Briefly assess your career progress to date.
Elaborate on your future career plans and your motivation for pursuing an MBA at the Kellogg School of Management (500 to 750 words)
As a teenager, I was fascinated by personal computers, which could screen movies, engage me for hours in visually-striking games and find me answers to all my questions. I picked computer science as my major for my bachelor’s degree and was immediately drawn to the limitless practical applications that access to real-time data can provide. My curiosity led me to pursue my Masters in computer science at the University of Illinois, where I was researching solutions for improving the quality of service for distributed visualization systems which culminated in the publication of the research at international conferences.
Then I started my career as a Research Programmer at the University of Illinois. Being part of a small team meant my responsibilities ranged from advising the professors on the next generation of instructional technology to architecting software solutions used by 40,000+ students. It did not take long for the IT director to notice my communication, leadership and organizational skills and task me with leading a multi-campus team in the implementation of a student portal.
The transition from working for a non-profit to a startup software company trying to build the next generation media buying system gave me the opportunity to help architect the digital buying system which played a vital role in transforming the company to a market leader in the space. The system currently handles more than 50% of all US online advertising spend. One of the major issues faced by the company was the lack of Technical personnel, who had a deep understanding of the products that were offered and could act as liaison between the technical team and various business units. I knew I could fill in this void, so I volunteered to learn the entire product suite that was offered. The move paid off, and I was recently offered a Product Manager role. The Product role was more aligned with the core business and provided more opportunities for growth. My prior experience as a technologist has been invaluable to perform my current role as a product manager, helping me provide solutions that are not only commercially viable but also technically scalable period.
My short-term goal is to rise to a senior product role in the advertising technology industry, and in order to achieve that I need the marketing, operations and management skills that an MBA has to offer. In addition, working together with future leaders in a program like the Kellogg MBA program will help me identify my unique style of leadership. I believe the skills and the network that I will acquire through an MBA, along with my industry experience, will help me achieve my long-term goal to be an entrepreneur in the digital marketing technology space.
I am drawn to the practical group- based learning professed by the Kellogg MBA program. There is no better way to learn than to learn by practice as part of team. I look forward to solving real world problems in the industry with the help of fellow students from multiple disciplines. I look forward to participating in the plethora of networking opportunities provided and excited to gain new perspectives through events like “Marketing Conference” and “Essentials of Fundraising and Marketing”
I am particularly attracted to the experiential learning opportunities provided by the Nuvention program because some of the projects started through the Nuvention program went on to become successful companies, some even in the digital technology space. The building block course offered by the Levy entrepreneurial institute like “Product Management for Technology Companies: “An Entrepreneurial Perspective” would offer me insights to solve issues in hand and help me gain the skills needed to be a technology entrepreneur.
My conversations with my brother-in-law, a Kellogg part-time alumnus, have provided me clarity into what the program’s offerings. The information gathered from attending information sessions and participating in the online chat sessions organized by the part-time MBA program has substantiated the fact that pursing a part-time MBA is the best move to accelerate my career.
Multi-channel attribution, lack of consistent measurement and reporting standards and discrepancy resolution are some of the issues facing the digital marketing world, on which I plan to have discussions in and outside the classroom with students and professors. I am excited that I will be able to directly apply the findings from such discussions and provide solutions to the industry through my current role. Thus the Kellogg MBA program with its abundant resources will enable me to achieve my career goals and will be a perfect fit for me.