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.