Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Where I was

There's no excuse for my absence on this blog for such a long tenure!
But to tell u the truth I have been busy, not as busy as I was when applying to schools last year, but busy. In the past 2.5 months I mad a trip to my home country, got a student visa. Spent wonderful time with family and friends, visited holy places and of course, started work on my first year course work.

The school gave us a summer assignment that was specifically aimed at understanding ones career interests and strengths etc. We finished MBTI and EQI-360 assessments. I'm yet to read a prescribed strength finder book(I probably will have more on this after I finish reading the book) and writing 2 page self-assessment of my career and lifestyle choices.

Also I bid farewell to my 4 year old Dell Inspiron (gave it to my kid bro) and bought a brand new HP laptop with Intel's i5. I'm yet to get this configured for W.P.Carey's networks, e-maile etc.

I'm excited to start schol. Can't believe it's next week! Although it's just orientation and classes don't start till the 23rd. On top of everything I'm looking forward to meet all the 2nd years who I've been talking with all this while. I wud be great to meet these good samaritans in person!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A time to choose

I think I pretty much speak for all the admits of Class of 2012 when I say that "the seach has begun!". the search referring to search of career opportunities. That's how the whole MBA things works. First you search for good books on GMAT, then you search for the best schools to attend, then you search yourselves to answer all the piercing and introspection-forcing essays. And when you finally do get an admit, you relax for a bit and then you search about various resources that will help you reach your ultimate career goals while at school. And now more that ever is the need to be on the top of things.
The past 1-2 years of economic turmoil has put a lot of pressure(for good reasons) on the MBA populace to be very very proactive to find internships and jobs. On the upward sloping straight line of the job worry vs. MBA clas year graph, Im sure we are curently at the peak. All of us are aware that companies are recruiting with frugality and taking minumum risk with new hires(wille explain what this means a lil' later). With this challenging situation around us and the undeiably substantial cost of a 2 yr MBA it is inherent on us to start planning our career moves right away.
First, frugality of recuritng within companies. Currently, in this time of firing, I believe a company would think twice before hiring a new person into their company. Although situation is improving, in order to ensure we are in a safe situation I think we should be very very clear as to what career we wish to pursue after MBA. Gone are the serene days when you got tired of a job and did an MBA for 2 years just to check-out the options out there. We simply can't do this. The advice I've received from current students is to be very very clear as to what kind of jon and internship you want. Have clear career goals. Once you've made up your mind, it's easy to stick to it and do career orientation stuff specific to that role/industry. There is no use of blaming the career centre at your school for not finding you a good internship when you juggled from one goal to another since you joined school. I think this is the best thing to do.This way you won't panic during the whole turbulent recuriting seaon because you know exactly what you are looking for and you'll find it in one place or the other.
Second, about the companies playing 'safe' in recruting. Companies seem to prefer recruitng people who are not career changers. They want to know that you can infact excel in the specific industry in the specific role. It might still be easier to go from tech consulting to management consulting but it's no more easy to shift from tech consulting to ibanking etc. Much is being speculated and planned by various schools to overcome this challenge and help their students in switching careers. After all career switch is probably the number 2 reason for people to go for an MBA in the first place. Read this article . The key thing to do is to highlight your exposure to these new industry in your resume. For ex. I wanna shift into marketing within an TV network, I'll then highlight my exposure to custmer management, product marketing in my previous IT career and also my involvement within the entertainment industry (may be by working part-time before joining school etc). This shows a true interest and seriousness on my part to chaneg careers and gives my career goals some credibility in the recruiters eyes.
Last, international students(such as me :)) are facing additional challenges of visa restrictions et al. There is really no way to overcome this since this is totally out of your hand. Just try and target companies which do sponsor your visa for a full-time job after MBA. This is probably where I would demand more help from career management centres at schools. Worst to worst, you can always work till your OPT lets you and then look for opportunities back home.
Just make sure you are well-thought and prepared for you career search and you'll end up as happy as the lady in the picture seems to be :)

Image source:v a l e n c i a c c e d u

Friday, April 16, 2010

The (almost)final decision

Looks like my app season has come to an end.

First the bad news - I got dropped from the Ross waitlist.
It was a big shock for me because I sent them two good updates, with significant info. And just a half hour before sending my third and last update, which was about my BOB nomination, I got a denial from them. After recovering from the disapoointment I typed in a note to my application manager and also forwarded her my latest update e-mail. I don't think it would make any difference, but I forwarded that update anyway.

Now the good news - I got into W.P.Carey school of business at Arizona State Univ.!!!
Aplying to W.P.Carey was one of the last decisions I took in the application season, in March actually. My move to Arizona in Jan had a lot to do with it. I skipped their Feb. deadline because I wasn't sure of my fit at the school and vice-versa. I continued my research on the school and spoke to an Indian alumni at the school from the class of 2002 and few current students, I understood their marketing department offerings, evaluated if it would help me reach my goals and finally researched their financing options etc. After 1.5 months of this research I was convinced about it and applied to W.P.Carey. I had to take TOEFL in 15 days just to make it to the deadline. A month after submitting my application I was accepted to the school with a scholarship! The best part of it is I don't have to move away from my husband. As for Carey's competitiveness, it's ranked 27(2 spots above the last year ranking) almost same as Emory , it draws a lot of recruiters because of it's branding in Supply Chain. Although I'm not looking at doing Supply Chain I feel that the school will still give me a good exposure to many companies. Also the thing about Carey is that they are very serious about improving their hold on areas other than Supply Chian. The school is eager to make a recognition for itself as a well-rounded school in all business domains such as marketing and finance. This said I know I'll be studying within a dynamic environment and working with people who are hungry for making development. Just thinking about it is exciting for me! The Marketing department at W.P.Carey and it's Centre for services Leadership have been key players in my decision. Also it was important for me to get back to school after 1.5 years of gap in my career and no delaying it any further was necessary. You see the why MBA now was very important for me. At the end I'm happy to get to where I am now. It may not be the best situation, but it's the best for me. And I'm experienced in making the best out of any situation :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Nominated to Clearadmit's BOB!!!

Yeaaaa. I'm excited and thrilled to be nominated for the annual Best of Blogging(BOB)awards given out by clearadmit. My hearty congratulations to all the other nominees. You deserve it.

A year back I was just another MBA blogger initiating my own blog after reading tons of MBA blogs in the blogosphere. The idea behind it was to keep a journal of my MBA application journey in order to make it more organized. As I started looking around, reading the blogs of previous year's nominees and current students I was amazed to see how these blogs inspired me. I was so thrilled to see all these bloggers share valuable advice and experiences with people like me whom they've never met. As someone using this resource I wanted to give back to it. I was determined to make my blog one of the good blogs, if not the best one, around.

After an year this is what I've accomplished:
1)Countless friends, MBA applicants and current students, whose experiences and MBA application lessons have enriched my application journey
2)A feeling of mutual learning and team-work- the help from talking to other applicants, working together on essay reviews and sharing ideas of good application processes etc has been as helpful as one would get from an admissions consultant
3)A sense of distinction about myself- I can honestly say that this blog and the exposure I've gotten in the MBA-blogging world have made me feel that this hooby of mine sets gives me an edge in enhancing my aplication profile.
4) Finally, I'm happy to have shared my own experiences, good and bad. I'm glad that they have been helpful to my readers. Every e-mail that I get from a reader thanking me for my post makes my day!

My advice to people out there dismissing the idea of starting their own MBA blog simply because they think it's a cliche'- you never know what your blog can offer you. It can offer anything from new friendships to a good extra-curricular activity to free goodies from a lot of MBA admissions and GMAT preparatory companies who want to publicize thier product on your blog. So why wait? Blog away!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Happy .... am I?

I'm in!
I got a call today!
So many of my friends have been sayin this lately.
I cannot tell how great it feels just to vicariously experience the above! I'm so happy to see a lot of folks on my favourite forum gmat club get into their choice of business schools. There are few guys and gals over there who have been getting into their favourite schools after 2-3 complete years of preparation. It's such an amazing feeling to see them screaming out their happy news!!

For long I've been hopeful that I would be in similar situation; that I would one day receive a phone call that would simply change my world for the best. But it doesn't seem to happen anytime soon. After almost 14 months of my sincere efforts I haven't been able to say "I've received an admit!". I'm slowly losing the hope. My single source of light is an application I'm working on forW.P.Carey School of business. My essays are good, I think. I've had the opportunity to connect with alumni and students of the schools. And I think I've made a good impression on the ad-com already, through my interactions with them on their on-line admissions webinar and e-mails etc. Hoping for the best.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Long due updates

I've been awfully quiet for the past couple O'weeks. A lot has happened in this time. Mostly personal stuff. I've moved across the country and have relocated to the west. Yes I'm enjoying warmer weather now after bearing 2 bitter winters of the Northeast.Not in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine moving here. I've always lived on the East, mid-west portion of the country and was of the impression that West Coast was only for vacationing or gambling :D.

Now that I am here, I tried to see if any school here would interest me. Unfortunately the schools I liked didn't have any more rounds left and the ones that did have admission deadlines in April didn't interest me much. So there's not going to be any more changes to my school list. My status still remains the same, waitlisted at Ross and working on an admit there.

P.S.March 2010 - I did find a good MBA program that might interest me - ASU's W.P.Carey!!! So far I've spoken with an alumni who has similar background as me (some country, same career ideas) and similar MBA specialization interests as me and I've found the feedback good. This is infact the first alumni from a school who was very enthusiastic about telling me about his own MBA experiences and even initiated meeting in person to talk to me about it. Now that does say something about the school, doesn't it? Will write more in my future blog posts.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ross ad-com's support to waitlisted applicants

Kudos Ross! Once again you've gone beyond my expectations.

As I mentioned last week, I got waitlisted in Ross R1. The very next day I got an e-mail from Ross ad-com inviting me to joining the googlegroup created by Ross-adcom for waitlisted students. Now, that was surprising! I didn't expect that any of the schools would initiate such a thing. Apparently Ross does.
Since I joined the group I've noticed ad-com people answering queries on the discussion board of the google group. They even scheduled a chat today for waitlisted students. I just logged off from the chat. 3 of Ross admission officers were present in the chatroom (big shout out to Linda Abraham from for organizing the chat). It's commendable that they took time from the busy R2 application reviews and patiently answered the queries from all of us waitlisted folks. In case you want to check out the chat transcript , you can find it at the archives next week.