Thursday, May 27, 2010

How important is the designation/title?

In early 2008, when I was about to complete 4 years of work experience, I was given the opportunity to step up and lead the whole project with the team of 5. My role increased but my designation remained “software engineer”. I was told to learn and perform well in this managerial role and higher designation, for me a “senior software engineer”, would follow in July 2009. I outperformed and grabbed the highest performing rating that year. Unfortunately, the recession hit in end 2008, and all the appraisals and promotions across the company were ceased. Without getting de-motivated, I moved to a new role to lead a bigger team and handle a more challenging project.

Currently, I am handling much higher responsibilities of a project lead even when I am 2 levels down that designation. And listening to company’s management announcements, this year also seems a low hope of any promotions across board.

But now when I am building my resume for bschool, my role and my responsibilities shows a fantastic career progression in last six years but my designation shows a flat career. Unfortunately, I’ve to list all these accomplishments under “software engineer” designation.

How to bring credibility to all my work without that designation, in the eyes of admission committee? Do I need to convey this story to admission committee in optional essay? Or shall I change my company and grab the designation of a team lead?

All in all, how important is the designation for admission committee?

Your views and insights will be appreciated.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Reliance Stanford Fellows of 2009

There was a open chat organised by Gurome inviting Reliance Stanford Fellows of 2009. Unfortunately, the chat was scheduled on May 15th, so we have missed that opportunity. But still, click here to know about those five brilliant fellows and their amazing profiles.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

My blog just hit 1K

It's just a month I published my first post on this blog, and today it hit 1K. One more reason for a big smile. Just hope my readers are taking away something positive every time they visit. Thank you all for visiting. Keep coming up. Waiting for 5K now ;-)

What I'm doing:
1. Incorporating comments in Reliance Stanford essay
2. Shaping up my Resume
3. Preparing hard for CABM
4. Requesting Rotterdam (RSM) community for informational interview
5. Shortlisting other schools
6. And, Smiling :-)

Love you blog,

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Application help page

Just created a new page as a single stop for several resources which could be of great help during the bschool application process. I'll keep this list growing as and when I find something useful for you and myself.

Check it out here!


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Resume Building

Today, after many weeks I saw my Resume which I sent to my selected schools last year. It's in a very decent shape but I realised that still there are a few strong facts missing, and the format could be much better.

Few points worth mentioning:

1. The resume should be preferably limited to one page, making the excellent first impression on the admission committee.

2. It should be succinct and concise highlighting the key information about the background, past experience, and selective/admirable extra-curricular activities. It should also demonstrate the leadership potential and the vigor to sustain the rigorous course.

3. It should connect very well to the essays. Or in other way, the essays should detail/emphasise your resume points.

4. It should have an impressive professional format. Below is the link which comprises resume samples from top bschools successful applicants. With format, it could also give an idea of the content.

For strategies:

For Resume format:

Please drop in as comments other useful resume building resources.


My views on Informational interviews - A smart way of outreaching community

Though I didn’t get a chance to conduct any informational interviews in my last application year, but I did a lot during my waitlist period, and to my amazement they really helped me a lot.

So as the MBA fresh season begins, starting the MBA application process with informational interviews would be a good idea. The only key is to craft them in a smart way. Here I would like to put in some points from my experiences:

1. Why Informational interviews: In simple words, it is just outreaching smart people in smart way to become a little smarter. Informational interviews would take you beyond the school’s website, and make you well informed about the insights and perspectives of those people who have already been through what you are planning. It would clear your doubts and give you a better picture of your goals and that school.

2. What first – Short listing schools or conducting Informational interviews: I believe you could start with one or two schools which clearly fit with your goals, research them from the website or other available sources, and conduct informational interviews for them. This would give you a head start. During those interviews with currents student or alumnis, you could manage to gather data points about other schools which could fit your goals and interests. In that way you would keep progessing.

3. Whom to interview:

a. Current students or schools’ ambassadors
b. Schools Alumni. (Great, it you could find some alumni from your company or university)
c. Faculty – If you are razor sharp in your goals and that faculty’s subject, else it might give a wrong impression.
d. Entering students – This is a good idea at this point in time, as you might get a chance to meet them face to face in your city and it would be more informal. They might not be best to know the inside of a school, but they might devote more time, might tell you about their mistakes and learning, and might provide you fresh perspectives on how to approach application process of that particular school. So just invite them for a coffee!

Below are some useful articles, which could help you prepare your set of interview questions:

All the best and please comment your experiences.

Happy interviewing,

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Update: Reliance Stanford Scholarship essay

Phew! Just finished the 8th iteration, and hopefully the final, of Reliance Stanford Scholarship essay.  It seems to be in a pretty decent shape now, and its the time to get it reviewed by the people I feel would give justice by reading it sincerely and providing their honest comments.

Two points I feel are worth mentioning here:

1. An essay partner could do wonders to your essay. I'm lucky to have such a friend who is also applying for this fellowship. She really understood my ideas and contributed to my essay as her own. This has really helped me bringing in clarity in my ideas with every discussion, thereby shaping my essay tremendously.

2.  As I said, essay must be review by a few trusted people who know well about you and about the topic of the essay. But don’t send your rough drafts to anyone for reviewing. More than often, they might not be able to get the actual idea you want to convey and their interest might start wandering in subsequent reviews. So, get them reviewed once essay reaches a stable state.

So as I wait for the comments from my reviewers, I'll start building my Resume.

Monday, May 17, 2010

2010-11 admission season begins with Columbia and Harvard

The time has come faster than expected, at least for me. I've just started shortlisting my schools, and see the schools have started releasing their 2010-2011 admissions essays and deadlines.

Columbia Business School

Harvard Business School

This only makes me realize to work a little more faster towards shortlisting my schools, and outreaching to  the community.


CABM (Certified Associate Business Manager) for MBA Aspirants

Two weeks back, I registered for CABM (Certified Associate Business Manager) professional certification and I think it's a good idea to blog about it.

I personally believe, CABM program would give me exposure to foundations prior to bschool, and would help me contribute better in my bschool classroom and in channelizing my energy to bschool's other activities such as clubs, projects, competitions and relatively less on theory.

I also believe, it might also help me mitigating the low/average academic performance, and strengthen my bschool application.

Disclaimer: The above mentioned are my personal views expressed and in no way related to official CABM source/information. For official information about CABM, visit here.

If you are already a CABM or pursuing it, please comment and get in touch.

Happy studying,

Friday, May 14, 2010

My blog on Hella's list and ClearAdmit

In middle of this rushing life with so many things going at once, I suddenly got a little reason to sit back and feel good about my blogging. It's been listed on Hella's MBA applicants list and

For many amazing bloggers out there, it might not be something worth posting, but for me it is: It made me SMILE :-)

Keep blogging,

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Thoughts on Reliance Stanford fellowship essay 2010

How do you aspire to shape the future of India? When I first saw this around 20 days back, I knew it is not going to be easy; and in 250 words, not at all. The first draft was more than 1000 words, giving my friend, who is also my reviewer, jitters. But now after 3 reviews, it is actually taking shape, is 367 words, much clear, but still it’s a long way to go before submission. Well, its not worth publishing my idea as without its selection it doesn’t hold any credibility, but I could very much publish the structure of my essay, so if anyone has just started could have it as a reference to let his creative juice flowing, and others could review and post their comments to make it better.

While pondering and discussing, I realized this essay, according to me, should be structured in four parts as listed below:

1. The reason of your aspiration to serve your country. This could be any incident or your upbringing or your mindset or anything which has left an impact on the way you think/aspire now for India. (approx 30 words)

2. What have you done so far to realize/implement your aspiration? (approx 50 words)

3. What is your key idea to realize your aspiration to shape the future of India? It should not be very innovative or should not be related to social service. It could be anything such as technology advancement. But whatever your idea is, it should be very realistic. That’s the key, I believe. (approx 120 words)

4. How you connect your MBA with this idea? (approx 50 words)

These are just my views, which might work for me to approach this essay. Your views are welcome.

Keep thinking,

Monday, May 10, 2010

Animation Design

From last many months my lil sister, in 12th now, is telling me that she wants to pursue Animation, but the other day when I was trying to clear out my confusion about MBA, I realised that she should not and must not repeat my mistakes. As I told earlier in my blog, the answer to WHY is very important, I learnt it a hard way. But I'm not alone, many people like me are dreaming to pursue or chasing some career even without knowing why they want that. Many times its because of lack in exposure or correct guidance.

So, I asked her to start her initial research on animation design and pen me down a 250 words essay on WHY Animation and its Future prospects. She saw me writting many MBA essays last year, and yeah, she giggled when I said essay. I said I'm serious :)

If anyone interested in animation, check for more details here.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Think. Innovate. Solve.

I watched this video a few minutes back, and I'm astounded. Salute to Indian Creativity. It's a must watch video. Though was watching it alone, I literally clapped at the end.

Anil Gupta: India's hidden hotbeds of invention | Video on

Think. Innovate. Solve.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Imagine. Be a Leader.

Yet another amazingly inspiring video to let us imagine...Leadership.

Lets imagine, be a Leader,

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Confusion faded, Consulting is the way

In my earlier post, I mentioned about my confusion state related to my career. Few days back, I'd a long discussion with my cousin, an Harvard MBA, working with an Investment firm in US. As I was in real rush with my apps last year, I didn't get a chance to discuss my apps with him. Interaction with him was a real eye-opener experience, indeed, fading my confusion significantly.

With his vast consulting experience, both before and after Harvard, he informed me a lot about consulting world and how I could utilise my 6 years technical experience to work and thrive smartly in a consulting company post MBA. So, it might be a career switch from IT to consulting, but I would always have an option to work with technology clients and grow quickly and smartly in consulting industry.

Second, he told me and also as per Management Consulted, consultants always have an option to exit consulting after working for several years and join industry in corporate roles, depending on their experience and exposure in that industry.

So why consulting when I love technology and might plan to return to the industry? This is because in consulting, my career would grow faster than in IT. I will get much needed exposure to wider spectrum of this industry. I will deal with magnitude of clients, acquire analytical, quantitative, strategic skills/knowledge to solve complex problems, understand business in all its dimensions, and get myself ready for corporate/senior management roles in industry few years down the line, which would be significantly slow staying in IT.

So, this is in brief a Why MBA answer for me, fading my confusion.

With this clarity, I've:
1. Registered myself for CABM certificate (will post a separate post for this).
2. Registered myself for Whartan admission event in Bangalore on 26th May 2010.
3. Started shortlisting schools and preparing shortlist criteria.
4. Contacting students and alums of few schools.

I hate writing long posts, my friend knows it.


Monday, May 3, 2010

My passion, Sketching

A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
I remember sketching as a kid, making greeting cards for all the relatives, even for distant ones, and even during the exam days, hiding from my mom. 

Since then, arts became one of my passions, making me opt Fine-arts in my 11th grade as my additional subject. There I learnt various art forms but sketching fascinates me the most.

I sketched this portrait a few months back and my friends admire it as my best work so far. The toughest sections in this portrait were white eye brows and white hair.

Amidst busy work schedule and bschool hunt, I keep finding time to destress myself by doing what I love so much, Sketching.

Never give up your passions,

QS MBA Scholarships

For the selected applicants from around the workd, QS offers various appealing scholarships. But many of us remain unaware of these and miss them or realise them later.

Check out the details. (This link might work at some point later, am not sure)

This blog might not be of any help this year but I'll going to attend QS World MBA Tour later in this year and try my best to avail this fabulous opportunity for my next year MBA. In sense, it is a part of planning.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Last year MBA Rush

Before blogging why, what, and how for my next year MBA application process, it's better to retrospect the last year MBA journey, which didn't turn out to be as expected but undoubtedly made me more informative about the process.

1. GMAT: I took my GMAT in mid November of 2009, when December 1st was ISB last deadline. First mistake, I didn't plan my GMAT properly. Plan your test dates smartly.

2. ISB R2: Given the days left, I'd to rush for ISB application. The good part was that my career goals were clear. Second mistake, I didn't get chance to get my essays reviewed by anyone, not even a single person. Submitted in just 6 minutes before deadline, phew. a. Read essays of admitted students to let your creative juices flowing. b.Get your application reviewed and re-reviewed by friends, mentors, or consultants.

3. Schools shortlist:  Third and biggest mistake, I didn't shortlist the other schools in advance and I'd to rush in that as well. The better route is to clear your career goals and shortlist the schools before writing GMAT. I believe very few applicants follow this route. Research thoroughly about the schools, not just by website and brochures, but by talking with current students and alums. They could provide you their valuable insights no web portal could provide.

4. Safe schools: Fourth mistake, I didn't applied to any safe school (admissions chances above 90%). Schools safe for one profile might not be safe for another. So, depending on your profile quality and school's ranking and statistics, you need to decide which ones fall in safe category for you. Always apply to at least 2-3 safe schools.

5. Interviews: Rejected from Nanyang R1, Fuqua R2 and Judge R3 w/o interview invites, yet even with all this rush and mistakes, I grabbed the interview invites from ISB R2, Ross R2, and Tepper R2. Might be because I was clear about my career goals, though I am much clear now. I managed to put a decent interview show everytime but got dinged from ISB, and wait listed from Ross (gradually dinged) and Tepper (awaited as of now). a. Look through the interview reports published by and clear admit wiki. b. Prepare your answers well but don't memorise them. c. As many mock interviews as possible, preferably by that school student or alum.

So, these are my mistakes and lessons from my last year journey. I'm much more informative and prepared for next year applications and looking forward to get into one of the best schools.

Hope to help,
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