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The will to succeed is important, but what's more important is the will to prepare. – Bobby Knight


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An Awful tasting Medicine..

It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. – Steve Jobs

2013 admission season is almost over! I am not on the sunny side up, but I have managed to get back to my life. 🙂

In a weeks time, most of the admissions would’ve been over, a lot of us who are wait-listed might not get in (this time) and accepting it is one of the worst feelings ever. Especially – having got the reccos from your boss (who would smirk for next 8-9 months for missing the Bschool debut), – having to tell every friend/relative of yours the bad news (even to friends who have gotten to Harvard) it’s just damn! I didn’t even attempt my dream school ’cause I just couldn’t. (an expert would’ve recommended otherwise)! I can not only empathize, but I have been in your shoes.

I have one thing to tell you guys. It’s not easy and it’s not the end. It’s not easy to be that one black sheep (who didn’t get an admit). It’s not easy to get around and face your boss. Blimey, Its not easy to get the time, money or peace of mind back. But its possible.

It’s possible this is just a hiccup phase. It is possible that this is not the end. It is possible that your dream school is waiting for you and it is possible that you can pick yourself up. It is possible to face the world and sign up for the hells kitchen again. But, it’s only possible – if you haven’t given up.

All of us think that when we try a couple of times and hit a dead end – we have failed. But, It was and is never like that. Understanding failure is very crucial not only in MBA applications, but in life as well. We only fail if we give up. Otherwise, there is 50-50 chance for the coin to turn either side. (just like how it was when you first applied). A simple logic. But we trap ourselves in the past and forget that it was always 50-50 chance and we did go for it before and we have the potential to take it up again.

To all those people who are looking back at a not so pretty picture here is the thing..

www.stkrz.in

Life’s Biggest Lesson (Source)

On this note, I would like to begin the second innings of this blog.

I encourage all the bloggers to leave your blog addresses on the comments section 🙂 Lets loot this process together :).


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Congrats in Order

Happy New year to all!

For most of the jaw-dropping, piping-hot bschools, the R1 result have been declared. Many like mbaover30 (Wharton and Booth),Sassafras (Yale & Kellogg) and str1dr(Tuck) have been admitted to their dream schools. After nail-biting wait, many have been admitted. Few souls have been waitlisted (fret not, there is a hope they say, that goes a long way!).

I just wanted to extend my congratulations to all the folks out there who are finally seeing the light of the day, the fruit of all the sleepless nights they spent cramming over GMAT or Essays or interviews. The infinite number of forums they had to go through. It’s an amazing feat indeed!

Thanks for boosting our spirits for the new year!

With this, I conclude my first blog post of 2013!

Good luck to all of you who are looking forward to MBA Applications/admissions! A ride worth every sweat! 😀


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Lessons on the go

Thanks giving is over already. This means only one thing, round 2 application deadlines are right around the corner, wishing you all the very best for this season! Hope this article, helps you in someway.

I haven’t posted in almost a month ‘cause I have been fretting too much than actually doing (Ah, doen’t that happen often!?). With the deadlines for round 2 is just around the corner. I began the essays with sheer pressure to not give up on my dreams. The reason I postponed my essays because, the first one I started with – career goal essay got me nowhere beyond 3 sentences. I was frustrated that I couldn’t come up with a career goal essay in a week (original target). So, I left it at that. And that became a month.

But since I began writing, everything else other than career goal essays, things have been moving a bit faster (not as much as I expected, but at least they are rolling). After a month of sitting and reading many “I will teach you how to write great MBA essay” guides, I thought I mastered the skill. So, I wrote my first essay just a few days ago and was utterly confident, it was a killer essay and sent it for a review. Only it came back, with the most dismal remark – it is good, but what is the point. I was too much in to the “stories” , the build ups, I lost sight of the whole point. That’s when I turned back to basics, reading essay guides and realized – Holly SHIT! This is all there -Where the essays could go wrong, what should it contain all of that.

Even if this is coming to you at a later stage, I want to share with you one of the most valuable lessons for writing an essay.

  1. DONOT start with reading guides first. You will probably end up learning nothing because whatever it says is pretty obvious for anybody! I mean common, who would keep writing a story and not attend to the actual question? Who would explain about their career goals and forget to mention why? So, you got nothing to learn, ‘cause you already know it.
  2. Sit down and write your career goal essay. Let’s face it, you go to write it sometime later, so why not now! Trust me, no matter how flashy the other essays are, the admission council is more interested in this than other essays. Besides, once you have the clarity of mind you can thread other essays to support this. This makes sure the adcoms get a very vivid picture of who you are in those couple of minutes (2-3 tops) that they spend on your application.
  3. Write one more essay – like past experience, accomplishments etc. The reason you have to write two essays, is that you will have a pattern. Everybody has a patter – their unique style of writing that often gets repetitive. You have to find yours and be aware of it and try not to bring monotonous feeling to the readers.
  4. Get those guides, take notes – personal notes. While you are at those guides, you will realize your weakness and strengths. This will greatly help your essay writing skills.
  5. Use the forums/friends/relatives/tutors to get expert view. Many admission consultants usually offer free consultations. If you are clear about what you would like to understand more about the admission process, you can make good use of free consultation.
  6. Choosing a consultant. I don’t have one. But I got great help (thanks to social network). Choose one, if you are pressed for time and if you don’t have an experienced hand (relative or friend who has done MBA) who are ready to spend time with your for essays. The review session alone would take 3-4 hours in total for each essays – given the number of reviews it would require!
  7. Most important thing of all: Remember this, you are not going to get your essays right in the first go even if you are a journalist. So, be ready to cut the crap, cut it again and again until you get a clear message across.

Here is the list of free essay blogs/videos that you get online.

  1. Admissionado – Amazing for essay guides for free!
  2. MBA Mission – Keeps you in touch with what’s hot in admission season
  3. Stacy Blackman – Great tips on application interviews and lots more.
  4. GMATClub (videos)  – They are celebrating 10th year and 1million posts with series of webminars related to GMAT and admission from myriad consulting agencies. Great Stuff.
  5. Beat the GMAT (videos) –  another set of amazing videos, some are even specific to Indian/Chinese applicants

Have fun!


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Review: Clear Admit’s ISB School Guide

I got a chance to grab my hands on the specially crafted School Guide by Clear Admit.  Honestly, I haven’t done much of a “research” on Indian School of Business.  Thankfully, this book came with a plateful. The book runs you through the “history” of the school – which I never considered important up until I read this book. It gave a clearer picture on the value system and vision of the school.Therefore helped me realize a connection between my dream and their value system.

Apart from that,I really enjoyed the detailed enlisting of curricular and co-curricular activities on the campus. It gave me a lot of reasons to think about what I could do apart from just graduate. The book also had very specific details such as temperature of the place apart from just the listing the facilities and clubs – it really shows Clear Admit’s commitment to provide every tiny detail of B-school experiences that an aspirant could encounter. Some of the details such as tie ups with other Bschools, the plethora visiting faculty coming from other B-schools made me realize its a global school after all as against its  name “Indian” school of business – which was the impression I had till now.

The book also had a couple of pages write up on special programs offered by ISB and grading systems as well. Woah! Isn’t that amazing? They actually prep for the class experience! 🙂 And Guess what?? The book doesn’t end there, they go a step beyond and actually talk about life after MBA – career services etc. This book is sure a pit stop for all the information you can ask for about a B-school.

I recommend the bunch of school guides for any B-school aspirant who is looking forward to learning about his or her dream school  – many of the stuff that is in there doesn’t show up on the goolge ;). Be ready, there is so much of information provided that, I am sure a single read wouldn’t be enough to grasp them all. While I am out to re-read book, you can go and grab a copy of School Guides by Clear Admit Today!

Last but not least, I am grateful to Clear Admit for offering me this opportunity to get nearer my goal! I appreciate all the effort that you put in this book and all other school guides that you offer! It is definitely a boon for us aspirants and a big TIME saver!! 😀 Thanks guys!


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Absolute Madness

I have been there done that! Er, been where? Done what?!? Caught up getting most of Inequalities &/or absolute value questions wrong and going absolutely mad about it.

Here is some interesting thing I found out today. Inequalities and absolute values are best solved by imagination. Not like the ones where you imagine Luke Skywaker zooming through the Empire, but like the one that has axis and is called number lines. Well, that’s enough marketing for what I am about to tell. Let’s get down to business!

Absolute value is nothing but modulus. Heck! I know that, tell me something more! Ok, so here is a thing Modulus is the distance between Zero and that NUMBER. Yup, you probably knew that as well! But, are you using it to your advantage?

Take for example. |x-1|; the value of (x-1) lies between -1 and 1 on the number line. Therefore if, X should lie between 0 and 2 because X lies one step ahead of X-1. So just move your line. Simple as that.

Shall we test the absolute simplicity of the concept?

Is r=s?
(1) -s<;=r; Says R lies between S and -S inclusive. Insufficient

(2) |r|>;=s ===>; Says R lies beyond S and -S inclusive. Insufficient.

Combine those two. We get, R can be -S or S. =>; Insufficient. Therefore, E.

Get that? Its that simple.

Shall we try a bit tougher one? How about this:

Is |x+y|>;|x-y|?
(1) |x| >; |y|
(2) |x-y| ;|x-y| =>; Remember Modulus is distance from Zero to a number. In what all cases, will cumulative distance between x and o and y and zero be greater than distance between x and y where, x and y are some number? Only if they are in the same side of the axis.. Simply put, This question is asking if x and y have same signs or not.

(1) |x| >; |y| ==>; Nope, this doesn’t tell me about their signs. Insufficient.
(2) |x-y| ; Ah, get back to number line. in what cases is Distance between x and y ; Awesome, exactly what we are looking for. Hence, B.

 

Please free too go through GMATCLUB.COM posts such as this to get more practice.


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Review:MBA Application for Smarties

MBA Application for Smarties by Linda Abraham of accepted.com is a wholesome package for anybody who wants to get started with their applications. A good thing about this book is that it is simple and clear – no big jargons and no high fundas. Another thing I loved about the book is that it pretty much covers everything – right from your research (what website rankings really mean and what they don’t mean) to check points for interviews to a bit about wait list and reapplications.

One of the biggest highlight to me is that Linda even points about how to approach an alumni and what questions to ask and what not to. This question has been bugging me for a long time because the questions you ask impacts your “fit” factor in your application to various schools not only that but it is a part of building your network – which is pretty important!

Linda often uses (many) examples to illustrate a point – a pretty good way to reiterate a point – that way the idea gets ingrained in the readers mind and it also clears confusion that often crop up. After all, applications are based on experiences so it doesn’t have a hard core formula as such.

There are points to remember after end of each chapter – which you can use as notes while you are working on your essays. I find this pretty useful because I don’t have to go back to reading the whole book again but just uses these as check points for my final draft.

There are several take aways for me like “fit”, STAR approach etc. I would recommend this book for anybody who is looking to get things started or is a bit confused about where to begin or is probably stuck at addressing certain issues like low GPA or GMAT. Even those who have begin their application you could use this book as check point for your draft.

This book is available in kindle edition on amazon.com – a plus easy to take notes and keep bookmarks ;-)!