Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Here I am .... with essays , school visits and recos

There are only 2 things on my mind these days. Essays. And essays.
I can comfortably say that I have decided on my list of schools. Unfortunately I won't be able to apply to all the schools in R1 itself. I might have a school left for R2. Am going to apply to a total of 5 schools.

Essays apart, my apps have several things still untouched.One of my recommendor (or I should probably say , one of my potential recommendor ) has been 'quite busy' and is making it impossible for me to talk to him .All I need is 20 mins of his time. The tough luck he has been showing me in getting touch with him in the first place is making me think that I should now approach my buffer recommendors.,which I have already done.So mostly I will be registering the recommedors on the app sites by the end of the week (I so desperately hope so, I've started to get a little worried now about the delay that's happening in this part of the application.

Meanwhile I'm also planning school visits. You are probably saying it out loud 'Is she crazy , school visits, now?'.I know,I know. But believe , I think it is the best time for making school visits. Few reasons why
1 - Classes start in early fall and hence class visits are available. Summer , weather wise , is probably the best time to visit schools, but you might miss the opportunity of 'experiencing' the school community since most of it is out in internships or career trekking.
2 - You will get a chance to meet new students who you can relate more closely in terms of applying to schools etc. Also second year students would have just been back from internships and will have a lot more to say about the B-School experience.
3 - Winter is probably not the best time.Apart from the weather, think about the busy recruitment season going on on campuses.

But hey, if you are someone who know that a school is definitely for you then a visit at any time is alright. But if you consider visiting a school to decide each other's fit in each other's life then think about the 2 cents I shared with you above.

BTW , I attended the MBA Tour last weekend. Wonderful experience.
The tour gave me a good feeling about 3 schools I was thinking about applying.And it
got me thinking about the 4th one you see , these fairs do help you in making your decisions.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Application requirements and how to plan and meet them

The first colors of fall are here and the application period is reaching its peak. All of you applicants,like me,out there are busy writing essays, reporting scores and stalking recommendors to finish up their work, right ?

But before you start all these you need to remember, I hope you all did, the basic things needed to apply:

1 - GMAT - of course we all know about this

2 - TOEFL - needed mostly for non-English-native folks. But hold on, this doesn't mean you WILL HAVE TO take TOEFL. Most of the schools,if not all of them, have already realised that the majority of the international applicants come from colleges using English as the language of instruction. So they have been waiving off TOEFL.

When you browse the requirement info for the school applications, you might come across " TOEFL needed ", but have a little patience and read through carefully.Most schools do talk about waiver situations.

3 - Transcripts (the most important part of the pre-apps process).Well if you are like me and totally forgot about the transcripts, then don't worry my friends. Talk to the schools or browse their websites. Most schools ask only the scanned copies of marksheets of UG course as a part of the applications. Only after you are admitted would they ask you to submit the official transcripts(the college notarised copies of marksheets - generally sealed in an envelope). Everything said and done,its always better to have your transcripts in hand before September ends. Start asking your colleges for transcripts at least a month or two before you need them, you never know how long they might take.

4 - Recos - Experience speaks for itself. It's best to talk to your recommendors no later than August (since most R1 deadlines are in the first week of Oct.). I suggest that you have a open hearted talk with them so that they can see your passion and your interest for the MBA and understand how important it is for you to go to B-School. That would motivate them to act fast enough and will ensure on-time reco completion. Share your essays with them and remind them,in case of a very long-ago employer,of the stories that you think might help them evaluate you.

5 - Essays - Well , get ready to spend a loooot of time introspecting. If you can't think of any great winner stories, try to remember failure stories and project them as your life lessons ... I don't want to give much advice on this - after all I too am a novice here(sparing my two year apps to a B-School prog 3 yrs back ) and everybody has their own essay strategy. The important thing is to write your own essays and not let anyone edit them so much that the stories stop sounding like yours.

On the lighter side , watched this movie 'Acceptance' - it's about the whole app process for UG schools , but we B-School applicants can relate to it a lil'.

O.K! Enough gyan for an afternoon, now I've got to get back to my essays :)