Sunday, July 20, 2008

The list is out !!! (Better Late than never...)

As mentioned in my previous post I am targeting 7 schools initially and planning to apply to all of them in the first round. This is more or less my final list.
  1. Wharton
  2. Columbia
  3. Chicago
  4. Tuck
  5. Cornell Johnson
  6. Texas Austin (Mc Combs)
  7. Carnegie Mellon: Tepper.
Changes if any will happen in the last two on the list. Two other colleges which I has to keep aside after lots of thoughts were Darden and Michigan Ross. In case none of the 7 applications gets converted into interview calls, I would probally apply to 2 -3 more colleges. I have not zeroed in in these round 2 schools (I sincerely pray that I would'nt have to). Some tentative schools for round 2 are Michigan&, Darden ( incase I dont apply in round 1), ISB, Vanderbilt, Fisher.

I know that even 7 Bschools in round 1 will be a huge task (my previous experience says so:).

I will start with Schools like Columbia and Mc Combs which have rolling applications. More on these Bschools & Applications in the next few days...

Keep reading....

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Of Stretch Schools, Safe Schools and all that Stuff

With the start of Application Season starts the unavoidable process of School Selection. A common predicament facing the applicants is selection of "Safe Schools", both -How many to select & whether or not to select one.

Most applicants on an average apply to around than 7-8 Schools. What shifts the balance in favor of keeping at least 1 safe school is that among the 7-8 Schools is that
  • The top B schools i.e Stretch Schools have a dismal acceptance record ( every 5 out of 6 applicants get rejected)
  • For Most applicants it is necessary to get into at least one of the applied schools by the end of the application season. Not everyone has the time and energy to go through the entire process allover again the next year.
  • The top B Schools are terribly expensive whereas you stand a good chance of getting a big scholarship if selected by a safe school. So a safe schools works out to be a better return on investment
But some of the applicants (me included) still decide to keep safe schools out of the list.... Why?
  • Is it because we believe that only the top B Schools will help us to achieve our career goals spectacularly ?.. may be. But remember B schools are not an end by itself but only a means to an end
  • Or because we believe Safe schools are just mediocre schools ?... Not necessarily true. Safe schools are those which you believe you have a very good chance of getting into (because of your accads, professional or personal background). For e.g. Schools which are Stretch Schools for some one scored 610 in GMAT might be Safe schools for some on who scored 770
So whats the real reason? ...
Some of us are desperate to change things around us& to change ourselves in this process...

to stretch ourselves to the limits & to expand our horizons....
to inspire, to get inspired...
and at the end of all this achieve our full potential (or even better, go beyond our full potential.)
For most of us this is the last opportunity to quit our jobs and get involved in a fulltime learning program and we want to proudly say (to ourselves) -" I got into the Best possible MBA Program. I am incapable of doing any better"

Not keeping a Safe school in the application , to some may seem to be ridiculous and impractical, while to others may be the only way out. Different people tend to look at the same thing from different perspectives and arrive at different conclusions. But thats life and you have to live with it.

But what about me? ....where stand have I taken?
Well I still stand by my last years decision of not applying to a Safe school...

But this time around I have also decided to keep a plan B ready in case things go awry. As I have started well in advance, I am targeting to finish off 7 application by round 1 . In case none of the applications gets converted into interview calls, I will apply some more schools in round 2. This round of application will definitely contain some safe schools. I guess beyond a certain point you stop optimizing your potential and start banging your head against a closed door.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

So what next?

It been a one crazy journey in the past one year. ...

  • Wrote CFA Level 3 Exam amidst all confusions created by AICTE (only CFA candidates from India will understand what I am talking about).
  • Started Preparing for GMAT Exam (probably I started it a bit late ... Actually giving GMAT in the second week of October is too late)
  • Started applying for various B schools. (Again tooo late... did not even apply to a single school in the first round).
  • Decided against everybody's advice of keeping at least 1 safe schools (and still stand by my decision).
  • Underestimated the time that will be taken for various essays... (only 4 out of the eight schools where in the round 2. Remaining four were in round 3.)
  • Only one successful Hit - ISB.... And kindly declined this offer for admission (some people are still surprised by this decision). When I received the admission offer, I already had interview calls form Wharton & Yale and was in the process of applying for LBS and Chicago. I believed that I stand a chance in at least one of these schools.

Deep down I knew that If none of the remaining applications workout (as it didn't) I would be left nowhere(as I am now). But at times in life it seems to makes more sense to give up every thing you have for something which you deeply aspire. You are ready to take chances, keep going and do not accept defeat... till the very end ... till everything is over.

So what next???

  1. Start afresh... (forget every thing which you did last year.. except of course your mistakes :)
  2. Reconsider your schools selection (No point in reapplying to the same schools unless you believe that you your candidature has substantially improved from the last time or you believe that you closely missed getting into that B-school)
  3. Start Early (As I am not planning to retake GMAT, I can straightaway start with applications and aim to submit all applications by round 1 itself)
  4. Utilize time till for improving your candidature (enroll for new courses, acquire new skill sets, join new team activities etc...)