If I was asked to describe the core theme of things that excite me, I would say it is problem solving. I love to take up challenges, analyze them, determine the best way to accomplish the tasks and execute them. This penchant for problem solving veered me towards a career in engineering. I got an opportunity to study Computer Science & Engineering at one of the best institutions in my home state in India and I gladly took up the challenge.
At this juncture, taking up a job seemed the easiest solution to support my family but my strong desire to experience new things in life and broaden my thought process led me to take the risk of pursuing graduate studies in a far away land. It was not an easy choice to make for me as I had an opportunity to take up a lucrative job in my home city and support my family. I had a strong belief that graduate school, especially at an institution like XXXX, would fetch me holistic longer term value in terms of experience and personal development.
More than the technical knowledge I imbued, I relished my graduate school experience due to the internal transformation it brought in me. My first job in the United States was that of a pizza maker. On one hand I was working 20 hours a week in the kitchens, making food and washing dishes and on the other hand I was taking graduate school courses.
My stint in the kitchens taught me that there is no “easy” job and I learned that the essence of succeeding in any profession is so much dependent on commitment, sincerity and taking ownership of tasks irrespective of their perceived importance. It was quite tough for me initially but I soldiered on and ultimately succeeded in winning financial assistance for three semesters. At XXXX, I got opportunities to work with some wonderful people from all over the world and from diverse professional backgrounds like statistics, general administration, arts etc.
I executed projects not just in an academic setting but also tackled real world applications, shouldering the responsibility from start-to-finish. By the time I graduated with a Master degree, I was able to grasp the essence of managing responsibility and overcoming challenges through positive attitude, mental fortitude and work ethics.
After graduating, I took up the role of a Software Engineer at XXXX. Here, I gained substantial experience working in a professional environment, tasted the ups and downs of being part of a large organization, and learned to prioritize and balance my tasks to achieve results in an optimal time frame. I realized how much importance needs to be placed on maintaining positive team dynamics, on learning how to handle friction situations and on being able express my ideas succinctly.
Also helpful was the knowledge about the organizational structure, and the processes and practices that are required to maintain and quality and enable a timely release of a product. I have reached the juncture where I can either continue in a technology oriented management role or pursue an MBA to develop a wider range of core skills which can be applied to any type of business challenges on a global canvas. Ultimately, at this point in my life, I feel that I have the best balance of opportunity cost, experience, and motivation to focus on two years of full-time study. An MBA would give a massive boost to my career and help me broaden my horizon and choose a path which gives me maximum satisfaction in life.
My long term professional goal is to take up a strategy defining position at a start-up company in the technology industry. I am excited by the challenge of working in a high-risk high-reward environment where I can help build a company from the ground up. Being a very realistic person, I am fully aware that in order to accomplish such a goal, I need to acquire business expertise like learning what business decisions work or don’t under various sets of circumstances, how to plan expenditures, identifying new market opportunities, when it is best to take the plunge and when not to, market/technical feasibility studies etc.
Due to the high level of responsibility that comes with the type of role that I am aiming for, I need to be able to apply my skills quickly and on a larger scale than I can at present. My short-term goal upon graduation from XXXX would be to take up a challenging position in the consulting industry where I can apply my skills to solve a wide variety of business problems in a broad spectrum of industries.
I strongly believe that such an experience, where I will be exposed to diverse business problems and work with individuals with different skill sets, is vital to accomplish my longer term goals. In addition to professional experience, the opportunity to hone my skills in an academic setting, by working with some of the best peers and professors in the world, is something that would provide me a great boost in building my skill set and thought process.