INTRODUCTION

One of the most exciting cities in all of Asia is Singapore and Nanyang Business School was the very first MBA school in the country. So if you’re looking for a school that would allow you to do a deep dive on Asia in an incredibly welcoming city, Nanyang is the place to be. It’s full-time MBA program, which boasts a focus on Asia, can be completed in just 12 months.

With nearly nine out of ten students from outside Singapore, the school attracts a wildly diverse group of MBA candidates, especially from all across Asia. Some 16% of the Class of 2012 were from Europe and from Southeast Asia; 18% from India, 13% from China, 12% from Northeast Asia, and 6% from the Americas. An unusually high percentage were women, 43%, compared with the more typical one-third in U.S. business schools.

The vast majority of Nanyang’s MBAs tend to land jobs in Asia (some 81% of the Class of 2011), with 14% going off to Europe and 5% to North America. The school says that 48% of the class used the MBA degree to transition to a new industry, while 46% changed functions. Even more impressive is the fact that more than a third of the graduates (38%) were double-switchers, using the MBA to change both industries and job function at the same time.

NTU MBA CLASS PROFILE

NTU MBA PLACEMENT STATISTICS

NTU MBA Winning Sample Essay - 2

Briefly describe your involvement in any Social Responsibility or Sustainable Development activities (maximum 150 words)

I have always strongly believed that we don’t necessarily need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to being socially responsible. We just need to look around and ask ‘What little bit can I do? Whose life can I touch?’

I am fortunate enough to be raised in a family where lack of resources for education was never a problem. But I have realised that not everyone is that fortunate. Hence I tried to give back to the society by volunteering to take mathematics lessons for grade 3 students.

I have also had the privilege of giving basic Yoga lessons at a nearby NGO called ‘Donate an Hour’. It fills me with pride to share the positive impact Yoga has had on my life when I spend time with these children. Seeing their happy faces when they run towards me whenever I reach for the class is extremely gratifying.

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

I started my professional journey as a Junior Analyst with McKinsey in the Corporate and Investment Banking team. Today, after gaining more than 2 years of valuable experience, I am a tenured analyst acting as an independent thought-partner on consulting teams.

Even though Junior Analysts are not aligned with service lines early in their career, I was able to draw a niche for myself in the Capital Market and Investment Banking domain. I was also entrusted to handle a partnership of McKinsey with a market intelligence firm where, I manage the relationship with the vendor and am the sole point of contact in the firm for bespoke analysis on global banks. I have also been a key contributor to McKinsey’s two flagship publications, and my valuable research and analytical inputs to the publications has helped me earn a promotion.

Post-MBA, I plan to continue working in management consulting domain and aim to grow into a consultant’s role in a leading firm such as McKinsey, BCG or Bain.

To make a switch from an analyst to a successful consultant, I’ll need to gain strongest possible business knowledge through formal learning, which the Nanyang MBA offers with the advantage of sharing the classroom with individuals coming from diverse nationalities. I was fortunate to attend an info-session where I got the opportunity to interact with Prof. Nilanjan Sen and attend a session by Prof. Vijay Sethi. The experience was a window into how NBS is a perfect fit since it can offer me experiential knowledge and opportunity to learn from world-renowned faculty.

Speaking to a current student at NBS was extremely insightful as I got to know how the ‘Leading People Globally’ module has steered her towards being a global employee. Listening to her experiences helped me realize that Nanyang can truly help me in building a strong foundation to be an effective leader. At Nanyang I would get the opportunity to apply classroom learnings to real-life consulting projects through SPAN which I think is the ideal platform to test my knowledge and acquire hands-on experience. I also got to know that NBS facilitates career coaching with an industry expert who acts as a mentor through the MBA. I believe mentoring programs like this the perfect blend of guidance as well as a link to the industry to expand my network so that I can achieve my short term goal.

Tell us about two achievements (one as a leader and one as a team member) that you are most proud of, and why you feel that to be so. (maximum 400 words)

Working in a global firm such as McKinsey has given me the opportunity to be a part of a diverse set of projects in the banking space. Each of them came with its own set of learnings and has helped me develop into a good team player and leader.

My workplace ardently propagates ‘Make your own McKinsey’. Hence when the opportunity to lead the research workstream for a client team in Saudi Arabia was proposed to me, I was quick in grasping it. My team was responsible for overall market sizing and competitor benchmarking. However, my team was working for the first time in the middle east region and had no prior knowledge of the market dynamics. I had to be quick on my feet and adapt frameworks from other projects to deliver effectively. Since our team was cross-functional across the non-banking units such as Asset Management and Insurance, the biggest challenge I had as a lead was to ensure effective collaboration within the team and also act as a single point of contact with the client team. In the end my team could deliver comprehensive results to the client and was greatly appreciated. It was a very special experience for me since it was my first experience as a team lead and I could create high impact and deliver output in an unknown setting.

Even though I have been part of various teams throughout my professional stint, the best experience for me as a team member was when I got to be part of a team for a flagship publication on capital markets. Our team built evaluation frameworks for holistically measuring the performance of capital markets. I was effectively able to contribute and make the team look at the big picture given my industry perspective. I was also able to efficiently add value to the team discussion when I was invited onsite in Hong Kong for brainstorming sessions. The publication was very successful with distribution to over 1500 clients globally and extensive coverage in print and online media like Bloomberg. Based on the good work from last year, I have been entrusted to independently lead a team of three this year and create a refreshed index. This experience is very close to my heart since I have been able to transition from being a team member last year to leading the effort this year.

Share with us a situation where you faced adversity. Describe how you resolved/managed it and what you learned from the experience. (maximum 400 words)

My parents hail from a small town in Uttar Pradesh. I have been raised in a conservative environment where according to societal norms and restricted thinking, it is expected to accept and not fight for what you want. Career and life choices are often made by parents or elders, more so for girls.

I was always good in academics and thus it was almost pre-decided for me to take up Science and become an engineer. All my brothers and sisters even in extended family have pursued Engineering. I was also expected to follow the convention however, I never felt any interest in engineering. I always loved Economics as a subject. I invariably felt connected to it in school as I was intrigued with understanding the incentives that govern decision making.

Upon graduating high school, I struggled between what was expected of me and what I wished for. I took engineering entrances to make my parents happy. However, I really wanted to get into a coveted economics course. With my good aptitude and academic performance, I was able to get through both courses and impetuously my father enrolled me into engineering course without even asking me.

This is the biggest adversity I had ever faced in my life on how to go against the wishes of my father and stand-up for my own choices. Hence started my tussle of convincing my parents of my will to pursue Economics. I faced a lot of backlash and daily friction as I was going against the wish of my family. My family felt that my will was born out of rebellion and not passion. Since my brother went through the same struggle few years ago, I hoped he would understand my feelings better and he did when I approached him for support. He lent his full support, no matter that he didn’t get to fulfill his dreams but now at least he can support his little sister achieve hers.

We finally succeeded in making my father understand that we aren’t all the same and shouldn’t expected to be. Today, my parents are very proud of what all I have achieved at McKinsey and have started trusting my decisions. This experience made me into the confident individual I am today as, with perseverance, I was able to put forth my opinion and achieve what I wanted.

NTU MBA Winning Sample Essay - 1

Briefly describe your involvement in any Social Responsibility or Sustainable Development activities.(150 words)

I am staunch supporter of the right to education for poor people and I have been working in this field for more than 2 years. I have established a charitable trust “Sampanna Jeevan Foundation” in 2014 as a support system for the growth of rural talents. I have been mentoring 80 destitute kids through free formal education to prepare them to earn a livelihood. I regularly organise awareness camps in villages to sensitise people towards the value of child education.

As a professional, I also have the responsibility of environment management officer on the ship. I have implemented garbage segregation at the source through colour coding of the garbage bins and reduced fuel consumption of the ship by 12 Tonnes per voyage by optimising the passage distance between the ports. I have been training the crew members to use environmentally safe practices and reduced the paper consumption on-board the ship by 40%.

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

I started my career working at the age of 11 years in a toy shop to support my family and my education. Today, I have made myself into a Merchant Marine Officer working with an internationally diverse team and have travelled across 60 countries.

Trained in a cross-cultural environment with team members from multiple nationalities, I have achieved a fast career growth relative to my peers owing to my dedicated effort, unmatched performance and craving to learn attitude. In 6 years, I have been promoted thrice from trainee officer to ultimately working as a second officer. Apart from my shipping stint, I have started a Pilgrim venture and established a social trust to provide free education and job oriented training to rural kids.

Working worldwide in cargo shipping industry at sea for 6 years, I have acquired a fundamental knowledge of operation and supply chain. Post MBA, I want to specialise in General management to shift my industry onshore. I intend to apply my learnings to work as an operation and supply chain manager in a shipping, eCommerce or express logistic company to create value for all the stakeholders.

Singapore, which is ranked first globally in terms of containerised traffic and is a vehicle transhipment hub for the South-East Asia presents a tremendous opportunity for where I can use my experience and skills to create value for an onshore shipping company, port operation and logistic firms.

I believe Nanyang MBA, with its globally reputed program and experimental learning, will provide the right opportunities to fill my skill gap to make the desired transition. Learning eCommerce strategy and operation management from World’s best Business Professor Vijay Sethi will sharpen my skills and blend my experience with excellence. Also, Nanyang MBA’s core courses are blended with the industry-oriented program such as SPAN and Business Study Mission which can help me gain practical hands-on experience in dynamic business environments. Mr Avik Chatterjee, 2010 batch alumnus, has provided me valuable guidance about the career prospects and how I can leverage my prior experience and NBS MBA optimally.

Hence, I am confident that I can leverage Nanyang’s tight-knit global alumni network and its industry link in Singapore as networking opportunities to make a shift to my target industry and function. Therefore, after proper consideration, I believe doing an MBA from Nanyang would be a perfect fit for me to achieve my short-term goals.

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

In my 6 years of professional experience, I have worked across more than 60 countries with multicultural teams. In our day to day operation in troubled waters, we face multiple situations where everyone needs to come together as a team to make an impact.

One such crisis was in 2013 when I was navigating the ship “M.V Lavender Ace” through Somalia. The ship was carrying 6000 luxury cars bound for Europe. While navigating, I noticed a suspicious small ship. In the waters near Somalia, it was obvious that these were pirates waiting for an opportunity to pounce. I quickly appraised the Captain and engine room to prepare for emergency. Our team immediately kicked into action to ensure all anti-piracy measures are intact. We also reached out for help from UK Maritime security agency.

I started performing the evasive navigational measures, while the bridge navigational team fired expired pyrotechnics. Despite our evasive manoeuvres pirates continued to chase our ship for 45 minutes until NATO helicopters arrived to help us. My prompt action and coordinated team response with NATO and bridge teams helped us successfully evade pirates and save the ship and lives of 28 crewmembers.

During our collaborative response, we integrated with each other irrespective of our cultural differences and mental temperament. The incident taught me that a team effort complements each other and always come out stronger than individual’s effort.

My commitment towards synergistic approach against various challenging situations has made me a leader of adversity. Once a large scale paint locker fire occurred onboard the ship, which was spreading fast in the vicinity of explosive cargo. While the captain was coordinating and supervising the entire operation, I was leading the emergency response team. I delegated crew to prepare fire hoses, cool down the compartment boundary and shut off the ventilation to prevent fire from spreading. I commanded the crew member to prepare survival craft and prepared firefighters to extinguish the fire. With the organised response, clear instructions and on-scene communication, my team was able to successfully put out the fire without endangering any human casualty or marine pollution.

These 2 incidents have been my biggest achievements of my professional career. They have taught me that a leader should always be prepared to direct his team towards a common goal. A set of actions in a crisis has its intended effect only if they are well planned and coordinated.

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

I grew up in the outskirt of small town Deoghar which is although a famous pilgrimage spot but lacks industrial development and resources. Lack of professional opportunities while growing up in a small town inspired me to create something and give back to the community to help other enthusiastic kids like me to make it out of rural poverty.

Towards this aim, I created an online travel portal deogharyatra.com which capitalised on the religious significance of my birth-place. We provide an end-to-end solution for tourists and devotees by bridging all the gaps in their spiritual enlightenment journey. Through this tourism business, I am generating employment for the local youth and helping them succeed.

But the journey to set up a local business and provide meaningful employment has not been easy. The first difficulty that I faced was planning and goal setting through market research to formulate a credible business plan. Without prior experience, I had to struggle on the field to identify customer needs and our unique selling proposition. The second problem I faced was to market my niche venture to the target customer. Everything looked good on paper but the final hurdle was to turn the idea into an actual functioning business.

But I was determined in my efforts and started out with a plan. I conducted customer surveys on the field, researched market through web and media and analysed a lot of collected data. Communications and targeting specific customers turned out more difficult than expected for which I had to train local youths to make sales pitches. While traditional marketing outreaches such as news and advertisements were too expensive I relied on free inbound marketing via social media. Finally, to come up with funding, I decided to bootstrap the plan, set affordable loss, plan for cash generation taking contingencies into account.

My entrepreneurial venture has been a great learning opportunity. It has inculcated in me the ability to evaluate risk, use innovation, leverage personal networks, and deal with unexpected challenges. However, in the hindsight, I also think that I could have done a lot better if I had proper business knowledge about finance, marketing and other business fundamentals. That’s why now I believe, an MBA filled with acquiring business knowledge about Finance, marketing, operations and strategy will not only broaden my vision in a business framework professionally but also help me in my efforts to make a positive contribution to the society.

NTU MBA Application Essay Tips

Essay 1 – 

Briefly describe your involvement in any Social Responsibility or Sustainable Development activities (maximum 150 words)

From this prompt, it is obvious that Nanyang places social responsibility very high on its list of priorities. While describing your involvement, don’t forget to explain your motivation for undertaking the task in question, and the impact it made. In all likelihood, you will have worked in a group, so that you can also bring out the collaborative nature of your undertaking.

Journalists follow a classical rule while reporting events, and you may possibly find this useful in your description. It is called the five W’s and one H. In presenting any account, say who was involved, what happened, where and when it took place, and why and how it happened. Answering these questions ensures that you give a complete picture of the situation.

 

Essay 2 – 

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

While assessing your career progress, you need not go into detail regarding your technical accomplishments. Rather, you should concentrate on the leadership roles you assumed, since this is what the adcom will be primarily concerned with. Explain what drove you into this career, and why a particular career path especially appeals to you. If there has been any switch in career roles, or gaps between different jobs, give credible reasons for the same. Following this, point out the short-term and long-term goals you have formulated for yourself, and then zero in on the skills you still need to acquire, and on why you think Nanyang is your best bet in this regard. Cogent reasons might include its strong Asia-focus, its high ranking, and its location in one of the world’s most liveable and efficient cities.

Essay 3 – 

Tell us about two achievements (one personal and one professional) that you are most proud of, and why you feel that to be so. (400 word limit)

There are certain attributes all business schools look for in applicants – impactful leadership, community service, a sense of vision and the capacity to think big, initiative, integrity, communications skills, the ability to be a team player, self-awareness, etc. Therefore, when you discuss your personal and professional achievements, make certain you focus on one or more of these traits. Since you have already spoken of community service in your first answer, this does not need to feature again here.

Let us suppose you topped your batch in college, and you also took the lead in organizing an alumni association. While the first example might reflect your academic brilliance, it does not by itself reflect any of the qualities listed above. However, the fact that, with the help of your colleagues, you organized an alumni association will be seen as indicative of your initiative and collaborative spirit. Hence, it would be more judicious to mention the latter achievement.

Do not neglect to point out the impact of your achievements, for this is something the adcom is always on the look-out for.

Essay 4 – 

How do you anticipate contributing to the Nanyang MBA Program and your fellow participants? It may be helpful to share experiences from your past where you have been able to do something similar. (400 word limit)

To answer this question properly, you need a thorough familiarity with the program. Find out as much about the program as you can from all available sources – the Nanyang website, alumni, current students, etc. As such, a visit to the campus would be highly recommended. Once you have a good idea of what the program is all about, it will be much easier for you to decide which areas you would like to contribute to. This will naturally depend on the expertise, skills, and knowledge you have picked up in the past. Therefore, when you state, in this essay, exactly where you would like to contribute, cite instances from your personal and/or professional life where you have participated in similar activities or been involved in similar engagements. This will be required to convince the adcom that you are not speaking merely theoretically, but are actually equipped to put your words into concrete action.

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