Talents aren't things developed. One is born with talent -- a natural propensity for accuracy and efficiency in particular tasks. A knack for a certain intellectual task. Skills, on the other hand, are things learned, practiced, and known; they're the result of schooling, training, and experience. I believe that skills can be thought of, in a sense, as the theory behind reality. In other words, skills are most appropriately consolidated and built upon one's talents, and one excels at his profession when he marries the two. Conversely, one is pushed into mediocrity when she doesn't use her skills to flex her talents.
I've done the opposite. Through my formal education and my three years of experience as a retail manager at T-Mobile after graduation, I've built my skills -- creating innovative solutions to traditional problems, strong leadership capabilities, and customer care -- upon my talent -- business intuition. In other words, I consistently pursue skills that I know will enhance my natural ability to discern the correct path and make sound business decisions that will take my company to more profitable levels.
What, then, might be the best path for me to choose, if I wish to build upon what I believe is my natural talent -- efficient, decisive management? Naturally, I've come to the decision that the MBA at graduate program will greatly enhance my technical foundations in business, problem solving, teamwork, diversity, and more. The MBA, I feel, will consistently enable me to exercise my intuition, cultivating it, in a sense, among a diverse group of peers and an array of professional contexts. In sum, I believe that the MBA will widen the area that my technical foundation covers while refining my talent into a significant asset that will enable me to accomplish my goals in the way I want them to be realized.
My goals, then: immediately after the MBA at graduate program, I want to secure a position in the U.S. As an investment banker in the banking sector. I had struggled -- before considering an MFA -- to acquire a position in the U.S. banking sector; around the time that I was pursuing banking opportunities, the stock market took its initial turn for the worst. On top of that, I was a foreign resident, which made my search considerably more difficult. Visa issues can be tricky to navigate. However, I believe that my experience as a retail manager at T-Mobile -- selling my company's products and distinguishing them from our competitors, on a daily basis (essentially 'raising capital') -- has prepared me for a position in investment banking. Moreover, I feel this brand of experience will be a necessary component in the development of my professional savvy, knowledge of the workplace, place in corporate culture, and business strategy. Obtaining an MBA from graduate program will provide that last needed incentive for my future employers to hire me.
None of these goals are going to come easy, and they'd be pretty tough without the technical expertise I'll build upon and gain from the MBA. Through what I expect to be a vigorous regimen of business exercises, professional activity and hands-on experience, the MBA will develop my natural propensity for decision making. It will prepare me for something that seemed to lack at T-Mobile -- a corporate culture that consistently engages in high-profile decision making and planning. It will help me to marry my talents with important business aspects such as diversity, teamwork, and technical skill. It will moreover cultivate and refine the skills -- creative problem solving, leadership, and customer care -- that my experience pursuing a bachelor's in accounting at the University of Sharjhah and as a retail manager at T-Mobile for three years has afforded me. Finally, although it almost goes without saying, I believe that an MBA from graduate program -- because of its exceptional reputation -- will distinguish me from my fellow job candidates, ultimately giving potential employers the final push they need to hire me instead of someone else.
I currently work at T-Mobile. Over the course of three years, I've become an innovator. I've introduced various, original techniques that addressed traditional business dilemmas, implemented new systems in response to corporate competition, reached out to and successfully created relationships with new target demographics, and as a result, was a key player in doubling the my retail location's monthly revenue. All this wouldn't have been possible if I hadn't focused on innovation as a personal characteristic that I wanted to enhance and develop within my professional career.
My experience in innovation came about as the result of a number of ineffective marketing campaigns, significant losses to corporate, national and international competition, dwindling customer satisfaction, and a somewhat alarming decreasing rate of our retail location's customer base. Living in the neighborhood in which I worked, I began to realize what the problem was: the business I worked for was spending significant amounts of capital marketing to a target demographic that was the minority in the area in which the company had its retail location. In other words, their ad campaign was in English.
I live in an area that's almost completely Hispanic. I began to sense that our marketing probably wasn't even being understood by the people of the area, much less entertained and decided-upon. Unfortunately, I also knew that the business -- with the majority of their retail locations in predominantly English speaking neighborhoods -- would probably be adverse to changing their entire marketing plan for just one neighborhood, or even dedicating any real resources toward the cause. Yet, I could see that the retail location in which I was employed was suffering, and I certainly didn't want to see that continue. I take pride in my work, and I preferred to take control over the situation rather than wait to lose my job.
I decided that the most efficient way to contact the Hispanic community was, first, to hire a bilingual employee. Hiring a bilingual employee first created an instant change in the location's performance -- we were now able to effectively handle a wider customer base. Our sales quickly rose. Second, I knew that we could use the employee to create a minor marketing campaign that didn't require a contract with a high-level bilingual advertising agency. During down-times, I worked with the employee to write small ads for both the local 'green sheet' and Hispanic newspapers. These were placed at relatively low cost and were created, basically, at no additional cost. Eventually, we worked with this employee to create television commercials and radio ads, which ran during rush hour for a period of time, to attract the appropriate business clientele. These actions helped to create what continues to be a growing customer base, straight from the neighborhood in which my retail location exists.
Over the course of my employment with T-Mobile, I further introduced a number of innovative practices that enhanced my retail location's profitability and future viability. I created and implemented the store's first Bill Pay system, which ultimately allowed the business to bill any company, expanding our reach capabilities and subsequent marketing efforts. Profits were further increased by instituting a $3 charge to every transaction. The Bill Pay system has since grown to be one of the top three methods of payment used and has been a major factor in the doubling of revenue we've experienced since I've been there.
The last instance of innovation I'd like to mention occurred as the result of pressure to compete with other cell phone stores. After establishing myself at T-Mobile, I began to realize that much of the business we lost, we lost to corporate cell phone stores. To counteract these losses, I proposed that we offer reduced prices on cell phone accessories. Moreover, I suggested to my regional manager that we offer buy one get one free offers for several cell phone plans. The regional manager gave me the thumbs up on both of these plans, and we subsequently attracted many new customers.
Over the next five years, my goal is to complete the MBA at graduate program, become CPA-certified, and secure responsibility, as a financial analyst, in the financial strategy and history of a multinational corporation in the finance sector. As I'm also interested in small business, I hope to transfer the skills and savvy taken from my positions at the multinational to a small, viable start-up company, perhaps in online social networking, securing a CFO position there. Personally, my goals are to cultivate my intuition for decision-making, deepen my knowledge of corporate culture, and become, generally, a more business-oriented individual.
My first goal will, of course, be the completion of the MBA at graduate program. I expect this to take the average two years, and -- I'm sure -- will invariably require an unwavering dedication to studying, attending classes and seminars, and work shopping with my classmates. I'll additionally need to work to keep my motivation high by diversifying work activities, engaging in extracurricular activities, staying healthy, and…