Tuesday, July 15, 2008

first 'submit' of the season

Can someone be relieved and tensed at the exact same moment? Ask an MBA applicant and he/she would say 'Yes!!' and that moment would be when the cursor is hovering around the 'submit application' button and the mind is wondering whether everything has been taken care of!

And once you have submitted it, one part of you feels relieved that the task is now complete and the other part is already tensed about the outcome! And that is exactly how I felt when today morning I finally did submit the Stanford Reliance fellowship application... Now we wait and watch! Thankfully it is going to be a short wait... 15 days to Aug 1, 2008!

I know this is just the first of many more 'submits', many more sleepless nights spent in self-doubt, many more moments of immense satisfaction at getting an essay 'just right'... Let the party begin!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

aspiration causing consternation!

Well, what can I say?! I have been thinking and dreaming and wondering and sighing a lot lately... not surprising considering its India's future that I am pondering over!

The Reliance Dhirubhai scholarship for Stanford GSB was very welcome news, nothing like getting a chance at a top school with full scholarship plus being able to test yourself amongst your peers even before the actual application (the scholarship will select only the top 50 applicants)! It was certainly exciting but that was before I saw the essay question - 'How do you aspire to shape India's future?' - who me? shape India's future?? Here I was thinking about how I would like to shape my own future all this while and suddenly this comes out of nowhere!

After long hours of staring blankly at the screen and going through some 10-12 drafts I believe I finally have it the way I want. Initially it was difficult for me to even comprehend what was required - was the essay looking for our vision for India as in how do I wish to see India 10-15 years down the line? or was it looking for how do I wish to contribute to India's growth in the future? I have come to the conclusion that it is a mixture of both - where do you want to go and how do you intend to get there? Come to think of it, arent all B-school essays looking for the same thing?!

Now with the context issue resloved, I was faced with the other challenge of putting it all in 250 words. Initially I didnt know what to write, like a sputtering vehicle it was stop-and-go all the way but then as I got a little more comfortable, I started chuggin along until I had written enough to compile into a novella!! How to Say Nothing in 500 Words was an eye-opener and I realised that a lot of it was reiteration and exclamation and rhetoric that can (and should) be done away with and though I am now down to 350+ words, 250 still seems like a huge task :(