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SOP - how the MSA fits into your near-term and long-term professional career goals.

nafragak 1 / -  
Dec 18, 2018   #1

Institute for Advance Analytics Statement of Purpose


A brief (1-2 pages in length) personal statement addressing how the MSA fits into your near-term and long-term professional career goals.

I will never forget my first experience walking out onto the factory floor of my first job following graduation. The overwhelming sounds of forklifts buzzing by, fabrication equipment larger than my college residence, and people whizzing around in seemingly all directions. I was amazed at how all of these things were able to come together seamlessly in order to accomplish a common goal. Something about the challenge of being able to derive impactful insights from all of this complexity and chaos was and still is extremely exhilarating to me. Between that first eye opening moment and now I have had the distinct opportunity to expand on this and see how a supply chain works as a whole from a unique array of perspectives.

During the past year and a half in the Advanced Development Rotational Program at Schneider Electric I have worked in a wide variety of functions ranging from back end master data management all the way to the assembly and shipping of final goods. It was through the unique lens of these experiences that I began to see how little, seemingly inconsequential, decisions had the potential to snowball into large unintended outcomes; as well as the effects that a thorough data-driven analysis could have on mitigating these risks. This set me on the slightly obsessive path I am on today of trying to understand how I can best combine domain knowledge, behavioural science, artificial intelligence, and analytical tools in order to make the best overall decisions and communicate them convincingly to any audience.

I was first exposed to the world of applied data analytics while enrolled in the Supply Chain Practicum course my senior year at North Carolina State University. In this course two other students and I were paired up with Merck Pharmaceuticals, working on a project to help implement a Vendor Managed Inventory system and identify the products best suited for the program. From the moment we began this project, sifting through the extensive amount of data provided, to the end result of saving the company over 65% quarterly on their inventory holding costs, I was hooked. Over the next 2 years, I was fortunate enough to see first hand the power of applied data analytics to influence and drive improvement in all areas of the business world.

In my first position following graduation, as a Buyer in an Ohio based Schneider Electric factory, I was solely responsible for the strategic management of roughly 70 suppliers representing over $9,000,000 in annual spend. By developing statistical time-series models of the cost of commodities such as Steel, Aluminum, and Copper I was able to negotiate price decreases of over $60,000 with suppliers. This carried into my next role as Final Assembly and Shipping Supervisor, where I was tasked with reducing quality defects all while leading the day-to-day operations of over 30 Union employees. When I first began approaching this task it was clear that I lacked the statistical analysis tools needed to effectively solve this problem, this led to me obtaining my Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification over the course of 3 months and many hours of studying. Through the tools I was able to learn, I led a project to define and measure the quality problems we were facing, analyze the data extensively, and implement a solution all while working cross-functionally with many diverse groups such as shop-floor employees, engineers, and upper management. All of this leading to a 30% drop in defects.

Before these positions I had been amazed at the complexity and interconnected nature of manufacturing operations, but this paled in comparison to what I was tasked with next as a Master Data Analyst for all North American Operations. I was now responsible for maintaining the integrity of over 15 legacy ERP systems all interconnected and entangled in their own web of data. The transition from this fast-paced production environment to my current role clearly highlighted the need for me to learn another skill set. This need in conjunction with my first direct exposure to applied Artificial Intelligence, a neural net designed to classify downstream supply issues, triggered my intellectual curiosity and set me on the path to where I am now. Between that moment and today I have been completely engrossed in learning as much as I can about the converging fields of analytics and artificial intelligence; as well as the math and statistics that underlie both. Starting with the SQL programming language and eventually moving to Python, I was amazed at how powerful the applications could be, especially when pulling together data from various isolated silo's to clean, validate, and combine them in order to develop insightful models. As I began to transition into learning more complex topics such as Machine Learning it was once again clear that I had a gap in my knowledge, namely the math and statistics behind these methods. Through enrolling in multiple online courses ranging from linear algebra to advanced statistics methods I have been able to develop an intuition as to how these models work behind the scenes and the abundance of applications for each. These past 6 months of learning have culminated in the completion of over 10 courses, countless hours of practice applying these concepts, and the understanding that through adopting a growth oriented mindset and persistently putting in the work we all truly have the ability to learn and do anything we set our mind to.

I am extremely grateful that as I am rounding out my first two years of employment I have found a field of work and study that truly electrifies me. In a world where data creation rates are rising exponentially, the answers contained have the potential to solve the world's most important problems. The Institute for Advanced Analytics is the absolute best place for me to continue my studies and prepare myself to solve some of these challenges. The combination of the intensive course structure, real-world applications with industry partners, and focus on being able to effectively communicate insights truly set the this program apart from others. I believe my proven propensity for teamwork, background of applying analytics to industry problems, and drive for continuous learning make me an ideal candidate for this program. Upon completion of my MSA, my goal is to utilize my unique skill set in order to empower companies and organizations to tackle the biggest problems of our time. The rise of big data and analytic technologies provide us the tools to revolutionize our world and spread abundance to all corners of the globe . The future is truly in our hands.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 14,430 4691  
Dec 19, 2018   #2
Nick, this is not a regular personal statement essay because the university has given you specific instructions about what your essay should inform he reader about. Unfortunately, you neglected to address these requirements in your essay. The only discussion the essay must contain is a description of your first year post graduation professional plans and then, a description of your 5 year career plan. The specifics should include how specific training and theoretical knowledge coming from your course completion will help you achieve that. This personal statement needs to focus on the reasons why you chose to attend this university instead of another university offering the same course. Discuss the specific requirements you had for your academic goals. Develop an explanation of your professional goals and how the university fits into that scenario. After you complete those explanations, you will be able to better describe your short and long term career goals. The direct advice I have for you is this, write a new essay that properly responds to the prompt because this version does not accomplish that task.

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