Monday, October 16, 2006

I am Back

There has a been a long break since I last posted on my blog . This was partially due to my laziness and partially due to my busy schedule.
There have been some interesting developments in these days.
Each of these deserves a post but I am covering them up in this one post.

1) My visit to Hanover and interview with TUCK.
2) Submission of TUCK application
3) Submission of Chicago application.
4)Decision to apply to stern.

Apart from this at the work front I have finished another consulting assignment with leading institutional investment management company in east cost and I am now moving to consult a brokerage house in Metro Boston area . This means another freezing New England winter. I am still not clear of my new role , but grape wine has it that I am slated to lead a 3 member team on a business process consulting project. I am excited about it

I am also planning to go to NY next week to visit Stern . I have been planning this for a long time but I have just now got a couple of easy week at work. I am planning to use this opportunity to visit a couple of schools and catch up on the MBA front.

Monday, September 18, 2006

What schools want. A check list.

While writing my essay and filling out my application forms I was wondering about things which leading schools want in an applicant. From my one year long pursuit of the elusive admit from Top B- School I have been trying to create a check list of items which schools want and recently I was able to prepare a 10 points list based on my understanding. This check list will serve the purpose of the applicants as to what they have to include in their application, moreover this check list will also help the applicants gauge their chance in the b-schools of their choices. I agree some these are very generic and might not apply to all schools but in my view a sizable amount of schools look for these. So here goes the list

1. You have been successful in your profession and/or life. For ex- you have won awards and ratings which prove that you are among the top 5-10% of your peer group.

2. You are able to achieve success in not only at the individual level but also at the group level or as they say in ‘Teams’. You have to balance this with the first point, on the basis school you are applying to. If your schools give more importance to team work then team point becomes critical.

3. You have to show growth in professional career or at least periodic positive changes in your career with logical direction. A rate of a change of one step in 1 to 1.5 years is decent.

4. You have decent numbers under your belt or have proven academic record. Like your GMAT is at least in the vicinity (+/- 20 ) of the median of your school and your GPA is either at the mean of the school or in top 20% of your alma mater. This point might not be very applicable to poets (non-traditional) applicants out there.

5. You have a clear cut plan for your future. When I say clear cut I don’t expect that you have the clear idea what you want to do but instead you know what you want from your program you have more or less decided which area /specialization you want to do.

6. With respect to above point, you also have taken steps to reach your goal. What I mean is that if you want to go into marketing you are either already have experience in that field or you have taken steps to make the transition. You are not dependent on MBA to reach there.

7. You have some humane angle to your application as well . What I mean by humane angle is that you are not a glory hounding number crunching workaholic geek but have some soft aspect of your personality as well. This has to be nicely balanced with the first point. You have to show that your achievement are worthy of you to be a workaholic but you have managed to achieve something in other spheres of your life.

8. You have led or are already leading people/initiative etc. For Ex. You have led teams (Very common) or you have been a catalyst of change at some place.

9. You have awards, recommendation to corroborate the above points. Moreover, you are able to mention all of them in your essay and resume.

10. On top of all this if you can show some uniqueness like knowing multiple languages or having a skill for a painting or public speaking etc. That will be great.

Now you have to represent all this points in your application. It will be a pity if you have any of these points and it is not represented in your application. To represent all this, the instruments in decreasing order are Essays, Resume, Recommendation and application.
Usually recommendations and supplementary application materials should be used to prove the claims made in essay and in resume.

If you can say strongly YES to at least 9 points in the above list be assured of at least an interview and strong applicant to the school. 7 YES’s will give you a decent shot if you are really able to write compelling essay’s. Speaking of essays even a 10 YES will require you to write good essay otherwise you will not be able to put all these points in the 2000 odd word limit.

Any comments/additions/deletion welcome

Sunday, September 10, 2006

TUCK Reception

I attended the Tuck reception at Boston last week. It was very intersting to meet so amny people realted to TUCK at one place. There wre alums as well as current students. I travelled about 1.5 hrs and 60 miles in peak traffic to attend it, but it was worth it. I was the first person to reach the venue :-).
The session was focused on the good old tuck story. The history of TUCK. The small town setting, the focus of the program on general management and the small tightly knit community. One nice thing about the whole event was it was really targeted about the school and not on the admission process. There was no talk of the GMAT, the essays or GPA. I like this approach as this was what a reception was meant to be. I had attended a few events in the past where the discussion usually spins toward the admission process rather then the school itself.
I met the staff from admissions office.I met a couple of alums too. They were very good. I was able to meet a person from my firm who was a Tuck ’02 and another who was a Indian techi before TUCK. The striking thing was all of the alums knew each other. They were all reviving old memories and setting up appointment to meet their batch mates the next day. This was not surprising, as tuck is known for its close community, but was very nice to see. There were TUCK’06 pass outs as well who just joined their organizations and were delighted with the learning at the Tuck which they are applying in the real world.
My key take away from the sessions. I am TUCK Fan so there were not many new things for me but I still want to share a few observations
• The school is very proud of its diversity and history.
• Make sure to interview and visit TUCK.
• Tuck has a good focus on the non profit business.
• As much as TUCK is focused on General management. it allows you to tailor your program in the second year to focus on your areas of interest.
• You can take advantage of the Ivy League status of TUCK by enrolling in the dual/joint degree programs.
• All the alums very appreciative of the help they have received by the community in managing their kids and family.

Now the next event I am looking at is the World MBA tour at Boston on 19th Sep. I have been thinking of a couple of more schools. It will be a nice opportunity to meet the admissions staff of those colleges.

Thursday, August 31, 2006 feels good!!

I was promoted today. I was not expecting it but the mail come and gave me a pleasant surprise. It was even more exciting as I was promoted out of turn in the middle of the year. I made the cutoff by 15 days. In my knowledge, I am the one with least experience who made the cut. I was happy, excited and all smiles after that .
Apart from this happiness, it also poses challenges to me. For starters, it means all my essays written until now have to be modified to include this development. Moreover, a promotion means new responsibilities and new roles, which will put more pressure on my already busy schedule. But, what the hell, I loved it, after all it is always sweet to have a reward for you efforts.
On the application front, I am running behind schedule. My first version of TUCK essays is all set and I am waiting for review comments. I have not started the Chicago essays but I know that I will do most of them over the long weekend. My biggest worry is my recommendations, but I am working towards it.
I am attending TUCK reception next week in Boston and I am really looking fwd to it. I have also scheduled my TUCK visit and interview in the last week of Sep. Apart from this I have all the Chicago essay and application stuff.. This seems to be challenging but isn’t that what a Dream is all about.
Dream it, achieve it and then Dream higher while living in the realized dream

Sunday, August 27, 2006

What matter most to you and why??

I have been reading the blog entry of my fellow bloggers on the Stanford essay questions. Although, I am not applying to Stanford myself, this particular question really caught my attention. I had discussion with my friend about this question and the possible answers themes which are possible. With due respect, the best answer theme which came to my mind is
“The thing which most matter to me right now is getting into the Stanford MBA program and rest of my application explains why”. Period. :-)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Feeling Low!!!

My confidence level hit a new nadir yesterday. I am not a great poster on the forums but I stumbled upon this thread on the Wharton S2S forums. I remember cornfedMBA's entry on the profiles in Business week forums, but this is insane.I am all the more demoralized because all of them belong to my demography

I agree, when most of you will say that GMAT scores and experience is just stats and application evaluation is a holistic process, but look at the stats here the avg GMAT is 730+ , the Avg exp is 4+ yr . Moreover, if they are applying to Wharton, my assumptions is they are as good in their thinking is as their scores are. This also explains the wiered phenomena’s like 720 and asked to retake.

This fact has been playing on my mind and has bogged me down for last couple of days. I am trying to convince myself that I should take it in positive manner and work harder on my essays.
Let the power be with me!!! :-).

Friday, August 18, 2006

A meeting with a TUCK Alumni!!!

After lot of searching I was able to meet a TUCK alumnus. I just wanted to meet some one before the upcoming tuck reception in Boston, not only to be better prepare for my essays but also to be able to get a first hand account of the program as soon as possible. I am in New England so I knew that there will surely be some Tuckies around. Hence I started to pull my strings and connection to find a Tuck graduate. But surprisingly, I was not able to contact any one soon. Then finally after 2 weeks, this lady replied to my email. She was from the class of ‘92 and fortunately she was working in the investment management /portfolio management domain which I wanted to pursue too after my MBA.

I set up a half hour telephonic conversation with her a week back. I sent her my questions in advance, and then called at the decided time. It was a fascinating meeting. I listened to her on the various aspects of Tuck for almost 25 minutes. And to be very honest it was enlightening as well as very exciting. There were so many small things about TUCK which is not there in any website or in any blogs. I also discussed the personnel transformation which TUCK is able to bring about in her and the key aspects in her view on a Tuck application.
I am keenly looking forward to the Tuck reception on 7th Sep in Boston.