Tuesday, April 19, 2005



As soon as I returned from the AW2@Chicago GSB (details coming soon), I got news that I was WLed at Columbia. Well, thats good and not-so-good news.

Not-so-good because I will have to show some more love to Columbia by way of reiteration and $$$ (I am flying into NYC and Boston) and wait a little bit longer.

Good because it is one of my dream schools and I was not outright dinged! Now this development makes the tally 50% (dinged by 4 schools, accepted by 4 and WLed by 2).

One thing that I realized about Columbia GSB is that it wants to make dead sure that whoever is accepted, will end up in Columbia. I guess each school has its whims and fancies while admitting students, and for Columbia, yield is the biggest deal.

For those of you WLed at Johnson and Fuqua, I will be sending in my 'Thank you for accepting me, but I will not be in a position to pursue my MBA at your school' letter to Cornell and Duke in the next few days. Good Luck!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


I cracked the Columbia interview!

Whew! Today was the culmination of all my interviews, and I am happy to say that my final one ended with a bang! Wharton was my 1st (in Dec 2004) and Columbia (today) was my 9th. Boy-o-boy, am I an interview veteran or what? For those of you who were fortunate enough not to interview with so many different schools, I hate to say this, but for me, the entire process was a big revelation. The experience has been so dramatic that now I do not even have to think twice before I wear that goddamn suit! ;) Above all, I feel that the results give me a clear indication as to which schools give greater weightage to interviews and which schools look at the bigger picture.

If I rate my interview performance on a relative scale (100% is perfect), then here goes:
Wharton(adcom): 20%
Yale(adcom): 40%
Duke(adcom): 60%
Michigan (telephone): 30%
MIT(adcom): 15%
Kellogg(alum): 25%
Cornell(telephone): 40%
Chicago(telephone and alum): 60%
Columbia(alum): 95%

AS you can see, my interviewing skills steadily sky-rocketed towards the end of the final phase. My Columbia interviewer today told me that she will highly recommend me to the adcom. Yippee! I will only have to wait to hear the final decree...Hopefully it will be revealed in the next couple days so I can start to weigh in on my decisions.

Friday, April 08, 2005


Who made the elephant dance?

I always used to wonder what the attributes of a true leader were. Ever since I read his biography (while I was in college), I was in total awe of this great man - Andrew Grove (co-founder, Intel). It is understandable that many institutions now consider him more influential than Jack Welch, Lou Gerstner or even Bill Gates. I sometimes feel that we all should be indebted to Andy in a way because, if not for him, we probably wouldn't be working on this computer right now. In my opinion, Andy is a true leader. What do you think?

BW's recent article Andy Grove Made The Elephant Dance describes Andy's accomplishments and the lessons that future business leaders can learn. If you are interested, here is a select list of books by him:

High Output Management
One-on-one with Andy Grove
Only the paranoid survive
Swimming Across

Andy is on the faculty at Stanford GSB where he teaches a class on Strategy.

Thursday, April 07, 2005


Standardizing App Forms

This post is primarily written for prospective B-school applicants and for admissions officers.

Filling out a B-school application form may seem to be a piece of cake to many, but until you fill it out, you would not really realize how arduous it is. And, if you apply to multiple schools like me, then it becomes that many times more frustrating! When I was filling out the application forms, I used to wonder: When all schools make use of the standardized test format (GMAT), why can't they make use of a standardized application form format? Weird isn't it? We all know that 95% of the info asked (in the application forms) by all different B-schools is the exact same. Then, why can't these schools co-ordinate amongst themselves and use a common tangible format so the applicants do not waste n hours typing redundant data?

If you didn't already know, Embark offers the option to fill application forms of multiple schools, but the list is far from complete. For instance, among the schools that I applied to, I could use Embark for filling out only my Yale and Michigan apps. That’s just 10% of the top10 schools! At the time, I really felt that if all schools could comply with this kind of standardized format, life would have been sooooo much more easier.

So, here is my advice to future B-School applicants:

1. Fill out the application form of one school such as HBS (the form contains an exhaustive number of questions) and then copy the info into a word file. Then, when you fill the app form for the next school, just cut and paste data in appropriate fields. (FYI, my first app took about 3hrs to complete and the successive ones took less than 1hr).

2. When you go to any schools' admissions event, ask the staff if they can join hands and establish a standardized application form that all schools can use (to make life easy for future applicants). Send e-mails to different schools asking if they have plans of any such standardization.

3. If you have enough time on your hands, try developing a program that does an app form auto fill, and if you have an entrepreneurial bent of mind, try convincing applicants that they should use your program to save time and energy while filling out multiple apps! Maybe you can make some money out of it... :)

Monday, April 04, 2005


WL@MIT Sloan!

This news came as a sweet surprise to me!!! Well, what can I say? Sloan decided to WL me and not outright ding me! :) If you read my previous posts about my interview with the MIT adcom, you will see that I thought I will definitely get dinged because of a terrible interview. But after todays development, I feel that the adcom looked at the bigger picture. I am grateful for that. I feel that angels are on my side... ;) Now, I have to do a couple things to try to get off the WL. I will do what I can and then hope for the best. Thanks to all those who rooted for me these past few weeks! and Congrats to those admitted!

I guess my running score is now 45%?

Saturday, April 02, 2005


Cornell's JGSM

I am happy to say that I have been accepted at Cornell's Johnson Graduate School of Management(JGSM)! Phew! Now, the running score is 40%. :) I have crossed out MIT Sloan from my list of hopeful schools, but this conclusion can only be ascertained on Monday. My last and final interview has been scheduled for Apr 12th. With that I will be a free man!

Congrats! to all those who have heard good news about your admits this past week and good luck to those still waiting to hear.

Friday, April 01, 2005


HBS reverses ding decision! :)

I can't believe it, but HBS changed its decision about my ding!!!
Here is what I got from Gawds own B-school. Yippee!!!

Dear xxx:

The Admissions Board appreciates your interest in the MBA program at HBS. Earlier, we conveyed that we were unable to offer you a place in the MBA Class of 2007. But unfortunately, that missive was sent in error. Because of your excellent credentials and strong leadership potential, we decided to accept you for the class of 2007. We based our decision not only on your talent and successes to date, but also on what we see as a strong fit between your aspirations and HBS's approach to business education.

We're quite certain that you will bring passion, energy, and your abilities to work effectively with your colleagues throughout your career. We are also sure that with a HBS MBA you'll triumph in those moments when you'll face big challenges and big opportunities.

Thank you for considering our MBA Program, and please accept our sincerest apologies for the mixup and heartiest congratulations on your admission! We look forward to seeing you this Fall.


Happy Aprils Fools Day! :)

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