Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year and a long overdue update

First of all a big apology to all of you for not replying to your comments/e-mails. Thanks a million for all the wonderful good wishes!!! I also thank all my blogger friends for the encouragement and support they have extended throughout my arduous application journey. And of course, thanks for taking the time to read all the good and bad stuff I've been dishing out regularly.

Since 21 December, I have been caught up in a whirlwind of work, I went home for 3 days last weekend and I tried really hard to enjoy the fact that "I'm into Wharton" but never had enough time. And when I visited the admitted students website and when I got the admit pack from Wharton, I went crazy with all the information I was suddenly bombarded with. Being my usual obsessive self, I had an attack of paranoia about a whole bunch of things. However, this weekend has been a blast. I'm reading blogs and catching up on e-mail and most important of all- sleeping. After talking to a couple of students, I have rested my fears and am smiling again :-) Also, the enormity of going to Wharton has sunken in finally and I keep telling myself "Wow, Wharton!". Yes, I've ruled out the possibility of HBS and am more keen on Wharton than Stanford :D

A couple of days ago, I went to a party with all the Wharton students who are in India. It reinforced my impression of Wharton and the people at Wharton. I met both Indians and non-Indians and they are all really friendly, down to earth, very smart people. I had fun getting to know them and am glad that 2 yrs at Wharton is about a lot of fun and partying too :D

That's it from me at the moment. All the Best to all the Round 2 applicants as they submit their apps and prepare for the "hit the refresh button" game. Wish you all a very Happy New Year and here's hoping all of us have a great year ahead. Have a Blast!!!

PS: I'm sorry about all the e-mails I have not responded to. I'm not in a position to review essays 'coz of my work load. I will respond to any other questions that you might have as soon as possible from now on. On a side note, I purposely do not respond to queries about my identity. I prefer to maintain at least a semblance of anonymity whenever posssible :-)

Thursday, December 21, 2006


And I'm in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Words fail me at the moment...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Made it to Chicago! Yippppppppieeeeee

I'm grinning ear to ear now:D!!!!!!

I just got the call at 11pm IST. I could not wait to get off the phone, for I wanted to call my mom, my friend and my uncle who decided to gift me the iPOD which I was supposed to pay(or rather already paid) him for :-) and of course write a post. At least this post comes when I'm still totally excited.

This is super cool!

Accepted at Kellogg!!!

Yes! I saw the mail first thing in the morning when I came to work. At exactly the same time a huge catastrophe popped up too. So my blog had to wait for nearly 8 hours before I could sneak in some time to write a post.

Ah! The sweet taste of success...

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Amidst Nightmares...

I'm having nightmares where Colonel Aureliano Buendia hands me my ding letter from Wharton with a vicious look in his eyes. The next moment hundred-year-old Ursula smiles at me saying it's only a dream and I have 5 more days to go. Then I dream that my Chicago decision gets lost and I never come to know what the final decision is.(Don't ask me how this can happen). Guess I should resume reading Freud to interpret these dreams. Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh.

One Hundred Years of Solitude
was amazing, but now I'm worried if I got a tad too involved in the book(as I do with everything I read). So I'm going to read really light stuff(see sidebar) for the next few days. Let me see if I get some pleasant dreams then...:-). I really wish I could fastforward 5 days and get it done with.

The HBS hub interviews in India happened over the last 3 days(or is still happening). It makes logical sense that they will give every candidate invited to interview the choice between alumni and hub interview. Going by this logic, every Indian applicant who has to get an interview invite has already received it by now. So I've completely lost hopes on HBS. What I don't understand is their justification for waiting till 17 Jan to announce a ding that is decided more than a month earlier.

As for Stanford their latest newsletter claimed that they have sent out "a lot of invites" and they still have " a lot of invites" to send. I came across speculations that this implies that they have 50% invites to send out still. I would just say that there is reason to harbor some hope still and leave it at that. But the irritating thing is if one doesn't get an invite by 20 Dec, then it's a long wait till early Jan before the adcom comes back from winter break. This is agonizing to say the least. Maybe I should stop hoping about Stanford too and just be in peace. It's simply impossible though.

Now that I have poured it all out, I'm off to do something more constructive :D

PS: It's ironical how the title of this post and the title of my blog contradict each other so perfectly!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Waiting it out...

My blog's begging me for an update and I'm staying away from all things "MBA" to help me get through the grueling wait. I've also decided not to write posts that list tips to tackle the admissions process until the admission decisions are out. I can't get myself to dish out advice before I actually know for sure that my way works :D. So this post will just be about what I've been doing to fill my time while I wait it out...

I've been having a delightful time as I spend hours buried in books. Reading is an addiction to me and I used to read a lot even while I was applying, but there was always the time constraint and the nagging feeling that my essays would benefit from the extra time. Now I'm back to sitting up all night when I cannot make myself put a book down. I splurged at the Strand Book Festival at Bangalore. I made 2 trips and bought 15 books.

Some of these are books I've been meaning to read for a long time, some of them just caught my fancy, some of them I've already read but didn't own a copy. I've already finished reading Grapes of Wrath, Lord of the Flies and Of Mice and Men in the last 10 days. That leaves me with 12 more to go. I guess I will not be buying any books over next 2 months or so.

I've also been creating an online book catalog which I will link up on my blog once I'm done with it. When I was in college I promised myself I will buy at least one book every month once I start earning. Looks like I've more than kept up my promise for I have collected over 100 books in the last 2.5 years. The sad thing is some of them are in Chennai, so I can complete my online catalog only after my next trip to Chennai in a couple of weeks.

I bought myself an iPOD! I got it sent from the USA 'coz of the hefty saving I can make. It's on its way to Chennai and I will pick it up when I go home, after which my life will become much more musical :-)

That's all the updates I have. Now I will go lose myself in the world of the Buendias...Ciao!

Monday, December 04, 2006

My Wharton interview (insert huge grin)!

I'm really happy to say that "My Wharton interview went off very well!"

I had my interview at the Mumbai hub this morning. My day began with an interesting start. First of all I had to wake up at 5 am, which is simply unhealthy for a purely nocturnal creature like me. Since I'm not familiar with routes in Mumbai my uncle and aunt insisted on accompanying me. We made a train journey in a surprisingly empty Mumbai local, had a relaxed breakfast and leisurely strolled down to the McKinsey office in Mumbai where they dropped me off. I was right on time at 8.45am. But poor li'l me had no clue that it takes 5 minutes for a lift to come down from 3o odd floors. So I was waiting for the lift when I should have been seated in one of the overseized couches in the plush McKinsey reception. And to add to my agony, when I reached the 21st floor, the receptionist with the plastic smile informed me- "The interview is on the 24th floor ma'm". Thankfully the fire exit was nearby and I did not have to put up with the tardiness of the lift. I ran up 3 floors, 3 steps at a time. I leave the state of my suit, hair and face to your wildest imagination. I went in and there was this guy smartly dressed in a suit, waiting for the interview too. On enquiry I found out that his interview was at 9.45. I thought I was done for, but nice guy that he was, told me that I was right on time, that the interviewer and the receptionist themselves had just come in. Phew! I will gently remind you here that I went through all of the (e)motions mentioned above in an interval of no more than 5 minutes :D

I had exactly 5 more minutes to smooth my hair, stop panting like a dog, check my dress and shoes:D and all the other girl stuff:-). My interviewer took me into the room at 8.55 sharp. She put me at ease in no time. She asked me if I lived nearby and I promptly informed her that I came from Bangalore and that I had spent the past 2 hours travelling to the venue. This must have explained my rather dishivelled (I'm just assuming this, 'coz I'd not seen a mirror in the last 2 hours :D) appearance. Thus we come to the end of my "interesting start".

My interviewer was a really expressive person with a lot of smiles to offer, which made me comfortable instantly. She took a full 3 minutes (don't ask me how I know the exact number...) to peruse my resume completely and she said "Crystal Clear". A small "yippie" to myself and a polite "thank you" and a smile to her. She started off with "What is your current role in your organization". I gave her an idea what the product was and what I do, clearly separating the technical and non-technical aspects of my job. Then she asked me "Why do I want an MBA?". I took the liberty of telling her that I would elaborate on my goals before I get there and did just that. I spoke about my goals, why those goals (which covered nearly 7 years of my life:-)) and how I think an MBA can get me there. Then came "Why now?". Simple, honest answer followed. After that she switched topics by saying "So we have spoken about your leadership at work and extracurriculars..." Here again I took the liberty of telling her that my list of extracurriculars is not complete and elborated a little on the left out aspects. She wanted to know about "1 strength and 1 weakness". I gave her a true strength and a true weakness (I don't care if it damages my prospects). Then I gave her a discourse on what I expect out of Wharton and what made me apply to Wharton.

That's pretty much the list of questions as such. But I had the luxury of guiding the interview in whichever direction I wanted. So in the course of the conversation we spoke about Social consciousness, IT industry- who are the major players, Mumbai life (Although I've never lived there, I've been there enough number of times to know a lot about it and of course, I love Mumbai!), the disparities between the upper and lower economic segments of any city. We also touched upon topics like idealism, why Indians return to India from the US, the safety net in European countries etc. I don't know how it happened, but our conversation was peppered throughout with such extremely interesting digressions. Finally I got to ask her some questions, for which she gave me very detailed, insightful answers.

She gave me feedback (which I did not ask for of course :D). The words "exciting", "impressed" and "successful" were used! I thanked her, told her it was very nice talking to her and left. I ran out of the door and called my anxiously waiting mother to share my exultation. When I noticed the time I realized we had been speaking for 45 mins (15 mins more than the stipulated time). I'm sure the guy who was waiting for his turn must have cursed me :-).

I don't know if this will convert to an admit, after all the interview is not the make or break in Wharton's holistic process. I came out feeling completely satisfied and that is all that matters to me at the moment. I will not blame the interview if I don't make it.

So now I'm back in Bangalore and really need to sleep. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz........