Monday, May 30, 2005

 

Graduation ceremony at JGSM

I came to Ithaca, NY, to attend my brothers graduation ceremony at Cornells JGSM. The special guest was Wesley Clark, the ex-NATO commander and his speech was okay. I am real amazed by the Cornell campus, no wonder it is one of the prettiest campuses in the world. My bro has been challenging me to a game of squash and tomorrow I hope to show him what a sunk shot really means.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

 

Columbia GSB

I got news from CBS a week after I sent a change of status letter. It was a very quick decision that I did not quite expect after showing much love. Despite having a splendid interview, following up the waitlist decision with a compelling intent of interest letter and a reco letter, the reject was a real surprise. My little cousins in NJ were more disappointed than me over this unexpected news. :(

Moral of the story: However good your experiences may have been, everything is not in your hands!

Friday, May 20, 2005

 

Clearadmits Best of Blogging List

Best of Blogging The best of blogging winners was announced the other day by Clear Admit and guess what? Yesterday when I posted Ew! Ew! Ew!, Britchick and PowerYogi, who were the #2 and #1 in the top10 list showered comments. Strange but true, I had a nice feeling that even celebrities read others blogs.

I may be a bit late on the news, but I am happy to announce that my blog was nominated to the top10 blogs in the MBA blogging community. It was voted The Best blog for GMAT Preparation Advice! Congrats to all those bloggers who were nominated and to those who were placed! To do justice to the award, I will need to finish writing my I discovered... series.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

 

Ew! Ew! Ew!

I occasionally take a look at my blog pageload activity, and guess what I noticed when I saw it? My blog was being accessed for non-MBA (read carnal) related reasons too... The MBA acronym list that I had posted a few weeks ago was determined to be the source of the mixup. Here goes:

Someone was searching for "married but available" +chat on search.yahoo.com and surprise surprise!... my blog comes up #33. I guess after seeing that my blog has nothing to do with helping cheating spouses, he/she must have left the site a disappointed (and angry) soul.

I found it pretty hilarious. :)

Thursday, May 12, 2005

 

The Zen of Management Maintenance

For soon-to-be MBAs, this article provides a unique perspective on leadership and management. I feel the authors theories are similar to those disseminated by Vedanta philosophy.

Are you successful or a "success fool"? According to HBS alum and leadership expert Jagdish Parikh, the most effective leaders realize they must first learn the skill of leading themselves.

HBS Working Knowledge published the article .

Click here if you are interested in the book .

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

 

I Discovered...(Part IIa of III)

I would like to thank all those who responded so enthusiastically to Part I of this sequel. This post will describe the discoveries that I made during the B-School Application Process. This is further divided into

II(a) Pre-application         II(b) Application         II(c) Post-application

--------------------------
II(a) Pre-application Tips

--------------------------

The quintessential thing that one needs to address before he/she embarks on the MBA journey is “Why MBA?” Let me rephrase it a little bit: Honest to your heart, why do you really want to do your MBA?” I discovered that this is the one and only question that one needs to ask him/herself if he/she wants to play the MBA game. The answer to this question is what will eventually separate the leader from the follower. Only after you have answered this question to your heart's satisfaction will I advice you to march forward.

(1) I discovered that the best way to jump-start the admissions process prior to filling out the application is to pay a visit to the school that you think you might want to apply to. Schools usually offer school/class visits where potential applicants can meet up with current students/admissions staff/faculty. It is a great opportunity to make a lasting impression on these folks and believe me, when you apply a few months later, they will remember you (one may ask: how do you make a lasting impression with people? to which I would answer: Ask pertinent questions that make you look interested, intelligent and different (in a good way)). Keep in touch with them via e-mail. Schools typically expect interested candidates to make a reservation, so make sure you schedule one if you plan to visit the school.

(2) The second best thing to do prior to application is to attend an Admissions Event in a town near you (BW maintains a calendar for all B-school admissions events). I discovered that attending the Admissions Events organized by B-schools gives one a great opportunity to learn more about the school and its program. More importantly, it gives one an idea of what the adcom is looking for in prospective students. Follow advice given above and try to make a lasting impression. As mentioned above, you will need to make a reservation for the admissions event (link available on the school website). For prospective women applicants, Forte Foundation arranges the Forte Forum that I believe is awesome.

Four things to note when you make a school visit or attend an admissions event:

(a) Take notes during the presentation.
You can get tons of info that you can never get from the website. Take note of
keywords from the presentation, you may wanna incorporate these in your essays.

(b) Take information brochures.
These come handy for the “Why School X?” essay question.

(c) Make sure that you get all your questions answered about the school/program.
You can always ask questions like: what steps is the school taking to better position itself than school X? or how is the school better than school X? or how flexible is your curriculum? or do you have a sailing club? or what percent of students accepted last year got a GMAT less than 680 or when is the next admissions chat session on BW?

(d) Take business cards from the admissions staff.
Always, always, follow up such events with courtesy e-mails.

(3) For those of you who are unable to do either (1) or (2), I discovered that the best thing to do is to research blogs such as daveformba to get insight into schools/programs.

(4) Finally, I discovered the tremendous use of BW Forums, where you can post any question that comes to your mind (of, course relating to B-schools)...

I would really appreciate readers to contribute their own "I discovered..." in the comments section below.

Gosh, I can't believe it's almost 2:00! I have a meeting tomorrow morning that I need to attend, so I guess I will have to bid adieus. My next blog will address II(b)...the Application.

Monday, May 09, 2005

 

How Business Schools Lost Their Way...

My dad forwarded me this interesting article from Harvard Business Review that addresses How Business Schools Lost Their Way in the process of evolution. It is a must read for prospective/current B-school students and deans alike. I would like to see some kind of response from the B-schools and how they plan to address contents of this theory. Here is a snapshot:

Business schools are facing intense criticism for failing to impart useful skills, failing to prepare leaders, failing to instill norms of ethical behavior—and even failing to lead graduates to good corporate jobs. These criticisms come not just from students, employers, and the media but also from deans of some of America’s most prestigious B-schools.

The problem is not that business schools have embraced scientific rigor but that they have forsaken other forms of knowledge.


Click here for the full article.

Friday, May 06, 2005

 

Most Befitting Acronyms

This post might be an extension to my previous one, but it sure is more relevant and more refined. After being through the lengthy B-School admissions process, how would I describe each school in just 3 words? What is the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear the name of a school? Read on...

Columbia - Most Binding Admissions (also My Best Alumni interview)
Duke - Magnificent Basketball Association (also Most Budding Among top schools)
Cornell - Most Beautiful Among campuses
Kellogg - Much Buddy-up Approach
Chicago - Most Brilliant Academicians (also Miller Becker And other nobel naureates)
Sloan - My Biggest Aspiration
Umich - Most Benevolent Attitude
HBS - Mighty Big Attitude
Yale - Mellow, Benign Atmosphere
Wharton - My Biggest Anticlimax

Thursday, May 05, 2005

 

M.B.A. = Acronym For What?

Feeling jobless today, I thought I might do something constructive. So, I googled
'MBA' for acronyms. The following is a list of what I got. Some of them are pretty
interesting.

Mediocre But Arrogant

                              Mighty Big Attitude
                                                  Master of Being in America
Most Bossy Attitude
                                                        Meretricious Bulls*!t Artist
           Management By Analysis
                                                   Managing Business in Asia
Making Busy Arrangements

                                         Must Be *sshat
Membership By Approval                       Married By Accident

Mane Badhu Avde chhe which translates in English to ‘I am know-all of everything’


                                    Married But Available
Means to a Beautiful *ss

and finally, the one that we all are familiar with...

Master of Business Administration

If you have more acronyms to add to this list, please pass them along. :)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

 

A Trillion Dollar Question!

I heard this on NPR yesterday and found it quite unbelievable!

OK, here's the deal ya'wl soon-gonna-be MBAs...

I spend $1 every passing second. How long will it take for me to spend $100,000?
Answer is pretty obvious: ~1 day

How about $1 million?
Answer: This may not be too tough to comprehend, but the answer is ~12 days

Now, how about $1 trillion? How long would that take?
Answer: Take an intelligent guess and look in the comment section below for the answer...C'Mon, no peeking! :)

 

Dean Dean Baby!

My brother, vv42, told me that most of the B-schools have a year ending program called the Follies where all the students and profs try to do something comical about themselves and about the events that happened during the calendar year...apparently, this was a tradition started by Wharton in 1975!

Columbia GSB completed their follies last week. Check out CBS's Dean Glenn Hubbard's rap album...you will have a ball...it is really really funny.

Click here for CBS follies

What makes it even funnier is that Glenn is the most likely candidate
to take over from Alan Greenspan as the Federal Reserve Chairman beginning
next year!!!!

Monday, May 02, 2005

 

I Discovered...(Part I of III)

This blog (and its sequel) will address the mistakes that I made and the lessons that I learnt from 'em. I would really like for the 2005 admitted students to pitch in their 2c worth in the comments section. Hopefully, future applicants will find these tidbits useful when they apply. This post is split into three parts:

I. GMAT Prep
II. Application Process
III. Interview Process

I. GMAT Prep

I discovered that the GMAT tests your mental and physical stamina as much as it does your mental aptitude .

I discovered that it is better to be just-confident and over prepared rather than
over-confident and under prepared.

There are plenty of resources available online. But I discovered that the following sites were immensely helpful (in no particular order):
http://www.markrice.com/gmat
http://www.kaptest.com
http://www.gmatclub.com
http://www.scoretop.com
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gmattutor
http://www.testmagic.com/gmat/
http://errorlogs.blogspot.com
http://www.aliscot.com/bigdog/index.htm

There are plenty of books that one can possibly read. But, I discovered that the questions that most closely resemble those in the actual test are those available in the OG (Official Guide). Make sure you thoroughly understand the concepts in the OG before you embark on other books.

At the beginning, it was really uncomfortable for me to take the CAT (Computer Adaptive Test). I discovered that it took me a while to adjust to taking notes (or drawing geometrical figures) while looking at the screen.

One of the most useful tools that I discovered during my prep was the use of the error table, which goes:
-----------------------------------------------
| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 |...
-----------------------------------------------
A.| | | | | | | | | | |...
B.| | | | | | | | | | |...
C.| | | | | | | | | | |...
D.| | | | | | | | | | |...
E.| | | | | | | | | | |...
-----------------------------------------------

and the optimal use of the scratch paper.

Thanks to a friend, SP, I discovered that it is as important to solve the last few questions accurately as it is to solve the first few. The theory behind this is that most people spend too much time in the middle section (which is probably infested with tough experimental questions) which in turn leaves very little time for the last few. So, if you think a question in the middle section (14-25)is really tough, you may be better off taking a good guess and moving on...(this is the method I followed).

I discovered that most schools consider only the best score for admission. Essentially, it really does not matter whether you take the GMAT once or 100 times. But remember, schools discourage applicants from taking the exam more than 4 times, just because it may be stressful for the examinee.

Before I took the GMAT, I was only vaguely clear as to which schools I might be
applying to. Only at the end of the test, I discovered that there is an option of sending the score to 5 schools of my choice. I wish I had known which schools I was really gonna apply to cos that would have saved me a bunch of money (each additional score report costed me $29). I think it might be a good idea to send the score reports to some of your primary and one of your backup schools.

 

On the Road

After weighing in on my options, I decided to fly to the Northeast.
At Columbia (CBS), I attended a class of my interest and met with folks in the admissions office. I was quite impressed with the atmosphere at CBS (the reason I applied to CBS was because of its superb Social Enterprise Program (SEP)). Post-MBA from CBS, my options will probably be tremendous because of the repute of the SEP faculty, Net Impact chapter, and its involvement in the Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC). It is my personal opinion that the SEP at CBS is #1 in the world.

Right after the CBS trip, I went to MIT Sloan. Although I was not able to meet with folks from the adcom, I did meet up with current students and alum. I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed that the stereotypes that people make out of Sloanies is simply not true. The ones that I met were smart and very amicable - not the super techie nerds that people typify them to be. If I were asked to describe my Sloan experience (albeit only one day), it would most certainly be awesome!

I just sent my thank you but sorry letters to Fuqua, Ross and Johnson. The only real deal I have in my hands right now is Chicago GSB and I will be sending in my admissions deposit in the next couple days. (This reminds me, I still need to post my experiences about the awesome awesome Chicago admit weekend on Apr 15th).

Congrats to all those admitted and those taken off the WL in these past 2 weeks! Good luck to others who are still making decisions! Those of you who were denied admission this year, just keep at it- there is always next year!

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