Saturday, April 26, 2008

Top B-School Stereotypes

Hey all,
Another in my copy paste zone......... although a hillarious read, it is quite an interesting piece of literature.......... check out the various stereotypes painted by the author.......... For those of us internationals, who can't visit the schools, these sort of articles paint a modest picture of what-is-what..........
Ok, enjoy the article.........

1.) Harvard -
Pros: The best academic brand in the world, people from East Timor will know where you went to school. Graduates are extremely polished and dynamic leaders. its no coincidence that so many politicians these days are HBS grads.
Cons: Students are about as pompous and pretentious as possible. Polish is a fancy way of saying full of s**t. its no coincidence that so many politicians these days are HBS grads.
Office Space Character: Lumbergh (Peter’s hated boss). He’s a quintessential Harvard grad; in charge and full of platitudes that sound great but on further inspection don’t make any sense. He also drives a nice car and makes a lot of money while being universally loathed. Kind of sums up every HBS grad you’ve ever met, right?
2.) Stanford -
Pros: Small class size and focus on do-gooders leads to an incredible array of backgrounds and accomplishments of students, who thrive in tight knit community. Haven for the really interesting superstars out there. Tremendous brand. Beautiful weather.
Cons: It may be interesting to be classmates with a Buddhist monk-fighter pilot, but its also hard to relate to anyone (”So, did that vow of peace make it hard to take out bogeys?”). For super accomplished business students with the world at their fingertips, it sure doesn’t seem like any of them actually like business.
Office Space Character: Peter (main character). He seems like the most level headed, likable and down to earth of any of the characters, but for all his talents, he ends up as a damn construction worker. He’s also a major league flake, showing up to work only when he feels like it. Can you say entitled?
3.) Wharton -
Pros: Arguably the best technical business education in the world. Great brand name, and the job placements are second only to H/S.
Cons: Not sure if it’s the ultra rigorous curriculum, the competitive culture, or the fact that they have to live in Philly for two years, but Whartonites are paranoid bordering on psychotic. The odds of having a nervous breakdown in your life triple after going here. Double that if you actually ask anyone at Wharton to calculate those odds.
Office Space Character: Tom Smykowski (Co-worker that invents “jumping to conclusions mat”). I’m assuming that Tom was actually an excellent technical employee, but that his constant fear of losing his job made him batsh*t crazy. Most fitting quote “I’m a People Person!!!!!!” when yelling at the consultants.
4.) Northwestern -
Pros: Strong team culture and arguably the best marketing program in the country. Incredibly collaborative for such a large school. Great location next to major financial center (Chicago).
Cons: Very soft curriculum, these guys are poets. I’m pretty sure that Kellogg finance classes are prerecorded cartoons taught by Disney characters. Is it really worth it to pay $10000+ to drink every night? I mean, couldn’t you just do that without the degree?
Office Space Character: Joanna (Peter’s girlfriend). Like Peter, she’s very likable, level headed and likes to get around. Unfortunately she’s also vastly less skilled than many of her fellow characters. Thank God she’s hot.
5.) Chicago -
Pros: Finance education is second only to Wharton globally (and even that’s debatable). Probably the best facilities of all the top business schools. Fantastic job placements and close proximity to Chicago. Academic horsepower of profs is untouchable.
Cons: Socially awkward is an understatement. Unlike Whartonites who are just high strung, Chicago GSBers either never learned or quickly forgot how to communicate with peers. Make sure to wear a face mask if they’re talking to you ’cause spits going to fly.
Office Space Character: Milton (Co-worker that loves red swingline stapler). Milton seems like a nice enough guy, and he might be the smartest guy in the office (he pulls off the grand caper in the end). It’s just that he’s about as charismatic as a toilet bowl. Hire ‘em, just make sure to get GSBers an office in the basement.
6.) Columbia -
Pros: Great location in the middle of global financial center (New York). Most diverse student body in terms of minorities and women. Very strong finance program. New York allows great social and job placement opportunities, and draws worldly, cosmopolitan students.
Cons: Cliquish and commuterish. Columbia is like a high school with super rich kids. High ***hole factor. This isn’t the kind of school where you’ll be going to house parties, its more like the kind of school where you’re expected to order bottle service for twenty guys on a student budget or else be ostracized.
Office Space Character: Bobs (consultants that lay off workers). They seem smart, they have great jobs, but c’mon, these guys are douchebags.
7.) MIT -
Pros: World class entrepreneurship program, and probably the best supply management program in America. Attached to world class research center, and location in Boston is strong. Great job placement, especially in consulting.
Cons: For all their unique academic offerings, the overall school is like 90/10 men/women including undergrads. Takes the term sausage fest to a whole new level. Nerdy culture.
Office Space Character: Michael Bolton (Peter’s co-worker and friend). Michael Bolton desperately wants to be cool, listening to rap music, talking in slang, but lets face it, he’s a dork. He’s also hampered by his dorky namesake, which seems to attract a lot of nerdy people (to his obvious dismay).
8.) Tuck -
Pros: Small class size and tight culture leads to maybe the most enthusiastic students in any school. Great respect from recruiters. Alumni network is arguably the most responsive and helpful of any top school. Strong rigorous program.
Cons: Very conformist culture, and really limited social options. These guys seem so enthusiastic about their school that I’m almost certain that all students are given ecstasy at orientation. Listen, if two years in the middle of Nowhere, New Hampshire were to constitute the best two years of my life, I would kill myself.
Office Space Character: Brian (Works with Joannas at Chotchkies, wears 37 pieces of flair). Brian is well meaning and LOVES his job. Never mind that he’s a waiter at a glorified TGIF, he still loves it with all his heart. They say ignorance is bliss, in which case, maybe Tuckies have the secret after all. That or, like Brian, they’re borderline retarded.
9.) Michigan -
Pros: Maybe the most hands-on practical curriculum of all the top schools. New facilities coming up in 2009. Largest alumni network of any business school. State school, so the 2nd year is cheaper.
Cons: Location proximity leaves something to be desired (Detroit? Why not put it next to Beirut). The overall atmosphere here is very fratty and college like. Every single UMich student and alumni I’ve spoken to say the highlight of their experience was tailgating and watching football. EVERYONE. Not that football isn’t awesome, but no one else had any other experience that was noteworthy? They probably forgot the rest after beerbonging Jagermeister.
Office Space Character: Lawrence (Peter’s next door neighbor and friend). Lawrence is a good guy. He’s loyal, and salt of the earth. He also has a few rough edges, and would use 1 million dollars to be intimate with two other women. Have a great time with old Lawrence. Just don’t be surprised if all you end up with is a job he hooked you up with at the local quarry.
10.) Haas -
Pros: Great location in the bay, and strong ties to Silicon Valley. Great weather. Small class size and tight culture. Berkeley has very strong international brand name.
Cons: Weak ties to financial sector, and east coast in general. The culture here is definitely about as PC as it gets. This seems like the type of school where you’d need to get a permission slip before you held a woman’s hand on campus.
Office Space Character: Stan (Joanna’s manager at Chotchkies). Stan wants Joanna to do more than the bare minimum. After all, people can get an MBA anywhere, but they come to Chotckies/Haas for the atmosphere! Don’t you want to do more than the bare minimum? Then put on your flair, burn some bras and save a whale you selfish jerk.
11.) Duke -
Pros: Maybe the best health care management program in the country. Great brand name, especially in the south. Strong team culture.
Cons: Relatively young MBA program, so alumni network is small. As such, the brand cache just isn’t there yet. People that come here seem very cookie cutter to me, not in a bad way, just very comfortable and relatively unambitious.
Office Space Character: Samir (Peter’s co-worker and friend). Samir is a nice guy, very practical and unassuming. You get the feeling that he’s happy as long as he has a job in hand. Won’t make waves, won’t screw up, and won’t take any risks. But he’s a happy guy, and will have a house with 2.2 kids and a dog in a suburb somewhere (probably Durham).
12.) Darden -
Pros: Strong Case method program and rigorous curriculum is universally respected. Alumni network is very strong and active with current students.
Cons: Middle of nowhere. Intellectual horsepower not as strong at a lot of the other top schools.
Office Space Character: Anne (Peter’s ex-girlfriend who was cheating on him). Anne just seemed really high maintenance and uptight. You try doing twenty cases a week for a year and see what happens to you. Just don’t be surprised if it’s a bigger bi**h than you imagined.
13.) NYU -
Pros: Great location within spitting distance of Wall Street. Strong finance curriculum, and media program.
Cons: Location in downtown Manhattan make this the ultimate commuter school. Weird inferiority complex with Columbia. If you don’t go into finance or media, good luck.
Office Space Character: Other Lumbergh (ex-co-worker of Peter, Joanna’s ex-boyfriend). From all accounts, the other Lumbergh was a likable guy who was good at his job and got a great job offer to move on somewhere else. We just never actually saw him. Kind of like your NYU classmates.
14.) UCLA -
Pros: LA! Sun, beach, beautiful glamorous people everywhere! Strong ties to Southern California business and great real estate program.
Cons: LA. UV rays, crowded beaches and shallow, materialistic people everywhere. You get the feeling that UCLA students are there just to spend two years in SoCal rather than to get jobs. As such, this place draws vapid, materialistic people. But damn they’re hot!
Office Space Character: Drew (Peter’s co-worker, describes the famous “O-face”). Drew’s a fun-loving guy that people like. He’s also the kind of guy that would tell anyone who was willing to listen graphic descriptions of all his sexual exploits. I liked Drew when I was 19. When I’m 26..?
15.) Cornell -
Pros: Maybe the best Hospitality management program in the country. Ivy league brand name, and strong ties to some top consumer management companies. Small tight knit culture.
Cons: In the middle of nowhere, and it’s definitely a cut below a lot of the top tier programs. I mean, hospitality management? Seriously?
Office Space Character: Peggy (Lumbergh’s secretary). She’s kind of in hospitality: “Initech, can I put you on hold? Thank you! Initech, can I put you on hold? Thank you! Initech, can I put you on hold? Thank you! .”
16.) Yale -
Pros: World class brand name. Arguably the best social enterprise program in the country. Relatively strong job placement for the rank.
Cons: Newer program means little real rep with employers or alumni to lean on.
Office Space character: Dr. Swanson (Peter’s psychologist/hypnotist). The Dr. has a very strong reputation, and he makes Peter go from depressed to happy (what a do-gooder!). But when it comes to the rankings, he just falls over dead.

The author, as (s)he claims it, comes from a top b-school and works somewhere where all of these schools have an alumnus at least..........I don't know much, but from whatever I've read everywhere, I agree with the big picture that the author paints in the article......... What do you guys say???

Sunday, April 20, 2008

B-School Sucks???

DISCLAIMER : Pl. dont read this post if you realllly LOVE MBA..........

Hey all,
I am currently in a daze as this hit me with full force........

This is so bad and shouldn't happen to someone who is reaching inside for the WHY MBA question........ I am now on the backfoot as I am unable to deal with such deadly bouncers the net throws at me every now-and-then...........

But is the MBA so bad??? Although I understand that nothing is black-and-white, it strikes my observation that nobody on the discussion (in the above link) actively denied the accusations on the b-skool and its people.........

What if its all a marketing gimmick?? What if I discover the truth only a bit too late?? What if.....

It is strange that how the smallest amount of negativity can offset a large amount of positivity....... But that said, it is also true that only the minority knows the REAL picture and even fewer dare to open it to public........ While I m still very bullish on MBA, Ill have to do a lot of research to offset this newfound doubt...........

Comments are valuable on this one.....(Calling all admits, alumnii, admission consultants et al)..... If you've got anything to say, pls don't be uber lazy and do comment........ i'd love to hear what you guys think about this one.........

P.S. : Copy pasting for lazy folks like me........

I'm a second-year in a top 5 b-school. Before my mba, I was a consultant with one of M/B/B. I did my summer internship in S&T with one of GS/MS, received a FT offer, but decided to go to one of the top hedge funds instead. (All of this just to point out that I'm not bitter because I'm not being successful or something. As thefox mentioned, that's often the real reason behind people's complaints.) Having said that, while I enjoy certain aspects of b-school and I wouldn't call myself unhappy, I'm definitely quite disappointed by the experience overall.
First of all, the academics are completely and utterly worthless. If you're even remotely smart, don't expect even the slightest bit of intellectual challenge (unless you're taking some PhD courses instead of the regular MBA ones, which I highly recommend). The issue is that professors are usually trying to keep their classes as accessible as possible, and are therefore targeting the greatest common denominator among a highly disparate range of student backgrounds. As a consequence, most classes and homeworks are necessarily of the "feel-good" type, rather than work that really pushes your boundaries. Unless you're a complete moron, it's almost impossible to do worse than a B. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that school work doesn't take up a lot of time (you still have to physically go to class, meet up with teams, read the cases, do the write-ups, etc.), it just means that the work isn't very helpful or rewarding relative to the time invested in it. In addition, there's the well-known adage that "those who can, do it, those who can't, teach it", which definitely applies to b-school professors... I definitely feel I learned more in a day of work during my internship or as a consultant than in a semester at b-school. And in terms of intellectual stimulation, my undergrad was much more rigorous and entertaining.
The worst part, however, are the people. I'm obviously generalizing here, but B-school classes tend to be dominated by shallow, aggressive type-A personalities: people who are arrogant, loud, flat as a pancake, and in general incapable of introspection or reflection on anything beyond sports, sex and money. They are usually also of very mediocre intelligence (as compared to e.g. law school or PhD students), have poor real-world skills (other than superficial self-confidence), and they also tend to have a surprisingly uneven professional track record. (For those who don't believe this: remember that the smartest, nicest and most successful people in business obviously never have to go to b-school in the first place: they get directly promoted to Associate, go to PE after a consulting or banking stint, or continue running their own successful business...) While there are obviously exceptions, social life in b-school is therefore centered around parties, clubbing and drinking binges. It is easy to make small-talk, but hard to have a meaningful conversation with anyone. Easy to make acquaintances, hard to make friends.
And then there's the high level of phoniness in business school. A lot about this environment feels very fake. The learning is fake (as discussed above), the leadership positions usually are fake as well (most club officers don't even try to hide that they're doing it as a resume-builder), and many people's optimism and confidence is fake (many, many mba students are worried as hell about student loans, not finding a decent job, are desperately looking for a boy-/girl-friend, and are pretty miserable in general, sometimes leading to alcohol/drug abuse and random sex with strangers and prostitutes - I'm not even kidding). And even a lot of the superficial friendliness and camaraderie is fake (there's a lot of backstabbing going on, especially in recruiting season). The seemingly highly selective admissions are fake too: there's a lot of people here who haven't accomplished anything meaningful in their lives, but are just riding on daddy's success as a well-networked entrepreneur, CEO, banker, or PE/HF manager.
Lastly, let me add that for some of the very best jobs out there (in terms of compensation / lifestyle trade-off), an MBA degree is more of a liability than an asset. Last summer, I felt I got an offer from some of the more quantitative (and profitable) desks on the trading floor *in spite of* me being in b-school. In some of the very best hedge funds out there (think Shaw, Citadel and obviously RenTec), the title "MBA" is almost used as an insult (although some of them definitely do have a couple of groups that recruit MBA's, so it's not all black and white). Nevertheless, my point is that there are definitely better and more stimulating ways to get high-paying recruiting opportunities than doing an MBA.
Of course, after this long rant, I have some good stuff to add as well. While most of the people here suck, I have made some lifelong friends as well. I have tons of free time compared to when I was a consultant, I get to travel a lot, have worked on some pretty interesting projects outside class, and I've been fortunate enough to land some pretty good job opportunities... But overall, I'd highly recommend people - especially pretty smart and successful people - considering b-school to think twice. It's definitely not as good as it's made out to b.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Rankings Dissected

Hey all,
Wish to share with you the version of rankings I find the most appropriate.......

I sincerely believe that schools cant be ranked since majority of them have such unique specialities that comparing them seems apples and oranges...... But still for simplification of choice (on where to apply, makes sense on the $s and the effort to apply to handful of schools.... and blah blah blah...... How many times have this been said on the net) I am a huge rankings fan........

All magazines have their own method of producing rankings....... But all of them have the same weakness........ they follow a set method....... I mean, look at WSJ for example (I Love To Dump This Ranking)...... it's methodology involves taking views of corporate honchos........ But since it adheres to this method, it is forced to put THE Harvard at 14 and THE Stanford at 18!!!!!

Similarly, Look at Forbes rankings, it takes majorly into account the ROI (return on investment) And so, This method forces it to put Tuck on #1 ignoring programs which may be much better but have a much wealthier intake.......

I believe I've made my point on the absolute ranking system....... Now lets come to the cluster classification of schools....... While this sort of classification is much more sensible and true to the real picture, it has far too many schools in each cluster for it to be of any gr8 use (This is my personal view...... since it was not very beneficial to me...... just gave me an idea of who-is-where)

Then I found a guy JayMaven, who produced a rankings system called the Felt Sense Rankings. After reading his rankings, I felt that the shortcomings of both the absolute rankings system and cluster sytem is removed....... You should take a look at the whole article HERE..... Copy Pasting the relevant rankings for lazy folks like me :P..........

Here, are my “felt sense” rankings:

1-2. Harvard and Stanford

3. Penn (Wharton)

4-6. Chicago, Northwestern (Kellogg), MIT (Sloan)(Any of these 6 can be considered “Top 5”)

7-9. Columbia, Berkeley (Haas) and Dartmouth (Tuck)(Columbia and the previous 6 form the so-called “Magnificent 7,” or “M7.” It is often theorized that the Deans of these schools conspire to keep their schools at the top, and this group has become a kind of de facto “Ivy League” of B-schools. However, Columbia is commonly seen as the 7th of the M7, and has fallen below Tuck and Haas in this year’s US News Rankings.)

10-16. Michigan (Ross), NYU (Stern), Duke (Fuqua), Virginia (Darden), UCLA (Anderson), Yale SOM, Cornell (Johnson)(Any of these 16 can be considered “Top 15,” and I would say any of the top 9 plus Ross, Stern, and Fuqua could make legitimate claims at “Top 10.” Anderson is the oddball here, since it came in at #10 in the 2007 US News Rankings but dropped all the way to #16 for 2008.

17-22. UNC (Kenan-Flagler), Carnegie-Mellon (Tepper), Texas (McCombs), Emory (Goizueta), USC (Marshall), Indiana (Kelley)(Any of these 22 can make claims at “Top 20.” USC has traditionally been lower, but seems to have risen in the rankings.)

I find this ranking to be a marriage between the cluster system and absolute ranking methdology........ gave me fair idea of the starting point on shortlisting schools.
Hope these rankings help in some way....... Peace

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Essay advice

Hey all,

Ok I am the culprit for not creating anything new in my posts. But that said..... there is absolutely nothing going on at such an early stage except for the gyaan that i am collecting from different sources.....

So, I've made it a good point to copy paste all the good articles at one place...... this way i'll keep track of them together....... and share with you guys........

The following is quoted from Princeton Review..... using quote unquote except for italics because I dont know where did all the options for italicizing go???? Can someone help me with this???? I am still such a newbie at blogging..........

O.K. enough with the rant....... Here's the Essay Advice......

This article is an excerpt from the book Business School Essays That Made a Difference

"Being a great storyteller and gifted writer can be a major advantage to the prospective b-school student. But be forewarned: A wonderful answer to a question not asked will not help you here. We can't stress enough that you must answer the question.

Each school has its own set of questions. Although posed differently, all search for the same insights. Here's a list of commonly asked questions and what's behind them.

Theme 1: Career Goals and the MBA
Describe your specific career aspirations. How will your goals be furthered by an MBA degree and by our MBA program in particular? How do you feel the "X" school MBA degree can help you attain your specific career and personal goals for the five years after you graduate? Discuss your career progression to date. What factors have influenced your decision to seek a general management education? Based on what you know about yourself at this time, how do you envision your career progressing after receiving the MBA degree? Please state your professional goals, and describe your plan to achieve them.

What do I want to be when I grow up, and how will the MBA get me there?

This may be the most important essay question. It lays out the reasons why you should be given one of the cherished spots in the program. Even if your post-MBA future is tough to envision, this question must be answered.

A good way to frame this essay is to discuss how the MBA makes sense in light of your background, skills, and achievements to date. Why do you need this degree? Why now? One common reason is being stymied in your work by a lack of skills that can be gained in their program. Or you may want to use the MBA as a bridge to the next step. For example, an actress who wants an MBA to prepare for a career in theater management. The more specific, the better.

It may be easier to provide specifics by breaking your plans into short-term and long-term objectives.

Don't be afraid to present modest goals. If you're in accounting and want to stay there, say so. Deepening your expertise and broadening your perspective are solid reasons for pursuing this degree. On the other hand, feel free to indicate that you'll use the MBA to change careers; 70 percent of all students at b-school are there to do just that.

If you aspire to lofty goals, like becoming a CEO or starting your own company, be especially careful that you detail a sensible, pragmatic plan. You need to show you're realistic. No one zooms to the top. Break your progress into steps.

Finally, this essay question asks how a particular program supports your goals. Admissions committees want to know why you've selected their school. That means you not only have to know, but also show, what's special about their program and how that relates specifically to your career aspirations. Hint: Many admissions officers say they can tell how much someone wants to go to their school by how well their essays are tailored to the offerings in their program.

Theme 2: Extracurriculars and Social Interaction-Our Nonwork Side
What do you do for fun? What are your principal interests outside of your job or school? What leisure and/or community activities do you particularly enjoy? Please describe their importance in your life.

Would we like to have you over for dinner? Do you know how to make friends? What are your special talents-the B-school Follies needs help. Are you well-balanced, or are you going to freak out when you get here?

B-school is not just about business, case studies, and careers. The best programs buzz with the energy of a student body that is talented and creative and that has personality. You won't be spending all your time in the library.

Are you interesting? Would you contribute to the school's vitality? Are you the kind of person other MBAs would be happy to meet? Describe activities you're involved in that might add something to the b-school community.

Are you sociable? B-school is a very social experience. Much of the work is done in groups. Weekends are full of social gatherings. Will you participate? Initiate? Get along with others? Communicate that people, not just your job, are an important part of your life.

Can you perform at a high level without being a nerd?

B-school can be tough. It's important to know when to walk away and find some fun. Do you know how to play as hard as you work?

How well rounded are you? Business leaders have wide-angle perspectives; they take in the whole picture. How deep or broad are your interests? A warning: Don't just list what you've done. Explain how what you've done has made you unique.

Theme 3: Whom You Most Admire
If you were able to choose one person from the business world, past or present, to be your personal professor throughout the MBA program, who would this person be and why? Describe the characteristics of an exceptional manager, using an example of someone whom you have observed or with whom you have worked. Illustrate how his or her management style has influenced you.


What are your values? What character traits do you admire?

This is the curveball question. The committee isn't looking to evaluate your judgment in selecting some famous, powerful person in your firm or in the world. What they're really after, which you reveal in your selection of the person, are the qualities, attributes, and strengths you value in others, as well as in yourself. Some important qualities to address: drive, discipline, vision, ethics, and leadership. As always, provide specific examples. And avoid choosing anyone too obvious.

Since the person you select is not as important as what you say about him or her, your choices can be more humble. You might write about a current boss, business associate, or friend. Bad choices are your mother or father.

If you like, it's perfectly fine to go for a famous figure. Indeed, there may be someone whose career and style you're passionate about. Make sure your essay explains why you find this person so compelling.

Theme 4: Teamwork-How Do You Work with Others in a Group Setting?
At X School, a team, which consists of approximately five first-year students, is often assigned group projects and class presentations. Imagine that, one year from now, your team has a marketing class assignment due at 9:00 A.M. on Monday morning. It is now 10:00 P.M. on Sunday night; time is short, tension builds, and your team has reached an impasse. What role would you take in such a situation? How would you enable the team to meet your deadline? [Note: The specific nature of the assignment is not as important here as the team dynamic.] Feel free to draw on previous experiences, if applicable, in order to illustrate your approach.

We need cooperative, one-for-all-and-all-for-one students here. Are you cut out to be one, or are you a take-over type who has all the answers? Are you likely to help everyone get along and arrive at solutions? (We like those kinds of students.) Can you lead others to order and synergy? (We especially like leaders.) Or do you retreat or become a follower?

This, too, is a curveball question. But you can't afford to get it wrong. After the career goals question, it probably ranks as the most critical essay you write. Here the committee isn't looking to see how you save the team (so put yourself on ego alert as you sit down to write this one), they want to see how you can create an environment in which everyone contributes so that the sum is greater than its parts. Bottom line, the admissions committee is looking to see whether you have "emotional intelligence."

Understand that schools today believe that emotional intelligence, the ability to navigate emotion-laden situations, is as important as strategic and analytical skills. This question is intended to illustrate this particular type of ability.

Expect to shift gears with this essay. Almost the entire application process thus far has asked you to showcase "me-me-me." Now the focus of your story needs to be on the "we" and how you made the "we" happen.

As you write your essay, consider that when you get to school, some team members will be from different countries where cultural attitudes play into team dynamics. Your sensitivity to these cultural differences, as well as to personality types, will go a long way toward demonstrating your emotional intelligence. For example, a team member hailing from a certain culture may withhold an opinion in an attempt to foster consensus. How can you help this person make a contribution? Likewise, consider differences among team members in terms of their academic and professional strengths. If the assignment is heavy on numbers, finance students may dominate teammates from softer sciences. How can you ensure that everyone feels valued? Teams are inspired to success when everyone is motivated and taking ownership within a context of respect.

Remember, the team in this particular essay is at an impasse, as most teams are at some point in time. Write about how you "unjammed" the jam. Ideas: A change of scene, food, twenty push-ups, a quick round-the-room confessional about why you came to b-school. Introducing some process is also useful; ground rules such as voting, speaking times, a division of labor, and a time line all create a method out of the madness. Perhaps you encourage members to adopt roles-business or otherwise. Hint: The leader or CEO in this case might be your most soft-spoken team member. Whatever you do in this essay, be careful not to present yourself as the one who single-handedly gets the team dynamic going.

Theme 5: Diversity and What Makes You Unique
Our business school is a diverse environment. How will your experiences contribute to this? During your years of study in the X program, you will be part of a diverse multicultural, multiethnic community within both the Business School and the larger university. What rewards and challenges do you anticipate in this environment, and how do you expect this experience to prepare you for a culturally diverse business world?

What about you is different in terms of your background, your experience, or your cultural or geographic heritage? Can we count on your unique voice and perspective in our wide-ranging classroom discussions? How will you support the diverse cultural climate we are fostering here?

This essay gets at two concerns for the admissions committee: (1) how will you enrich the student body at this school and (2) what is your attitude toward others' diverse backgrounds? Today's business leaders must be able to make decisions in situations that cut across geographic and cultural boundaries. If your essay reveals that you have dinosaur-era, only-white-males-rule thinking, you're going to close the door on your candidacy.

So what if you are a white male? Or you have no immediate point of distinction? Maybe a grandparent or relative is an immigrant to this country and you can discuss the impact of his or her values on your life. Perhaps you are the first individual in your family to attend college or to attend graduate school. What does that mean to you? Perhaps you are involved in a meaningful or unusual extracurricular activity. How has this changed your perspective? Perhaps you did a business deal with a foreign country. What did you observe about that culture, and how did it affect your decisions?

Whatever you write about need not be dramatic-maybe you take art classes, coach a little league team, or race a motorcycle. Sound goofy? It's all in the framing. Racing a motorcycle might be about the physical and mental stamina, the ability to take risks, the commitment to learning something new.

This question can be relatively easy to answer if, of course, you have diversity or some unique element in your background. If you don't have something obvious, then you're going to have to dig a bit and find something you can amplify to suggest you bring a unique voice to the school.

Theme 6: Your Greatest Personal Achievement/Accomplishment
Describe a personal achievement that has had a significant impact on your life. In addition to recounting this achievement, please analyze how the event has changed your understanding of yourself and how you perceive the world around you. In reviewing the last five years, describe one or two accomplishments in which you demonstrated leadership.

Do you know what an achievement is? Have you done anything remarkable? What made it remarkable to you? Bonus points if you showed leadership or inspired others in some way.

This is one of those maddening essay questions. On the one hand, b-schools seek out applicants whose average age is twenty-seven (a relatively young age to have achieved much of anything). On the other hand, the schools want to know what miracles you've performed. Don't pull your hair out yet. There is a way out. Like all the others, this essay is just one more prove-to-us-you-have-some-character hoop you'll have to jump through. It's less about the achievement and more about who you are and how you see yourself.

Again, this question can be easy to answer if you have some clear accomplishment or event in your background. But if you're like the rest of us—you guessed it—you'll have to rely on framing.

Let's cover bad essay topics for achievements. Getting straight A's in college is not an achievement because everyone else at b-school has probably done the same. Surviving a divorce or breakup is a bad accomplishment topic. Personal stories are acceptable, but one taboo area is romance and marriage. If this is all you can come up with, you're going to look like you're as deep as a doughnut.

The accomplishment you choose might show some of the following qualities: character, sacrifice, humility, dedication, high personal stakes, perseverance over obstacles, insight, and learning. You need not have published a business article or won an award to answer this question. This essay is not about excellence of outcome, but what it took for you to reach some personal worthy objective. Maybe you didn't lead a sports team to a victory. The victory may be just that you made it onto the team.

Theme 7: Failure/What Mistakes Have You Made?
Discuss a nonacademic personal failure. In what way were you disappointed in yourself? What did you learn from the experience?

Can you admit to a genuine failure? Do you have enough self-awareness to know what kind of failure is real? Can you learn from your mistakes? Do they lead to greater maturity and self-awareness? Do you take responsibility when the fault is yours?

Many applicants make the mistake of answering this question with a failure that is really a positive, such as "I'm a perfectionist and so therefore I was too demanding on a friend when she was in a crisis." Or they never really answer the question, fearful that any admission of failure will throw their whole candidacy into jeopardy. The truth is, if you don't answer this question with a genuine failure or mistake, one that the committee will recognize as authentic, you may have jinxed your application.

In this essay you want to write about a failure that had some high stakes for you. Demonstrate what you learned from your mistake and how it helped you mature. What's the relevance to b-school here? Your ability to be honest, show accountability, and face your failures head-on reflects what kinds of decisions and judgments you will make as a business professional.

Can't think of a time you failed? Discuss the essay question with a friend or family member. An outsider's perspective may jog your memory. Remember, if your whole application has been about work, work, work, this is a great place to convince the committee you're a real person.

Theme 8: Ethics
Describe an ethical issue you have faced in your professional life and how you dealt with it. What was the outcome?

Do you even know what an ethical dilemma looks like? Are you tomorrow's corporate miscreant? What kinds of decisions and judgments might you make in your future practices as a business leader?

The last few years have brought attention to the ethical issues of the business world and the failure of corporate self-governance. In the aftermath of the Tyco and Enron scandals, b-schools don't want to turn out graduates who are fast into their suspenders, fast into a deal, and fast to swindle their clients and shareholders.

The above question tests your judgment, integrity, and perspective. It's most important to present a legitimate ethical dilemma here, one that has consequences. Applicants often write about the dilemma of not obeying supervisor's orders because they wanted to do things their way, a known better way. But this is not an ethics problem (unless the order was improper or illegal); it's a management problem. Likewise, handing in a report to your boss that you know is full of errors is also not an ethical problem; it's a trivial, single-impact, easy-to-fix problem.

If you were thinking of telling a story like one of those mentioned above, it may be because you wanted to play it safe. This is one of those uncomfortable, hot-seat essays after all. But playing it safe here would only make you appear clueless or morally bereft.

This essay requires you to roll up your ethical shirtsleeves and get down in the dirt. True ethical issues are neither clean nor pretty. Don't shrink away from a discussion of failure here or present an overly optimistic, no-loose-ends solution.

It's key that you write about an ethical dilemma in which there was no easy course-one that entailed costs either way. For example, let's say you sold a product to a client and later discovered the product was faulty; your employer wanted you to keep mum. You'd built your sales relationships on trust and personal attention, so you wanted to be forthcoming. What did you do? This essay must show that you can work through a complex ethical impasse, and it must highlight your sense of honor and conduct. This essay screams relevance. Make sure you shout back that you know right from wrong."

That looks so simple on theory....... I know the practical is a different ballgame altogether but simple theory can be a real morale booster..... ain't it........ peace

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Harvard isn't THAT gr8...... enjoy.... :)

Hey ppl,
How Harvard achieved it's miraculous brand always remained a mystery to me. Resigning to it's awesome yield, I decided that it is really the school of the GODs...... until about 3 months back or so, I got this somewhere......

"A Flood of Crimson Ink", By Michael Steinberger
Another academic year is drawing to a close, another year in which Harvard has generated vastly more headlines than any other American university. Most of these, of late, have concerned Lawrence Summers, Harvard's president, who famously suggested that there may be a biological explanation for the paucity of female scholars in the hard sciences. (He hasn't stopped apologizing since). But a single controversy doesn't account for all the interest. Two recent books are decidedly unflattering to the school: Richard Bradley's "Harvard Rules" is, among other things, an assault on the entire three years of Mr. Summers's tenure, charging him with arrogance and bad manners, among much else. And in "Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class," Ross Douthat, class of 2002, describes his own Harvard education as a combination of vacuous classroom assignments, cruel social climbing and feverish networking.
Of course, a fervid interest in Harvard is nothing out of the ordinary: It is the country's most famous university, with a long claim on distinguished scholarship, political influence and high SAT scores. Most important, the media have long fawned over Harvard, treating its "brand" as pure gold. But while the school may have merited obsessive coverage in the past, it no longer does: Harvard is diminishing in importance as a factory for ideas and a breeding ground for future leaders. In all sorts of ways it is not nearly as pivotal to the life of the nation as it once was. You just wouldn't know that by reading the papers or browsing the bookstands.
Take politics. Harvard has long prided itself on being an incubator of political talent, and for good reason: It has educated seven US presidents, more than any other graduate university. But only two Harvard graduates have been elected president in the last 45 years, and one of them, the current occupant of the Oval Office, holds a Harvard MBA. By contrast, four of the six most recent presidents earned degrees from Yale, and two Yalies squared off in the past election. Moreover, for Democratic office-seekers at least, a Harvard education, with its suggestion of Eastern privilege and liberal elitism, is probably more of a liability than an asset these days.
Harvard also matters less in the business world. It is true that a few Harvard graduates (and one dropout, Bill Gates) have figures prominently in the digital revolution - unquestionably the biggest story in the past decade - but Stanford is a much more prolific supplier of its brainpower. Google, Yahoo!, Cicsco, Sun Microsystems and a raft of other marquee tech firms were partly or wholly incubated on the Stanford campus.
Meanwhile, there are fewer Harvard diplomas hanging in corporate boardrooms. According to the executive search firm Stuart Spencer, the percentage of large-company CEOs holding Harvard MBAs declined to 23% last year from 28% in 1998. Of the Fortune 1000 CEO's appointed so far this year, just one, Corning Wendell Weeks, earned a Harvard MBA. Asked about Harvard's declining presence in the executive suites, Mr. Weeks jokingly told USA Toady, "I've yet to see a study that Harvard creates value."
Quite the opposite, actually. Two years ago, famed hedge-fund manager Victor Niederhoffer (himself a Harvard alumnus) and Laurel Kenner did a study measuring the performance of Nasdaq 100 companies run by Harvard graduates, of which there happened to be an unusually large number at the time. The results were not pretty. Mr. Niederhoffer and Ms. Kenner looked at the nine Nasdaq 100 firms headed by Harvard grads and found that they had, over a five-year period, dramatically underperformed Nasdaq firms run by graduates of the other Ivy League schools, Ivy League equivalents (Stanford, MIT, Berkeley) and state schools.
Harvard is also a much less important intellectual hub than it once was. The University of Chicago, for one, has wielded much more influence in recent decades. It is not an exaggeration to say that Chicago laid the intellectual foundation for the conservative ascendancy and nurtured the ideas that now drive the debate over economic policy, legal theory and foreign affairs. The key ideas of the so-called Reagan Revolution, including monetarism and deregulation, trace their origins back to the free-market theorizing of Chicago's economics department. (One striking measure of the department's clout: Of the 55 economists awarded the Nobel Prize since 1969, when economics was added to the roster, 10 have taught at Chicago and an additional 13 either trained at Chicago or have had previously taught there. Harvard, by contract, has had 4 faculty winners.)
One of those Chicago Nobel laureates, Ronald Coase, is acknowledged to be the godfather of law and economics, unquestionably the most influential branch of legal theory in the past quarter-century. (It applies economic reasoning to legal questions). And while Harvard certainly has its superstars, when you look at the people who have taught at Chicago in the past 40 years or so - Milton Friedman, Richard Posner, Allan Bloom, Leo Strauss, Robert Lucas, Albert Wohlstetter, Richard Epstein, Leon Cass, Saul Bellow, Martha Nussbaum - it is pretty clear which school has been giving off more heat.
So why does Harvard continue to get so much more press than Chicago or any other American university? One possible explanation: Harvard graduates are disproportionately represented in the upper echelons of American journalism. Harvard far surpasses any other university when it comes to cultivating journalistic talent, and all those Harvard-trained reporters and editors do an excellent job of keeping their alma mater in the news.
Young Mr. Douthat is a case in point. In a recent profile of him published in the New York Observer, he explained that he landed his current job with the Atlantic when David Bradley, the magazine's owner, walked into the offices of the Harvard Crimson looking for a few recruits. As for the book, it was commissioned by an editor who had graduated from Harvard several years ahead of Mr. Douthat. Nice connections, if you can get them.

After reading the above.......I get a sense of why HBS ranked so low in the WSJ rankings..... maybe the skool is not so gr8........ I feel that maybe humans like me can also get into THE skool........ oh no....... wait........ I DON'T want to get into Harvard....... I want you to join me in shunning HBS completely so that they stop playing this black game........*wicked grin*...........(A miserable attempt to mislead the competition) ........ lol....... So lets start this movement guys.........*evil everywhere*......
Enjoy life....... peace.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Got W910i

Hey all,

Got a sony ericsson w910i. Of the two colors i chose hearty red........ it's slim chic and shiny nd its so light that its a pleasure to hold. The slider is bit woobly but ill soon get used 2 it........ :P ...... Still experimenting with it........ hope to lose its charm by 2 more days......... happens all the time...... :)

In MBA related news...... Ive been scrolling through Richard Montauk (hereafter reffered to as RM only...... :( .......should spare my lazy fingers all the rest they can afford :D....) lately and looks like the book is extremely dense. The book does a good job of gathering all of the related advice in one package. I have started to realize that so much info would be difficult to gather by myself and even if i did, it would hardly be properly placed and classified....... most of the info i have is through random blogs and forum browsing which are highly unorganized......... So, i am proud of this investment i made..........

The book is so down to business that even i felt a bit bored from all the info at one time.........(or maybe i really am tired from all the greedy reading ive done in the past couple of days).... i mean that i am sort of a person who can never tire (at least i thought so.......) thinking of b-skool and browsing MBA related stuff........... But reading this book even i have started to realize that GMAT was indeed the easiest step...... the real battle is yet to come........ All in all a great book and one of the best to-the-point book ive read in a long time (about any subject for that matter).

Here's a pat on my back for getting my first century...... (of website hits :D) ...... seems like im not alone anymore......... thank you pals.......

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