Thursday, December 21, 2006

Waitlisted at Tepper

Well thats 2 in 2. I thought I'd make this one but...
Without an admit in hand I would need in my backup school application in addition to Harvard. More work, more pain. Hope all this pays of in the end.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Waitlisted at Tuck

Somehow I felt that this was going to happen but I don't feel any emotion as in dissapointment, relief or joy. I guess waitlist is supposed to do that to you i.e. confuse you. Tuck's note mentions that very few people(what is very few?) are waitlisted so that leads me to beleive that something might come out of this. FAQs suggest that they are not looking for supplemental material but for the candidate to show his interest in the program and the school. Not quite sure how to go about it but I better get started on my waitlist strategy now.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Darden done and Bangalore here I come

Well! I have completed my Darden application and am pretty ga-ga about it. Havin planned 3 weeks for Darden app it didn't expect to be submitted it just the day before but as usual I procrastinated till the last minute. I managed most of it in the last 3 days. The essays are very similar to Tuck and to some extent you can say the same about the school. Hence it wasn't that difficult a task.

I can be pretty pleased at the fact that I have absolutely no App'ing or work to do for the next 2 weeks. I am going to be in bangalore on vacation. My brother's getting married and its going to be a really fun trip. Certainly earned a vacation with all the work i have done last couple of months.

Finally : Attn Bangalore MBA bloggers - How about a blogger get togather or a 'Beer Challenge'
Thanks to Marina for starting that. Its becoming quite a popular event worldwide ;)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

3 Apps Down

I submitted my Duke application today and with that I have 3 applications complete. Most of you maybe be wondering why i am submitting my duke application today when the R1 deadline is 10 days past and R2 in January. Simply put I could not get in my R1 application on time but still wanted to go ahead and complete it. Also there maybe be an oppurtunity for me to interview in India while on vacation.

Tepper application story in contrast was special. I re-wrote my last years essays, cover letter and work history all in a weeks time. I was very satisfied with the quality of the content too.

Though I have had to rework my plans midwayy I think I am back on track to submit 5 or 6 applications that I was targeting. Next on my list is darden Due november end.

I have gained some good insights through this years applications and I plan to pen those down as soon as I get some free time. I think i am pretty clear on what needs to be written on the essays and how. Also on how struture and strategise your application. This could be helpful to to other applicants, especially re-applicants. Work pressure has not eased so I am not sure when I can get this penned down. I'll try sooner than later.

For the same reasons I haven't been able to keep track of progress of other blogger applicants. Hope things are going great.

Well I have to sign-off as I have a party to go to ;)

Saturday, October 21, 2006


It’s been almost a month since I posted last so I thought I’ll get a quick update in. My work has been very challenging and rather stressful. I have always enjoyed taking up challenges and responsibilities but them coinciding with peak MBA application season is proving a handful. For a person who's never home on a weekend, a post on Saturday midnight should just about prove that. Come to think of it, this is actually a depressing thought :(

Anyways, I managed to get in my Tuck application but missed HBS as I felt it was not ready. HBS is now postponed to round 2 in January.

To make my life more miserable, I am taking up the challenge of submitting both Tepper and Duke reapplications by Nov 1st and 5th respectively. Duke essay questions have changed while I am required to re-write all my Tepper essays (as per feedback by admission director). With only first drafts of 2 Duke Essays and half of the third ready, my situation is dreadful. I still entertain hopes of getting both applications to allow me to focus on Darden application due next.

Wish me luck cos I am going to need it!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Tuck Visit

Schedule we were provided was something like this

9:45 AM - Arrive at Tuck
10:15 AM - Class Visit
12:00 PM - Lunch with students
12:45 PM - Tour of Campus
1:30 PM - Q&A Session with member of the admissions committee
3:00 PM - Interview

We registered at the admission office and met quite a few others visiting and interview on the same day. I think by the end of the day I realized that there were at least 2 groups of 20 each and majority of those were interviewing as well. The staff at the admission office coordinating the visit was very cordial and efficient and ensured the comfort and well being of all the visitors.

Class Visit
Around 10 am our first year student host picked us up directed us towards the class. He was very friendly and open. He let us know that Financial accounting class, which we were heading to, was not his favorite by any stretch of imagination. Also that it could be a bit boring. I was a little surprised as I had never heard of Tuck students speak anything but superlatives about the Tuck school and the program in any of the forums. He wasn’t critical, but I guess I was expecting to hear only praises that day. So we settled in the class and were introduced to other students around us and our host even took the initiative to introduce us to the professor taking the class. That pleased me no bounds. We were about to cover Cash flow statements in today’s session and case kicked off with a case and a cold call. The class moved from discussion to lecturing and back to analysis and critique of certain items on case. I certainly found the discussion interesting but every once in a while a comment was out of context. Through the case the professor then covered some theoretical aspects of the topic and then got down to preparing a cash flow statement with an example. Towards the end I felt myself losing concentration. I guess too much information being covered in one session. Surprisingly I found some students more distracted than me. At the end, I still felt very impressed by the session and the aptitude of students and medium of instruction used by professor.

Lunch with students
After the class our host escorted us to the dining hall but had to leave us to attend a company briefing. The visit coordinator was there to help us out and directed us to a different group of students. However we were not able to find the group she directed us to and landed on a different table. That worked for us fine as we were soon joined by another first year student who gave us good insight into his experiences thus far. We grilled him with our questions and he freely offered all information we sought. We decided to walk back to the admission office but as we roamed unescorted, we lost our way. As we roamed around the corridor and absorbed whatever we saw, we were already beginning to get familiar and were easily able to get back to the admissions office without seeking directions.

Tour of the campus
Guided tour of the campus was very interesting and filled with anecdotes about the school and experiences of the guide who was a second year student. We, however, were sweating it out in our suits and did not appreciate the sun as much. The tour us through the halls and corridors of Tuck and we covered, classrooms, offices, meeting and discussion rooms, gym, library. We had a slightly longer stop at the CDC where the staff gave some additional information of Tucks CDC and how it stood out from other schools. We finally ended at the Tuck hall and headed back to the admission office.

Q and A with admission committee
This was taken up by an admission director and the questions were the usual that you would expect in any information session. Some of the applicants thought that they could probably extract some insider information but the director was way too clever and tactful for that. The only question I had was “how can I get in” but I refrained from asking that. One important answer that we did get was the selection process. Apparently each file is independently reviewed by two staff member who prepare a brief write up with recommendation. This is reviewed by an admission director who only skims through the file and makes a decision of accept/reject or undecided. Only top 5-10 % applicants are clear ‘accept or reject’ and rest make it to a committee of 10. These are then discussed at depth and debated on before making a decision. How I wish I knew what goes in that room.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Wake me up when September comes

Oh! Its September already! I have been too busy enjoying the summer to notice the time fly by. My Harvard essays are at 5% complete and Tuck still rock steady on the starting line. Too my defense, I have progressed little more on things little less under my control such as the recommendations and the transcripts. All said and done I am still way behind in race and its time to start the engines. The only problem seems to be that I just moved into a real fun neighborhood filled with cafes, Bars and restaurants and am having a hard time staying in the apartment.

Another big event I need to plan and prepare for is my coming visit to Tuck and Darden. I cant afford to relax as I have scheduled my interviews there too. After all I thought this was good way to not only assess the schools but also boost my chances. I did mail a couple of guys (you know who you are) to get some tips.

So this is where I am at and its time to get moving.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

My upcoming visit to Tuck and Darden

Yes, I am going to vist some schools this year, based on advice and recommendation from many last year applications who I am happy to say, are students now. As of now I have Tuck and darden on my List and though I am not sure if I would be able to fit in more, this is a good start. I was initally concerned that I did not have my equal favorite (with Tuck) Harvard on the list. Work pressure and time constraint only allowed me these two. In my opinion visit and interview on campus are much more important for Tuck and Darden than HBS. To my knowledge HBS does not even interview prior to application submission like other schools do.

After compiling my school list for this year I did notice commonalities across schools. To me that was a good indication that I had done my research and that the list is better than the one I came up with last year. A good example are the 3 schools mentioned above; all offer Genenral Management courses and are big on the case method.

Though i have started drafting my HBS essays, I still feel that I am behind the curve as I have not really understood what Tuck or Darden are all about in great detail. I need to get moving on all other fronts escpecially for Tuck and Darden to be ready for the interview.

On my inital work I find myself really struggling with the question
"What can you contribute to the school" All I can come with are very generic answers like my opinion, inputs, knowledge coming from a different background, international exposure and work ex. etc. pretty much the same stuff I wrote about last year and If don't buy it, I dont think adcom will. What are they looking for here?

Other things on my mind are
>How do I make my visit to the schools worthwhile
>How can I create an impression outside the scope of the interview and showcase who I really am wothout making a fool of myself
>What are the questions I should be asking, Preceisely what Information should I seek outside the generic ones I have on the school and the program

Posted in

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Struggle

Last two weeks have been Killer; probably close the hardest two weeks in my life. I have been swamped with work and there are issues all over the place. Each day has been long and stressful. At the same time we are looking to move and had given notice on our current lease. After putting so much effort on searching, calling and visiting apartments we still haven’t found one close to our liking. This has become part of our daily workload.

My friend and I are also planning out our School visit and interview and due to financial considerations had to limit this to 2, as far a visiting is concerned. After scheduling the interview and visit as we tried to book our plane tickets we found that this would be one hell of an expensive affair. Through the week we kept searching for alternative travel plans to keep the costs manageable and we finally managed that on Friday. But I tell you it going to be one adventurous trip for sure. I haven’t really got going on any of my applications yet, which is a big concern as I may need to complete 4 by Oct-Nov. Right now this doesn’t seem to be realistic target but nothing I have been doing of late does!

Some other things going haywire which I wouldn’t like to mention here.

But things are shaping up a bit since the last couple of days. That has allowed m time for this post. I have always believed that as long as you stay focused, you can pull through some tough situations. Just one more example of the same.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Pretty Vegas

Should have posted this a month back, but anyway here it is

They say “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” and I have to stick by the code. However, I thought I could share some of it and leave the rest to imagination. Enjoy reading!
It was a fun trip. You cannot “not have fun” in Las vegas. There are just too many things to see and too many things to do. We had 4 days on the long weekend; we were thinking one too many but as it turned out one too less.

It all started on Saturday morning when we caught the early morning flight to Las Vegas. We woke up in time to catch breathtaking views of the lake, canyon and the desert just before landing. Once we touched down we headed directly to our hotel Circus-circus and checked-in. The place was hot, the temperature. It was close to 100F and the sun was beating down with vengeance.

Gorge-ous Posted by Picasa

Quickly refreshed, we caught up with my friend’s friends and headed over to Hoover Dam. I couldn’t figure out why we were going there but not everything in this world is based on reason. The view was good, and we took the usual pictures, you know; the ones you put on ‘myspace’. With that over and done with we were soon back in Vegas and it was time to explore. Ofcourse we had to start with a sumptuous meal, and the buffet at ‘Aladdin’ was just about the perfect start. We decided to walk around and explore the hotel before stuffing ourselves. All hotels in Vegas are built on some theme or the other and if you have ready the fairy tale you can picture exactly how ‘Alladin’ would look. So I thought, but they did one better. With sets and artificial blue sky the place was fascinating. Pictures say more than thousand words so have a look.

Hoover Dam Posted by Picasa

Alladin - blue sky Posted by Picasa

Alladin - Desset passage Posted by Picasa

Done with exploration we sat done for our buffet lunch which though expensive was incredible. There were servings from various continents and I guess over 100 items to choose from. Add to that complimentary champagne which we gulped down with satisfaction. My friend and I were determined to dig into as many courses as possible, so we ended up eating for 2 hours. Expectedly, once done and through, there was nothing left to do but go to bed and crash. We headed back to our hotels.

We woke up around 9 PM and next on our agenda was clubbing at the ‘RA’ nightclub at the ‘Luxor’. Luxor hotel is built on the ‘Egyptian’ theme and we reached early enough to explore the hotel and loose some money to the casino. Even though we were at the ‘RA’ before open, we had to wait for almost an hour before we got in. The place was huge, interiors amazing and appearance glamorous as one would expect. Our friends joined us later and we had a great time all night.

Next morning we headed to the stratosphere, one of the most popular attractions in vegas. We headed to the top and the view was breathtaking. The joy rides at the top looked really frightening so we were quick to get on board. The first one was the ‘Xscream’ which took you on inclined plane over the edge of the stratosphere and left you dangling in mid air. It was not as scary as it looked leaving us disappointed. The second one we took was the ‘Big Shot’. You are shot up from the top of stratosphere like a rocket and it really hits you. Then you freefall for a second or two and this is repeated couple of times over. This one was thrilling. After some time enjoying the views and exploring, we continued on.

Xscream Posted by Picasa

The strip Posted by Picasa

Stratosphere Posted by Picasa

Next stop was the Sahara and the “speed ride” This was one amazing rolling coaster and its over before you know it but really thrilling. One second you are stationary and the other zooming across.

We had to change hotels so we headed back to our room, checked out and settled in to our new hotel ‘Riveria”. After a quick break and lunch we headed out again walking down the boulevard. We covered the ‘Venetian’, ‘Mirage’ and the ‘Treasure island’. ‘Treasure island’ had some fun stuff to do and we especially loved the “Party Bar” where we saw juggling acts by the bartenders and even managed a free shot. By now the strip was glittered with flashy lights and it looked absolutely wonderful at night. We also managed to cover the famous ‘Ceasar’s palace’. The place was huge and aristocratic as one would expect. I headed to the casino to make me some money which surprisingly I did, while others headed for bed.

On the Strip looking south Posted by Picasa

On the strip looking north Posted by Picasa

Inside Ceasars Posted by Picasa

Next day we headed to the ‘Zion canyon’ about 2 hours drive from Las Vegas. We loved the drive and the scenic views that kept getting the further we went. There were so many things to do at Zion that we didn’t have time for. We took the shuttle ride to place that allowed us to hike. We followed up a long trek with a dip in the cold water in the stream.
The ride back equally relaxing. Once back, we had to change hotels again and this time we checked in at the “Hilton”. After settling into our posh hotel room and catching a quick nap we headed out to “The Beach” night club. This was Latino style club and I loved the music. Again the place was huge in keeping with everything else in Vegas. We got bored pretty soon and I headed back to the casino while my friend went back to the room. I was at the casino till about 6 in the morning.

Enroute Zion canyon Posted by Picasa

Expectedly the day started late, and we had a few things to see on the strip. We explored the Hilton to get the “star trek” experience. I managed to lose some more money to the casino. All this while I was playing ‘Blackjack’ which I am supposedly good at. We did spend some time in the poker room to get few tips. All in all we didn’t cover much on the final day as we were very tired.

It was a great trip, very exciting and eventful. There are so many things to do in Vegas that you cannot get bored, in fact it’s hard to find time to sleep. Later that night we caught the flight back singing

The party's over and the road is long The party's over and we're moving on

Sunday, July 23, 2006

School list

I am ready with the list of schools i am going to apply to this year. The process was quite similar to the one I did last year. With the added experience and knowledge about various schools and programs, this year's list appears to be better suited to my needs and hopefully I stand a good chance to getting into one of these schools.

Kept these in mind while selectiong schools –
1. Career focus – management consulting, long term – entrprenuership
2. General management curriculum
3. Placements in consulting
4. School reputation and specialty
5. Culture and fit

So I ended up with 6 schools, plus 2 that I am re-applying to. I might apply to all eight(that would be very difficult) but if I cant, as many as possible.

Stretch schools

Harvard Business School – One of the best business schools in the world, great reputation, excellent alumni network, teaching methods are very practical and more emphasis on case method, excellent placements in consulting.

Tuck, Dartmouth– Another top business school, is a favorite for Management consulting firms. Has a general management curriculum, good alumni network that facilitate lot of placements.

Good Schools – reasonable chance of getting in

Darden, Virginia – Another feeder for MC firms. Has a general management curriculum and excellent placements on consulting.

Ross, Michigan – Good school for consulting and technology. Good placements. Fits in to the top 10 and has good reputation.

McCombs, Texas – More known as a technology school but good curriculum and consulting placements.

Re-applicant – Good chance

Fuqua, Duke – Good curriculum and strong in all areas. Good consulting placements. Love the Fuqua culture.

Tepper, CMU – well structured curriculum. School’s been on the rise. It is known for Technology, finance and consulting. Ranks amongst the best in technology. Focus on analytical skills which result in good placements in Consulting

Safety School

Owen, Vanderbilt - Fits into top 25. Like the curriculum and structure. reaonable consulting placements.

How many I end up applying to is still an open question but its going to be tough few months for me.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Kellogg feedback

I received my first feedback on this year’s application from Kellogg. I had scheduled a feedback session for yesterday i..e Friday June 16th. This was very important for two reasons. One obviously to understand my strength and weaknesses and how I compared to the application pool and second to determine whether I should reapply to Kellogg. I have more or less decided to reapply to Duke and Tepper, not to reapply to Wharton, Kellogg remains a question mark.

Here is the gist of the feedback –
Adcom felt that my career goals were not well defined. I was comparable to average on work experience, leadership, GMAT score and academics. They had no concern on my GMAT score even though verbal score is a bit low and do not recommend re-writing GMAT. From what I got out of the conversation, the biggest concern for the adcom was that my career goals were not clearly defined and I was not specific enough on where I wanted to go post MBA and how Kellogg could help me get there. Also, that there was no distinguishing factor in my application.

This was very surprising for me especially the part about career goals as I thought that I was very specific about that and mentioned that even in my self assessment essay. Another thing I was surprised about was career progress which they mentioned compared with the average. I have really progressed a lot quicker than my peers in my organization and handled lot more responsibilities than others with similar experience. That goes for other companies and geographies too, as growth seems to be quicker in Indian IT companies these days. Maybe, I did not get that across well enough. Certainly something I can work on for this year’s application.

The feedback has given me some good pointers on which areas to work on and how I can restructure my full application. Waiting in anticipation for my Duke Feedback session and I am guessing that would be very useful as well.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Yellowstone trip

3 pm on Friday and we were ready to move. Yellow stone, wow! , I had heard so many things about it, read about in school books, on how scenic and beautiful it was. I was looking forward to a nice long relaxed weekend away from the hustle-bustle of the city.
We had rented a mini-van, had our dinner packed and were on our way by 4 pm. Our Van was all setup for luxury with lots of space (we planned to play poker in the van), DVD unit, GPS etc. The trip was going to be a long one, 1100 miles/16 hours, we started by watching a movie.

Dinner was picnic event somewhere in South Dakota and we thoroughly enjoyed the packed lunch we got from an Indian restaurant. We got underway quickly only to find that our GPS had gone dead and several calls to the help desk didn’t help either. It was pretty much heading west on I-90 and the maps would have to guide us rest of the way as we had already deviated from the directions we took.

Later that night or should I say early next morning we entered Wyoming and passed through scenic mountains of the “Big horn national forest” We had made good progress speeding our way all the night and thus managing to reach at 8:30 AM only to find we couldn’t check in till 4 Pm. We had booked a cabin and were look forward to a rest. It was real cold by now I guess close to 32 F or 0C and none of us were in mood to do anything else but sleep. Nevertheless, in the interest of time we decided to freshen up and head into Yellowstone. After a hearty meal of two slices of toast, cajoled by several pleading request (Breakfast menu was closed, lunch not yet open) at the restaurant nearby, we found our self at the western gate at around 11:00 AM.

On our way Posted by Picasa

Our first stop was to be the fishin bay and it took us some time to get there. Firstly due to ‘under construction road’ and secondly owing to many breathtaking views which we couldn’t help but stop at. We passed several spots where you could admire many a different types of geysers in variety of shapes. The odour of H2S brought back memories of our chemistry lab experiments that went horribly wrong, and it was generally agreed that we had spent considerable effort in our younger days trying to avoid it, no, not just the odour but the chemistry lab as well.

Semmly geyser Posted by Picasa

Scenic lake view Posted by Picasa

Wildlife Posted by Picasa

Fishing bay was nothing spectacular and in a few minutes we were headed to the 2nd point ‘Old faithful’ only to find that the weather gods were not happy with us. The temperature was almost freezing and it had begun to drizzle. While my friends tried to find rain jackets, I and another one parked in front of the fireplace. I was still in shorts, T-shirt and slippers that I started with from Minneapolis. We headed out on hike which was a long one that took you and across more geysers. Lets see apart from the some great scenic points, what had we seen in Yellowstone till now hmmm… Geysers….. Geysers… geysers of different shapes…geysers of different colors. My chain of thought was broken by light white thing hitting my face sending a buzz through my entire body, SNOW! It was snowing, its end of may, whats wrong with this place. We were half way across and three of us were in slippers and shorts. We hurried along enjoying as many geysers sights as we could all the time wondering if we had frostbite in our toes. We did stop for some really fun snaps.

Geyser of another kind Posted by Picasa

A Blue one Posted by Picasa

This ones from Mars Posted by Picasa

Old faithful Posted by Picasa

We were back at the lodge after what seemed like eternity but it was actually only 15 minutes and again I parked myself infront of the fireplace. The rain and snow had subsided outside and we wondering on the coincidental increase in its magnitude immediately upon our stepping out under the skies. Once we were dry we just had a small matter of a 5 minute walk to our car in the parking lot, which would not be a problem as it had stopped raining, or had it! As soon as we stepped out, there it was again. We had no option but to get drenched again and we could do no more that curse the weather gods again.

As expected, rain subsided as we got seated in our car and continued on the first loop that would now take us to point where we could go hiking. We were really looking forward to a hike in the natures midst to enjoy the spectacular scenery when there it was again. No not the rain, the snow! And yes it was back in all its glory. It was snowing like mid winter and soon our vehicle was skidding all over the place. We crawled our way back to the lodge and checked in. On the way we made sure we got us some vodka. We settled into our cosy rooms took out the vodka and our game of poker began. It went on for a while till we finally called it a night (or day).

Then it started snowing Posted by Picasa

View from our lodge Posted by Picasa

Ouu cabin Posted by Picasa

Next morning we arose to beautiful sunshine and enjoyed our breakfast and an early morning stroll. However, in keeping with the theme of the trip, no sooner did we get ready, there it was again, snow, out of nowhere. We did want to give up on our plans so we headed to Yellowstone again. At the entry gate we found that the route we planned to take was closed due to heavy snow and the forecast in the exact words of the lady at the gate “now.. snow!, later – snow! evening – snow!, tomorrow – Snow!!” we entered turned around and exited. We had to think of an alternate plan! We decided to drive back and maybe try a hike or some adventure stuff in the big horn forest on our way back.

The long drive back Posted by Picasa

Scenic pass Posted by Picasa

heavenly sights Posted by Picasa

On the way snow turned to rain and it seemed it used to get heavier whenever we tried to get out of our car. That didn’t deter us from taking some wonderful snaps on the way though. We reached a scenic point and could see a stream flowing in great force. Sun was just peeking through the clouds and we decided it was time we did something interesting so we decided to find our way on the rocks to the middle of the stream. Couple of big jumps and few bruises later all of us did manage to reach the centre, it was more difficult than we anticipated. We got on our way again and out next stop was a hike. Not a regular trail but we found us a mountain that we wanted to climb. An hour later we were on the summit eating chips and salsa. It was again a bit more than we had bargained for; it took some effort but the view was breathtaking!!

Rapids Posted by Picasa

Top of the world Posted by Picasa

After enjoying a couple of adventurous excursions we were in better spirits and we were already making plans for our next stop, yeah we decided to cover Mt. Rushmore too. I had already been there but nevertheless I could still have another glimpse in the night. By the time we reached there, it was raining cats and dogs. We, hardened by similar events in the past 2 day, were not the ones to give up on our plans. We walked in pouring rain to get a glimpse of the presidents and got more satisfaction of our accomplishment rather than the view. Drenched and tired, it was time to head home!

We were back in Minneapolis next morning and were greeted by pleasant sunshine. Looking back we realized that its good if things go as planned, but even better if they don’t. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

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