|Describe how your experiences, both professional and personal, have led to your decision to pursue an MBA at the Wharton School this year. How does this decision relate to your career goals for the future? (1,000 words)|
Born 28 years ago in a remote small village in Peru, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to get formal education and see the diverse cultures of Peru, unlike other unlucky children, since my father was an employee with a highly transferable job. For almost all my life, I stayed in suburban areas, because of which I had to suffer the social ills as sexual and discrimination..
With the help of my exposure to the vast and diverse cultures of Peru I could understand the problems of not only other girls like I was but also the families like mine, irrespective of their ethnicity. Without wasting any time after my graduation, I started the NGO by the name of "Societal Action Team,” as in the rural areas of Lima, the condition of these people was worst.
I co-founded the NGO with an elderly locale Mr. Alberto Balcazar. This not only helped me to give my NGO the local touch, but also the views of Mr. Balcazar, who is very old compared to me, helped me evaluate mine. Mr. Balcazar was a great help to me, for his local reputation and his rapport with the MLA of the area was unquestionable. But the NGO could not be run only with the influence of Mr. Balcazar and my zero experience as the orthodox families of the area didn't look at the NGO with any respect and collection of finance was thus, very difficult without the local help. Within a short duration after starting the NGO, we were close to bankruptcy. Without any experience I did not know what to do to help the NGO survive, but nor could I just see it die, and miss the chance to help out other people like I.
I had no other option but to stay out for sometime and take up a job to learn more about dealing with finances. It was not easy for me to get a decent job without prior work experience, where I could learn about finances, in Lima. This is where my diverse experience of different cultures paid off. I found a job in uno, miles away from Lima, but I knew I could manage to deal with the people there easily as I could understand the local dialect and the psychology of the people of Puno.
I had no prior work experience, thanks to my grades in graduation, I got my first job as Finance Executive in Technology Enterprises, reporting directly to the Executive Director.
Though I was basically in Finance, but I did not miss any opportunity to learn about the other organizational basics. I knew that when I go back, I will not only have to deal with the financial aspects of the NGO but also the other problems which can put the very existence of the NGO at stake. While learning about other aspects of the organization, beside finance, I made sure not to let it affect my performance at my workplace. I worked at Technology Enterprises for two years, and analyzed and realized the importance of general management and finance management in which I lacked earlier, and was responsible for my failure to run the NGO successfully with the head start I had in mind.
Because of my rich experience about the diverse cultures of Peru, and my down-to-earth attitude, the Executive Director often sought my help to organize the workforce in the concern, which in turn helped me no less than it did to Technology Enterprises. Within the first year, I was promoted as the Finance Manager for Techno Commercial. After becoming the Finance Manager, I had a tougher job, with bigger responsibilities on my shoulders, which only added to my enthusiasm and helped me learn more. After becoming the Finance Manager, I got an opportunity to work out my ideas that I had held for a long time. I was always welcomed by The Executive Director to introduce even those ideas, which could affect the concern beyond my purview. After getting a go from the Executive Director, I decided to implement a technique, which was once revolutionary in Japan, though it had adverse affects later on, I found it beneficial on small scale. I advised the Executive Director to employ more of the general labors, than the specialized ones, but in proper limit. Now not only we could hire labors, and offered them lower salaries, compared to the previous skilled ones, we also managed to cut the time in implementation of works, as the communication problem was eliminated as most of the general labors found it very easy to communicate with each other, rather than wasting time in trying to understand the intricacies of the specialized workers.
Within two years I realized I had enough experience to realize my dreams, and decided to come back to Lima to work for my NGO. When I came back to Lima, I found my NGO, in the same condition as I had left it two years back. After consulting with Mr. Balcazar, I immediately started working on it, and got a loan granted by the local MLA to kick-start the NGO once again. With the funds I got, I organized a camp for sex education in the area. With proper advertisements and local support, thanks to Mr. Balcazar, I managed to make the camp a success. But I knew, that only sex education and blood donation camps could not do all that I desired. I started employing the local youth, to start regular classes for adult education. This served me two purposes, Firstly: I could educate the adults, which was more than making them literate; secondly: I could help those adults think broadly toward their girl children, who were suffering badly, because of sexual discrimination. The NGO is still running, though unlike the way it had started, I have decided to study more about organizational behavior and general management to realize my dreams of societal upliftment.
I feel that in the last 2 years I have reached the plateau of my personal and professional developments. I hope that with the diverse student body and excellent faculty at Wharton I will be able exploit my talent in proper direction.
The Wharton School with its diverse body and multitude of courses, will help me not only to run my NGO better but also to understand the corporate world on a higher level. I also believe that introducing my unique experience in rural areas would be of great help to my colleagues, especially in helping them understand the intricacies of development at ground levels, at Wharton School.
With the unique approach toward General Management and emphasis on diversity, Wharton School suits my personality and aspirations perfectly which in turn help me grow further to learn more to blend and use mine and my colleagues' other personality traits.