In the short term, given my background as an undergraduate in Production Engineering, I would like to pursue a role as a Supply Chain or an Operations analyst for a manufacturing organization. Gradually I would like to move into a Product management role where I could use the skills acquired while working as a supply chain or an operations analyst. In product management, I would like to either increase the profitability of the existing products or develop new products based on my industry experience and contact with customers and prospects. My work for over five years as an IT SAP PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) consultant, which has instilled in me a structured approach to problem solving, coupled with my entrepreneurial experience, which has taught me to work closely with a team in an ambiguous environment in a startup mode and a shoestring budget, has inculcated in me skills that would translate to my future profession.
I happened to notice the last sentence first. I think it should be replaced.. the word 'therefore' is weak compared to excellent nouns and action verbs. The expression 'I believe' is weak because it takes the power out of whatever is being said (if you believe it, just say it). And then you have these vague ideas "techniques and competencies"... it would be more impressive if you named one or two specific ones.
And then at the end of that sentence you say you want to have an advantage over other people. People like who -- me? The son or daughter of the reader? Ambition to have advantages over other people is important, but to have it in a sentence like that seems distasteful.
...into a Product management role -- I think you don't need to capitalize product here. Or if you want to capitalize it, you'll need to capitalize Management, too.
The essay seems to begin abruptly and end abruptly. Can you add a sentence to the beginning to surprise the reader and catch her/his attention? What is the most important idea you want to share with the reader? That idea can inspire your first sentence.
It's better when you can avoid starting a sentence with 'there are'.. but you can instead do this:
There are two primary reasons for which I chose Smith. I chose Smith primarily because of _______ and ______.
No need to say 'beyond' if you are already saying 'transcend':
... would transcend
beyond the boundaries of the school.
Thanks a lot Kevin. I would work on the inputs provided by you and modify my essay accordingly.
I look forward to your constant support :)
Kevin, can you please let me know a better word to replace 'Therefore' in the last sentence of the essay.
Sam, here is my take on how you can replace "Therefore" in the last sentence:
Therefore, I believe that Smith's program will be a right fit for me and equip me with all the required techniques and competencies which will give me an edge over other people.
- The Smith program of education has the ability to ensure that I will be equipped with the right techniques and competencies in order to get ahead of my competitors in the future. It is a program that I believe will best prepare me for the demands of my future career and will offer me the opportunity to learn from the very best mentors that have worked in the field of Production Engineering. I am looking forward to coming under their tutelage and mentoring as a future student with the hopes that my exposure to their ways will help me achieve my short and long terms goals while quite possibly, giving me something new to envision achieving for myself or my field of expertise in the future as well.
Thanks a lot Louisa.
Unfortunately, the word limit of the essay is only 500 words and my essay already contains 530 words.
I need to shorten it a lot. It would be great if you could help me doing so.
Hi Sam, let's see if this edited version of your essay will be acceptable to you. It is 316 words.
My short term goal is quite simple, to achieve a position as a Supply Chain or Operations Analyst for a major manufacturing firm within the next 5 years. From there, I will give myself another 5 years to take on a Product Management role within the company. These short term goals are easily achievable for me because of my previous background working the past 5 years as an IT SAP PLM consultant. The long term goal, is to move me slowly into a CxO role by becoming a principal contributor to the company's success worldwide. It is because of these short and long term goals of mine that I chose to attend Smith.
The first reason is that the dual degree MBA/MS in Supply Chain Management will allow me to make a career switch when it becomes necessary for me to do so. Next, is that being an introvert, I tend to thrive and succeed more in a small classroom set up such as the one that Smith offers.
I have 3 objectives for want to complete my MBA in relation to career transitions. First, I need the theorietical knowledge of advanced studies that will help me improve my understanding of business concepts. Second, the experiential learning process will allow me to implement the theories in real world working set ups through the consultations projects with sponsor companies. Finally, I will be able to gain an international perspective while growing my network of friends and contemporaries who careers will flourish alongside mine and thus, provide us with a symbiotic working relationship in the future.
Keeping in my short and long term goals, as well as the factors for choosing Smith, I am more than convinced that the university will be able to provide me with the necessary technical training and competency development in order to gain an advantage over the other job applicants in the future.
Use this as your template for your own revision. I hope you can use it :-)
Thanks once again Louisa. It was really quick of you.
The essay now looks quite short and crisp :)
I will try to incorporate the changes you made into my essay.
Sam, you should not combine your hook in the introduction with your short term plans. Either discuss the introduction separately or discuss your long term plans immediately. You do not need to be very wordy in an essay that has a word count. The less words you use to state your case, the better and more interesting your paper will be. The reason for the word count is to make it easier for the reader to finish reading your essay. Being direct to the point is always a point in your favor :-) Aside from that minor revision suggestion, I would say that the essay is on track and really answers the prompt. However, if you feel that you need to work on it some more, then we will be happy to lend you a helping hand in doing that :-)
Mandeep, we need details before we can help you out. What are the parameters for the essay? Word count? Prompt? What area do you want to concentrate on presenting in the statement? I'm not really sure what kind of help you need from us at this point. It just sounds like you threw together a bunch of incomplete information about yourself at this point which is not really leading towards a big build up for your wanting to pursue an MBA. Any chance you will be given a chance to expand upon those reasons? You need to write an effective statement of purpose and what you wrote is a good start, but can't be the whole essay unless you are only required to present a statement. So which is it that you are trying to write? An essay or a statement? Those have two highly different requirements. Let us know exactly what you have to deal with and we will help you cope with the essay requirements :-)
Sorry for the late reply. I forgot to check for the email notification :(
The complete essay prompt is:
Explain why you are interested in pursuing your MBA at this point in your life. Specifically, explain how your chosen career specialization aligns with your short-term and long-term career goals.
But since you had already helped me in formulating my essay for short and long term goals, I did not provide the complete prompt essay prompt. The word limit of the complete essay is 500 words again.
I have the second part ready. But somehow I felt that my "Why now MBA" portion was not convincing enough. So I talked to a few friends and they guided me with it. Then I wrote it down and posted here for the expert comments, as you guys are always there for helping to improve further.
For the background -
1. I have 6 years of full time work experience as an SAP PLM consultant.
2. One year of failed startup experience.
3. And currently working with a US based startup as an online math teacher.
4. My interest is Supply chain or Operations management.
I know why I want an MBA(for a career switch), but I am not able to weave a convincing story for "Why now" part.
So need help for it :)
Awaiting your response again :)
Sam, you need to work your way backwards with a Statement of Purpose, which is what you need for an MBA application. The thing about an MBA is that you need to present your future goals first and then work your way backwards in order to show that you have first, the proper work experience that requires these types of advanced studies, and second, you need to show that you have the academic background to back up your claim that you are qualified for further studies in this field. From the looks of what you enumerated, that should not be a problem for you to accomplish.
The reason for your MBA is that you have background in the Supply or Operations management field due to your 6 year work experience as an SAP LM consultant, be sure to name the company and the work you did for them during your time there. After that, you can mention taking off on your own and the failed experience that you had. I would not mention the online math teaching job as it is irrelevant to your application. After stating the information that I suggested, you can then explain that you fully intend to continue to work in the business management field but you understand that even business technologies change at a rapid pace these days, hence the need for your retraining through higher learning.
That is what I can think of for starters. I may be able to help you adjust the essay once you finish a draft and post it here :-)
During my recent failed startup experience, [...] and also give me the much needed financial stability.- Sam, the reason I quoted this text is because I feel that it should be your introductory paragraph. Showing that you failed but have not lost hope establishes the fact that you are looking towards having a more definite direction for your career over the coming years. It clearly establishes the purpose for your application for an MBA as well. That is why this paragraph needs to be the highlight of your essay.
Let's try to read the essay with the new introduction and see if it works the way I feel it should :-) Let me know what you think of the new paragraph order as well.
Thank you Louisa again for your timely feedback :)
It did help a lot :)
I must say that you are a rock start :D
God bless you :)
Sam, your essay is too long and provides information that is not necessary for your statement of purpose. Remember, there are only 4 questions that you need to answer when it comes to an SOP.
1. Why are you interested in pursuing this field of higher study? What is your purpose for higher studies?
2. What relevant work experience do you have that relates directly to your need for more advanced learning in the field?
3. What are your short and long term goals that will be better serviced by the addition of this advanced information?
4. Explain how a graduate diploma will help you achieve these goals.
Then, you need to make sure that you are also well represented in the essay by making your passion for the field of study very evident in the essay. Let the admissions officer into your intellectual capacity by proving that you have the academic and personal skills to take on the challenges of graduate school and that you will be able to graduate from the class in the length of time offered to complete the course. In the process, you will be able to show the admissions officer that you will be an excellent alumna for the school in the future.
Try to cut down on the word count. Even though the word count is 1000 and you are coming in with 900, you are still way overboard in terms of word count. The essay says a lot, but does not deliver the important information necessary for your application. You can come in at 600-800 informative words and be able to present an excellent statement of purpose just the same. Care to give it a try? I'll be here to offer an assist when you need it :-)
Thank you very much Louisa for the quick reply. Let me try to curtail 100-200 words out of it :)
But don't you think that is necessary to tell how or what can one contribute to the school community?
No Sam. It is not necessary to tell them how you can help the school community. You are not writing a college application essay. You are applying to graduate school. The requirements of the essay are far more intricate and professional than that of the college application. Admission to graduate school is based solely on your professional credentials already. So whatever you did in high school and college do not count. Most importantly, a college mindset has no place in a graduate school essay application. In a graduate school application, you have to prove that you have matured enough to participate in a more complex and demanding academic atmosphere than what you are used to in college. Of course there is still a school community in graduate school but your participation in it will be far less than what you did in high school. In fact, due to the demands of a masters degree, you will barely have time to socialize with your classmates outside of class. Everything will be all about developing your intellectual and practical (hands-on) capacity to perform at an advanced level in your field of work.
Sounds legit :)
I will try to include only 2-3 lines about the extra curricular activities then :)
There you go! I am down to roughly 850 words now. The SOP looks better now it seems :)
From being hectored by kids bigger than me at school to being a victim of domestic violence at my home where the verbal abuses never used to take long to turn into flurries of fists between my parents, I learned to take a stand not just for myself but also for my mother by often protecting her from the vicious blows of my father after he used to get drunk. Fortunately, I never let my checkered past come in the way of my career or ambitions.
After completing Production Engineering from one of the top engineering colleges in India, I decided to work with Infosys Limited, the second largest Indian IT Company. However, I quit my lucrative job to start a web based start-up in the e-commerce domain. Although I failed in my startup venture, the lessons learned are indispensable.
During my recent failed startup experience, I often faced issues regarding strategy, marketing, operations, finance etc. and strongly felt the need for a mentor and formal education in business management. Pursuing an MBA now would give me an opportunity to fulfil the above mentioned two objectives. A business school will give me a chance to learn not only from the school curriculum and professors but also from the participants of the program who had similar experiences. Moreover, since I am broke now, investing in an MBA would have a significant impact on my professional upbringing.
With the world becoming a more interconnected place, calling it one big supply chain would not be incorrect and efficiently managing the constituent supply chains is even more challenging than it looks. Given the key role supply chains play in today's world, I would like to pursue a role as a Supply Chain or an Operations Analyst for a major manufacturing organization within the next five years. From there, I will give myself another two-three years to take on a Product Management role within the company. My work for over five years as an IT SAP PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) consultant, which has instilled in me a structured approach to problem solving, coupled with my entrepreneurial experience, which has taught me to work closely with a team in an ambiguous environment in a startup mode and a shoestring budget, has inculcated in me skills that would translate to my future profession.
In the long term, I would like to see myself in a key role wherein I could lead a substantial part of the business for the organization. Therefore, I see myself in a CxO role by being a principal contributor to the organization's success, not just in the country but worldwide. I would also like to contribute back to the society by staying involved in philanthropic initiatives through personal and professional means.
I chose Olin primarily for its dual degree program of MBA/MS in Supply Chain management and its small class size. The dual degree program would provide me with the right platform to make a career switch. Next, being an introvert, I tend to thrive and succeed more in a small classroom set up such as the one that Olin offers. The small class size would give me an opportunity to closely know each other and the professors, fostering lifelong relationships, which, I strongly believe, would transcend the boundaries of the school.
An MBA would help me to achieve three major objectives, which would make the career transition seamless for me. First, acquiring the theoretical knowledge of formal business education will significantly improve my understanding of the underlying business concepts. Second, the experiential learning process will allow me to implement the theories to the real world setups through consultation projects with sponsor companies. Finally, I will be able to gain an international perspective while growing my network of friends and contemporaries whose careers will flourish alongside mine, thus, providing us with a symbiotic working relationship in the future.
Coming from India and being a part of the Sikh community that represents only 0.4% population of the world, I would be able to increase the diversity of the class. Outside classroom, being a sports enthusiast, a regular long distance runner and a volunteer who succeeded in bringing a running culture in his workplace, I would like to be a part of the sports club, which organizes sports events at Olin. Also, since my belief of giving back to the society in one or the other way encouraged me to work with the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) group of my previous organization for three years, I would like to get associated with the Net Impact club of the school in my pursuit of uplifting the society as a whole. Given my experience as a trained folk dance (bhangra) artist and a member of the teams which organized employee engagement programs in my previous organization, I would like to be a part of the organizing team for cultural events at Olin.
Keeping in mind my short and long term goals, as well as the factors for choosing Olin, I am more than convinced that the program will be able to provide me with the necessary technical training, competency development and interdisciplinary business education to gain an advantage over my competitors in the future.
Don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions about your essay. I will do my best to help clarify the points that puzzle you as best as I can :-)