Monday, October 27, 2008

First Interview call - Ross

Just read the mail from Ross admissions committee -
'After reviewing your application, we would like to formally invite you to interview for admission to the MBA program at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business. We utilize the interview as a complement to your application materials, to learn more about you, and to provide you an opportunity to further assess the program’s fit with your personal and professional goals.'

I am undoubtedly thrilled - Ross is my top choice and I am really excited about the program. After the first 15 minutes of absolute joy, my mind did an absolute about-turn and images from my previous XLRI interview flitted across... despite a great score and a confident interview last year I am still in the MBA race... obviously my interview didn't exactly do the trick :( That is one experience I do NOT want repeated.... ever!!

I know I have a lot of work to do before I cross this final hurdle and this time I am going to give it my best shot... there are things that my previous unsuccessful attempt has taught me and there is more to learn... For now, I am treasuring the feeling of joy and achievement and gearing up for the next and more difficult (personally) stage... Wish me luck!

PS: Calling all you bloggers reading my post to pitch in with your experiences/tips/do's and dont's... will truly appreciate it! Cheers...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Rollercoaster ride

So much has happened over the last couple of months that thinking back on it makes my head reel.... sleepless nights over the essays, the extremely hectic trip to India in September, the wedding, the submissions (got 3 done in Round 1), the tension over the project, the transcript 'late pahochega lekin pahochega zaroor' saga.... and finally my last day at work!

The essays had been bothering me for ever... it seemed that I never got anything right, lots of thoughts going around in my head but such a jumble when put on paper... sometimes I did not what to write and when I did, I did not know what words to use, how to express and when the words too came to me, I did not know how to fit it all in 300/500/1-page/2-page entries... Rough drafts in my bag, head swarming I got on the plane to Mumbai....

The flight actually did me a lot of good... unable to sleep even though all the seats in my row were empty... I did do a lot of brain-storming over the tiny flight reading light!! A 21-hour flight and many torn pages later, I was just starting to get into the groove of essay writing when I was thrust into the cauldron of madness called 'the big, tiring Indian wedding'!!

First all the shopping for clothes (designer ones!), the jewelery, the shoes, the purses, the makeup... and that's just for me! We even had to shop for my parents, my brother, my to-be sister-in-law, her mother, her mother's sister-in-law and everyone in between... Shopping done we move onto the main event.... the wedding! I knew it was going to be big but never expected it to be sooooo much of... everything :) Relatives, good food, dressing up, gifts, laughter, ceremonies and the 'wonderful' Calcutta rains and (in)famous traffic jams!! After the Calcutta chapter was over, we moved onto Pune for the next session... One more event there, some more wining and dining and I was about ready to catch my flight back to the US of A....

Getting back, I was looking to settle back into some kind of rhythm but that was not to be.... One one hand, I was waaaaay behind on my application materials and with the deadlines approaching, I had no option but to get into overdrive.... and on the other hand, the world around us had collapsed, well, at least the financial world... When I had left, Wall St was still what it had been for the past 50 years, inconspicuously going about making more money, and when I came back the money was gone, the banks were gone, even Wall St, as we knew it, was gone!! The tightening of purse strings touched my life too and my projects at work were indefinitely delayed (euphemism for cancelled)...

With the applications top on my head, the last thing I wanted was uncertainty at my workplace and decided to take up their 2-week notice... today is the last day of that notice period! I have another project lined up but there has been a delay as a result of which, I get to enjoy two days of vacation... time enough to take stock of my current situation and plan ahead... It has been a challenging period but then again I ask myself, isn't this what I wanted? the answer is a resounding 'YES'!!

Hakuna Matata!!!