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Author Archives: Ellie

First Day of Transformation

I have worked to get to this day, today, for so many years now. Some days I took the straight path and on many days, I was probably moving in a direction that I never thought could lead me here. But here I am. And in those few, quiet moments through the day, I have been alternately tearing up and pinching myself, to confirm that this is it. The first day of business school. A dream that I have nurtured and cherished for years now. Sometimes knowingly, willfully and at other times, tucked safely in the corner of my heart and brain, where no one could see it.

I am back in my apartment, after what feels like a very surreal day of cheering, table banging (more on that later!), talking and meeting so many people for brief and awe-inspiring conversations. And before this fleeting moment gets away from me and the reality of life kicks in tomorrow or day after, I want to cherish it. Through the many welcomes messages from Fuqua faculty, administration, the amazing Orientation team and alumni from all over the world, I felt a connection to this place, an affirmation of the same gut feeling that made me apply to Fuqua as an Early Decision student. The same connection also made me withdraw my application from all other schools, right away after getting in here. As a speaker said, there is something in the air, something about the people coming in and surrounding you at this place that some will intrinsically connect with.

One of the key things that attracted me to Fuqua was the opportunity to develop myself as a leader. It is hard to miss in your research about the school, the emphasis it puts on seeking and molding future leaders of consequence. As someone who has typically had the mantle of the being the default leader of the group and learnt how to be one by trial and error, I am going to take these two years and mold myself into one, who is a worthy of being followed and willing to follow.

This poem, also a part of our orientation today, sums up the best of what I want to get out of this experience in the two years and how I hope that this investment in myself can help in my long-term transformation.

To the next two years!

—————————————————————–

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on the tombstone
from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth
and spoke the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
and more often wear a smile,
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read,
with your life’s actions to rehash…
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent YOUR dash?

— The Dash by Linda Ellis

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2015 in Experiences, Life, MBA, Musings

 

I am in…and I am going South!

I got in! I got in! I got in!

Got the Early Decision Admit to Fuqua and I am over the moon. Yes there were tears.

I am done with is process and soooo ready to begin the next phase. I shall be back to writing more often once I feel more coherent but I had to tell it to you guys, who still stop by here to check and support me. Thank you for sticking with me in this journey!

Duke-Fuqua-01

2008-07-24_Duke_Chapel

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2014 in Being Desi, Future, Life, MBA

 

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BoB Awards – who me? :)

Well nothing like a nomination to let go of procrastination and come back to the beloved blog, isn’t it? I was pleasantly surprised to see my blog up there with Sarah’s, Domotron’s and Hamm‘s as a ClearAdmit Best of Blogging Awards for 2013-14 nominee. Please do show your love to all the nominees and hey, if my struggles and experiences helped keep your chin up, then do nominate me too 🙂 Vote by following this link, or by tweeting your top three favorites – along with the hashtag #ClearAdmitBoB –  to @clearadmit. Voting will conclude on Wednesday, May 28th. 

In the meanwhile, unlike many of my fellow nominees, my journey on this road is not over yet. I am back to the drawing board having now engaged a consultant to help me perfect my pitch. After some tough love and reflection, we have started crafting this year application. My package with the consultant expires on June 23rd and my big concern is that my target schools don’t come out with their apps by then :-s. But, hopefully, if not all, one or two may share their essays in time for me to build as he/they call is a “horizontal strategy”.

It is already shaping out to be a busy summer otherwise. After 2 years of informal management responsibilities, I was finally assigned a formal direct report and within 28 days of becoming a manager, I had to take the decision to fire the colleague I started to manage. The learning from this experience is still at a nascent stage and dawning on me daily, but I won’t ever want to be in this position, if I can avoid it in the future. On a happier note, my pro-bono project for this year is almost complete. Our Board presentation was really well received and we now have a final presentation with the development committee to give some of the more difficult messages.

And finally, over the next six months, my husband and I are planning for the visit of my parents and in-laws, who will be living with us for about 3 months each. I know, I know – many of my readers may find this an occasion to feel the opposite of excitement (panic anyone?!) :). Three months with parents? Three full months with in-laws, really??! But, I really am excited! It has been a loooong time since I have lived with my parents for this long and I have never spent more than a week with my in-laws, so I am excited for the great food, some company, and to show them around the US. I will also be candid and say it out loud, I am really excited about the help in managing my home while I put in more time at work and in my b-school applications!

So with that, thanks again Clear Admit for nominating me and helping me share my journey along with some amazing people. Until the next time …

BoB Nominee 1

 

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2014 in Experiences, Life, MBA, Recap

 

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DING Report

I would like to say that I have been really busy and so swamped with the awesome stuff happening around, that I did not get time to come back to my blog and update it. And if I did, I would be so wrong.

I gave my Kellogg interview last month on 17th February through Skype, after weather gods decided that my flight should be cancelled and I should be stuck in the house with snow being dumped all over DC. A week before the interview though, I gave my GMAT again. Round 3 was more successful than my other attempts but came after my first ding from UNC. So, the final GMAT score tally stands as:

  • GMAT 1: 580 Q37 V32
  • GMAT 2: 570 Q36 V32 (?!?!?!#@%$#)
  • GMAT 3: 680 Q44 V40

After the Kellogg interview, which went well except for the nagging feeling that I could have done a better job at telling more interesting things about me as a person (but more on that later), I waited for Kelley to call me. I waited, spoke to some wonderful people at Kelley and waited still for the interview. And then finally on 14th March, I heard back from both Kelley and Ross. No interviews or wait list for me to join the class of 2016. I also heard back from Kellogg yesterday and my nagging feeling turned up as another reject. So, the final tally for apps stands as:

  • UNC – Applicant initiated interview on Campus. Result – DING
  • Kellogg – Applicant initiated interview on Skype. Result – DING
  • Kelley – No interview. Result – DING
  • Ross – No interview. Result – DING

As of today, I have an offer (interview pending) to join the 2 year Weekend MBA program at Ross, who got my profile from FT program but I will likely pass that on in favor of a full-time program and attempt to apply again later this year to at least two of the above schools and a few new ones. The last month has been really introspective for me as I thought about what really went wrong in my application. People, who know me and know my work, are still convinced that shouldn’t take the route of doing an MBA for the sake of an MBA but rather still set my eyes at the Top 20 programs. This made me realize that there is a big possibility that I did not do a good job of portraying the person these people know, in my application. I am sure my GMAT scores did not help my case, but after speaking with the many students in this journey, I feel confident that my apps as a whole did not make a stellar case.

In the meanwhile, I also realized that I have some free time and not enough to do until end of summer when the application season starts again. I am also out of excuses to not become serious about fitness. As an overweight kid and adult, who has escaped health problems, I have always had infinite and one reasons to not “work out”. But, I also turned 29 this year and was suddenly very aware of my body-clock, about the inevitability of having kids eventually, raising them, and having a successful professional career, at the same time and taking my good health for granted, did not sound smart.

So, as I research and review the schools I will apply to over the summer, I know the one thing in me that has changed. For most of my life, I did not do things where I was not certain of being either the best or at least very good. But, in this one year (April 2013 – March 2014) I took on the GMAT, failed, and got back up. I applied to some really good business schools, failed, and will get back up. Hopefully, I will stay the course of fitness and continue sweating through this year and use the same perseverance to meet my other goals.

Congratulations everyone who made it! Be ready for the amazing ride of your life 🙂

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2014 in Experiences, Life, MBA, Musings, Recap

 

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A year to be thankful for!

I have been back since last week from a wonderful, albeit short (yes, 3 weeks with a family you don’t get to see all year feels short!) visit home. We packed in a lot of travel, met a lot of family and friends, including my grandma, who I hadn’t met in 8 years :-/ and got my sis married off in true Indian fashion. This trip was unfortunately a bit disappointing on food experience side, despite the two weddings that we attended, but well that’s never stopped me from putting on weight. 😀

So, I am back to a cold, a bit dreary, and a practically “friend-free” Washington DC. Most of our friends are either on their annual trips to India or are taking advantage of the Christmas holiday travelling, while TH and I guard the doors at our respective offices. There isn’t much work, except the occasional email, and that’s great because, I desperately need to make up for the lost time in finishing my apps for Ross, Kelley, and Kellogg.

I have now got the process down to a science and every single day, I send up a prayer for being married to a guy who is as committed to this whole process of application as I am. He has been able help me distill my many, many words and thoughts into clear, concise, and articulate goals. If I do make it through to the interviews, it’ll be all for his support.

This year has been great in many ways – professionally and personally. I think I have been less afraid to fail, failed and still not given up, in all ways grown and matured more than ever before. In the same spirit, once I am done with applications, I plan on taking the last shot at GMAT again. Less to support my application story but more to get even with it. During the next month, I’ll also be preparing for my Kenan-Flagler interview and the Kellogg interview, and hoping and praying very, very hard that Ross and Kelley both like my application story and call me for interview.

To everyone here who has made it in R1 (Hamm0, TimBobPoeticQuant, ExpectingMBA, and MBAGirlJourney) – many congratulations! To fellow travellers still on this journey in R2 – May the new year bring us closer to our dreams 🙂 HAPPY NEW YEAR!

happy-new-year-fireworks

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2013 in Experiences, Life, MBA, Recap

 

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Leaving on a jet plane

I just wanted to post a quick update before I head to India in the next few minutes for my sister’s wedding. The next 10 days are going to fly pretty quickly with the ceremonies, some last minute shopping, meeting family, and also, not to forget, submitting my apps for Kenan Flagler on 9th Dec.

My essays are almost final, with only some finishing touches still left. But I did go ahead and book my interview slot for January because that’s the one interview I could do it for :-p.

And here’s the final call for boarding….:-) See ya all!

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Is this the end?

So attempt two at GMAT happened today. And after deceptively increasing scores in the mock and admittedly a better understanding of the exam, I bombed again. The shock and utter disbelief gave away to despair as I called TH to tell him that I let him down yet again. While in the first round, I refused to accept the message that the mock scores were giving me, for this attempt, my mock scores ranged at least 60-100 points from the last time around. I thought that was a good sign.

So now, is this the end of the MBA road for me? This one exam/score can possibly nullify the rest of my application. I am below the median scores for all schools that I want to apply to. But as I was thinking these justifications out in my head, I also realized, that this is it. These are all the objections that I have/can get for my application.

On the other hand, do I believe that getting a low GMAT score will stop me being who I am or what I do at work? Did not having a GMAT score stop any of the opportunities that I have had so far or will stop me from going out for any in the future? Sure, for that matter, even if I don’t apply, will I stop pursuing and building a profile in shaping strategy for a company? Is everything that I have done in school, college, and work so far, have no value without this GMAT score to confirm it?

To these many questions, my answer was no. GMAT failure doesn’t and hasn’t changed any of these things and likely has little impact on anything except my application and the number of schools that I had originally wanted to apply to. The reason why I want to do an MBA is still the same. The reason why I want to apply to certain schools is also the same. The onus is on me, as it always was, to convince the admissions committees of these schools that I am still the right candidate, with one less data point to support their decision-making process – the GMAT score. A typical candidate would have their college acads+GMAT to quantify her mental chops along with professional and extra curricular aspects. In my case, since my GMAT is now down the drain, I just have one less point than everyone else to make the same case.

I could potentially give this whole thing up with the pathetic GMAT score. But 5-10-15 years down the line, an older, probably wiser me, would definitely question, how I expected anyone else to have faith in my dreams and aspirations, if I didn’t have the conviction enough to follow them through their logical end. From the day I started this journey, I knew that I won’t be an MBA because of my GMAT, but inspite of it. Well now, let me start this journey in earnest with the GMAT behind me.

Some dreams stay with you forever,
drag you around but bring you back to where you were,
Some dreams keep on gettin better,
gotta keep believin’ if you wanna know for sure
plan-b

 

At the end of this, I may not be successful, but I’ll at least know for sure.

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2013 in Future, MBA

 

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