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How did you solve a problem and the results? - Texas Austin MSBA Essay


pandaman 1 / 2 2  
Jan 6, 2017   #1

MSBA - MS in Business Analytics



Complete prompt - Imagine that you are in a job interview. The interviewer asks you to describe a time that you have had to solve a problem, and what the results were. How would you answer? (If applicable, please describe the quantitative methods you employed.)

VERSION 1

One of the toughest problems I faced was during a client engagement at Deloitte. Our client, a Fortune 50 software publisher, was losing revenue due to breach of intellectual property. The situation was compounded because of a lack of corporate governance policies in small organizations. We had to create a Software Asset Management program for SMBs in tier-II and tier-III cities in India. Our goal was to achieve $100,000 in revenues per month for the client.

As the project lead, I was responsible for removing bottlenecks in the process. This was a very high volume engagement with 200-250 customers, mostly in inaccessible locations. Fixing meetings each day based on the location set was becoming cumbersome. I employed optimization techniques to allocate resources to meetings. The model involved linear programming to minimize the summation of time-distance product with constraints on the total time available, equations to take into consideration different directions of locations, using projections on x-axis for distances. As a result, we were able to meet meeting targets for over 90% days during the 1-year period. The engagement was ridden with problems such as educating the customer, reducing the project turnaround time, and creating personalized dashboards all of which we were able to resolve.

We met our meeting targets for over 90% days in the 1-year period, delivered $5 million in revenues to our client, reduced project turnaround from 6 weeks to 2 weeks, and most of all educated the customer on the importance of deploying genuine software. Our team received the award for exceeding client expectations by the Partners.

VERSION 2

One of the proudest accomplishments in my life is becoming financially independent and saving INR 1 million by the age of 25 despite facing financial hurdles throughout my childhood. My father was pushed into unemployment a few years back. The financial constraint that subsequently penetrated endowed me with a sense of responsibility and I started investing money at an early age.

I knew with my mathematical skills and foundation in undergraduate courses such as Securities Analysis and Portfolio Management and Statistics, would help me with stock investing. To identify potential opportunities, I first created stock screeners to shortlist companies based on ratios such as Price-Earnings-Growth and Debt-equity, and metrics such as Sales growth, operating profit margins, and dividend yield. Once, I shortlisted companies, I analyzed factors, both financial and managerial, that influence stock prices and did a regression analysis to identify the most important factors. I assigned a stock-score to each company based on the attractiveness of these factors. On the remaining companies, I calculated free cash flows and performed DCF valuation to find the intrinsic value of the stock.

Once I identified an undervalued stock, I looked for the right opportunity to make an investment. I plotted factors like Exponential moving averages (EMA) and Bollinger Bands to model indicators like MACD and Relative Strength Index and predict future stock movement direction.

I have worked 12-hour weekends to create models that work. My portfolio has given a return of 15% CAGR over the last 3 years and I've learned a lot of new techniques over the 3 years. However, I believe analytics would be the differentiator and I want to explore the application of analytical tools in portfolio management.

Holt - / 7,528 2001  
Jan 9, 2017   #2
Dhruv, definitely go with version 1. The reason that I am asking you to use that response for the prompt is quite simple, it is the most relevant to the prompt scenario provided. By displaying a concrete work related experience, you manage to show the reviewer a number of important traits as a potential team member or team leader. These are the ability to recognize the problem, analyze the situation, focus on developing a solution to the problem, organizing and delegating the tasks involved to members of the team, and finally, supervising the team towards achieving the goal of the task. Your problem solving skills are evident and allows the reviewer to see you at your most professional problem solving level. You have delivered the prompt requirements in the best possible way within your first version essay. Great revision.
OP pandaman 1 / 2 2  
Jan 9, 2017   #3
@Holt
Thanks for the input and analysis. I was just wondering if Essay 2 would make a more impact? I asked 2 friends for review. 1 of them told me to go with version 2 and the other told me that she liked version 2 personally but I should go with Version 1 as it is more professional. Verdict?
Holt - / 7,528 2001  
Jan 9, 2017   #4
Like I said in my previous post, version one is more professional and should work better with this essay. If you have the same gut feeling, then you must be on the right track. I once told one of the students here that when you write your application essays, you cannot go around asking for the opinion of your friends regarding which essay is better and which you should use. If you are listening to more than one person regarding advice on the improvement of your paper, you have to choose whom you will officially listen to. Your classmates may have opinions ready to give you, but they may not have the correct understanding, mindset, and analysis of what the essay requires. Only a professional can help you do that and that is what we are trying to do for you here.
OP pandaman 1 / 2 2  
Jan 9, 2017   #5
@Holt
Thank you so much for the help. I am finalizing this essay.


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