Nanyang Business School – Sample MBA Essay

Tell us about a time or incident where you had to propel yourself beyond expectations or established norms. Explain why you did it.

The above question brings to memory the month of month year during my tenure with ABC.  My mettle as an engineer was tested when I was assigned a cutting-edge, highly specialized AS400 technology project for developing “anti-money laundering” computer software. I assumed responsibility for leading a 4-member team towards learning this technology and implementing the project. We were required to develop computer software capable of generating reports on financial transactions across a variety of global geographies.

I was quick to realize that the company did have a massive inventory of “modules” (sections of software built for other projects) that could be utilized for this project. However, #### such modules existed, making it virtually impossible to select the useful ones in the short timeframe. I thus proposed the idea of building a “search utility” that would practicably accelerate the selection process.

The idea was appreciated by my seniors. However aggressive project timelines resulted in greater focus on standard/existing processes and search utility development was deemed a “mid-term/not immediate” activity. I was permitted to take a final call provided I could balance the task with existing workflow and responsibilities.

I took up the challenge. The search engine tool for AS400 technology was brought to life with ## months of “burning the candle at both ends”.  It led to savings of ### man-hours/year (highly-skilled and thus costly manpower) by accelerating the analysis, design, scoping, research and audit of project activities. It gave me tremendous satisfaction to notice the popular usage of my “search engine” across various multinational locations of the company.

The key reason for developing the tool was to bring my idea to fruition. I had confidence it is value.  I also seized the opportunity to enhance my abilities at multi-tasking and achieve more in lesser duration.

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