Business schools on the road!

business schools on the road

Business schools on the road

 

International applicants who cannot visit schools they want to apply to will agree with me when I say, the thrust by top business schools on having information sessions/ admission events world–wide is a godsend. I am so excited that four of my target schools will be making a stopover in India. It will be liberating to gather empirical evidence and put a face to the name!

For those of you interested I have put down links for the Admissions Tour Dates of my target schools. Sadly, Haas and Cornell (Johnson) aren’t coming down. I was looking forward to meeting them. I ‘ll have to make the best of emailing current students and alumni.

 

I’ve been following  my target schools on the social media ( Facebook, Twitter, Blogs & Instagram). It’s a fun way to keep tabs on what your schools are up to and a fantastic medium to connect with current students. You also will have a ton of rich content to work into your essays after couple of weeks of stalking. As most current students and admissions offices are social media savvy –  Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are the first places that will splashed with the ‘breaking news’ of any given school. You will  be exposed to all the latest collaborations that schools have engaged in ( your essays could talk about how you’d thrive in those collaborations), different inter-school competitions( that you would love to be a part of, if admitted) and new programs that have sprouted.

Give it a whirl, if you aren’t already connected Social Media’wise’.

Do the numbers add up?

Bring it!

Bring it!

The admissions process is very grueling, it forces you to take a hard look at yourself (There are times these deep introspection exercises, have led to astral travel; more on that in another post). Although, I have a few aces up my sleeve like – my goals, which I will be able to articulate in my essays with conviction (both short-term and long-term), being a social entrepreneur and all that. I can’t help but feel like I have major deficiencies in certain wedges of my profile. I do not have a stellar GPA; more like a subpar GPA, I haven’t got impressive credentials for community work either, just an NGO, where I have devoted a couple of months. Apart from being a part of the Indian Bloggers League, AirAsia Bloggers Community ( I don’t know if this counts) and a certified Tea Taster(Yeah, I am eccentric), I do not have anything that makes me memorable . You can see why I have certain inhibitions about my candidacy.

 

A critical look at my profile  

  • 23 year old Female
  • Indian
  • Undergrad –B.A Economics (2011) 2.9 GPA  (Yes, I played the fool in college, I thought leading the drama club and winning business competitions were way cooler)
  •   Supplemented that with a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing (2013- 2014)  GPA –  7.0/9.0
  • 4 Years of solid work experience upon matriculation – the first 2 years were spent at a start-up, where I lead Marketing and New product development. The past 1 year have been spent building my own firm.
  • My company is a for profit social enterprise – I intend to leverage that to the maximum.
  • GMAT: I am working my butt off to get that 760. I am hoping a good GMAT score will offset my pathetic GPA.

There it is. A glimpse into my not so spectacular profile!

Penny for your thoughts?

 

Yale School Of Management: Business School Tally Board

It wasn’t until my friend was researching and applying to Yale last application season that I realized that – Yale is a great school, especially for their focus in my field, Social Impact Businesses. (And yes, my friend is going to Yale SOM in August!) I have done some research and learnt a lot of wonderful things about the school. The one thing that I am slightly cut up about is, it not being a powerhouse in marketing. Strength in Marketing, is something I am really looking for in a Business School.
I have pigeonholed all my thoughts on Yale SOM in the tally! Let me know what you think! 🙂

YALE

GMAT Prepwise, I am in week 3, trudging along. My schedule is something like this on the weekdays

4:30 AM – 6:30 AM – Verbal ( currently finishing up SC from the Aristotle SC Grail)

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM – Quant ( I am following the Manhattan GMAT Guides)

8:30 PM – Till i black out – Go through my notes, rules and flash cards. and Of course my Multiplication tables.

 

Peace.

Business School Tally Board

 I read this blog post on the Kellogg MBA students blog and was immediately drawn to the experience that Kellogg has to offer. I loved how lucid and relevant that criteria was to me, and I have used it as the heart of my ‘Business School Tally Exercise’. Because let’s face it most top schools have ‘A Rigorous Curriculum’, ‘Faculty Experts‘, ‘State of the art Infrastructure‘ so those of us applying to the top 15 need not worry about any of that but, it is vital that we go deep into each school’s unique offering and understand how we will benefit from it. ( honestly, those ridiculously expensive fees better be worth it) I am taking my time and doing thorough research on the schools. Most schools have comprehensive websites, amazing blogs to follow and the admissions office are forthcoming and patient with your questions, these give you a feel of what it’s like to go that particular school. If anyone know other ways to access information pleaaase let me know?

 The schools that I have short listed are as follows. My list is still a work in progress.

1.Kellogg

2.Stanford

3.Yale

4.Cornell

5.Ross

6.Haas  (Thanks to MBA reapplicant84’s advice)

Criteria

Keeping the kellogg MBA students blog in mind, here’s the tally board. I will be revisiting this every week and updating it. I will also do a post on my profile, so I can get all of your suggestions!

 Kellogg’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Video ( KIEI) – I couldn’t embed the link in the entrepreneurship section of the table.

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On your marks, get set, Go!

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Stanford, Harvard and Yale have released their application essays and deadlines, the others won’t be far behind and with that the ‘Starting Pistol’ for the 2014-2015 admission cycle has gone off! Yikes! I am still at Phase 1!

Order for the next three months: (JUNE, JULY & AUGUST)

1. GMAT – I am hacking through prep material. I should be confident to produce that 750-760 by August.

2. Schools – I have created a sort of Checklist, where I go thoroughly over each School’s offering, costs and ‘fit’. ( I will be putting up a detailed post this weekend on my criteria for selection)

3. Profile – Freezing on an admissions consultant by July. – Any thoughts?

How is everyone else doing?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making your GMAT Preparation work for you in Business School

Crunch time!

Crunch time!

Those of us who’ve taken a shot at the GMAT (successfully or otherwise), know what goes into preparing for it. The sleepless nights, the excessive amount of caffeine, the social isolation,the bouts of insanity and the acute frustration, all for a perfect score. If you are anything like me, you’d want to get best deal out your preparation, I mean, look at the ordeal most of us go through, the pay off has GOT to be more than that haloed perfect score. After some deep reflection, I willed myself to believe there’s more to a good GMAT preparation than just a good score. And god, do I feel a little better about the struggle now. Here are my thoughts

 1. Ground work for Quantitative Reasoning 

 The MBA core curriculum includes lavish helpings of Finance/Account based courses like financial modeling, financial reporting & control and corporate finance. All of these courses require strong analytical and quantitative skills. I believe, good GMAT preparation will help in achieving that prerequisite. For someone like me, with poor quantitative skills, studying for the GMAT helped a whole lot in improving those skills.

 2. Skim and sift

 One of the interesting things I’ve picked during prep was to skim and sift the reading comprehension section of the test. Most GMAT coaching companies advocate this method. I was apprehensive at first – what if I missed vital information? I’ll have to go back and read the passage all over again, wasting precious time! But the more I practiced the technique the better I got at it. The idea is to read / skim the passage, sift and gather useful information to answer the question set. Practice is key here. As for how this technique helps in Business school, think – case studies and caselets, the ‘Skim and Sift’ technique actually helps you get straight to the point with out wasting time on irrelevant information.

 3. Critical Thinking

 Critical thinking can be defined as ‘the ability to consider a range of information derived from many different sources, to process this information in a creative and logical manner, challenging it, analysing it and arriving at considered conclusions which can be defended and justified’. One of the most important ideas in business is critical thinking and therefore it only makes sense that the best business schools place great emphasis on the importance of Critical Thinking. I wouldn’t go so far as to say the GMAT covers everything that the concept of Critical Thinking has to offer, but the critical reasoning section on the GMAT does stretch the mind and is a pretty solid place to start.

 4. Business Communication

 The sentence correction section of the GMAT will impel you to go back to your grammar books from high school. This section is a fantastic way to get a grip on grammar rules and accurate sentence construction, especially for ‘non-native speakers’, like me. I imagine there will be a ton of business letters, exams and networking in the two years at business school and I, for one want to be the very personification of eloquence! 😀

5. High Tolerance for pressure and a boost in confidence

 I’ve whined incessantly about the pressure that preparing for the GMAT puts on you, but there’s an upside. The feeling that you can take on anything after you’ve succeeded. A few friends who crossed the 700 barrier said that certain god-like invincibility overcame them. (I might be exaggerating a little, but you get the picture) I just cannot wait to experience that feeling! It is pretty obvious that work load and pressure in Business school are of epic proportions, but studying for the GMAT gives you glimpse into that world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bumpy Road to a MBA

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MBA on my mind.

I have seriously considered getting a MBA for a year now. After 2 disastrous and 1 so-so attempts at beating the GMAT, I rather boldly applied to Kellogg in round 3 (Yeah, I am ballsy, an international applicant with a substandard GMAT score in round 3…whaaa?) only to be dinged. But I am not disheartened, I’ve picked myself up and started my preparation for this admission cycle ( August – September, 2014). I have solid goals this time around.

PHASE 1 ( June – August)

1. Get that dream GMAT Score of 740 – 760

2. Get my profile licked into shape. (More on that in posts that follow)

3. Short list 7 schools. (All in the top 15, US Schools)

PHASE 2 (August – December)

1. Get all my applications through in R1(Dream Schools) and R2 (Safe Schools)

2. Get accepted into at least 2 schools (Kellogg and Yale)

Yes, I have a definite plan of action and I am going to chronicle them in my blog. I think putting this goal out there for everyone to see is petrifying, but more importantly it will help me stay focused on my goals and who knows it might even help someone who is in the same boat as me!