write your recommendation letters. Their perspective might not carry the same weight and could be seen as less objective.
Example: Recommendations should come from individuals in a supervisory or client role who can objectively evaluate your performance and potential.

These tailored do’s and don’ts will help ensure that your recommendation letters are strong, relevant, and supportive of your application to a Master’s in Business Analytics program.

Recommendation letter template specifically tailored for candidates applying to a Master’s in Business Analytics program, including different structuring and clear instructions for highlighting relevant skills:

Admissions Committee
[Business Analytics Program Name]
[University Name]
[University Address]
[City, State, ZIP Code]

Date:

Dear Members of the Admissions Committee,

It is my pleasure to recommend [Candidate’s Name] for the [Master’s in Business Analytics program] at [University Name]. I have had the privilege of working with [Candidate’s Name] at [Company Name] for [duration], where I serve as [Recommender’s Title]. In this time, I have observed [his/her/their] exceptional analytical skills and unwavering commitment to data-driven decision-making.

Analytical Skills and Achievements

One of [Candidate’s Name]’s standout projects was [specific project/task]. During this project, [he/she/they] [specific action taken], resulting in [quantifiable result/outcome]. This project clearly demonstrated [his/her/their] expertise in [relevant skills, e.g., data analysis, statistical modeling, predictive analytics].

In another significant endeavor, [Candidate’s Name] was responsible for [another specific project/task]. [He/She/They] utilized [specific tools or methodologies, e.g., Python, R, machine learning algorithms] to [specific action taken], which led to [quantifiable result/outcome]. This work highlights [his/her/their] ability to leverage complex datasets to drive strategic business decisions.

Problem-Solving and Innovation

[Candidate’s Name] is particularly adept at identifying business problems and formulating innovative solutions. For example, during [specific challenge], [he/she/they] [specific action taken], which significantly improved [specific metric or outcome]. [His/Her/Their] problem-solving skills and innovative approach are invaluable assets in the field of business analytics.

Collaboration and Leadership

[Candidate’s Name] excels not only as an individual contributor but also as a collaborative team member. In [specific team project], [he/she/they] [specific actions taken to lead or collaborate], fostering a productive and cohesive working environment. [His/Her/Their] ability to communicate complex analytical concepts to non-technical stakeholders was particularly noteworthy.

Constructive Feedback and Growth

In my experience, [Candidate’s Name] is highly receptive to feedback and committed to continuous improvement. I once advised [him/her/them] on [specific area for improvement], and [he/she/they] proactively [specific actions taken to improve], which led to [positive outcome or development]. This responsiveness and dedication to growth are crucial for success in a dynamic field like business analytics.

Conclusion

In summary, [Candidate’s Name] possesses a unique blend of technical expertise, problem-solving acumen, and collaborative spirit. I am confident that [he/she/they] will excel in the [Master’s in Business Analytics program] at [University Name] and make significant contributions to both the program and the broader field of business analytics.

Sincerely,

[Recommender’s Name]
[Recommender’s Title]
[Company Name]

This template provides a structured format that highlights the candidate’s analytical skills, problem-solving abilities, and collaborative nature, making it suitable for applications to a Master’s in Business Analytics program.

Free Recommendation Letter sample text for masters application

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