The long weekend didn't turnout as bad as I exptected. I was able to finish some of the pending work that I've been keeping pending for a long time. However, I need to get started on my second school for R1 as soon as possible as there are barely 20 days left and I haven't even started working on the application yet!
My only hope is that I have the outline ready for my first school so I shouldn't have a very tumultous start!
Though I have the material ready for both my recommenders, I didn't talk to them yet after getting in touch with them initially a few weeks back. First thing next week, I need to get this done. Apart from all this, I am eagerly waiting for the QS MBA Tour that's going to take place in Chicago next week. I have been contemplating about European schools offlate and hopefully QS MBA tour turns out to be a productive one!


End of August. Sigh.

August was probably the least productive month of the past 3-4 months. I worked on a couple of Ross essays for the first week of August and the next 2 weeks just flewby. This was partly because of people from my family visiting me, partly because of my own lethargy, partly because of other reasons. I am currently struggling with Ross Essay 4 and have been stuck with it for the past few weeks. My reviewer has been asking me to submit my essays soon. The only good thing that I did in August was attend Wharton's and Duke's admission presentations ( saved $$150 for Duke just by attending ) but that's about it. If I continue this dismal performance for the month of September, then I probably wont be able to answer myself at the end of the app.season. Hopefully I'll pickup the pace  and hope to be more regular with my blogging too!!
The big question for now is, will I be making productive use of September long weekend ( coming weekend ) ?? Only time should tell and god save me!!
Now let me heat my coffee and then getback to Ross Essay 4!!


The buzz word seems to be ...Networking!

Hello all,

I did take a 2 week hiatus from my active blogging schedule. Excuse me for that. I thought I already posted the 'Ross Student Coffee chat' but apparently I didn't. I just posted it now and I have lot more to discuss ! I met with another Ross student - Michelle at another Ross Chat session. Michelle seemed very helpful in providing information regarding the coursework, student culture, student clubs and the prospect of doing part-time jobs at Ross. From my conversations with different people, I have almost come to the conclusion that its almost next to impossible to work part-time when business-school in session. I have been dreaming about about doing one if/once I get into a top business school. Part of my angst to work part-time might be because the fun I had doing one in my masters and the other part might be a purely motivated by monetory needs. How will I support myself during business school? Loan for my Tuition and living expenses ..??..I would like to know how people do this. Any thoughts on this people..?.

On a totally different note, Brett from Ivy App Success as posted a great article about networking with current business school students and alumni. Just things like 1) What to do 2) When to do 3) How to do. No BS. Thanks Brett!!

Ross Student Coffee Chat

Had a semi-hectic week at work so couldn't get any significant amount of work done during after-work hours.
I wanted to provide a quick update of my Ross student Coffee Chat that happened last sunday. 
I met with a  Ross '12 student ( Liselle ) who was generous enough to spend a few hours of her weekend time with us ( a few prospective students based around chicagoland ). Liselle is currently interning with ATKearney for the summer and I could tell from my brief conversation with her she was excited about her consulting gig and has been loving it so far. Since, this happened to be my first Coffee chat / meetup with a student/alumni and since I didn't prepare adequately to ask the right questions, I kind of stumbled with words / questions in the beginning. But here is a quick excerpt of my conversation with her and the rest of the chat attendees:

Me: What schools did you apply for and got admitted into?
L:    Harvard, Ross: Both are great schools for general mgmt. but I chose Ross as I went to Yale for undergrad        wanted a change of scenary from the east coast and also for the fact that I liked its emphasis on Strategy and its even-distribution of case-method and Lecture-based coursework.

Here's how my work/study/ play(really??) schedule is going to look like :
Starting from next week, I am planning on putting close to 15-20 hrs / week ( its kind of imperative now if I want to target Round1..isin't it ..??.. :-)  ) on brainstorming / essays. Hopefully, it doesn't get crazy busy at work for the next few months..( fingers crossed ).
Also, summer is round the corner and I recently got an opportunity to play for a Volleyball league at work. So now my monday evenings are busy with volleyball. Also, I intend to getback to playing Racquetball/Tennis on Wednesdays. That pretty leaves me with tue/thurs/fri/sat/sun. for some post-work study.
Here's the rough breakdown:
3 Weekdays - 2 hrs each. 
Weekend - 5-6 hours each day.

I should say I am slightly being influenced by Getting Things Done by David Allen. Though its a bit too methodical, it does provide a different perspective about how organizing and scheduling things can remove a lot of clutter around us and induce lot more productivity into our work/study.


1/3rd of June..gone!!

I have been pondering about getting started with my resume for over a week now. This week has mostly been eventful and busy at work and I just didn't feel like putting in 2 more hours after getting back to home. Also, all the myriad stuff going on at my office place adding to my agony. Just to give you all a brief insight into my office issues: The team I was working with for the past 1.5 years has slowly been dissolving as the work is being outsourced to a middle-eastern country ( can't name it; just trying to be discreet! ). We have been told by senior management that all the engineers will be disbursed to other teams ans they start freeing up from their projects. This has created both excitement and deep anxiety among us and our team members are infested gossips/politics and every other nasty piece of sh** under the sun. None of the engineers at this point is worried about his/her job thanks to the constant assurances by the management ( big brother! ), but the prospect of bagging the best opportunity available is breeding unwanted envy and resentment among us!! My hunch is that I'm going to have funny feeling about all this once this episode is behind me!  :-)

Anyways, I wanted to post a nice powerpoint presentation about 'mastering the MBA application' from Betsy Massar of MasterAdmissions: ( Thanks Betsy! )



I guess its time for me to get started on my MBA resume ( not the Technical one!! ). I do have the ideas but I really need to jot them down !!
I have been procrastinating on this for a while and I better do that no further. Most of the top schools have already published their Essays and deadlines for Fall'11 applicants. I am going to meet Ross ambassador in a couple of weeks and the plan as of now is to provide her with a Version 1.0 of my resume. Here are a few links ( additions are intended to be made periodically ) that I am planning to look at over the next few weeks while I am in the process of honing my business school resume!!
  1. Accepted.com - Resume - What to Include
  2. Accepted.com - Demonstrating growth in a flat organization
  3. BW - Admission officer's hate list - ( old article but helpful! )
  4. MBAmission - Dust off that resume
  5. A.'s compilation of 'how to' resume links ( Thanks A. ! )


Bloomington - Indiana , Kelley school of business

For a shortwhile last month, it felt like I was on a travelling spree. For the weekend after my North Carolina trip, I visited Bloomington, IN and my brother another time for a weekend getaway. This time it was for his convocation. I took the friday off and started off from home early in the morning so that I could reach in time for his convocation ceremony. After going through a few usual chores ( like taking snaps, greeting all the graduates, heading out for lunch ... lunch reminds me of the local pita ( middle-eastern ) place which kind of turned out to be my favourite after my past few visits ), I and a few of the newly minted IUB graduates drove to the nearby monroe lake, had a few beers and chatted about all the good time those people had during their masters and how fast the entire MS ( US ) experience went past them. Having personally gone through similar experiences myself in not soo distant past, I guess it was kind of natural for me to get reminded of all the good time I had during my school days in the US.  Well..well..am I going to go through this experience ( as a full-time masters student ) again in the US...I mean in near future and maybe from a top business school..??.. only time should tell!!

I figured I could touch base with a few of the Kelley students since I was in town anyway. My bro somehow managed to pull-up a few Kelly contacts who I ended up talking to. Some of the questions I asked were regarding my profile evaluation w.r.t Kelley and about the course / placement structure of International students at Kelley.  Regarding the job scene, I have a say I was a bit disappointed with the kind of response I got from the couple of people I spoke with. Given the fact that Kelley consistently shows up as a Top 20-25 school on businessweek/USnews rankings, the fact that it was having trouble placing all of its graduating class kind of intrigued me. Well,  I reasoned later that most of the top schools in the US faced a similar problem ( after looking at the placement reports of a few top schools ) during 2009-10 given the macro-economic conditions around.
Though I personally never had the intention of applying to Kelley, after looking through the Kelley placement report and having realized that none of the big consulting firms ( the BCGs, McKinseys etc.,. ) nor the big tech firms ( MS, Amazon etc)  have actually visited their campus, I figured that Kelley might be a great school but I need to focus more seriously at other options...


What makes a leader!

Here's interesting Harvard business review article that I came across today:

This article provides indepth analysis about the characteristics of a leader such as emotional intelligence and how they differentiate him from the rest of the crowd.
The article primarily assumes that while leadership certainly requires a "certain threshold" of analytical and technical skills, its the soft skills associated with leadership, defined as emo. intell. that typically distinguish oustanding performers from those who are merely adequate. The article furthers its talk about emotional intelligence which can be classified as a combination of different components such as such as self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill ( which is interestingly defines as friendliness with purpose ). Overall, the article seems like a potential read for all the business school aspirants and future leaders!


North Carolina Visit!

The past two weekends have been busy as I was out of town travelling.

May 1st - I  flew down to beautiful North Carolina. As one of my friends is getting married soon, a few of us thought its time for some 'Bachelor fun'. Well, it was a fun weekend indeed. We crashed at my buddy's new place in Raleigh, NC on Thursday night, partied somewhere near Raleigh Downtown, drove to the beach ( yeah! a beach for real...not lake Michigan : )  ) in Wilmington, NC, spend a pleasant evening there and drove back on Sunday evening.  
My return flight was on monday morning and as usual, the lazy a*#$ that yours truly is, I missed 6:40 AM flight by like 5 minutes by waking up late. I ended up paying $75 to confirm a seat in the next flight so that I could get back to work directly from the airport. Since my pickup-buddy would be in office by the time I arrived in Chicago, I was contemplating on whether to hire a taxi ( which can get expensive and add to my already turning-out-to-be-expensive trip! ) or wait for my buddy to pick me up during his lunch time.

Incidentally, my co-passenger who happened to be a Indian guy ( lets call him Desai for ease ) doing his monthly visit to his chicago office, offered me a ride to my office as 'it is on the way to my office so come-na, I will drop you beta! :) '. As it has become a sort of a habit these days, I started blabbering about my mba plans and what are some of my career plans post business school. Desai gave me some totally unexpected career counselling which was a bit interesting. He talked about one of his old acquaintances  who was completely broke and how he started working in a Subway to pay his bills initially and later started his own 'calling cards' company and became highly successful. He talked about one of this other friends who was an engineer by profession but who quit his job and got into running a Subway and ended up running 8 of them simultaneously.
Mr. Desai suggested that I should start thinking in the lines of owning my own business someday and only then, the prospects of making it big would really start to unfold. Though I was a bit skeptical about his story in the beginning I did realized that this guy has a point. The conversation ended just as it started as he dropped me at my office and bid adios. ( I did manage to get his email/phone though! ). Apart from giving me a free ride,  I have to say he did wakeup the budding entrepeneur in me!!


RIP Prahalad

It would be an understatement to say that Prof. Prahalad is famous just among people who are into corporate strategy. Its sad to hear about the untimely demise of such a great person. Coincidentally, I recently had this discussion about Prof. Prahalad's ideas with one of my friends on how the poor in emerging markets have a huge untapped potential and how it can be harnessed by the big corporates of the world for profitability and how this can indirectly have an effect on improving the lives of the poor. The context of this discussion was me trying to borrow the book 'fortune at the bottom of the pyramid' from my friend.

I am having a tough time in borrowing books these days due to my recently gained reputation of being too sloppy and occasionally foolhardy, when it comes to returning them. Be it to the library, be it to my friends. Since my friend happens to be an ardent fan of Prof. Prahalad, him having attended one of the professors' acclaimed talks, I felt that I could talk him though lending me the book by utilizing my uncanny ability of throwing out a few excerpts from the book and gain his approval as a fan-peer of prahalad :). Hence, I did my research on the book but felt all the more fascinated and intrigued in due course by some of the ideas that prof. Prahalad has put forward like how more than 2.5 billion people live on less than $2.50 a day and how new models of business can be developed using technology to successfully target the demographic. I can't wait to borrow/steal the book from my friend and finish it asap thereby paying my tribute to the esteemed professor ( somehow neither renting the book from the library nor buying in online doesn't sound soo.. challenging ! :)  )