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Dr Robert Edinger with Son David



MBA, Masters Business Administration, Iran

Coming from Iran, I have a worldview that is quite different from my academic peers.  I do not mention this simply to increase the diversity of the student body.  Completing my undergraduate education in London, as well as living and working there, I developed an ability to interact effectively with not only my fellow colleagues, but since having experienced life as, basically, an immigrant, I feel particularly sensitive to the needs of many minorities; combined with this is my ability to speak two languages fluently.  As a result, I am able to speak confidently in front of groups of people, and am very comfortable in my own skin while celebrating the differences that make us all truly unique.

There is a need to reach out to our diverse clients, to understand and appreciate our differences, be it cultural or socioeconomic, an appreciation of the rich tapestry of life that we are all a part of on earth.  A future CEO needs to be able to interact effectively with people of differing cultures, ethnicities, nationalities and creeds.  This is critically important given the vast influx of person with varied backgrounds into business world.  Given my cultural competency, I feel I will be completely adept at reaching out to my diverse clients, no matter their country of origin.  This is what I bring to the student body, as well, one in which I anticipate many opportunities for group assignments, teamwork and projects.

To date, my most important professional achievement would be the completion of two major building projects in Tehran.  Through XXXX Co. Ltd., my family’s construction business, of which I am a board member, manager and accountant, I planned, implemented and managed the construction of two 24-unit apartment complex projects.  These project management experiences brought many challenges, both foreseen and unforeseen, a deadline-oriented working environment which forced me to learn to not only multitask, and apply sound time management skills, but also to think practically and on my feet.  I credit my academic foundation in applied sciences with developing my analytical thinking skills, skills that proved invaluable throughout my project management experiences.  Indeed, governmental issues, contractors’ workload and other issues tested, yet proved, my creativity, patience and endurance.  Having signed a contract to complete the work within 24 months, I filed all official documents, hired a new team of contractors, largely starting from scratch, and finished the project four months ahead of schedule, a source of pride for my CEO, who also happens to be my father!  As a result, I was given another project to lead, another 24-unit apartment complex, one that I completed, again ahead of schedule, thanks largely in part to my learning experiences.

 Coupled with my budding managerial skills, I utilized project software to keep tasks aligned, tasks that were being handled by 35 different groups, representing at least 150 employees at any given time.  Project timetables and budgeting were my primary concerns, but I familiarized myself with Tehran’s house rates and staff, cross-referenced with real estate market assessment, and wrote up a detailed analysis to present to the board.  At the heart of my proposal was a plan to pre-sell four or five apartments so that money would not be required of the company to finance the project, and still guarantee delivery by the deadline.  Managing yet another group to pre-sell the proposed five apartments, we increased our profit margin 250%. 

 Being proactive, taking the initiative, confidently leading and motivating my support people through establishing positive business culture, I enjoyed a good level of success, bolstering my self-efficacy and confidence for my next career move: further development and education.

 Having completed my MSc in International Business Management with XXXX University, I have come to see that both the school’s reputation and the field of international business management is not as creditable as I first hoped.  SFU is my sole choice for academic development, and my research of the school has convinced me that the SegalSchool is the ideal learning environment.  It is intense, with small class sizes that provide unsurpassed access to quality faculty, and will fulfill all of my graduate business and management education needs with relevant curriculum.

 I am intent upon exiting graduate education and entering directly into a practicable working situation, thus my urgency.  Having completed my MSc in International Business Management, I see a distinct need to enter into a graduate Business Administration course of study with a more accredited university in order to bring the greatest relevance to my future career endeavors.  It really is not a case of timing, as much as my desire to begin the next chapter of my life, my career and begin working on the plans for developing my future company.

 The intensity of the program is not in question, to my mind.  I feel that I am completely prepared for and expect an intense learning environment.  What many call “the pressures of the job”, I find exhilarating and ideal.  The greatest challenges for me stem from something more fundamental than this, namely, for the past few years, I have always been in roles in which I have been able to act relatively autonomously.  While this has forced me to learn many important lessons for myself, it has also given me a sense of independence that may not always convert well to the team environment.  I have always led, as a project manager, and my elevated status as membership on the board of directors.  While the pressures and stakes were very real, I was always in the best position to remedy situations, rapidly and easily.  Moreover, I anticipate that there are many people in Business Administration education that are many intelligent, creative, Type-A personalities, driven, and career-minded thus there may be a collective sense that each person needs to lead!

 Working in a team environment, I realize that I will have to accept that duties must be divided, and that individual team members bring with them certain strengths that allow them to shine in their given area.  If I am assigned the job of designing an effective plan for financing a plan, I cannot expect of myself, nor be expected to also be a project manager.  Knowing my role may not be the problem for me, rather staying within my role will be my greatest challenge.  Therefore, I will do my best, whatever my given role is, and encourage others to do the same, for the sake of our team and for the project’s goal.  I will show my worth in different ways, by helping to maintain or instill a working environment or business culture that is harmonious and productive.

 I see myself contributing to the learning environment in three ways: my cultural competency, that is, my ability to communicate effectively with people of differing backgrounds.  This is a skill I have developed from having been immersed in the cultures of two countries, educated in Iran and England, traveling to many foreign countries, with a well-rounded worldview that has been permanently altered by these experiences.  Secondly, with my unique academic foundation in the sciences, as well as international business, I feel that my ability to apply scientific analysis to business situations will shed light on my own and many other students’ methodological challenges.  Thirdly, through my own set of business experiences, leading projects, largely autonomously from concept to fruition in Tehran, I bring with me practical experience and exposure in the field, and the sets of lessons learned through doing, and not just classroom theory.  In the most practical terms, I have a good grasp of international monetary issues concerning Canada having completed my dissertation entitled, “Currency Risk Management: Simulating the Canadian dollar”.  Furthermore, my foundation in international business management will no doubt have certain parallels to business administration, such as accounting, finance, quantitative modeling, research skills, communication, economics, and business strategy, concepts I have a good working knowledge of.

 There are indeed formal gaps in my existing set of skills and knowledge; this reality is the reason I am pursuing higher education.  In addition, while I have a foundation in international business management, this does not provide me with the specific needs I have for my future work I had originally hoped for.  Many lessons I have learned on the job have been learned through trial and error, and this is not always effective for meeting deadlines, instilling confidence in those around you - particularly those you lead – and creating quality work.  By filling in the gaps in my causal business education, I will more easily accomplish my goals in the future.  This in turn will bring me greater personal and professional satisfaction in the only field that has brought me the greatest sense of accomplishment.

 In the past, I have not always had the luxury of testing out my ideas before needing to implement them.  The classroom, filled with experienced faculty and accomplished student body will enable me to share my own analyses, test others, come to unexpected conclusions and learn that much more from the collective meeting of ambitious minds.  I completely embrace the fact that there is more than one leadership method, that there is ample room for improvement in my own style and what better place to learn such lessons than in the classroom, where the consequences of “failure” do not translate into millions of dollars lost.  It is in the classroom where our missteps can be turned into learning experiences, and in study time, we can reflect on our interactions, integrating them into our own distinctive path.

 Post-graduation, I envision returning to Iran, establishing and leading a construction company in Tehran.  The ideal would be to grow the company to multinational size or influence, including an international catchment area of clientele, and contracts, performing work in other cities and countries.  Through my education, set of experiences, learned management style, and ability to set up a viable and sustainable company culture, I feel that I can bring these plans to reality, making for a company that is not only well known, but used as a model for other start-ups.  I do not say this to be ostentatious, as I firmly believe that we all have a conscious responsibility to create the kind of world we want to live in.  By establishing a profitable company, we have a social responsibility to help others, hire the right people with the right education and experiences, and help them achieve their potential.

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