Search This Blog

Monday, April 12, 2010

Introspection - Part III

Where to find the information ----

  1. MBA rankings – Do not value the information blindly. I believe that MBA rankings are a good starting point for your college search.                                                                                                               Rankings that I find quite genuine are – Business Week, Financial Times and US News. Other websites where you can find the information – Forbes, Wall Street Journal

  1. School Websites – This is the most important source of information. A school website has enormous data on its website to give you the essence of school’s ethics, values, culture, teaching methodology etc.

  1. MBA forums/ websites – These are also a vital source to provide the details about GMAT, B-schools and a particular program. These sites/blogs contains huge information provided by school’s adcom members, applicants, current student and alumni coupled with expert advice from the MBA consultants. Few such sites are -


  1. Alumni/ current students – These are the sources that can provide you with their first hand experiences about the school/program.

  1. Fellow applicants/ bloggers

Friday, April 9, 2010

Introspection - Part II

What to do next ----

  1. Prepare an xls – Prepare an excel sheet by drawing out all the activities/achievements (extracurricular activities, awards, community service) in the grid and characterising them with all the traits (leadership, teamwork etc) that they tend to bring out.

My 2 cents – This is not a small process. Do spend your maximum time in pondering over these points. Include everything that comes to your mind.

  1. Work on your weaknesses – After drafting everything on the xls, you will find some areas where you lag behind a bit. Don’t get worried, but start working on those areas. Like take up some quantitative course if you have a low quant score on GMAT

P.S.  For me, I’m in an ambivalent state over one thing. My GMAT score is 700. Being an Indian IT Male and considering the high intensity of competition for Indian IT Engineers, I am considering of giving GMAT once again. But still confused!!! Any advice?

  1. Work on your career goals - This is the most important factor that will decide on your life Post-MBA. Once your career goals are set, you become clearer on the criteria for school search. THINK THINK and THINK!!!!!

  1. Finding a ‘fit’ – By finding a proper fit, I mean relating your values, beliefs etc with that of college’s.

  1. Talking to the current students, alumni and college staff.

P.S. Since I can not make a visit to the schools (If you can that is probably the best thing to do), I will try to attend the seminars to have a direct conversation with the staff members and students/alumni. Another method is to talk to the students who have visited the schools to have their opinion.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Introspection - Part I

Introspection means self-examination. That was the need of hour for me, to find out the reason for rejection (ding analysis) and the steps that needs to be taken henceforward. In simpler words it was the time to find out answers to basic questions "Why, What, Where”

Why I did not get an interview call ---- 

1. Started the research quite late - I gave my GMAT on 8th October 2009 and after getting the score, decided to research and apply for colleges in R2. That was one of the biggest decision making errors I made. After talking to few MBA applicants and current students and reading many blogs, I realized that a successful application (in most cases) requires a holistic research of your career goals, schools selection, finding a proper fit etc.  

My 2 cents – Do spend sufficient time in researching all theses details before plunging directly into the application process else you will be in a fix.

2. No planning – I did not plan things properly. I took my date for GMAT quite late in October and then decided to apply to 5 colleges, when I had only two months left to the R2 deadline. During that period I had to travel to India too (for some urgent work), thus adding to the pressure on time line. I had two months left only and by that time had no answers prepared for the basic questions “what are my short/long term goals, which essays to start with, who will be my recommenders, what are my strengths and weaknesses, whom to ask for essay evaluations.”

My 2 cents – Do plan everything in advance. Book your GMAT date well in advance from the R1 deadline (one benefit is that you will also have a chance to apply in R2), prepare an xls with all the questions you feel are important. Do refer to the following book as a good starting point to have an overview about the whole MBA process.

3. Not choosing the correct evaluators – It was not that the people I chose for essay evaluation were not sound people (may be they are much more sound than me), but that they were not very much familiar with the MBA application process. Second problem was that I made my essays evaluated by too many people, ending up in a dilemma.

My 2 cents – Choose evaluators judiciously, those who are quite familiar with the process and don’t go beyond 3 or 4. Also choose one person who can do the spell check. DO NOT TRUST THE MICROSOFT SPELL CHECK BLINDLY!!!

4. Did not exemplify my cases – After self-evaluating all of my essays with a very critical viewpoint, I found that I generalized my essays quite a bit. In other words, I did not use proper examples to present my side of story. I kind of generalized all the important points (team work, leadership etc) rather than giving examples of how I fit the bill in those areas. Remember that the adcom members are those who do not know you (or an outsider). The only way to present your case in front of them is to give proper examples.

My 2 cents – Exemplify as much as possible.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Finally I have become a part of "MBA blogosphere" too. After a not so fruitful first year of MBA applications (applied - 5, dinged w/i - 4, accepted - 1 {Cranfield, UK}), I am now out again with a stronger determination to obtain a coveted seat in a MBA college that suits me best.

P.S No offense to Cranfield (It is one of the best B-schools in UK), but after taking various factors into consideration, I found it better to forgo my admit and give another shot for colleges where I can probably find my fit much better and where I can do proper justice to my career goals.

If anyone needs any information on Cranfield, feel free to shoot your questions.

By the way a brief about me:-

Male - IT (what an irony... as a fresher out of college we feel excited to be a part of the large IT community, but during the applications process the same feeling looks like a curse sometimes). Personally I'm happy to be a part of the large IT community, though I felt the pinch during my MBA applications when I had to compete with numerous IT engineers (esp. Indian IT engineers) and prove to be different from the herd.

P.S. I believe that your competition is not with the Doctors or I-Bankers for an admit. It is with them, who have the same background as yours, that you have to compete against.

GMAT 700/4.5 (50,34)
Sr. Unix System Admin (AT&T Singapore)
Work Exp - 4yrs by July 10'