I leaned my back on my big black chair. The cushion, now deep and saggy, still feels comfortable. It has been ten long years of sitting on the same chair yet I can still feel its soft leather and now dilapidated covers. This high-back chair has been with me since day one. It surely has witnessed countless heated arguments with my staff, serious conversations with directors, even termination scenes with employees. Today, as I am about to make the biggest decision for the company, the chair will once more bear witness to my decision-making.
So I reached for the topmost document from a pile of white papers on my desk. This was from yesterday’s presentation. It read, “Strategy for Expansion,” with bold letters that seemed to be screaming at me. Yes, after ten long years of doing business, we have finally decided to widen our horizons and look for other markets to tap into. I stretched my feet under the table, putting back the document I sighed and asked myself, “Are we ready to do this? ” “Sir, everyone is waiting for you in the boardroom,” my secretary interrupted.
This is just one of the vivid scenes recurring to me whenever I think about my future career. Indeed I aspire to sit on the manager’s chair of a successful company in my home country of Russia. Yet the road towards that aspiration is long and bumpy, not to mention competitive and challenging especially in today’s business world. As this is the case, I deem that I need top-notch and excellent education and rigid practical training from a prestigious educational institution. Hence, I have chosen the European School of Economics to major in International Business.
Primarily, I regard that an international learning environment offered by ESE is crucial in today’s competitive business world so as to prepare and train me in building a career in business especially in this time of globalization. Since ESE is home to students of different nationalities and allows free movement between the centers in London, New York, Rome, Milan, and Florence, I am certain to experience a dynamic, interesting, and challenging academic environment necessary in today’s competitive atmosphere of business.
ESE will further hone my skills and strengthen my knowledge in preparation for my entry into the global marketplace by providing practical training or real-life application of business theories and perspectives through exposure and involvement in creating strategic plans, managing international projects, and addressing various challenges in today’s global business environment. Evidence of ESE’s capacity to do this is the myriad of graduates who are the movers and shakers in the business field occupying positions in management, organizational operations, marketing, and customer care, among others.
Another testament to ESE’s ability to educate me excellently are the recognitions it has received. In fact, ESE programs have been validated by the highest ranked university by British students and the only independent university in the United Kingdom, the University of Buckingham. It is also accredited by the British Accreditation Council. Furthermore, I have been drawn to ESE’s philosophy of not just assisting students in choosing a career that suits them but more so encouraging them to fulfill their goals by chasing their dreams and doing what they love.
This kind of encouraging environment will definitely ease the stress and pressures attached with higher education, not to mention bring fun and active spirit amidst academic requirements. Moreover, another significant factor in choosing ESE is its revered internship program. Since the school has established relationships with successful global companies, I am guaranteed to gain the needed exposure and adequate training necessary before entering the real business world.
Particularly in my chosen major where I will be exposed to three internship placements, I will have the opportunity to explore which field I may be good at, to assess my own skills for future practice, and to earn the trust and confidence of employers for future employment options. Above all, I have chosen ESE, particularly the Bachelor’s Degree in International Business because of the quality of education that I will receive should I be accepted in the said program. Included in this quality education are the analytical and critical thinking skills that I will acquire, which will aid me in future organizational decisions.
Furthermore, the kind of learning I will gain in the said program will give me a deep comprehension of the global business environment and the different factors that influence investment, trade, and the economy, thereby allowing me to come up with strategic business plans in the future. In addition, an ESE education will further strengthen my communication skills crucial in local and international business transactions and dealings as well as develop my creativity and flexibility in responding to various challenges that face the business environment.
Because of all these qualities, I aspire to be one of the students to be educated with an ESE education. However, this education will not just be for me but for my country as well. As a Russian native, I have seen the widening gap between the rich and the poor. Though everyone seems to be climbing up the ladder of economic progress, the rich people continue to become richer very quickly and as a result, the gap continues to expand (Arvedlund, 2005). Hence, as someone with business and economic knowledge, I dream of working in an area where I can help bridge this gap – the supermarket industry.
In 2001, it was only forecasted that supermarkets will gain momentum in Russia as the demand for food caused by the increasing purchasing power of Russians skyrocketed. In the past though, supermarkets were known to be exclusively high-income shopping places while outside markets are pictures of low and middle class shopping (Kozlov, 2001). While supermarkets provide all the conveniences of shopping, the prices of goods are high; while local stores’ prices are low, the quality of products is poor.
Moreover, it was reported in 2008 that foreign supermarkets are beginning to expand their markets by establishing outlets in Russia, particularly in Moscow. Majority of these supermarket giants have been household names in developed nations. Their goal is to target consumers with a growing dispensable income by combining high quality products and low prices (Bentley, 2008). However, what I am aiming for is an all original Russian supermarket merging the features of a supermarket and a local store.
My long-term professional dream is to establish a chain of supermarkets characterized by high standard goods, convenient shopping, low prices, and authentically Russian ambiance, where everyone regardless of income can enjoy shopping. After some time when the company has been established and have enough profits to sustain the business and even to venture out in other endeavors, we will expand to include charity work in our goals. This social responsibility is one aspect that many Russian companies seem to neglect.
Hence, this dream will somehow decrease the gap between the rich and the poor and in a way support the less-fortunate to climb up the economic ladder quickly. Moreover, it is this very dream that inspired me to pursue a career in business; majoring in International Business in ESE is the first step towards this. Indeed the primary role of businesses, whether small, medium, or large, and local or international, is to create products and services and sell these to communities to gain profit for wealth creation in society (International Organization of Employers, 2005).
How to effectively and efficiently achieve this purpose is what aspiring businessmen like me wish to study and master. The principles of marketing, various business methods, economics, business law and ethical practice, management and organization, and finance – these are just few elements that businesses need to take into consideration on their way to making profit. Yet beyond money matters, businesses have ventured out to include social responsibility and accountability to community as part of their strategy.
For instance, businesses have sought to advance the quality of life like McDonald’s advocating for animal welfare, education of youth, clean environment, and charitable efforts (McDonalds, 2010). Moreover, businesses have also used their resources to embed social responsibility in their goods and services as in Vodafone’s Mpesa program in Kenya that enables people to do mobile banking and the content-filtering system the company incorporated for parents and children’s protection (Demos, 2006).
If these companies successfully accomplished these endeavors, then it will not be impossible for the others to follow suit. Hence, I aim to do just that in my future business. To do this, I will apply my experience in interacting with different types of culture that I gained from living in several countries. Likewise, I will use my skills in developing relationships and working in groups to expand my business, develop ethical approaches in doing business, and incorporate charitable programs that will foster a symbiotic relationship between my business and the community or society.
Since there are problems ahead, the analytical knowledge that business education will equip will come in handy. Nonetheless, this analytical approach will not only be applicable within the bounds of business but outside the business world as well. For instance, the lessons learned from economics, finance, and marketing will enable me to become an intelligent consumer. Moreover, the values taught by management and organization will help me manage my time and organize my schedule.
In addition, the values acquired from business law and ethics will support my personal judgment and decisions in life and at work. Needless to say, I am fit to achieve all these through an ESE education because I am a hard worker and a leader. Testament to this is my experience working in the marketing department of a shoe company. Though a greenhorn, I was immediately tasked to handle the marketing plan for the newest line of rubber shoes. Together with the team, I looked into previous plans from the department and examined the core values of the company.
I then gathered them and brainstormed on what marketing strategy would be best for the new shoe line. I assigned each member a task that includes researching the marketing environment, reviewing past marketing activities, studying the company’s marketing system, and devising methods to analyze marketing plan’s effectiveness. With all our inputs, we were able to come up with a solid strategy, which the company used to introduce the new product to the market. From this work experience, I showcased my leadership and management abilities to produce good results.
I was also able to display responsibility, meticulousness, organization, and ability to work well with others to ensure that the task assigned to me was smooth sailing from beginning to end. All these qualities will come in handy in the real global competitive business world. Nonetheless, my life is not all work and business. I also use my time doing fun activities such as swimming and yoga, both of which ease my mind from the pressures of school, work, and personal life. In my spare time, I read books and newspapers.
I find current events, politics, history, and business the most interesting topics to read about as they give me awareness of past and present events that shape people and ultimately influence their decisions and actions. Furthermore, I also devote my time in volunteer work. In fact, I was recently in Tijuana, Mexico to help build houses for homeless families in the said area and also in the reservation in Taos, New Mexico to immerse myself in the Pueblo culture together with Pueblo school children. I have likewise participated in the Walk to Cure Diabetes in San Francisco, CA for a number of times.
The said experiences deepened my understanding of different kinds of people and made me appreciate life more. They also inspired me to do more for the community and society as there are many people who need help, care, and attention. Therefore, in the future, I wish to extend my hand to the underprivileged and unnoticed sectors of society. Before doing this though, I wish to earn my master’s degree to strengthen the undergraduate education I will acquire. This way, my dream of establishing and managing a solely Russian-based company will be easier to achieve.
Additionally, earning a master’s degree will make me a more effective leader and manager bringing a Western style of conducting business, which I believe is more efficient when applied in the Russian environment. The higher degree will also strengthen the knowledge and skills I gained from studying in various parts of the world and from interacting with different cultures in bringing a global and efficient approach to the company and in promoting charity and community work as an integral component in today’s business world. So I stared at my secretary for a couple of minutes and then she said, “Sir, is there something wrong?
Everyone is waiting.. ” I did not let her finish and instead I asked, “Do you think it is time for me to buy a new chair? ” “I most certainly think so, Sir. ” With that, I already know what decision to deliver in the boardroom. References Arvedlund, E. E. (2005). For rich and poor in Russia, gap widens. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www. nytimes. com/2005/04/26/business/worldbusiness/26iht-ruble. html? _r=2 Bentley, E. (2008). Supermarket giants check out Russia. The Moscow News. Retrieved from http://www. mn. ru/business/20080904/55345070. html Demos, T. (2006).
Beyond the bottom line: Our second annual ranking of Global 500 companies. CNN. Retrieved from http://money. cnn. com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2006/10/30/8391850/index. htm International Organization of Employers. (2005). The role of business within society: Position paper. Geneva: International Organization of Employers. 1-10. Kozlov, V. (2001). Supermarkets gain momentum in Moscow. The Russia Journal. Retrieved from http://www. russiajournal. com/node/5018 McDonalds. (2010). Values in action. Retrieved from http://www. mcdonalds. com/us/en/our_story/values_in_action. html