Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Status update

Found a message from HBS on twitter.

HBSMBA R1 applicants: Thank you for applying. Note that your online status stays “submitted” until 12/15. No changes until then.

So not much to do about HBS but wait for an interview call or 12/15 to come.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lots of updates

Well well well. It has been a while since I posted anything here. Well there has been some valid reasons.
1. No constant followers.
2. Too much going on at work.
3. Too much work on personal front.
4. A long week at Maui with minimal work being done and needed all the time to catch up.

Well I did catch up and did complete my essays for Harvard and Stanford which I think came out well. Had to motivate my recommenders regularly so they could submit my reco on time.

But finally the first and the second app are done. I submitted Harvard and Stanford with all the recos everything. Now it is just wait to hear back from them.

For the Kellogg, I did submit my part A and also did a class visit. Decided to take off-campus interview to minimize travel. I am currently scheduled for an interview for Oct 21. I am also working on the essays to get them out before the R1 which is 15.

So lets see how that goes. In doing all this I did get some help from a friend who happened to be admission consultant due to interest. Thanks to him for all his hardwork and help in getting my app out.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Essays Essays Essays

Having taken the GMAT, getting my recommenders updated I have started working on the longest, hardest, painful and may be the most import part of the application for MBA. Yes I am talking about the essays. With about 4 essays for each school and about 1800 words total per school, it does take a lot of effort.

I plan on applying to three colleges in the first round and Stanford and Harvard are two which I have decided will be in the first round. This year they have advanced the dates for the round 1 by a week to two compared to last year. These are the latest dates for this year.

Stanford Harvard Wharton Kellogg Haas
R1 10/7/2009 10/1/2009 10/1/2009 10/17/2009 10/20/2009
R2 1/6/2010 1/19/2010 1/5/2010 1/12/2010 12/10/2009

I plan to get my essays ready by end of August as I have some vacation coming up in early september. This is a huge task but I want to give it a shot. Right now I am working on getting all my ideas jotted down. I do have a big biography I have started writing on and it is currently at about 5 to 6 pages but it keeps going on. So lets see how it goes with the actual essays.

Why another blog ... Why me...

There are tons of blogs and material available already which provide almost all the information provided on this blog (which is minimal and I totally agree) then why another blog.. Well that is a real good question. There are multiple reasons. Not everyone finds or is able to go through all the blogs out there. I decided to give out my blog with all the information I could gather and also with current information atleast for applicants for 2009-2010. I also have couple of my selfish reasons. It has been a while since I have written proper essays and this is my own effort to write proper essays and get the ideas start to flow for my own essays. Also I can leave it for future applicants and even if one person finds it helpful then I am glad about it.

Coming to the blog itself, I am not going to cover all the topics for MBA application process in general or all the GMAT material or any such thing. This blog is going to be specific about the whole application process, what I went through, what ideas and what kind of effort I put in, what was the result and may be the good and bad out of my application process so others can avoid repeating the same errors.

To start with here is my profile
B.E. Computer Science from India
M.S. Computer Science from Arizona
Ph.D. Comp Science dropped out after one year of course work from Washington
about 3 yrs in Wireless industry as Software Developer (Kind of startup environment)
about 4 yrs in Banking software development for a big Software company doing research and development work.
I have some kind of extracurricular activities. I am somewhat a go green kind of guy and try to support minimizing polluting the earth.
GMAT 750

Coming to the next part the colleges I am applying to

Yes I am going all in as they call it in vegas and have no safety net.

So here it goes.

Having said that I have some

Sunday, July 12, 2009

GMAT Story (as printed in another forum on the test day)

Wow.. What a relief. This was my first thoughts after scoring a 750 on GMAT. This forum has been real useful for me so I wanted to post my experience to help others too.
Been planning for GMAT on and off from Jan but never finalized. Had already got the books from local library and they were just lying around. Decided to give a shot and get serious by end of April. Booked a date for 19 may on apr 28 and started some serious preparation. I took gmatprep 1 and got like 620+.

Started going through 1000s set, Princeton, Kaplan 800 and OG11 and OG Verbal Review. Finished the whole Verbal review and also the OG11 book also KAPLAN 800. About 10 days back tried Manhattans exam(700) and kaplan exam(690) and had a feeling that I could make it to the 750 mark easily. Increased going through questions and techniques for RC as that was the one where I was losing the most. Did the RC from Kaplan 800 which I was avoiding. Wrote GMATPrep 2 and ended up with 710 on Sun. Realised that I was not spending enough time on questions as I was left with lots of time both for quant and verbal.

Last 2 days have been a real pain. Been tensed a bit and tried all sorts of calming techniques. Yesterday saw a movie and lots of tv in the night to get mind out of GMAT. Today had to work in the morning and ended up doing very little. Decided to take a short swim to get mind out of GMAT. I was scheduled for the 3:30 slot but reading other peoples experiences decided to go early and face it. Was at center by 2:30 and they asked if I was ready to take it. I said yes and proceeded with all the verifications and started the exam. Wrote the two essays and decided to take few minutes break. I am from Arizona and seeing the heat outside I already had couple of gatorade bottles available. Decided to take few sips and spend time relaxing a bit. Then went back and took the quant and it turned out to be preety decent. I got it done in about 45 to 50 mins. Decided to take another break for 5 mins and walked around the reception area. After stretching a bit decided to take the final section. The verbal was going well with RC at 9 or so and ended up with 4 RC overall. I had read in some post that bold parts in CR meant higher score. Seeing it with 10 questions left was a confidence booster. All I had to do was finish the section in a decent manner and I was good. Took it slow from there as I had lots of time left and ended the section with 5 or more mins to space. Already had picked only top schools to report score and asked it to send score.

Finally when it showed the divides and the actual score that was real amazing. Glad it was finally over. Wow... Now its time to celebrate and relax... That was another reason for picking this week to write the exam. Next week I am off to a month vacation....

Monday, July 6, 2009

Start of my MBA quest.

I finished a month long vacation and should have realized that is going to be the only break I am going to get for a while. All the free time, all the relaxed state everything is gone now. Its time to work no actually slog and this looks imminent looking at all the stories from applicants for last couple of years into the MBA program. The essays have started coming in and they sure look like they are going to take a lot of effort to complete. To top it need to come up with a new resume, have to get recommendation letters from three people. Thankfully I am a couple of steps ahead and got all my three recommenders notified and they all accepted to provide me with the letters. I hope they are aware of what they have committed to as it looks like even they would have to spend some significant amount of time in preparing the letters for me. I still have to prepare a list of my achievements with them so they are able to come up with the letters looking at the material. All this while taking care of my office work and few social commitments. Its all a drive down the memory lane, just as it was for my MS admission except a lot more work this time. I just hope I am able to keep posting to the blog which I sincerely hope will be helpful to atleast few people in future with their admission process. Will try to post this mostly as a diary kind of material so it gives a proper feel for the amount of time and good flow to all the material here.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

It all started...

I have been hearing about people taking their GMAT and going onto MBA. Being in Software field for more than 7 years it kind of gets boring unless you are working in real interesting projects all the time. For me it used to be interesting for the first few years. Then I changed my job to a big corporation and things slowed down quite a bit. All the initial adrenaline rush started to wear off and things started getting monotonous. I was faced with two options either change my job or pick other things to keep my interest. I happened to pick the second option and signed up for a training program which would take me into some kind of management.

At this time I came across a training program which took me to Stanford University and especially some of their MBA faculty. This training showed me what I was missing and what I needed to do. First complete my training program (of course company is paying for it) and then take a GMAT to join the MBA program in one of the top school (ya it sounds so simple and in so few words).

GMAT GMAT GMAT... What exactly is the format? What am I going to be tested about? Do I have to go through the whole word lists as I had to for my GRE previously (People who have taken GRE will surely be aware of what I am talking about and how hard it is). What is the scoring format? What score do I have to get to get into the top schools? All these were few of the initial questions and thanks to some very good forums and people on I found the answers. Now time to put all the tax money we have paid to good use. Decided to go to the public libraries in the area and pick all the books which had GMAT on it. I happened to have access to two different libraries thanks to working in one city and living in another. I gathered around 1o to 15 different books which covered from basic to some advanced levels. Also there were some books which were somewhat old and not so helpful. Thanks to forums again, I could filter out the books and found that I was missing couple of them which I ended up buying. It also provided me with some material and cheat sheets other people had prepared for their use and have uploaded for others to use.

Now came the hardest part. Preparation... After being out of school for about 5 years and not taking any exams in these period made it tougher. Usually you have a fix date for exams but not for GMAT unless you take an appointment. I kept procrastinating for most of the time and it kept going on for about 6 months with minimal preparation. One fine day just going through website I decided that it was time to take the exam and fixed on the D-Day about 3 weeks into future. Why did I do that I still dont know. Ofcourse I gave myself couple of reasons to convince myself that I did the right thing? Did I do the right thing or not only the future can tell and in the shorter period looks like I did the right thing as I did score well.

The actual preparation started after fixing the appointment time for the exam. I started taking the GMAT serious and going through about 10 books and some online material I had at my disposal. I finished some of the books end to end including all their tests. Took about 10 online exams timing myself and analyzing the results after the exam. Overall I knew that I was improving and for sure beating the clock all the time. This just gave my confidence the boost it needed. I took a final exam just 2 days before the actual test and I knew that I was ready though I didnt score my target of 750 in any of my tests till then.

The final chore before the exam to pick the schools to send your score reports. I picked 4 of the top 5 schools and another in the bottom 5 in top 10. Why I did it? Well ...

The D-Day the actual d-day story is for another post as I already typed it as a forum topic for gmatclub and want to reuse the material here anyways. But in short the score came out great 750 and I was sure this was a competitive score for any of the top schools. Glad that I picked all 5 from top 10 schools. Shows a perfect portfolio and gives me a chance to give my best shot for Fall of 2010 for admissions. Well here is my store of how it all started my journey to MBA.