SoP for a PhD at a Ivy league B School
Would really appreacite any feedback I could get on the following SoP - I dont have too many people who can share feedback on this -but hope you all can help me. Im applying for a Marketing Phd at 2 Ivy league B schools in the US and need an exceptional SoP. I have hit a stumbling block and cant seem to refine this further -I know it needs a little more work. Can you help - i'd really appreciate the support!
Some people see things and they ask 'why.' I see things that never were and ask 'why not?' - George Bernard Shaw’s quote has contextualized every stage of my educational and professional journey. As a Private Banker the day I closed my first multimillion dollar structured note deal, before celebrating, I sat down to ask “why “ and “what” had motivated my client. No doubt the product was excellent, but I saw so many other intangible factors sway the client’s decision. Backed by a superior product, each time I lost a deal to a rival Private Bank, I asked “why not” and the answer was addressed by Consumer Behaviour. That’s day I knew I wanted to learn more about Behavioural Finance. This belief was reinforced several times over the last 9 years of my Private Banking Career.
I’ve always been an extremely curious person. So when given a chance to do the brand positioning study for ABC Pharmaceuticals new launch of Baby foods during my summer internship during my Bachelor of Pharmacy, I was intrigued by the financial aspects of the project and it is precisely because of this I favoured to starting my career with ABC Bank. I had a complete lack of an understanding about the financial world which made me more determined to succeed in this field. I’ve had the fantastic opportunity to do research on the banking clientele in India for ABC Bank , as their Liability Product Manager and the research had highlighted some key insights leading to the bank positioning its Retail banking initiative in the mid tier market segment. The opportunity to learn and the freedom to study the market segment in depth and launch products tailored to their needs for a new Banking launch was a fantastic learning opportunity.
Subsequently, since my exposure and direct understanding of International Banking was limited, I chose to join XYD Bank’s International Private Banking division. I joined a team of 10 determined individuals with big ideas to help set up a division that is today spread over 10 countries and employs over 5000 people. Again, the freedom to do research on new markets and consumer behaviours in these segments was a tremendous learning experience for me. In over 6 years with the bank, I worked as a Product Manager – Liabilities and Structures as well as switched to the front end role as a Private Banker when I realised that in order to complete my learning, I would have to talk and deal with clients directly. This also gave me the opportunity to launch the Asia market – namely ABC country for XYD bank and set up the base there to deepen and widen the private Banking network and launch focussed products for this client segment. I also took on the role of researching and launching STU country for the bank. This role involved activities from market research to hosting the final launch events in STU and ABC and managing the bottom line for the Private Banking Business from these geographies. Post moving to STU country, I had the good fortune to replicate and customize this model for STU and HIJ country. This helped me build a successful Client portfolio of over USD 145 mn in assets under management.
After 6 yrs with the bank, once the division was up and running, another opportunity presented itself when MNO Bank (another leading bank in India) decided to launch its global Private Banking initiative in STU. Eschewing the offer of larger Private banks was never a problem for me, in spite of higher pay packages, since my primary focus was to do understand research and in turn learn from a start up division.
As a wealth manager I have found the value of understanding the behavioural biases of clients and have through practice discovered some ways to adjust investment portfolios. The investment decisions that clients take, individually or collectively were not a physical given constant, they choose it – and Behavioural Finance has helped understand those choices. In order to complete my understanding of consumer Behaviour I would now like to study Behavioural Finance with a specific focus to the Asian High Net Worth (HNW) investors and identify the factors governing their investment decisions. As a part of the study I am keen to uncover factors separating the Asian HNW from his counterparts in the West. Leveraging on business links formed over the last 8 years working in this sector across the Asian subcontinent, my aim is to uncover and quantify the specific Behavioural factors relevant to High Net Worth Individuals and thereby distinguish them from the western HNW’s. Total wealth for High Net Worth Individuals in Asia Pacific amounts to $7.6 trillion. This HNW wealth is expected to reach $10.6 trillion by 2010 growing at an annual rate of over 10% (ex Japan), outpacing the growth rates of other regions. (Source: Merrill Lynch Cap Gemini APAC Wealth Report). Since the global financial crisis has fundamentally changed how these HNWI clients invest and the wealth management business itself is undergoing a sea change the my aim is to uncover how the psyche of the Asian HNW has adapted post the financial crisis and help understand the irrational behaviour decisions of the target segment.. This research will help deepen that knowledge of and in turn benefit other academia and financial advisors at all levels.
The question of perhaps why I’m leaving a 6 figure salary to do research has been asked by colleagues and friends alike; however research and thereby sharing of knowledge and the ambition to be recognised as a leader in the field has been a long held passion. Growing up in lower income family in a depressed inner-city area in Mumbai, financial concerns dominated most of my early life. Being the eldest sibling, there were several financial responsibilities on me, which I can happily say I have now fulfilled –leaving me to pursue my first love of continuing my pursuit of knowledge. I’ve always know education is my path to freedom and upliftment both mentally and professionally, and going forward I want to share this with other students. What engages me about teaching is the idea of challenging and guiding minds to form thought processes, of perhaps instilling the same enthusiasm and passion for knowledge that I possess.
A strong educational background in pharmacy and business, along with on job learning at the Banking industry, has prepared me for graduate study in interdisciplinary fields. I am sure my interdisciplinary background will help me think beyond conventional boundaries while addressing problems in research. ABC university would give me the opportunity to do so, having the premier research facility in Asia, coupled with the option of being close to the target segment, what attracts me to ABC is the hope of being given an opportunity to work with Prof. XYZ. It will be an honour for me to carry on my studying Behavioural Finance, especially with respect to HNW consumers with the help of such world-class faculty as Professor XYZand Professor ABC, whose publications and academic interests influenced me significantly while choosing the most appealing school and program.
As I complete my 9th year professionally, adding this PhD will enable me to attain my professional goals of teaching and working at a quality school of business. And yet it is my personal goal to volunteer time to promote primary education for girls, in the lower echelons of society - be it through philanthropy in private banking or assisting NGO’s develop their own strategies for operation, which I hope will be my legacy. Coming from a similar background, I can identify with this passion and hope to share it with others going forward.
Re: SoP for a PhD at a Ivy league B School
come on guys!! someone help me here--plz give me feedback..if u think its bad--tell me and if ur really nice tell me how i can improve this :-). If u think its ok -lemme know and if u think its worth submitting --lemme know again:-D