Wednesday, October 15, 2008

App 2 Duo!! Experience the power of TWO

Hey ppl,

Yessss, I managed to pull the seemingly impossible task of submitting two applications within 24 hours. My bank balance is considerably lighter due to this "App 2 Duo" effect (I urge Intel not to sue me for my pathetic attempt to impersonate the "Core 2 Duo").

In this festive season of free distribution, where you get offers like buy one get one free, I often wonder how gr8 it would have been for the credit card companies to announce such a scheme - "If you are submitting two applications, pay for one and get the other free"!!!
WOW.... That'd be some scheme.

I submitted HBS yesterday...... errr no today morning....... in fact I submitted them 5:30 AM today. Am I such an early riser?? Never!! I just didn't sleep last night!!!! I wanted to submit HBS by 12'O clock last night and go to bed. Instead, I found it extremely hard to let go of the love letter to my true love. Every now and then I would think that I can improve the app, but then after like an hour of staring at the screen, I would decide otherwise. What was more intriguing was the fact that I wanted to improve it further but didn't know how..... So, ended up checking the PDF version of the app a horrifying 17 times. Every time I opened it to see the app one last time, I thought I caught something fishy. I totally lost time-tracking ability (not that I had one in the first place...... but, well you get the point). Finally, I looked at my watch and CRAP.... it's 5.00AM!!!! I thought the batteries were dead. But I could sense some activity on the road. I cursed myself for my obsession and decided that it was time. The time to press the button had arrived.

However, HBS submission is a totally opposite end of the spectrum from Duke submission. I just wasn't ready to submit Duke as I thought my essays were not ready enough. But in the afternoon at work I realized that I cannot afford to miss a round only because of my perfectionist paranoia........ The essays were solid enough and I'm not aiming for a Pulitzer here, just a teeny-weeny B-school admit (yes, I love my hypocrisy!!). So, I telephoned both of my recommenders and told them to submit before nightfall, failing which they owe me a fortune..... :D ..... the threat worked perfectly and Recos were in by the time I reached home.

Worked on the final touches for three golden hours straight and pressed the button in the same flow....... It's all outta my hands now since two hours.........

My head is spinning from all these submissions........ Time to hit the sac......


Monday, October 13, 2008

Will this hard work payoff???

Hey ppl,

The answer to that question is..... maybe...... I don't know, don't wanna know or am not interested in knowing the answer at all. I know I'm not making any sense, but it is hard to make sense when you have to do two applications simultaneously, manage 5 recommendations, cater to 7 essays and fill hundreds of calculated characters (not words!!! that would've been easy!!)...... and still dream of making the deadline Early Action.

Yes I'm talking of course about the stress and pressure I've been in the last some days. HBS R1 and Duke E.A are on the same day, making it a Time Management-101 course for me. And then there is work. I wonder sometimes that had I not obsessed about B-School for so long, had I not had the levels of super human (nearly unvawering) motivation, or had I not yearned for that crimson envelope with every molecule of my being, I would have been easily fatigued enough to leave the process and run. The same is true for my blogger friends.

No wonder I believe that getting into IIMs is a piece of cake as compared to getting into HBS, or any top 10 for that matter. You have to do so much to show that you are a "well rounded" applicant, not some "usual" nerdo with a 790 GMAT, which BTW are aplenty in my country. It is not like you get a 99.9%ile on the CAT and POOF!!! You're in!!!!

We're all working our asses off for that dream admit. And to think that the whole blogosphere is trembling with the Citi Assist news is disturbing. I for one am not perturbed by all of this hooplaah surrounding the $$$. Am I a direct relation of Mukesh Ambani??? No, I still haven't figured out how I will pay for the MBA (even the security deposit!!). Yes, it should sound stupid (to the point of arrogance) but guys, seriously, what are we fretting about again???
"Will we get the MONEY, IF we GET INTO one of those $150k+ schools (with <30% selectivity and uber-competition)????"
Notice the bolded uncertainity above.

Furthermore, if we do get in, we should realize that it is not a one way road. The school needs us as much as we need the school coz without us, the school would be empty. So, I am more than a 100% sure that the school will figure out something if it can't get the amount of loans as before. Maybe they'll grant more scholarships, maybe they'll increase the assistantships, maybe they'll figure something else out. Remember guys, it is not a one sided love, if it were, you wouldn't get the admit in first place, and so, still have nothing to worry about.
So chill guys, and enjoy this breakneck ride of the apps..........
Till next submissions....


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Order Amongst Chaos: UCLA submitted

Hey ppl,

Just submitted UCLA application!!!!
But the path undertaken has been anything but as simple as the four-worded-sentence above. Nothing went as planned.

First, the essays weren't coming that good. I think I hit a wall on new ideas. There was a complete and utter lack of it. Not that my essays were so good that I couldn't improve on it, but I knew that these essays are shitty and can be bettered but just didn't know how. The first essay was gr8 and I loved it so much that it was finalized long ago. Readability stats : 52 on the flesch scale...... I just loved that essay. But the other two essays were killing me...... 8 reworks and still no sight of the finish line. Finally, yesterday night I had to shut my eyes (not easy but had to force myself) to not look for more errors.

The state of the govt. universities here in India is pitiful. I am talking , of course of the university to which my alma mater is affiliated. Hopeless situation. Firstly, if you are not present personally, they don't even care for your work (which actually is "their" work, so to say). Even if you are present there, you'll be on the verge of crying when you comprehend the messy way in which the documents are strewen about the place. The so-called official had to literally "fish" out my application from a pile of scrap. Even after that the story was far from over. The people incharge were absent. So, I was asked to stay in the city overnight as my home is nearly 400kms from the gates of hell. Did so. Next day, it dawned that one of the persons showed up and the otherr one called for a leave for a week. Gr8. I was stuck without a set of transcripts up untill yesterday till which time I lost my patience and cursed the university officers to hell. I went to my Alma Mater and got the work done there easily (looks like I still have influence there). All in all, an extremely frustrating trip.

The problems didn't end here, the audio essay of UCLA came out to be of 1:02 mins. Cutting that 2 seconds meant cutting a whole sentence and I was fumbled as to which sentence to cut. I tried speaking faster, but it was evident very early that clarity is essential here. Anyhow, did it all night yesterday and came up with a super sounding 4th essay.

Took a leave today to submit. Ya, those are some of your perks for being an entrepreneur, voluntary leave announcement :) But the recos weren't in yet. Completed the online app. and uploaded everything but I still did not want to submit without recos. Coz I cant stand the sight of the status changing twice: From "Submitted: waiting recos" to "Submitted: under review".

I decided to personally go to both my recommenders and talk on gunpoint:)
[DISCLAIMER: This sort of thing can be risky if you try it on your superior.]
Call it another perk of entreprenuership - No Bosses.
The personal visit had the desired effect and both my recommenders ended up submitting within half hour of each other. I pressed the submit button after that.

It is just one down yet and I am writing pages of my ordeal....... What will happen to me???? God only knows (Or does He???)....... Till next time.....


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