Studying Industrial Engineering and Management | Reflection

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During the past four years, I studied industrial engineering with specialization in electronics at Ostend. The emphasis of my studies was understanding the fundamental electronic principles that govern modern day electronics. But I also learned about other diverse topics such as safety, economics, and industrial management. I found the last topic, industrial management, to be very interesting and exciting, because one of my career aspirations is to participate in the senior management of an industrial company.

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To further my career aspiriations of becoming part of a senior management team, I want to obtain a Master’s Degree in Industrial Management. Having this knowledge will allow me to better understand management principles. With all the uncertainty and changes in with world, political, economic, and technological, I believe that management must have a solid understanding, supported by a strong academic foundation, of how to guide companies through these challenging times.

No education is complete without experience. Armed with a solid understanding of academic principles, I can begin my career where I will add to my experience. Because I will be well versed in the theory, I will be able to adapt and modify the theoretical constructs as required in order to meet my company’s needs. I fully recognize that our political, economic, and technological environments are constantly changing, and thus management needs to be able to adapt quickly and accurately to the new conditions if the company is to survive, let alone prosper. I believe obtaining a Master’s Degree will provide the necessary background for me to be to anticipate and react to ever-changing environments.

I have completed my four year Bachelor of Technology program at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. I graduated in July 1998 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Many of my courses and research activities in the final year were in the field of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research with a strong focus on production and operations management. I am presently working in Tata Technologies India Ltd., an information technology firm that is involved in the areas of enterprise integration and CAD/CAM. I am applying for admission and financial aid to the Ph.D. program in Operations Management at the Krannert Graduate School of Management, Purdue University. Detailed information about my academic record and my research and other experience is attached to this statement.

I was introduced to mathematics and the physical sciences while at school and it was in high school that I considered a career in this area. The desire to study the applied physical sciences and mathematics prompted me to take the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for admission to the Indian Institutes of Technology. I was ranked in the top 0.25 % of the nearly 1,00,000 students who took the examination.

My undergraduate education at IIT Bombay has not only given me a certain set of skills but has also helped me understand my fields of interest and my academic strengths and weaknesses. This understanding has made me realize that though the applied physical sciences appeal to me, my strengths lie in applied mathematics and in abstractions of reality. In particular, I am interested in the managerial aspects of industrial and technological systems. This interest developed during my junior year seminar titled ‘Productivity Management’ in which I explored the relationship between manufacturing strategy and productivity improvement. I continued further research in this area through my senior year project titled ‘Decision Support System for Quality Control’ which sought to investigate various decision making mechanisms in the quality function and provide corresponding computer support. The project also enabled me to appreciate the interaction between manufacturing and the other functions of the firm especially information systems. The reading of certain outstanding books during the course of my research such as Skinner’s ‘Manufacturing in the Corporate Strategy’, Deming’s ‘Out of the Crisis’ and Goldratt’s ‘The Goal’ finally convinced me to pursue a Ph.D. in operations management and an academic career thereafter.

My past work in the area of industrial engineering and operations research was characterised by a dichotomy of approaches. The courses that I took in this area dealt with various operational and tactical issues. The basic aim was to understand a specific problem, model the problem appropriately and find an optimal or reasonably optimal solution using the techniques of operations research. This has given me a good background in issues related to methodology, modelling, and heuristic solutions. On the other hand, my research has been oriented towards strategic issues. The basic thrust of my junior year seminar and senior year project has been ‘integrative’. Through my future research efforts I would like to understand this dichotomy better. Initially, I want to study rigorous model-based methods and do research on operational and tactical topics. After gaining a thorough grounding in these topics, I am interested in applying the same methodologies and techniques to strategic topics in operations management.

I believe that I have the qualities to be a good researcher and teacher. I am a creative person and often think in a contemplative way about various issues of practical importance. Being able to identify patterns and relationships that are not obvious to others is perhaps my greatest strength. This will prove very valuable because an integral part of being a researcher and teacher is to perceive the balance between theory and practice, analytical rigor and intuition. My communication skills are good and I like expressing ideas and concepts both in oral and written form – an ideal platform for the dissemination of knowledge in my chosen field of specialization.

The Krannert Graduate School of Management is one of the best schools of management in the world with a strong orientation towards research. The diversity of research interests in the operations management group is of particular interest to me. The eminent faculty and the individualized nature of the doctoral program will definitely bring out the best in me. I would like to reiterate that I possess the background, the ability and the motivation to make a significant contribution to Operations Management. I hope you will take a favorable decision regarding my admission to the Ph.D. program and I look forward to joining the Krannert Graduate School of Management and Purdue University.


Like most young kids in computer science, my first interest was in computer graphics. I remember my interest in graphics led me to build a single player Tic-Tac-Toe game with some nice graphics and show it off to my friends. However, I soon realized that my Tic-Tac-Toe is actually quite “stupid” and almost always lost to my friends. I started working on it and made it more intelligent so that it never loses to anyone, and wins most of the times. I didn’t realize that I was working on Artificial Intelligence at that time, but that’s how my interest in AI started growing. Since then my exposures, associations with clubs, readings, and undergraduate work – all have served to push me into deciding to study, research, teach and discover different aspects of AI, particularly those that connect computer science with robotics, and logic-based planning under incomplete knowledge. I am now completely taken in by the challenge of solving complex problems, and making generalizations and relationships that concern writing programs which will make machines think, analyze and learn. AI excites me also because it’s becoming a potpourri of all kinds of knowledge’s. Apart from AI I have also developed a keen interest on Bioinformatics through my undergraduate research work during the last few months. Bioinformatics is an area I didn’t know much about. However, since I started my research on sequence analysis, I have got more and more interested on this area, particularly on processes by which a gene’s information can be converted into the functions of a cell.

Life outside classes has been quite exciting for me and I am really enjoying my research work under Dr. Gurpur M. Prabhu. I am currently working on a project on sequence analysis of DNA and then predict functions of the resulting protein. The idea we are working on is to use Conway’s Look and Say Sequence and incorporate some of its properties in the DNA sequence. The first obvious difference between the two is that Conway’s sequence contains primarily three characters (1, 2, 3), whereas there are four characters (A, T, C, G) to deal with in the DNA sequence. I first tried to see whether it’s possible to generate characters other than those three, for example 0 or 4. I proved that it’s not possible for any other character to appear in the successors of the original string, unless it was present in the original string itself. Another interesting property of the Conway’s Sequence is its 92 audioactive elements, just like elements in the normal periodic table and the concept of compound that can be formed using these elements. I am currently working on a program which tests and verifies the similarity of the properties of these elements with the real world elements. Recently I found that though the compound MgCl cannot exist in the real world (only MgCl2 exists), this compound can be formed using Conway’s elements.

I am currently also working on a semester long research project for an AI course on developing artificial intelligence for the game Othello, also known as Reversi. I am particularly focusing on the evaluation function and the search techniques. I also discovered that the mobility of the opponent is crucial to the strategy. The idea is to make a move that will restrict the possible moves of the opponent. I am using alpha beta search for this problem. I discovered that finding the better move towards the beginning cuts off many moves and thus makes it faster. Currently I am working on this algorithm to order the moves so that the better moves come first. I also plan to make it learn inductively in the next step.

Another project I recently started under Dr. Prabhu is on a concept called negative-language. At times it is easier to define something by saying what it’s not than what it is. One such example is justice; it’s easier to say what justice isn’t than what it is. I am using Disjunctive logic programming to work on this problem using DLVk Java Wrapper. Often it’s easier to decide whether a particular solution is optimal or not, than to find the optimal solution. Our goal is to solve this kind of problems effectively.

Now I am also closing in on a yet another watershed decision in my life – of studying higher and deeper into the area of computer science and get into research in fields like AI, or Bioinformatics. Under the Ph.D. program I will get enough scope to translate my thinking and ideas to reality by application to the real problem. This will build up my self-confidence if I am successful. Otherwise, if I fail in a particular application I will get scope to find the reasons and modify it in the next step. Actually, I’m looking forward to an in-depth and challenging hands-on experience in my Ph.D. career. Being on a Ph.D. program will also provide me the opportunity to attend conferences and symposium on my chosen area and I will be able to listen to the experts in the area as well as have interactions with them. This will certainly enable me to enrich my knowledge and keep myself updated on the recent developments. Moreover, I believe that the Ph.D. program will help me to enhance my independent thinking and analysis of a problem. This will be of much importance to me in the next career step, when I aspire to take up my own problem and build up own group.

I believe, doing my Ph.D. in University of California, Santa Barbara will expose me to a deeper area of my chosen topic and will provide me a much optimized environment to expand my knowledge on the subject through associations and interactions with my supervisor and other faculty experts in the department. My reasons of choosing University of California, Santa Barbara are three. First, this university offers a wonderful Ph.D. program in Bioinformatics and Artificial Intelligence; two, it has an acclaimed network of closely working labs that engage in lots of sponsored research Bioinformatics and Artificial Intelligence. On my own, I am interested in doing something in areas like Active Logic, Metacognitive Computation, Simple Hierarchical Ordered Planning, and Sequence Analysis of DNA and all of these are very much there in University of California, Santa Barbara in some variant or other. And third, most importantly, presence of professors like Dr. Ambuj Singh, Dr. Tobias Hollerer, Dr. Terrence Smith, and Dr. Matthew Turk who have been passionately working in the field of Bioinformatics and Artificial Intelligence also influenced me a lot. The presence of these factors led to University of California, Santa Barbara being my preferred choice. If I do my Ph.D. from University of California, Santa Barbara, I will have the opportunity of interacting with them, and who knows, of even working with them on a path breaking idea.


When introduced to economics in high school I realized that it interestingly qualified as a subject of both Arts and Science. It was an area defined by precise rules, principles and axioms and yet there was tremendous scope for self-expression in the form of interpretation and analysis. This facet of economics intrigued me very much and I decided to pursue further studies in Economics.

During my Master’s program I equipped myself as best as I could, with various tools used in economic analysis. I obtained rigorous training in mathematics, econometrics and game theory. After completing the Master’s program, I joined National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, as I was very eager to see how one might use economics to tackle real life problems, where simplified models, and assuming away of problems may offer no respite. I did some very interesting work here, which is described in my resume. I want to delve deeper into the subject to be able to carry out independent research and analysis, hence my decision to join the Ph.D. program at UCLA.

International Economics is an area I would really like to explore. I am fascinated by game theoretic modeling of issues pertaining to International Economics. I believe that game theoretic models can be effectively used in international economics as many policy issues such as negotiations over mutual reductions in tariffs, formation and preservation of customs unions, establishment of cartels in the case of internationally traded goods, all have some game theoretic character.

The current “Regionalism versus Multilateralism” debate holds its own attraction. It should be interesting to analyze the trade diversion effects of Preferential Trading Agreements and also their impact on multilateral institutions like GATT. The strategic trading that takes place in foreign exchange markets and the variety of auction like mechanisms that have been used for foreign exchange trade, especially in developing countries, are intriguing.

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During my graduate studies I aim to equip myself with some advanced tools and develop my analytical and research capabilities. I want to get an excellent command over econometrics to be able to confront stochastic statistical data with exact models of economic theories and also for empirical verification of other models, which might otherwise be set in a partial equilibrium framework. I expect to emerge as an economic engineer and an expert in model building.Econometrics per se, also interests me as a subject of economics and I might like to research in econometric methodology. I want to be an academic economist. I have cleared the National Eligibility test conducted by the University Grants Commission of India, which makes me eligible to teach an undergraduate course in economics in any Indian university.

I want to study at UCLA, as it emphasizes on the rigor and analytical tools that are necessary for academic research. I have well-developed analytical and mathematical skills and I want to exploit these skills to the greatest extent. I feel the help and guidance that can be provided to me by the distinguished faculty of your university will be invaluable. I am sure if I am given the opportunity to study at your university that attracts some of the best students from all over the world, it will provide an environment competitive enough to bring out the best in me.


wish to become an accomplished academic researcher in the field of strategic management and I am convinced that the XXXX School of Business is the best context for me to pursue studies at the doctoral level. My professors have all encouraged me to continue my studies of management and I am confident that I will be successful in this quest. Several of my professors as well as colleagues have suggested that XXXX might be a great location for me to pursue my doctoral work. My business experience is a prominent factor in my qualifications since I have worked as a consultant at one of Korea’s leading strategy-consulting firms. I am most pleased with the way that I have been able to help my clients organizations perform better. And I have also been engaged in research for several years

Throughout my Master’s program at XXXX University, I struggled to refine my analytical skills and research capabilities concerning strategic management, organization, and international business, resting on a solid foundation of statistics and methodology. My most relevant academic experience in research has been assisting Professor XXXX in writing a report on XXXX’s core competence. This experience has helped me to better understand that research is what means most to me in my professional life. Writing my master’s thesis was also a most important learning experience preparing me for doctoral study. The thesis investigated factors influencing founder-CEO replacements in venture companies and in Korean entrepreneurial firms. Drawing on three different perspectives, namely the organizational life cycle, founder-CEO characteristics, and founder-CEO’s power, I developed a conceptual framework and collected data from DART, the electronic disclosure system of the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS); the Company Data XXXX, and KINDS, the database of the Korea Press Foundation. This was the first study of this kind to be conducted in Korea, since it dealt with event-history analysis performed using STATA. This study is now under second review at the Korean Management Review and I am presenting an updated English version at the 5th Asia Academy of Management (AAoM) this December. I profoundly enjoyed all phases of the research process, especially developing hypothesis, the collection of data, and running statistical analyses-as well as drawing conclusions. I am especially enamored with the discussion of critical issues in management with professors and colleagues. My thesis resulted in a study now under second review at the Korean Management Review, indisputably the top management journal in Korea, and I am presenting an updated English version at the 5th Asia Academy of Management (AAoM) meeting this December. I am very pleased that my academic research has been appreciated by renowned researchers in the field.

I look forward to learning a great deal more about corporate governance in the Ph.D. program at the XXXX School of Business, especially topics related to CEOs and top management teams. Building on my previous research, I want to continue to study the consequences of founder-CEO replacement, and how entrenched CEOs influence a firm’s performance. I am interested in the management of innovation and technology and would like to investigate how different technology acquisition strategies, including networks, lead to innovation and, in turn, to competitive advantage in the high-tech industry. I am also fascinated by the knowledge management strategy of multinational corporations, the field of expertise of my thesis advisor Professor XXXX.

The first academic research I engaged in was a project commissioned by the XXXX Bank. As a Senior at XXXX University, Professor XXXX asked me to assist him with his investigation of the reasons behind a recent surge of Korean patents in the US. My responsibility was to write a case study on the Korean semiconductor industry, which played a central role in increased patents. I wrote a qualitative case in English along with four other graduate students and learned invaluable teamwork skills. This study was published in 2003 as a research report ‘What is Behind the Surge in Korean Patenting?’ by the XXXX Bank. I also assisted Professor XXXX with his study of XXXX’s core competence from multiple perspectives. Through collaboration with the XXXX Economic Research Institute (XERI), I was responsible for conducting literature reviews on various topics including but not limited to core competence, synergy, corporate governance, diversification, and organizational learning and I presented my findings at weekly meetings. The result of this research XXXX Way: The Great Transformation of XXXX since the 1990s’ was published as a research report in 2004.

I am presently working as a research assistant at the Graduate School of Business Administration at XXXX University. I am assisting Professor XXXX with his research on the knowledge management strategy of multinational corporations, which is a collaborative work with Professor XXXX of XXXX. This research examines the internationalization process of R&D activities of US, European, and Asian companies from an evolutionary perspective. My main responsibility is to conduct research on each company’s internationalization process according to functional areas and collect quantitative data ready for analysis. During this process, I am learning how to manage a joint research project and gaining familiarity with Japanese databases such as XXXX, XXXX, and XXXX.

I feel strongly that my studies, coupled with my research experience, have provided me with a diverse set of knowledge and skills that make me an excellent candidate for doctoral study in this field. My enthusiasm and good cheer, coupled with sound fundamentals in management theory will provide me with the driving force that I will need to be a successful life-long researcher.

I am fascinated by the management of innovation and technology. On the one hand, I am interested in how different technology acquisition strategies, such as alliances, acquisitions, and networks, lead to innovation and, in turn, to competitive advantage. And I am deeply intrigued by the characteristics and influence of network effects of internet-based industries, especially online game companies and the social network service (SNS) providers. I also wish to become more in tune with the knowledge management strategy of multinational companies I have discovered that my academic interests fit especially well with the research interests of outstanding faculty members in the area of management and organization at the XXXX School of Business. I especially value XXXX’s emphasis of the importance of and support for teaching excellence. As someone who very much wants to become a professor, I think that being an effective educator is as important as being an important researcher. I am attracted by the fact that XXXX’s undergraduate program provides an opportunity for many graduate students to gain invaluable teaching experience. I also admire XXXX’s supportive environment for research. At XXXX, I am confident that I will develop invaluable research and teaching skills while having the privilege to interact with attentive professors and intellectually-gifted colleagues.

I hope to teach at a school of business in the United States, where I plan to struggle to add my name to the long list of distinguished scholars that have come from your program. I sincerely believe that the Ph.D. program at the XXXX School of Business is the best match for my strong motivation. I have no doubt that I have made the right choice to spend five years at XXXX as a Ph.D. student. I have found that my academic interests fit well with the research areas of the outstanding faculty and resources of XXXX, including the Center for Global Business and the Center for Human Capital, Technology, and Innovation. I value XXXX’s support for interdisciplinary learning. I would like to use this opportunity to advance my understandings in a variety of specific areas in the field of management, and gain expertise knowledge in economics which I believe will be of foundational importance for my future study. Finally, and of primary importance, I admire XXXX’s dynamic support for research. I strongly believe that one of the most important elements in pursuing a successful academic career is to have a good mentor who can closely guide you academically, and in person, as well.

I am confident that I will develop invaluable research and teaching skills while interacting with attentive professors and intellectually-gifted colleagues. After graduation, I will seek an academic career at a leading American business school. I would like to see myself publishing at top journals and winning teaching awards for teaching excellence and, in the long run, I hope to positively add to the reputation of XXXX by adding my name to its long list of prominent scholars. I want to thank you for consideration of this application.


Ever since I was a child I have been concerned with poverty, not my own poverty, but that of others, especially in Third World or developing countries. This concern led me to develop a profound fascination with the study of economics, the inequality between developed and developing countries, in particular, and a search for creative directions in which to foster economic development on an international level. Now, I very much want to push ahead with this interest, studying towards a graduate degree in economics. I have chosen to apply to XXXX University for several reasons, especially the renown of the faculty for exploring questions of economic development in creative ways. I am also especially attracted to the highly international character of this university, along with its cosmopolitan location near the heart of Los Angeles.

I have long been interested in international economics and international relations because my life has been always affected by them. While in junior high school, I had a chance to visit North Korea for three months for a music/performing arts exchange. Although I stayed in Pyong Yang, the capital of North Korea, I witnessed great poverty-many local people wearing ragged clothes, and very thin malnourished children searching for food in the streets. All information was totally controlled by the government and people do not have economic and political freedom. I was so shocked by the disparity in North Korea and by the large gap between the living conditions in Japan.

During my freshman year in university in Japan, I participated in a two-week summer school program at XXXX University in Thailand.

Although the political and economic structure of Thailand is more open to the rest of the world than North Korea, economy has not developed as other Asian countries such as Japan, China and South Korea. While visiting a “HOYA” factory, which is one of the major firms for the lenses, I learned that such factories had recently greatly expanded by developed countries through the exploitation of third world countries. It is time for us to reconsider our economic system and renovate the alternative methods of economic development.

While in undergraduate, I had a great opportunity to present my research on sex trafficking at the annual spring symposium. A great number of women in the third world countries are engaged in human trafficking (human trading) and sex industry as their ultimate means to survive and protect their families. Due to the ineffective national economic policy and international economic regulations established on behalf of the developed countries, poverty issue has not been alleviated. As economic discrepancy gets larger among the nations, it  aggravates the international tensions and it would finally trigger international conflicts. The more I recognize the severity of problems confronted by our global society, the more strongly I believe the way to avoid conflict and improve economic conditions is to act from a professional point of view

After obtaining a master’s degree in Economics, I strongly hope to work in the sphere of economic affairs concerning international economic development. For such a future career, my working experiences play an important role in understanding professionalism. In 2003, I was volunteering for the non-profit organization called People for the Advanced Cambodian Education (PACE) and since September 2005, I worked as a computer lab assistant at XXXX University. After graduating from XXXX University, I started to work for the XXXX Company as a full-time sales associate. The company is one of the imported oriental food and supplies distributors in the United States. Through this job, I truly realized that local business significantly affects the international business and such economic interaction has fundamental influence to the international economy. Moreover, through all my professional experiences, I learned how to cope with problems efficiently with professional manners and how to establish relationships with co-workers as a team. I also acquired leadership skills that I would be required in a real society. Though career opportunities may place me in a variety of professional positions, my final goal is to work at the United Nations. What I expect to learn from graduate school is to obtain academic foundation required for such a career and find a way to apply methods to the real world. This is the incentives that stimulate me to pursue further studying and the motives for my choice of University of XXXX. Economic Developmental Programming at XXXX is a very rare MA degree on the west coast and it suits my needs and professional goals. Since I have taken only a few lectures relevant to the quantitative economics, it is significantly important for me to take mathematical methods in economics as well as economic development in order to apply them to the practical problems of developing countries. I truly believe that a graduate degree in International Relations from XXXX, combined with my own interests and experiences, will provide ample chances for accomplishing my professional goals

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