Thursday, September 14, 2006

My experiments with TOEFL - Day 2

I haven't done any preps reg TOEFL till date. All i did was some self-testing. I am considering myself to be well prepared (after my GMAT preps and performance ofcourse) and i was reassured of this after yesterday's test. So all that i am gonna do is to take the full length prep tests over the weekend and then take it from there. Kellogg's average TOEFL score is 280 and that's my first (or rather only) target. But as ever, i wanna score as much as possible. Unlike GMAT, it is possible to score the complete 300 here. Let's see...

Today, I realized the importance of having a really senior mentor, with whom i have discussed everything in my life. I had sent my Stanford Career goals essay to him - as a reference material for his recos. He then sent a mail to me stating "Your essays need lot of sprucing up man". "This is serious trouble" i thought. Not because he sent that mail, but because there really is something wrong when he sends such a mail.

Now this was an essay not even reviewed by me. I had not reviewed the Stan essays once even by myself. I glanced thru the essays before sending it to him and found many areas where i had to work on. I sent them anyway coz the essay had the stuff i wanted him to see. I expected his comments to be coz of the flaws i had already noticed. So i sent a reply to his mail "What's wrong? Grammar/Structure or Content?" He jus said "Drop in at my place when u r free"

I went in and had one helluva discussion with him. He gave this one line "Your essay doesn't appear to be all of you!" I was thinking "Okay - this man knows everything about me" And then we discussed about all the discussions we've ever had, what he thinks about my career plans and why he thinks it has not been portrayed well over here. He even gave me suggestions as to where i can improve the content etc. You know what, all that made so much sense to me. I was thinking to myself "Perhaps this is what 10 more years of experience and life can do to you".

I cudnt buy everything he said though - he obviously had no Bschool applicant experience :) He told me "Your essay sounds like a sales brochure". We discussed on this part for quite some time, in trying to decide on what's the right mix between BSchool apps being a marketing exercise and BSchool apps being a bizz doc read by ppl who can see thru the crap. He still said "Write like a 24 yr old will write"! Whatever that meant :) But what he did was really good. I am now really sure that i will get some great Recos.

I feel lucky to have senior people around me who know about me on a personal level too. Not only in relation to the BSchool application thing. I have learnt a lot of stuff thru discussing many things about my profession and the rest of the world to these people. Good to see that all those discussions now come handy :)

I had a sneak peak of the BSchool classroom experience in an Intrapreneurship training i attended today. Compared to our company standards, today's class was AWESOME. A well prepared, experienced and energetic faculty, who had a great mix of slides and videos and activities. Add to it a class filled with a diverse mix of people. There was a project lead from the BPO segment, a senior manager from a different segment, a quality person, few Managers-to-be, few team leads like me - it was a good mix. I really enjoyed the session, the perfect proof of which would be the fact that i sat through a 4 hr long class without even thinking about sleeping. This at the end of a sleep deprived week, and i was Impressed. I was giving great reviews to my manager about the sessions. If this can be so much fun, i am sure i am cut out for the 2 yrs at a BSchool!!!


Cornfed MBA said...

Sounds like the TOEFL is going to be a cakewalk for you.
I hear you on the essays. The more people review them, the better. I uploaded my HBS essays today after reviews from 5 people and over 100 hours. I hope the rest don't take this long!

rungee582 said...

I totally agree w/ you about the importance of having a senior mentor... I have two and they have both been so supportive through this process.

Iday said...

@cornfred mba
it is not only abt the number of ppl who review it. I have already got my essays reviewed by 3 ppl and they did an awesome job. But they were all in the same age bracket as i am. It was amazing to see the views my mentor was able to offer.

Yeah - True!!!
The only trouble is having to work harder to meet their expectations :)