I got lucky!

Last few days have been pretty lucky for me. 

I won a few contests are out there on the www. Here is what I won.
1)      The mbaMission weekly Challenge on twitter – As a prize I won the NYU Stern Insiders Guide. Perfect time for me as I am in the process of researching NYU Stern right now.
2)      The BTG $100K Challenge – I won “The GMAT Practice Questions Premium Subscription” ($99 value).
3)      BTG Reviewers Account – Eric (BTG) e-mailed me that I (along with a few fella bloggers) were being provided with a review account to the Practice Questions. The good part of this is that, if I use this and provide an honest review – I will get 5 premium accounts. I definitely plan to do that (review) over the next couple of days. If you are wondering why I am studying again after submitting 2 applications, well there is a reason to it. If you have read my GMAT post, you will get the hint there.  I will spell the details in another post. But for now, it is sufficient to say that I have another tryst with GMAT before the last week of Nov!

My second application and why I procrastinated till the last minute?

A day before deadline, I submitted the MIT Sloan application. Towards the end it turned out to be a very stressful period, all self inflicted though. The three days that preceded this, I barely slept for more than 4 hours each night. So what led to this last minute stress, especially since I had started well ahead of time?

The problem was with one of the essays. I had three incidents to pick from I picked the one that I thought really stood out. After my first draft, I sent this to my confidants, who had agreed to review my essay. I trust their thoughts and if they think that my essays do not cover all the aspects, it is very likely that the ad-com will think the same.

The initial feedback was mixed, though I had presented a compelling case – it was not addressing the questions to the fullest. This is where I kind of lost it, instead of bringing out those missing aspects I went back to the drawing board and tried to think about the other two incidents that I had originally considered. Sometimes it’s so much better to not have choices! My muddled thinking about which one to choose was the chief culprit for the delay. I finally went back to my original pick and just covered those areas that my reviewers thought was missing. After all, I had picked this one with a lot of deliberation and self-reflection.

This reminds me of my 8th grade when I had a similar situation. Back then I had enrolled for the poetry recitation competition. My overconfidence led me to wait till the last minute to pick the right poem. 2 days before the event, I picked up the latest Young World (newspaper supplement) looking for good poems. I found two that I liked – “My mother” & “Smile”. I memorized both and presented it to my family. They thought both were equally good but left the difficult decision - of choosing one – to me!

I prolonged the decision till the last minute. When it was my turn to recite, I presented the perfect mix. There was so much indecision, I mixed up both poems. The audience soon figured out and I burst into laughter, I had to withdraw. My teachers gave me another chance and asked me to recite once everyone else was done with. I went backstage and was very nervous. Part of me told me just to run away. But I mustered enough courage, decided to go with “My mother”, recited the poem, and got the third prize! I was a relieved kid.

I hope my essay does not call for a similar second-try, which I am pretty sure won’t be coming this time around. 

Inside Marketing at NYU Stern – Invited!

Last week I applied to secure a spot at NYU Stern organized by the GMA (Graduate Marketing Association). The application required a brief background, resume, and some personal information.  

I was happy when I saw the e-mail yesterday evening stating I was invited. Not that this is a huge achievement, but it will be a good opportunity to take a close look at what NYU Stern has to offer and network with students.  You can find more information on the Graduate Marketing Association Conference page.

Essays, essays and more essays!

Last week I submitted my first application (the only one till now), that was four essays and since then I have jumped on to Sloan and Fuqua applications. I took a two day break - now that the first one was done with subsequent ones should be a piece of cake. Absolutely wrong!

The MIT essays require a totally different approach, not that I did not know of this, but I assumed that my experiences writing the Tuck essays will come good. That has not been the case, thoughts flow naturally and take decent shape in the form of words and sentences, but each time I read my essay after completing a draft – it’s like I am missing some piece of the puzzle. Then I go into that endless loop trying to fit everything from my story into a single page.

Word limit does not help too. Almost every time I write an essay, I feel 700 is the right count for me. Somehow, removing those extra 40% takes more time than actually coming up with the first draft itself. 

Fuqua Interview Update 2 – The Marketing Club event

This is a follow-up to my earlier post about my Fuqua interview experience. Since I had scheduled my interview on a Saturday, a class visit was not possible. I was hoping that there would be other activities that will help me connect with Fuquans, but other than a campus tour nothing else was on the calendar.

Two days before my interview, the Marketing Club came to my rescue and I was so glad when I saw that email from the co-chair (of the club) talking about the event that they had organized for prospective students. This was a wonderful opportunity for me.

After my interview, I had a good lunch and headed for the event. There were about 20 prospective students, we were divided into five groups and were assigned a task – come up with a marketing plan for a distinct case that was assigned to each team. A couple of second year students were to judge our presentation. We picked our case – “Trident has come up with a new non-stick chewing gum targeting senior citizens. You have to come up with a marketing campaign for this product”. We got our quota of stationary and browsed through a few copes of New Yorker to pick up some images to go with our plan.

Our group comprised of two consultants, one analyst and one person with non-profit background. We worked as a group, came up with a punch line and a theme, and one of us was innovative to come up with a background theme too. Here is what we finally came up with.

Each group presented their campaign and I was really amazed by what two teams had done. They were way ahead of the game - they had come up with a punch line, identified market area, identified potential sponsors and a lot more - all within 30 minutes. Deservedly, both of them shared the honors and won the prizes that were up for grabs. We were not disappointed, and were content with the complimentary duffel bags that we got and more importantly glad that we got an opportunity to be a part of this event!

Fuqua School of Business - Interview update

Fuqua School of Business - Interview update

Last Saturday I had my applicant initiated interview at the Fuqua School of Business. This post is an update of my experience.

A month ago I had scheduled my applicant initiated interview; thankfully Fuqua had a Saturday slot available. I say so because a trip to India earlier this year has robbed me of all my vacations (except 2 days, which I want to save for the next two months) so the Saturday event was a real blessing - an opportunity to interview and a chance to get to know the people, school and the area.

After work on Friday, I boarded a flight from Providence to Raleigh-Durham (RDU). Though Logan is the closest from my place, the cost difference can easily pay for one schools application fee and I can easily trade that for the convenience. I reached Durham close to midnight, picked up my rental car and went to the nearby hotel that I had reserved. I contemplated some last minute practice, but let that thought go as it was more important to get some nice sleep and be fresh for the interview.

Woke up around 6 on Saturday, had a nice breakfast, practiced my pitch and headed out around 8.30. The Duke campus was hardly 20 mins from my hotel, but finding the parking lot was a little hassle. Around 9.30 I entered the reception area, and the place was already buzzing with activity. The most notable thing was that everything was organized by Fuqua students. A couple of first years were at the reception, they gave us our name tags and brochures. Prospective students were sitting in small groups and some first years were mingling up with them, talking about their experiences – basically trying to make sure that the prospective students found it comfortable.

With my interview scheduled at noon, I was early. As I was grabbing a cup of coffee a first year student approached and we started talking. A very useful conversation indeed, soon a couple of more prospective students joined. At 11 they had a campus tour going and I joined the gang, this was, again, led by a current student. After the tour I just waited at the reception with my ears wide open, waiting for my name to be called. It was a long wait; I was probably amongst the last bunch, which kind of made me feel more nervous!

Finally my interviewer, a second year student, arrived and called out my name. I immediately knew that I had seen him somewhere, my mind started racing to all the Fuqua events that I had attended, but it did not ring a bell. Soon we were seated in a small team room and the interview was about to begin. My interviewer made it really comfortable for me by talking about his background a little and the fact that he had some experience staying in Boston helped as I could relate and talk about some places. After the brief “ice-breaking” session he jumped on to the task at hand.

The whole interview lasted close to an hour. Most of the initial questions were the usual suspects, no curveballs thrown at me. I thought I was “nervously expressive” during the first 10 minutes before being “confidently expressive” But overall it went well. He did have a couple of non-conventional* questions for me, but nothing out of this world. A few seconds of silence and fast thinking was enough to come up with an appropriate answer. Towards the end, while it was time for me to ask some questions, I remembered where I had seen him. He had a chuckle when he heard that – for two reasons. First – he was amazed that I still had that thing in my mind all through the interview, and second I had not met him in person it was through a video (You will find that information in one of my previous blogs related to Fuqua). I was happy that my school research had helped me connect & relate to my interviewer in some way.

After the interview, I headed to the event organized by the Marketing Group. It was a fun activity, and probably deserves another post. Later, in the evening, I headed back to the airport, had a nice Märzen at the Gordon Biersch and headed home.

* I am not comfortable putting the questions out here, but if someone is really keen do shoot me an email (using the link on my profile). 


Finally, after pondering over my application package (mostly the essays) umpteen times, for what seemed like an eternity, I mustered enough courage to submit my first MBA application. Yes, it was the Tuck MBA application! I did that on Oct 12, exactly 24 hours before the deadline.

I guess that kind of explains why I have not been able to post anything here for last two weeks. Well, this was just one reason – last two weeks have been so hectic (Actually that has been the theme for almost two months now).

So what kept me busy over the last two weeks? Here is a brief list:

¨      My Tuck application
¨      Tuck Interview (and obviously the preparation for it)
¨      Fuqua interview (and preparation)
¨      Fuqua campus visit and tour (which featured a special event!)
¨      MIT Ambassadors program
¨      Working on the other apps for R1

I think all of this deserves a separate post of their own, and it is on the cards. Hopefully by this Sunday my blog will have caught up to my activities (sounds like someone else’s responsibility when I put it that way!). 
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