Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Stanford Submitted

Continuing my trend to work till last day and almost last moment, I finally submitted my Stanford application at 3:30pm (hour and half before the deadline). What a roller coaster ride it was. I remember a month back I took it off my list and here I am smiling after submitting my second app.
In the end, I am pretty happy with my essays and was able to make it exactly 1800 words.

Now, I have uphill task of finishing Haas app in next 5 days. It's not going to be easy, given that I still have no clue for the first short question - What will I do something differently.
Not sure what to write. I think I have content for other 5 essays.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Aah!!! I have my first 3 essay ready little over word limit. 1st has turned out really well - over limit by 15 words
2nd one is not too bad- very specific goals, and how stanford will help - over limit by 15-20 words.
3rd one is effective leader essay and looks really good - but overlimit by 40 words
4th one the challenge faced, and I am writing about challenge in job. Like my job, this essay sucks currently.. after tremendous effort, I could develop a structure. Now need to polish the content - currently 80 words over limit.
Not yet finished online app. Will work on it now!! Hmm.. 2 days to go. Good thing, two of my recommendations are in. The third will submit soon.

Haas essays have suffered because of that. I hope I make it first round deadline.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Need a break!!!

Aah. I worked very hard this week. I finished Stanford first draft - Almost finalized on my leadership essay. Still need to work a lot on challenges essay, career essay. What matter most seem like never ending one.

Meanwhile, I created first draft for Haas long career essay. Other leadership essay is pretty much ready from UCLA one, and I need to tailor it a little bit.

Short question - Put together one draft for how I learned about haas, have some ideas about achievement and innovation essays. I am still not able to come up with anything for what I would do differently. Any ideas?

But really getting exhausted with this process. I really need a break. My body, mind, heart are all crying for the break, but irony is I really cannot take it. Waiting for Nov 4th. I am definitely going to take a week long break. Or may be not - I might have ISB interview lined up soon. I haven't got a call yet, but I am hoping to get it soon. And probably, UCLA interview invite will start going out as well.

Still looks like no end in sight and a long way to go. How good the state of people will be who already have admit from the school of their choice. Ahh.. Fortunate ones!

My day will come!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Stanford back in R1 and Haas essays

I love Stanford too much to leave out for Round 2. After taking a break for a day on monday, I gave a closer look at Haas essays yesterday and Stanford essays today. I have been thinking about first essay for a while and when I looked at other essays, I realized I can use most of the content of UCLA and IIMA essays. That is thrilling to know. I will have to tailor to the Stanford questions, and have to cut down lot of things to adhere to strict word limit, but looks like it is doable.
The challenge will be to cut down the content, since I think, my UCLA essays were pretty concise and crisp and really do not know what can I cut down.
I got so excited, that I have my first draft of Stanford essays ready. :) Should I take some consultants help to expedite my editing and polishing? Not sure, whether they give a quick turnaround time.

Also, Haas essays - some can be reused, but it will be much more challenging. I have leadership essay ready, career goal essay almost ready, with haas specific info to be fit in.
The short questions are much more challenging - I do not know what I would like to change that I have done and would do it differently.
Innovation essay - have some idea, but not sure how it will develop
Achievement essay - can use IIMA one - though need to cut down to 250 words
Haas research essay - done quite a bit research, visited campus, attended class, spoke to current students, alumni's, read blogs. But have to put together my learning and insights from them. Which is difficult, since most of the students and alumni pretty much say the same thing. And I am little less articulate in defining culture of a school. Most of the places I am applying satisfies my criteria of great education, entrepreneurial support, brand name, network, small class size and california location, silicon valley connections. Now what to say in that essay.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Some more IIMA PGPX experience

I attended the high tea interaction later in the evening yesterday. It was a good discussion. Came to know a lot about PGPX. For some reason, all of the Professors were trashing PGP and its student, calling them immature and grade fanatics. One of the professor even went on to say that he did not teach PGP class for last 2 yrs and he is very happy about it and he called it a waste of time. The students waste his time to get one point increment which will not make any difference to grade.

PGPX students are matured and kind of know what they want and do not go crazy over grades (Well, what do you think - after 10 yrs in industry- who cares about grades). They have little ambigous grades non-disclosure policy. The adminstration does not reveal grades to recruiters but a student can volunteerily disclose the grade. Funny, doesn't it mean that high grade pointers will flaunt their grades whereas low grade pointers will not disclose. It might create an awkward situation.

The professors were very knowledgeable and down to earth. Amazing simplicity. This will be a key decision making point for me, if I get in, that is.

One thing though, the interviews were pretty ambiguous. I spoke to many people after interview and after the high-tea. No one had clue and it looked like these profs had not even completely read the application/essays. And it did not look like they are going to read. Not sure what will be their selection criteria finally. I hope they have some logic.

Still no news from ISB. They keep changing the date for announcing the shortlist for various places. They have their own weird reasons of releasing the shortlist based on interview location. Sound very funny, but anyway, thats Indian school. Sometimes they do things in certain way and you have to just go with it.

I am thinking of taking a break today and will start my haas app from tommorrow. I hope I will finish it by first round deadline.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

IIMA PGPX interview done!

I had my interview today. Overall, I will say, it went ok. I will not say it went great, since I did not start off well.
They did not ask me to present, but gave me a case - some retail guy did not do well in the clothing and now is blamed for things. what will he do.
After that they spoke about my extra curricular, my job, my industry, my goal, indian economy.
Other than the initial case question - which I did not do great, and got stuck with one of the extra-curricular question, I did ok. But not sure, how they have perceived it. I will know it by Oct 31st.

The interview committee was very friendly looking, no stress interview or trying to stress me out. I smiled a lot and laughed at certain places as well.

I just came back to my hotel room to relax, but will go back there for evening high tea. On second thoughts, I am thinking I should have left tonight itself, as not many people are staying back for tea. I would have got some rest and start working on other apps. Will take a break on Monday and start from Tuesday.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

UCLA Submitted

Wheew!! what a relief. Finally, I submitted my ucla application today. My first US school application. Finally, I am happy with my essay, showed them to a current student and an alum, and both appreciated them. I am quite confident of an interview call (80%) chance.
I think as told by both my reviewer and my own belief, my first essay turned out to be stellar. The audio part looked more conceptual, but I do not know whether anyone was able to put in example in 1 min audio. I am quite happy with the quality. Hope ad com likes it too :)

Among all this chaos, one place where I am struggling is IIMA interview preparation. I have it this weekend and I am not fully prepared yet. Too many things to know in current affair and I have yet not prepared my answers to regular question and not yet finalized my presentation. There will be few more long days/nights for me.

I am still debating on R1 application on stanford and haas. My heart still want to write Stanford essay, but my head is logically saying that I should only focus on one and I think one where I have good chances will be Haas. Anyway, cannot start any of them before Oct 13th, so have to wait.

Meanwhile, fellow applicants have started getting admits from Columbia - congrats to all of them. It really need that kind of drive to get an admit so early in the season. I really need to get some inspiration from them. I still have long way to go, as it always happens with me :) So far, submitted 3 apps, all on the last day of submission :) But kind of perfectionist I am, I think this trend will continue.