Uploaded by mangodango88


What matters to you most and why? (750 words)
It was my first day teaching in a new school, new country, new continent, and I had been waiting
for four hours for my class to turn up; maybe they didn’t like me? Or maybe I had failed to
understand that school started in the ‘morning’ …albeit once the rain had finished. I was lucky
enough to spend time teaching chemistry in Tanzania before university. This opportunity
allowed me to experience moments of flexibility, ambiguity and culture differences. Above all,
this experience underlined the necessity of self-adaption. I am so proud of my ability to adapt,
because it has enabled me to truly experience the world and all it has to offer.
As such, the ability to adapt to changing surroundings matters most to me because by learning
to do so, it has allowed me to open doors to new experiences and challenges. Whether tagging
along with my father exploring farming villages in Punjab or joining my mother trekking through
the barren lands of Nanyuki, I have been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to explore
change in global cultures and beautiful places. From these opportunities, my parents have
instilled in me the importance and ability to embrace change and adapt to any surrounding and
My ability to adapt has developed over time and has enabled me to persevere through
tumultuous situations and emerge stronger than I was before. This began at the age of seven,
when I started playing lacrosse. By fourteen I debuted with the England team and continued to
train several hours per day and several times per week. At nineteen I broke my ankle, which
ended my dreams of playing professionally. Confronted by the ultimate need to adapt to a new
situation, I struggled and eventually developed an eating disorder. Yet, gradually I overcame
this struggle through picking myself up and finding a new exciting goal - 18 months later I went
from crutches to twenty-six miles in four hours. Coming out of this experience, I realized the
importance of being able to change courses when needed in order to adapt to changing
Growing and learning are major parts of adapting to new environments, and I had looked
forward to growing and establishing myself professionally when I graduated from college.
However, upon graduation I was again met with a challenge and a new reality: I did not get the
consulting job that I wanted. Though disappointing, I immediately reacted by taking charge in
driving the course of my new path. I met with a career counselor and spoke with alumni in the
field who helped me determine another route to achieve my goals. As such, I accepted a
position with [management consulting firm] in its business operations group that led Corporate
and Investment Banking in the firm. This enabled me to gain exposure to the consulting process
and I was proud to be promoted to an analyst after only eight months by persistently seeking
opportunities to learn beyond my job and continually aspire to the next level. It’s uncommon to
be able to enter the consulting side from the operations side at [management consulting firm],
but my prevailing hard work further proved my belief that a roadblock is merely something to
navigate around.
Now, after four years, though I took a different path, I was able to adapt and ended-up in my
dream job nonetheless as an Associate at a cleantech Venture Capital firm. I’m proud of the
non-traditional path that I took because these experiences have allowed me to grow into
someone with the confidence and open mind to see opportunity when faced with a challenge.
Leveraging this skill alongside my quantitative and analytical skills gained through consulting,
and the financial skills I continue to develop, I endeavor to adapt to my new role sourcing high
growth companies striving for global sustainability. Recently, for example, I led the analysis of
the wastewater sector as part of a two-person team that invested £3mm in a Dutch company.
[Company] uses capacitive-deionization to desalinate water for re-use in an array of things including commercial laundries in the U.S. and drinking water in India. This technology has the
capacity to bring clean water to 780 million people.
Adaptation refers both to the current state of being adapted and to the dynamic evolutionary
process that leads to adaptation. My experiences through my childhood travel, personal
challenges and career have reinforced both the need and my ability for this. I feel very fortunate
to have been able to learn the necessity of adaption, and how important this has been in
influencing my professional and personal choices. I know I will continue to adapt and look
forward to taking on these challenges at Stanford.
Why Stanford? (400 words)
Observing the world’s exploitation of natural resources through both my professional and
personal experiences, I've come to believe that slowing the pace of climate change is one of the
great obligations that my generation must embrace. Recognizing too the broad advances that
business enables, my goal is to leverage my background in finance and consulting, paired with
the strategy and management skills I gain at Stanford, in order to advance sustainability
initiatives across multinational consumer-packaged-goods (CPG) companies such as Procter &
Gamble. These companies have the power and scale to act as a model for enhancing company
profits, while also preserving the planet.
To have the desired game-changing impact in such an important industry as environmental
sustainability, I need to augment my existing analytical skillset gained from [management
consulting firm] and Venture Capital by further developing my knowledge of business operations
and strategy. Stanford GSB is my first choice for an MBA and provides the ultimate opportunity
for learning to lead and solve tomorrow’s problems – including climate change. This huge
challenge requires a team effort, collaborative thinking and a cultivation of sustainable
innovation. Stanford has already started this effort through the Sustainability Energy Initiative,
and its global educational curriculum. As such joining the Stanford Community will offer me the
opportunity to be a voice in the movement and aid me on my journey to becoming a thought
Through Stanford’s Social Entrepreneurship Leadership program, I will be at the forefront of
sustainable strategy, learning real time cases and gaining the fundamental skills, from
operations to leadership, required to turn initiatives into long-term company strategy. Classes
such as Intrapreneurship for Sustainability: Driving Environmental Change from within
Corporations and engaging with classmates and thought leaders such as Dr. Steven Chu will
allow me to tailor my management skills to enhance my professional growth in sustainability.
As an active member of the Sustainable Business Club, I look forward to working with startups
and entrepreneurs and to start moving towards my goal of bridging the sustainable-business
gap. Stanford’s location also seems to be a perfect fit for this. Its prestigious positioning in the
San Francisco community, a place that is currently experiencing its own battle with water usage
whilst a hub for many green game changers like Tesla or Nest, will be an interesting and
educational tool.
Stanford is not only the natural fit for my goals due to GSB’s understanding of the intersection of
business and sustainability, but also provides me with an amazing natural location to explore
that can only heighten my beliefs for the preservation of beautiful places.
When I graduate from Stanford I will be armed with the latest thinking around productivity and
leadership and I plan to contribute to the continued evolution of sustainable innovation. By
becoming the Chief Sustainability Officer of an international CPG company, like Unilever, I know
I can create impact.