Tuesday 31 July 2007

I am back..

Recently, I was out of the blogging world for a month or so.
For past one month renovation work was going on at my home and in the office blogspot is now blocked.

I was out of touch with all of my blogger pals and have not been around reading their blogs too.

But now I am back...Lot of break in essay writing and application work.
I have to return now with renewed vigour.


~ Charu

Saturday 21 July 2007

Decision taken...time to move ahead

I'm returning to my blog after 5-6 days.

Firstly, I would like to thank ClearAdmit for creating a wonderful community of bloggers. This will certainly help all of us to keep our focus intact and obtain valuable inputs from each other during the admission process.

On work front, I have taken decision to move to Tampa, FL for long term. The reasons for this decision are multi-fold. I have never had a need to travel earlier either for education or for job. So, I have been in Bombay since birth. Now I would like to move to different country and experience different life. The US is certainly most preferred country to move to. I had an opportunity to go for MS but I declined that and decided to take up a job after I completed my engineering degree. In addition, I can save $30K-$40K for my education. Also, I had a talk with my group head and SAG head meanwhile. SAG head assured me the position in SAG after I return from onsite. At present, I am going to onsite while retaining the opportunity in business development for future.

On essays front, I have written rough drafts of two ISB essays, which will be revised in future. The third essay is really tricky and I dont know where to start. "A million dollars or knighthood: what would you choose and why? (300 words max)" is the essay topic. ClearAdmit has done a great job with their posts relating to essay analysis. I request them to analyze ISB essays too. This will certainly help me and others applying to ISB.


Cheers..
Charu M.

Friday 13 July 2007

Dilemma between two good oportunities...:)

At my workplace, suddenly two good opportunities have come my way.

One is to move to Tampa, Florida and be responsible to interact with a demanding client. This will give me international exposure. But I am fearing that the actual work I that I will do might more or less remain same.

Another opportunity is outside delivery function in IT industry. Here in i-flex, we have a department called Solutions Architecting Group (SAG). SAG handles mostly business side of IT. On one hand, SAG interacts with sales team and on the other hand with delivery. SAG is responsible for creating POC, RFP, RFI, making presentations to clients and win the business. This is essentially a business development profile. This might involve travel abroad but for a very short term. Its like travelling to singapore , australia, US, UK anywhere but for only 4-5 days - 1 week. During onsite travel, I will be responsible for making presentations to client.

I am mostly inclined to take up a position in SAG. But still couldn't turn down the other immediately. I asked 2-3 days to think.

SAG position will also help me distinguish my candidature from hordes of other IT applicants.

Guys...wot you all have to say ?

Wednesday 11 July 2007

Here's my timeline for applications:

Today - 15th Sep : ISB (30-50 % chances of admit)

15th Sep - 01-Nov : Darden , Oxford (80 % chances of admit)

01-Nov - 01 Dec : NYU - Stern (25 % chances of admit)

01-Dec - onwards : Melbourne Business School (90- 100 % chances of admit)

In January, depending on my need I will apply to either NUS / NTU. But mostly not.

First Step is to send GMAT / TOEFL scores :
When I wrote GMAT, I sent scores to ISB, Oxford. So I have to send scores to other universities Darden, NYU, Melbourne.

Friday 6 July 2007

Lottery result finally out --- Yaaa..hooooo!!!!

I was writing all about H1B crisis...Finally God heard me....

My H1B petition got approved. Will this give some new direction to my MBA plans ?
I will have to think over...in detail..
Only time can tell me where my destiny lies...:)

Just couldn't stop myself from sharing this news with my blog readers...

Cheers...

~ Charu M

QS MBA tour mostly a waste of time..but some take aways

Yesterday, I attended QS World MBA tour. It was mostly waste of time.

After having spent so much time on research, I hardly get anything new out of admission events. No gains from information perspective, but yes it could help in networking with current students.

Only top school that participated was Darden.

I met Piyush Parikh who belongs to class of 2008 at Darden. I asked him about international nature of cases in Darden. He told that about 30 % of the cases discussed are international or outside of North America. Further he also provided some info about day in life , alumni interaction, internships. About clubs, he told me that he is going to start Music club. He also mentioned that ROI for him was around 8 years.

When I asked him about current H1B crisis and about current student's plans to deal with it, he told me that career services along with alumni network is working out to resolve this issue. Currently, he told me that there is huge database of alumni network and they could search for alums located in EU / Asia and they could help students get better jobs.

There were two more students Mohnish Bahl and Roshan Shankar. Both are heading to Darden this fall. One good tip on essays they offered was that identify core skills required in the career post MBA and that relate your past experiences to those core skills. Also, the loan of amount $65,000 was approved for both. This takes care of first year's tution and living expenses.

Apart from that, PagalGuy counter was helpful. There were two students with admit from Chicago - GSB. One girl from IT (4 years of wrk ex) with 690 got through Chicago GSB. I asked her whether she wants to get into finance and her answer was no no. Deba from PagalGuy also got an admit from Chicago GSB. His tip was to do your best to stand out from the IT crowd. He's an IT guy too.I didn't get much time to talk to these guys though. There was one Wharton alum there too. But no way I am going to apply to Wharton, so I did not bother him much.

** ISB essays are out and I am finding them bit tricky...Also word limit of only 300 is cruicial. Are you guys feeling the same ?

I think I am going to lose my sleep over ISB essays...Anyways I will try my best.

Cheers..
~ Charu M.

Monday 2 July 2007

Get most of your campus visits

I came accross good post on making most of the campus visits. This was published in Chicago GSB's newsletter. I would like to post it here because this is equally valid for any school.

Admissions Insider: Getting the most out of your campus visit
A big part of applying to a school or even considering it is visiting a campus. Sometimes, this isn’t possible, given a school’s location or distance from your home. But if you are able to visit a school’s campus, how should you go about it? What should you take away from the visit? Here are a few tips for ensuring a productive visit.

Plan ahead
While our office is always happy to greet visitors who pop by, you will have a richer campus experience if you make a plan prior to showing up. By making a reservation, we can include you in our full campus program, including visiting a class, sitting in on an information session and having lunch with current students. You can make a reservation online for Chicago GSB’s daily campus visit program, or for our “GSB Live” event. After you’ve made your reservation, start to make your travel plans so that you’ll arrive on time (or even a few minutes early) and clear-headed. Check in with the Admissions Office staff to find the easiest route to campus, or go online and check the school’s website for a map and directions to campus; consider supplementing this with directions from a website like randmcnally.com or mapquest.com. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to find parking too. Not driving? Give yourself time to figure out the public transportation system or hail a cab, especially during rush hour. Always have the number to the Office of Admission in the event that your tardiness is out of your control—say, your plane landed late, or you took a wrong turn. A phone call is considerate and thoughtful in these events and the person on the other line may be of assistance as you make your way around.

Set some realistic expectations for your visit
Most campus visits are similar and allow you access to current students, an admissions staff member and a tour of the facilities. Hoping to catch a few minutes with that Nobel laureate professor whose research you’ve been following? Can’t wait to shadow a student all over the place and sleep over at their apartment? Dying to meet with a student from your home country/industry/high school? While we’ll all do our best to be sure you get a quality experience, some requests are difficult to begin with, and may be impossible on short or no notice. If you hope to experience something out of the norm, call ahead and keep in mind that not all requests can be met.

Prepare or write down the questions you most want to have answered.
Chances are you’ll have plenty of opportunities to ask questions of a current student or an admissions staff member. Write ‘em down; it’s terrible to blank at the precise moment someone asks, “So, do you have any questions?”. It’s even worse to get all the way back home and remember what it was you were dying to find out!

Consider approaching total strangers
That’s right, we encourage you to take some time to mosey around campus (or, if you’re at the GSB, check out the Winter Garden) and approach a group of students and ask them some questions. Current students are quite used to this, and though you may feel a little uncomfortable, chances are that student will be willing to spend a few minutes of their time with you to give you yet another perspective on life at that school.

Put your best foot forward
Remember that you represent yourself as a potential applicant and future student on a campus visit; so be aware of how you look and behave while you’re on campus. Dress nicely (beware of too-casual dress, like ripped or dirty clothes, or gym clothes); if you sit in on a class, remember your place as a visitor and refrain from taking time away from the instruction that’s going on; and be polite, especially to your student hosts, who are likely volunteering their time to show you a great day on campus. As in most other situations, a great first impression is crucial!

I am visiting ISB campus tomorrow. I will try to make most of my visit.
I will post about my experience soon.

Sunday 1 July 2007

TOEFL Strategies I used

First of all do not study for this exam for more than a week.
This is really sufficient. The material I used was Kaplan, Longman, Cambridge.

Most of this material can be found on the net and downloaded for free.
Cambridge tests were very close to real tests.

Here are specific strategies I used:

Reading:

1)Scan the passage in 2-3 minutes. This includes reading first & last passage completely, and reading first and last lines of remaining paragraphs. Get the sense of main idea, structure or organization of passage.
2)15 minutes complete all the questions.
3)Review the questions 2 minutes.
4)Need to be careful about chart / summary questions.
5)Vocabulary / reference questions should be tackeled fast.
6)Answer to specific detail question should always be located in passage.
7)Answers to NOT or EXCEPT questions are generally found in options C or D.
8)Take a moment for deep breathing before starting new passage. This helps keeping concentration intact.

Listening:

1)Note taking is most important.
2)Pay attention to Main idea and details that associate with main idea while listening to lectures. There will be sure question on main idea, some classification, or organization of lecture. Also it is important to note the examples that are cited to support the ideas.
3)In campus situation. Purpose of the visit is often the first question asked.Keep attention to idiomatic expressions used. Observe the speaker’s intonation to find out important parts. These are often stressed. Student meets prof, librarian, counsellor. Pay attention to students problem. What is suggested by prof , librarian or counsellor to do next.
4)Be careful about the questions where multiple answers are correct / chart / organization type questions. Notes should directly help you answer these.

Speaking:

1)Task 1: Some background preparation is must. Think about the 50-52 topics available in forum before going for the test. Include one example. My breakup is 2-3 sentences about the main topic.2-3 sentences about example. 1 sentence conclusion.
2)Task 2: Take any position quickly. 2-3 sentences about position (agree/ disagree) , 2-3 sentences about example. 1 sentence conclusion.
3)Task 3: (Follow the template) There is an announcement / notice regarding (Situation) posted on … notice board. The man and woman are discussing this announcement / notice. What to note : From reading passage note only what the notice is about. ( increase in fares / cancellation of prof Allen’s lecture). State women’s opinion . Reasons… in the format First…, Second…, last….Therefore, because of aforesaid reasons women feels..(opinion)
4)Task 4: Read the passage and grasp main idea. Write down main idea. (3-4 words). Lecture take notes. Start with opening sentence. The lecture and the passage discuss… ideas….. During the break think of the answer from the lecture notes. To conclude major ..difference / similarity / point is..
5)Task 5: Describe the women’s problem 1-2 sentences. Man suggests following solutions to women’s problem. First.. Second…Third… etc. If I were her/ him … I would do … first / second or third…because…doing this would help women solve (her problem).
6)Task 6: In this academic lecture on “ “ , professor discusses …most important is taking notes and identifying main idea, supporting ideas, and example.

Cheers..