Thursday, August 31, 2006

Stanford V1.0 ready for release

I'm done with the Stanford essays folks. I am done!!! This has been one draining long ride. Exactly because of which i am not sure whether i am really done or i am tired of these essays and have considered it to be closed! If it is the former, so be it. If it is the latter - i don't find how i can realize that by reviewing the essays in the same mind set. So - atleast for some days to come, the essays remain closed/complete.

But for all that i see now, the essays have come out well. I have answered all self imposed questions in essay 1 and essay 2. I think that the first essay fits within the unified theme it is supposed to have. I think that i have covered major incidents of my life in this essay and i think that the essay flows well. I think that the first essay which presents a good picture of me and also answers some of my "why this career" questions. I think that the second essay presents my career goals neatly. I think that it also justifies these career choices, which is more important because of my shift in industry. I think that i can rate the "why Stanford" section between "Above Average" and "Good". I obviously have to work more on it, but that's the same status for every other school. I think that the two other essays have specific answers and related incidents to support the theories i speak. I think that i have done well.

But it is all in the "I think" stage. I feel like i am in a heavy hangover. I have been working on this essay for really long and i have to shrug it off my neurons to review it properly. I want to review this essay atleast once and fix all possible stuff before i send it out to my two reviewers. They sure have an interesting job with this really personal set of essays :)

So - what next?!?!

I have to finish the ethics essay of Harvard by Saturday. I also plan to write the three micro mini essays of Chicago by the weekend. They sure are gonna be difficult to tackle, but the topics make them interesting. Clearly, there is no correct answer to these questions, but the task is daunting ONLY because of the word limit. Let's see how it goes :) If possible, i will also finish the interesting second essay of Chicago. That seems to be enough for the weekend. If all that goes well, next week will be spent on the all inclusive Chicago first essay. This is pretty straightforward and finishing all these essays before the next weekend seems to be highly possible. From then on, it will be the long reviewing and submission journey.

One of my recommenders had a over-the-coffee-table discussion abt the recommendation procedure. He was surprised at the effort that goes into the admission procedure and hence wanted to schedule a detailed discussion sometime next week. Another recommender returns from his vacation on Tuesday - i must have a similar discussion with him too. The third person has already done recos and might not need any such discussions, but i have to check with him too and give him the stuff he needs. Recos haven't progressed really, but i have a feeling that it can be finished by the second or third week of September.

That sums up the news for the day. See you all tomorrow - same time, same place!!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Career Goals essay that is gonna change all other career goals essay.

That's what the Stan essay is doing to me now. I really have never been forced to dig so deep into my career goals. I now realize that i have so many stronger stuff to say which i might have to add to the career goals essay of the other school. The Career goals have not changed a bit (is that even possible???) but i need to add more stuff.

I reworked on the Career goals essay of Stanford and have modified content in the first one and a half pages i created yesterday. I feel they are stronger now and, as they say, tighter!!! I have explained the goals and justified the shift in Industry (i really like this bit). Now i have to justify these goals, which would come in between the "goals" and "shift" portion of the essay. Then i go to write the why Stanford bit. I am wondering whether this is gonna go more than 3 pages. I am trying really hard to keep it within limits. I really want to finish the entire Stan essay within the 11 page limit they have mentioned.

I am all the more worried abt the word limits in the other essays now. HBS, for example, has a career goals essay which has a 400 word limit :( Since i am planning to rework on all the career goals essay, this would be like shrinking a 1500 word long essay into a 400 word one. It is gonna be fun :) Kellogg gives 2 pages for Career progress + Future Goals, while Wharton gives 1000 words, Chicago asks for everything in 1500 words and Columbia gives 1000 words just for this. Gonna be one heck of a ride writing all these essays.

Now, i agree that the schools are significantly different - but my goals can never change from one school to the other :) But the amount of clarity i now have, i dint have that some 3 essays ago. Even if i had started with the Stanford essays, it would have taken me the same 4 essays to reach where i am today :)

Tomorrow is the month end and i guess i will be done with this essay tomorrow. As the weekend nears, i have work ready for the weekend - re work on all the Career essays and finish the ethics essay of Harvard. Heck, I am in a mood to write, but i got to attend a marriage tomorrow morning and hence cannot continue. I will write for just some more time, try to finish the "why goals" part and then shut shop for the day. Catch ya'll later tomorrow with more update. Ciao...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Career Goals - in XXL mode

Harvard's Career goals essay was a mere 400 words long. Stanford's Career goals essay is 3 pages max, which means that it can stretch as far as 1500 words. Clearly, Stanford wants the applicants to elaborate on the goals as much as they can. This is no easy task as i have to speak about something i can say in as less as one statement in so many words.

Okay - i agree. I have to explain stuff. But three pages for that??? I don't think so. I accept that allowing the applicants to elaborate on the career aspirations is a good thing. Especially for someone like me who needs to explain a shift in industry and all the other related stuff. But something keeps telling me that many applicants will end up writing stuff simply coz they have to write stuff.

Really, i had to initially fight this battle myself - do i fill three pages because i have the space or do i just write up as much as i can and leave it at that - even if it is only two pages long. It was not an easy decision to make at all, because writing just two pages dint appear that good to me. The one question that stuck with me was "What if the AdComm guy doesn't appreciate this succinctness?" I was telling myself that this risk was not worth taking.

Luckily for me, as i gathered more material to elaborately answer the essay questions, i found that i needed more than 3 pages to finish this essay. I haven't finished this essay as yet, but i have run half the distance. I have stated my career aspirations and have explained why this career choice was made. I have to work some more on this justification bit and then i have given myself one page for the "Why Stanford" portion. Enough research has already been done. Gotta jot down points and churn out a good essay.

I think i can stick to my deadline of finishing this by this month end. I can easily finish the career goals essay tomorrow. I worked on the first essay yesterday and have reviewed it to my satisfaction. It has reached a state where i need someone else's mind to see the holes in the essay. So i gotta send it out for review. This weekend, someone is gonna see "What matters most to me and why" and say whether i have said it well. Then i will start working on the Chicago essays.

I did some progress on the reviewer front today as i my friend agreed to review some essays. I don't think i will be sending her the Harvard, Kellogg and Wharton essays as they have already been reviewed by atleast one person. I can use her time to review Stanford and Chicago. On the Reco front, all my recommenders are out of station and will get back in the next week. So next week, i shud give them all material and get them going. Things look pretty fine now.

Okie - time to hit the bed.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Sigh of relief

I just finished my first draft for the "What matters most to you and why?" essay. To say that i am relieved now would be an understatement. I feel as if a huge burden has been released off my shoulders. I am pretty sure that this draft is not the final product, but i am sure that this is pretty much what i want to write about. The contents will not change as i have placed them the way i wanted to, there is a decent flow (or so i think) and i guess i have said what i had to say within a single umbrella.

This was definitely the most difficult essay i have written till date. I have given this essay two solid days and i still only have a draft that barely qualifies to satisfy me. Good that Stanford deadlines are the last. There will come a time when i have only the Stanford essays to review and i will have to spend quality time on these essays. I will be working on all essays over the entire duration of September and am hoping to spend a lot of time on this essay again. End of day, i am sure that this will be the one essay every candidate spent the maximum time on.

The question to be asked is "Does this convey all my ideas to a reader who is unaware of who i am?" This will be answered by my reviewers. Speaking of reviewers, i take this opportunity to thank them half way through the process, not for the last time :) I have three reviewers as of now. I have been getting comments from two of them and they have been doing awesome work with my essays. I am sure the third reviewer is gonna be equally good. I remember reading somewhere that it is better to get the essays reviewed by 4 or 5 different reviewers. I don't know if i can reach that figure, i don't intend to. If i can get in touch with good reviewers, and i already have three of them, i would be satisfied. But yeah, i wudnt shy away from sending my essays to another reviewer or two if i come across people. Okie, Update! One of my reviewers has to go on a trip and hence unavailable over the next one month. Another reviewer has just pulled out citing personal reasons. So - there is just one reviewer at present. I have to search for new reviewers now. I know one person who can fit in. Otherwise, the hunt is on :)

I guess i will be able to finish work within deadlines. I am planning to give one more day to this essay. I will re visit this essay tomorrow and make changes wherever required. That gives me three days to work on the Career Goal essay of Stanford. Well, this one needs a lot of research to be done and i am glad i did loads of it before the GMAT preps. I can as such speak about the school. But i am sure i will have to re visit the school site and all the material again during the course of this essay. But yes, this is a lot easy compared to the famous Stan Essay 1. So three days should be fine.

That would mean i finish the fourth school by this Friday. This leaves Chicago to be written. The deadline for finishing Chicago will be Next weekend (Sept 10th). That would give me a full 20 days in September to revisit all the essays again. I am sure i am gonna make changes in many of the essays i wrote earlier. After four schools, i have more focus and clarity reg what i want to say and i guess this is missing in the earlier essays. I have to re-read them a 100 times, make modifications and finalize the essays. Finalizing them is the most difficult part of the process. When it comes to essay writing, enough is never enough!!!

Long post i see. After effects of writing a 2000 word essay :)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Matter, Matter everywhere, what matters the most???

Perhaps this is the single most discussed essay among the B school applicants at this point of time. Almost all the 2009 applicants who are applying to Stanford and have started writing this essay have something to say abt this one. This is a killer for sure and everyone agrees that this essay needs more work than the others.

So - what do i have to say??? Nothing different. I am in the process of writing my first draft and i think i have done a decent job. I have finished three-fourth (okay i have to quantify things - 3 pages) of the essay. I am pretty happy with the first two pages of the essay. I feel that the third page I have written lacks the punch. I think i will have to re-write that page.

One thing must be mentioned, this is one draining essay. Since it gets so personal and you have to analyze things too close to you or things from really old times, you get a weary feeling as you progress. Writing this one continuously is not possible for sure. BTW - i have been at this essay since this afternoon and i am now in that worn out state. I cant think of a word. I guess it is primarily because of my dissatisfaction with the last page i wrote, but the experience of going through some of my past experiences has had a major impact on my present mental state.

I'm off to take a break now. Will get working on this essay after the break. I am planning to finish the first draft of this essay tonight.

List of 2009 bloggers

Clearadmit has compiled the list of 2009 applicants who were actively bloggin their progress in the Fall 2007 Application process. This is a good thing coz this allows us ppl to get in touch with each other during the process and perhaps meet future class mates :)

Check this page...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Stan Game is on

I have been writing the essays for Stanford over the past few days. This is my second post abt these essays and i re-iterate what i told earlier. I just love the way the Stan guys have asked their essay questions. I hear that it is a lot like what MIT has been doing for quite some time. Let me jus stick with Stan.

There are 4 essays one has to write for the Stan application and i am done with the two smaller ones. Now don't get misled by the "smaller" tag over there. The two essays are 900 and 850 words. I don't really know if it is okay to be so long. But that's how long they are now. May be i must shrink it. I'll wait for the feedback from my reviewers and then decide. If they're good as they are i will keep them long. I don't think i have lamented a lot.

Now that the supposedly smaller essays are done, it is time to look at the long ones. I am gonna begin with the longest of them all. Wait - i have already began with this one. This is a 4 page all-inclusive essay and I have written the intro. I also have jotted down the stuff i wanna cover and all that is left is to pull in stuff from the other essays and arrange all that in an order.

I am not gonna do a simple copy & paste work. I cannot do that coz the essay has to have a constant theme. I will have to rework on all the stuff i have written earlier to make the content fit here. Again, such a painful process is just made enjoyable because of the theme i am toying with. The Stan first essay is extremely personal and I'm really excited to finish it soon and see the end result. Hope it comes out well.

I am planning to start working on that tomorrow and the whole weekend. Once that is done, i will start writing Stan 2 - the career goal essay. Do i have plans for that already??? I don't think so. But i think i can finish that over the next week and finish all work before the deadline. I wanted to finish 4 schools by end of August and i think i will.

Since Rani had advised not to say goodbye as "it kills the hope of meeting again" i part with this extremely positive note...

Ciao folks!!!

100 posts later...

Yeah - this is my hundredth post in the blog. Boy - it's been such a ride.

I began this blog much in boredom. This was during mid December 2005, when i was bored about almost everything in life. Job was boring, the happenings at the company were frustrating (to put it mildly), I had just finished a "i-might-i-might-not" CAT and was missing the company of a good friend who was in Singapore (and/or Malaysia) on her Honeymoon trip and would soon move out of Chennai. Life was going nowhere and it was a period of time when i was doing nothing that was interesting. Probably the best thing i did those days was seeing all those DVDs.

So - i started this blog as a complete loser. Over the past few months, i have lost many and achieved some. My CAT score was a big disappointment. SPJain dint call. XAT was a whisker away from a BM call. Work was still boring. And that's all about the losses.

The gains are great. I started to live my life the way i wanted to live my life. I realized that i cud not offer the kind of dedication required for CAT preps. I decided to look beyond IIMs. Today i am done with my GMAT and right in the middle of my MBA apps. Though i failed in CAT, the process gave me some friends. I closely followed two people who had their interviews with Indian Bschools and i got to know more of the process. I also did something extremely close to my heart - i joined a dance school and performed on stage. I earned some friends there too.

The GMAT process and the MBA apping journey has not been any less beneficial. I have crossed the hurdle called GMAT with really good figures. I am aspiring high with my apps. Every day, i do a lot of things i like, i learn something more and i am eager to wake up every morning. There is such a contrast between the time i started this blog and now. There is no more dull moment in my day.

I am the kind of person who likes to be busy always and these days, i am just that - busy. Always busy. Been so since i started my GMAT preps and i am not tired of it. I get the feeling that i am made for this and hence i am thoroughly enjoying the process.

Looking at the future - i only hope that the run continues. By the time i get to 200 posts, which i think will take close to 4 months, i hope to be done with the apping process for good and be writing abt the things on the way to my B school.

Till then, the journey continues...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Knock Knock Harvard

Almost two and a half months after i appeared for my GMAT exam, i reported my score to Harvard and Kellogg during the weekend. I had always wanted to apply to these schools, more so after i started digging about these schools on the way to my GMAT, but i went with safer options with the five free options i got.

Okay - those five schools are not SAFE by any means, i only said "safer". Schools where i thought i made a competitive candidate. I accept that this feeling is agonizingly getting stronger and weaker as i go through the application process. I have learnt to ignore this feeling till i finish my applications. There is just no point in worrying abt the outcome before i finish my work.

I have rolled out the recommendation requests for Harvard, Stanford and Chicago. My recommendors have promised to finish it ASAP. As luck would have it three of my recommendors are out of station and two of them have important family occasions to attend. The third out of station recommender was touring this weekend, will be touring next weekend and will again be touring the third weekend. So - she wudnt be able to work on the recos as well. Looks like if my recos will start moving only by early September.

I have started working on Stanford essays. I absolutely love the way Stan has asked extremely personal questions. It is now upto the applicants to make it as close to their heart as possible. The Stan guys themselves recommend this approach. Most of their question is about what the applicant thinks, what he feels etc etc. I'm enjoying the process of writing them. Compared to the other schools, Stan essays make u dig a bit more deeper into thy self.

I am planning to finish this by the month end, a achievable target as of now. i have completed half of one of the smaller essays. Have 3 more to go. I am hoping i can finish the two short ones and the longest first essay by this Sunday.

My overseas reviewer got back with the reviewed Kellogg essays and she liked the way they flowed. It was particularly glad to hear that coz all that she knows abt me were thru the essays and if she doesnt complain abt flow - i think i am doing well. Much of the credit must go to my other reviewer. Both of them still have work to do though :D

I am planning to finish writing the essays, get them reviewed for correctness and finish working on the review comments on all the essays by September 15th. After that i plan to spend the remaining time on reading and re reading and re reading the essays and make them personal and foolproof. I will submit all my applications a week before the deadlines.

Writing this post has given the impetus i needed. I'm off to work on the second half of that Stanford essay. ciao...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Done with W

I've finished the Wharton essays as i had promised. Now that's a big achievement. But i dunno whether i am really done. I know how confusing that sounds.

I have written all four of the Wharton essays. Wharton 1 was a re-write of Kellogg 1 with the schools specific portion modified. I infact went through the entire essay twice to see if there were any Kellogg specific stuff in the other parts of the essay. I think i now have a generic essay which i can use for Chicago and Columbia also. This is really good :) Wharton 2 was completely new. This is a failure and i think i have a good example. The only glitch is that it is not from professional life. I haven't had much failures there. So i had to use an experience from undergrad days. But i guess that would suffice.

Wharton 3 and 4 were "pick from the lot". I one that asked about "Impact on a group" and one that asked "what i do best". I am convinced about the Impact essay. I have a strong example and written the same thing for other schools. So nothing new there. The last one is what i am still not confident about. This is a pretty open ended essay and i decided to present my EC stuff here. To do that, i guess i had to present the stuff in a twisted manner so that what i say fit into the theme of the question. I hope i have done that well.

I have sent my essays to my reviewer and am waiting like a kid waiting for his mid-term results. I can imagine what I'd go through during late October and early November :)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

This is good!!!

When i started the essay writing journey, i read so much about them. In almost all the stuff i read, there was this standard line saying "The first school will take a long time to complete. But once that is done, the remaining schools will be easy."

I was not really sure abt that then. I thought "If it takes some time to work on one school's essays, it should atleast take 75% of that time for the other schools." The schools had different essay questions and will hence require almost the same time. But now i know what those writers meant.

It took me quite some time to write the Harvard essays. I have worked on the Kellogg essays for an equally long time. But I'd attribute that for a lost weekend and the poor health i had to put up with. I finished three of the four Wharton essays in just a day. Hoe is that for speed.

The reason is simply this - the Harvard and Kellogg essays have completed the complete profile that i now exactly know what i have to write in all my applications. So when i start working on the essays of a school, i get the stuff i wanna write, select suitable essays to write them and go about writing them. This selection process took me long initially. But after two schools (two and 3-quarter now) the selection process is swift. I spent 10 minutes in all to strategize my Wharton application. The Stanford application now looks simpler than it did at the beginning of the month. Now i know what those guys meant.

BTW - i am liking this whole application process and i am also liking the fact that i am progressing really well.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The W Journey

Yeah - I'm back. Yesterday, i believed that i would not be able to work on my essays during the nights. But tonight, I'm working. I still dunno whether i can do it tomorrow, but today i did some important work. I've began writing the essays for the Wharton Application.

This is one tough nut to crack. In just 4 essays, and all of 2500 words, i am expected to present my profile in a manner that would impress the AdComm. It is a good 2 essays lesser than Kellogg and Harvard, but almost as wordy as the Harvard essays. But the diff with Harvard essays was that there were 6 tight essays there, where one answered specific questions. With Wharton, there is one all-inclusive-history kinda essay and then there are three who-art-thou kinda essays.

Good news is that i am done with the strategy to attack the Wharton essays. I now clearly understand the difference between writing the first set of essays and writing the third set of essays. I knew all the stuff i wanted to say and just had to decide where to say what. As i said, Wharton essays, apart from essay 1, are not straight forward and so finding a place for all my stories was a tough job.

Around 2 hours of work and i am done. i have copied stuff from my previous essays into relevant Wharton essays. I have the answers to their questions and have written four skeleton essays. I am satisfied with the profile these essays would present in front of the AdComm. I now have to spice 'em up and present them in a more appealing way.

Things are getting back into rhythm after the time i lost in the past two weeks coz of health related issues. I think i have to be careful during the next few months and not fall sick again. No more wasting time sleeping on the bed.

Okie - I'm off to sleep now. Will keep u guys posted abt the progress for sure...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The weekend i spent sleeping

Yeah - u read that right!

After a really long time, i fell sick!!! I have been having single day flirts with fever but this one got me. It all started on Friday evening and after a gradual build up over Saturday, i was officially sick on Sunday morning. It was so bad that i could not sit in front of the computer throughout the entire weekend.

It was horrible in the sense that i could not write my essays. I had some achievable targets for this weekend plus I-day, but i could only end up completing 50% of the tasks. I'm not gonna crib abt the lost time. I think there is enough time and i am still on track. I can catch up for sure.

There is something to cheer though. Whenever possible i sat through the pain to write some essays and hence I am done with my Kellogg essays. They were definitely complex and thought provoking, but I'm glad I'm done with them. They're on their way for review. Wharton is next on the queue. I should have completed two Wharton essays by tonight, but that's as much behind schedule i am.

The fever has left me tired. During the next three days, I don't think i can give anytime to the essays after work hours. If my condition improves considerably, i will. But i don't see that happening. So i am planning to finish Wharton essays during the next weekend. I will then have the remaining of the month, 10 days to be precise, to finish atleast 2 of the Stanford monster essays.

That's it for now! Off to see "The Matrix" on HBO for the zillionth time.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

KANK - a big bore

Looks like Karan Johar has gotten into this belief that anything he shoots will succeed at the box office. It is hard to believe that this movie is from the same guy who gave movies like "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai", "Kabhi Kush Kabhi Gham" and "Kal Ho Naa Ho". Though family drama is not my favourite genre of movies, these movies made me sit watch them and i am sure i will watch them again. But with Karan's latest offering, i had to fight the sleep that was gradually building within.

To say it in simple terms, the movie is bad. It is boringly long. I agree that the director has assembled a great cast. But seeing frame after frame of their acting skills is not gonna be really entertaining. Speaking of the actors, there are some great performances. The usual Shah Rukh Khan (Dev), whose hamming skills seem to be increasing movie after movie. In this one, he is visibly old as well and seeing his contortions isnt entertaining anymore. Prety (Rhea) as Dev's wife has come out with a commendable performance. Her role is subdued, but has strong characterisation and Preity has done well. Next on line is Rani (Maya), who has got the weakest of all roles and fails inspite of her hardest efforts. Abhishek (Rishi) is Maya's husband and the stand out performer in the movie. His role goes through the entire spectrum of emotions and Abhishek has proved that he capable to handle such roles. Apart from the two couple, Amitabh (Why Big B??? Why?!?!) and Kiron Kher occupy some screen space.

The cast is strong. It is the screen play which is week. This is a story of extra marital affairs, fine. This is a movie which attempts at glorifying it. But for that to succeed the non indulging part of each pair has to be bad or unwilling in some way. This is where Karan had failed miserably. With the Dev-Rhea pair, Rhea is extremely likeable. She gives more time to work than her miserable, loser husband. As Rhea says in the movie, she becomes the man of the house because the man is a failure. Dev on the other hand is an egoist. He cannot see the female succeed and that is his problem. I am sure that no one would complain Rhea for the state of affairs in their house. With the Rishi-Maya pair, I cannot point a finger at Rishi. He tries so hard to win her love. It is Maya who is unresponsive. As Rishi says, she never married him. She made a compromise and was always looking a way out of it.

So when the director tries to convince the audience that Dev and Maya are "incomplete" and are only trying to fill the gaps in their individual life, he miserably fails. And with that the movie fails. I got this feeling when Dev and Maya meets in the Railway Station and proposes their love to each other and hence it becomes one long bore from then on when the director take us through the romantic journey of this pair. Add to it the length of the movie and it was a painful bore.

The movie works in parts. There are some good scenes, some comedy scenes which bring out a laugh, the cool dance movements of Abhishek, Rani's expressions, the music, the cinematography (New York's suc a beautiful place anyway) , Big B's babes – there are things to look forward in the movie. The end of the movie was a pleasant deviation from what's expected of Karan or any other Indian director. But as mentioned earlier, the core of the movie is flawed. I only hope this is a minor aberration from the otherwise good director. A bold decision to try a bold theme. But Karan's failed.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The tired week and the long weekend ahead

I guess the title says it all.

Following the Bangalore trip and the resultant dip in health, the previous week has been a total waste. I did work on the Kellogg essays, but nothing much to cheer about there. Out of the 6 essays to be written for Kellogg, i have a draft for essay 1. I am satisfied with this one. I have started working on essay 2, but it is just going no where. Looks like i have to either start from scratch or do something else with this one.

I have decided to do the third essay after I'm done with the rest. This is an analytical essay for which i have to refer stuff from all the other ones. The smaller essays have been easy. I have worked on two of them and have close-to-satisfactory drafts. I need to work just a little more on them. I have the story for the their small essay. Will have to write it down.

I haven't worked enough during the week. I was tired and sick and busy. I am hoping that this would the only week of this kind in the next 2 months to come. I did some work, but i am sure i could have done more.

Okay - enough of the past. Now let's look into the future.

This is a long weekend. Monday i gotta go to work, but i don't think i will have a lot to do. So i have 3 of the next 4 days to work on the essays. So, what's the plan???

I must finish Kellogg during this weekend and start working on Wharton. This is the one line goal i have set to myself. If i break that down into essays, i have 1 small essay and 1.5 big essays of Kellogg to finish. Wharton's first essay is exactly the same as that of Kellogg, apart from "Why this school" part. Apart from that there are three more essays to be written for Wharton. I am planning to finish atleast two of them. I don't have a strategy for W - as to what story goes where. Gotta get that nailed and then i have to sit down writing the essays.

So yeah, that's the plan. I'm off to work now.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Chicago GSB student meet

Date: The 6th of August 2007
Place: Barista @ St.Marks road, Bangalore
Event: The Chicago GSB student meet

First of all, i dint know how useful the meet would be or whether i would even get to hear any new information. Then why did i attend, you might ask! I went to the meeting in an attempt to get a glimpse of the school. The only question for which i wanted an answer in this meeting was "What is the Chicago GSB product like?". I accept that the people who came to the meeting were only half way through their MBA course, but for me it is good enough.

So - what did i see??? Did i like it??? Were i impressed???
Let's get through the tour.

There were two students from the GSB - Rags Vadalli (Indian) and Joanna Ortynska (Polish). There were atleast 4 or 5 2006 admits who had come. As expected, there were many ppl who were "It was late when i wanted to attend, can i please join as well!!!". The GSB folks were very welcoming and accommodated everyone. We ordered our coffees and started discussing.

I was a part of the group which was handled by Rags. Now this is just one awesome guy. He brings so much of passion into what he speaks (and perhaps what he does too) and hence makes a great person to listen to. Since he was an Indian, he could also answer to some India specific questions which someone else could not have. I allowed all the other ppl to speak, ask questions, clarify doubts and filled in whenever i needed specific opinions. It was informative to say the least. It was interesting ofcourse.

Then we got a chance to speak to Lakshmi, a 2006 admit. I guess Rags set the bar so high that Lakshmi's session was boring. It could also be because of the fact that she could offer stuff only about the application process and nothing directly from the school, as she hasn't been there yet! Some people who had doubts reg the application process stuck with her and i moved to speak Joanna.

The time spent with her was great too. Her consulting background and her non-Indian origin meant that she had something different to offer. I followed the same "you guys question, she answers and i listen" approach. End of the day, i had heard a lot of info about the school and its various aspects.

So - what's the verdict. The discussion just re-affirmed the general notion that Chicago GSB is a great school. I liked the ppl i saw. I liked the inside stories i heard. I guess the meet was spoiled by the insanely under prepared crowd that came. There were ppl asking questions abt essay writing, what the perfect app is, how placements are for Indians, how funding is possible, how the visa process goes. Aren't these all on the GSB site?!?!

It was surprising to see that no one wanted to know anything abt the GSB experience. People dint seem to have done any ground work and i could have answered many of their questions. Sort of defeated the purpose of GSB guys coming down here :) I made up for it by being there as long as possible. In the end, only very few of us were there and we cud speak to the students on a one-to-one basis. I got to hear something abt the school, extra currics, the experience etc - which i cannot know from other sources. Joanna and i cud have been in the same (Dancing) club!!! She even did a small jig during the bye-bye bit :)

It was a good meet. Could have been better with better prepared ppl.

The bangalore visit

Boy what a weekend!!! Two days of hyper-activity has given me a mild fever and a heavy cold. Nevertheless, the weekend was really worth every second of it. The weekend was perhaps more busy and active than even many of my weekdays.

It all started when it was 8PM on Friday night. I had a train at 11:15 and i had to be at home by 8PM. I was actually doing some shopping with my senior colleague. 8:30PM we were still shopping. 8:50PM we were still shopping. Then i realized that i was getting late and the mad run started. Ran to office, called mom saying I'd be at home in 20 minutes. It took me 30. Had a quick shower, packed my stuff, had the dinner without which my mom wudnt allow me out and hit the streets by 10:15 PM, not knowing whether I'd get a bus to the station.

This weekend i have experienced a few stuff after a long long time. The first of them would be the share auto trip. The minute i got into the auto i was thinking "It has been a really long time since i traveled in one!!!" And then i immediately realized that i was gonna travel in the train after a long time too. I reached the station a good 30 minutes before the departure time.

Next day morning, sharp at 5:30 i was in ice cold Bangalore. I took a bus to Marathalli where my friend stays. A fone call and 10 minutes later i met him, after a long time. We went to his house and i was so glad to see his laptop. I thought i could really work on my Kellogg essays sitting there. And i was WRONG. We were speaking about old times and new times when a applicant friend called up and we fixed a lunch time meet @ Barista in Leela Palace.

The friend did come and that was the first time we were meeting, since I'd got to know her thru the blog world. She was the same chatterbox i know and it was the usual fun. I let her do the speaking. We ordered some food, continued our usual discussions over the next 75 minutes or so and then she had to go. I caught a bus and went back to my friend's house.

Then began the real ride. Some 7 of us ganged up at a friend's house. On the way to this friend's house, i caught sight of Mrs.MS but could not speak to her. All 7 of then took a long trip to a hotel and had a wonderful dinner. I got to drive around in Bangalore for the first time and i absolutely loved the experience. The only problem was that i was not wearing any helmet and so the next day morning, i had a cold and there were signs of fever. I was feeling sick.

Sunday morning was boring. I spent the morning sleeping. By noon, we got back to Marathalli. I was getting ready for the GSB meet when another friend dropped by, whom i was seeing after a long time as well. He agreed to drop me at St.Marks road where the meet was to happen. Half way thru we were caught in the rain and the weather was just awesome. The heavy rain surprisingly stopped in 5 minutes and i was @ Barista in time. And i saw a surprisingly small place for a large crowd. I was in the meet till 9:30 PM and had to run away coz my train was at 10:45 PM. I caught an auto, reached the station, got into the train, got my ticket verified and hit the berth. i was tired beyond explanation and when i woke up i had a fever with a cold, but was glad to be back in chennai.