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.

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