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UCD Smurfit MBA Sample Essays

UCD Smurfit Application Essays 2023-24

Essay 1: Beyond what is outlined in your Curriculum Vitae, what will be your unique contribution to your MBA class? (Max. 300 words)

Essay 2: What in your opinion is UCD Smurfit Schools’ responsibility to you as an MBA student and what is your responsibility to the School? (Max. 300 words)

Essay 3: What are your career expectations in the 3 years post MBA? (Max. 300 words)

Essay 4: Which of the following statements do you most identify with and why? (Max. 300 words)

1. A UCD Smurfit MBA will give me the status and respect I seek

2. A UCD Smurfit MBA will enable me to gain international exposure and access to employment abroad

3. A UCD Smurfit MBA will enable me to advance in my career with minimum disruption to family life

4. A UCD Smurfit MBA will enable me to reinvent myself

5. A UCD Smurfit MBA will enable me to achieve a fulfilling career and will ensure financial stability 

6. A UCD Smurfit MBA will improve my leadership skills to have a greater impact at work 7. A UCD MBA will enable me to succeed as an entrepreneur

UCD Smurfit MBA Sample Essays-1

The Covid pandemic has completely changed the way the world thinks and behaves. This has impacted almost every sector of the economies around the world. The manufacturing sector, which is where my business falls, is no exception. And it has not been just the pandemic; the rapid digitalization and rise of e-commerce in recent years have also had their fair share of impact on my business. To be a successful businessman in a dynamic market like the current one, I feel the need to equip myself with strong business, analytical, strategy, and operational skills that can only be achieved through a formal theoretical and practical education in management. This is the reason why I consider this to be the right time to do an MBA and learn to take advantage of the changes in the sector. 

Currently almost every industry in the world, including my business, is facing supply chain issues. I therefore want to learn more about supply chain management as well as various operating techniques that the big companies deploy to manage their inventory system. 

Smurfit is one of the few schools worldwide to hold the ‘triple crown’ of accreditation from the three centres of business and academic excellence. Its renowned faculty members will encourage me to draw on my own professional experience and understand my positives and negatives. While going through the website of Smurfit Business School, what resonated the most with me was the school’s holistic curriculum with focus on entrepreneurship, digital transformation, and doing business in international markets. Experiential programmes like the capstone project and the international study tour can provide me with the opportunity to gain hands-on work experience in a global environment and understand different business cultures. 

Thus, I have no doubt that this is the right time to do this MBA programme.

I have more than 5 years of experience in leading and managing my family business Aman Apparels – a jeans and apparel manufacturing company. Due to my father’s demise, I had to take over the business at the age of 25. Today, I manage a team of 77 employees and look after day-to-day operations. Since I wish to pursue an MBA to become better able to manage the business and implement the many ideas I have for expanding it, my younger brother will manage the business in my absence. 

Post-MBA, I will return to India to apply the knowledge I gained through my MBA and upscale Aman Apparels in the Indian market. I want to change the style of operations to align better with current best practices around the world and introduce streamlined processes to ensure better delivery both in terms of timelines and quality. The MBA will also give me exposure to the functioning of manufacturing companies in international markets. This is particularly appropriate for me as in the long term, I aspire to grow my family’s manufacturing business to international markets – markets where I can create a demand for my clothing as well textile materials. Through this MBA I will get to interact with industry leaders and learn from them ways to resolve challenges in various aspects of running a business. I will also learn to manage finances and resources which are critical for any business. Finally, but very importantly I will develop a strong network which will prove invaluable for my business’ growth.

 

 

A UCD Smurfit MBA will enable me to reinvent myself as an entrepreneur. My company has hit the growth stage, where our business has become more bureaucratic, dull, conservative, process-oriented, slow, less innovative and orthodox following the same ways that were made by grandfather and father for the past 25 years. I want to see the bigger picture where I don’t want  look at things from the vantage point of a single industry or field.To change this I need an opportunity to receive hands-on learning experience and a structured curriculum of UCD smurfit MBA will give me essential business knowledge and insight about various business practices that are deployed by big companies. Its courses like Operations, Innovation & Management will help me in idea generation techniques, group idea development workshops, the use of relevant business development tools, weekly requirements to research and explore ideas, and carry out final pitches of business ideas.

 In addition with its entrepreneurship course it will provide me the opportunity to improve my leadership skills in a safe environment. This concentration will also show me how to develop sound business plans, find new ventures, identify and assess business opportunities and practice my entrepreneur skills in a number of mock situations and contexts. These classes will help me avoid many of the most common mistakes often experienced by me in running my business as it provides me a safe environment in which I can test my ideas–and fail with less-harsh consequences — thus helping me hone my decision-making skills and build confidence. Electives like Data Analytics will  help me refine my own business concepts and develop key skills of analysis, giving me an edge when bringing my ideas to the market. UCD MBA will also give me the opportunity to network, gain hands-on experience and gain knowledge through entrepreneur-focused courses, where through networking I will be able to make contacts to take my business in the international market in the future. Electives like Data Analytics will  help me refine my own business concepts and develop key skills of analysis, giving me an edge when bringing my ideas to the market. 

My main responsibilities include creating business plans, reviewing sales, developing marketing strategies, and overseeing daily activities of my staff. I identify costing on target prices using style-based and competition-based techniques, and discuss with buyers and vendors on issues that could affect delivery timelines. In 2020, I implemented a new HR strategy to reduce expenses and keep my business afloat.

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I graduated in 2016 and excitedly joined our family business. However in 2019 my father suddenly passed away and it was only then that I came to know the company had a loan of almost $1.75 million and even our house had been mortgaged. I sold some assets and increased the production of factories, and literally burned the proverbial midnight oil to get my business on track. By early 2020, our profits started to increase which helped me pay off my house mortgage.

As fate would have it again, just as the business was picking up COVID hit and operations came to a standstill. Forced to dip into my personal savings to pay my 200 employees, in our next town hall meeting, I laid down the hard facts about the business and asked them to choose either to take a deep salary cut or leave. To my surprise almost all of them agreed to salary cuts. This was the first time where I as a leader was seeking help from my own employees and they all stood by me. This humane side of my employees truly showed me that a company is not built by its owners but by its workers. After the lockdown was lifted and orders started coming in, my staff worked overtime to deliver on schedule and we closed the year with a 35% year on year profitable growth.

Looking backward, I believe, it was my own version of baptism by fire in the business world. However, now I am glad that after 2 years of struggles we are in a really good position. I have the drive and motivation to excel in this MBA and enough experience to share with my peers. A scholarship will ease my financial burden considerably and ensure my financial stability.

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UCD Smurfit MBA Sample Essays-2

After a 6-year stint as a full-time entrepreneur and building a company from scratch to a stable business model with 10 employees, 300 projects and $150k revenue, my growth curve became stagnant. 

In my constant pursuit of personal and professional development, I got an opportunity to spearhead the growth of a bigger company with a larger market cap in Dubai. For the past six months, I have been working as the head of operations of BAM Technical Services, directly reporting to the CEO. In this short span, we won a water pipeline project worth 5 million AED from Dubai Electricity and Water Authority. I lead a team of 40 and other subcontractors for this project, while consequently pursuing my company expansion to UAE, making collaborations and completing 20 projects.

Though I learnt important business and leadership values, the entrepreneur journey was like jumping into the pool and learning to swim. I made mistakes and learned through them. I could point out numerous instances where I would have done better in the first go. In short, I would like to pursue my MBA and traditionally learn the business concepts by attending an international school, which not only equips me with new business skills but also gives me an international network. Hands-on experience on real consulting projects and advanced business tools would help me gain practical understanding of businesses. Therefore I would like to pursue an MBA and take my next venture following the principle of ‘Think globally, Plan nationally and Act locally’.

My post-MBA goal is to land a Senior Operations Manager role in companies such as Amazon, Salesforce and get corporate exposure and learn best practices. After working for 5 years and reaching the role of operations director or country operation manager, I plan to rejoin my company as CEO and work towards achieving my long-term vision to establish a multidisciplinary organization and consolidate all my and my family’s businesses under this entity, sell off non-performing assets, and start new businesses or expand the already existing ones.

To expand my businesses across geographies, a familiarity with the business culture across different markets and international connections is inevitable. I have experience in the Indian and  Asian markets such as the Gulf, Malaysia, and China through first-degree connections. I believe a Smurfit MBA will push me out of my comfort zone and help me identify business collaborations in new locations and segments.

Apart from the world-class curriculum and international outlook, Smurfit will be a good fit for my goals because of the experiential learning system it follows. I could relate my practical experiences to business theories and concepts and also contribute to the cohort. I am particularly excited about the Capstone Project and the International Consulting Project, which would give me my first hands-on experience on a real consulting project. I shall make the most out of the leadership development programs, Entrepreneurship clubs, and other societies. Moreover, the diversity and networking options of Smurfit Business School and Ireland as a whole, getting immersed in the business culture of the European hub to many of the world’s leading mnc’s, will provoke me to think of new ideas and opportunities. I believe all this wonderfully aids the fulfillment of my short-term and long-term goals.

I carry the entrepreneurship spirit with me and after graduation I co-founded Foplus Integrated Solutions as a retail IT solutions provider. The initial response was very slow and revenues barely covered rent. One day, when we supplied computers to a client, he asked if we could do the networking and security systems. Though lacking prior experience, I said yes. Posing as a customer, I contacted several service providers and understood the major brands, product specifications, and prices. 

That worked out and in three days, we earned the equivalent of a month’s retail sales. I used the same strategy to expand into related segments such as biometric & access control, security alarms, and communication systems. We made a major shift from the retail segment to projects. I re-engineered the company from a small retail IT solution provider to a technology consulting and contracting company of  security, automation, communication, and Extra Low Voltage solutions. I stabilized and automated the business and we grew from just one employee and small revenue to 10 employees & $150K turnover, completing 300 plus projects. 

In short, I possess the entrepreneurial skills to identify and leverage opportunities and take a company from zero to one and I wanna take it from one to ten. I believe the lack of business education and global exposure is hindering my growth prospects. With capstone projects, international consultancy projects, other leadership & entrepreneur development programs, the UCD MBA will definitely fill my knowledge gap and open a world of opportunities. Moreover, the diversity and networking options, and the international outlook of the school, will expose me to the business culture of the European hub to many of the world’s leading MNCs which is crucial in taking the next step for my organization.

 

Oversee the timely execution and handover of our various projects worth 7 million AED in UAE, reporting directly to the Managing-Director.

-Resource management as per the requirements in various projects, heading an internal team of 40 and other sub-contractors.

-Reconcile the issues among clients, project-engineers, government authorities, and sub-contractors.

-Ensure the smooth revenue flow by coordinating between different stakeholders.

Being a firm believer in KARMA, I have been a flagbearer of positive-change and always pushed the limits. Raised in a remote-village in India, I began my leadership roles as the school-captain. Unable to complete my highschool on medical grounds, I ended up in an open-school studying by myself. Later I guided 10 students to pass in open-school.

Then I was the first from our village to crack the State Entrance Examination (ranked 1400 among 100k applicants). In college, I co-founded a 100-member student volunteer organization named Salam-India. We utilized the brightest engineering students to give career guidance and teach science subjects in nearby orphanages. I have also been associated with a dozen of NGOs and in a few of them, I was in the key roles.

After my graduation, I began my entrepreneurial journey and from scratch, established a company  with 10 employees, 300+ projects, and $165K turnover in a market where you could hire a technician for as low as $1000 a year. I earned around $11000 annually and you could imagine how badly I could afford the UCD MBA. When my growth curve had become stagnant, I resolved to climb out of the proverbial well and explore the ocean. I went international, taking up an operations role under BAM Contracting in water pipeline projects of Dubai-Electricity-And-Water-Authority.

The first-step in MBA, Gmat was challenging – with no seniors or friends to guide or attempt it before. With hard preparations, I scored 710/800 in my first-attempt. Here I am trying my chances for a transformation, with my unique profile as an entrepreneur of extra-low-voltage-systems & transferable-skills I bring to the class. As Robert Frost said, I took the road not taken and less traveled, I am sure at least I can leave some markings for the ones to follow.

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