Saturday, September 20, 2008

I am spooked !

I just saw 3 movies in a row and yeah Cocktail happens to be one of them hence the title!

I have been doing everything under the sun , but essay writing for the past 10 days. My essays have not been trashed by my reviewers and that definitely has me relieved..So now I'm done with a bulk of my essays which I can tweak around for most schools.. but that still doesnt bring me close to that elusive "submit" I'm impatient to get done...

While I have been looking at Cornell more closely I just realised Cornell and UMitch are so very alike. Be it immersion and MAP or action based learning or co-creation or Impact..even essay on professional accomplishment (sans the word limit) is ditto!

Ohh and the real reason why i am spooked.... i din think its a MUST to waive off rights to reco letters and so I selected the option to view them later....but just read in some of the forum that its best to leave them inaccessible to the applicant. Should I be worried????

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Yes , it aptly describes the state of my mind! I wish I were Mary Poppins or Alice in Wonderland tucked away from mundane matters like essays and recos and transcripts. Hah!

Some updates and mundane matters I'm working on right now:

Johnson- Essay 3 "You are the author for the book of Your Life Story. Please write the Table of Contents for the book"

I don't know if I am missing something or if the word count for this is actually missing on the application. But I checked with the adcom and was asked to stick to the 400 word limit "for all essays".
I was not too ecstatic initially and it took me a while to figure out how to go about it but as I started... I realised this is the only essay I have come across so far that can speak volumes about us and our life cycle.It allows us to show where we are coming from, what shapes our thought process, what kind of transitions we have made, how we balance work and play, what have been our highs in we overcame our lows...what are we passionate about...what have we done about it....where are we headed next....and so much more!!!

I wish I could copy paste it for "the personal statement" for would be ideal....but Stern adcom ain't no fool neither am I !!!

Ross Essays

First draft of all 4 Ross essays are ready and out for review. My reviewer has a very busy schedule these days but all the dog faces I am making, seem to be doing the trick and I've been promised comments by Friday morning !!!

I still need to put all 4 of them together and see if they paint a holistic picture about my thoughts and actions in all spheres. But I think I'll wait till I get the comments. No point if I have to completely trash an essay!!!

Stern Essays
Stern Essay 1 & 2 are ready and with my reviewer as well. I did get some good comments which I totally agree with and shall incorporate soon. But Stern deadline being much later.. I have decided to put it on hold right now. I started off on essay 3 some time back but I think I can do better on the creativity front so I shall get back to it once I am done with Ross and Johnson.
Blog entries, collage, snapshots from holidays, mock interviews on Oppy, menu cards etc are some of the creative entries applicants have conjured up in the past. For now I think I'll stick to 500 words only!

I'm loving every bit of Stern that I keep discovering. But yes Stern's fascination for numbers (GMAT ,GPA) does make me wince. Did you know all the Male Indian Techies (i'm not at all in favor of any discrimination but right now I'm glad I don't have the Y chromosome!) who joined in 2006 had an avg GMAT of 760!!! (I hope I'm proven wrong!!)

Duke Essays
Duke is getting the royal snub right now. Been ages since I worked on the essays. A couple of them are ready though. Its just that deadlines are later and I'm not all that excited about Duke.

Fluff & Puff
These 2 words have been etched in my mind forever and I hope in every b-school applicant's mind as well. Essays should not be full of "Fluff"..fancy , generic stuff that leaves the reader wondering if applicant 2 and applicant 22 are the same. Fluff will also remind the reader of the canned tuna fish rotting in his/her fridge for an eternity. Bad idea to Fluff!!

Coming onto Puff. None of us could stress less on the downfalls on puffing the resume or going overboard on the essays. Don't think its a great idea to cross the thin line between selling yourself and lying your way through.

Application Forms
I'm guessing most of us take the general form lighly (other than essays and recos) but I think its prudent to give due weightage to it. Most applications forms are frugal with their word limit on Work History, ECs, Achievements etc (Johnson is very generous in this case) and we need to ensure that we don't miss out on any salient point. I'm wondering to what extent can we put in data not available on the resume (related to EC or work history in some cases)

I do not have great news on this front nor am I panicking. I spoke to my supervisor today and he has promised to have Johnson and Ross done in the next 2 weeks. Just have to keep reminding him to get it done. He actually asked me if the application software used analytics to keep track of how many modifications the recommender made to gauge his thought process!!!ApplyYourSelf do you do that???!!! And I was really glad to hear him say that he wants to go through each question thoroughly and be as specific as possible. My other recommender resurfaces once a while but I understand he is busy tying up loose ends before making a trans atlantic move... Nonetheless since he has asked me to manage his time I shall do just that and keep sending him reminder mails.

Transcripts are scanned (need to rescan them for pdf versions less than 500 kb), resume done, need to report scores to Duke and Johnson. Hope I am not missing out on anything.

All the best guys!!And since it seems Columbia has already started sending out interview invites for ED...break a leg!!!