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Archive for September, 2007

Six Sixes? Wow

Yesterday Yuvraj Singh hit Chris Broad for six sixes in one over,  and did it stun the English? One Andrew Flintoff in particular…

But it set me thinking – can I achieve the same feat? No, I dont intend to go back to cricket. I was a decent player in my school days, and still play infrequently, but thats just about it. I meant on my essays, can I do six in a day? Atleast draft the body, and think about the word limits, grammar & style later. That would be a great achievement for me. And may just help in completing the HBS apps in time for R1.

So while my reviewers are still to get back on my career essay, I have decided to aim for the magic six, and (more…)

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A matter of choice

No reply from my reviewers yet, so I’m using this time to take a good relook at my app process. Which schools do I really wanna go? Of these, where do I stand a decent chance? And how many can I manage to apply to? In round 1? In round 2?

Clearly there are some schools I would really love being at: Chicago, Columbia, Harvard, LBS and Wharton – in alphabetical order. I do have preferences within this set too, but they’re too minor to even think about right now. 

Now comes the dilemma – there are nine other schools (more…)

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Talking points

This version seems good enough, and after a whole week of iterations, I’ve just dispatched my career goals essay to both reviewers. They’ll take about 2-3 days possibly, but I hope they like it this time.

So what have I changed since last time? Well, for one, I’m not talking about my entire experience, only three paras containing three examples of 200 words each. I’ll let my resume take care of the balance. These three should be enough to portray the inflexion points in my career, and serve as talking points with the adcom (no – not for the interviews, most of them are ‘blind’ anyways, but to talk about me in my absence). Then, I’ve also detailed out my career goal a bit more carefully, and I feel it ties in better with my experience. Lastly, I’ve cut out all the jargon and motherhood statements, its better to keep it simple. Key concern area still remains though – the essay is 1300 words! But I’ll cross the editing bridge once I reach it.

So there goes… I should now relax for a few days, and keep my fingers crossed. Plus I’ve got my previous client’s invoice to get processed!

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I’m still on the career goals essay, and not able to get it right. Everytime I make a draft, there are enough loopholes which I’ve not addressed. And there is not enough word limit for doing that. I’m targeting 1400-1500 words right now, which I’ll get down to 1000 and 750 for Wharton & Columbia respectively.

But even 1500 seems too less. If my career goals are a result of my 7 year corporate career till date, and some personal vision, then how can I finish it within this limit? I need atleast 400 words for explaining my target career and why XYZ school. So that leaves 1000 for the career history and accrued learnings.

Everyone says get your career history done in 300-400 words, then move to the Career goal, Why MBA, Why now, Why school part. But that would be hollow, if I’m not able to get across what I’ve done till date. Every year, every assignment, every job played its own distinct part. Something taught me leadership, something gave me a personal vision, and so on. Without all this, there is no point in saying why I wanna do what I wanna do. Plus at my position/age, I’ll be expected to have a much clearer career path. Which means even more words!

No offence, but sometimes I really envy some of you ppl with 2-3 year experience…

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Back on the drawing board

My reviewers thought my career goals do not sound believable. My career history is too long, and needs to be cut down, while I need to work harder on explaining what I’m intending to do in the next 5 years and next 15 years. Also, it doesnt explain why I need the MBA, although it does explain what I’ll get out of the MBA – funnily contradictory, but I understand what they mean.

The good part was that while both reviewers had different comments and reasons, the crux of both their feedback was the same. Rework. Rewrite. Reinvent. This one aint carrying me into any top Bschool on its own.

Thank god I chose reviewers who would be harsh on me, rather than suggest improvements on how I can put better what I’ve already put down.

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Career Goals essay done

Yes! After much procrastination, I have finally completed the first draft of Essay#1. It looks good, and it shows the real me.

I’ve addressed my long-term goals, short-term path, my last 5-7 years of career progress, and then connected all these with the Why MBA and Why XYZ. Cool.

Now, this is a 1500 word master essay. The tough part will be cut it to 750 words or 1000 words for different schools. But I think that can be done later. Right now, I’ve given this to a couple of people to check it out and provide feedback. I’ve specifically asked them to avoid grammar and style feedback, but only let me know whether the whole flow is in place. Doesnt make sense to start working on grammar before you know the content is fine.

My biggest concern is whether the essay brings out the logic flow of

(1) why I want to do what I want to do – atleast at a basic level, it should tie in with my previous experience.

(2) how the MBA fits in with these goals – I dont want them thinking that I dont need an MBA at this stage, so its really important for me to get this one right.

(3) why now- I intend this to be answered indirectly; if the reader understands my whole life-story the way I intend, this shouldn’t be a problem.

I really want to finalize this essay first, and then plunge into school specifics. So Wharton’s 1000 words  can be done by shifting the leadership example into the fourth essay. If Columbia wants 750 words, I pull out the entrepreneurship example out and put it in the other essay. Easier said than done, hmmm….

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Got the official score yesterday, and the AWA score sucks 😦

With 99 percentile on the Total (and on V/Q), the AWA score of 5.0 (61%) looks horrible. I was hoping against hope for a 5.5, but I guess this is what I’ll have to be content with.

Dont know whether I’ll need to address this low score on my additional essay – it doesnt reflect my true potential; though I surely know (hate to think so) that it reflects my performance on that day. I guess I’ll just let it pass…

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