Friday, January 30, 2004

WTF ? my goStats counter got reset to zero all of a sudden ! man, i guess that's part of the pain of using free stuff, but it totally sucks. c'mon guys, can't you set it back to what it was ???
Kellogg, Cereal, and Women in Uniform, kinda.

"All the required elements of your application are complete".

Finally ! I logged into the Kellogg status check website and was greeted with this change of status message. It's nice to see some action on this front even though this one doesn't mean much. The app is not going to be sent for review until after my interview and i am interviewing almost at the end so there's going to be a long wait for the result. I got back onto BW today :) and read that everyone gets an under-review email from HBS. I haven't heard from them, but I'm not stressing on HBS/MIT right now. Their interview invites will start trickling in starting 10 feb or so - according to the number-crunching gurus on the boards - so I'm going to take in the delightful chaos that is Bangalore until then.

I was walking by a small grocery store this morning on the way to work and noticed boxes of Kellogg's cereal on the shelves. Their story in India is very interesting. Kellogg's entered India in wake of its economic liberalization program in 1991. They had spent well over a decade trying to enter South American markets, especially Brazil, and had succeeded, and India was one of their next big markets. They setup a factory at Taloja, near Bombay, and went about trying to change Indian food habits. I grew up on breakfasts of idli-vada, upma and dosas, traditional south indian food. But, I remember clamoring for Kellogg's when it was launched. Everything American was awesome in those go-go days when our markets were opened up. Apparently there were many like me. Kellogg's did get off to a good start but over the years their sales growth rates have plateaued. People tried the new cereals, and went back to what they were used to. So, kellogg's introduced newer flavors - chocos, frosties - to keep the interest levels high. Unfortunately, I don't believe they really succeeded in getting Indian consumers habituated to eating cereal for breakfast on a regular basis. I think this is key in a business like theirs. If they did, their advertising dollars could be put to use towards new customer acquisition. Now, they were still trying to convince the same folks to buy the next box of cereal.

Around 1998, Kellogg's made a radical move - they entered the biscuits market, one of largest convenience food segments in India on the basis of volumes. Their cereals business would be a money-maker only in the longer term and they needed another growth area. The biscuits would be branded Chocos, thereby extending the brand umbrella. However, the biscuits business needed a completely new distribution chain and their intent, as I understand it, was to use this to push their cereals into new customer segments. The biscuits launch was followed by Cheez-It and Keebler in 2002. Unfortunately, these were unknown brands in India that needed investments to be nurtured. After a few years spent trying to become more of a convenience-foods company, Kellogg's India decided to pull out of all their non-cereal businesses and concentrate on their core competency, cereals, last July. It puts them back in a medium-growth category that's going to take a lot of time and effort to be profitable. Kellogg's has the deep pockets to stay in the game, but this episode is an example of the difficulties foreign companies face in bringing global brands to Indian shores.

My apologies for the long blog. It must be painfully clear by now that I am itching to get back to writing essays again ;-) On a final note, I saw something curious yesterday - a full-service gas station manned entirely by women. I should say I was a bit surprised. I haven't seen that before either in India or the US. The women were doing an excellent job handling the throngs of two, three, and four-wheelers. And, they had uniforms too.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

I've found the perfect way to wean myself off the BW forums - travel to a distant country without internet access :-) OK, it's not so drastic. I had to suddenly travel to India on business and I have no internet access from the house where i live, so it's been quiet on this blog for a while. Of course, there are numerous internet cafes to give me my blogger fix.

I've not had a minute to think about my applications ever since I got here on sunday. I'm working so that's keeping me really busy and when i'm not i'm still trying to sleep off my jet lag. I'm falling asleep right now and it's just about 7 PM.

I should slowly get myself back in the zone to think about London and its essays for the R3 deadline. Checked my email just now and still no news from any of my R2 schools. I guess mid-feb is a realistic date to expect the start of any potential interview invites from Sloan and HBS. Tuck and Kellogg have required interviews - Tuck is done, Kellogg I'm going on the ... wanna guess ? ... last day of interviews ;-) Of course, this is because I'm travelling and the weekend before the 27th I have a big party to go to :-)

Off I go to get some coffee. I have a wedding to attend tonite. Ah, the pomp and pagentry of an Indian wedding. The crowds, the beautifully decked out women, the color. And of course, the great food.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

I hate sleeping on couches. I was so tired last night from the two previous days' non-stop work for Sloan that I fell asleep on the couch watching TV. With my shoes on. Slow day at work today, feel great having no immediate essay issues to deal with. But, I know I will tire of this pretty soon ... and then I have the R3 essays waiting for me ;-) ;-)

I guess I didn't blog my decision not to apply to Haas. I could not get my recommenders to commit definitely to giving me a recommendation by tomorrow with all the stuff going on at work. So, Haas is a no-go.

Here's something non-mba : I was excited to read today that the new WTC terminus will be designed by Santiago Calatrava, my favorite architect, if there's such a thing. The proposed design is breathtaking. Of course, if you follow his work, it doesn't come as much of a surprise. He has only one completed building in the US - the beautiful Milwaukee Art Center addition. The WTC gig should make him very popular here. I love architecture and wish I had the means or the resources to travel and see some of the newer creations around the world. But I do live vicariously. I insisted a friend of mine visiting Berlin go to Libeskind's Jewish Museum and report back ! Needless to say, he was moved by it and I'm kicking myself even more that I can't go :-)

Wednesday, January 21, 2004


"Chain ek pal nahin, Aur koyi hal nahin".

How appropriate that this song by the super Pakistani group Junoon is playing right now ! translated literally, i think it means 'not even a minute to rest, but there's no other way'.

Sloan is in ! SLOAN IS IN ! i feel so relieved. my R2 apps are done, now I can relax for a few weeks before thinking about the R3's. Sloan was submitted at 3:05, a bit past the deadline but got an email saying it's been received and i should expect a decision by the R2 deadline. Today's culprit ;-) ;-) was the self-reported transcripts. Totally forgot that I hadn't filled them out. It's a good thing HBS has a similar format. You should have seen me - from 3:00 to 3:05 I must have been the cut-and-paste champion of the world :)

I have to say, this is my strongest application yet. Could not resist re-reading my application after I submitted and no regrets.

Now, I've got to get back to work. Good luck to all the other R2 applicants. we shall no doubt roam the BW forums from now until april 5th.

Had a super scare this morning, fell asleep while working on an essay. Good think my alarm was set. snoozed thru it for a couple of hours and woke up at 9:30.

I'm feeling good. Three of my essays are completely done, two are in final stages of edit, and I need to rework one more. I'm off for a walk now, will grab some breakfast and get back to the grind.

Ram Ram Sita Ram, sings Krishna Das on my iPod.

Just finished Sloan Essay 3. Didn't start on the optional yet, but can reuse stuff from other essays. Ditto for three other essays. The only one that has not been written yet is essay 2. I know what I am going to write, so I think it should be OK-ish. But, the only fear is that it may get too technical because what I did involves computers and programming. but again, it's MIT ...

Yanni's bringin' down the house right now, to be followed by Shaggy, GnR, Richard Marx and Instant Karma.

It's Wednesday ! Just finished my redesigned Sloan cover letter. I like it, except the ending which I hope my friend who's going to review it tomorrow has some suggestions for. I need to get creative, so am going to work on my optional essay next talking about things i do outside work.

And, today's the day for R1 results at HBS and Stanford. I guess S's results have been going out since yesterday. Derrick Bolton has been personally calling people at convenient times in THEIR time zones to convey the good news. I guess he must at it again now - it's morning in Asia already ! I've met Derrick and I must say he's a class act. Sir, you rock.

The coffee pot and iTunes are responsible for still keeping me awake. My next 5 songs :
Ali Da Malang / Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
Asedege / Las Ketchup :)
Complicated / Avril Lavigne
In Da Club / 50 cent
Mmmbop / Hanson :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Inspiration can happen from the strangest places.

I have been bothered by my cover letter for Sloan and as I was watching the democratic rebuttal to the State of the Union, I found the reason. My letter as I have it written is like Nancy Pelosi's speech - very general and talking about things we already know. I dozed thru it. I'm sure Mr. Garcia will too when he reads my letter, it's pretty much a retelling of what makes Sloan great. Then Tom Daschle came on and his response was I thought quite the opposite - the same issues framed in a personal way peppered with stories of a nurse dying of cancer etc. I was listening.

So, it's back to the drawing board. I need to reframe my thoughts and 'talk' to Rod. I sure hope he listens.

As I labor on, this is some of the music I'm listening to :

Lebanese Blonde / Thievery Corporation
Don't Worry Be Happy / Bobby McFerrin
Me Gustas Tu / Manu Chao
Mera Gham / Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
Intuition / Natalie Imbruglia
Gimme The Light / Sean Paul
This is why I wanted to get Sloan in quicker. Another rough day at work, seems never-ending of late. But I'm outta here and back home. Got about 4 hours of sleep last night so I'm not feeling all that great. I think I'll take a quick nap and then it's a marathon thru the night and into the morning. here we go again ... ;-)
Update-to-the-update : Back online. The Sloan website problem has been fixed, and just finished the required parts of the application. Sloan must be the easiest application to fill out. Took me all of ten minutes I guess. Need to upload the self-reported transcripts. will do that once I get home from work tonight.

And one more thing. MIT's application has this to say on deadlines : "Should you experience problems submitting your online application during the deadline (48 hours before or 24 hours after), please send an email to"

So, would they be more willing to accomodate applications that are submitted a little later than the stated deadline ? Good thing, if you ask me ;-)
Update : The Sloan website is still dying on me. I get the same blasted xml error and i cannot access ANY part of the application, except the recos, which have already been submitted ;-)

And, I've got a super ton of work to do on my essays. Is going to be an interesting day.
Something's gotta go wrong. If it doesn't, then where's the fun in submitting an application, right ? If it's the Preview section one night, then it's a slow network the other.

I started working on the Sloan application just now, a full day and a half before it's due, filled in the first page of the applicant information section, saved it and ... kaboom ! I get an xml error and I cannot do anything anymore !!! The same error code appears regardless of which section of the application I want to work on. There is no help available for this problem in the tech help section, so now I am waiting to hear from their tech support, which I hope and pray has been outsourced to some country on the other side of the world so that somebody is awake at this for-us-ungodly hour and working on it ;-)

This is just too funny. Maybe it's karma. Maybe it's a lack thereof. I'm not stressing out though. I've gotten so used to living on the edge, in a manner of saying, in this entire application process. I've actually found it very hard to motivate myself to work on this app until sometime this evening. My essays are pretty bland. I will need the adrenaline rush induced by an approaching deadline to stir up those creative instincts.

ah well, still no reply to my problem and I desperately need to catch up on my sleep. g'night and sweet dreams everyone. except you tech support - get working on my case ;-)

Monday, January 19, 2004

Decent progress over the weekend on MIT, not great. Was hit with work issues that I spent a lot of time attending to. Will be tied up with work all day today too. I have a blueprint for what my entire application package should look like, and have three essays worded down. They need one more round of editing for word-counts. On-deck for today - the essay about creating something new, cover letter and the application itself. Looks like I may be writing essays tomorrow night also .. and that's fine as long as it's not an hour before the app is due ;-)

Was browsing thru the chats and Rod Garcia was asked what he's looking for in essays and this was his take:
Essay 1 - Leadership
Essay 2 - ability to be creative or innovative
Essay 3 - team work
Essay 4 - goal setting and achieving
Essay 5 - a bias for action

Good luck to Fuqua, Haas and Sloan applicants, the deadlines are here.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Oh, what a glorious morning. The temperature is only around 20f, and it feels great after the -20f nights we've has in the Northeast the past week. I feel great too. I'm coming off one of the most bruising weeks ever at work. Bruising is a rough word but that's what it was. I am mentally exhausted from all the work and blowups and mishaps and manager-issues. But it's a new weekend and I'm going to put all of that behind me and concentrate on my last application for R2. MIT Sloan.

I haven't had a chance to actually work on any of my essays all week, so it has to be this weekend. I have learnt my lessons and am going to be methodical about this one. First up, lock down what MIT deems to be key qualities of its students, and how they tie into their essays. Then, layout the subject matter of the essays and take a birds-eye view of the application to make sure everything important is addressed. Attack the essays themselves infusing them with my personality and values.
Two things I have to make sure are watertight - the non-essay part of the application with work ex, ec's etc. Am going to spend a good amount of time on that. And the cover letter. This is the first thing Rod Garcia is going to read and I have to make an impact. The format of the MIT essays are very interesting. You have to make a case for why you want an MBA from MIT now in the cover letter. Then the rest of the essays are looking for behaviors exhibited in situations that MIT obviously feels are reflective of regular real-life situations leaders find themselves in. And every single essay asks for an example and how you behaved. These responses are also the basis for their behaviorial event interviews. Something to think about when answering them.

I am pretty sure I will be working thru to the deadline but am going to set goals that I will strive to meet, and track them on this blog (at least the shame of another bungled app should force me to work harder ;-) :
Today - overall plan and complete at least two essays.
Sunday - complete the cover letter and two more essays.
Monday - compete the last essay and application.
Tuesday - get everything reviewed and make changes.
Wednesday - last checks and submit.
Comments are back. Thanks to HaloScan for picking up BlogSpeak and importing all the users and their saved comments.

Friday, January 16, 2004

bloggers nuevos

Here's a few more bloggers that have started blogging their MBA application experiences, i've seen posts by a couple of them on the BW forums too.

Ralkind - the wait has begun.
3app - third time applicant, no kidding.
Chunky Pitbull - a last minute blog, like his apps (his words, not mine :)
BlogSpeak Update

If any of you regular visitors have noticed, the comments have been disabled on my blog for the past few days. BlogSpeak, which I use, was giving me a lot of trouble and I had to turn them off. turns out they are being acquired by HaloScan and the accounts are being moved there and we will get new instructions later this weekend. So, they should be back up soon.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

The Kindness of random strangers

One of the most interesting things about the application process has been the sharing of the angst with fellow applicants. The blogs and forums are a great way to ask questions, get answers and generally relate to strangers who are in a similar situation as me. It's very helpful to receive advice on the BW and s2s boards and words of encouragement from comments on my blog(though blogspeak seems to have issues and I have had to disable it). I have also received emails from some people with information, answers, questions and simple hi's. I received one today from an MIT applicant offering me some essay tips based on his own experiences. I so appreciate that. Thanks, Brad.

Could not get down to writing any MIT essays today. As I blogged earlier in the week, work is really killing me. It's past midnight and I still have things to get done. But I have been thinking about them all through the day and identifying stories that fit the questions. Most of them were set except for the difficult interaction with a person, essay 3. I just zeroed in on that one now. That feels good.

On the matter of other applications, I have been seriously considering Fuqua or Haas for their R3, but as much as I like Fuqua, I don't think there is much upside to going there for what I want to do. Haas is better. The big problem is recommendations. My recommenders are swamped with work as I am and they worked hard for my previous set. I will try to talk them into giving me another set, but I may have to drop Haas if i they can't get to it. But I think I am going to apply to Wharton for R3. I like what Alex said on the s2s boards - there might be a better chance with R3 this year and definitely 0 if I don't, and in the worst case I get rejected but can get feedback that can help me prepare better essays for R1 next year. Words of wisdom. I also think I can do a really great job on my W essays. They are the ones that fit my experiences the best. And I am also going to apply to London in R3. I think I can ask for those two recommendations together middle of next month without a problem.

So, while the rest of the applicant pool seems to getting into either the celebration or wait mode, I am still going to be cranking out essays a month or two from now. This is going to be painful, but I am willing to put my life on hold for some more time to give myself a shot at something I really want to do.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Got another email from Kellogg saying that they cannot guarantee that a decision may be released within the time frame for this round. Awright - I've had it with obsessing about K. I need to get my mind off it and move on. Que sera sera.

Getting ready to start working on my Sloan app. Did brief outlines of what I am going to say in my various essays. I am vacillating between where to use a particular experience. I achieved a significant goal but in the process also had an impact on an org. I am debating between using that for essay 1 or 4. May decide to go with essay 1 just because it is easier to find another goal I've achieved in my life than a significant impact i've had. And I think I know what I am going to say in the cover letter. So, first thing tomorrow morning am going to revisit the Sloan website and go thru my class visit notes to re-acquaint myself with what Sloan wants most in its applicants. Hopefully that will channelize my thoughts as i start to work on essays.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Application & Shopping Updates

Tuck - Got an email today that my application is complete and under review. Decision date - March 29.
Kellogg - Also got an email today with a link to the status page, but nothing there yet. All it says is a thank you for applying and that app will be complete once the mailed materials are matched up with the app. No indication of rounds either.
HBS - Already received an email that I am being considered for R2, no email yet about any missing materials, so I think that is good. Decision date - March 31.

I am in a funky state of mind. A part of me is very relieved that I've gotten these apps in and wants to relax. Another is pushing me to get back into working on the remaining MIT application. I've got to refocus now, have had enough time to unwind. Am going to start working on my Sloan app tomorrow morning. May be travelling for work starting this weekend, so that makes it even more critical that my app be in good shape. I can NOT afford another last minute submission.

My workload has suddenly increased too. It's almost like my boss has decided that now that my applications are almost complete, it's time to get back to work ;-)

I spent this weekend shopping for recommender gifts. I was looking for pens and walked into a Mont Blanc store. I asked the guy if they had any inexpensive pens. He gave me one of those snickering laughs and said that there was nothing inexpensive there - the pens started at $250. I guess I've been cooped up too long at home working on this mba thing ;-) Then I walked into a Penfield's and asked for something 'around a 50-100 dollars'. The nice lady behind the counter was a Brit and she looked lost. After saying that I would actually have very little choice at that range, she produced a $650 'writing instrument'. You should have seen the look on both our faces when I clarified that I was looking for a 50 dollar pen, not a 1500 dollar one (which is what she thought I had said in my Indian accent ;-) Anyways, I found two nice pens for my bosses and a nice desk clock from Brookstone for my peer recommender.

Back to Blogging

Sorry for the silence. I just had a quiet weekend thinking about nothing but the NFL playoffs, took my mind off the entire application process. I am almost done with my applications. I have MIT left for R2, that's due the 21st, and am seriously thinking about going for Haas for their R3, which is more of a real round. That is due 23rd, and will make it if my recommenders can put up with giving me another set of recommendations. I also want to go LBS R3 but it's not due until Feb 27, so got some time to think about that. And, I missed Stanford R2 but my recos are already in and GMAT score has been sent, so I am going to polish up my essays and go for R3. I know it's almost a no-hoper but if I've come this far, I might as well do it.

Some news on Kellogg. I called their office yesterday and they were very very considerate. I was told not to worry about the R2 deadline, I am most likely going to be considered. I also noticed a couple of egregious formatting errors in my essays. I had 'track changes' turned on in my word doc and a couple of comments from my reviewers somehow made it into the essays ! I was asked to call next week to see if I could submit a letter of explanation of the issues or some such. I don't know if it will really help, but at least it's a start. I think it's great that the adcoms understand my plight and my regard for Kellogg has gone up several notches just for that. I was seriously considering dropping out of my interview but now am going to go through with it and put my best foot forward.

And, finally, a couple of my fellow bloggers received mixed R1 decisions today. TechieDude made it to Michigan, but got dinged from MIT. Congrats, mate. It's been great following your application process, and am glad you made it to a school you like. And Harry Potter is on the MIT wait list. Good luck to you HP, it's not bad news, though not the good news you expected. I'm sure things will turn out for the best.


Saturday, January 10, 2004

Ok, this one I refuse to take any blame for ;-)

Not the long post, but that I missed Kellogg.

By my standards, getting to the point of hitting submit 15 minutes before a deadline is smooth sailing. I was all set to experience it for the first time today, but trying to upload essays to Kellogg's website was such a crapshoot. First up, it was slow. That I had accounted for. But then, it would freeze. Everytime I tried to see a saved document or an uploaded essay. WTF ! I got my credit card payment in before the deadline but it was a full twenty minutes before the Part 2 was submitted.

ah well. you lose one, you win one. no tears today though. I think I have very good essays, the only weak one being the evaluate this essay question. I thought about creatively squeezing in extra information etc., but then said screw it and wrote it like it is.

That I'm da man ;-)

I just re-read it and I think that single essay carries ding potential. It doesn't add anything to the package, and pretty much says that i am a good candidate because i can work in teams, my motivations are in place, la-di-da, and super-whole-heartedly recommends me. My best hope is that this essay does not take anything away from the package. I am very satisfied with the rest of the essays.

Of course, this is moot if Kellogg decides to push me to R3. Hey, HBS extended their deadline by 30 mins, shouldn't Kellogg at least match them ;-)

Speaking of HBS, I ran into my new comrade-in-arms - KIPMBA on the BW boards again today. S/he beat me to the kellogg app today ! s/he only missed by 2 mins whereas i was late by 20. It was the other way around yesterday. I'm glad both of us made it to HBS. Oops, jumping a little ahead of ourselves aren't we Yogi - only the apps've made it that far. Yet.

{and KIPMBA, if you're reading - are you female ? And in the spirit of MBA applications, you only need to answer that if you are an American citizen. I only ask because i've never known a girl who was as last minute as I am.}

Just read what I wrote and I think it's time to stop and go to bed. I have a great sense of relief right now. No applications to think of this weekend. Got a couple to do next week but that's another story.

{if you are a kellogg adcom reading this, please please please consider me for round 2. please}

Thursday, January 08, 2004

There is a god, and his/her BW forums handle is KIPMBA ;-)

KIP called HBS and they said that the deadline had been extended until 5:30.

And I just got my confirmation email. No tears of joy now though, wonder why :-) :-)

The tears floweth ...

I was having trouble submitting my HBS app and it finally went thru at 5:03 ! Seems like I didn't make it to R2 ... HBS has a strict 5:00 PM deadline.

As I was sitting pondering my fate, i realized that there was a tear rolling down my cheek. And before I knew it I was crying. Hard. I couldn't stop, it was completely involuntary, from somewhere deep inside me. I haven't cried in like 5 years. I guess it was the disappointment coupled with all the hard work ...

The reason this blog has been quiet since Tuck is because I have been up 30+ hours straight working on my HBS application. I can't remember when I last slept, and haven't eaten since last night. I have poured my everything into these essays.

And I haven't even received a confirmation email from HBS.

Sorry for the rambling, in no state to blog.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

4:53:27 PM


whew, long long road to get here. barely made it with 6 minutes to go :-) but i'm happy it's done. not so happy with my Tuck Essay 2.

go ahead and laugh, i'm having a laugh too. You start an essay 3 hours before submission time and what else do you expect, right ...


Yes Siree Bob, my finely honed procrastination skills finally caught up to me. I might go Round 3, we'll see. But right now, I can't take this anymore.

I actually do have a very bad feeling deep down the pit of my stomach, must be what the end of a dream feels like. {a badly managed dream, but that's another story !}
1:35 PM

Tuck 1 done. Took much longer than I expected and I am not satisfied with the level of personal and professional insights that I have in there, but got to roll with the punches.

Tuck 2 starts in 5 minutes ...

and I got about 3 hours to submit time.
9:02 AM

Damn, I overslept ! But didn't get enuf sleep ;-) Slept all of four hours. I CANNOT go to work today. A quick shower and coffee should hopefully get me going.

It's D-Day. From my blog dec 5 - "I would actually wager a few that I will be still writing essays the night before I am due to submit." Make that the day I have to submit.
4:24 AM

Just wrapped up the missing pieces of my Tuck online application. Still have to work on my essays. Sleep is not my friend right now.
12:43 AM

Just got my Tuck 3 and 4 review comments back. 4 looks good, 3 needs an ending :-(

And, my recos for Stan and Tuck are all in ! I checked at around 11 PM and it was 1 Tuck submitted, rest started. Just checked now and they're all done. A HUGE THANK YOU to my recommenders. I feel great to know that I am not the only one working on my application in the middle of the night, they are too ;-)

I am going to take a nap for a couple of hours and get back to my essays. 4 more essays to write - 17 hours to go ...

Monday, January 05, 2004

7:23 PM

Just got off a meeting with my Director about a critical problem we've run into. Whew ! what a looong day at work. I'm beat but the rest of my day has just begun. Essays baby :)

Need to still wrap up Tuck 1, work on Tuck 2 and then onto Stanford. Life is an adrenaline filled living hell right now, whatever that means.

One of my Tuck recommendations has been submitted, the other has not yet been started, and none of my Stanford have been done yet ! You want cutting it close - doesn't get closer than this :)

My iPod's playing Krishna Das' Pilgrim Heart right now - soothing music for the soul. Just what I need.

9:55 AM

Holy Guacamole ! I was hoping to take this week off from work but that's been shot down ! there is a critical meeting on wednesday i have to prep for, there are new deadlines to meet, and I may have to travel ! I so HATE monday mornings ...
2:10 AM

Was just perusing the BW Forums threads about GMAT scores, and there are so many of them, and was reminded of my own GMAT experience a few months ago. I must have 'studied' for maybe a couple of weeks, never really seriously, just did a couple of hours of verbal questions and brushed up on my quant basics. I did take 4 practice tests, 3 of them friday-sunday before my monday morning exam. And i can remember having the same feelings I do right now - a mixture of fear, hopelessness, adrenaline, hope ... basically all over the place. I scored 650, 640, 660 on those 3 kaplan practice tests and was not happy at all.

6 pm on sunday I couldn't take it anymore and needed a break and went for a drive to check out the test center. turned out the exit off I-93 that the directions said to take was closed due to Big Dig construction and I was lost. Took me an hour to find my way out of the mess and also locate the center and find an alternative route to it. Got back home, got a good night's sleep and went the next morning and took the test. My only AWA prep was the 30 minutes spent reading the tips for tacking the section before the test.

Deciding whether to see my scores after the test must be one of the most nerve-wracking moments I've had of late. I considered cancelling my scores, not so much because of how i had done on the test - it's hard to guage a good/bad performance on the GMAT - but because I came in so unprepared. I eventually ended up seeing my score and was knocked out of my shoes seeing my high 700 mark. So much for the GMAT score having any relation to the amount of time or energy expended on its preparation !! I think it was more a bout of extra super good luck. I sure expensed a lot of karma points to get that result :-)

This blog's my release right now, so excuse the early morning rant.
1:44 AM

Had to step away from this, just to preserve my sanity. Watched a three hour World Poker Championship marathon on ESPN. And then watched random TV for another hour.

This is bad. bad bad bad bad bad.

My recommenders are working as hard as I am ;-) Got a call from my third recommender for stanford at 8 pm tonight - he had forgotten about the rec over this vacation the past 2 weeks !! At 11 pm he called again and said he was 4 questions done and 2 more to go. Also noticed that my second recommender is upto his word - checked around 9 pm and his status went from notified to started. my boss has most of the stuff done and he said all he had to do was the spell checks and hit submit. Hopefully things should be done on that front tomorrow.

And - drumroll - i have not yet started writing my Stanford essays !! Still stuck on Tuck 1 right now. Here's the plan - go to work and get out of work early tomorrow and work tomorrow night on stanford so that i can submit on tuesday !!! I have a feeling they will be the best essays I will write. Why ? I don't know. Just feel it.

I am going to bed, will wake up tomorrow and get these done. Keep the faith !

Saturday, January 03, 2004

11:00 AM

Went to bed at 5 PM last evening ... and woke up just now. Phew ! 18 hours of sleep. I'm feeling great, but starving too. so, need to get some fuel in me and it's off to writing more essays. My goal for today is to write 3 essays at least.

Friday, January 02, 2004

8:26 AM

Tried to sleep but was just tossing and turning in bed. so 'woke up' at 6 and started working on Tuck Essay 3. It's almost done now ! I think I've done a good job at writing about a start-up experience that failed and my sense of disappointment at that. What's left is the final couple of paragraphs - what I learned. I know what I'm going to say but I'm kinda tired right now. And I have the luxury only of writing each essay once - no time for drafts and revisions etc. So, I am going to leave the writing of the end to some time when I feel creative.

I actually find the Tuck essay questions 'talking' to me, and I don't know why but they put me in a comfortable place where I can see a very emphathetic AdCom reader able to relate to my experiences. And it's immensely helpful to the flow of my thoughts from mind to paper.

hmm, i sound like someone with no sleep for over 24 hours ... wait a minute - that is me :-)

oh well, time to go to work.
5:25 AM.

Just finished with the online application of Stanford minus essays (of course :-) and some stuff about my work experience. Total focus on Stan and Tuck now. The excitement's building as the dates near. I still haven't started writing my Stanford essays ! but i have been thinking about them for the past months and I've come to realize that some of my best writing is done when I have the ideas formulated and floating around in my head and all I need to do is come up with a vocabulary to express them. Tuck's been somewhat of a similar experience. I've still got to work on the case study essay.
I'm sure nobody wants to be me right now, but there's something electric about the adrenaline rush i got going on. i hope i can sustain this for another week.

Here's something fun. Just checked my iTunes playlist and this is the sequence of songs (i'm playing them sorted by songname):

When you dream (what do you dream of ?) / Barenaked Ladies
Where the streets have no name / U2
Who let the dogs out / Baha Men
Who needs sleep ? / Barenaked Ladies
and finally,

Why me Lord? / Shaggy


Thursday, January 01, 2004

My first blog of 2004 !

Happy New Year to everyone, and here's wishing all you applicants out there make it to your MBA programs of choice.

G'luck to everyone. Party on :)