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Graduate in Business Administration applying to LSE Diploma in Accounting and Finance


sidnarkhede 1 / 5  
Jul 17, 2013   #1
Dear Moderator,

It would be very helpful if anyone could review my application essay to LSE.

Thanking in advance.
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I am a graduate in business administration working in a research and analytics firm. I lead a team of financial analysts who prepare credit reports; do financial data spreading, business research, industry research, market research, and also provide consulting services for market entry and product & process improvement. I am also responsible for undertaking feasibility studies, project costing, process transitioning and writing business proposals. In addition to this I also assist project managers in their revenue and cost management. Being part of a young company has helped a lot. Since the company was still in its nascent stages, every project that I did was unique in some way and required customised processes and this helped a great deal in gaining a business understanding.

Over the past four years, I have gained substantial experience in team management, people management, project/operations management and client management. I have been able to enhance my analytical skills, leadership skills, writing skills, communication - both written & verbal skills and IT skills. Doing corporate presentations on service offerings and capabilities to people in senior positions significantly helped enhance my communication skills. I have worked extensively on Excel, Word and PowerPoint. I also have a basic level of understanding of VBA Macros. I have worked under stringent timelines and ensured timely deliveries while mentoring other team members in taking up additional responsibilities.

Though I was somewhat familiar with the terminologies in the financial statements, the knowledge that I have gained in the field of finance has primarily been through practical learning. After graduation I initially worked as an analyst with an ISO certification firm. I was responsible for analysing the revenue and cost of its Indian operations on a continual basis and prepare reports for the management identifying and commenting on trends and anomalies. I co-developed the model for analysis which would also generate the break-even revenue figures for each upcoming month and which then could be used to formulate targets.

Post that, I moved to a research and analytics firm where I joined as a financial analyst. I got an opportunity to work extensively on financial statements of global companies particularly in the aviation sector. I analysed the financial performance and business models of public, private and state-owned airlines and wrote research and credit reports on them. I was involved in the financial analysis project right since its pilot stages. This allowed me to gain an understanding of management concepts such as process set-up and process migration. I also worked extensively on the design and development of the financial model. I was later made responsible for quality assurance of this project. I implemented several measures such as creation of a guideline document for data spreading and checklists to avoid any errors that may occur due to human element. These measures significantly helped in improving the quality of the reports. The guideline document also helped bring in standardisation and consistency across reports, a key requirement for the success of the product, and it also helped speed up the process of data spreading. My contribution in improving the quality and bringing in efficiency was recognised and I was awarded for excellence in performance.

I have worked on several other business research and consulting projects covering sectors such as automobile, paints & coatings, medical equipment, telecom, insulation, real estate and pharmaceutical sector. I was involved in the development of financial models for the real estate sector, pharmaceuticals sector and telecom sector as well. I have also worked on product and process enrichment engagements.

I now wish to increase my theoretical knowledge in this field and learn in theory the concepts such as asset pricing, financial modelling, company valuation and security analysis. I have very little formal education in accounting and finance and as such I want to start from the basics so that the transition to the masters' programme will be smooth. Based on conversations with my seniors, LSE alumni and my own research on the internet and MBA forums, I strongly believe that the Diploma in Accounting and Finance from LSE will be the best starting point for me. The range of papers available for study in the department and the fact that the programme structure allows to choose among them (aside from compulsory papers) provides the flexibility to study the subjects which interest me the most. The modules offered in this programme such as "Corporate Finance, Investments, and Financial Markets", "Financial Risk Analysis" and "Financial Reporting, Capital Markets and Business Combinations" are of great interest to me. Financial statements provide the fundamental information that is required for undertaking the analysis and modules such as "Financial Accounting, Analysis and Valuation" will provide a strong foundation in accounting. The LSE Diploma in Accounting and Finance gives me an opportunity to learn in theory all these subjects. I strongly believe that acquiring theoretical knowledge will be crucial for me to progress in this career path and to get involved into the technicalities and do more challenging work in this field and which will ultimately lead to an overall better financial management and decision-making.

Studying at LSE will give me an opportunity to be part of and study in one of the most reputed departments in the world for these subjects. I will be able to ask questions in person to professors who are having detailed knowledge of these subjects and have themselves written influential research papers in accounting and finance. The prospect of studying and interacting along-with extremely talented people from diverse backgrounds is another driving force in me choosing the LSE. Besides, it will also give me an opportunity to stay in the financial capital of the world.

Once I have my foundation in place I wish to continue learning these subjects and acquire deeper knowledge by pursuing a masters' level study. I plan to pursue masters in accounting and finance as I intend to take up a job in the financial services sector, particularly in aviation financing sector and for that I will require higher level of understanding of topics such as asset valuation, capital markets, corporate finance and financial reporting. I would like to be part of the aircraft leasing division at GE Capital, a lessor of aircraft, or I may join the asset financing team at Nomura. To be considered capable of joining such reputed organisations I will require strong academic credentials which I can acquire by studying at LSE.

I have completed my graduation in Business Administration. It gave me an understanding of the various functions of an organisation and also introduced me to many concepts and techniques of management across all the functions. It gave me the theoretical understanding of the functioning of an organisation and through some factory visits and internships I also got to see the implementation of the fundamentals and concepts in a live environment. However, I wanted to first test myself in the real corporate environment before I undertook post-graduate studies. I was, however, aware that I would need to obtain the highest level and calibre of education and undoubtedly a course from LSE would satisfy both these conditions.

The thing that matters me the most is the sense of satisfaction that can be achieved after doing any activity. I always try to achieve that feeling of satisfaction in any activity that I do whether it is part of my professional life or personal life. As such I always try to do doings in the best possible way. While I am aware that I may not always succeed and there may be times when what I have done doesn't even come close to a satisfactory output for others but inside I still have that feeling of satisfaction and it was the best that could have been by me in that situation, but with a clear goal for the next time to perform better than what I did last time. On this optimistic note, I would like to thank you for taking time out and reviewing my application and I hope that I have been able to clearly demonstrate my objectives and academic ability to be part of your prestigious institution.

jkjeremy - / 380 72  
Jul 17, 2013   #2
What is the question they want you to answer? There's no way to tell how effective this is without knowing that.

I can say this with total certainty: This essay is approximately 20% longer than necessary.

Overall, the writing quality is above-average.
OP sidnarkhede 1 / 5  
Jul 17, 2013   #3
Thanks for replying so promptly and I apologize for just posting only the personal statement.

The university is seeking to get answers to the following questions through the personal statement

1. Why have I chosen the course I have listed?
2. What interests me about the chosen subject?
3. Any job, paid work or placements I have undertaken, and what have I learnt from them. If these experiences influenced my choice of degree, why?

4. If I am applying at the post-qualification stage, then why did I take time out between college and university? What have I been doing during this time?

5. Emphasise any skills I have gained (e.g. communication/IT/decision making)
6. What are my career plans for when I graduate from university?
7. What are my future plans?
8. Why should the university choose me over the other 19,000+ applicants who apply to LSE
jkjeremy - / 380 72  
Jul 17, 2013   #4
Wow. That's pretty overwhelming.

Two more questions before I comment on this...

1. What's the length requirement?
2. When's it due?
OP sidnarkhede 1 / 5  
Jul 17, 2013   #5
1. The essay should be between 1300-1500 words. Currently, it around 1350 words.

2. I am planning to apply in a week or so.

Thanks!
jkjeremy - / 380 72  
Jul 17, 2013   #6
8. Why should the university choose me over the other 19,000+ applicants who apply to LSE

This, by FAR, is the most important part of the essay prompt.

Have you addressed it? If so, where?
OP sidnarkhede 1 / 5  
Jul 17, 2013   #7
Basically the answers to all the other questions constitutes a reply to that question and as such I haven't explicitly articulated a response for it as I felt it would be repetitive.

Do you feel I should have a separate paragraph for the same?
jkjeremy - / 380 72  
Jul 17, 2013   #8
Do you feel I should have a separate paragraph for the same?

Probably...I'm not sure yet.

Basically the answers to all the other questions constitutes a reply to that question and as such I haven't explicitly articulated a response for it as I felt it would be repetitive.

Find me five sentences that pertain to that question. Post them.
OP sidnarkhede 1 / 5  
Jul 17, 2013   #9
I can understand where you are coming from. May be I should include a paragraph that will highlight all of the below in a summarized form.

Learnings and skill enhancement
I have gained substantial experience in team management, people management, project/operations management and client management. I have been able to enhance my analytical skills, leadership skills, writing skills, communication - both written & verbal skills and IT skills.

Value add in the job
I implemented several measures such as creation of a guideline document for data spreading and checklists to avoid any errors that may occur due to human element. These measures significantly helped in improving the quality of the reports. The guideline document also helped bring in standardisation and consistency across reports, a key requirement for the success of the product, and it also helped speed up the process of data spreading. My contribution in improving the quality and bringing in efficiency was recognised and I was awarded for excellence in performance.

Experience in financial modelling
I analysed the financial performance and business models of public, private and state-owned airlines and wrote research and credit reports on them. I was involved in the financial analysis project right since its pilot stages. This allowed me to gain an understanding of management concepts such as process set-up and process migration. I also worked extensively on the design and development of the financial model.

And one other thing that I should probably add to this is the fact that I have passed all my exams till date with distinctions. I don't think that is coming out at present.
jkjeremy - / 380 72  
Jul 17, 2013   #10
And one other thing that I should probably add to this is the fact that I have passed all my exams till date with distinctions. I don't think that is coming out at present.

They will know this from your transcripts.

Here's the deal...

Not much of what you've posted above speaks to what makes you different as a person.

They want a personal statement. It's well-written, but it's not nearly personal enough.

Without looking at your essay, list ten words or phrases that describe you.
OP sidnarkhede 1 / 5  
Jul 17, 2013   #11
I completely understand your point John. Here are few words that describe me:

1. Sincere

2. Passionate

3. Self-driven

4. Motivated

5. Good with people management

6. Methodical

7. Organised

8. Optimistic

9. Familiar with various accounting standards

10. Strong analytical skills

I will try to re-phrase the essay in-order to include the above.


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