Friday, March 23, 2012

Thank you MBA Crystal Ball!

I had a great opportunity to share about my career choices and my transition to Teach for India in India's leading  MBA blog - MBA Crystal Ball. I have been a great fan of Sameer's inputs given at BW forums and I am glad that he found my experience, useful for readers of blogs of MBA Crystal Ball.

Read on to the full article here: 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

How a friend made to Kellogg!

An acquaintance of college recognized me when he bumped into this blog last year and approached me because of my experience in GMAT and applications. We chatted about my experience and his plans.  He was little apprehensive because of his low GMAT score - 700 (low because of super scorers Indians!) and was clueless about essays.

Till then I had helped out few people with resumes and essays, so I asked him if I could help. He gladly agreed and we started working on his resume first. I sent him my resume; he picked the format and wrote his. Then to move ahead, I had to understand what he does because I had absolutely no knowledge about his domain of work. I would put forward questions, he would explain it to me and we would reach at a common understanding. We would talk about the impact he made and qualities he demonstrated for each bullet point in resume. This way we kept on building until we reached a point where we satisfied that each aspect that we want to highlight in his work is present in the resume. After several versions, emails and skype calls we were satisfied where his resume was.  

We moved forward with essays.  He was sure about Kellogg and Ross and was yet to shortlist other schools. Since Kellogg essays have higher word-limits and they are in greater number, we started with them. Essay writing got a little tricky at first. My friend has lot of International experience working in different countries and we wanted this to be the biggest highlight of his candidacy. But we were not just getting it right with the starting. We were able to write about his career progress part very well, thanks to resume, but we wanted it not to sound like a resume! So, we discussed about unique experiences he had in different parts of the world and how that helps him now to quickly adapt and work in a new country. Finally we found a perfect start and then we were able to complete one essay at a satisfactory level.

All this was before I joined Teach for India i.e. end of April. After that I had such a hectic training at TFI that I just couldn’t take forward the work we had done thus far. Also, my friend now was slowly becoming an expert on essay-writing himself. He carried forward remaining essays on his own. I couldn’t follow-up much except telling him that by end of writing it all, he must hire a professional service to get the final review and I recommended to him the only person I was sure of – Khyati Soparkar  - who had helped me with essays and interview at Tuck in 2010 and one more friend to get through Wharton in 2011.

We lost touch. I would sometime wonder what he was up to but just didn’t follow up. On one fine day this month, I got a call from him telling me that he has been accepted by Kellogg. 

We met up for lunch and he showed me his essays. I am so proud of what he finally got – much better than our satisfactory levels. I think because he started so ahead in time and took complete ownership that his essays came out really magnificent in the end. He kept the process simple without complications of multiple reviewers. I believe that is the key.

I am really proud of his acceptance.  He got through the one he wanted! I guess he wanted it badly enough and he went all the way to get it!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Dil Se

I am coming to this blog after a long time for reasons that I am still comprehending. May be I had a writer's block. May be I lost that connection to express in this anonymous world.

 Life of a Teacher  is tough and someone who is considering this job should understand that you are entering into a system which is so screwed up and your job might be contributing in that screw up without your intention. You might be serving the wrong people indirectly. And you have to continuously remind yourself and hope that you are empowering a handful of kids that do not become wrong people of that system.

Life of a  Teacher is emotionally draining. Its a giving job. And sometimes you have breakdowns because you are not a superhuman who can give continuously.

Life of a teacher is faced with impossible choices. A slow progress of an emerging kid and super-fast progress of a smart kid, a planning that takes cares of both, an execution which paces both, data which makes you jump, disinvestment which makes you shout, and then there is all of your life things pending - unpaid bills, career choices, personal life...yeah personal life is a pending item sometimes!

Life of a class teacher is coming to an end. No, I am not giving up. I am just taking on another challenge. From teaching 38 second graders, I am moving to teach several 17 years old  adolescents who have been picked from streets. Boys who have suffered and seen reality of this world much more than I have. Boys who will not tolerate weaknesses of my mind and attitude. My job has been described to me as a female role model for 30 boys. The word is big! And a human life feels so small.