Friday, July 30, 2010

My experience with Princeton Review MBA admission service

Supposedly, this entry be published 2 weeks earlier when Princeton Review screwed up my senses, but then I went home for vacation and was chilled down. But still I feel to blog my experience with Princeton Review so my fellow MBA aspirants could make the right decision.

I took the Princeton Review MBA admission counseling last year. As I took my GMAT in Nov 2009 and was in rush to meet round 2 deadlines, I needed a correct and quick guidance. You must have sensed by now, Princeton Review terribly failed to provide me that, and to get me through any of the shortlisted schools.

My counselor always pretended to be very smart and knowledgeable, but for every question his first two answers were "I'll get back to you," and "Don't worry, you are in safe hands." He never bothered to know about my stories, forget his guiding on them. He read my essays only once just before applications submission, that too just for spell check or a formality. He always claimed that he is an interview expert but when he prepared me for it, I realised it was all waste. We planned a mock interview one day before my real interview, but he forgot that and didn't even bother to pick my call. Can you beat this? All in all I still don't know what was his role.

My essay editor was quite impressive lady. But she has her own limitations. Her role was majorly language correction and styling.

Finally, I didn't get through any of 5 schools. My counselor assured me that Princeton Review would provide me free service again for new 5 schools and later Princeton Review operations folks denied it and gave some excuses. I was not interested in their free services anyways as I decided to write my essays myself this time, but it made me realise that they don't care about career, they are just worried about their business.

The major role of these people should be to understand our stories, evaluate them, help us pick best ones out, and help them weave together to give a complete picture, without missing out any dimension and at the same time avoid writing redundant stuffs. Let us know about the great blogs and career related sites, pro-actively guide us through additional actions such as informational interviews, sessions etc. And then to prepare us for interviews by suggesting what to say, what not to say, how to say, et al.

The purpose of this post is only and only to share my not-so-good experience, so other interested guys could make the right decision.

Hope you guys will make the right choice,

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Back in action...after a sweet vacation at home!

A lot is happening in my life from last few days. Last week was at home after a long time and enjoyed tremendously with my lil sister and cousin, playing cricket on terrace, flying kites and ample eating, sleeping, and talking. It did drift me from my MBA course, but was a much needed break. 

That said, am back in action. The first task after sweet vacation was to draft the answers for SLP application but its deadline is 15th August, not 31th July as I was thinking till 15 min earlier. Now I have some breathing space for the same.

The work in office is killing, making me work from morning 10 to evening 8. From now onwards, my friend and I have decided to stay back in office to discuss and draft essays from 8 pm till 11. We are following it from last 2 days. It's working out quite well as of now and my career goal essay shaping up.

Before starting this blog post, had a conversation with Ross recent alum from India working about my career goals and how they are fit with Ross, and what I can do extra as a reapplicant. Scheduled a meeting with another Ross senior alum next week and 2 current students from Kellogg.

Started my research for 1 years programs now as well.

So, gaadi is on right track, it seems ;)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A really productive day

I was researching about my schools for almost 2 months now and shortlisted 3 as of now, but today after a long time I was tangibly productive wrt of MBA application.

Today early morning I had an informal discussion with two just passed out students of one of my shortlisted school. I talked about their MBA major, their insights about the school, clubs, the attributes I should focus on to make compelling stories, and lot more. One of them has the same background and goals as I have, which is truly helpful. She gave me insights on that major and the companies she focused during her interns and post MBA, and also the recruitment scene for that function and industry. It is a must to connect with students, and preferably of your background and goals.

Secondly, after not so good last few days in terms of CABM, today I studied two CABM chapters with my friend. It's a little fast when you study in group, atleast it works for me, provided the tuning with your study group is fine.

Then, after CABM, we brainstormed for a few hours about the essays in depth, and came out with a pretty decent outline (just outline) for career goals and leadership essays. I felt it became more interesting for both of us to recollect our experiences by talking about them with each other. Obviously our experiences and goals are different, but this healthy discussion gave them more breadth and depth; but there is still long way to go in shaping these outline into impressive stories.

I'm on for it,

Friday, July 9, 2010

A fresh season begins

Sad news sometimes comes together, and in fact it is good; makes you a little less sad relatively. Last week the season 1 of my one and only Hindi television serial,, got over. I love this serial because of the way its cute stories are written and executed giving a positive fresh feeling, always inspiring me to write short stories, and to think something new and positive. In the same week, I got bad news from Tepper after a long waitlist period with which season 1 of my MBA applications is also over. But as things always get over for the new and better beginnings, I'm prepared more than never before for the coming MBA applications season.

Apart from this what's happening in my life...

A lot more increased responsibilities and challenging work has come up with recent promotion. In addition to managing a complex real time financial project and handling a high performing team, now I'm interacting more often with traders and research analysts (our customers) to find out ways how to design better financial products for them.  

I've always loved technology and Information Technology industry, but now I want to accelerate my career, for which I require critical managerial skills,  strategic decision making skills, et al. Having said that, my decision of MBA at this point seem more viable to me. Today officially started drafting career goals essay.

Preperation for CABM is not going as fast as I expected, but trying to pace it up for the exam in August, which reminds to book exam date. Yesterday saw the presentation of ISB - CABM orientation event.

My team at CRY (Child Rights and You) is catching tremendous pace and we have seen drastic improvements in the lives of slum children and their parents by our efforts. I am involved with CRY from a long time now but never happened to write about it here as I have separate personal blog for that. But, would blog excerpt about my volunteering work on this space soon, as community volunteering work is one of the things I'm passionate about. 

My personal blog, for my portraits, short stories, fictions, reviews, volunteering activities, and other offbeat personal stuff, has reached 2000 hits in less 2 months and is growing much faster than this blog.

After completing Salsa intermediary stage 2 recently, I've decided to practice only at home for sometime as MBA new season is catching up fast and there's so much to do!


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Mixed feelings

Yesterday was the day with mixed feeling.

:-( -- The day started with Reliance Stanford fellowship result which was not in my favour. It was not a very big shock as getting such prestigious scholarships are always tough and unexpected.

:-) -- Then in the afternoon came the good news of my long due promotion with a decent salary hike and a business trip to US soon.

:-( -- And then, day ended with the ding from long awaited Tepper, which being a International applicant, I was somehow mentally prepared for as it's too late now. Though emotionally it is hard to absorb, but practically I feel its good as it would have been difficult for me to arrange for funds and visa in just 2 months.

:-) -- Now, as the clouds are clear, I'm all geared up for my next set of applications for coming Fall. And, I'm very sure to get into my dream school this time. As they say, dreams don't die until you stop seeing them.

Never give up,
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