Archive for February, 2008

Wharton, Jackie & me

Had the Wharton Hub interview yesterday, so another quick recap :

WHO: I interviewed with Jackie Zavitz – yes, the adcom’s face on s2s, she’s conducting all interviews for the India Hubs

WHAT: Again, a ‘typical’ admissions interview, with the usual suspects

  • Walk me through your resume (ok… press the ‘play’ button)
  • Career goals – this was explored a bit with some followup queries, but nothing tangential
  • Why MBA? Why Wharton? (yes, this was again a single question, great!)
  • What do you do in your after-work spare time? (Spare time? didn’t she know I was in consulting? we just travel! and learn to see that as an ECA
  • Any questions for me?
  • Any changes / Anything else you have added to your profile post the submission of your application? (Err no…. I’m still into the same job routine)
Very tight 30 min interview – about 25 min to answer her questions, and another 5 for mine – I hardly had any, because bw their website and s2s and my alumni friends, I think I knew enough; and I didnt want to ask just any question to score some marks.

BOTTOMLINE: I am  pleased with my performance, though I wish I had some more time. I probably remembered only about 15 points I wanted to say, once I got back home 🙂 But then, the interview was conducted in a very ‘to-the-point’ and under tremendous time-limitations that I couldn’t really afford to digress much!

PARTING SHOT: “You’ll hear from us on March 21st now” (read as – “pls dont keep asking us when the decisions are coming out, can they be released earlier, etc” – makes sense!)


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ChiGSB & me : The interview

Had the Hub interview a couple of days back, and here’s a quick recap for those of you who’re still to meet them:

WHO: I interviewed with a very sweet adcom director (Andrea Schmoyer)

WHAT: The ‘typical’ admissions interview, with the regulars like

  • Walk me through your resume
  • Career goals
  • Why MBA? Why GSB? (yes, this was a single question, good for me!)
  • How will you be part of GSB? (don’t remember the exact wordings here)
  • What was the biggest challenge you faced?
  • What are you most proud of?
  • Any questions for me?
It took me about 20-25 min to answer her questions, and another 10-15 to discuss the queries I had.

BOTTOMLINE: I liked the interview and am pleased with my performance. Though like everybody else, I remembered 20 points I wanted to say once I got back home

More thoughts later, after my BigW interview!

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Dates on my radar…
Wharton final decision: 27th Mar (anytime after 7th Mar?)

ChiGSB final decision: 26th Mar (anytime after 7th Mar?)

HBS interview decision: 26th Mar (expected Ding!)

LBS final decision: 28th Mar

Columbia interview decision: anytime (hope dies in a week!)

On another note, I have finally crossed 100 posts (this one is the 101st) – surprising bcoz I wasnt sure initially whether this attempt at blogging would be sustained beyond 8-10 posts, but the entire application process (starting with the GMATs, then the essays, and now interviews) has been so all-consuming that I have been literally surviving on my blog and other blogosphere comrades.

To share some basic analysis (after all I’m a consultant, we get orgasms at the hint of data),

100 posts in 276 days : average 66 hours between posts (great!)

36,855 views : 135 views daily (270 views daily in the last 2-3 months)

311 comments : more than 3 involved readers for every post 🙂

3216 spam : now thats what I call a popular blog !

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A $ 250 write-off for my personal P&L! Thats how HBS is turning out to be – with no interview invite on 21st Feb!

Not that I’m complaining much… I sorta knew this from the start – I did NOT have a decent shot at HBS (given age/ok-to-hi GPA/etc), but could not resist applying! I don’t want to remain in a hypothetical “what could have been” world later – its better to try and find out.

What is surprising, however, is that while I knew I was “too old” for HBS, this season is turning out to be “too old” even for many 28-29 YOs. Which is why I’m not at all feeling saddened by a lack-of-HBS-invite… I just don’t want to be in a class full of 25 YOs! Its not that 25 YOs are incompetent (I didnt think I was, when I was 25) its just that there are certain things – like drive, fresh approach, etc – that younger people bring to the table, and others – wide ranging experience for starters – that a 28-32 age bracket contribute. With a good balance, and I would IMHO put that at 60:40 or 70:30 between the <28 and >28 ppl, the entire class benefits. Without it everyone loses! Especially true when the study method is 100% case based !!!

The reverse may actually hold true for LBS – but lemme first convert it into an admit, and then think whether the mix attracts me enough. Right now I don’t even have a date for my interview, still waiting for their adcom rep to confirm the alum.

What I do have is 2 IVs – ChiGSB and BigW – coming up, both within the next 6 days, so I’ll get started on the prep now 🙂

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Invited again!!!

A slightly belated Valentine’s day present from Wharton, here it is!

Dear Oops,The status of your application has been updated and you have been invited to interview with the Wharton MBA Admissions Office. (Please look for the link to the letter inviting you to interview located at the bottom of the main page of your online application account.)

Please log into your Wharton account and select “Search” in the Events box to the right on the main page. Next select an interview type (On-Campus, HUB location or Alumni) and proceed to schedule your interview. Please read the instructions given for each type of interview very carefully. If scheduling an on-campus interview, select the date you are looking for and proceed. If scheduling a HUB location interview, select the location, and proceed to schedule your interview.

We look forward to meeting you in the near future.


Wharton MBA Admissions Office

Dont know what to say, too overwhelmed… mucho work on the cards!

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Yesterday, I returned from H’bad, a bit unsure of my MBA dreams. Why?

I’d gone there to recruit for my firm from ISB – which is among the top Bschools in India after the IIMs. Friday was their Consulting day & after meeting more than 20 candidates for about an hour each, I returned to my hotel room at midnight. A strong feeling of life’s ironies – recruiting post MBA students when I’m looking at joining an MBA

Did it made sense for me to go back to school when…

  1. I am senior enough in my firm to be recruiting MBA candidates (actually I am senior enough for people 2-3 years junior to me also recruiting!)
  2. My post-MBA plans do not involve a career shift big enough that it cannot be accomplished without an MBA
  3. point no.2 restated: my post MBA career goals are ambitious enough, that if I actually achieve them on graduation in 2010, I could have achieved them even without an MBA with 75-80% certainty

Need to think thru this soon

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Love is all around

I cannot believe the amount of love I’m getting today! Everywhere!
Sample these… 

Love sample 1: I was traveling today evening to Hyderabad (more on the ‘why’ later) and the airline had a special lucky seat gift for Valentine’s Day. You guessed it! I got the gift out of 200 odd seats, and the gift was, hold your breath…. a diamond pendant!!!

Love sample 2: I checked into the hotel where I had a reservation. Unfortunately my travel plans had been extended recently, so I was staying here for 2 nights instead of one originally. I had a separate booking for the second night which I pointed out to the reception desk manager. They asked me whether I wanted to stay in the same room on the second night (isnt that obvious?) & that’s when I came to know that availability – or the lack of it – had made my travel desk book me into a suite on the 2nd night. First kiss was when they upgraded me to the suite for today too (ok, this happens sometimes, doesn’t it?). The love-making happened when I realized I entered… not just any suite, but “The” Presidential Suite! Now, how did this happen?

Love sample 3: Columbia application has gone under review!

Your application is currently under review by the Admissions Committee.

You can expect to hear either a final decision or an invitation to interview from us within 12 weeks from receiving this message.

Please keep in mind that an invitation to interview can come at any point in the evaluation process.

Happy V-day to everyone 🙂

Afterthought: Will Harvard & Wharton too show me some love today?

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