Saturday, September 18, 2010

MBA Tour - Spotlight Survey

"During the MBA Spotlight session you are free to meet with any of the school representatives from MBA Programs participating in MBA Spotlight. The session is designed to be very informal and to allow you more time with school representatives with whom you wish to speak and to learn more about their MBA Programs. There are no set times for meeting with all representatives. We only ask that you be respectful of the time for other students and the school representatives. Please use the results of your survey to inquire about opportunities each program offers."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Which MBA?

With the MBA tour just round the corner, and deadlines fast approaching, i have really got to get a handle on things. I have to make the most of the MBA tour and use the event to learn more about the schools that i've shortlisted, and hopefully end up with an even shorter list :P

My 3 primary criteria for the MBA program:

1) Class Profile: Diverse and rich with experience
2) Professors: An eccentric and approachable assortment who make it all worth it
3) International Recognition: I don't want to be in a sitation where, when asked which school i got my MBA from, I have to repeat the name of my school, explain where it is located and why I chose it and ....

"I did my MBA from XYZ school" should be able to elicit any of the following responses:
  • XYZ Schoool!!
  • Wow!
  • Awesome!
  • I actually know a few alumni from XYZ"
  • I actually applied to XYZ, but didn't get admitted
  • My son wants to go there too
.. you get the jist...

With that in mind, here's the list of schools that i intend to meet up @ The MBA Tour in Bangalore:
  • Cornell University
  • EBS Business School
  • ESMT European School of Management and Technology
  • Georgetown University
  • HEC Paris
  • IE Business School
  • Indiana University
  • London Business School
  • McGill University
  • New York University
  • Queen's University
  • Rice University
  • University of California Los Angeles
  • University of North Carolina
  • York University - Schulich School of Business
Schulich also has this India MBA program, which they will be showcasing from 1-3 PM on the day of the event. I am kinda intriguiged by this new program, so I will definitely attend the presentation.. hopefully they'll be bringing along a couple of current students.

A couple of people have come up to me and asked me to share my opinion on Hult Business School, which has been on a marketing rampage over the last 15 months... my opinion? Let me put it this way... I just received an email from Hult ... deleted it without opening.

Over & Out!

Monday, September 6, 2010

MBA Tour - Spotlight Survey

Logged in to my MBA Tour account. Results of the spotlight survey were out, and ... well, i was sorta dissappointed to be honest. How I ended up with Kelley as the only school that matched my top 5 preferences, I'll never know. Oh well, I guess something is better than nothing.

As for the other schools, I was sorta getting interested in NYU coz of Prof. Damodaran, but i've been getting the feeling that the people at the school are too uptight. So, that's been cast aside.

btw, you might want to check out this pretty handy CR Overview doc prepared by GMAT Club's whiplash2411 .. i like the dude's marketing technique - a title that demands attention :)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

MBA Tour

The MBA Tour is coming to India, woohoo. I'll be attending the event at Bangalore, on the 19th. I've got barely two weeks to get all set. I have my resume ready, but need to work on my elavator pitch. All i can think of is "Hi, my name is ........ I've got a few questions about XYZ, would you mind answering them...". As for what questions I am going to ask, I haven't got a clue. All I know is that I wont be asking about average GMAT score or app deadlines, or where the school is located. Seriously, I get so pissed off when people start off by saying their GMAT score and asking if that is enough to get admitted. Christ!

The reason I had decided to go down to Bangalore is coz the tour runs the whole day, from 9 AM to 6 PM. However, I was shocked to learn that while registration et al opens at 9 AM, the actual fair i.e.meeting the univeristy reps at the booths will only take place from 3 PM - 5PM - 2 hours!! That's it!!?? I've attended a couple of MBA fairs in India before, and believe me, if the booths are only open for 2 hours, it would be considered a victory if one could wriggle one's self through the crowd and grab a brochure :(

Friday, September 3, 2010

How to Win Friends & Influence People

"How to Win Friends & Influence People" is a must read, esp for MBA aspirants/ candidates. My dad gifted me this book when I was 10 years old. Needless to say, I barely read a couple of pages before jumping for the stack of Archie's comics.

I have been asking a few MBA graduates for a list of must-do/haves before embarking upon the MBA program. One common theme among all their replies was... you guessed it...  "How to Win Friends & Influence People".

So, i got myself a copy of the book. I was hooked from the get-go. The messages in this book are not foreign, they are pretty much common sense. However, the book delivers these messages in a powerful way, and ends up hitting the message home. I still have not finished reading the book, but what I have learnt so far has been invaluable already.

During my conversations with other people, I couldn't wait to blurt out my opinion/ story. Now, I have become a good listener, and only put across my opinion/story if forced to - the results have been astonishing. I have seen that the Customer Service folks are so much more effective if you are nice to them, than if you are rude and yell at them. I recently received a mail from someone about something that I had posted. The person didn't like what I had put up, and asked me to remove it. A month ago, I would have told that person to "get lost" and gone about my business. Today, however, I have learnt to look at the situation from the other person's perspective. I realised that what I had put up could be calamitous to the other person, and since I had nothing to gain from doing so, I decided to remove the bit concerning them - "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

I must stop digressing. The main point of this post: if you have not read Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends & Influence People", please do so immediately. It will be, by far, the most influential book that you will come across.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Indian School of Business

ISB is the one school that has been jumping in and out of my list. Everytime i think that ISB is the school for me, something or someone comes along and changes my opinion. And everytime ISB is dead and buried, it shoots right back up.
I plan to work in India post-MBA, so ISB seems the natural choice. However, there is so much to consider, for example:
  • Will 1 year be enough? esp considering that i'm seeking a move away from the IT sector and that the last quarter will be dedicated to job hunting.
  • Will i be able to handle the stress of a 1 year program?... word has it that you cannot afford to sleep for more than 6hrs/day :(
  • Will there be enough diversity? ISB is not an International Bschool... indians make up more than 95% of the student body.
  • Will there be enough exposure? ISB talks a big talk, but I believe the exposure it offers with respect to consulting projects, internships, funding/ giving a helping hand to entrepreneurial ventures, comes nowhere near that offered by the top 20 US bschools
  • Will I become complacent? Staying in India and mixing with the local junta, I should have no problem acclimatising to the environment at ISB. Thing is, i'd like to mix it up with different people, never know what to expect each day. Something that I can look back on 10-20 years from now, and say.. that experience made the difference.
Anyhoo, I had attended an Info session last month. Kept jotting down the major points in my notebook:
  • Last year they received 4000 applicants, and sent out 2100 interview invites. 560 were admitted
  • 1 in 4 applicants is interviewed, and 1 in 8 applicants is admitted
  • It is not enough for recommenders to be senior personnel. Your work should have had an impact on them.
  • Don't waste the essays dwindling on your weaknesses; focus on your strengths
  • The GMAT CAN compensate for a horrible GPA
  • No difference between R1 and R2 - absolutely NONE wrt your chances of getting through this. They gave a very detailed (and logical) explanation about this
  • While managerial experience is NOT necessary, Leadership experience most certainly is.
  • CABM certification used to guarantee an interview call, but that is not longer the case. It is still valued though.
  • Fixed Study Groups for 1st 4 terms, and 25% of assignments are evaluated collectively
  • ISB has come up with a deferral policy for those with less than 2 years of exp... it immediately struck me that this could be ISB's way of catching that elusive pool that they keep losing to the IIMs year in, year out.

Later in the session, a few alumni were introducted and the stage was open to questions. Most questions were answered professionally/ diplomatically, but there was one alumnus, an IT dude who was just way over his head and kept hogging the mike, try to add something to every answer, basically trying to steal the limelight. He was the sour point of the day, and I kept thinking how awful it would be to get stuck up with someone like him in my study group. I'm sure ISB will have regretted inviting him for the event, coz he was just plain awful, and a bad advertisement for the school.

At the end of it all, the staff and alumnus opened up to an interactive session for about 15 mins. They each took up seperate areas in the hall and chatted up with students. I made my way to the dude whose talk I really liked, and though I just had one question, I stuck around until it got over because a few people were coming up with real interesting questions, and he kept batting out amazing answers. One young strappy female walked up and gave the cliched "i'm interested in social enterprise". The dude then proceeded to point out that there is no enterprise that is anti-social. All enterprises are social, in one way or the other, otherwise they would not have any market. Anyway, at the end there were only 3 of us remaining talking to the dude, and he kinda noticed that I had been standing there for a while, just standing there with a stupid grin on my face. <Text removed>

Oh boy, I'm tired...

Over and Out!