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Word Limit is 1500 words for all the 4 questions put together.

1. Describe your interest in Medill's Integrated Marketing Communications program.

What experiences have led you to apply? How will this program help you achieve
your career goals? What experiences have drawn you toward a career in integrated
marketing communications and what steps you have taken to prepare for or advance
your career?
2. Describe a major trend in the marketing communications industry that will change
the way organizations communicate.
3. What do you see as the biggest challenge you would face as a student in Medill's
IMC program, and what strategies would you use to overcome it?
4. If there is anything in your application that you think might disadvantage you in
gaining admission to Medill (e.g., GRE or GMAT scores, GPA, lack of marketing or
work experience), please indicate, in 300 words or less, what strengths you have that
compensate for those perceived disadvantages.
I believe that Life begins at the end of ones comfort zone. Throughout my school I
was excellent in academics, and for that matter pretty much restricted to it. I had a
keen interest in the sciences and mathematics and excelled in them - not only by
being the best in the class in these subjects but also by gathering incidental
knowledge through my own reading. Computer Engineering in one of the well-known
colleges in Mumbai was an automatic culmination of these interests.
But my real education began outside the class-it was in the third semester of
engineering that I decided to explore beyond my academia. I began my search by
becoming a part of a 4-member team that had to design a contraption track event for
remote controlled robots during the annual Technical Festival of our college-Pulse.
This experience was a first of its kind in terms of event management and teamwork.
In order to delve further,in the subsequent semester, I took up another opportunity
and became a part of the junior marketing team of the annual Cultural FestivalParichay. I was mentored in a corporate environment to get sponsors for the festival.
This experience kick-started my liking towards branding and promotion: my first
glimpse of the world beyond engineering and science. Everywhere I would travel, I
would notice brands- I started watching more commercials than programmes on
television! With this newborn passion and growing confidence, I applied for the core
committee of the next years Pulse and was selected as Vice Chairperson with the
profile of Marketing and Media from amongst 25 applicants. During this 8 month long
journey, I was leading a team of 20 members and the target budget for the festival
was set at an unprecedented INR 2 million-which we managed to achieve through
dedicated hard work and agile innovation. These experiences taught me the nuances

of strategizing needed to execute a target, honed my leadership qualities required

for inspiring and extracting the best from a team and tested my response to
challenging situations that threatened to derail our fest. I learnt to make quick
decisions and had direct interaction with corporates through presentations and
meetings. I understood the holistic effort that goes into building a brand (in this case,
Pulse!) - advertising in different media, publicity, brand association with celebrities
and event sponsorships. I also understood the role of technology in Marketing be it
scientifically assessing the impact of marketing efforts or building software to make
marketing easier.
Despite my significant involvement in organizing the event, I did not let it affect my
studies. Courses such as Data Warehousing and Mining, Mobile Computing and ECommerce showed me the role of data mining in marketing decisions, the business
strategy that e-commerce websites employ and the vast scope for branding in
todays smartphone world.
These experiences pointed to an imminent career in Marketing. Through interactions
with my cousin, who is in Proctor&Gamble as the Assistant Brand Manager of SouthEast Asia, I saw the skills and talents that a Brand Manager requires to excel, and I
realized that I fit the bill perfectly. I read books such as Advertising & IMC by Tom
Duncan and Marketing 3.0 by Phillip Kotler- they thoroughly augmented my interest
in branding. I started reading marketing blogs and articles and tried to comprehend
the marketing strategies that new product launches were applying and the reasons
behind them. An example that I found innovative and intriguing was the creativity
shown by Nestle in tying up with Google for Android KitKat. Brand Strategy and its
application in various spheres of life such as economics, education and politics
excites me, and I believe that branding is my true calling and I want to specialize in
this field.
Hence, I started looking for a graduate program that focused on branding through
various traditional and digital media; and I came across Medill's IMC program. The
program struck a resonant chord in me immediately as it is the perfect fusion of
communication, marketing, and analytical and quantitative aptitude. One of the most
striking features of the IMC program is its focus on the use of consumer data analysis
to identify strategic opportunities and build brand perceptions in a complex media
environment. At Medill, I hope to learn the latest marketing techniques; while
expanding my horizons to develop a broader, more international outlook by
interacting with students of different nationalities and diverse backgrounds. My
decision to apply to Medill is aided by the online chat session held with Medills
students, and an email from RomeetaSuthankar, a current student at IMC, who

unequivocally praises the program, and the opportunities that Medill presents and its
consumer-focused philosophy.I am inspired by the passion that the faculty has
towards curiosity, creativity and zeal for ideation, particularly that of Prof. Tom
Collinger. The opportunity to take courses with the Kellogg School of Management is
an added incentive. Overall, I believe that masters program will help to increase my
effectiveness in the business world and give me a unique advantage in my career as a
Brand Strategist. I envision myself starting out in the marketing department of a
large multinational company in order to gain real world experience. I eventually see
myself as the Head of Marketing at the Arsenal Football Club.
2. Go Digital, go Mobile- I believe these two words sum up the direction where
marketing is currently headed. Having closely followed the digitization of marketing
by Arsenal Football Club impressed upon me the enthusiasm of corporates
worldwide with diverse products to go digital. After the social media marketing
boom, the advancement in cellular internet connectivity has resulted in enormous
scope for marketing through mobile web applications. The innovative NFC
technology and e-wallets have given rise to Mobile payments which if used
effectively can be extremely profitable for companies as Mobile marketing through
applications can be instantly converted into sales because of this technological
advancement. The advent of smartphones has opened up an interactive platform for
newer products as well as newer target segments. Statistics show that smart-phone
users and use are growing at a tremendous pace and more and more time is spent on
browsing the web and playing games. E-business models are being developed solely
for mobile applications-which are declaring their own IPOs! Organizations will
definitely be looking forward to communicating through context specific digital and
penetrative mobile marketing.

3. The Indian Education System, although very conceptual and goal-oriented, has
several limitations. I have heard that education in the USA is very different from that
in India. More emphasis is given to classroom discussions than theoretical concepts;
challenging the teacher (respectfully) is encouraged - multiple opinions can be
correct. I feel that my biggest challenge as a student at Medill will be to overcome
the educational shyness that acts like a handbrake for me to express my thoughts.
The international class that I hope to attend will demand an outgoing, inquisitive

personality - one that respects others viewpoints and one that challenges established
Being a creative thinker and having an outgoing nature, I plan to overcome this
conditioning by shedding my inhibitions and re-learning through active interaction in
class with my peers by expressing my thoughts in discussions, sharing my opinions
and understanding others view-points. I will strive to get a conceptual understanding
of theories from the professors and apply them creatively in the team projects. Being
from the totally diverse undergraduate field of Computer Engineering, I will bring to
the class a completely fresh perspective that will benefit my classmates and they in
turn will have insights that I wouldnt have thought of. This symbiotic relationship will
hold us in good stead to collectively face the challenges at Medill.
4. I believe that the shortcoming in my application is the lack of formal education as
well as professional work experience in Marketing.
My experience as the Vice Chairperson o Pulse could provide the perspective if not
help overcome these limitations. I was responsible for the entire festival budget
generation and media publicity. My work as the Vice Chairperson entailed meetings
with Indian corporate giants such as Indian Oil Corporation, Bombay Stock Exchange,
Life Insurance Corporation Of India, Sahara India and several public and private
sector banks.This has given me a fair idea about the corporate sphere of Marketing.
Second, I will be taking up an internship at JSW in the Marketing Department. My
work there will expose me to the planning and strategizing phase that goes into the
development of clusters for geographic distribution of the retail arm of the company.
I will be working with MBAs and experienced persons which will be invaluable for my
growth in this field.
I bring to Medill my strong analytical and quantitative skills, the ability to listen well
and to communicate effectively, and my natural creativity. My engineering
background in a competitive environment has molded me into a diligent and focused
individual. I have a strong desire to succeed in Brand Management. I see wonderful
opportunities in consumer research and its application in the real world of Marketing
and Branding.