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 Winning Sample Essays - 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.

Client Testimonial

Rishav Ankit

Rishav Ankit

ISB

I worked with Ameer for my ISB application and interview preparation. His clarity of thought and logical approach was something missing from my application. He helped me re-work and re-think my essays with an entirely new outlook, which enabled me to come up with the right strategy and pitch. This not only helped me with my ISB application but also helped me with my international application as well. 
One of the best thing working with him was the amount of time he spent with me on my application, answering all my queries at any time. His mock interviews gave me a full flavour of what a B school interview is like and highlighted my shortcomings, which with his feedback I was able to turn around within a couple of days and finally get the coveted ISB to admit.

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Santosh Reddy

Madison Wisconsin, Schulich, Purdue

Coming from a PSU background and having a moderate GMAT score seemed a bit challenging in the pre-application period. So I needed a trained eye and a mentor in the application process to guide me through the so called “chakravyuha”. One of my friends suggested to approach Ameer and I instantly followed. it was one of the best decisions I took in my life. He not only guided me through the process but also helped me realise my potentials, brought out the positives in my experience and aided me to throw away those PSU insecurities. I applied for two top 40 US B-Schools and two top 5 Canadian B-Schools and got into 3 of them. His straight forward approach and instant feedback would make you realise that you are heading in the right direction. His mock interview sessions were great and I strongly recommend taking them. Thanks Ameer for the great support and I am indebted to you my whole life.

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Rayelene D’souza

Questroom MBA

I walked into the application process with an average GMAT score, a strong resume, and years of professional writing experience, but I quickly found that it takes a trained eye and unique skill set to turn those credentials into the perfect business school application. Though Ameer and I initially disagreed on a few points, he remained patient and understanding until I was fully comfortable with the content in my application while also remaining sensitive to the best way to tell my story to win the heart of the admissions board. As I was keen on pursuing a part time in-class MBA program, I had my heart set out on Boston University and that was the first college I applied to. Within a month of my application I was admitted with a partial scholarship and I couldn’t be happier. This school is the perfect fit for my career goals and I could not be more grateful to Ameer for helping me get into the school of my choice. Thank you once again.

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Vaibhav Vishal

Schulich Business School

Coming from India with a 620 in GMAT, I was not sure of applying to any of my dream colleges, but I was also not very keen to sit for another year to improve my GMAT score. I got in touch with Ameer, and he asked me to focus on my strength which was 7 years of Leadership experience in a Public Sector Organisation. I trusted his guidance throughout my application process and interview. His serious effort in the reiteration of my essays and the mock interviews was beneficial in securing an admit to Schulich School of Business, Canada.

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Hu Shunfeng

HEC Paris

“Ameer helped me prepare the interview of HEC Paris, including a 10-min presentation and the question-answer session. I got much valuable advice and made great progress through 2 mock interviews, especially for the presentation, where he suggested me to adjust the structure of the content in order to better match the school’s requirements. Moreover, Ameer inspired me a lot when practicing some cross questions, which made me think further about my strengths and weaknesses. He did me a big favor not only for the interview but also for my future learning experience at HEC”.

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Akhil Khanijao

HEC Montreal

“I got in touch with Ameer through Facebook group. I was just starting to think about applying but I was not clear in which school I would fit in and what I want to do after MBA with my 10 years of Entrepreneurial experience. Working with Ameer was a wonderful and fruitful experience. Ameer really guided with school selection and career goals I might be able to pursue. He put in serious efforts in my application, and made sure that I get the admit.”

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Dharam Nain Singh

740, Deloitte, USC Marshall School of Business

“Applications are mostly about selling yourself in the best way possible. Ameer helped me in making a list of all the important events in my life, and used them to highlight what skills I have.I think I might not have been able to make the application so precise and to the point without Ameer’s help. I don’t think I would have been able to make so convincing applications without his help.”

NTU Winning Sample Essays - 1

Briefly describe your current job responsibilities. (maximum 100 words)

I have 6 years of professional experience working for Mitsui OSK Lines Company in cargo shipping Industry. I lead a team of 10-12 crew members.

Currently working as a second officer, I handle 2 major departments. At sea, I lead bridge team for safe navigation of the ship and time-bound delivery of cargo. At port, I supervise overall cargo operations in liaison with the terminal manager. It includes planning, loading and unloading of the cargo on the ship.

I am a certified first aid responder to any casualty on board the ship. I also handle additional charge of leading emergency response team.

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.

Explain why you believe you should be awarded a scholarship and how you anticipate contributing to Nanyang MBA program and your fellow participants. (400 word limit)

I was born in a rural lower middle-class family where money always fell short of aspiration. Our family’s lifelong hardship with money has taught me many valuable lessons in life. Despite the hardships, I have managed to finance my education through hard earned scholarships and loans. I started working at the age of 11 in a toy store to finance my own education and today I am proud to say that I am the first person from my entire family to finish graduation and aspiring to study further.

Having undergone hardships, I have a deep relation and can understand the challenges and struggle one has to undergo for education in rural India. One such profound incident that left an edible mark on me was when our house maid requested me to help her 8 years old son Anil, with education because she did not have the money to send him to a school. Our maid barely had the income to support the livelihood of her 5 children and education was a dream for them.

The incident motivated me to establish a charitable trust “Sampanna Jeevan Foundation” in 2014 to ensure education for the underprivileged and provide a platform for nurturing rural talent. Currently, it is mentoring 80 destitute children by providing free formal education and job oriented training. Many children like Anil today have the courage to dream big. Setting up a formal school requires a lot of investment to finance infrastructure, staff payments and routine operations. I have leveraged my network to promote the program and till now, I have been putting all the profits from the travel portal to support the trust.

During my MBA program, I will have to manage my living and other expenses in addition to the MBA tuition fees. Citing a huge cost involved with no other option, I will have to take away money from startup to support myself. Unfortunately, in that case, I will not be able to support needy people through my NGO.

The sheer feeling of being able to support so many indigent children has been my biggest achievement in my life. I want these kids to live a respectful life. The NGO gives their parents a hope for a better future. If Nanyang can support me through scholarship, I will not have to draw full money from start-up and will be able to sustain the philanthropic initiative.

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