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Business School

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The factors that led you to pursue a graduate business degree at this point in your life/career.

Today, all sectors of business seek management graduates, who have the potential to grow and shoulder leadership roles. The options for a management graduate range from finance, commerce, retail, marketing, economics, and all other cross sections of business. Graduates with business acumen are in great demand to shoulder responsibilities. Study of business management equips one to manage oneself, others, and ultimately to become leaders.  Basically, the theory and practice, what one learns in the classes help him manage himself, which in turn helps him manage others. Finally, when one successfully manages others, he becomes the leader. This does not mean that individuals, who have not attended business schools, have not become good managers and leaders. The fact is that the well designed theories and practical exposure to modern management provide proper ground for potential individuals to become effective   leaders. The students are exposed to every kind of critical and crises situations in national and international context, in technology, business, economics, operations, human resources, information systems, and other topics of management before they are declared as successful management graduates.  The various subjects, they study in depth, give the students of management much required insight to face and tackle real life problems in their future management assignments. On completion of their graduate studies, the potential managers emerge with strong acumen and awareness of business, which make them much sought after individuals. These are the reasons that led me to pursue a business graduate degree at this point in my life.

The top three criteria in your selection of business schools and why Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business meets those expectations. The top three criteria in my selection of a good business school are (1) rankings, (2) departments, and (3) faculty. The school must, preferably, have a number 1 ranking with financial value at graduation.  The rankings must be from eminent entities and institutions of repute. The school must have renowned departments, such as Department of Accountancy, Economics, Finance, Computer Information Systems, Marketing, Management, Operations Research & Quantitative Methods, International Business, Statistics, and Business Law. These departments provide a comprehensive basket of subjects for learning. As for faculty, the school must have master teachers, scholars, consultants, authors, and scholars, who hold experience and advanced qualifications from renowned institutions. Alumni from institutions, such as MIT, Columbia, Harvard, New York University, Cornell, Oxford, Stanford, Northwestern, Yale, Michigan, and other world-class universities are preferred.

In my opinion, Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business meets these expectations. They have good rankings, a range of departments, and faculties from leading institutions in the United States as well as from other world renowned universities. According to Standard & Poor, “More senior executives hold undergraduate degrees from The CUNY than any other university in the nation,” (1996). Cairn’s New York Business said, “The Zicklin School is the largest school of business in the United States,” (2000). Accounting today commented, “Tied for 2nd place with Harvard for the number of graduates in 100 most influential people in accounting worldwide,” (1999). As for the departments, the school has Stan Ross Department of Accountancy, Operations Research and Quantitative Methods, Marketing, Management, Wasserman Dept. of Economics and Finance, Computer Information Systems, Law, and International business. The faculties of the school are from the leading institutions.

The factors that led you to choose your current/most recent job. One of the factors that I am working here, in flavorpill.com, is to acquire experience in accounting. Also, the better working conditions, and good salary encouraged me to work here. However, the job profile weighed against everything else. It provides me with an opportunity for positive contribution to flavorpill.com. Also, it offers me ample opportunity for self development. The scope for growth in the company is good, quality of the work I do is better. The experience that I gain here will help me get better opportunities.  I also appreciate the appraisals done by the superiors, which are very essential in my future work. The work environment, job stability, financial condition, and the reputation of this company have been important factors for my taking up the current assignment with favorpill.com. Although, there are provisions for car loan, canteen services, company paid cell phone, transportation services etc. in the offer package, I plan to go only for an education loan in order to further my goal of pursuing a graduate business degree. Although, I know my market worth, I prefer to stick on to my present job as it suits me well to realize my studies and land up a dream job in the future. I am not going to be in a hurry to accept any opportunity that may look right on the surface. Any decision on leaving the present job shall be taken with utmost caution and after taking a well-informed decision on the future assignment.

The most difficult/challenging situation you have faced professionally. As any other intern, I had my share of expectations and experiences too.  When I started my internship, I was going into a new situation. I hoped everything will go smoothly, supported by my overall background and knowledge. I assumed that this job would give me ample opportunity to perform well and grow professionally and personally. But it was not the case. Very often I had to meet with challenges and obstacles.  The first problem was with my immediate superior. Had I mapped out my expectations with my immediate superior beforehand, I would not have run into difficulties with him. More often than not, we had differences in opinions, and we lacked in identity of thoughts.  Whatever I was doing was not up to his expectations, either it was below his expectations, or it was above. This predicament gave me sleepless nights, and I wanted to defuse this stressful situation. From my earlier assignment, I had learnt that, generally, supervisors wish their interns to have positive experience and they enjoy mentoring them. One day, keeping his goals and expectations as well as my hopes and needs in mind, I honestly decided to communicate with my supervisor. It worked and worked for the better. I learnt that differences were facts of life and handling them was a great lesson.

My second experience was equally frustrating. It was about politics in the work place. For no fault of mine, I had to bear the brunt of ridicule for helping a colleague. It was not in my wildest of imaginations that this colleague was a controversial character. In any case, I learnt the bitter lesson that it was always better to keep away from controversies, controversial persons, and politics in work places.      

The top three reasons you have been successful in your career thus far. I have been successful in my career in accounting because, firstly, I started planning my career path when I was still younger. I knew my dream of success could be realized only if I had excellent knowledge in accountancy.  Towards this end, I worked precisely and rigorously through the years in the profession. At every stage, I had been doing self evaluation of my performance.  Secondly, I had been good in mathematics from the very start, i.e. when I was still in high school. Unless an accountant is excellent in mathematics, he cannot manipulate numbers. Computation and analysis of financial data require proficiency in mathematics. I have been very successful in doing these exercises competently.  Thirdly, accountancy is an evolving subject. With the advent of information technology, the nature of accounting has evolved from what it had been earlier. I had been an avid learner of the positive effects of information technology in accounting applications.  Accounting works, both recording and reporting, have to be very accurate. If the recording is properly done, computers give positive results. Calculations done by computer programs hardly give errors.  Application of multiple technologies gives fast and accurate results. Over a period of time, I have gained credible experience in handling the accounting systems. I can also adapt to a variety of flexible accounting technologies as dictated by changing business practices. Ability to use accounting technologies for sending invoices, credit card processing, computation of taxes, and a host of other accounting operations has made me successful in my career.

Bernard Baruch once said, "During my eighty-seven years I have witnessed a whole succession of technological revolutions. But none of them has done away with the need for character in the individual or the ability to think." What does this statement mean to you?  Like the man himself, the legacy of honors Bernard Baruch carried with him were unusual. Words, such as, “During my eighty-seven years I have witnessed a whole succession of technological revolution. But none of them has done away with the need for character in the individual or the ability to think,” evokes food for thought. Generally, people think that computers are powerful, and more capable, and faster than human brains. This thinking is based on the fact that computers workout error-free logical computations and do calculations several times faster than human brain. But the question is, “Are the computers really superior to the human brain in terms of adaptability, ability, and processing power? Retina of the eye sends messages to the brain. Although, the human retina measures about one centimeter square and half a millimeter thick, it consists of over hundred million neurons. Scientists confirm that the retina sends images of different intensities through the optic nerve, which is a million-fiber cable to the brain. Retina processes around ten one-million images per second. The human brain, which is 1,500 cubic meter is about 100,000 times as large as the retina. This means, the processing power of an average brain is about 100 million MIPS (Million Computer Instructions per Second). It is anybody’s guess, how much speed that may be! We have not yet produced a computer processor chip that can beat this mammoth figure.

What does it mean? The human brains are supposed to be fastest computer processor chips that could not yet beat the brain’s capacity to process information. This justifies Baruch’s bewilderment. None of the fastest supercomputer chips can replace human brain in its ability to think and process information. Brains are analogue, whereas computers are digital and brain uses content-addressable memory, whereas computers use bytes-addressable memory. By its sheer nature, brain accesses information by a process called ‘spreading activation’ from closely related concepts. Of course, in principle, computer also does the same by building massive indices of stored data. What are these data? These data are the outcome of human brain’s thinking ability. Hence, can any technological revolution take place without the character in the individual or the ability to think? This is the food for thought given by Baruch.

If to find an answer to Baruch’s question, Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen announced a $300 million donation to research how the human brain works. The brains behind this research are also trying to find out how to fix the brain when it does not work. If the brains behind this task succeed in their attempt to unravel the mystery of (1) how the brain stores, encodes, and processes information, (2) what underlies brain function, and (3) how cells develop and create circuits that lead to thought and behavior, that will be the mother of all revolutions, technology may have seen ever. Had he been alive today, Baruch would have certainly complemented the efforts of Paul Allen. In any case, it may be a long journey before someone found an answer to Baruch’s puzzle.

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