C’est la vie.

Yep, I feel ya, simon.

           I feel ya, simon.

I just got back from a trouble shooting mission from one of my projects. So, yes I didn’t give my GMAT on the 31st of October, I’ll have to reschedule it, AGAIN. I had myself a good cry yesterday, because I just CANNOT catch a break with this test. I regret not taking it earlier this year :/. Anyway, I’ll be booking my new date soon, mostly November end or the first week of December! I will have to make this work.

After a good few hours of lolling about in the cesspit of negativity brought on by all this sudden travel, being in a state of despondency over the test and oh did I mention I’ve been moving offices these past 2 weeks, I forced myself to snap out of it (After having the aforementioned good cry, of course) and revisit the bigger picture. I feel like an idiot for getting so emotional over a gorram test. I am a firm believer of the notion that – ‘Everything happens for a reason’, so these delays in taking the test have happened because there’s a bigger plan in motion (I hope!). Now that my head is clear, I realize that I love my job, I love it to bits and I am convinced more than ever that the need for an MBA is supreme. I just have to figure out a way to balance these two rather demanding creatures with sangfroid and control.

I have the tendency to scour Youtube for inspirational TEDTalks when I am out of juice… so yesterday (After having the aforementioned good cry) I stumbled upon this TEDx talk by Kiran Gandhi, and felt like I should share it with ya’ll. I have HUGE girl crush on her, she is such an inspiration. So, here’s her story she is a 25 year old MBA student at Harvard Business School (that’s right) and when she is not prepping for her case studies at school, she is on freaking tour with M.I.A. as her drummer, AMONG other things!! Like WOW. And she lives by this theory called Atomic Living. You gotta watch this video to understand it. Her talk inspired me to look at coincidences (troubleshooting assignment, in my case) in a positive light, because all of them stem from whatever you are passionate about. It made perfect sense to me.

I will keep you guys posted on when my test is slated for. Apart from the test, everything else application-wise are looking good. Recommendation forms will be going out soon. I am gearing up for round 2! I will be adding 2 more schools to my Tally board, and it looks like Darden is going to be one of them! 🙂

PS: 1008557987 points for those of you who spotted the ‘firefly’ references! 😛

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Turning 24 and a mad 4 weeks.

*PHEW*.

Do you sometimes have that feeling where you try and cram as much as is humanly possible  in the 24 hours that constitute a day and that time just isn’t enough? I have had that feeling over the past 4 weeks. Being an entrepreneur sounds great and all, but it is NOT easy, the past few weeks have been testament to that. I am not going to bore you with the details, here’s the jist though – a ton of trouble shooting for our latest project, investor meetings and a rather insipid elevator pitch to a potential angel investor ( I haven’t recovered from that yet 😦 ), heaps of  paperwork, a profusion of meetings/planning on the road map for my company. It felt like I’d arrived at my first day of swimming lessons and I had been thrown in at the deep end of the bloody pool. It knocked the wind out of me. While I’d love to say, some innate capacity in me belted out a butterfly stroke and I managed to reach the edge of the pool with elan, in reality it had me spluttering about for quite a bit before I had my bearings .(Okay, Imma stop with the swimming analogy now) I have to say this though,tis experience has literally been the most amazing and constructive.

And it is safe to say midst all of this chaos, the GMAT has taken a back seat, I’ve pushed my exam date to October 31. So, that’s going to mean Round 2, folks. I am going to have to get in 6 apps in round 2. I want to send in my best possible application to all of my target schools, and if that means pushing to Round 2, I am okay with that.  I am off work for the whole of October for prep, I just want to get this damn test out of the way!

My temple for the next 5 weeks.

My temple for the next 5 weeks. I am going to get you, GMAT.

My essays are taking shape, I am a few days away from having my first draft of essays for Kellogg and Ross ready. The goals are looking good as well. I have gotten good comments from my admissions consultant on that, so I am a little relieved.  As I advance into the complex maze that is the application process, I find myself looking at my profile severely. I am constantly comparing myself to other applicants and feeling rather small, in the shadows of some frickin’ stellar profiles. I really need to relax.

In other news, My connect with Kellogg has deepened, and I have fallen even more in love with the school, if that’s possible. The Kellogg Impact Club has gone out of their way to help me understand the culture at Kellogg and put me touch with a group of alumni who started a company in the same domain as mine is in, and of course based in India. I had a nice long chat with one of the founders. He had some great things to say about the school and way things are done there. I  am  soo excited to be applying there!

Annnnd I turned 24 this week! God, I feel old. :/

Grantmeadmission , Pullingthatmbatrigger, Hugo, TopdogMBA, Naijambagirl !!! Congratulations to those of you who’ve sent in your apps, soo excited for you! 😀 Those of you giving your apps a good ol’ spit and shine and on the brink of hitting SEND, go get ’em!

I just had a thought, all of us should convene at the end of this application journey, before we jet off to our dream schools and compare battle scars. I would love to meet you guys! 😀

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.

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!