The School Visits

For those of us wanting to study in a foreign university, visiting our target schools wouldn’t be practically possible. The  ad-com clearly state that a school visit doesn’t directly play a role in the admission decision.

But those who can afford a trip, can readily benefit by participating in the class room – know the kind of students and faculty, how deep they delve into issues, the facilities and clubs… and more than anything see if they like the school environment. And for people like us, who depend on brochures, emails and youtube, there’s some respite too – “If you can’t visit me, let me come to you” say the schools. Isn’t that a school visit too? 😉

In the next few weeks, many school representatives will be in India for the mba tour & full-fledged ad-com hosted events (check school’s event calendar). Three of my target schools will be in my city!

Hope to meet some of you there 🙂

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A Lil High, A Lil Low

This post comes one week after my GMAT – why? Quite obviously, I was not able to digest my score as it fell short by 30 points than I expected.  When that simple white result screen popped a 7-cent,  I felt like a wounded soldier, wounded at heart!

After a week’s hiatus, I’m trying to focus on my next steps. Let me bullet a few key things from my GMAT experience:

  • Don’t lose sleep before the exam date, Panic Kills!
  • Confidence comes through preparation. Each and every day of your prep, relish your progress 🙂
  • (Esp for Indians) Most of us love Math section and easily get to 49-51 range. So pay more attention to Verbal section
  • GMAT Prep score from mba.com website comes closest to your actual score, but check out how consistently you get there and give a 20 point allowance
  • Take at least one full test a week and get refreshed before you sit for analysis, which is even more important
  • Two months of solid, regular GMAT prep is better than off & on random musings

As for my run up to the test, I was consistently scoring 700+ and that did ensure I’d do better than my GMAT take 1. With Manhattan SC, I fixed my patchy sentence correction to a great extent. For other verbal sections, OG 11 & 12 are good to start with, but doesn’t match up to the actual GMAT. Once or twice a week, I read a few AWA essay questions and framed 4/5 points. Towards the last leg of the exam, I had a decent template ready. For math, I revised all topics and kept solving DS questions.

On the exam day, the time from word ‘Go’ to the final score raced past so quickly that I felt as if I woke up from  hallucination. At a 49 math – 35 verbal – 5 AWA split, I’ve improved a bit 🙂 but not reached where I could probably have 😦 Thanks to my nerves!

If you like to hear anything more or if you have a suggestion, please drop a line. I’m all ears!

GMAT Tip & VC Chat

GMAT is a test of stamina, more than anything! I’m on the course of re-taking my GMAT, hoping to scale my score up by a few notches. From what I’ve noticed, (assuming your preparation is at the right pace) the key to reach the peak is to stay calm and focussed. Stay composed.. and you can get to your best!

About the Silicon India event (refer previous post) – Got to meet a few entrepreneurs and the CEO of my x-company (i still love it!). But the high of the concluded event was the opportunity to easily reach the VCs (Venture Capitalist).  I was very excited to put forth my ideas to a couple of VC’s and hear what they had to say. One VC was right in suggesting that I start off with a trust fund and then look for VC funding. I am gonna run my business someday, with or without an MBA. But I want to do an MBA first to get my basics right.

Start Up Event

For all those entrepreneurial spirits in Bangalore.. Silicon India is organizing a two-day event (29th, 30th May) in Bangalore showcasing a host of ideas, entrepreneurial initiatives and introducing VC’s.

Please note that I’m not endorsing this event 🙂 But I myself am keen to know what exciting developments are happening around and what ideas interest the VC’s!

To register visit: http://www.siliconindia.com/events/startupcityb_2010/index.php

On sharing & moving ahead..

Two incidents or events (as you may call) in the past week, find relevance  in my blog in the context of the application process and beyond.

1. I’m glad to be helping out an IIM (not Indian IT Male) prospective  towards her essay reviews and interview. Having written a lot of app essays and gone through a couple of interviews myself, I was sure I could add my two cents and encourage her to put her best foot forward. After a couple of such discussions, I concluded asking ‘Why not take a few mocks with your friends who got a call and benefit mutually?’ The answer was an instant ‘No’ and the reason ‘competitive pool’. Perfect.. but,

I’ve been reading quite a few MBA aspirant’s blogs and have been keeping tab of PagalGuy forum threads. What I see is the readiness to discuss strategies and work together, breaking loose from the shell of insecurity. I can call/write to these bloggers or Puys and be sure to get an answer and my only connection with them is I’m a member of that club or a blog visitor.  No one is asked to share one’s essay or any confidential stuff.  IIM, for sure is highly competitive.. isn’t that the case for a Stanford or a Harvard? Sharing is a great way to learn and IIMs will teach you that 🙂 Just know the limits!

2. Got a surprise call from a B*-Intl school asking me for my profile and scheduling an interview two days from then. Are such calls common? – Donno. I hadn’t read much about the school earlier, although I had heard its name before. I did some ground work for the call and I did make a good impression on the recruiter (she asked me to complete their app and followed up the next day on scholarships). But at the end of it, I felt I was hurrying through and didn’t fit the school.  Plus, my office had some exciting work to offer for the next half-year. So, I rang up to the recruiter and laid down the facts and we agreed not to proceed. I felt glad that I didn’t eat up someone else’s seat.

But after this episode of bewilderment, I want to make sure I come up with the list of schools I want to be in. More on the shortlist process on my next post… and hey, I’ll need all your insights to make the right judgement!

Deal or No Deal?

After almost two years of juggling with MBA apps, loads of office work, other passionate stuffs and seeing through admission cycles, running behind recommenders, following app calendars, meeting alums, attending MBA meets, getting dinged, interviewed & dinged by my favs, interviewed and admitted only to my safe school,  I DON’T feel it’s done yet.

Yes, I will do it all again, stronger and much better this time .. everything for that one magical moment!

It’s a no deal until then!