Friday, April 30, 2010

My GMAT Story

Although its been more than 5 months now to my GMAT, but as today I've featured my blog on Beat The GMAT portal, I think I should publish/link my GMAT experience on my blog.

Though my GMAT success story is a little long but there were many personal factors which made it that way, ofcourse I'm not going to discuss them...but I would say I was a bad planner, and thus had to rush with my applications. I'm much improved for this year :-)

Be a thorough planner, to become a good leader...this is the lesson I learnt and here it is My GMAT Story.

Keep dreams alive,

Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowships

In my last post, I mentioned Reliance-Stanford essay. For those who are not aware of this, I would say it is a rare opportunity for an Indian applicant to chase his dream of pursuing an MBA at Stanford, without spending a penny. Yes, the Fellows will recieve the full financial support for 2 years at Stanford. Only 5 brightest candiates are selected by Stanford each year under this program, and they are required to return to India post 2 years of MBA.

Applications for Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowships are now open. Please visit further details and apply here.

All the best,

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Imagine, get Inspired, and Imagine...

It’s not been days or weeks but months of me thinking to read (read study, for books like) Imagining India: The Idea of a Renewed Nation by Nandan M. Nilekani. Sometimes the thickness of its 750 pages and other times the weight of its heavy and deep content pushed me away.

While working on my Reliance-Stanford essay on how to improve the future of India, I was reading stuff and watching videos, when I came across this amazing video and got hooked. It is kind of a synopsis of Imagining India by the author himself. A bit lengthy but very enlightening and for me a motivation to know more and read the entire book.

As I always knew, I am going to read it one day or other, that day is not far. After finishing Between the Assassinations by Aravind Adiga, I’ve decided to imagine renewed India with Imagining India :)


Friday, April 23, 2010

Confusion, confusion!!!

While still waiting, hoping, and praying to hear good news from Tepper, I’m thinking (read I’m confused) about my next steps, which in broader sense are:

1. To get married and live happily ever after...not sure how happy I would be leaving behind my MBA dream, not sure would I be able to pursue it post marriage, but I’m sure that I would get a much needed change, my family esp. my grand parents would be elated, and this blog will take a different shape altogether.

2. To get H1B Visa 2008, fortunately my name got selected in H1B Visa lottery, costing me 1 lac in cash. Yes, like many others, I was that crazy to go and work in US. earn Dollors = waste rupees = Blind, u know. But before I got it stamped, Reccession hit everyone, including H1B Visa stamping. Nobody was getting Visas during that time, all Visas were getting queired and rejected. Though it is still tough to get it done, but the situation is much improved now. This is also one option running behind scenes, but again leaving my MBA dream behind.

3. To chase my dream for next year...this is somehow will surely going to make me happy, to chase it again and succeed. But as it is just 4-5 months left for R1 gates and the huge question in front of me is how to improve my profile. There are not many options though.

a. CABM (Certified Associate Business Manager): This is a professional certification based on a pre-MBA curriculum. As per its website, there are actually five top schools with whom it works: ISB, Kellogg, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Wharton, and Harvard. But it has a huge theoretical course material to be completed in 3 months.

b. Consulting certification: not earlier than 4 days, I got to know about a company that provides a consulting course and a certification upon completing it. As I’m in IT industry and have no experience in consulting, I feel this is also a way to gain some consulting hands-on experience. Not able to figure out, what is the worth!!!

c. Switch from software to a consulting company: Given the timeframe, I don’t think it is a viable option and will bring much value to the table.

The bottom line is I’m confused, very confused, and the time is flying...


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What a Relief !!!

From last few days, during coffee break at 4ish with one of my good friends, I was cribbing over a consulting service I hired to sail me through the waitlist period of Ross and Tepper. Needless to say, it was an expensive service and very disappointing.

Yesterday, after a heated argument with the Founder of that consulting company, I asked him to refund some amount paid as I'm already dropped off from Ross waitlist and was hugely disappointed with his services provided. Though I was convinced, I would not get a penny back.

To my amazed, the first mail today morning said 50% of amount is refunded back. I immediately called my friend, and she said "What a Relief !!!"


Monday, April 19, 2010

Mistakes made, lessons learnt

As I think now about the past few months of my MBA app process, everything boils down to two things:

1. Quality time for apps: I took GMAT in mid-november 2009, and was left with only a lil more than ten days to complete ISB R2 app and a lil more than a month to shortlist and complete other five bschools app. I rushed and I rushed really hard to complete all my apps in time just with a grace of not days but hours and a few by minutes. I gave no essays more than 3 days to draft, review, re-review, and finalise. But I still I managed to get inteview calls from ISB R2, Ross R2, Tepper R2, and waitlist from latter two.

It is very important to give ample amount of quality time for apps most importantly essays. Essays are not just essays, they are E-S-S-A-Y-S. Every letter matters. After all, its all about how well you tell your story :)

2. Community outreach: I never initiated, may be because of less time, efforts to outreach community (students and alums) of the schools I applied. This will not only fill the community section in your app (which remained empty in all my apps), but also importantly help you understand the better and bigger picture about the school, your career goals, and how school fits in your goals, a picture which would always be blur by hopping just a website.

Always make efforts to connect to as many students, alums, and most importantly, newly admitted students in your local area- you could try meeting them face to face.

If I remember anything else, I'll update it in my coming posts.


What I feel were, and are, my weaknesses!!

There are some weak points you can't do anything about but mitigate. In my cases they were:
  • GPA: from a non-IIT uni and a very moderate GPA
  • Information technology industry: It is itself not a weakness but it puts you among a huge competitive crowd 
  • Designation: I've six years of experience and from last 3 years my designation remains the same as software engineer. I was enjoying my role as a team lead, and never gave a thought that this designation on papers would impede my career progression.
  • Onsite experience: Only when I started applying, I realised the importance. Many schools such as INSEAD specifically ask about onsite exposure.

Last week, Disheartening!!!

Last Wednesday, the wait for getting into my dream school in 2010 ended with a disheartened note leaving me shocked for almost 2 days (that’s the max I could be in such stateJ). Yeah, I was in R2 waitlist of Ross school of business for Fall 2010 admissions, and the wait is over, but for a much longer new wait now. FYI, I’m still in the waitlist of Tepper but the hope for this also has become really bleak, with this news.

Though still fumbling, I’m becoming more determined to get into an amazing school next year. But to play my cards safe, I’ve to figure out:
my weaknesses,
my mistakes, and
my learnings along the path.

Also, I would like to pay my condolences to distinguished managament guru, Mr. C. K. Prahalad. His sudden demise last Friday, came as another shock to me.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

A blog, Why?

When I first thought to create this blog, I'd so much to write in...but now, when I've actually created one, I'm wondering where you begin from.

Well, a nice way to begin is to write down WHY I need this blog. This word WHY has many hidden information, as I learnt during my last few months of gruelling MBA application process, but I'll come to that WHY MBA stuff later. Here, I wanna line up WHY this blog!

TO TRACK my past actions,
TO LEARN from my mistakes,
TO REMEMBER my lessons, and
TO PLAN my after steps.

Basically, TO MANAGE myself and my journey.

I don't know my blog will ever be read by anyone but I wanna make it help me, and anyone who would follow it might not make the same mistakes as I did.

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