Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Snapshots from hell - and admitted student weekend

Well, I finished reading Snapshots from Hell. A very well written book to give an idea about what to expect in Business School. Although Peter exaggerated a few things, since it or may be it is true for non-quantitative background people to face hard time. But overall, gives a good picture and sets the expectation right. I have now started reading World is Flat. Have read around 10 pages and looks really interesting. I have also got Liar's Poker - a book on wall street life. Looks interesting as well.

On MBA front, ASU has invited me for Admitted student weekend. And good thing is, they will pay for air fare, food and lodging. Woow!! That's some treatment!!
I am still not sure whether I will go. I have yet not decided, but I spoke to few people and I am leaning towards IIM Bangalore. In the long term, I think IIMB will be a better option. Moreover, ASU's strength is Supply Chain, which I am not sure of going into. I haven't got a chance to speak to alumni yet, but would be doing it this weekend. Need to find out kind of job they do and what kind of recruitment happens. I looked at few alumni profile, who graduated recently and they are working as Business Analyst, which is not exciting me at all. Business Analyst after MBA!!! Is it the right title? Any ideas?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Admitted to Carey MBA at ASU

As the title says, I am admitted to Carey MBA at ASU with $$. The offer is pretty good and ultimately I will have to pay $8K per year in tuition. The details of my visit and interview are here. Now, I am confused. ASU probably do not have that big a brand name in India. However, it is fast rising in the ranking and this year it was 22nd in US news rank, above Emory etc.

But anyways, I will think more on that later. Right now, its a good news, so would be enjoying it for sometime.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I have started reading again after a long time. I read John Grisham's - A Time to Kill. Not too exciting and was kinda slow, but got me in mode of reading. I got two more books now - Snapshots from Hell and World is Flat. Looking forward to read them soon.

IIMB has sent the reading material for quantitative analysis. Will get to it after this week. So far, the group is active and we are working on various branding strategies, placement strategies, seminars, electives etc. Moreover, the guys have struck a good deal with SBI to secure loan at 10.75% without collatoral. A commendable job indeed.

I have fixed my departure date, tentatively at 20th March. Will probably get accomodation only around 30th or 31st. The orientation starts 2nd April. Woow!! Finally its all happening. I am really looking forward to it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Not much to do

With application season over, there is a different feeling of emptiness. A month or so back, I was so busy as hell. And now, it feels like there is nothing to do. Although, I have lot on my plate as to move back to india etc, but still there is no mental pressure and no stressful situation which I got used to.

I am really having a enjoyable time. It feels good to be free. I am thinking of speaking to few people to find out about some pre-reading that I should do before heading off to Bangalore. One year course is going to be very busy and it will be good to have some prior understanding of the courses I am going to take. Any suggestion? I do not have any theoretical knowledge of accounting, marketing, finance etc. Please suggest me some books - curricular or other which will help me prepare for my upcoming journey

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

ASU visit and interview experience

I visited and interviewed with ASU this week.Reached Phoenix on super bowl day and barely caught with few minutes in last quarter. And oh boy, what a game it was. Cardinals played really well but missed out on a wonderful win through a last minute dive and touchdown by Steelers. Well, ASU provided hotel accommodation for one night, a nice room with all facilities.

I had all scheduled for next morning- a class at 10am, lunch at 12pm, tour at 1pm and interview at 2pm.

I attended Operations and Supply Chain class by professor Choi, one of the most popular classes. And it was fun. The professor was very funny and had a good nick of teaching things in humorous way. After the class, I went with a lunch (paid by ASU) with a current student along with another prospective student. We had lunch in good old MU (old memories – spent lot of time at MU during my MS days). We discussed a lot of things about culture, classes, recruiting with the second year student ambassador. After lunch I went on a tour, which we limited to the business school building because rest of the attraction of the tour such as MU, SRC etc I have already seen and visited myself. Then I took opportunity to discuss further with the student ambassador about her experiences, specializations, goals, ASU culture etc. I went in for interview at 2pm. It was conducted by two people – one admission staff and other a current student in marketing major. The interview was very probing and went into details of all the examples I gave. Here are the questions that I remember:

1. Tell me about yourself and what you do currently.

2. Significant leadership experience at work

3. When things did not go as planned – talked about my failure experience at extra curricular

4. Had difficult time working with someone, what I did. – rephrased my teamwork experience

5. Manager feedback on strength and weakness.

6. Example of when I worked hard on something but did not achieve the expected result – had to go back to my days after 12th grade

7. Experience from my work where I had to do something I did not want to do – did not remember any work experience – so talked about my extra curricular experience. – follow up question to go more specific – I did not do well on this question

8. Choose an example of best team or worst team and why you think it was best or worst. I chose best team – one of my first company experience – I came up with story on the spot, so not sure how it went.

9. Short term, long term goals

10. Why MBA now. They did not ask why ASU and I did not get a chance to talk about why ASU, but I squeezed in few points.

11. What other schools applying and how would you choose if admitted in all

12. CASE: some TV company, going into overhead projection tv market, qa tested it well. 1. Customer demand increased 2. company could not meet demand

a- what does the company do?

b. Why did demand increase?

c. Why couldn’t the company meet the demand?

d. What can be done?

Then it was my time to ask questions and I asked lot of them. Finally we exchanged good byes and I left campus back to hotel and from their back to airport.

Overall, good experience, but mostly it is focused on Supply Chain and student did not look that bright. Moreover, most of the international students, especially Indian students, do Supply Chain Management specialization just because its ASU’s strength and they do not really know what they want to do after their MBA. But overall, ASU has good culture, small class size means personalized attention, and faculty looks promising. Moreover, they are rising in ranks and have good feedback from employers and recruiters. It will not be a bad school to go to and especially, living if you like to stay in west coast area.