Monday, August 25, 2008

Lessons Monopoly taught us

Remember Monopoly? The game we used to have so much fun with, part of our family time with no TVs drowning out the sound, no kids glued to the internet behing locked doors... the time when I was a kid (which wasnt so long ago really!)? Well, I came across this really wonderful article on BusinessPundit on the business lessons that the game of Monopoly taught us. The lessons are listed below -
1. You have to ask for what you want
2. Niceness matters
3. Its not rocket science
4. Take risks
5. Business can be boring
6. Luck counts for a lot
7. Dont expect others to support your strategy
Want to read more? Just follow the link...

And once you have done that, take out that dusty old Monopoly board, get your family together (atleast, you can try) and enjoy a few rounds of putting your competitors 'out of business' :)

Who said Business (and life) can't be all fun and games?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Recommenders, Editors and Contacts.... Ahoy!

Essays are the most important factor...
You have got to concentrate on your essays...
Essays take up 80-90% of your app time...
Essays this and Essays that... so much has been said and written about it that one tends to marginalize the other factors of the application (I know I did!) and then when you actually get down to filling up all those other blanks the enormity of the 'small' tasks strike you!

I have been having an especially bad time with it all (that's not to say that my essay-writing is going great guns but facing trouble when you expected a cake-walk can be very stressful). Over the last couple of weeks, I have talking with my recommender #1, prepping him and feeling quite confident after the experience I was ready to approach recommender #2 when I get the mail that he would be on vacation the next week!! Woah! I did not see that coming.... now its nothing to be overly worried about, you say, but considering I would be going on a vacation soon after I had planned everything such that I have all my recos worked out long before then... and now I would have to re-plan, 1 week delay equals less time for me to prep him equals less time for him to put his words of praise equals less impressive reco :(

On the essay front, I have been working on 4 essays at the same time (working on one essay for more than a day gives me a severe case of mental block) for almost 2 weeks now but I am no where near submitting them... I dont feel confident enuf, hell, I dont feel like reading them myself (but that's probably because thats all the reading I have been doing lately... ) Nyways, I think I desperately neeed some editors - a couple atleast - but people who know me don't know the Bschool app process and because of my technical background, I don't know any Bschool grads! Another thing being, the essays bring out so much personal stuff about you that it is really difficult to just hand it over to someone for review... Its not just the essay they are judging, its ME! (probably a good thing from the adcom perspective but not so good when looking for editors)

That brings me to another issue that is causing me some headache... no Bschool contacts! Be it current students or past alumni... I just cant seem to be able to get in touch wid any... probably I haven't tried hard enuf, probably I havent tried all my sources, probably I am just not doing it right! Watever be the case, I know that making some contacts is imperative and that is what I will be concentrating on over the next coupla weeks, apart from the essays, the recos, the forms, the editor-hunt, the research...

All this before I go on my eagerly-awaited vacation! Adios...

Monday, August 4, 2008

First ding of the season!!

Exactly 15 days after my first submit came in the very first 'ding'... hopefully the last too!
The Reliance Stanford full-ride scholarship (almost too good to be true) results were declared last Friday and I was not one of the finalists...

Takeaways from this experience -
1. there are 50 other Indians who are more smarter, poorer, more in love with India than I am and that they are now all super-excited.. I wish them all the best
Corollary - that only 1 in 5 of these aforementioned Indians would finally make it in.
2. essay writing, even if it is just one, takes more time than you think. Even though you might be thinking about it every waking moment, the progress is slow until you just get down to it
Corollary - stop procastinating
3. writing a short essay requires more work, more vocabulary, more thought and more precision. It requires even more re-drafts since your first attempt would probably have been 3 times the word limit
Corollary - less is indeed more!
4. Stanford is super-achieving, super-diverse, super-brand, super-selective and super-expensive and I am super-sure now that it isnt the one for me... a case of sour grapes, you say? Be that as it may, I think I was just chasing a dream and it was great while it lasted...
Corollary - Stanford is out

What have my other fellow dinged applicants learnt? I would love to know... And all you finalists out there in the blogosphere, please stand up! You deserve the applause :)