Saturday, March 05, 2005

McCombs Interview

Well! I'm done with my McCombs interview. Overall a very pleasant experience. The first half had me talking away to glory and the second half had the interviewer talking about his life as an MBA grad and allaying my fears about how the hell is one supposed to pay back those enormous loans.

On his insistence, the interview started at 7.30 PM instead of 7:00 PM.

How would you describe yourself? What are the characteristcs that make what you are today?

Ans: I just spoke my mind on this question. Told him how I wade myself thru my school and collegiate years and the accomplishments enroute.

2) What prompted you to start investigating about doing an MBA and why now?

Ans: Was expecting this question and was prepared for it. Listed the reasons that got me thinking about doing an MBA. Gave him a strong explanation for the 'Why MBA' question. Substantiated my claims with facts.

3) What are your goals in life and how will McCombs help you achieve it?

Ans: Let him know about my my goals and then went on rampage for the 'Why McCombs' question.Gave him precise reasons as to how I think McCombs will help me fulfill my career aspirations. The mention of professors like Anitesh Barau, Andrew Whinston and Vijay Mahajan ( former dean of ISB) made him nostalgic.

4) Explain in detail the path you would take to achieve your goals, the hindrances you would face and how you to plan to overcome them?

Ans: Again, I was expecting these questions, so handled it deftly.

5) What is the weakest and strongest point in your application?

Ans: Well! GMAT had to figure in the weakest part talk. He asked me why didnt I retake ...gave him my reasons...he accepted it. Then went on to tell him that even tho my verbal score does represent my ability on that day there are other parts of my personality that indicates that I am not as bad in verbal as my score depicts it to be.

All throughtout this 45 minute session he kept on probing me on some finer points of my answers to probably determine that I was not answering on the fly and that I had given it a good thought.

He then went on to give his views on the whole session. He said "when I saw your GMAT score and your resume, I was skeptical and thought you will have a hard time getting in because you will be demographically profiled and will loose out in the GMAT battle with other fellow Indian applicants. But after listening to you, knowing your personality and understanding the clarity of goals that you have, I want you to secure an admission. But, the recommendations, interview feedback and essays would only count if they get past your GMAT score. So dont be too optimistic."

I said I understand where he is coming from and thanked him for giving me a patient hearing.

Asked him a few questions...why did you choose McCombs, if you had not been to McCombs then what would have you not gained... Are the horror stories about internationals having a torrid time @ placements true

He said that its absolutely true that recrutiment process is a totally different ball game for the internationals. I would have to rely heavily on networking and need to identify companies who recruit internationals and target them for internships too. He said" at the end it all boils down to what kinda person you aggressively you network and how good you are with your people skills". Coming from the horse's mouth that was some worthwhile advise.

So that was it, he advised me to visit the campus to make my case stronger but unfortunately McCombs goes into spring break starting this monday till the 25th and by that time my fate would be decided. So the ball is in God Almighty's court now.

Would write the additional essay for Goizueta this weekend and send it by Wednesday.

Sunday March 6th will be a momentous day in Indian sporting history. Narain Karthikeyan becomes the first Indian to race in a formula1 race. After years of supporting the likes of Coulthards, Hakkinens and Montoyas ( yes, no Schumacher as am a perennial underdog supporter), I finally get to support one of my own. He has been doing well in qualifying sessions and I just hope that he finishes his race today. He should aim for drivers points by the end of this season and if he really breaksthru then even a podium finish. The race starts at 10 PM EST today and you can catch live updates on


Wednesday, March 02, 2005

It is Official..

Got the ding mail this morning. Lot of 'gyaan' and then at the end it says that due to restricted number of seats we cannot accomodate you for this years course.

Fair enough.

What lingers with me about the whole ISB experience is the way they interviewed me. If they had already made up their mind about my candidature they should not have invited me to interview. But since they did, they should have probed me on the points they felt I was weak on. Had I not given a satisfactory answer ...I would have accepted it as fate and considered my ISB chapter closed on the 23rd itself. On the contrary, my interview was shuga-sweet and a complete facade. I never had an inkling that they were interviewing me to later turn down my application. No nothing.

Anyway, I can go on ranting..but since I did not make it, my views will be viewed in a different light and I dont want to come across as a sour grape.

After this year, ISB can apply for AACSB accrediation...which means they will offically enter the b-school race and possibly be ranked by BW in the next 5-years. In the next 15 years, ISB will be in top-5 non US B-school rankings ...ofcourse the booming Indian economy has to supplement ISB's efforts if this is to happen. And when this happens I will be equally prouder as any of the ISB alums would be.

Things to look forward to:

1) McCombs Telephonic interview at 7:00 PM on 3rd March.
With ISB's ding and Goizueta's w/l, this is a make-or-break interview.

2) Send an additional essay re-emphasizing my fit with Goizueta and a recent recognition I got at the workplace to get of the darn waitlist.

3) Make an impending roadtrip to Boston with childhood buddies and possibly visit Harvard and MIT univ.

4) Wait patiently for my dream school's verdict ( CMU) on the 14th.

5) On an ongoing process thwart any attempt by my RM (regional manager) to delay my departure to India. In fact I agreed to extend my stay by 10 more days to appease him a bit.


Monday, February 28, 2005

The Elusive Mail..

Well! the results are out..most of the guys on ISB Yahoo group have got in. I did not receive any mail so that means the end of the road for me w.r.t ISB. I do not know what I should expect tomorrow...a ding mail or a waitlist mail.

How do I feel?
Not to good.

It would have been great to have an admit in hand and then decide. But as it is said " Everything happens for good". I guess ..I was destined to study in the US. From the way I interviewed, I was preposterous enough to conclude that I'm in and was asking my support group their opinion of where I should study ...US or India. But now I no longer face this dilemma and just hope that I get an admit this year from the US colleges that I have applied to. Even If I do not, I won't be applying to ISB next year and would just work on increasing my GMAT score and try and gain an admit to a top-15 school here in the US.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Personality Type

Couldn't resist taking the BBC- Personality Test listed on Bharani's blog.

For the results click here.