Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Go Blue!!

Yay!!! Got the call I was waiting for (like ever!) today morning...

The Ross Rnd 1 decision deadline is not until 01/15 but the BW forums had been abuzz with anticipation regarding the calls going out starting Monday itself and anyone who has been on the forums (who hasn't, you ask? :) would know how addicitive it is once someone on the forum mentions receiving a call!! So I spent the whole of yesterday refreshing the Ross Round1 thread every 2-3 minutes like an obsessive maniac and as the day wound down, I was almost reduced to a nervous wreck as I had not received 'THE' call yet!!

All I could do the entire evening was ponder over why I did not get the call? had they already called everyone? maybe they are doing it alphabetically? and so on... I remember falling asleep with the last thought being about the call and waking up today thinking about it!!! Trust me, I am not the obsessive kind but this was my top choice school and also the only result I was waiting for... I so wanted it and then it finally does go off!!

Strange how when I saw the number and realised it was from Ann Arbor, I felt relieved and almost calmed down... the victory dance came later :D

But there it is... With an admit to Ross 2011, my application season comes to an extremely successful end... 1 year, 4 applications, 4 interviews and 4 admits later I am finally ready to close this exciting chapter of my life!!

Tons of decisions, planning, shopping, preparing, traveling to look forward to but we will leave that for another day... till then, Hakuna Matata!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays!!

The day of Christ is here and the long-awaited holiday season finally begins!! :) I know I speak for all my fellow applicants when I say that this has been an eventful year and hopefully for all of us applicants, the fun is only beginning!! With a few admits in the bag and one more to look forward too, I cant wait for 2009 to begin!!

Though it seems a little too early for me to be preparing my thank-you speech but in this season of giving, it seems perfect that I give thanks to all the people who have had faith in me and supported me in my decisions...THANK YOU! (you know who you are! ;) Also a big shout-out to all my virtual friends aka blog readers, MBAlmighty, Matt, Mbamission, Ahembeea and others who have been vocal supporters along my MBA journey... Thank you and All the best!

I hope this holiday season and the new year bring a lot of cheer and success to your lives... God bless!

Friday, December 19, 2008

3 down... 1 to go!

Got a wake-up call from the Yale Adcomm today morning.... It was 'good news to share'-time again!! It was completely unexpected... not the results (I was optimistic of an admit after my interview) but the timing... I was not expecting to hear back from Yale or Ross before the holidays and yet here I am... with an Yale admit! If only Ross-Claus decides to come early too :D

But now that the realization that I would indeed be matriculating in 2009 (destination remains undecided) has sunk in, I am beginning to get worried... again! Arranging the finances is the MAJOR task ahead but also questions like -
  • when do I quit job? (right now on an H1-B)
  • how does the H1-B to F-1 transfer work?
  • where do I even begin looking for arranging the finances?
  • Yale or Johnson? rankings-wise they are nearly in the same bracket... they both have great general management/strategy focus.... Johnson is offering me scholarship... no news yet from Yale
Its a weird sense of deja vu as I begin to feel over-whelmed all over again by the amount of work left to do before I pick up those books and sit in that class-room again! But as I got through the daunting phase of applications, I would get through this too... one baby-step at a time!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

2 down... 2 to go!

Current status - sitting pretty with two admits, Johnson and Goizueta with scholarships (every bit helps!)

The acceptance mail from Goizueta came in early last week followed by a call from the Admissions committee a few days later and though I was thrilled to have my first admit, I felt suprisingly composed and in-control!! It was relieving to know that I wasn't the only one betting on me :) Life was good and as the decision deadline for Johnson came closer, I got lured into the 'check-BW-forums-every-five-minutes' passtime and spent one very tense evening and apprehensive morning waiting for that call from 'unknown'...

And finally when I was gobbling down my lunch, my cell rings and I see 'Unknown'... Never have I felt happier :D It was Johnson Adcomm member, the same person with whom I had interviewed calling up to 'share some good news'.... Yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

To-be status - enjoy Christmas and New Year's (2008 was just purrrfect!); wait for Ross and Yale to shower their love too... and no! I am not going to begin worrying about loans just yet! I feel I have earned my days of doing nothing... worrying about nothing... Hakuna Matata!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Just a note

After having put in some thought, I decided not to apply to ISB... I do not know whether it was the right thing to do but the decision was a combination of my lack-of-will, workload at office and the current interview invites...

I might regret this decision in the near future but then again, I might not :) I just did not feel strongly enough about the ISB program and hence the decision...

So with this my application Round 1 is officially over... Lets see how it plays out!

Johnson interview - Analysis

The interview was with a member of the AdComm and once I dialed in, she came on-line almost immediately. After intimating me about not having gone through my application and that the interview would last 40-45 minutes and would be conversational, she jumped straight into it! (No breaking of ice... no casual chit-chat... quite a change from my previous experiences!)

The questions followed a similar pattern and thanks to ClearAdmit, I was prepared -

· short term? long term? why now?
· why Johnson?
· why specific immersion? how will it help in meeting your career goals?
· which other schools? on west coast?
· specific example where you faced a challenge and how did you overcome it?
· specific example where you worked with a team-member who was not performing and helped him?
· specific example of leading a team/your leadership style?
· any weaknesses that you see in your application? strengths?
· any questions you have?
· anything more that you want Johnson to consider as part of your application?

It is so close to the other Johnson interview experiences I have read about that it almost seems that they follow a script and the way she asked the questions, this experience was the closest to an 'official' interview that I had so far... and frankly, I am not delighted with the outcome! (I probably should be more careful what I wish for :( ) I feel, my responses to the specific example questions came of as long-winded and garbled... not as succint and incisive as I would have liked. Also the barrage of questions gave me no time to think and that put me on the back-foot and not being face-to-face with the interviewer made me extra-conscious of my voice. I also could not judge her reactions to my responses (they are normally very inscrutable but it helps!) and over the phone I felt that she was really quite unimpressed :(

Overall, I am glad that I did not opt for telephonic interviews for any other school and as much as I would have liked to travel to Ithaca, this time I really had no option! I just have to keep my fingers crossed till Dec 17th... Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Yale interview - Analysis

Had my interview at Panera Bread with a Yale alum and this was totally unlike the Ross interview... conversational and casual but with a more structured question-answer format. I was even dressed in business formals and so was he... on a Sunday!

He started with reiterating that he only had my resume (I slipped in my updated resume across the table at this time) and would like to know more about my background, motivations etc etc and he would not 'grill' me.... Standard enough start and I relaxed :)
The questions hence on went something like below -
  • how did you choose your undergrad school and area of specialisation?
  • how did you choose your first job?
  • why MBA? why Yale?
  • how will you uniquely contribute to Yale?
  • explain in non-technical terms, what is that you do?
  • any questions you have?

All the while I spoke, he scribbled furiously on my resume... At the end when I glanced down, the sheet had notes all over. I only hope they had good things to say! I believe that I did a pretty good job about answering the why? when? where? questions and also about not sounding too technical... The interview lasted for 35-40 minutes and I feel that I did do a good job of covering all the important points and hopefully making a good impression.

The alum was quite forthcoming in discussing about his life in New Haven - the small town syndrome and its pros and cons... Since it was on my mind too, it was nice to hear a frank opinion from someone who has been there. I also asked him about the alumni connections and he shared his experiences about networking with the alumni and also how it has been effective in his post-MBA job hunt.

I know Yale is super-selective program and its not in top-20 as per the latest BW rankings, but there is something about the program that really appeals to me and I really would love to get into Yale... now that the interview is over, I am just a lil worried if there is something more I should be doing to strengthen my application... As I try to settle into the nerve-wracking waiting period, I can only hope those months of head-scratching, idea-hunting, self-analysing, essay-writing pay dividends...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Birthday...

... to me! :)

What a year it has been! Last birthday I had just got to San Diego and this time around I am here in Los Angeles... If someone had asked me two years ago where I would be celebrating my birthday two years from now, I am sure I would not have guessed this! Frankly, I don't know where I will celebrate my next birthday (I hope its Ann Arbor :D)

Am in a contemplative mood right now so forgive me if I begin to ramble... It truly has been an eventful year this 2008... traveling, learning, meeting, cooking, holidaying, applying, interviewing, living and I loved every moment of it! I truly am a changed person... I know myself better, I know my limitations and more importantly, I know my strengths... Today as I look forward to a new year (calendar too) I feel optimistic and confident about what the future has in store for me... It might be misplaced (or maybe its all that chocolate in the chocolate cake glazed with semi-sweet chocolate ganache talking ;) but the last couple of weeks, it almost seemed like I could do no wrong... small everyday incidents but lucky coincidences nonetheless!!

Being in a new place on your birthday does have its drawbacks though... no friends who come over at 12 in the night to perform the 'cake facial' routine, no family to pamper you... I do miss them all a lot but I am not exactly sad... far from it! I feel I am at such a juncture in life right now when something good, something big is going to happen and the anticipation is a wonderful feeling :)

I have read the saying 'Enjoy the journey' often... and through the process of b-school application, I have realized that the journey has always been more exciting, more energizing than the destination itself for me... Once I reach what I had set out for, its time to set another goal, target another milestone and make a dash for it!

This last year I set my goals, I ran my race and now as I wait for the results, I pray for success and plan for next steps...