SDA Bocconi MIF sample essays and recommendation letters

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SDA Bocconi Application Essays & Questions 2023-2024

  1. What interests and occupations do you pursue in your free time?
  2. What do you think you gained from your university studies?
  3. Conversely, what important things do you think your studies lacked?
  4. Describe your strong points, personal and professional, explaining why you see them as such
  5. Describe your weak points, personal and professional, explaining why you see them as such
  6. What are the reasons that lead you to apply to the Program at this point in your life?
  7. What do you hope to get from the Program?
  8. Where do you hope to work after completing the Master’s Program?
  9. What are your short-term professional goals (within the next 3-5 years)?
  10. What are your long-term professional goals? How do you expect to finance your studies?

SDA Bocconi Winning Sample Essays – 1

What interests and occupations do you pursue in your free time?

In my leisure time, I actively engage in pursuits that not only provide personal satisfaction but also complement and enhance my professional abilities. One of my main hobbies is drumming, an interest that dates back to my childhood and continues to be a significant part of my life. Drumming demands precision, coordination, and rhythm, which parallel the meticulous attention to detail I practice in my professional life as a finance expert. This hobby not only sharpens my focus but also serves as a creative outlet, allowing me to recharge and return to my work with renewed energy and perspective. 

Additionally, I am passionate about playing cricket, a sport that not only ensures physical fitness but also fosters skills in teamwork, strategic planning, and leadership under pressure. Participating in cricket has taught me the importance of collaborating towards a common goal and adapting strategies in response to changing situations—skills that are directly transferable to managing financial portfolios or leading project teams in my career.

Beyond physical and creative activities, I dedicate a significant portion of my free time to volunteering, particularly in teaching financial literacy to underprivileged youth. This involvement not only allows me to give back to the community but also strengthens my foundational financial knowledge, ensuring I remain sharp and engaged with the basic principles of finance that are the building blocks of more complex theories and practices. 

These activities are integral to my personal development—they enrich my life, enhance my professional competencies, and align closely with my values of lifelong learning and community service.

What do you think you gained from your university studies?

My university education at Delhi University in the field of Business Economics was instrumental in laying a solid foundation for my career in finance. The rigorous academic curriculum provided me with a comprehensive understanding of economic theory, quantitative methods, and the principles of finance and marketing. These courses not only honed my analytical skills but also developed my ability to think critically and apply complex theories to practical business situations. 

Moreover, my university studies cultivated a strong work ethic and resilience, qualities that have been crucial in my subsequent professional endeavors. The challenging nature of the coursework, combined with the competitive environment, taught me how to manage time effectively, work under pressure, and strive for excellence in every task.

However, the most significant gain from my university studies was the development of a global perspective. The diverse student body and the faculty’s encouragement to engage with global economic issues broadened my understanding of how finance functions in different cultural and economic contexts. This exposure has been invaluable as I navigate my career in the increasingly globalized world of finance.

Conversely, what important things do you think your studies lacked?

While my academic foundation is strong, my university education did have some gaps, particularly in terms of practical application and exposure to the latest technologies in finance. The curriculum was predominantly theoretical, with limited opportunities for hands-on experiences that simulate real-world financial analysis or investment decision-making processes. This lack of practical exposure was somewhat mitigated by internships, but the academic program itself could have benefited from more integrated case studies and the use of financial software that are standard in the industry today.

Additionally, there was insufficient emphasis on interdisciplinary studies that combine finance with fields such as data science or machine learning, which are becoming increasingly crucial in modern financial professions. The ability to understand and leverage technological tools for financial modeling and big data analysis is essential, and more robust training in this area would have greatly enhanced my readiness for the current demands of the finance sector.

Describe your strong points, personal and professional, explaining why you see them as such

Personally, my resilience and adaptability stand out. These qualities have helped me navigate various life challenges and adjust quickly to new environments, a necessity in the volatile field of finance. Professionally, my analytical acumen and detail-oriented nature are my strengths. These traits have been instrumental in my role at EPIC Investment Partners, where precise financial analysis and attention to detail are crucial for making informed investment decisions.

Describe your weak points, personal and professional, explaining why you see them as such

On a personal level, my perfectionist tendencies sometimes lead to inefficiencies, as I spend too much time on details. Professionally, while I excel in quantitative analysis, I recognize the need to strengthen my public speaking and presentation skills to better communicate complex financial strategies to stakeholders.

What are the reasons that lead you to apply to the Program at this point in your life?

Choosing to apply to the SDA Bocconi MIF program at this juncture in my career is a strategic decision driven by a clear alignment of the program’s strengths with my immediate professional needs and long-term career aspirations. Currently, as a Private Equity Associate, I have reached a pivotal stage where further advancement requires a deeper, more sophisticated understanding of global financial markets, advanced financial tools, and strategic leadership skills. The SDA Bocconi MIF program is renowned for its rigorous curriculum, emphasis on innovation, and its global business perspective, making it an ideal fit for my professional growth.

This program presents an opportunity to immerse myself in an environment that bridges theoretical knowledge with practical, real-world application, surrounded by peers and faculty who are leaders in their fields. The timing is critical as the finance industry is rapidly evolving with the integration of new technologies and changing global economic landscapes. Enhancing my skills now will prepare me to take on more complex challenges and opportunities in private equity, particularly in areas involving cross-border transactions and sustainable investment practices.

Moreover, the program offers a unique platform to expand my professional network internationally, connecting with like-minded professionals, industry experts, and potential mentors. This network will be invaluable as I seek to transition into roles that require a more global outlook and as I aim to eventually lead my own firm. The diversity and caliber of the Bocconi alumni community is a significant draw, providing lifelong learning and collaboration opportunities.

The decision to apply now is also influenced by my personal commitment to continuous improvement and development. I believe that the best time to invest in oneself is always the present, and the comprehensive learning environment at SDA Bocconi offers the perfect setting to refine my skills and prepare for future leadership roles in the finance sector.

What do you hope to get from the Program?

From the SDA Bocconi MIF program, I am looking to achieve several key objectives that are critical to both my immediate professional development and long-term career goals. Firstly, I expect to deepen my understanding of financial markets, with a particular focus on the European context. The program’s comprehensive curriculum covering corporate finance, asset management, and risk management will provide the academic rigor necessary to master these areas.

Secondly, I aim to enhance my quantitative and analytical skills through advanced coursework and practical applications. The ability to analyze complex datasets, develop sophisticated financial models, and apply these skills in real-time financial decision-making will be crucial as I move into more strategic roles in my career.

Additionally, I anticipate that the program will significantly expand my professional network. Interaction with a diverse cohort of students, faculty, and industry professionals will open up new avenues for collaboration and career opportunities. This network will not only support my professional ventures during the MIF program but will also serve as a vital resource throughout my career.

Furthermore, I am eager to engage in the various hands-on projects and internships that Bocconi offers. These practical experiences are designed to bridge the gap between classroom learning and the business world, providing insights into actual working conditions and expectations in the finance sector.

Lastly, I look forward to the personal growth that comes from studying in a multicultural environment. Living and studying in Milan will allow me to immerse myself in Italian culture and business practices, which is invaluable for my personal development and understanding of global business dynamics.

Where do you hope to work after completing the Master’s Program?

Upon completing the Master’s Program, my primary goal is to secure a position within a major financial institution or a consultancy firm in Europe, ideally within a city that serves as a hub for international finance such as London, Frankfurt, or Milan. These locations are strategic choices, not only because of their significant roles in the global financial market but also because they offer extensive opportunities for growth, learning, and impact in my field of interest, which includes corporate finance, investment banking, and private equity.

Working in such an environment would provide me with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during the MIF program directly to real-world financial challenges. These cities also offer the chance to work on international transactions and to engage with diverse client portfolios, which is crucial for my professional development and long-term career objectives.

Moreover, these locations are centers for financial innovation, offering exposure to new financial technologies and startups, which aligns with my interest in financial technology and its application in investment strategies. Working in these dynamic financial centers will also allow me to remain at the forefront of industry trends and regulatory changes, further enhancing my career prospects.

What are your short-term professional goals (within the next 3-5 years)?

In the short term, I aim to transition into a role that allows me to take on greater responsibility in terms of managing investments and developing strategic initiatives within the financial sector. Specifically, I see myself working as a senior analyst or associate in a leadinginvestment bank or private equity firm, where I can utilize my enhanced skills and knowledge to influence investment decisions and strategies.

During this period, I plan to focus on gaining comprehensive experience in various aspects of finance, including mergers and acquisitions, structured finance, and portfolio management. This experience will be critical in building a solid track record of successful investments and in establishing my reputation in the industry as a skilled and innovative finance professional.

Additionally, I intend to pass all levels of the CFA examination, as this certification will not only broaden my professional skills but also enhance my credibility and marketability in the finance industry. Achieving this certification will also demonstrate my commitment to ethical and professional standards in the field, which are essential for advancement.

What are your long-term professional goals? How do you expect to finance your studies?

Long-term, I aspire to ascend to a leadership position, such as a CFO or a fund manager, within an internationally recognized financial institution or to establish my own private equity firm focused on sustainable investments. In these roles, I aim to lead initiatives that not only generate substantial financial returns but also create positive social impacts, particularly in emerging markets.

To achieve these goals, I will continue to build on the foundation laid by the MIF program, combining practical experience with ongoing professional education and networking. I plan to engage in lifelong learning initiatives and professional development opportunities that will keep me abreast of innovations and regulations in the finance industry. 

In terms of financing my studies, I have planned a combination of personal savings, student loans, and potential scholarships. My savings will cover a portion of the tuition and living expenses, while I am actively applying for scholarships offered by both SDA Bocconi and external organizations that support students pursuing finance degrees. Additionally, I am exploring student loan options available for international students, ensuring that these financial resources align with my repayment capabilities and career projections.

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SDA Bocconi Winning Sample Essays – 2

What interests and occupations do you pursue in your free time? (400-500 words)

In my free time, I engage in activities that not only bring me joy but also contribute to my personal and professional growth. One of my primary interests is playing professional polo. Inspired by my father’s passion for the sport, I have been playing polo for several years, rising to the level of a semi-professional player. Polo has taught me valuable lessons in teamwork, strategy, and resilience, which are applicable in both my personal and professional life. I also coach the under-18 Lagos Girls’ Polo team, promoting the sport among young female players in Nigeria. This initiative allows me to mentor and inspire the next generation, emphasizing the importance of perseverance and collaboration.

Another significant interest of mine is public speaking and mentoring. I regularly participate in speaking engagements, sharing my experiences and insights with diverse audiences. Public speaking has honed my communication skills and boosted my confidence, enabling me to articulate ideas clearly and persuasively. Additionally, I mentor young professionals and students, offering guidance on career development and personal growth. Mentoring is a fulfilling activity that allows me to give back to the community and help others navigate their professional journeys.

Hiking is another hobby that I am passionate about. Exploring nature and challenging myself physically and mentally through hiking provides a much-needed balance to my demanding professional life. Hiking has taught me the importance of endurance and the beauty of disconnecting from technology to reconnect with oneself and nature. It serves as a form of meditation, helping me to maintain mental clarity and focus.

I am also deeply involved in social impact initiatives. I founded Grief and Relief Nigeria, a community organization that supports individuals facing grief, domestic violence, and trauma. Our team has organized various events and raised significant funds to provide therapy, mental health support, and medical assistance. Similarly, I established The Girl-Child Progression Initiative, which supports the education and personal development of underprivileged young girls in Nigeria. These initiatives reflect my commitment to driving positive change in my community and addressing critical social issues.

Through these diverse interests and activities, I strive to maintain a well-rounded and fulfilling life. Engaging in sports, public speaking, mentoring, hiking, and social impact work has enriched my personal and professional development, equipping me with a broad range of skills and experiences that I bring to every aspect of my life.

What do you think you gained from your university studies? Conversely, what important things do you think your studies lacked? (400-500 words)

My university studies at the University of Lagos provided a solid foundation in finance, equipping me with the technical knowledge and analytical skills necessary for a successful career in the financial sector. Graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and achieving a high GPA of 4.05 on a 5.00 scale, I gained a deep understanding of financial principles, quantitative analysis, and investment strategies. The rigorous academic curriculum and the recognition I received, such as being awarded the best student in Quantitative Analysis, instilled in me a strong work ethic and a commitment to excellence.

One of the significant gains from my university education was the ability to apply theoretical concepts to real-world situations. The coursework was designed to be practical and relevant, allowing me to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. These skills have been invaluable in my professional roles, where I have been able to analyze complex financial data, develop innovative solutions, and make informed decisions. Additionally, my involvement in extracurricular activities, such as being the Head of Welfare for the University Women’s Society, provided leadership experience and enhanced my organizational and interpersonal skills.

However, despite the numerous benefits, there were areas where my university education lacked. One of the key shortcomings was the limited exposure to global financial markets and international business practices. While the curriculum was comprehensive in covering local financial systems, there was a gap in understanding the nuances of global finance. This became apparent in my professional career when I had to navigate international financial regulations and market dynamics. I believe a more global perspective in the curriculum would have better prepared me for these challenges.

Another area that could have been improved was the emphasis on soft skills, such as communication, negotiation, and leadership. While technical skills are crucial, the ability to effectively communicate ideas, negotiate deals, and lead teams is equally important in the financial sector. My university studies focused heavily on technical knowledge, with less emphasis on developing these essential soft skills. I have had to invest additional time and effort in refining these skills through professional experiences and personal development activities.

Furthermore, practical, hands-on experience through internships or industry projects was limited during my university years. While theoretical knowledge is important, practical experience provides a deeper understanding and prepares students for real-world challenges. More opportunities for internships, industry collaborations, and experiential learning would have enriched my educational experience and provided a smoother transition into the professional world.

Overall, my university education provided a strong foundation in finance and equipped me with essential analytical and problem-solving skills. However, there were areas for improvement, particularly in gaining a global perspective, emphasizing soft skills, and providing practical, hands-on experience. Addressing these gaps would have further enhanced my readiness for the dynamic and interconnected world of global finance.

Describe your strong points, personal and professional, explaining why you see them as such. (400-500 words)

One of my strongest personal attributes is resilience. Life has presented me with numerous challenges, both personally and professionally, and I have consistently demonstrated the ability to overcome them. A pivotal moment was the sudden passing of my mother due to inadequate healthcare. This tragedy deeply affected me but also fueled my determination to make a difference in the world, particularly in sectors where improvements are desperately needed. My resilience has been a driving force in my ability to navigate adversity, maintain focus, and achieve my goals despite obstacles.

Professionally, I possess strong analytical and problem-solving skills. These skills have been honed through my rigorous academic background in finance and my extensive experience in the financial sector. At Stanbic IBTC Bank, I successfully designed a digital pricing template that reduced labor costs by 70% and led negotiations with the Central Bank of Nigeria to unlock $380 million in foreign exchange flows. These accomplishments reflect my ability to analyze complex financial data, identify key issues, and develop innovative solutions that drive business success.

Another strong point is my leadership capability. Throughout my career, I have taken on leadership roles that required managing teams, developing strategies, and driving results. For instance, I led a team that implemented customer retention strategies, resulting in a significant rise in the bank’s trading league position and doubling revenue growth. Additionally, my involvement in social impact initiatives, such as founding Grief and Relief Nigeria and The Girl-Child Progression Initiative, showcases my ability to lead and inspire others toward a common goal.

My ability to communicate effectively is also a significant strength. Whether it is presenting complex financial concepts to stakeholders, mentoring young professionals, or speaking at public engagements, I can convey ideas clearly and persuasively. This skill has been crucial in building strong professional relationships, negotiating deals, and inspiring others.

On a personal level, empathy is one of my core strengths. My experiences, including overcoming personal trauma and working with vulnerable populations through my social initiatives, have deepened my understanding of others’ struggles and needs. Empathy allows me to connect with people on a deeper level, fostering trust and collaboration, both in my professional and personal life.

In summary, my strengths include resilience, analytical and problem-solving skills, leadership capability, effective communication, and empathy. These attributes have been instrumental in my personal growth and professional success, enabling me to navigate challenges, drive impactful initiatives, and build meaningful relationships. These strengths will continue to guide me as I pursue further education and career opportunities, particularly in the realm of sustainable finance and energy development.

Describe your weak points, personal and professional, explaining why you see them as such. (400-500 words)

One of my personal weaknesses is a tendency toward perfectionism. While striving for excellence is generally positive, my perfectionism can sometimes lead to over-analysis and delays in decision-making. I often find myself spending excessive time ensuring every detail is perfect, which can be counterproductive and stressful. This trait sometimes hinders my ability to delegate tasks, as I feel compelled to oversee every aspect of a project to ensure it meets my high standards. Recognizing this, I am working on finding a balance between striving for excellence and knowing when to accept that good enough is sufficient to move forward effectively.

Professionally, I have identified a need to improve my delegation skills. As someone who takes pride in delivering high-quality work, I sometimes struggle to delegate tasks to others, fearing that the outcome may not meet my expectations. This can lead to an excessive workload and hinder team efficiency. I understand that effective delegation is crucial for leadership and team development, and I am actively working on trusting my team members more and providing them with the support and autonomy they need to succeed.

Another professional area for improvement is my experience with global financial markets. While I have a strong understanding of local financial systems and significant achievements in Nigeria’s finance sector, my exposure to international markets has been limited. This gap became evident in my professional career when dealing with international financial regulations and market dynamics. To address this, I am seeking opportunities for further education and professional development that will provide a more global perspective, such as pursuing the Master’s in International Finance at SDA Bocconi.

On a personal level, I recognize that my commitment to multiple initiatives can sometimes stretch me too thin. Balancing my professional responsibilities, social impact work, and personal interests can be challenging. This sometimes leads to burnout and impacts my overall productivity and well-being. To mitigate this, I am learning to prioritize tasks more effectively, set realistic goals, and ensure I allocate time for rest and self-care.

Lastly, I have identified that my negotiation skills, while competent, could benefit from further refinement. In my role at Stanbic IBTC Bank, I have been involved in various negotiations, but I realize that mastering this skill is a continuous process that requires ongoing learning and practice. Improving my negotiation skills will enhance my ability to secure better outcomes for my organization and clients.

In summary, my weaknesses include a tendency toward perfectionism, challenges with delegation, limited experience with global financial markets, balancing multiple commitments, and the need for further development in negotiation skills. Acknowledging these areas for improvement is the first step toward addressing them. I am committed to continuous learning and personal growth, and I am actively seeking opportunities to develop these aspects through education, professional development, and practical experience.

What are the reasons that lead you to apply to the Program at this point in your life? (400-500 words)

Applying to the Master’s in International Finance (MiF) program at SDA Bocconi at this point in my life is driven by a convergence of professional experiences, career aspirations, and personal growth objectives. Over the past several years, I have built a solid foundation in finance, gaining extensive experience and achieving significant milestones in my roles at Stanbic IBTC Bank. However, I recognize that to achieve my long-term career goals, I need to deepen my expertise, broaden my global perspective, and enhance my leadership capabilities.

Professionally, I have reached a point where I have accumulated substantial knowledge and experience in the local financial markets, particularly in Nigeria. My role as a Senior Associate in Global Markets Treasury has provided me with invaluable insights into financial analysis, risk management, and strategic decision-making. However, I have also identified gaps in my understanding of global financial markets and the need for a more comprehensive education in international finance. The MiF program at SDA Bocconi offers a rigorous curriculum that covers advanced financial concepts and global market dynamics, which will equip me with the skills and knowledge necessary to navigate and succeed in the international finance landscape.

Additionally, I am motivated by my long-term career goal of establishing a climate-adaptive energy fund focused on sustainable energy projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. To achieve this, I need to gain a deeper understanding of sustainable finance, innovative financing models, and the interplay between financial markets and environmental sustainability. SDA Bocconi’s emphasis on sustainability and its strong reputation in finance make it the ideal institution to help me achieve these goals. The program’s focus on real-world applications and experiential learning will provide me with the practical skills and hands-on experience needed to drive impactful change in the energy sector.

Furthermore, at this stage of my career, I am eager to expand my professional network and engage with a diverse group of peers and industry leaders. SDA Bocconi’s global reputation and its location in Milan, a major financial hub, offer unparalleled opportunities for networking and collaboration. Engaging with classmates from diverse backgrounds and learning from esteemed faculty members will broaden my perspectives and expose me to new ideas and approaches.

On a personal level, I am driven by a continuous desire for self-improvement and growth. The MiF program represents an opportunity to challenge myself academically, develop new skills, and refine my leadership abilities. The program’s focus on personal development, leadership training, and teamwork aligns with my commitment to becoming a well-rounded and effective leader.

In summary, my decision to apply to the MiF program at SDA Bocconi is influenced by my professional experiences, career aspirations, and personal growth objectives. I am confident that this program will provide me with the advanced knowledge, global perspective, and leadership skills necessary to achieve my long-term goals and make a meaningful impact in the finance and energy sectors.

What do you hope to get from the Program? (400-500 words)

From the Master’s in International Finance (MiF) program at SDA Bocconi, I hope to gain advanced financial expertise, a global perspective on finance, and enhanced leadership skills, all of which are critical for achieving my career goals and driving sustainable growth in the energy sector.

First and foremost, I seek to deepen my understanding of advanced financial concepts and techniques. My experience in the finance sector has provided me with a strong foundation, but I recognize the need for further education to master complex financial instruments, risk management strategies, and innovative financing models. The MiF program’s rigorous curriculum, which includes courses on financial markets, investment strategies, and corporate finance, will equip me with the technical knowledge required to excel in high-level finance roles. This advanced expertise will enable me to develop and implement effective financial solutions that drive growth and sustainability in the energy sector.

In addition to technical knowledge, I am eager to gain a comprehensive understanding of global financial markets. Working primarily in Nigeria, I have acquired significant insights into local financial systems, but my exposure to international markets has been limited. The MiF program’s focus on global finance, combined with its diverse cohort of students from around the world, will provide me with a broader perspective on financial trends, regulatory environments, and market dynamics. This global perspective is essential for my long-term goal of establishing a climate-adaptive energy fund that attracts international investments and operates across multiple regions.

Leadership development is another critical area where I hope to grow through the MiF program. Throughout my career, I have taken on leadership roles that required managing teams, developing strategies, and driving results. However, I recognize that effective leadership requires continuous learning and development. SDA Bocconi’s emphasis on personal development and leadership training will help me refine my leadership style, improve my decision-making abilities, and enhance my capacity to inspire and motivate others. The program’s experiential learning opportunities, such as group projects, case studies, and leadership workshops, will provide practical experience in leading diverse teams and managing complex projects.

Networking is another key aspect of the MiF program that I am excited about. Building a strong professional network is crucial for career advancement and success in the finance industry. SDA Bocconi’s global reputation and its location in Milan, a major financial hub, offer exceptional networking opportunities. I look forward to connecting with classmates, alumni, faculty, and industry leaders, gaining insights from their experiences and building relationships that can support my career growth and professional development.

Finally, I hope to gain practical, hands-on experience through the program’s experiential learning components. Whether through internships, industry projects, or collaborations with financial institutions, I am eager to apply the knowledge gained in the classroom to real-world scenarios. This practical experience will not only reinforce my learning but also prepare me to tackle the challenges and complexities of the finance industry.

In summary, from the MiF program at SDA Bocconi, I hope to gain advanced financial expertise, a global perspective, enhanced leadership skills, a strong professional network, and practical experience. These elements are essential for achieving my career goals and making a meaningful impact in the finance and energy sectors.

Where do you hope to work after completing the Master’s Program? (400-500 words)

After completing the Master’s in International Finance (MiF) program at SDA Bocconi, I hope to work in a leading investment bank’s energy group or a private equity firm focused on sustainable energy projects. My primary goal is to leverage my enhanced financial expertise and global perspective to drive impactful and sustainable growth in the energy sector, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.

One of my top preferences is to join the energy group of a major investment bank such as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, or Morgan Stanley. These institutions are at the forefront of financial innovation and have extensive experience in raising capital for large-scale energy projects. Working in their energy division will provide me with the opportunity to engage in high-value deals, develop innovative financing solutions, and collaborate with industry experts. My role would involve structuring and executing complex transactions, advising clients on strategic investments, and raising capital for energy infrastructure projects. This experience will be invaluable for achieving my long-term goal of establishing a climate-adaptive energy fund.

Another option I am considering is joining a private equity firm with a strong focus on renewable energy and sustainable investments, such as Blackstone Energy Partners or Brookfield Renewable Partners. These firms are dedicated to driving sustainability and have a significant impact on the global energy landscape. Working at such a firm will allow me to directly influence investment decisions, support the growth of renewable energy projects, and contribute to the transition to a more sustainable energy future. My responsibilities would include evaluating investment opportunities, conducting due diligence, and developing strategies to maximize returns while promoting environmental sustainability.

Geographically, I am open to working in major financial hubs such as London, New York, or Milan, where I can gain diverse experiences and insights that will ultimately benefit my work in Africa. These cities are at the center of global finance and offer unparalleled opportunities for professional growth and networking. However, my long-term aspiration remains to drive sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, I also hope to establish a presence in key African markets such as Lagos, Nairobi, or Johannesburg, where I can leverage my expertise to address the region’s unique challenges and opportunities.

Working in these roles will provide me with the experience, skills, and network necessary to achieve my long-term career goals. I am particularly passionate about addressing the significant energy needs in Africa and believe that sustainable finance and innovative investment solutions are key to unlocking the region’s potential. By gaining experience in leading financial institutions, I will be well-equipped to drive meaningful change and contribute to the development of sustainable energy infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa.

In summary, after completing the MiF program at SDA Bocconi, I hope to work in a leading investment bank’s energy group or a private equity firm focused on sustainable energy projects. These roles will provide me with the expertise, experience, and network needed to drive sustainable growth and development in the energy sector, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.

What are your short-term professional goals (within the next 3-5 years)? (400-500 words)

Within the next 3-5 years, my short-term professional goals are focused on gaining advanced expertise in sustainable finance, building a robust network within the energy sector, and positioning myself as a key player in driving sustainable energy projects. These goals align with my broader vision of contributing to sustainable development and addressing the energy needs in Sub-Saharan Africa.

One of my primary short-term goals is to secure a position as an Investment Banking Associate in the energy group of a leading investment bank such as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, or Morgan Stanley. In this role, I aim to develop a deep understanding of innovative financing models, capital raising strategies, and the intricacies of structuring and executing large-scale energy projects. This experience will provide me with the technical knowledge and practical skills needed to drive impactful investments in the energy sector.

In addition to gaining technical expertise, I aim to build a strong professional network within the finance and energy industries. Networking is crucial for career advancement and achieving strategic goals. By connecting with industry leaders, peers, and experts, I will gain valuable insights, mentorship, and opportunities for collaboration. I plan to actively participate in industry conferences, seminars, and networking events to expand my professional connections and stay updated on the latest trends and developments in sustainable finance and energy markets.

Another key short-term goal is to enhance my leadership capabilities. As I take on more responsibility in my professional roles, developing strong leadership skills will be essential for effectively managing teams, driving projects, and influencing stakeholders. I aim to participate in leadership development programs, workshops, and mentorship opportunities that will help me refine my leadership style, improve my decision-making abilities, and enhance my capacity to inspire and motivate others.

I also intend to contribute to impactful projects that promote sustainability and address the energy challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa. By leveraging my position in a leading financial institution, I hope to work on projects that focus on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable infrastructure development. This will not only contribute to my professional growth but also align with my long-term goal of establishing a climate-adaptive energy fund. Engaging in such projects will allow me to apply my skills and knowledge to real-world challenges, driving positive change and making a meaningful impact.

Furthermore, I aim to continue my involvement in social impact initiatives. Building on my experience with Grief and Relief Nigeria and The Girl-Child Progression Initiative, I plan to expand these initiatives and explore new opportunities for promoting social and environmental sustainability. This will enable me to balance my professional aspirations with my commitment to making a positive difference in my community.

In summary, my short-term professional goals within the next 3-5 years include securing a position as an Investment Banking Associate in the energy group of a leading investment bank, building a strong professional network, enhancing my leadership capabilities, contributing to impactful sustainable projects, and continuing my involvement in social impact initiatives. These goals will provide the foundation for achieving my long-term career aspirations and making a significant impact in the finance and energy sectors.

What are your long-term professional goals? How do you expect to finance your studies? (400-500 words)

My long-term professional goal is to establish a climate-adaptive energy fund dedicated to ensuring access to safer, cleaner, and sustainable energy sources across Sub-Saharan Africa. This fund will focus on driving investments in renewable energy projects, energy efficiency initiatives, and sustainable infrastructure development. By creating a platform that attracts both local and international investments, I aim to address the significant energy needs in Africa, promote sustainable growth, and contribute to the global transition towards a low-carbon economy.

To achieve this ambitious goal, I envision a multi-faceted approach that combines financial innovation, strategic partnerships, and a deep understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities within the African energy sector. My experience in the finance industry, particularly in roles that involve complex financial analysis, risk management, and strategic decision-making, will serve as a strong foundation for establishing and managing the fund. Additionally, my commitment to sustainability and social impact, as demonstrated through my initiatives like Grief and Relief Nigeria and The Girl-Child Progression Initiative, underscores my dedication to driving positive change.

One of the key strategies for achieving my long-term goal is to build a robust network of stakeholders, including investors, industry experts, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations. Collaboration and partnerships will be crucial for mobilizing resources, sharing knowledge, and implementing effective solutions. I plan to leverage my connections and experiences gained through my professional roles and education at SDA Bocconi to create a strong support system for the fund.

Regarding financing my studies at SDA Bocconi, I have developed a comprehensive plan that includes a combination of personal savings, scholarships, and educational loans. Over the years, I have diligently saved a portion of my earnings from my roles at Stanbic IBTC Bank, ensuring that I have a financial cushion to support my educational pursuits. Additionally, I am actively researching and applying for scholarships that align with my academic achievements, professional background, and career goals. Scholarships such as the SDA Bocconi Merit Awards and other external scholarships will significantly alleviate the financial burden of tuition and living expenses.

Furthermore, I plan to explore educational loan options to bridge any remaining financial gaps. Given the strong return on investment that a degree from SDA Bocconi offers, I am confident that taking on a manageable amount of debt is a prudent decision that will pay off in the long run. I am also considering part-time work opportunities and internships during my studies to supplement my income and gain practical experience that complements my academic learning.

In summary, my long-term professional goal is to establish a climate-adaptive energy fund that drives sustainable energy investments in Sub-Saharan Africa. To finance my studies at SDA Bocconi, I plan to use a combination of personal savings, scholarships, and educational loans. This comprehensive approach will enable me to pursue the Master’s in International Finance program and acquire the advanced knowledge, skills, and network necessary to achieve my long-term aspirations and make a meaningful impact in the finance and energy sectors.

SDA Bocconi Recommendation Letter – Key Questions

  1. How long have you known the candidate? In what connection?
  2. In your mind, what are the candidate’s most revealing qualities?
  3. What are the candidate’s most significant weaknesses?
  4. Do you consider the candidate suitable for admission to a challenging full-time program such as the MCF – Master in Corporate Finance?
  5. Do you know of any purely emotional factors to be kept in mind regarding the candidate’s effective participation to the MCF – Master in Corporate Finance? If so, could you give some instances
  6. Please rate this candidate regarding the following traits:
    Excellent Above average Average Below average
    Group skills
    Discussion skills
    Commitment to goals
    Ability to lead
    Potential to grow

MiF Recommendation Letters
(Free Samples & successful Examples)

Professor - Recommendation letter Sample 1

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

Free Sample Recommendation Letter For Masters Application -  -


Admissions Committee

HEC Paris – Masters in Finance Program


Date: 08-09-2023


Subject: “Recommendation letter for Akhil’s application to MIF program at HEC Paris”

Dear Admissions Committee, 

I have known Akhil for over 2 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, Akhil showed great skill at applying these notions in the more practical in-class quizzes, his final group business pitch at the end of the course, and his professional activities at UBS. Akhil’s also had a remarkable performance in my course, in which Akhil got the highest grade possible of A+. 

In terms of his potential,

Akhil stood out to me in the final project that I gave as part of the course evaluation.  As a major assessment, I give a project assignment for students to work in groups and pitch a good, self-sustaining business idea.

Akhil took the initiative and created a multicultural and diverse team with students not only from different countries but also students from different majors and successfully delivered a group business pitch for a student-run laundry and cleaning business. The idea picked by his team was unique, and he actively sought my advice and mentorship to make the team and the project successful. 

Another noteworthy facet is the analytical research done by Akhil before and after seeking my advice; he actively made an effort to learn about diverse topics that he had not been exposed to before and was successfully able to learn about the different aspects of entrepreneurship, such as management and finance. Demonstrating his goal and detail-oriented ability. Rhe idea, the data oriented research, and the financial analysis were really impressive (synthesized and executed on assigned taks). Also, the real-world considerations regarding the execution of the pitch, as well as the cohesive delivery from a team collaboration perspective, were good. 

I liked the project, and I asked Akhil if I could include the pitch and presentation as teaching material for my course as well as offering a Research Assistant position to Akhil in the next summer, which he was unable to take due to him having graduated

With his analytical skills and his collaborative approach, it came to me as no surprise that he was able to successfully chase his goal and transition into finance directly from his undergrad in engineering, landing a role in finance with UBS in their Investment Banking Operations in Hong Kong. 

In terms of his potential areas of Improvement

I think Akhil’s analytical nature and detail-orientedness sometimes leads to him getting too caught up in details and spending excess time on the intricate details, leading to improper time management. 

In the group project, Akhil struggled with time management and was a week behind schedule for his group due to him giving equal attention to all the details of the presentation, losing track of the bigger picture of the project. With my guidance, he was able to get back on speed and submitted the project by the submission deadline. But I believe that Akhil needs to work on gaining a view of the overall project that he is working for better time management.

Overall Recommendation

Akhil is only starting his financial career, but he has the analytical skills and a level of understanding about management, teamwork and other elements of organizational life that are comparable to other top students that I recommended before to Masters programs. 

Akhil’s progress at CityU and at UBS clearly demonstrates his intellect and hard work. He is capable and has an acute intellectual capacity for thinking analytically. I believe Akhil is on track to make a successful career that blends his quantitative inclinations with his qualititaive skills, inspiring those that he will lead and work with. 

To conclude, I strongly recommend Akhil, and I would be happy to talk with you specifically about his candidacy if you have additional questions.


Professor XXXXXX
Head of the Department of Entrepreneurship and Management

XXXX University

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.

Manager – UBS, Hong Kong Offices

How do you know the applicant? How long have you known them for?

I have known Huang for almost 2 years now. 

I came to know Huang when he was working at Chainfir Capital. I was an investor of the fund at Chainfir Capital. Huang worked as an investment manager at Chainfir and we had meetings together from time to time.

Later when Huang and his colleagues decided to start their own Venture Capital fund (Genesis 22) focused on crypto industry, I joined their venture both as an investor and an advisor of their VC Fund. 

What would you say are the applicant’s key strengths and talents?

After working with Huang, I think one of his key talents is that he is very detail oriented and loves to perform extensive due diligence.

For instance, Genesis 22 was close to making an investment decision on a project called Glitter Finance last year. At the time, it was a rather popular project among VCs and had already received several investments. The analyst in our team provided positive comments on its technology and future potential. 

Huang was responsible for speaking with the project team and conducting due diligence. He was able to approach the situation with a sceptical mind and later identified several risks of the project by paying attention to each detail. He made an analysis of the profile of each team member of the project and determined that the technical background of the team was not strong enough to develop the promising highly technical project they claimed. Also, he mentioned that while observing all the interaction between the founder of the project and individual investors in the community group, he noticed that the founder often gets angry easily when facing tough questions. 

He raised these concerns during the investment decision meeting, and at the end of the meeting, we decided not to invest. A few months later – the project went bust because the value of the project was way inflated and every institutional investor suffered a loss. I am glad that Huang was able to pay close attention to such details and has always worked with great attention to achieve better performance.

Another key talent of Huang is his multi-tasking skills. I am really impressed by his performance in dealing with a variety of projects simultaneously. When he works as an investment manager in the team, he needs to handle the communication and investigation with 5-8 projects at the same time. He has never left others waiting for his work, and we can always set up the evaluation meeting in the anticipated time frame. He is also able to deal with the pressure when there are extra projects which need his attention.

What would you say are the applicant’s key weaknesses or areas for improvement?

As the founder of a venture capital firm, Huang has built a team and became a leader at such a young age. But I think there is still room for improvement in his management skills, especially in delegating workload. 

As Huang prefers to participate in every stage of the investment decision of a certain project, it limits the overall number of projects he can oversee. For example, he spent much time on initial screening and understanding complex technology concepts of different projects. In my opinion, he could delegate this work and trust his colleagues to complete these tasks as our analysts with technology backgrounds are capable of determining the technology feasibility so that he can invest most of his time in reviewing the big picture.

Second thing I have asked him to improve upon is that he can sometimes be over-optimistic and confident when things are going well. From my perspective, it is crucial to keep a cool mind when dealing with different market situations. When he started Genesis 22, several investments that we made looked promising. Consequently, he was on the aggressive side to allocate a higher proportion of the fund to such projects. However, when there was a change in the market trend and crypto industry started crashing, some investments did not perform as well as we expected. The fund suffered extra losses because of the higher allocation made to these investments. 

Huang realized his mistake afterwards and became more cautious in making an allocation to investments to improve the diversification of the portfolio. I hope he has learned his lesson and does not repeat the same mistake again. 

In which areas of development has the applicant progressed most in the time you’ve known them?

Overall the one big area where I think Huang has really improved is his ability to find and initiate business opportunities and partnerships.

When he started Genesis 22 Ventures, His venture was not receiving stable cash flow except for the return on the investments. He or his patterns did not know that a venture capital fund can expand its business through partnerships and pitching good projects to other VC firms. This way they can build a revenue stream based on commission without risking their own money. 

When I brought this up to him, he learned the rules quickly. He has put in great effort in communicating with other VCs to understand how others operate and create business ideas. The first few times when I had meetings with Huang he could only interpret the general basics of the start-up projects. Therefore, he was not able to provide insightful opinions in decision making. After Huang talked to many teams and spent much time reading industry news, I observed that he was getting better and better at describing business models of different projects in a big picture. Although Huang doesn’t have a strong technology background, he is able to integrate the work of analysts into his knowledge and present a blockchain project in a big picture smoothly.

Through partnerships and advisory services, Huang has helped the venture generate around $40,000 in extra revenue. Genesis 22 has expanded its services to crypto exchange listing consulting, funding advisory and community management for startup projects, etc.

I have seen him learn and grow and I think Huang has progressed massively in his commercial awareness.

If you are a professional referee, would you work with the applicant again post-Masters in Financial Analysis?

Absolutely. Although his fund currently suffers a drop in the quality of deal flow given the bearish situation of the blockchain market, he has made the right decision to make very few investments recently based on the interests of investors. I respect his decision to pursue a master’s in finance degree, and if he wants to resume his Venture Capital firm full-time or work at my VC in the future I would love to work with him again.


  1. Choose the Right Recommender:

    • Select someone who knows you well, can speak to your professional skills and achievements, and can provide detailed and specific examples of your work. Current or past supervisors, clients, or mentors who have worked closely with you are ideal choices.
  2. Provide Specific Examples:

    • Ensure the recommender includes specific examples of your accomplishments, skills, and experiences. This makes the recommendation more credible and impactful. Detailed anecdotes and quantifiable achievements are particularly effective.
  3. Meet with Your Recommender:

    • Schedule a meeting with your recommender to discuss your goals, achievements, and reasons for pursuing an MBA. Provide them with a detailed résumé and a list of your accomplishments to help them write a thorough and personalized letter.
  4. Ensure Timely Submission:

    • Set a personal deadline for your recommenders that is well ahead of the actual application deadline. This helps ensure that your letters are submitted on time and reduces last-minute stress.
  5. Highlight Strengths and Areas for Growth:

    • Encourage your recommender to provide a balanced view by mentioning your strengths along with areas for growth. Constructive feedback adds credibility and shows your willingness to improve.


  1. Don’t Write Your Own Recommendation:

    • Never write your own letter of recommendation, even if a recommender suggests it. Admissions committees can easily detect self-written letters, which can harm your application.
  2. Don’t Choose Recommenders Based on Title Alone:

    • Avoid selecting recommenders solely based on their impressive titles or positions if they do not know you well. A letter from a CEO or politician who has minimal interaction with you is less effective than one from someone who can provide detailed insights into your work and character.
  3. Don’t Use Generic Praise:

    • Ensure your recommender avoids using vague, generic praise without backing it up with specific examples. Statements like “She is a great employee” are less impactful than detailed anecdotes that illustrate why you are exceptional.
  4. Don’t Ignore the Application Instructions:

    • Make sure your recommenders follow the specific instructions and format required by each business school. Different schools may have varying requirements, and it’s important to adhere to them.
  5. Don’t Overload with Superlatives:

    • Encourage your recommender to be honest and avoid excessive use of superlatives. Over-the-top praise without substance can seem insincere. Balanced, realistic assessments that highlight genuine strengths and achievements are more effective.

These do’s and don’ts will help ensure that the letters of recommendation are strong, credible, and supportive of your MBA application.

Here’s is a quick template tailored for candidates applying to a Master’s in Finance program:

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


Subject: “Letter of recommendation for [Candidate’s Name]”

Dear Members of the Admissions Committee,

I am pleased to write this letter of recommendation for [Candidate’s Name]. I have had the pleasure of working with [Candidate’s Name] at [Company Name] for [duration], where I serve as [Recommender’s Title]. In my capacity, I have directly supervised [Candidate’s Name] and have gained a thorough understanding of their professional capabilities and character, particularly in the field of finance.

Specific Examples of Performance and Achievements

[Candidate’s Name] has consistently demonstrated exceptional [skills/qualities] in finance. For example, in [specific project/task], [Candidate’s Name] [specific action taken], which resulted in [quantifiable result/outcome]. This achievement is indicative of [Candidate’s Name]’s [particular quality, e.g., analytical skills, financial modeling, risk management].

Another instance of [Candidate’s Name]’s capabilities was during [another specific project/task]. Here, [Candidate’s Name] [specific action taken], leading to [quantifiable result/outcome]. This project highlighted [Candidate’s Name]’s ability to [related skills, e.g., manage financial portfolios, conduct market analysis, handle complex financial challenges].

Constructive Feedback and Areas of Improvement

During our time working together, I provided [Candidate’s Name] with constructive feedback on [specific area for improvement]. In response, [Candidate’s Name] [specific actions taken to improve]. This demonstrated their openness to feedback and commitment to personal and professional growth in the financial sector.

Leadership Skills and Team Inclusiveness

[Candidate’s Name] is known for their inclusiveness and encouragement of others. For example, during [specific instance], [Candidate’s Name] [specific actions taken to include and encourage others]. This behavior fostered a collaborative and supportive work environment and showcased their leadership and interpersonal skills.

Conclusion and Endorsement

In conclusion, I wholeheartedly endorse [Candidate’s Name] for the [Master’s in Finance program] at [University Name]. I am confident that [Candidate’s Name]’s [specific strengths/qualities] will be an asset to your program and that they will thrive in the academically rigorous and collaborative environment of [University Name].

Please feel free to contact me at [Recommender’s Email] or [Recommender’s Phone Number] if you require any further information.


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

Free Recommendation Letter sample text for masters application

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