Application for Fuqua MBA Program – Example Essay
1. Please discuss your previous professional experiences, your long-term career goals and the role the MBA will play in those plans. Why are you interested in The Fuqua School of Business and what do you hope your contribution will be to an MBA environment? (Limit – 4 pages)
My long-term aspiration is to manage a Venture Incubator company that brings up an enterprise and concurrently supports the fund investment and management consulting of the Venture Company. It is extremely difficult for any firm to be recognized in the market in the beginning.
In particular, in the case of a newly born firm, it is inevitable that they fall behind on the marketing, settling vision, and performing strategy. If we can find such companies and provide them with the fund and management consulting at the same time, we will be able to create value worth no less than hundreds of times greater than the amount of investment. We will be able to recognize some purpose as an incubator in the sense that we raise a desirable company.
My objective, as mentioned above, stems from working experience for 3 and a half years as an expert in terms of credits and one year of working experience as a consultant. In order to become an expert in credit, especially a loan officer, I entered the KRW 19 billion (approximately USD 16 million) asset-scale of the biggest professional organization for long-term credit, the Korea Long-Term Credit Bank upon graduating from the university in 1995. I became well aware of the concept on the management of risk on the assets as well as the management of risk on credits through 6 months of on-the-job training on the risk management from Assets & Liabilities while developing the Banks management system. Afterwards, as a loan officer, I was in charge of around 30 deals of credits for the big and small companies. All I learned from 18 months of experience was the assessment of the potential value of the firm simply by its number of financial affairs could commit a considerable mistake. Among the 16 times of new credit loan cases I had handled, 2 cases were left delinquent by the time I quitted working at the end of year 1998. The lesson that I learned at that time was that if I had viewed the firms in terms of assessment from diverse angles such as vision and performance strategy of the company, the driving force of management strategy, and the active organization structure, I would have been able to prevent the bad loan. The opportunity to change my career into a consultant also came from this experience.
From the beginning of 1999, I changed my career to a consultant of the strategic consulting group in a local consulting firm called the ABL. It was done for the purpose of actually going inside the firm, and being able to study the vision and strategy as well as broaden the understanding on the firms. Although 1-year period was relatively short, I was able to participate in 4 projects including the outsourcing project for SK Telecom, organization-restructuring project for Kookmin Bank. During that period of time, I learned to raise the success of our team through bench marking, method of setting up vision and strategy, method of establishing a scenario and the assistance of our team. In addition, I realized from the colleagues, especially those who had achieved the MBA, that their knowledge on management and consulting skills are far better than mine. From then on, my desire to study in full scale on management, which is necessary for a consultant, began to grow rapidly.
A business school is very significant to me for three major reasons. First, I can learn the managerial knowledge and skill through advanced course of studies on management and various practical experiences. Secondly, it provides the chance to mutually interchange with superior men of ability. Thirdly, the MBA degree can build confidence to the prospective clients upon performing as the Project Manager and being in possession of the MBA degree will be much help on the fund forming for venture investments.
The primary reason why I choose Duke is the strong point in terms of environment. I would rather explore my overseas studies in a typical American small and medium-sized city than a metropolis such as New York, which is full of immigrants. Among top 10 business schools, Duke is the only one to my taste in this perspective.
I would like to spend two years being engrossed in academic fulfillment in an academic atmosphere in Duke located in the center of ?esearch Triangle?where the largest number of scholars with doctoral degree may live throughout the United States.
The second reason is that Duke is located in the vicinity of Washington D.C in which my wife wants to pursue her goal in museum studies. If my wife comes to study at George Washington University, I would choose between Duke University and University of North Carolina in order to spend the weekend with my wife. For this reason, I apply for the MBA schools within 4 hours of driving from Washington D.C.
The third reason is that I evaluate Duke located in the research triangle park- the so-called ?merica? next Silicon Valley?provide the best course in the field of entrepreneurship for new ventures. In particular, the only courses of Duke managing venture and growth mentored study program with entrepreneurship for venture capitalists will serve up essential knowledge on the establishment of venture capital company, which is my long term aspiration. During the period of time in Duke, I would like to share my business know-how, which is necessary to establish the venture company, with follow students by participating in the entrepreneurship and venture capital club.
The most crucial thing that I can contribute to Duke is my experience in and knowledge on internet business and venture company in Korea. Korea is one of top 10 nations in the world in terms of internet business and emerges as the experimental arena for the venture company, which is expected to belong to top 5 telecommunication countries by the year 2010. One of the themes that I want to make research is the detailed report on strategic investment with reference to the status of and the prospect for investment in 100 representative venture companies out of the main telecommunication nations in Asia including ROK, Taiwan, and Singapore. Given the opportunity, I would like to make a specific study group related to the theme of research along with professors and fellow students. I hope Duke will be recognized as one of the most prestigious business schools as far as Asian venture company is concerned thanks to my research in the long term.
2. Tell us about the most challenging team experience you have had to date. What role did you play? What factors made it a challenge for you? How did you and the group address these issues? What did you learn? (Limit – 2 pages)
3. a) Discuss a personal failure that had an impact on your professional practices or management style. Why do you consider the situation a failure? How did you resolve the situation? Did it change your professional outlook? If so, how? (Limit – 1 page)
During my first year at Asset & Liability Management Team of Korea Long Term Credit Bank, I went through a significant failure that made the schedule of my team unnecessarily delayed. It occurred in the middle stage of my first project, which was to build up the risk management system for the bank. Within the project, I was responsible for performing benchmarking JP Morgan? ?AR (Value At Risk)?system. At the case team meeting where I was supposed to present my work, I had only prepared the results of how VAR system works without my analysis and interpretative thoughts on the results. Thus, I was not able to answer important questions raised by my team members with reference to the results. Since the answers were critical for the progress of their work, they had to wait for me to formulate my thoughts and have a discussion with them at our next meeting. At last, with the help of one of the colleagues in my team, I was able to finish interpretative analysis of the benchmarking three days later, which eventually brought about an unnecessary delay.
I created this situation because I was not fully ready to be a pro-active and creative in terms of idea. Being raised in Korea where responsibilities are categorically assigned by position, I was not fully set to execute the task without permission of my supervisors when key decisions were required. Although I was commended as the best worker in military service, I was nothing but a performer who accomplished tasks in an efficient manner. I was not trained to plan and accomplish an assignment for myself. Through this failure, I recognized that ? good worker?in an intellectual organization requires vigorous self-planning and self-training. In the wake of this failure, my first priority in any project is placed to accept full responsibility for the task at hand, self ?plan and accomplish as much as possible, and develop answers to any contingent questions. I want to change myself from an executor to a leader. I strongly believe that my early failures in my career have encouraged me to be a better consultant, manager and leader. Thank you.