Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Ross Interview Debrief

No fancy title. No exclaimation mark. No excitement , post THE Ross interview.
Shakespeare has said "hope to joy is more in joy than hope enjoyed" and I say "Aye, sir. I'm now hoping for my next joy."

To come to the point, the interview did not go as well as I hoped and anticipated, but that still does not stop me from hoping to be in Ann Arbor in Fall 2009 or planning for the M-Trek before that.

I walked into the interview with some notions like 30 mins, standard set of questions, formal etc etc...I was not wrong and since that was playing at the back of my mind.. it did hinder.

We started off with the resume walkthrough and then why mba...then it moved onto why Ross..what's my association with the Ross community....a leadership example and a difficult time in working in a team...

It was then my turn to ask him questions..I asked him about his experience at Ross ( and I knew what the answer would be!). So the only silver lining I see is that we connected well on the Ross community and people front... I have been in touch with some of his batchmates and we exchanged notes on the alumni reach , bonding and warmth.

However, to me he did not seem to be a good interviewer. He was not well prepared, and he did fumble on the questions as well. I've got the same feedback from others who have interviewed with him so I guess the verdict is across the board.

I wish it had gone differently and I'd enjoyed it more but that's history. Hope my future says "GO BLUE".

To those of you with admits in EA and Rnd 1 -Congratulations!!!!
To those with dings - Life definitely does not end here.
To those gearing up for Rnd 2 - All the Best!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Conversation over Coffee - Johnson Interview Debrief

The title says it all.

Initially I was very apprehensive and in knots. I have practically ziltch interview experiences. And the practice I had 4 days before D-Day totally freaked me out.

But as soon as I reached the venue and the alum waiting for me got up, waved his hand and welcomed me with a big smile -things changed. Its these small gestures that matter a lot. I immediately relaxed and felt comfortable. While we placed our order we discussed my current work and his. There seemed to be a lot of similarities that got me animated and him more interested. We then began with my education ..which then led to my family background and then got back to my work. He took a lot of interest in some of my experiences and most of our conversation centered round it. One question that we kept on playing ping pong with was Why MBA? I gave my reasons..he tried to reason with me..I again reiterated and gave more examples/instances...reasons being the same. All this while I never was explicitly asked Why Cornell. And it so happened that the answer to this blended well with Why MBA, so I spoke a lot about what made me decide on Cornell and what I'd gain from MBA at Cornell. One common question that seems to be doing the rounds for international students esp. is funding the MBA. I too was asked that.I was asked about what my peers/friends would say about me and some examples to illustrate the same..Soon 90 mins were up..we never got to leadership exp., team work, what other schools u applying to, etc..but i am guessing being a good interviewer he must have got his answers already.. As we parted I came back with a lot of confidence in my self.. some good information on Cornell and work happening in my industry and renewed vigor to realise my dreams.

I can't say what the outcome will be. What I can say from my experience is that if you have the passion, if you are clear about your goals, if you are honest and just be'll enjoy the experience like I did.

Of the Rodents..Of the Ravaged..Of the Resilient

This is not the place for it. I have 2 other posts lined up that need to be in print. I can't think straight right now . But I had to post.

Its nearly been 24 hrs but the fires are still raging, gunshots are still being fired, people are still missing, dead bodies are still being dragged out, the NSG, army and police are still battling and still the end's not in sight. I seriously do not know if I should be thankful for my loved ones and my safety, if I should be saddened by the grief of the victims and their families, if i should feel sorry or angry at the perpetrators, if I should laugh at or condemn politics and intelligence.
I just do not know what to do. I feel helpless, like million others.

The media has been at it since last night. Yes, we need to stay updated with the latest happenings. But do the perpetrators need to know from where the commandos are going to come in or what's the next strategy or where the top official is at the moment?

Operations are on since yesterday. But I am amazed and scandalised by the fact that a motorboat whizzed past coast guards, terrorists unloaded loads of ammunition ( and even asked some spectators to shut up), walked under CCTV camera, entered secure hotels with suitcases full of ammunition, hijacked a police vehicle...... 12 or so terrorists and a battalion of people fighting them. Still no end?

Its very easy for me to sit here and write. To rant . To get angry. To blame. To see obvious loopholes. But at the field there is a different story to tell.

I'm proud of Mumbai..its resilience..its spirit. Time and again Mumbai has been targetted. And each time Mumbai has bounced back brilliantly with each new day being the first day of eternity.
I know this time round too it will be no different.

I needed an outlet and had to vent. More on Ross and my Cornell Interview debrief coming up later.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Act II Scene I - The Johnson Interview Invite!!

After a month and a half of waiting... I finally got the coveted mail!!!
The Johnson School would like me to schedule an interview as soon as possible!!!!!!!!
Once I was done with my apps... F5ing my mailbox every 10 mins has become a way of life for me....And finally it paid off !!!

The journey to Ithaca is not possible at this stage so I am mulling over the adcom telephonic option or alum interview. Right now I am more inclined towards the alum interview..lets see how it works out..

On other fronts I pushed Duke and Stern to Rnd 2. I am regretting the Stern decision a teeny weeny bit but something inside really stopped me from going ahead with it.

All best to those gearing up for interviews and those ready to hit submit on Stern!!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

CitiAssist Out, so is Duke (for me)

Now with Cornell and Ross in I just have not been able to concentrate and move on with the rest of the applications. As a result, Duke is postponed to Round 2 (a big MAYBE even then). More inclined towards UNC and Notre Dame at the moment.

I feel totally drained out and not motivated enough. Plus work, other commitments, festivities and family keeping me totally occupied.

The latest buzz for international students right now is the discontinuation of the CitiAssist non cosigner loans at Ross and MIT.
My 2 cents on this:
1) The loans stand discontinued from Nov 2nd onwards. And students have been asked to apply before that. The ones disbursed will not be recalled. So I am hoping not too many students are affected by it.
2)Schools will definitely try their best to come up with alternate sources. And hopefully something should be worked out by the next academic year.Else there will be a slump in international applications which will be a huge drop for schools in terms of statistics and diversity.
3) Round 2 in tier 1 schools (esp schools that had non cosigner loans) mite see a slowdown in international applications (mostly Asian). Though total volume will still surge (US applicants and some European will make up for it)
4) A lot of potential applicants will now look at Europe and Asia.
5)One imp. input I got from Owen adcom at the World MBA fair was that their school and certain others have decided to cut down on international students to ensure that finances are available for those admitted. This till now was not really the case with tier 1 schools. But maybe they might rethink strategy.

A lot of uncertainty, a lot of if's and buts out there. Life is not very beautiful right now.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

On my way to Going Blue!!!

Yes!!! Finally my Ross application is in with recos and all... Ideally I would have loved to submit Ross 10-15 days ago but as Mr. Murphy would have it, things had to go haywire...

Last minute while re reading my essays I realised something was amiss. Just took a minor change in structure to make my team skills explicit but nonetheless took me ages to get it perfect.

One of my reviewers (a current student at Ross) got back to me this morning with comments, hours after I had submitted it.Thankfully he liked my essays and we were in sync on my weakest link (the leadership essay -- it was more mechanical and not as reflective as it should be). I had taken care of it before submitting.

One of my rec's was totally into hibernation, realised this evening that he hasn not had net access for the past 3 days, so all my frantic SOS mails were lying unattended in his mailbox. Left him a voicemail and voila! in 40 mins the reco was in. Hope he had it all filled up earlier and was just waiting to hit submit... else I'm doomed.

The good thing about the Ross application is that it is pretty compact, the bad thing- 100 characters and at times 4 lines of text is not enough!

Now that Ross is in some how I just cant get myself to work on other apps.. I'm just waiting to Go Blue!!!

I am seriously contemplating postponing Duke to Round 2 . Need to check the consequences of doing so (scolarship consideration, application volume, competition etc etc).

At the Stern Reception , the adcom rep. said that there is absolutely no advantage on submitting on 20th Oct instead of 15th Nov. However, I read in some forum that its rolling. Need to confirm this too, else will work on Stern from 30th Oct. Need to complete essay 3.

Now I need to finish what matters the most to me and why in the next few days!

All the best fellow bloggers!!!!