SAMPLE STATEMENT OF PURPOSE - BUSINESS MANAGEMENT Ph.D. EXAMPLE ESSAY

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I am applying for admission to the Ph.D. program in Business Administration because I want a career in the research and teaching of management. In particular, I am interested in factors that affect the competitive performance of a business concern, and the manner in which changes in technology affect an organisation's structure, long-term business strategy, product development, manufacturing, supply chains, distribution network, information needs and standard systems. In order to gain an appreciation of these and related issues, it is essential for me to have a strong grounding in Economics, Supply Chain Management, and issues connected with Information Technology, as well as gain a General Management perspective.

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I believe that the Ph.D. program in Business Administration (with concentration in Management) would be invaluable in helping me achieve these objectives. It would enable me to channel my quantitative and conceptual skills in analysing business issues and would open up new avenues in research. Subsequent to earning a Ph.D., I would like to apply for a faculty position at a leading university; and investigate issues concerned with technology as it affects organisation strategy, structure and systems.

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I believe that my background in engineering and management has prepared me for such a career. I have found research fascinating since my engineering days, where I received the highest marks in the Department for my final-year undergraduate dissertation; and was judged to have presented the best paper at a Departmental seminar. My four years of engineering education have provided me with a strong grounding in mathematics (I stood first in my Department for each of the four Math papers) and the theoretical aspects of technology.

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I joined ABC Business School in order to broaden my perspective and to improve my career prospects. Economics and psychology - subjects new to me - were interesting, and I enjoyed applying quantitative and conceptual skills to analyze business problems. I did very well in projects, desk research, workshops and class discussion, although academically I did not perform to my satisfaction (I finished with a GPA of 2.91, partly due to health reasons). I was voted as one of the ten most promising students in my batch, and received a national-level award for the best business school project, awarded by the Institute of Management Consultants of India. This was for a summer project, entitled "Formulation and Implementation of a Marketing Strategy for HandiCrafts, a unit of the Special Personís Association".

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Upon graduating from business school I was offered a job with AZ & Co., a management consulting firm which ranks as among Indiaís largest. This is where I learned how to apply the principles and lessons of management to real life. It was fascinating; and transformed my interest in management research into a passion. I read extensively, trying to keep myself informed about management thinking in my areas of work - structure and systems in an industry and organisation, industrial marketing and strategy.

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I have learnt a lot on my present job. With the rest of my team, I have analysed markets and examined supply and distribution networks for such diverse products and industries as bulk chemicals, fresh fruit exports, toys, packaging machinery, retailing, adhesives, diamonds and pharmaceuticals. I have helped formulate entry strategies, plans for expansion and diversification; and also company business plans. As part of a team, I have carried out preliminary feasibility studies; compared technology options; suggested to the Forex Bank of India, a plan for improving the export competitiveness of India's Chemicals Sector; and studied government schemes for their efficacy. I have studied in detail the organisation structure and systems for one of India's largest manufacturers of automobiles and helped in the restructuring of the company as well as the redesigning of their new systems.

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These assignments have involved interaction with people at all levels of the value chain, and at organisational levels from the Chairman of a $ 200 million firm to a packing clerk earning $1 daily. They have given me the opportunity to interview a number of policy makers, industry analysts and economists in an effort to understand the functioning of, and important issues connected with, each of these industries.

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All this has given me valuable insights into the environment in which companies operate - how they affect this environment and are affected by it. It has enabled me to observe some of the better and worse ways of running a business. Certain assignments have been thought provoking; my most recent assignment, on the redesigning of a company's structure and systems, helped me understand the necessity of good organisation structures, and appreciate the significance of systems that work well. A study on the export competitiveness of India's chemicals sector brought home to me the importance of technology in determining a company's or industry's competitiveness. An assignment involving the evaluation of an air freight subsidy scheme for exporters of fresh fruits raised fundamental questions in my mind about the efficacy of subsidies in improving the competitiveness of an industrial sector, and encouraged me to look at more lasting measures instead.

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The time limitation on each assignment has taught me to plan well, work systematically and keep my reports up-to-date. At the same time, having to defend my analyses and recommendations, during both internal discussions and presentations to clients, has taught me to think rigorously and creatively. Our extensive use of computers for analysis and preparation of presentations and reports has made me familiar with spreadsheet, word processing and presentation packages.

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While the highly diverse nature of assignments has helped me gain a broad exposure to Indian industry, it has not been possible for me to study specific business and technology - related issues in depth. I realise that in order to be able to do so, I need a better understanding of the various facets of management; the interlinkages between different functional areas and between different business entities. Equally important, I need further training in research methodology.

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I want to do a Ph.D. at the College of Business, XYZ University for many reasons. I have heard about XYZ's Ph.D. program in Business Administration from my business school professors and am impressed with the emphasis placed on technical and analytical skills, general management orientation and rigorous research methodology. The School's strengths in supply chain management and information management are commensurate with my research interests. The faculty's reputation for excellent teaching, challenging coursework and the excellent facilities are added attractions.

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While the study of and research in management is my prime objective today, my interests in literature, music, travel and nature help me maintain a sense of perspective in life. I like to write and have had some articles published in Indian newspapers. I have organized and participated in a number of extra-curricular activities during my college days and have won university and national level prizes in debating, writing and quizzes. I also believe that each of us must give something back to society - to this end, I have worked on a voluntary basis for the Hunger Project for a year; as a teacher and counselor to physically and mentally handicapped children for three years; and as a reader to blind students. Today, I contribute to a local organisation that focuses on the environment of my hometown, Allahabad.

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I hope that the admissions committee finds my background and strengths commensurate with the requirements of XYZ's Ph.D. program in Business Administration.

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