Q1: Describe your current responsibilities and career path, including both short and long-term goals. (Maximum 300 words)
Presently, I am working with Wuhl Shafman Lieberman Corp; I am responsible for inventory management and all inventory-related responsibilities. Wuhl Shafman is a Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Wholesaler with over 90 years of experience. The company has 300 employees who supply fresh produce to supermarkets over Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York.
My job entails verification of the production reports, which control all the production elements such as labor and products involved in packaging the goods. Furthermore, I am responsible for receiving the Edible Software bill invoices that fall under $100,000. Most importantly, I reconcile the physical inventory packaging materials, raw materials, and finished materials to the records generated by the system; my main responsibility is to manage over 350 items, and U$1.5 in value. I work directly with production supervisors, the financial controller, and CFO, and investigate any issues that are related to inventory and cost accounting.
Lately, I have been thinking of changing my career and the foundation provided in the classroom would be valuable in my career shift. I believe that I am a professional in my present field; however, the guidance from my lecturers and the exchange of ideas with my classmates is invaluable. My aspirations are to join the jewelry industry; thus, I need to collect as much information and build a valuable network, which will be critical to start my own business; this is my ultimate goal. The business will be an environment friendly luxury company, joining the best of artifacts from poor communities. However, the company will be committed to quality, and a commitment between nature, communities, and the high-end consumers.
Q2: How will obtaining a graduate degree at IUM contribute to your career objectives? What do you hope to gain? (Maximum 300 words)
My main goal is to obtain foundation knowledge on the luxury goods industry. This is an industry like any other; thus, I need to equip myself with the production and distribution, sales and supply, and inventory and human resource functions. These are critical components to any entrepreneur wishing to venture in any business and succeed. Thus, to succeed in the business, I need to understand these components and gain the fundamental knowhow of the operations of the industry.
IUM is the most valuable place I would acquire such knowledge. The classes are small, and this offers an opportunity to interact with my teachers and classmates easily. Furthermore, the classes contain individuals from varied fields and occupations; this will offer a valuable opportunity for building networks for my future company. I do not posses any knowledge of the luxury goods industry; thus, a small class is valuable for building professional networks and friendships; these are critical to a beginner with an ambition to succeed.
Monaco is strategically positioned between two hitters, France and Italy. Thus, I will have an opportunity to visit the various luxury goods companies located in these cities. This will compliment my research on companies with a practical touch. Lastly, I will have an opportunity to ask questions on the day-to-day operations of the companies, the challenges facing the companies and how they deal with these challenges. This experience will be valuable to me later when I actualize my goal of owning a luxury goods company.
Q3: What arguments would you use to demonstrate your capacity to perform well in the program? (Maximum 300 words)
I have always had a passion for studying since I was a young girl. I spent a substantial amount of time in the university library that I built a strong friendship with the library employees. The friendship blossomed to the extent that I invited them for my graduation. This behavior has never died; when I shift to a new city, my first task is to locate the public library. This passion for books can be amplified by studying my passion subject. Furthermore, I am an enterprising person, and I never quit once I have started something. Presently, I have a hectic life, and I have not contemplated quitting. I work for a 48 hours week running from Monday to Saturday. Furthermore, I have to drive 13 miles to Newark, New Jersey, my place of work. I have withstood these challenges without granting.
I have an extremely challenging week from Monday to Thursday. Currently, I am pursuing a certificate degree in International Business and Finance. I am forced to travel by train to college in New York; this is a 1 hour 20 minutes round trip on a daily basis. I dedicate 10 hours per week for my studies; these hours combined with my work and commuting hours, they amount to 76 hours that are full of challenges. The 76 hours exclude the extra hours of study in an effort to perform well in my studies. I am aware that a Masters Degree is an intense and challenging program; however, I am prepared and dedicated to perform well in the program.
Q4: How do people see you in terms of strengths and weaknesses? (Maximum 300 words)
My greatest strength is that I am outgoing; I am talkative and I can talk just about anything to anyone. I enjoy communicating with others, and I always want to share a smile with friends and coworkers. I am the person who is always the first to welcome people on their first day, organizing group lunches, or the end of year parties. Being talkative has enabled to voice my opinions boldly and learn Spanish, a foreign language. I learned Spanish to enable me communicate with Spanish-speaking coworkers.
I am nervous when I am in an environment that is too serious, and I tend to speak excessively. However, I am working on fixing this problem since excessive speaking may be destructive to other people and it is often mistaken as a sign of immaturity. Furthermore, it increases the risks of uttering something that I should not utter or being tactless about some issues. On the contrary, I am a very serious when handling my issues; I can label myself a perfectionist. My coworkers constantly tease me, that I want to account for every tomato in the factory, and that I am always imposing this on my coworkers. Though perfectionism can be an incredible strength, it can also be a weakness. I always want to see things done perfectly; thus, I constantly put undue pressure on people. However, I am working on converting perfectionism into strength.
Q5: Is there anything else you would like to share with us? (Maximum 300 words)
I am not passionate about writing. I am an engineer; thus, in college, I study mathematics and physics, and writing skills are not among my strengths. Besides, English is not my first language. The extent of my writing capabilities can be evidenced by two-line emails that I drop now and then. However, I would sit for TOEFL and GMAT if I would get a discount on the fees. Writing is a critical skill, and this is a skill I want to improve. Thus, I request that you pardon me for my previous essays since I had indicated that I am working, studying, and applying for my masters.
Q6: Describe your most important achievement and its importance to your personal development. (Maximum 500 words)
My mother was from a very poor background. Education was the only way to improve my family’s poor background. Thus, mother studied hard and became a lawyer. She is a retired lawyer from the Brazilian federal government. Mother had a habit of spending to acquire anything that she could not afford as a child, a habit she developed to counter her poor background. In 1994, the Brazilian government decided to increase the interest rates and credit card rates, and delay paycheck payments due to the devaluation of the Mexican peso and the spillover effects into the Brazilian economy. My family’s spending bubble exploded, a fact that was compounded by my mother’s lack of financial management skills.
Suddenly we were faced with a huge debt of over U$80,000, which was continuously increasing. We suffered from unpaid bills for a period of over 10 years; my mother’s mini-melt-downs and grandmother’s deteriorating health that led leading to her death compounded these debt problems. Despite the family’s financial crisis, I studied in one of the most exclusive universities in Brazil. Mother insisted that I concentrate on my studies; thus, I never worked despite the financial difficulties facing our family. My job was a paid internship at Accenture.
My life had new turn when I completed college. I moved with my sister to the United States so that I could chip in the family bills. Life in the US was challenging. Contrary to life in Brazil where mother cooked, and we had someone to clean the house, I had no room of my own; I was forced to reside in my sister’s living room. Furthermore, I had to cook, clean, and do my laundry. I obtained a job as an assistant factory supervisor; however, I had to endure various challenges. I had to withstand the intense temperatures at the factory, wake up at 5 o’clock every day, and endure the cold mornings during winter. I came to the US with little knowledge of English and no Spanish. However, I acquired my Spanish language skills from communicating with coworkers from Latin America and sharpened my English language skills from speaking with the English-speaking coworkers.
I put my skills into practice in the production line and implemented better labor cost standards. This earned me a promotion; I became the assistant inventory manager. A few months later after implementing better inventory management techniques, I earned another promotion to become the inventory analyst, my current position. Through these experiences, I have been able to grow; this could be termed as my greatest achievement. Presently, I am more mature; I pay my bills, make my decisions, and communicate well with people of diverse backgrounds. Furthermore, my ability to persevere against challenges is invaluable, and it is a trait that I will posses for the rest of my life.
Q8: Describe the luxury industry in which you plan to specialize, what you hope to hold, and what project, product, company, etc. you might choose for your professional project in the Practitioner Cross-link Directed Industry Analysis, which runs throughout the course. (Maximum 500 words)
I am interested in the jewelry industry. I want to develop an understanding of how the industry ensures quality to their suppliers, and an impeccable customer service to their distributors and stores. Furthermore, I want to understand the high-quality standards of the luxury industry, and learn to apply them form production to shipping. Most importantly, I want to grasp the marketing and design process that is involved in selling the product; the luxury industry products are extremely expensive yet, the industry has maintained its lucrative performance. Thus, it is critical to understand the minds of customers, and the selling mechanism. Furthermore, I want to identify the luxury goods market opportunities in the emerging markets, and how to provide high-quality luxury products to these markets.
In the Practitioner Cross-link Directed Industry Analysis, I am interested in studying Bulgari S.p.A. I would like to understand the company’s product and distribution strategy, and most importantly, understand why the company decided to diversify its operations in the hotel and restaurant business. Furthermore, I am interested in analyzing the vertical integration of the company, which was initiated in 2000, and how the company ensures quality throughout its production chain, and an impeccable quality to its high-end clients. It would also be critical to understand how the company has maintained a sustainable growth, more so, during the recession that hit the United States. Additionally, it would be critical to understand the effects of the latest Japan’s tsunami on the company’s sales and earnings; Japan is home to the Bulgari store; and how the company will remedy the effects. Additionally, I want to study how the company identifies and ventures in emerging markets, the company’s values and social commitment, and how the company has avoided the possibility of purchasing the conflict diamonds. Lastly, since I am an international student, I would like to understand the company’s export strategy and how the different export strategies differ in various markets. I want to understand all aspects of the business.
After completing my course at IUM, I wish to be employed in the jewelry sector. I plan to work until I have gained sufficient confidence, skills, and capital to start my own business. Afterwards, I plan to venture into my own business. However, the most important factor to me is to understand the operations of the luxury industry as a whole, and how to thrive in the industry using the knowledge I acquired in class, during the Practitioner Cross-link Directed Industry Analysis program, and during the exchange with my classmates. Thus, I believe that my course at IUM will be valuable in attaining my ultimate goal of venturing into the jewelry industry; the skills will be valuable in succeeding in the industry.