Thursday, October 28, 2010

ISB interview done, what's next

Ahh, I'm done with ISB interview again last Sunday and it was all together a different experience than last time, in terms of both staying in Hyderabad and the Interview. Let me rewind a bit...

Last year it was fun and easy, as I had my awesome friend in Hyderabad living 5 minute from ISB, and he had a car, you know ;) He picked me from railway station, breakfast was ready at his home, and I had a feeling of refreshment after seeing him after long. My interview was in the morning next day and I had a whole day to roam, revise, and relax. He dropped me to ISB, and gave me moral support. I was the only one without a formal jacket; felt a little awkward but was quite confident. Post interview went out with him and his wife, and had lots of masti. Interview experience was alright. The very first question, tell a story, made me nervous, which they asked only after I provoked them saying I love writing, but overall it was pretty cool  and went for around 30-35 minutes. I was too confident and happy post interview, but that happiness didn't last long, as you know!

This year it was hard, as I get down to a alien station of Kacheguda, ran to catch a local MMTS train to reach Hafizpet, get an auto to reach my hotel after he took me to two wrong hotels, and had breakfast alone. The interview was on the same day in evening and I was tired of the whole night journey, with cockroaches playing on my face even in third tier AC. After sleeping for 2 hours, I got my formal jacket ironed, revised some points, and left for the interview. This time I was in jacket like all others but was not that confident. This time the interview was quite different. It went for just 15 minute with 2 guys and a lady in the panel. One of the guys was all in mood to grill me asking so many cross questions all related to why this career and why mba, with a no smile face. Then I broke the ice when the other guy asked me to show some salsa steps and I asked the lady, mam will you dance with me ;) Everyone laughed, though I didn't dance. Then they all got engrossed in listening my personal story I mentioned in an essay, and before I knew, they said we are done. Don't know what to make out of it. Que sera sera, as one of my friend rightly said.

I'm not keeping any hope, so I am all set to start for round 2 apps. Thinking of HBS, Stanford, MIT, Kellogg, and Ross. Also, keeping Cranfield and Manchester in the list. But looking at few disturbing factors and festive events lined up in next 2 months, I might have to cut short my list.

Anyways going home tommorow for my cousin's wedding and Diwali celebrations,
Its a Refreshing feeling!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Interview calls update

I'll keep it short and sweet...

2 days back, I came from my office, tired, to see a rejection mail from Cambridge. Quite fast and shocking. Didn't know why I got dinged in round 1; to find the reason I logged onto a few forums like pagalguy and guess what many Indian aspirants were shocked like me. Don't know what has happened.

Many of my friends have received ISB interview calls, and I was hearing that today is the last day to receive a ISB call for people located out of Bangalore. I have lost all hopes, in fact I think i was not hoping, and suddenly my cell beeped at 7 PM...yeah, you guessed it right :) So have to prepare for interview now...5 days to go....

All the me ;)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Why I had to defer Kellogg to R2?

This was not an easy decision – to defer an application to R2 on which I was working so excitedly from last 5 weeks, yes 5 long weeks!

I started the Kellogg leadership essay on September 1st. I was writing day and night but it took me to 8 days to jot down 2 success and 1 failure leadership story. I tried to write them in a narrative style, taking reference from Harvard 65 successful essays book. I send them to my reviewers; only one replied after a week and found my stories pretty weak and suggested a lot of rework. By that time it was around 15th. I have already sent my goals essay for review. He replied pretty quick and a few places he mentioned gaps, with a very typical long term goal. He mentioned your profile is strong but is coming out well in this essay.

It was 18th and I was at square one. I went home to attend my cousin’s engagement which ate my 3 days. Just 2 weeks were left for Cambridge and I left Kellogg and picked up Cambridge, which has one atypical IT problems essay. As the time was running and none of my reviewers were replying, I decided to take help of a professional reviewer. She seemed very confident, but I always had a suspicion owing to my last year sad experience, and she transformed my suspicion into a belief. She wasted initial 7 days saying “she was busy with other clients; don’t worry, you are in safe hands.” It was 29th when she actually looked on my essays. I was hoping for see the best reviews ever but to my disbelief she return back the same essays - no review comments, just deleted a few lines – the lines which according to me were my strengths. When I tried to ask the reason, she replied I’m trained in this – I mean that could never be a justifiable explanation. Finally, I dismissed her service and prepared all my Cambridge essays myself. I feel they are pretty good. Fingers are crossed!

It’s was 6th Oct and none of my Kellogg essays was in submittal state. Further, I had Richard Ivey to submit on 12th. It was freaking me out. I knew how hard I would try I won’t be able to complete Kellogg and Ivey essays in a week without an outsider eye. One of my friend introduced me to another professional reviewer (pretty expensive), stating they are awesome. Can you believe after having bad experience twice with consultants, I took their service for Kellogg. Again to my disbelief, they turned out to be – awesome this time ;) I was like wow. I wanted a sanity check and the way they reviewed my essays, I was surprised. I have already incorporated my reviewer comments, but still so much to change. From 7th till yesterday, I wrote essays around 14 hours every day. But was able to transform just two Kellogg essays into a decent version, and still have scope for improvement. It was so tight, almost impossible to do another essays in 2 days when I had to submit my Richard Ivey (managed to write decent essays and also get reviewed by a student) as well. I was feeling worse thinking how I got stuck in this situation. I finally took decision to submit Ivey and defer Kellogg to round 2.

People say it’s not much difference between round 1 and 2 evaluation, but somehow I personally feel round 1 is always a edge. Time will tell...

Don’t know this is a wise decision, but I know I have to plan a little wiser now!

I hope this post might help others also to plan a little wiser in R2 – because time fly fast!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

ApexWriters - A personalized service!

Two days back, after writing and re-writing my essay to a decent shape, I thought let's get it reviewed by some professional. One of my friends told me about ApexWriters -

They have this amazing service of editing an 100 words essay for free with no hidden costs - I uploaded my essay and the next day I got the edited version. It was completely changed with logical comments and a much impactful language.

They have a few very amazing and customized services:

These guys are really impressive!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Cambridge Judge business school - submitted

Just submitted my Cambridge Judge business school after multiple reviews and spell-checks with few friends and myself. The Cambridge announces the interview decisions in November first week and result in just 2-3 days post interview. I was just talking to my friend today in London that if I get an interview call, I might fly to Cambridge for the one day exclusive school visit plus interview. So, the fingers are crossed as usual and a little tighter this time ;-)

A few updates:
1. ISB interview calls are floating in pagalguy forum but I'm still checking my inbox for the same.
2. Planning to submit Richard-Ivey in two days.
3. Post which I could concentrate completely on Kellogg.

Time to sleep!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Star wars and the bschool essays

As I mentioned earlier, I am in constant touch with BTG CEO, David Park discussing over various topics including BTG $100K challenge, SLP, writing good narrations for essays et al.

Today he sent me an assignment to complete before moving to R2 applications. And, to my surprise, the assignment is to watch 70 minute video review of star wars: phantom menace:

Embarrassed I admit, I have not seen original star wars and the more recent star wars phantom menace, so he recommended me to watch them first before watching this review.

He says:
this probably sounds really weird to you. after all, what does making a movie have to do with writing business school essays right? imo, those two things are very closely related. ultimately, writing a good essay is all about telling a good story. the 70 minute video review has some very cool ideas about what makes a story good.
Interesting huh!

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