FIRST DRAFT of the SOP given by the Student:
My Father owns a small accountancy firm. As I grew up watching my Father struggle to maintain his business records, I had hoped that the system of storing, maintaining the database and the retrieval of information would change as the record storage in the firm mostly took place on a physical level with hectic paperwork involved. Advancement in Technology lead to the development of many sophisticated systems and I experienced that things got easy for my Father. Physical storage of data in the form of files got changed into data storage in the form of computer files. As I saw this transition right in front of my eyes and the helpfulness and compactness of such systems, my penchant for handling and managing the data began to grow and I started to develop an intrest in Information systems.
The academic curriculum of Bachelor in Information Technology presented me with the opportunity of learning about my intrest. Subjects like software Architecture and Software engineering helped me identify the different platforms used for different systems and the steps that lead to the management and development of any software entity. Operating systems and Programming Paradigms helped me improve my knowledge about programming in C and JAVA. I Passed the MBTB (Maharashtra Business and Training Board) exam for JAVA certification with the highest possible degree. Information Assurance and Security taught the value and necessity of protecting and maintaining data during any tye of process or transaction.
But, the course on MIS in the Third year of my engineering was the iceing on the cake so as to say. It is here, where I truly learnt the value of managing information. The different techniques such as Decision Support Systems(DSS) and Group Decision Support Systems(GDSS) convinced me that the information has to be supported on different platform but uniformly. The different courses offered me a good understanding of the major I wish to pursue and developed a strong foundation fo the same. I also had the opportunity to manage some events in the Tech-fest of our college and I realised that it was the thing that i wanted to do.
My Final year Bachelor of Engineering project was the Textural analysis of retinal images for the early detection of Diabetes. The idea was originally concieved by a Phd aspirant but implemented by our group. My responsibility in the team was mainly to suggest the different algorithms available and analysing the accuracy of the same. We had to firstly mask the image and then had to analyse the image by using its textural features. We achieved an improved average accuracy of 96% for the first phase of the project i.e. Segmentation and the accuracy of the 2nd phase was approx. 70%. I was also entrusted with the added responsibility of creating and maintaining the database for the project. Initially, the segmentation accuracy was nearly an average of 80% for all the images but the group as a whole slogged it out as a whole for 3 months straight for increasing the accuracy upto the required standard. I believe at times I also played the part of the motivator in our group when things weren’t going our way and my teammates were feeling down. Now, we plan to implement our project in the famous Dinanath Mangeshkar hospital in Pune. I was also involved in another project in my Engineering days. I was involved in the development of a coaching class management project wherein we maintained and stored records of the employees as well as the students.
Academics should not be the sole focus of any student. It is with this regard that I participated in different extra-curricular activities during my college life. I participated in many team quiz’s which taught me the value of team-work and co-operation within the team. I was involved in volunteering and managing ‘TESLA’, our college tech-fest for since the second year of Engineering. I also had the opportunity of being a part of the Eco-club of my college.
Being one of the founding members of this club, we were faced with difficult situations such as managing finances, increasing the club strength and spread awareness among the general public. The whole team was involved in trekking expeditions and general social welfare activities. Our club now stands 100 members strong from our college and we are making efforts to expand it beyond our college boundaries.
My career aim of becoming a good Information system professional will be truly recognised if I get admitted into your university. Your prestigious university offers a detailed understanding of the course in addition to the reputed standards the university has set. I would love to be a part of the student body of the college and would strive to take the college to risen heights. I am also interested to work under Prof.ABC who is a recognised Professional and his projects have intrigued me to the extent that they have fascinated me.
I would hope to see myself becoming a good and knowledgeable professional and graduating from your university would go a long way in realising my dream.
FINAL DRAFT of the SOP created by the Counsellor:
Times have changed… Ten years ago and now, I have seen a drastic metamorphosis in the way my father manages his chartered accountancy firm. Tax filing reminders via repeated phone calls to clients have been replaced by automated emails and SMS; files that used to occupy substantial space in the office are digitized and easily searchable and accessible, and tax return processing that was done manually is now automated and online. These are just a few examples. Even with the additional clientele base, I see my father more relaxed and composed with more time for leisure and family life. Clearly, technology has been instrumental in streamlining our family business and has added to the long-term sustainability of the organization. Witnessing this change first hand has made me realize the need for every organization to harness technology in its DNA in order to excel in this highly competitive, challenging landscape. My career goal is to work as a Business Analyst with companies like Mu Sigma, where I hope to enable clients to increase productivity by leveraging technology and their data repository. In order to acquire the necessary technical expertise in areas of IT and data analytics, I seek to pursue formal training in MIS from Kelley School of Business.
The academic curriculum during my undergraduate studies helped me to nurture my analytical and problem-solving skills. Courses in Applied Mathematics helped me to learn about different tools for statistical analysis such as regression analysis, hypothesis testing and differential equations. The course on Software Engineering acquainted me with different stages of the Software Development Lifecycle and the factors to be considered while choosing a particular model for software development. Also, courses in Operating Systems and Programming Paradigms enabled me to gain an understanding of the management of hardware and software resources in a system. Courses on Database Management helped me to learn the analysis of data and the administration of databases. Perhaps the most interesting course I took was that of MIS during my junior year where I was introduced to management of systems that are crucial for the efficient functioning of an organisation, such as Decision Support Systems. Building on my undergraduate background, I passed the Maharashtra Business and Training Board exam for JAVA certification with an A-grade. Along with this, I am a certified Microsoft Technology Associate on Database Fundamentals.
My senior-year project titled ‘Textural Analysis of Retinal Blood Vessels Using Fundus Imaging’ focused on analysing a photograph of the patient’s eye for the textural features to aid in early diagnosis of diabetes. For this, we worked under the guidance of a Ph.D. aspirant. We built a database for storing the retinal images captured by a Fundus camera (which helps to capture the 3-D image of an eye in a 2-dimensional format). A MATLAB code was used to read and extract an image consisting of only the blood vessels of the eye. This image was then compared to pre-defined features of the blood vessels of a normal eye to analyse for abnormalities such as decreased smoothness and increased diameter. Using this, a doctor would be able to diagnose diabetes in a very early stage. As of now, we have managed to enable the system to deliver an accuracy of 70%. We hope to improvise on the existing system and implement it in the Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, Pune.
Another project that I worked on was the development of an ERP system for a coaching class. A few of the challenging tasks for any coaching class is to organize the batches, create the communication link with the students and provide study resources. We tackled these issues through a system that was designed using Visual Basic 6.0 at the front-end and MySQL on the back-end. In addition to providing student communication link via SMS and email, the system enabled the administrator to divide students into a number of batches on the basis of student’s convenience. If the student was unsatisfied with his allocation, he could himself change as long as there was an opening available, thereby providing ample flexibility to the student. Working on this project allowed me to explore and apply the software development lifecycle in real time.
Currently, I am working with HDFC Life Insurance in the role of a Project Intern where I am tasked with working on a project related to implementing an enterprise-wide data warehouse that would combine the databases of different departments. By configuring the ETL informative tool, we managed to stage the data in the warehouse. This data could be used to create various MIS reports as well as derive insights, trends and predictions in real time. My work with HDFC has provided me with valuable exposure in using Oracle databases, and MS Excel tools like Macros and VBA to build applications for live business purposes. Also, it provided me with my first experience of working in a corporate setting.
Along with my academics, I have been actively engaged in extra-curricular activities in order to achieve an all-round personality development. I was one of the founding members of the Eco-Club of my college. Through the club, I was involved in the management of a tree-plantation campaign and conducting cleanliness drives to beautify the vicinity of the college premises in collaboration with social activists. The involvement saw me handling responsibilities like managing club finances, promoting the club to increase club membership strength and generating awareness among the general public. I was also a part of the team that finished runners-up at inter-collegiate Quiz Competition at Maharashtra Institute of Technology. In addition, I was involved in volunteering in ‘TESLA’, the technical festival of our college where in a team of ten, I was tasked with crowd-management during the festival. All these experiences imbibed in me the qualities of leadership and a good team-work spirit.
At this stage, I believe undergoing a formal training in MIS from the prestigious Kelley School of Business would set me on the right path towards realizing my career goals. The multi-faceted curriculum that includes courses in Data Integration, Organisation and Visualisation and Data Mining in the specialization of Operations and Decision Technologies will provide me with the opportunity to nurture my techno-managerial skills. Also, I would love to avail the chance of working on SAP that is the sole focus of Enterprise resource management. Working under the guidance of renowned faculty members such as Prof. Herman Aguinis and Prof. Frank Akaiwa in addition to gaining first-hand project experience would provide the right impetus to becoming a successful MIS professional.
I look forward to becoming a high-performing professional and I aspire to raise the reputation of the University through delivering value to the organizations I work with. I look forward to being a part of the incoming class of Fall 2016.