Sunday, May 25, 2008

Lessons from the Great Fall

Score Card fall 2008
  1. Kennan Flagler -R-3 (Interviewed & Dinged)
  2. NYU Stern -R2- (Dinged without Interview)
  3. Wharton -R2- (Interviewed & Dinged)
  4. Yale SOM -R2- (Interviewed & Dinged)
  5. LBS -R3-(Dinged without Interview)
  6. Chicago -R3-(Interviewed & Dinged)
  7. Stanford -R3-(Dinged without Interview)
"If a mistake is not a stepping stone, it is a mistake"

Now that I have decided to make a fresh start for Fall 2009, it is imperative to know why Fall 2008 "Mission MBA" didn't click. That brings us to feedback from the admissions committee.

Now not all b-schools give feedback to its re-applicants. (even bschools which give feedback, don't offer it to all reapplicants.) I decided that my luck would be in those bschools where I reached till the interview stage (i.e. Wharton, Yale & Chicago). I was not among the "lucky few" who were selected for feedback by Wharton. Chicago doesn't offer feedback "due to the high volume of applications." Yale Admissions committee has asked me to contact them in mid-June. The next best source is the alumni who took your interview. (Though they have not read your entire application, they have had a firsthand interaction with you & can conclude whether they will be proud to call you an alumni.)

I finally got an opportunity to speak with the Chicago interviewer today . The summary of our discussion is as follows.
  • Present a more holistic picture . I came across as a quant-heavy kind of guy because of my CA & CFA qualification. I should try to prove that there is more to me than my accads, workex and a good Gmat and toefl score. ( All these are now-a-days more of a basic hygine factors) I should showcase my leadership traits in and beyond work place.
  • Apply early. This year was terribly competitive ( the offer -to- acceptance ratio was over 90% compared to previous years 65%). So by round three almost all the seats were taken and even no of waitlisted candidates were less than the previous year
  • Recommendation Out of the two recommendation give one of your immediate superior and one of a person who is at a senior level in the organization hierarchy. The later would stress on my future potential as a manager, leader etc.(My recommendations were from my my immediate superiors of my current and previous organizations).
  • Getting interview call from the bschools like Wharton, Yale and Chicago should be take as an positive indication. I am on the right track in terms on my career goals(i.e. Investment Management) and am able to make a convincing case for the same through my Essays.