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The biggest commitment I have ever made is to learning the Spanish language. From a young age, I learned that Spanish, with over 500 million speakers in a number of countries worldwide, would be a crucial language to learn in an era of increasing globalization. In addition, I recognized that Spanish-speakers represented a rapidly growing portion of the U.S. population, and developing my proficiency in the language would serve me well no matter which career path I chose.  I soon found that Spanish became my favorite class.

In high school, I had the opportunity to host a Chilean exchange student, Agustin, who did not speak any English. My Spanish proficiency paid off, as I quickly befriended Agustin and the other Chileans in his program, and decided to study in an exchange program at his school in Santiago. I fell in love with Chile during my time there, and my exchange experience inspired me to pursue a global career, and to study international affairs in college.

While my favorite class, learning another language does not come without its difficulties. When I hosted Agustin in the United States, and later, traveled to Chile, we met significant challenges. Studying abroad in another country, especially one where few speak any English, led me to realize my Spanish proficiency was not at the level I had thought. Living in Chile with a host family forced me to not only learn advanced verb tenses such as the subjunctive tense, it allowed my to develop advanced comprehension skills. I learned that in order to master the language, I would have to become comfortable conversing with native speakers from all Spanish countries, as many countries frequently use slang.

Without understanding slang, in a country where slang is frequently used, one cannot consider themselves fluent speakers. This same principle applied to legal jargon when I worked at a law firm. While researching litigation across the Spanish-speaking world, I hired a personal tutor to smooth over my remaining grammatical deficiencies, and to better understand convoluted legal processes. I consider this personal tutoring instrumental to my development of full professional proficiency. After reaching this achievement, and engaging with the Latin American community in the United States, I realized I wanted to build on my devotion to the language, and extend it to the Latin American region.

Yale’s dedication to diversity and its unique opportunities catered to my passion for Spanish and led to my decision to pursue my MBA at Yale. In particular, I find that the program’s division into cohorts and learning teams would be the perfect way to meet students from all over the world. Additionally, I hope to actively engage with Yale’s Global Network for Advanced Management and participate in an exchange or take courses at universities such as INCAE. Finally, the opportunity to take electives across the university at large, such as courses at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, would provide an excellent supplement to a best in class business education as I pursue my goals.

Dropping out of high school was the most difficult decision I had to make as a teenager, but a medical condition did not leave me much choice. While the taste of failure was bitterly devastating at first, it dawned on me that dropping out of school was not going to be how my story ends. I resolved to take charge of my learning process, eventually achieving a perfect SAT score and receiving admissions letters from top universities in the US and Korea. I chose to pursue joint degrees in law and business in college, and to serve as an officer in the Korean Air Force to capture the opportunity to play an active role in Korea’s defense and diplomacy sector.

It was during my military service that I became deeply fascinated by the aerospace industry with its knowledge intensive nature and reliance on multinational cooperation. I realized that while Korea was an economic force in industries such as consumer electronics, it was lagging behind in the aerospace arena. I decided to I embark on my biggest life commitment and pursue my passion by joining Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), where I served as lead negotiator in the largest joint aerospace program in the history of Korea and Indonesia to develop over 100 fighter jets.

In the course of the negotiations, I learned that the Indonesian officials felt disrespected due to the apparent indifference of the Korean government which appointed a private entity (KAI) to negotiate on their behalf. With this knowledge, I managed to persuade the company leadership to seek a more proactive engagement from the Korean government beyond their supervisory role. While I was criticized for my unconventional approach from the standpoint of an Asian corporate culture, I steered the direction of this multi-billion dollar negotiation toward a mutual agreement. As a result, the company stock hit a record high, increasing four times in value within three months. KAI was decorated with the 1st Class Order of Industrial Service Merit and two Presidential Awards, and my team received the CEO’s recognition for the most outstanding performance of the year. I was promoted 4 years in advance.

My role in leading multi-billion dollar international contract negotiations made me realize my lack of knowledge in core business skills like finance, marketing and entrepreneurship. At Yale, I seek to navigate my path toward fulfilling my commitment to nurturing Korea’s aerospace industry by developing business insight and building a strong professional network that will form the foundation to enable me to lead the growth of Korea’s aerospace industry in the future. Beyond the classroom, I look forward to engaging with likeminded students who share my passion for the aerospace industry in the Yale aerospace/aviation club.

Above all else, I want to grow as a business leader and to harness the possible, the available, and the feasible to create the impossible, the unavailable, and the unfeasible. I am ready to take the first step to fulfilling my vision to steer the Korean aerospace machine toward its golden age.

I come from a family of seven kids. My mom has been divorced twice, and my grandmother stood in as a second parent for most of my formative years. People, things, and ideas have come and gone in my life, but my family has always been there for me. Supporting them has been my biggest commitment I have ever made.

I grew up in a small rural town in the southern island of the Philippines. My mom and my grandmother believed that a good education was essential, so in 4th grade, my brother Tristan (who is three years older than I am) and I moved to Manila. We traveled 700 miles from home because Manila had better schools with more structured curriculum. Unfortunately, my mom worked for the government in our rural town, and her salary was the sole source of income for our family. Therefore, she could not come with us, so my brother and I were alone in Manila for three years, with occasional visits from Mom. We figured out how to get around and budget our weekly finances. When I was in 7th grade, my mom was able to move herself, my grandmother, and my other five siblings to the city.

The move was a great shock to my family because the way of life was different and the school was significantly advanced and more rigorous. I wanted my younger siblings to do well in their classes, so I helped them complete their homework and learn Tagalog, the local language. My mom was busy trying to find a new job; even though she never asked, my brother Tristan and I took on the responsibilities she did not have time for. We brought our younger siblings to school and picked them up, attended parent teacher conferences, and helped them study for their quizzes.  Sometimes it was hard to balance; I remember a night I needed to prepare for my final exams, but my sister Rae needed help finishing her science project. She wanted to understand the effect of guava leaves on blood clotting, so we purchased pig’s blood from the market and performed an experiment. Afterwards, I studied all night for my exams.

Looking back, I am thankful for the values my mom and grandmother instilled in me. Looking out for my siblings made me independent and driven. In order to help them, I had to do better myself: I learned to write; I became more understanding of each sibling’s learning style; I learned to look towards the future and to plan next steps.

Two of my younger siblings are now finishing college, while three will finish high school in the coming years. Soon, I want to go home. I am hoping that with my undergrad education, current work experience, and by pursuing a Yale MBA, I will gain the skills in finance, business strategies and management that I need to lead and grow my family’s bank in the Philippines into a Southeast Asian force. I hope that with this, I can continue to help my siblings and family pursue new opportunities.

As a schoolboy in Pakistan, I regularly took a local bus. On a holy Friday afternoon, a deafening explosion thundered from about 1,000 meters behind my bus. Later I learned on the news that I had narrowly escaped yet another suicide attack. About 350 people were injured or killed that day. Many of these fatalities could have been avoided were there infrastructure for timely distribution of intelligence information of a possible terrorist attack, and for a faster and coordinated emergency response.

A few years after this incident, when I moved to New York for college, I was deeply affected by what was considered mundane – such as an ambulance weaving through gridlock. I asked myself why couldn’t basic infrastructure work well in Pakistan? Over the next 4 years, I built up technical skills and gathered experience leading engineers and non-technical stakeholders at cities and transit agencies through large-scale projects.

Short term , I plan to learn how new products are conceived across industries and deployed in multi-stakeholder settings. After the MBA, I aim to work as a product manager, defining the roadmap for new smart city technologies and engaging the public sector towards a sustainable future infrastructure.

For me, this road then leads back to Pakistan. I hope to build a firm that works with government agencies via public-private partnerships (PPPs) on the next generation of transportation infrastructure. My dream is to help future generations avoid daily ordeals and lead safer, happier lives.

A commitment to social impact is core to my personal and professional life. At every step of the way, I’ve used my facility with technology for positive impact on people’s lives.

In December 2016, while working full time, I spent evenings and weekends collaborating with bureaucrats at Pakistan’s Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the national revenue collection authority. I focused on processes previously handled manually that caused extreme inconvenience to citizens and sowed mistrust of the FBR among the public. Using my technical skills and knowledge of modern technology infrastructure, I consulted FBR on implementing scalable, user friendly, and

The experience gave me confidence that my technical skills could be used to drive impact.

While visiting Dallas a few years ago, I met three specialty pharmacy professionals through mutual connections. They spoke passionately about digitizing pharmacy-related services for chronic patients to address patient frustration caused by poor care coordination and delays in drug delivery. Since college, I’d been fundraising for needy patients in Pakistan with a non-profit called Customs Healthcare Society, so I found their vision compelling. I jumped in as the 4th co-founder. First, I led us to consensus on the product roadmap and strategy. Then I managed a group of four offshore software developers to build a software platform for pharmacies that was launched in five clinics and a pharmacy in Dallas. In four months, we increased patient satisfaction with pharmacy services by 20%. After I departed the company in 2018, the software I built was incorporated into the existing Specialty Pharmacy e-portal used by our pharmacy customers, and the company has won more customers in the Dallas region. I feel rewarded that my contributions continue to have a tangible impact on patients’

Becoming a founder reinforced my belief that technical skills were critically needed in society. Last year, this conviction led me to work as a career mentor with Pursuit in New York, where I steered six underprivileged adults towards landing their first tech jobs by training them in software coding and recruiting skills. Not only good for the economy, technical skills also make a massive impact on the lives of the individuals who can build careers out of them. Speaking with Fazail Aslam (MBA ’21) about how I could continue to mentor at Yale, I learned about the Yale SOM Technology Club and how it plays an instrumental role in preparing MBA students throughout the recruiting process. Building on my experiences in tech and at Pursuit, I hope to lead training and career mentoring workshops through the Technology Club.

Yale School of Management

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