Saturday, August 28, 2010

Peaceful Warrior

To fight for that coveted spot in my dream school, I have learnt a lesson. I have to stop worrying about what will be the outcome of my essays while I am writing them. I just have to be in that moment, answering the question, writing my story. I have to free my mind.

Peaceful Warrior represents how to be warrior while keeping your mind at ease, at peace. It's easy? No it isn't. Think that you are in right front of Live TV Camera and you just have one shot and you are not allowed to make a mistake. You are bound to give a perfect shot. This way you will reach excellence in your essays. Just think about the best answer of the question, write you story, express your thoughts, pour your heart. You will see that you will reach closer to that perfection.

The toughest part is its one thing to think that you are in front of Live TV when you are actually not. But I firmly believe if we follow this practice, we would be able to write those essays - our best shot - at once. Those versions of the essays will be written on which I want to hit the submit button. This is not an easy task and if someone is able to do it, let me know. But its a great thought.And of course, not mine. I am just a medium.

Source: Harsha Bhogle, TV Cricket Commentator on his lecture in IIM-A on How to reach Excellence ,
             Peaceful Warrior -Hollywood Flick

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Great Debate: Resolve

I have a situation here and I have to decide within this week. Resolve:

Current Job - Great Organization, Great Work, Nice Team, Lot of friends in the city and especially my younger sister came to the town recently, decent pay, Bad job title (Software Engineer which I am not working as, and management couldn't change it), "May" get a trip to US before December (my own visa got rejected so looking forward to visit schools)

New Job -  Great Organization (More known), Better Brand Reputation, New City - hardly know anyone, May get a month's break between jobs - will get more time to complete apps and prepare for CFA level 1, Very good pay (best by industry standards),and best part is Great Job Title (Specialist - they were looking for six years work ex but they are hiring a 3-year, may be a great thing to highlight in resume if I m called for a B-School interview)

Please help me with your vote.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

LinkedIn, MIT Sloan, CFA and Pink Floyd

Barring the last one in the title above, remaining three are connected and they have made my day. On Friday last week, I was updating my profile information on linkedin when I had this weird although very fortunate idea of searching "CFA MBA" on it. I found a guy in my organization who is a CFA charter holder and an MBA from MIT Sloan. I sent him an email if he can spare some time and wolla! I talked to him today. He gave me all details about what all possible options I have. He was a mechanical engineer turned into software writer into MIT Sloan Grad into Consultant into Quantitative Analyst. He knew so many things about Finance and the best part is since I had told him that I am a technologist, he was explaining finance things to me in plain English.

He has given me a great idea on how to improve resume. He said go to a job portal website, look for the job you want to be in and highlight in your resume, skills that you have developed related to that kind of job. I had shared my resume with him before the meeting.His input was that your career goal does not seem to be connected at all to the work you are doing although he understands as a career-changer it will rarely be the case but it's good to have something related. Even if you are doing something additional beyond your current job for your career goal, give a weight to that in your resume. Great point. Isn't it?

About the last part of the title, I was listening to Pink Floyd's "Wish you were here" on Friday after charging iPod after years and the music keeps ringing into my ears ever since. There is something different about it, something unique.

"So you think you can tell heaven from hell?"

Wish I was there… my dream school…Its long struggle and sometimes I feel so much discontent writing and reaching that perfection. You might be aware that Pink Floyd mixed several of their experimented compositions into one to make music of "Comfortably Numb". May be I have to write essays several times to make them as perfect as this song is.

Child has grown, dream is gone………..With six hundred words I cannot write a line as impactful as they have done with just six words. I am not that good yet.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Header that keeps me motivated - Stephen M. Ross School of Business

The essays that I have created word documents for were looking plain till I gave them a crown of the school they belonged to.

That gives me motivation and keeps right in front of my eyes the name of the big destination I am targeting.

I have finally been able to compress Introduce Yourself essay to 100 words. Yipppee!!
Took ideas from different people - my younger sister, her friends, my cab mate, a girl in 12th standard, a fellow applicant at office and of course Mr.A . I felt nice after naming the document "Introduce Yourself Final Version".
What was most fun writing this weekend was the frustration essay (the one in the image). I was recalling how the frustration filled compassion in me for others. And sub-consciously, how I made efforts to help others, improve my behavior and stayed down to earth. The truth is disappointment makes you realize what's important for you. Wow man! I never thought of these things when I was doing them. But all these things have now become part of my story. I seriously relate to the fact that writing essays gives you lot of time for self-reflection.

Stay focused and healthy.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Stephen M. Ross school of Business : The others this weekend

The first essay of introducing myself is finally approved by somebody who do not usually approves things easily - my sister. I had a surprise lined up in my mailbox when I returned from office saying its perfect.
That gives me some confidence to move to other essays though I now have to figure out those 15 words from that essay that are responsible for overshooting the word-limit

As I said earlier, my career goals essay is missing crispiness. So, the first target of this weekend is that essay. I also have to draft Why Ross? in that. The essay question reads:

2. Describe your career goals. How will the Ross MBA help you to achieve your goals?
(500 word maximum)

I was earlier thinking to draft first versions of essays all schools that I am applying to in first round. But I am stuck with first school's first essay since an era.

Career goals essay - my essay's structure:
1) Clearly my goals
2) My experiences that derives me towards those goals
3) My professional experience (I am a career changer) and how will it help me towards my goals
4) My short term goal and what I want to do in the role I aspire to be in.
5) How my short term goal will ultimately lead me to my long term goal. What I intend to do?
6) Why I need an MBA for my goals
7) How will Ross help me (pending)

So here I am - chiseling my career goals essay to bring that missing crispiness. Hey experts out there - What do you think of my approach?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Stephen M. Ross school of business. Introducing Myself has never been that tough

I tried moving to Tuck's essays as I mentioned in my previous post but while discussing at lunch in office about one of the recent happenings in my team during which I was quite frustrated, I found the idea of Ross' frustration essay. I wrote it down and my first reviewer A agreed with only last two paragraphs out of five!

So my first set of essays are taking shape but at the snail's speed. I had my career essay reviewed by a Kellogg recent grad who liked the content of my essay but found the crispiness missing.

Amongst all of the essays, I am particularly surprised by amount of time I have devoted to Intoduce Yourself essay. Its 100-words essay and I guess that makes its most difficult. I tried following three different approaches-
1) How people describe me, What good things they find in me and used that as a base for the essay. Captured too less information about me.
2) How I describe myself. Scrapped it after first version. Felt like self-boasting.
3) What my experiences have been? What my interests are? What my career path is?

I have frozen the third approach after reading recommendations from three different usual sources on how to write this essay - SBC, ClearAdmit and I am too lazy to attach links today!

I liked Linda's approach from who asks to write about your elevator pitch (I have wondered several times What's my pitch???) and what is the first thing you want them to know about you. Also, I think ClearAdmit is correct in saying that you have to introduce yourself as a candidate. This is not an introduction to your peers.

The essay that I have written has taken a good shape. I think! But I am still dancing to the tunes of word limit.
Hope to have this done. Yes Richard! Its draining. No second thoughts about it.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Tuck Tuck Tuck!

This morning has been dedicated to Tuck. Actually I wanted to find out essays on Tuck's website and I have still not found them. I googled essays on its website as well and  didn't get any link on essays. It was easier to find them on clearadmit.
So my collection of Tuck search (other than Tuck's website) so far:
1. A slice of Tuck :
2. Indian at Tuck BW Forum thread
3. Richard's Tuck Visit
4. Tuck's essays question :

I haven't visited Tuck yet but I really want to. Sadly, Tuck does not also have information session in Bangalore this year. This time many schools are not having information session in Bangalore - Kellogg, Columbia and Tuck are few that I have figured out till now.What's wrong with Bangalore?  If its about advertising about the school then I can surely say in all sessions that I have attended so far, I have found a huge crowd.Many students from Chennai, Mysore travel to Bangalore for information sessions.Lot of admitted Indian applicants are Bangalore based I am sure. Then why they have taken such a decision? Tuck discontinued after 2008 and Columbia is not having this time.

Anyways, I have written first draft of three essays for Ross. Still not able to figure out the right choice for frustration/disappointment question.So, I have decided to move to Tuck. I wanted to write first draft of all schools that I am applying to before fine tuning essays. I was earlier thinking of applying to Tuck in second round but I think I want to move it up as Tuck is increasingly becoming my first choice. I think its an ideal place for a studious person like me. I really need that calm setting to study!