Random Reflections!

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Archive for the ‘MBA Journey’ Category

My journey to become a black suit! Well, I dont like the sound of that either!! Hopefully I’ll be able find some alternative in my journey.

Tepper Interview

Posted by nixbert on November 4, 2008

This one went better. The questions were usual – why MBA, why from this school, leadership experiences etc.

I was in Singapore at that point of time and the interesting part is that I got an interview invite only five days before the decision deadline! This was followed by some issues which led to an interview reschedule and believe it or not, I was interviewed only a few hours before the deadline ran out!

I was then wait-listed and eventually denied admission.

Moral of the story for all those who keep refreshing their Inbox in hope for an interview invite – Do not despair. I am a living proof that the game is very much on until the very last moment. You can get that mail even if decision is few days ahead. Interviews do happen even until the last few hours!

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Duke Interview

Posted by nixbert on November 4, 2008

I screwed this one up. Royally. All those months of preparation went down the drain in 45 minutes. It was a classic deer-with-headlight-in-the-eyes experience for me.

Here are the questions that came my way –

– Why do you want to do an MBA and how have you prepared yourself for an MBA?

– What are your short term and long term goals?

– What time frame are you looking for your long term goal?

– What if someone else moves in and captures the market before you for your long term goal?

– Coming from a very competitive pool, what differentiates you from others?

– Consider the following situation – There are 10 team doing similar work. A survey is done by the organisation at both Quantitative and Qualitative levels and your team turns out to be the worst performing team and is placed last. What would you do?

– There are several kinds of leaderships. What do you think is your style? Give me an example?

– Are you involved in any community activities?

– Give me your 6 strengths ( one word for each strength)

– Give me 3 weaknesses. Again in one word

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School decision and related stuff

Posted by nixbert on September 15, 2007

So now that I am over and done with my GMAT, next logical step is obviously the school selection and the admission process.

And this is where the fun starts! I’ve been thinking about my school choices for months now but have not arrived at any obvious answers. So far there are only 3 clear answers in my mind.

(In no particular order)

1. LBS – Considering that I have permanent residency for UK, this school is very attractive to me. Bring the current H1-B scenario into the picture and LBS seems to click all the right buttons.

2. Tuck – Don’t ask me why but I just keep coming back to this school over and over again. All that I’ve ever read, hear, felt makes me want to apply here. And no I don’t have a very compelling reason. I just somehow want to.

3. ISB – This school makes tremendous sense in Indian context. Given my long term aim of operating in and out of India, I cannot keep this school out. Also, since my closest buddy was in class of ’07 and I kept visiting him a number of times, I’ve vicariously soaked in a lot of ISB experience. I liked it very much so this school is definitely in.

Apart from these schools I don’t have a clue. I have not decided on how many to apply and where to apply. I just do not want to make the same mistakes as last time.

While on the subject – I came across a very thoughtful article on MBA Rankings. Here it is. It is a particularly useful article, more so because it consolidates all the major rankings in one place so you don’t have to keep hopping here and there to check them out.

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AWA scores …

Posted by nixbert on September 15, 2007

I was pleasantly surprised when i got to know that my AWA scores were out in less than a week!! Last I heard this usually took anywhere between 4-6 weeks.

I scored 5.5 . Pretty satisfied with myself!

Here are the sketchy details of the two topics I got on my AWA  –

– Cafe ABC’s move to new location was a good business move. The cafe has successfuly completed two years in new location. The old location was not conducive to business because a piercing studio and grocery store opened in the Cafe’s previous location.

– Government regulation vs. Self regulation by companies.

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Few words on GMAT

Posted by nixbert on September 9, 2007

So here’s what i feel about GMAT. (penning these down lest I lose the flavour over time). I managed a decent score (I hope) not a brilliant one but I guess the experience is worth something

AWA is important
It is probably the most ignored part of the test, mostly because it does not count towards the rated score. However I think its worth spending at least some time preparing for it. There are two reasons why this is important. Firstly, it accounts for an hour on the exam and every hour drains your energy and focus. So it is best to practice at least 2-3 full-length tests which *include* AWA. No one wants to run into the sections which actually count and find themselves unable to focus or drained out. Best to build your stamina when you can. Secondly, since this is the first section, if you do reasonably well, it will give you that much more confidence going into the meat of the real test. Well….at least it did for me.

Practice a lot of Maths
There is only one way to get the quant section right and that is to practice it a lot. Lets face it, this is high-school maths and for engineers it is a real shame to do badly on this section. (and no I am not too pleased with myself on Quant). The core of almost every question is such that most people will nail it, 10 on 10, if asked in a straightforward manner. However, the questions though are worded very cleverly and set up so that you miss some trivial detail which will end up costing you. So practice each type of the problem (probability, ratios etc) to an extent that you don’t have to think twice while solving the meat of the problem. This because you want to spend as much time learning to skin the problem to get to the meat. Better you are at extracting the available vs required information (aka skinning) in shortest possible time, higher your score is going to be.

Practice on timed full length tests
There are plenty of good resources available. GMATPrep from mba.com is probably the most representative of the real thing (for obvious reasons). Other good resources for genuine adaptive tests can also be found online at following resources – Peterson’s and Princeton Review. They cost a bit, Peterson about 20$ and Princeton review are free if you get their GMAT book, however, the tests are good. One caveat about Peterson – there is a slight delay between you clicking one question and next question loading up fully, it is a bit annoying specially when you are crunched for time. However, they are good practice nonetheless as you learn to cope up with shortage of time. Pick up Kaplan tests to get kicked in your guts and jolt yourself into action if you’ve been feeling a little lazy in your prep. The miserable score is likely to get you worked up 😉

Learn to do verbal like Maths (for engineers and people good at maths)
No I am not joking. Learn to break up sentences like you would break up an equation. First, learn to identify principal and subordinate phrase of the sentence. Then learn to classify them as Noun, Adjective and adverbial phrases. These are numbers/variables in your equation. Then learn about pronouns, conjunctions etc, which bind one part of the sentence to other. These are like your modifiers in your equation (the pluses, minuses and equal-to sign). Once you’ve done that you will immediately notice how easy it is to identify when an equation – which is actually a sentence – is unbalanced and how to get it back in shape by correcting error in number, pronouns, relation, parallelism). After learning maths for a number of years, it is in your instincts to deal with and dismiss such problems. And this entire tactic is also based on a very familiar principle of maths – that of reducing an unfamiliar problem to one which is simpler in form and one you know how to solve!!

So there you go. That’s a load off my chest….

Wish you luck!

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GMAT over and done with….

Posted by nixbert on September 9, 2007

phewww !! what a relief… I scored 730 (Q48 V42).

Tad disappointed though because i think 740 or may be 750 was well within reach. I mismanaged my time in Quant section and ended up answering last 5 question in less than 3 minutes. So I was reduced to glancing over the problem and taking an educated guess. I can still recall that I got the last question wrong for sure. It was a DS question and the right answer hit me like a kick in the shin after I clicked the Ok button. 😦

In retrospect I had been working on my Maths all along (pathetic for an Engineer I know) and barely practised Verbal. But I barely managed to improve my score on Quant by one point. On the other hand, Verbal score improved by two points without much practice. I think this has more to do with my reading a lot and diligently looking for mistakes in everything I read- official mails, newspaper and what-not.

Will post more on my experience later.

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D-Day postponed…

Posted by nixbert on August 29, 2007

the landing at Normandy or in my case GMAT is postponed.

As the original d-day (18th Aug) approached I realised I was in no shape to take on the beast.

So one phone call and 50$ later, it’s now scheduled for 8th Sep.

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D-Day

Posted by nixbert on July 29, 2007

18th August.

thats the day of my gmat.

Prep : not going well.

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GMAT?!!?? AAaauuuuGGGhhHH!!

Posted by nixbert on June 17, 2007

My heart spontaneously decided participate in next olympics high-jump event. To validate its ambition, it promptly took a leap to see if it could clear my throat.

Of course stimulus for these antics came in form of my GMAT plans, which suffice to say, are in ruins.

Even though it was after much thought that i had decieded to delay GMAT so as to actively hunt for a new job yet i can’t help but feel despair at the time-crunch i have landed myself in.

I must start asap. Where’s my book?… Hmm book! Good question. Where is it? …. Oh of course its with most of the rest of my stuff. … Back in Delh!!!

AarrrGGhhhhh!!

Must go out and buy another one.

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new page on b-school info

Posted by nixbert on April 22, 2007

I’ve been researching a lot of b-schools with an aim to shortlist a few to apply for fall ’08 session.

I have created another page on this blog to consolidate interesting/important bits of data/info. Please feel free to use any/all of that information for your use. While I will try and list the sources along with info, it is not going to be possible for me to track every bit. Morover, I have sliced and diced some data to extract info relevant to me so do remember to track back to original source wherever possible.

And lastly, there is no substitute for your own due diligence. Do not rely on info that I consolidate for life-altering decision like MBA.

You may access the page from main-menu above or from the link here.

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