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personal statement by qiong

application for study a MBA program
Personal statement
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I have always enjoyed changes in my career. In March 2001, I started began working as a software testing engineer for a software outsourcing company. It was then that I got a chance to work on site for IBM and Microsoft on their voice recognition product and MSN product line respectively. To deepen my understanding on enterprise software development, I joined CA Technologies, a multiple national company which focuses on providing enterprise software solutions to customers, and worked there until August 2013. I was fascinated by software product development and quality assurance which not only helped expand and enhance my technical skills in software engineering, but also delivered high quality software to help customers manage their assets and improve their process. I have enjoyed developing my technical skills and felt motivated that my efforts make a difference in the product we delivered and contribute to the company’s success. I was self-motivated and had actively taken initiatives to improve the existing QA process. I was promoted to be the first and only Principal QA engineer (equivalent to manager level in a management career ladder) in China technology Center, CA technologies back in 2008, then the only Senior Principal QA (equivalent to director level) in 2010. As my role became much more senior, though it is not a people management role, I was responsible for proposing and piloting new test automation solutions, training colleagues, supervising the application of the automation framework in our product line, and reporting to the senior management team. I have also led scrum teams, working with product owners to design and implement new products/features for data backup/recovery solution and cloud application solution. I was also lucky enough to be given lots of training to improve both my technical skills and soft skills. I was selected to join the center for technical excellence (CTE) program which lasted for two years and enabled employees in the program to form a special interest group with technical experts from other offices (same or different product lines) and research the feasibility of incorporating cutting edge technology into existing products. I was also a certified trainer in our company and a certified VPAT trainer who can train QA engineers and developers in software accessibility and corresponding testing tools. It has been quite very satisfying seeing the impact I brought to our R&D center and our product line. Still, I seek new opportunities to constantly improve myself. In order to expand my horizons and deepen my knowledge in software engineering, I studied MSc Software Engineering (2013-14) at the University of Southampton. I graduated with the top grade in my year and won the Winton Capital Award. It was then during the time of doing the MSc project, I got a strong became  interested in doing further research work as I believe research is vital to software products not only from a technical design perspective, but also to understanding customer preference and market trends.

 

Although I am confident with my technical skills and proud of my achievements so far, in my heart, I still wanted to make more of an impact, regardless of the type of company ies I am working for. Now when I think of what I want to be, I want to be someone who can contribute to the company’s decision-making based on a strong technical understanding and business understanding. Studying an MBA could would help me better understand the business operations and decision making process, develop my managerial potential and communication skills, learn from industrial leaders, and most importantly think from a of the whole picture of the business organisation (instead of focusing purely on the technical side of a solution). I have also had a business idea derived from my previous research which is something I hope in the future I could potentially start a business with. A MBA program that provides modules on business planning and entrepreneurship, on top of general business administration modules is ideal for me.