No single ambition lies behind my intent to enter into the Master of Business Analytics program at Carnegie Mellon University and attain my MBAn degree. The motivation is far more complex, as my education and life experience thus far have combined to lead me to this pursuit. It may seem unusual that a student would express passion for a field so defined by technical knowledge and the intricacies of the mechanics of business, but passion is precisely what most drives me. Data, explored and utilized, is no “lifeless” element to me, but rather a means by which a business may evolve and succeed. I am very much aware that the MBAn degree demands a great deal of commitment and academic effort. I perceive this reality, however, as a welcome challenge, rather than as intimidating. In plain terms, every course I have taken and every career role I have assumed, in the past as well as today, completely reinforce how valuable the MBAn learning and degree I gain will further my deepest interests and objectives.
In terms of what I actually seek to gain from the program, I must first emphasize how I desire a greater understanding of all aspects of business analytics as a modern – and increasingly important – science in itself. As the world becomes more interactive, so too does it become more complex, and commerce must keep pace with the new and unprecedented flow of information. Business universally exists to cater to public wants and needs, yet diversity alone, as well as rapidly changing social and cultural environments, call for the utmost investment in awareness of all pertinent realities. This in turn strongly relates to what I have encountered in my professional activities beyond the academic. As I have engaged in various functions involving research, management, investment opportunities, recruitment, and marketing, I have consistently become more aware of the critical need to comprehend how business today relies on the most expansive background possible, and in terms of both theory and technical processes. In 2015, for example, I interned at the San Jose base of uSens, Inc., a company created in 2013 and dedicated to developing computer interaction technologies, with an emphasis on enhancing potentials of virtual reality (VR). The work was of course highly technical but, as I acquired knowledge as to these elements of it, I also became aware of the broader implications of both potentials and limitations within VR, and I conducted extensive research to better define these elements. If the VR technology was evolving and impressive, I identified drawbacks in how inadequate display clarity, as well as time gaps between user movement and display, generate nausea in users. I also presented in my research the significant problem of how even the most sophisticated VR interaction still creates an unwelcome sense of isolation in the user. A number of recommendations were then proposed by me, addressing both technical and social issues of the systems. This internship experience alone gave me a heightened awareness of how advancing business demands skills in investigating markets and consumer concerns, and the MBAn program, I am confident, will enable me to more effectively research and better develop solutions in any business environment.
Working with data, I must relate, is exciting to me, but other experience has broadened my sense of how even the most technical data is a critical component in understanding commercial and social aspects of business. This awareness has been greatly reinforced in my having initiated and managed the Green House, an Asian fusion restaurant in Chino Hills. My mother had in fact created the original restaurant, the Guppy House, in 2013 but, by May of this past year, the poor revenues and inefficient management motivated me to assume control of the operation and, in the process, develop a new brand. Essentially, I learned as I worked; for example, interviewing and recruiting new staff was a process in which I used each interaction to inform the next, and was increasingly better able to determine character and authentic qualifications. Then, I fully accepted that no efforts I made would be successful if I failed to understand the existing market, so I undertook a comprehensive market analysis before opening the new Green House. The data affirmed that the Chino Hills demographics indicated fusion cuisine, rather than strictly Chinese, as attractive. I also made changes based on the reality that nearly half of the families in the region had young children, so we created a more “family friendly” menu and environment. I learned as well that analysis must be ongoing. As early revenues were disappointing, I conducted customer surveys and isolated the problem of the food as too heavy, and not reflective of what a “Green House” meant to the clientele. A new chef was the solution, just as I also turned to social media consultants to enhance our image. Within a four-month period, sales increased by sixty percent, and Green House now exists as an evolving and competitive presence in the Chino Hills restaurant market.
As with my uSens internship, the above involvement has inestimably enhanced my awareness of how crucial analysis and research are to all business. This perspective is as well reinforced by the volunteer work I have done in the past. At USC, for example, I organized events for the Ascend chapter, and my promotions brought in approximately fifty new, paid members each semester. Additionally, I promoted the USC ALPFA chapter through social media platforms, and distributing newsletters and flyers. In each effort, I understood the importance of knowing the realities of the circumstances, from which students would more likely be interested to the most efficient means of communication. The same realities apply to business, and the highest level of skill in these elements, from researching markets to originating new strategies and approaches, is vital. The individual like myself, then, determined to establish a career as a Business Analyst, absolutely requires what the Carnegie Mellon MBAn program provides.