Sunday, December 31, 2006

New year wishes

Here's me wishing all you fellow B School applicants and everyone else who drops by a very happy and prosperous new year 2007. May you and your family see the best of your lives this year and may you taste success in all your endeavors :)

I was on leave from Wednesday. Tomorrow is Eid-ul-adha and hence a holiday again. That makes it 6 days of no office and it was a break I'd yearned for quite some time. I really enjoyed the break.

Since the AdComm offices were closed for vacation as well, there is no news. For me, the coming week is interesting because Jan 8th is Kellogg's decision deadline and Stanford said they will extend interview invites only till the first week of Jan.

On the Chicago front, there is a lot happening. Housing seems so complex, i dunno how we're gonna sort it out. Eventually, it will all be sorted out, i know. But at the moment, there is more chaos than clarity :) The paper work that lies in front of us is really scary and for the next two or three months, i guess i'm gonna spend a lot of time with all the paper work.

Happy new year to you'll once again and rock the part floor tonight :)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Wishes

To each and everyone of you - here's wishing a Merry Merry Christmas.
Forget the whole MBA Admissions business, take time out with family and friends and enjoy the holidays :)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Chicago reaches out

  1. I get a mail from an officer of Admissions promising support all the way through the process from here on. This is the same person who called to inform me of my admit. I think they assign groups of admits to an officer and then the officer handles everything for them.
  2. The mail also gave me my GSB id and hence access to the admitted students portal. The site is A.W.E.S.O.M.E. Can't take my eyes off it - the amount of info is overwhelming at times and one has to read and re-read multiple pages to visualize the complete picture. But the site has info on everything i need.
  3. The admit packet reached home yesterday. The AdComm seems to have mailed the packets on Monday. Speaks so much for their efficiency. They handle way too many applications compared to last year, still prepone the result by 2 weeks and still finish all work 3 full days before the new deadline. Cool...
    I was kinda of worried abt how the Financial Aid and Visa processing process would work out. I was not clear and hence worried. But a single letter in the admit packet put all my doubts to rest. Now the whole process seems a lot lot simple. The admit packet also has a "Curriculum Guide" that provides info about the faculty (lots of Indians), the curriculum and also the individual courses. I have already started trying out various permutations and combinations :)
  4. Today morning, i get a mail from a current first year student saying he'd call me on Monday to explain what he went through one year ago and also to dispel any doubts i might have at this point of time. I am impressed. Eagerly expecting his call...

The last few days have been full of results.
Congrats to all who received good news from their dream schools.
For the unlucky ones - tough luck folks. All the best for your alternate plans.

PS: The Dean's Student Admissions Committee (DSAC) of Chicago GSB has setup a blog to communicate with prospective students and admits. Check out the link under the Resources section.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Chicago Admit

I'm in folks!!! I got the phone call about 2 hours ago.
Feeling more relieved than anything else :)

Relieved coz i dont have to write any more essays ;)

Thanks to each one of you for being with me through this process, right from GMAT preps till now, and pitching in with your views at various stages.

By that, dont assume this to be a farewell post, as i intend to keep writing about my experiences from now on. I thought this was the most appropriate moment to thank you guys :)

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Kellogg interview.

I spoke with a second year student as a part of the Kellogg admission process. The call came in 20 minutes late. The interviewer seems to have had some trouble reaching me. The interview started with apologies from either end, she for having kept me waiting and me for the trouble she had in reaching me.

The interview began with the interviewer explaining the role of the interview, at this stage, in the overall interview process. All she had were the data forms and my resume. If the applicant initiated interview was granted earlier, the interviewer would have had the same data. So it was just exactly the same kind of interview, being done in a different medium, at a different time. I had spent the weekend preparing for the interview, but i was definitely not expecting what happened in the interview :)

The first question was "Tell me about your undergraduate institution". "Surprise, Surprise" - i thought. I recovered and explained about the college i studied, while i also provided background information about the education system and college admission process over here. "Why did you chose this institution?" was the next question. Once this was answered, she asked "What would you specifically want to mention about your undergraduate experience" and then "While at college, what were the efforts you made to get yourself a job?" Then she moved onto questions surrounding my career progress.

"Tell me about your company", "So you work from the Chennai facility of your company. Tell me about the work done out of your facility and your role in the company", "Tell me about the project you work in and the work you do, in lay man terms please" - these were the questions that came first. The other questions that followed were "What is your role/responsibility in your project" and "What are the other teams in your project". Then she went on to ask some of the usual Kellogg questions. "Compared to your peer members, how do you think your career progress has been", "As a team leader who is leading teams for quite some time now, what do you think were the mistakes you had done in this role?", "Comparing yourself from the early days and now, how do you think you have improved as a team leader?" - were the questions that were shot next.

Finally, we moved into the core of the interview. "Tell me why you want to leave your company and pursue an MBA education at this point of time". This was the first question for which i had a prepared answer :) Once i gave my answer, she asked "Explain me why you want to move into Finance". By this time i had explained and justified "Why MBA", "Why now" and also laid out my long term career aspirations. She then asked "What are your immediate plans after you graduation?". "Why did you chose Kellogg" came out next, for which i answered for something like 5 long minutes - during which i displayed the amount of research i had done and also how passionate i was about the school. She then said, "Finally, is there anything else you would like to add to the discussion". I found that we had not covered one aspect of my profile and i explained that. That was it.

She then let me ask my questions and i asked a few from my pre-prepared list. The answers she gave me showed me that this was a person who loved the school she was studying in :) Once i said i was done, she went on to explain what will happen after the interview and then we bid farewell.

Overall, i am extremely satisfied with the interview. I answered all questions to my fullest satisfaction and now, one hour after the interview, i am still satisfied with my responses. I was feeling good about Kellogg right from the moment i got my invite. I now feel very positive about Kellogg. Cant wait for the results :)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Kellogg Interview - scheduled

On Dec the 18th 8:30PM IST, Kellogg and I speak.

Already had a taste of telefonic conversation while i was scheduling the interview :) No fun whatsoever. But if this is how it goes, this is how it goes.

Having lived with only Chicago in hand, things look better as there is something else to look up to :)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Happy birthday blog

One year since i started writing this blog.

What started as a online journal to kill boredom after my CAT 2005 preps has turned into a place that has been with me through the CAT failure, the resultant decisions i took, the GMAT preps, MBA apps and everything else. In the process, it has also brought many new people into my life - all these ppl i hope to meet some day, either in the school i get into or during an inter school meet of some kind :)

Anyway - the blog has given me much more than what i'd hope for and i hope by the second birthday of this blog, i wud have moved out of applicant mode and into student mode.

Kellogg wants to talk

I just received a mail from the AdComm that simply says
Upon review of your file, the Kellogg Admissions Committee would like to schedule a telephone interview with you.
It then gave me the number which i am supposed to call and schedule the interview.

This is great news :)

But i have absolutely no idea reg the Kellogg telephonic interview. Gotta start digging out information. All you buddies out there, any pointers?!?!

Monday, December 04, 2006

QS World MBA tour - in Chennai

I just came back from the QS World MBA Fair, which was held for the first time in Chennai. Event was not really impressive. I'd rate it 7 on 10. The only reason i could think of it is that there was a lack of big name schools. But all the schools were drawing a constant stream of applicants (or prospective applicants). Very very few tables were empty and no table was empty all the time.

The NUS table was the most happening place. The representative of NUS was actually holding the brochures as high as she could, shouting at the top of her voice, enquiring if anyone had not got the brochures. There was quite a crowd in front of the NUS table and they were quite prominently placed as well. Schools like Wharton, Tuck had supposedly booked slots but dint turn up (at least till i came out of the fair). And there were no presentations by schools. Only info points where one could drop in, speak with an AdComm rep and carry away brochures (and whatever goodies were on offer).

I guess a lot of it was coz this is the first time they're in Chennai. Hopefully they'll bring more schools next year.

The AdComm director from Darden was present and it was absolutely great speaking to her. She must be well into her 40s, perhaps even the early 50s, but she is this huge bundle of energy. She remembers the names and phone numbers of all the necessary ppl in the campus. She was quoting instances from the presentations made by Darden in the other cities and explaining how good they were.

There were two of us who went in with "VIP passes" from PaGaLGuy. So entry was free. The organizers gave us a special welcome once we told we're from PG. We were also given a copy of the TopMBA Career Guide - Fall 2006 edition for free :)

Overall - a good beginning. I hope the fair would only grow more in the years to come. There was crowd, a big crowd. So it is also good business for the folks who run the fair.

BTW - the fair took place in one of the snazziest hotels (as is the norm) in town (i love the food there). On the way out, we met this man (ladies - time to shriek)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Chicago Status Change

The online application now reads "Interview Completed".

This means that my interviewer has submitted his interview feedback and the app would go under review in the next few days.

17 more days for the result.

I find myself in a pretty interesting dilemma here. I now want the days to fly past me as son as possible so that i cud know my result on Dec 20th. But I also need the days to go slowly, coz there are R2 apps to worry abt :)

Cheers to all of us in this boat :)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Lotsa time. No inclination to work.

Aah! What can i say?!?!?!

Now that the Chicago interview is beyond me, i have nothing to do w.r.t. R1 applications. HBS is still silent, Kellogg has started releasing results from Friday but my app went to complete status only last Friday and the Stanford app went under review only this Wednesday. So i have no news.

With nothing to do, the best thing would be to work on R2 apps. But i am not able to drag myself on to the essay writing table to start working :( Ideally, i must be writing essays for Columbia and start working on the apps of Tuck, Ross and Stern (this is the R2 list as of now). I have started all four online apps. I have analyzed the essay questions and also noted down the possible answers to most of them. All that is left is to sit down and start writing the essays and finish work.

It is perhaps tiredness, perhaps overconfidence, perhaps anxiety - perhaps everything. End result - i am doing nothing and i don't want to do anything. I believe i should wriggle out of this state and get going.

Time doesnt wait - the deadlines are fast approaching.