Stanford MBA – “What Matters Most” Essay Sample

Consistent excellence in all my pursuits, professional or personal, matters the most to me. As a child I drew inspiration from my father who never settled for anything less than “The Best of the Best”. He is a gold medalist in his academic endeavors and has always excelled in life.

Early-on as a student, the attitude of excelling in academic and extra-curricular activities was cultivated and brought in a sense of achievement. I have been a meritorious student right from school and undergraduate engineering years to the M.B.A. My final year score during the engineering degree is a benchmark – as yet uncrossed. The trend in academic excellence continued with a “Gold Medalist” student award during the M.B.A program.

The thrill and challenge of winning in competitive sports has always excited me.  Victories in university-level Badminton, Table-tennis and Football tournaments during my under-graduate years brought in accolades and also opportunities for developing people and team skills. A team-building situation during the third undergraduate year (junior) highlights this fact. The informal norm at the college was that a final year student (senior) would captain the College Badminton team.  My selection (a junior!), as Captain, did not particularly appeal to a senior in the team.  However, our victories in tournaments arising from a renewed sense of discipline, focus and enthusiasm ultimately won him over – not just as a teammate but as a lifelong friend.  A creative pursuit and hobby, my interest in Singing went on to bring laurels during highly competitive state level competitions. I also enjoyed moving beyond the “comfort zone” and being on stage.  As I reflect on similar endeavors, I can vouch for the fact that excellence naturally brings in the chance to lead and grow with others.

Post-MBA, my career with ABC brought in a complex assignment in channel and institutional sales. I was “concept selling” modular office furniture, which was then a new and unique to the local markets. Sales revenues exceeded 275% of planned targets for my accounts. I joined ABC with an exciting opportunity of positioning and establishing the ABC brand (known more to institutional-investors) in the retail investor space. We launched globally unique CPR (1) rankings of mutual funds that are now extensively relied upon as a performance measure standard in the industry. The “CNBC-CRISIL Best Fund Award”, a coveted Fund Award in India, was brought in giving ABC, Inc. an unshakable position in the fund industry. I then choose an assignment with the “Portfolio Management Services (PMS)” start-up at ABC to gain hands-on experience in launching a financial services business unit. Three new products were established in the market with a five-fold increase in business with a year.

Currently as “Vice President – Portfolio Management Services (PMS)” with ABC Asset Management Company, I have established a business that is the fastest growing among all PMS businesses in India – within the first full year of operations. My PMS “baby” has grown from US$ 20 million to US$250 million, as assets under management and with 4 new and successful products that are increasingly dominant in the market. I mentor a team of highly motivated sales personnel who look up to each day as yet another opportunity to excel and go beyond the ordinary!

My next, upcoming pursuit is to hone my leadership abilities and enhance my conceptual understanding of the finance function and excel in the global financial arena.  My quest for excellence will lead me to first establish and operate a world-class, full service financial services firm that focuses on wealth management. The firm will be focused on the leading edge in mixing asset classes to maximize returns while minimizing risk. The second phase plan includes setting up of a private equity firm that will help other entrepreneurs like me achieve their own dreams and bring in economic growth and prosperity. I am sure that I will also parallely continue to excel in all personal relationships. Realizing this vision with ingrained fibers of excellence matters to me the most.

The Stanford GSB with its globally ranked standards of excellence is thus my goal – to learn from faculty, peers and alumni, to set new benchmarks for growth and to contribute to the society.

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(1) CPR – Composite Performance Rankings

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