Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I hate time zones

It is the first of November here in India, but i still have to wait for half a day more for November to begin in USA, or specifically Chicago :)

Really - it doesn't make any sense to say it is 1:45 AM in the middle of the day at US. But still there are some problems specific to B school applicants, which these time zone guys do not realize :(

Okay - November is here. Wharton says that around 60% of interview calls are sent out during the last 2 weeks (source S2S Forums) and Chicago sends invites only during these 2 weeks :) Let's see what i have in hand after these two weeks. Oh - let's not forget the other schools.

How i hate this part of the game!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Something has changed :)

Okay - i was bored of checking the status of all applications. Nothing had changed to anything. So i thought i would change something that i can change.

Hence, the new template :)
And hey - don't forget to shoot your feedback :D

Sunday, October 29, 2006

A Weekend, after many weeks

I did absolutely nothing this weekend. This is the first time in 3 months when i had nothing on my To-Do list. I still had long days and short nights - had to wake up early on Saturday morning to go see a mundane movie and wake up much much earlier on Sunday morning coz of the wedding of my Friend's sister. But these lasted for a few hrs on the morning and i cud spend the rest of the day taking rest and not worry abt writing essays or filling up online apps :)

The waiver from Kellogg meant that i now have nothing to look up to. Chicago said they'll send out invitations from Nov 1st and Wharton's Interview mailer doesn't work on weekends :) There has been no news from HBS and Stanford, and i am perhaps not gonna hear from Kellogg for the next month or so till they finish reviewing the app :)

All the other applicants out there - any suggestions to kill time???

Friday, October 27, 2006

News from Kellogg

Earlier today, MBAstarter had pointed to me this difference between the number of applicants and the number of alumni interviews in Kellogg's previous application season and thus raised the doubt on whether my theory of "ALL Kellogg applicants are interviewed" holds good or not. When i was trying to figure out possible reasons behind this, i forgot one of the possibilities. There are candidates for whom interviews are waived!!!

Now what reminded me of this??? My Interview Has Been Waived!!!

Yeah - i just got a mail from the Kellogg AdComm that they have made this decision. To quote from the mail:
There has been a significant increase in the number of interview requests this year in your area; therefore we can not accommodate your request without making excessive demands of our alumni interviewers. Due to these circumstances, we are waiving your interview requirement so as not to delay the submission or processing of your application.

So Kellogg is completely out of my hands now. I was so eager to meet a Kellogg product. That's not gonna happen. All i can do now, is to wait till Jan 8th to see what their final decision is.

Also check the Kellogg FAQ page for further info on interview waivers

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Firefox 2

I upgraded to Firefox 2.o yesterday. I must accept, the new browser is really good. It has this feel good factor and a pleasantness which makes the browsing experience a lot more better.

The new features which i could notice straight away are
Better tab browsing
Inbuilt word checker
Session Restore
Phishing protection
More personalization

I basically like the look and feel of the new browser and believe me, browsing is fun with this tool.

Click here Firefox 2 and get your own copy :)

The fun begins :)

I just saw at Wharton's S2S Forums that someone received his (or her) interview invite from Wharton.
Nov 15th is approaching as fast as the Hogwarts Express :)

Chicago will add fuel to the fire, starting Nov 1st...
Then there is HBS...
and then there is Stanford!!!

As expected, the wait begins all the more interesting :D

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

R1 - completely complete

With my manager's submission of the Stanford Reco, some 6 hours before deadline, all activities from my end is complete w.r.t the Fall 2007 Application process. It is all out of my hands now. I can only wait and wait and wait till the AdCom gets back to me...

I still haven't even received the Interview Invite from Kellogg :(
Perhaps i am just being too eager :)

The 29 days of fasting and the application process has ended with Eid today. Starting tomorrow, i plan to immerse myself into work for sometime. Work has been second priority for quite some time now. Time to catch up with stuff over there. Got to bear some additional responsibilities (read more members under me) from Nov 1st. So i gotta prepare for that too over this weekend. Two of them are fresh graduates. The first impression of the guys has been good. I plan to push them and see how things shape up. I think this is really exciting :)

I also plan to start preparing for interviews. ClearAdmit Wiki - here i come :)

BTW - I see no info on the entire www about anyone receiving an invite. I think Nov is gonna be a huge rush of invites :)
Till then folks - we can do nothing but chill...

Monday, October 23, 2006

Oh My Gaaawd...

This wait is horrible...

I am so glued to my PC, i cannot move away from it. But i just don't know what to do :) I have already taught myself how to forget about the results. I still check my mails frequently, but that's all about it. The pain is more about not having anything much to do. If u think i will get used to it, i don't want that to happen too. I liked the last few months of frantic running around.

Okay, time to make a statement - "I hate vacations!!! They're so BORING"

Tomorrow is Eid BTW. So Eid Mubarak to all the brothers and sisters around the world. The 29 days of fasting is over and i can look back at normal life.

Now that i have some time, i think i must go hit the gym as frequently as possible. There are also other stuff which i haven't had time to think abt. I think i must drop in to these places to see how they are moving. The fact is that i had prepared for this break and these ventures are already self sustaining, so i am not needed in any way. So i only plan to drop in, check things and drop out. I aint got a lot of time anyway as i gotta come right back to prepare for my interviews :)

So yeah - this is the first day of nothing and i am already bored. I am gonna start with my Columbia essays right away. Happy boredom to all those folks who are done with their R1 apps :)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Stanford Submitted

After lot of reading and re-reading my essays, I just hit the submit button.
Yeah - i got poorer by $245 :)

The confirmation mail from Stanford says they wanna interview between 800 and 1200 candidates and admit between 400 and 500 students. This means there is gonna be an increase in their class size. Cool :) That was me jumping the gun. This is just the usual number of offers :)

Nothing more is known abt the status of online apps. Must dig abt that in the days to come. I obviously have time to kill :) Loads of them, infact.

BTW - gotta make my manager submit his Stanford Reco tomorrow. That will completely complete the R1 applications :)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Post Submission

I am applying to five schools and this is what happens after the deadlines in each of these schools:

  • The status will change to submitted and will remain the same till Jan 17th 2007, the HBS R1 decision deadline.
  • After review of applications, HBS will start sending interview invites from early November till the decision deadline.
  • The interview invitees will receive an e-mail with the subject line: "HBS Interview Invitation."
  • R1 decisions will be available on the Apply Yourself website on Jan 17th 2007.
  • The status will be submitted once u submit the application. This will change to Complete - Round 1 after the Wharton AdCom finish verifying the application packet.
  • After review of applications, Wharton will start sending interview invites from Oct 19th 2006. Invites will be sent till Nov 16th 2006.The status of the application will change to Invite to Interview.
  • The application status of the candidates who are not invited to interview will change to Deny on Nov 16th 2006.
  • R1 decisions will be available on the Apply Yourself website on Dec 21st 2006.
  • The status will be submitted once u submit the application. This will change to Complete after the Chicago AdComm finish verifying the application packet.
  • Status can become Incomplete also. The AdComm will contact the applicant in this case.
  • After review of applications, Chicago will start sending interview invites from Nov 1st 2006. Invites will be sent till Nov 15th 2006. The status of the application will change to Invite to Interview.
  • The applicants can verify the status of their interviews through the Interview link in the online application. This will be In Progress after the interview has been scheduled and will change to Complete once the interviewer had submitted his evaluation to the AdCom and they've verified it.
  • The candidates who are not invited to interview till Nov 15th 2006 will be notified of denial through the online application system.
  • Applicants will have to log into the online application on 4th Jan 2007, the R1 decision deadline, to know the decision. The status of the online app will change to Decision. I heard the AdCom calls admitted people (before the decision deadline) to inform them of the good news :)
  • The status of the application can be identified by logging into this site with the credentials which would have been mailed to the applicant by Kellogg once part 1 has been submitted.
  • After review of part 1, the applicant will receive an interview invite.
  • Kellogg says they start providing admit decisions approximately one month after the application deadline. This applicant will be intimated through mail that a (and not what) decision has been posted and he/she has to check that out in the same site. Decisions are released all the way till the decision deadline.
  • The status will change to submitted. I have no idea on whether this will change in the course of the admission process or whether it will remain the same till Jan 18th 2007, the R1 decision deadline.
  • After review of applications, Stanford will start sending interview invites. The interviews will be held from early November till the decision deadline.
  • R1 decisions will be available on the Apply Yourself website on Jan 18th 2007.
More info as and when I figure out...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The wait begins...

Wharton says - Completed - Round 1
Chicago says - Completed
Harvard says - Submitted (silent as always)
Kellogg interview invite is expected anytime...

... and i am gonna submit my Stanford application tonight. (Update - i still haven't submitted the Stanford App. Some tweaking to be done!)

After three months of living a life where i saw more of the nights than the day, it is all coming to a grand closure. Not really, as i have already started working on the Columbia app. Closure next week perhaps :) But the R1 submission list is finally complete.

Am i looking forward to the "I have nothing to do tonight" days??? I seriously don't know. I guess there is a considerable part of me that wants to be busy all the time. I actually enjoyed the app writing journey.

I will miss the apps for sure :)
But no - i am not writing apps again.

Monday, October 16, 2006


No - this is not for submitting the Stanford Application. I haven't finished it yet. Still pondering over the third essay which is longer than recommended. Also - i want to do a last round of revision before uploading the essays. I really like these essays - they've come out solid.

But now - to the Hurray :) I received my Official TOEFL score card today. Though i already know the scores, it was cool to see it on official document. Seeing a perfect score was, well, thrilling and satisfying at the same time.

So yeah folks - no goof ups. I really did score a 300 in TOEFL :D

I locked the official reports of GMAT and TOEFL in a safe and accessible place, so that i can ogle at them whenever i want to ;)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Aah - this is taking long

Longer than i expected.

I am done with three of the four essays though. The all important "What matters most..." Essay has been completed to my total satisfaction. I showed the essay to a new reviewer and she absolutely loves it. I have also finished the two smaller essays.

The one i am fighting with it the "Career Aspirations..." essay. I am finding it extremely difficult to freeze the why Stanford part. Well, it is a problem of a plenty :) Stanford is one of those schools which boasts of the unimaginable stretch of resources it can offer to its students. I am trying to put the right things on paper based on what i am most interested in, and i am finding that i can at most dedicate one line to an entity. I am unsure whether it is right or wrong. There's just so much to say :)

I have an essay which is just a tad more than 3 pages long, which again i am not sure abt. If i have to shorten it, then there goes some more space. I have decided to stop it for the day and get working on it again tomorrow. I have completed everything on the online data questions and so i can submit the app once I upload the essays. Looks like i will be able to stick to my Wednesday deadline.

My manager still has to submit two of his Recos - Kellogg and Stanford. He's on an unexpected vacation till Wednesday :( I am hoping he would be able to take some time off and submit the recos. I just sent him a mail reminding abt the Kellogg deadline. If he doesn't do it from home, we might have to fight with the busy Embark Application server :)

That reminds me, this week there are 2 deadlines I'm interested in - Chicago on 18th and Kellogg on 20th. All the best to all u folks applying to these schools.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Time to seal the Stanford App

I've been idling around for quite some time now. The Stanford deadline is around 10 days from today and i better get going. I am not quite far behind, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

The good thing is that i have completed the online app. So once i finalize the essays, i only have to upload them and then i can hit the submit button. Aah - after 4 submissions, hitting the submit button doesn't seem to be such a difficult thing after all :)

As far as the essays are concerned, i started a penultimate round of working on them this week. I did some slow progress and as of today 90% of the famous Stanford Essay:1 is complete. I want to remove one paragraph, which i don't think fits in the essay, and replace it with a futuristic paragraph, which i think keeps within the concept of my essay. This is the penultimate paragraph and i have my conclusion well written, verified and reviewed.

Speaking of reviews, i now have one more reviewer who's services i can use for the Stanford essays. She just reviewed the second essay and i have some comments from her which i need to incorporate. There is also some major rework to be done in the "Why Stanford" section, for which i have been collecting additional data for quite some time now. Looks like i need to do some more research on this before i sit down to write it.

Apart from these two, i also have to finish the other two essays. I am hoping to finish them during this weekend, get them reviewed, do the necessary re-work and probably submit them on or before Wednesday - which is a full one week before the deadline. Let's see how things progress.

My mentor has submitted all 5 of his recos. This happened more than a week ago. Once he was done, he sent me a mail "All 5 done man! Send me the invite for the 6th one." :) Well - that's him. My manager has only submitted the recos of the first three - HBS, Wharton and Chicago. His Kellogg reco is under production and his Stanford reco is yet to be begun. I am hoping i can get him working on these two during the weekend and make him submit them by early next week.

Seems like this weekend is gonna be one busy one. Lemme go get some sleep and allow my body and mind to rejuvenate itself :) ciao

Thursday, October 12, 2006

My date with W-AdCom

Not exactly a date! I should probably call it a month and based on whether i get an invite for interview or not, it might get stretched to two months or two years :) Today is officially the beginning of all of it.

Yes!!! Even as the deadline for Wharton's R1 is passing by, wharton's AdCom came out with this great post where they explain what might happen to our applications. I really like this part of Wharton. They understand what we, as applicants, go through and try to reduce the anxiety as much as it is possible. There is still anxiety with so many internal deadlines though :)

But atleast the process is clear as water - the unpolluted kind ;)

So yeah - I am being evaluated by the AdCom and i really hope they like me.

And to all the other fellow applicants - a very warm ATB. While the fingers of my right hand are crossed for my sake, the fingers of the other one are crossed for all of you :)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

What's happening at Wharton after GND was lifted.

I was pointed to this article in Wharton Journal by this post in the Clearadmit blog.

What i read in the journal is serious stuff. The stuff about people padding up GPAs by scraping through waivers exams in preterm, about people with the attitude of "I come to school to learn and i learn irrespective of my grades" losing out in the GPA race coz of such behavior from the above mentioned group and finally the part where the author says he would not have attended Wharton if he had known this would happen at school - interesting. This is not some person speaking, this is a first year student at Wharton speaking. The author tries to play middle man in the obviously debatable subject. Dropping GND has a few advantages to the people who perform. Someone making into the Dean's list and not being able say that to the recruiters is really wrong, speaking from the perspective of those students. Performing well and not being able to say it is a seriously offensive rule :)

When i was discussing the issue of Caste Based Reservations with my mentor (i was against it and he was for it), he suggested this nice way to use the policy. He said that the government is bound to provide the interests of the underrepresented group, which is true. But it can actually be upto the individual castes as to how they use the policy for their benefits. I was arguing that reservations must be on the basis of the economic situation of families, but he argued that they are almost always on the lower rung of the economic scale also. So he said that it must be the responsibility of the boards of these underrepresented groups to use the reservation based on the financial position of the families under their board.

This was his suggestion - which made sense to me. The Govt allocates percentages of seats in institutions and instead of a rich person of a community (who's had the best of education right from PreKGs) taking up that seat, he must be made to go through the open category and the reserved seat must go to a person who has financially struggled his way through basic education. And when this is controlled by the underrepresented board, there is no external intervention and so no one complains. If the group disagrees regarding who gets what seat, they rot to death fighting within themselves and no one gets affected outside this group :) It made sense.

Similarly - i guess the GND issue must be left to the student body. The school forcing a ban on grade disclosure is doing injustice to the top performers (read dean's list members). The school forcing a grade disclosure means that the "learners" and career switchers are at a disadvantage. So i guess the best way to handle this would be to not force a disclosure and ask the student body to decide who specifies their grade on the resume and who doesn't :)

Aah - if only everything was so simple.
I am sure the folks at Wharton (and possibly the others also) are thinking about different ways to solve this out and whatever is happening is only the system going thru the evolutionary stages.

And Finally...

I got to see "Lage Raho Munnabhai" last night.

A lot has already been said abt the movie and how good it was. So I am not gonna ramble abt it all over again. It was a great movie. Definitely worth a watch, make it two for me as I think I will go see it again :)

But is it worth an Oscar nomination?
Does it deserve to win over the other films in the competition??
Or simply, how does it fare against India's Oscar nomination "Rang De Basanti"???

As I was going through various degrees of laughter in seeing the movie, I was actually trying to evaluate it on those scales. To tell you frankly, there is not a lot to choose one between RDB and LRM. Both of them are the kind which can stir your mind and make you think, in totally opposite ways. Think about it - students doing a terrorist act in one and a metro city gunda preaching Gandhi-ism in the other one. It is extremely difficult to pick one out of these two.

But I think, atleast for me, RDB beats LRM. It is extremely close though.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Yeah - that's what i am doing now with 4 of the 5 apps submitted and the essay drafts for the fifth one ready. Okay - i only said drafts. They are not final yet. I have to work on them but not now. This week i am on rest.

So what did i do - watched the boring Champions Trophy cricket matches on TV, caught up with sleep (actually had lots of them), played games on my PC and finally read the book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. The book is awesome - i liked it very much. This, i guess, is how the full of November is gonna be. I am planning to prepare for interviews once i submit all the apps. There is atleast one place from where i am getting an interview invite - Kellogg.

I also had some long chat sessions with another applicant. She wanted to see my Chicago essays and after seeing them, she had some really interesting remarks reg them. Some of them were negative too :) She was impressed with the content but she was not too happy with the presentation. She was like "There is so much GOOD stuff there and it can be said differently"! I was like "Yeah right!". And then i saw her essay and realized why she said what she said. It was so different from mine. I guess it is a case of difference of opinions :) Some of the stuff she mentioned made sense on a global scale. I am now gonna make those changes to the Stanford Essays and Columbia essays. Nothing major though.

Okay - time to get back to some silly show being shown on the television :)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The transcript tour and HBS submission

I'm back to town after the one day trip to my college to request for transcripts. God knows why those folks want a week to xerox my originals and attest them. Anyway - i have spoken to the concerned people and i am hoping everything will get done in time. I cannot believe that i did so much out of my plans to be able to submit my app to one school, Kellogg. Anyway - what had to be done has been done and so be it :)

And what better way to celebrate the return than to submit my HBS application. I had a 99.5% app ready when i traveled on Tuesday night. That night in the train was one heck of a journey, with me totally obsessed with the entire application thing. Whenever i closed my eyes attempting to find some sleep, my mind was full of essay questions and answers :)

Not surprisingly, i figured out the last 0.05% of HBS during that journey. It was perhaps the logical conclusion to that career goals essay and it was escaping my mind for sometime now. So once i got that sealed, i was waiting to come back and finish that portion and submit the app. Once i was done with that, i had to do some chopping work with that essay to fit it into required word limits. When i started uploading my essays, i dint like the way had ended the "Undergrad experience" essay and so modified that too. With these changes, i uploaded all my essays, paid the US$235 and hit the submit button for the 4th time in a week :)

Now - all that is left for me to tackle is Stanford. I am burnt out beyond belief after the 2 days of travel and the week-of-4-submissions. So the logical next step is a break. I am not doing anything tonight and tomorrow night. Back to Stanford essays from Saturday morning. I guess i will submit that one sometime in the next week :)

On the reco front, my mentor has submitted all 5 recos. He sent me this cute mail today morning "Hey! I'm done with all 5. Send me the request for Columbia" :) I am going to do that now. My manager has submitted the recos for HBS and Wharton. So the immediate danger is out of the way. He has promised to finish the remaining three over the weekend. Let's see how that goes. His 3 and the Stanford peer reco is all that is left now. So - i don't foresee any major troubles there too.

All in all - am feeling good abt how I've handled the whole thing till day. By this month end, i must have submitted all 6 of my first choice apps. Then begins the long painful process of waiting :)

Monday, October 02, 2006

A silent day...

After submitting three apps within 24 hours, today was a lot less eventful. I am not complaining at all as i have loads of time to do. I only have two apps to work with, surprisingly the one with the first deadline (HBS) and the one with the last deadline (Stan) :)

I spent a good chunk of today editing my Career Goals essay for HBS. In it's original form, the essay was a good 500 words long. And i had shrunk it to 500+ from a huge essay of 650+ words. I have spoken about the "Why MBA + goals" part so much in my longer essays. I was tired of editing the essay the other day and so i left it at 500+. Today i started the work again and the break did prove helpful. The essay is now down to 450 words and i am satisfied with it. I even showed it to a new reviewer who like it very much. I guess i will submit it as such. I need to just check the last paragraph once more and spruce it up as much as possible. Then i will be done.

Once i finish that, i am all set to submit my HBS essay. I don't know when i will be doing it because i am traveling tomorrow night and will be back to my PC only on Thursday night. So i guess i will be submitting HBS after i return. It may get pushed to the weekend as i don't want to submit it after a hard day's work. No fixed plans.

Okie - end of a long weekend. A really substantial one in my life as i have started a journey on three different paths which might take me to my destiny. There are still two more to be added to this list.

Let us see how far i travel in each of them :)

I hope atleast one of these has an all-green future :D

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Kellogg Part 2 and Wharton - Submitted

Drum rolls!!!
I again hit the submit button. TWICE!!!

I spent the whole of today finalizing my Kellogg essays (god there were six of them) and reviewing them again and again. Just uploaded the essays and closed the deal. This is one school where i have an interview for sure!!! And then, Wharton essays and application were already complete! So i uploaded the Wharton essays, verified them and closed another deal!

For all the hard work that went into the whole application process, submitting two applications in a day seems something like an anti-climax :)

I guess i am speaking like someone who expected fireworks on the screen after submitting the apps and is now thoroughly disappointed coz he saw none :D

3 down, 2 more to go...

And then i get to go through the whole rigor with the Columbia application :)

My reviewer sent me her review comments on the Stanford essays today. This is what she had to say abt my response for the What matters most to you, and why? essay

xxx is a good answer.
I have seen a few answers to this kinda qn, and so far xxx is one of the best :)

I wud be so very modest if i just say i was glad :D

Chicago - Submitted

Woo Hoo...
I hit the submit button. I really hit the SUBMIT button.

I completed my Chicago application and submitted it yesterday night. That's really my first serious submission as Kellogg part 1 had no essays. Believe me, it is such a huge relief to hit the button. I was so obsessed with work that dint even realize i was gonna hit the submit button. I filled the info in the application, uploaded the essays, reviewed it a good three times, paid the application fee and submitted the button - all in one go. And then i suddenly realized, i had just submit my Chicago Application.

So very obsessed :)

Okay - one down and four more to go.