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Category Archives: Future

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!

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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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Guess who’s back?

im_back4 Apps – 2 Campus Visits – 1 Product Launch – 1 Job Offer/Promotion later, I am back. I am hoping that this gives everyone a bit of a flavor of what has kept me occupied in the last few months. I actually had to take a crash course in prioritizing and start axing things that I honestly couldn’t do full justice to. Sadly, “updating my blog” came right after “going to the gym”, which is always the first item on my “Not to do” list :D.

So which school made my list this time around, you ask?

  • Fuqua – Early Action
  • Kenan Flagler – Early Action
  • Ross – Round 1
  • Tepper – Round 1
  • McCombs – Round 1  Had to cut this off my Round 1 list eventually.

Both, Ross and Kenan Flagler are schools that I have reapplied to. This time around, I took a trip down to Ann Arbor as one of the prospective MBA women applicant invited to attend the Women in Leadership Conference. To anyone lurking around the blog and looking to apply in 2014/2015, I would say – Please sign up to attend these if you can! As an applicant last year, I had no idea when these conferences happened and whenever I’d read of those it would be always a bit too late (plus I had my GMAT drama going on for the better part of the year!). But, I applied to Ross’ event this time around and I can say that it was the best 2-days I have had in the MBA journey so far. Most business schools that host these events invite prospective candidates to apply by submitting a resume and a small essay asking why you are interested. Once selected, the schools then begin their wooing process :). Ross put about 25-30 girls coming in from all parts of US/Canada at the Sheraton and wined and dined us for over two days. You get the chance to not only experience a very high quality conference but also forge relationships with current students, admissions team members, and other prospective students, who could be joining you at a different school too!

Both with Ross and Fuqua, I ended up going to the campus just about 3 days before the submission deadline. Now, its not like I didn’t have my essays all prepared then (after all that’s a perk of reapplying and doing the whole MBA she-bang for over a year!). But after each visit, I had so much more to say that was specific to my day spent at the campus, that I ended up scrapping almost half of my old essays in favor of including new material. This was particularly true of the cover letter that Ross needs and for the Why Fuqua essay. However, here I am today, finally done with all my apps. After my gentle reminder today, hopefully my recommenders will submit their Kenan Flagler links by 17th October and we’ll be all done.

But, I wish life was that simple and waiting for interview, invites and decisions was all I had to worry about! Through these last few weeks, I got the opportunity to lead a go-to-market effort for a new product at my company. This was the first project to create a new product after my company acquired another company earlier this year. Now, we have been on an acquisition spree for a few years now but sadly, most integration projects haven’t been successful. So, this product launch was, to put it mildly, a big deal for the CEO. Thankfully, not only I got the launch done, but actually ended up exceeding goal by 120% bringing in some marquee clients in the process. Great stuff for essay fodder, is what you are all thinking right?? 😀 I milked this for sure!

But, here is the kicker. Now, my company wants to promote me to be an Associate Director and relocate to SFO to manage a bigger team there. This stretch opportunity comes with a leadership tag, increased pay, and other perks but, one caveat – I need to give my answer by November 1st week and commit to not leaving for at least one year. 😐 Not a written agreement that is binding but a good faith commitment given to my boss, who is my recommender and has been instrumental in helping me get many opportunities. So I can’t even think of burning bridges.

I have no idea what to do as of today. Since I got this offer, one day I am looking for apartments in SFO and the other day in Raleigh/Durham/Ann Arbor! What would you pick?

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2014 in Future, Life, MBA, Musings, Recap

 

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On and beyond Super Tuesday

Hope everyone stayed warm during the polar vortex here in the US! Quite fittingly, once my apps for Ross, Kelley, and Kellogg were submitted on “Super Tuesday” of MBA Apps, work exploded, leaving very little spare time to come back here often. In a way, that has been a small mercy. In my not-so-infrequent visit to the forum, I can see that quite a few of us, who are in the same boat, are waiting quite anxiously to hear back. The next step for me was to open my GMAT books (I never managed to put them away), get my Kellogg interview booked, and start preparing for the Kenan-Flagler interview coming at the end of the month, all the while refreshing GMATClub and Gmail to hear the latest about Ross or Kelley.

One other thing that I also came to appreciate during this time was how amazing my recommenders were! Despite reading one too many horror stories about having chase recommenders or worse, them not submitting in time for the deadline, my recommendation writers completed all their end of the work right after Christmas. Not only that, they have been super supportive. One of them actually wrote this to me – “If you don’t get into one of these schools, I will personally go to them and slap someone.” 😀

Tomorrow, I am attending the Kelley Small Group Dinner in DC. I haven’t been able to find a lot of online information or much in terms of how the experience has been for other people in the past. So I do plan to debrief here on my blog, how the dinner goes. My interaction with Kelley Chair of Full time MBA program, Prof.Jonlee Andrews was wonderful. In fact, it was one of the main reasons that motivated me to apply to the school. So, I am pretty excited about the Dinner tomorrow, to meet more people from Kelley and understand about their program better. I won’t also say no to an ‘actual’ interview invite in a few days ;-).

And till then…everyone keep your peckers up! 🙂

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2014 in Future, MBA

 

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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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The road ahead…

So…the G-day came and went. It was every bit the downer I had hoped it would not be. My score sucks and am in serious doubts if I should continue on this road still. In parts, I am despondent that after being petrified of giving GMAT for years, I did give it and I failed. On the other hand, I am indignant about my score because I don’t think I am in the 60 percentile level! I may not be the sharpest tool out there but this score should at least reflect my true potential.

I am moving on now to plan a Labor Day weekend trip to Vegas. R1 is definitely out of my reach because if I do go back and tackle this beast of GMAT again, I want to give it more than 45 days. Thanks again to everyone coming by this blog and keeping me company as I tackle this…its been precious to have you around.

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Posted by on August 18, 2013 in Future, Life, MBA

 

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Fear of failure…and here we go again!

My thinking on the GMAT…is that…pretty good measure[s] of what a standardized test can measure which is not your intelligence but your ability to commit to do well on a standardized test. Nobody walks into the GMAT cold. People prepare for these tests.”

Deidre Leopold, Managing Director of Admissions & Financial Aid, HBS

I think the famous HBS director has quite the right idea of it and it is the very reason I am hyperventilating. A poor GMAT score, which is a frightening, but a fairly probable outcome of the last few months of slogging for me, will likely not be indicative of me being dumb. But it would certainly be a damning indictment of my ability to buckle down and focus to get through a standardized test that needs preparation and a high degree of perseverance.

I moved my GMAT date to two weeks later to make sense of my abysmal test scores. That Math is not my main problem here is probably what has me baffled the most. Verbal, seriously? This whole exercise, if nothing else, will be such a ego bruiser the way my Verbal scores are moving. 😐 I think ego is also what is keeping my scores from going up and errors from going down. So clearly a loop that I better break out of and fast. I am practicing, analyzing, re-analyzing, trolling GMATClub for tips, tricks, answer key to the actual test that would turn up in front of me…anything that can work to turn this around. Hopefully it will…right?

In a moment of desperation, I submitted my profile for evaluation with EssaySnark on GMATClub. And for better or worse, they gave me a good chance of getting into my dream school subject to a 690-720 range GMAT score. And while this came with usual disclaimers of essays being on the mark, the earth being at certain angle, and other things within and beyond my control, it also is going to make it feel worse if my GMAT bombs. I appear to have worked hard enough professionally to become a good candidate but it is my ability to get this one standardized test wrapped up with a respectable score which will decide whether I should even both doling out the moolah for the apps that will follow.

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2013 in Future, MBA, Rant, To - do

 

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One month to go…

So now that I have officially wasted the one long weekend before the D-day, I thought I might use these last few hours before heading home from the god-forsaken place that is Wilmington, DE to update my blog instead. The D-day is set for next month and prep for GMAT had been on track until the last few days. I think the abundance of prep material has me bogged down. I started with the standard OG, the Manhattan GMAT guides to brush up my rusty basics and had my prep down on the calendar. My pleasure at striking down chapters, and sets of questions as ‘to-do’ for the day gave me a pleasure that I cannot put down in words yet. 🙂

And then, as word of my GMAT got around, well-meaning friends and the TH (the husband for future references), who had been so far pretty hands-off, started to give me their two cents. It started with a Magoosh membership that still has a month of juice left in it and had ‘helped her soooooo much‘ and then reams of questions and practice tests both PDF and adaptive that ‘will guarantee a 700+‘ .  As this material has been piling on my desk, I went ahead and also go myself the 6 full CATs from MGMAT because for all their helpfulness none of the people I spoke with had these mock test for me to run through and pace myself on.

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Sadly, with this huge mound of material, I am feeling quite overwhelmed. I had hoped to use this long weekend, the only days off I have before my test exactly 4 weeks later, to do something about it. And to help me do that, I offered to join TH at his project site, Wilmington DE. He assured me it was a city that offered no distractions and that he would be working with his nose to the grindstone himself both on Wednesday and Friday, giving me enough time to tame my practice schedule. What neither of us accounted for was my inability to focus outside of my trusted study table at my apartment and how ridiculously relaxing a plush king bed of a hotel room can be. 😐 Having checked out this afternoon from the damn hotel and spending time trying to study at a Starbucks has been a tad better. Before I could drown myself in the cup of Iced Caramel Machhiato, I saw that my accuracy hasn’t suffered due to this dilly dallying of the last few weeks. Phew!

Most of the schools I would like to apply to are already out with their application and not surprisingly, my main applications are due on 1st October for R1. I am still debating between Wharton/Kellogg and I guess my GMAT score and meeting a few people from both schools could help make it clearer which is a better fit. I’ll do a longer post about my schools and the why later, once this GMAT beast has been tamed. In the meanwhile, I got the following locked down:

a) Recommendation writers – I know I mentioned this to Hamm and PoeticQuant, but I spoke to one of my recommendation writers and he graciously agreed. My other recommendation writer is going to be my manager and she hasn’t so far given me any indications about her unwillingness to support me in this. But I’ll officially ask her by the end of this month. I haven’t had a chance to look this up online but is anyone keeping a third recommendation writer spare, you know just-in-case?
2. The other thing that had me beaming all day long last week was my ‘Why MBA?’. I have struggled to articulate it in a non-shallow way ever since I was 17 :-p and the first time I wanted to do MBA as a master’s course. AND FINALLY, in my head and in my notes I have been able to connect the dots leading up to today that should make it difficult for adcoms to at least poke holes in it. That did make me very happy 🙂

See you all soon!

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2013 in Future, Musings, Rant, To - do, Uncategorized

 

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