Personal Statement for Management Science and Engineering

I am a curious individual; I am always looking for what is behind the scene ranging from seemingly elementary naturally occurring things to man-made complex inventions. I am captivated by the workings of nature, for example, I wonder what keeps a tree standing in the face of a raging storm and I realize it’s all just a matter of counteractive forces between the branched roots and the wind! I am amazed at the knowledge that complicated machines are just a bunch of simple mechanical parts orchestrated by mechanisms bound together by the laws of physics to work as one functional unit. This is what made me pursue a first degree in Mechanical Engineering and now; I seek to soon further my studies along that same path.

It is particularly interesting how engineering and the application of theoretical ideas to real-life situations have changed the way we live, for example, the advancement in aviation, discovery of new materials with infinite prospects in the areas of technology and medicine, development of clean energy, as well as innovations in artificial intelligence. Having enjoyed real expertise in engineering processes and the theoretical science that lies behind mechanics, I am eager to immerse myself in further academic studies that will maximize my professional skills, expertise and knowledge base.

Presently, I am in the final year of my bachelor’s program at Vellore Institute of Technology, Tamil Nadu, India, where I currently have a cumulative GPA OF 9.97/10. I am most proud that I have consistently maintained a high level of success in my academic and professional development. Testament to this is my track record of achievements replete with scholarships and awards such as the award of excellence for ranking first out of a total 6,000 final year students in the university and emerging a winner at the zonal round of 1,000 participants at India’s Biggest Networking Competition (IBNC) in 2016. In addition, I was awarded Merit certificate for distinctive performance in National Science Olympiad with a rank of 300 out of 50,000 competitors between May 2008 and April 2010. My esteemed scholastic aptitude, the dedication to translate theoretical knowledge to the practical level, the zeal to keep abreast with the contemporary developments in the sector and the proclivity to develop professionally are my greatest strengths.

My research career savored its first accomplishment when Gisolins, a manufacturing company which deals on precision parts, endorsed my recommendations on more effective and efficient ways of restructuring the production process. I was only a college intern at that time, but the efficacy of my theoretical and practical solutions provided a landing page for more adventures in the Engineering field. I soon gained an extensive knowledge of plant operations and applied the Kaizen strategy of continuous improvement, which eliminated bottlenecks. The experience widened my scope on intellectual and academic advancement.

As a Mechanical Engineering student in college, I learned that critical reasoning and creative thinking are the prerequisites for a fruitful research career and buoyed the skills with some interdisciplinary courses which hinged on Project Management Basics, Human Resources, and Operations Research. These, further broadened my understanding of the corporate world. Remarkably, I developed huge interest in optimization during a case study on banking and, out of curiosity, studied queueing theory to discover its correlation with improving customer service experience. Completing the Six Sigma training program and embarking on high-level projects at giant industries equipped me with the essential knowledge, tools, and strategies I needed to test my competence. A combination of these course-based training with internships and extra-curricular activities taught me the rigors of professionalism. For a case in point, I was part of a team which constructed a Two-wheeled Self-Balancing Robot ahead of a Project Presentation Competition at Synergy 2016. Giving the robot some balance on all axis was challenging; the task was successfully executed by applying the Arduino micro controller for sensory movement, a gyroscope to maintain orientation, and a Bluetooth module for a wireless transfer of control to the drive wheels. These operable ideas earned us the first prize. My other accomplishment was a project on designing a Prosthetic Device for physically-challenged persons; we got paraplegics back on the tracks by creating a safe, light-weight, and comfortable tool. To achieve this feat, we first brainstormed on the cost, durability, performance, and material, before performing stress analysis from different toe positions using ANSYS software to determine our best options in material and device selection. My team finally constructed a titanium prosthetic foot, and I became an active member of the Center for Sustainable Rural Development & Research Studies at VIT.

It’s true that technological proficiency and creative virtuosity are the internal strengths of an enterprise but another determinant of success in competition, in an uncertain world economy, is possession of excellent management skills. Engineering is a process of formulas and theories, while management is a process of practically applying theories, both working towards a greater end. I have completed relevant coursework on Industrial Engineering & Management, Operations Research, and Project Management. In preparation for the challenges of my professional life, I’ve also obtained some effective course-based training with activities and internships. Immersing myself with constant research is also a way for me to be prepared with the complexities of a highly rewarding professional career ahead. I have successfully completed undergraduate research projects on the following: “Impact of Heating Mode of Sintering Techniques on Aluminium Alloys”, “Machinability Characteristics in Crushing Performance of Different Geometrical Structures of Epoxy Composite Tubes”, “Free Vibration of Damaged and Undamaged Hybrid CFRP/GFRP Composite Laminates”, “Machinability Characteristics in Dry Machining of Nimonic 263 Alloy Using Coated Carbide Inserts”, and others. My contributions to the development of science and technology can be found in academic works published on the International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Technology.

As the President of Student Council at VIT University, among other leadership positions in my portfolio, I have applied effective leadership and management skills through conferences and inter-personal relations aimed at making a meaningful impact in the world we live in.

I am convinced that no particular field of study can be developed without interdisciplinary subjects; this is the underlying reason I am keen on developing my attitude towards technology, inquisitiveness, and adeptness in academic subjects to achieve that goal. The master’s program in Management Science & Engineering will be a major step to span the gap between me and my life dream; that is, a renowned techno-commercial entrepreneur at the world stage, especially in India where there’s a vast scope for development of indigenous technology and availability of trained manpower. In furtherance, the MS program will be an opportunity to work with the guidance of learned and experienced professors and to exchange ideas with like-minded international students, which will equip me with the prerequisite skills, knowledge, and expertise for a real-world adventure.

I look forward to gaining knowledge and skills in courses such as Concepts of Financial Management, Accounting, Management of Engineering Teams, Financial Engineering and Engineering Project Management while keeping up with developments in the field of technology. I am self-motivated and have the ability to set and achieve realistic goals. I’ve been inspired by the different applications of cutting-edge mechanical engineering development and would feel very privileged to be close in these through completing a master’s degree at your reputable School of Engineering ,which is considered among the world’s best.

Columbia, with its esteemed reputation, exceptional faculty, and advantageous location in the hub of the corporate world, would be the perfect fit for someone with my professional aspirations. I am particularly interested in Prof. David Yao’s work on optimization and risk management in supply chain management. I also want to learn from Prof. Emanuel Derman’s vast academic and corporate experience in order to enhance my understanding of corporate finance and financial engineering. I also hope to further my interests in modelling and optimization by involving myself with Dr Shipra Agrawal’s research group. The discipline of Management Science and Engineering originated in the USA, and the MS&E program offers the ideal platform to take on yearlong consulting engagements for clients in the industry, which will augment my core skills vis-à-vis the tasks and challenges I will face as a consultant. In addition, your program and research initiatives, an interesting blend of technical and business courses, are squarely in my areas of interest.

I look forward to a positive response from the admission committee.