Sunday, April 25, 2010

The MBA Reality Check - a new book on the block.

Its summer again and I quiet clearly recall the last summer - flowers shining bright in their full blossom, birds singing, warmth in the air, frequent visits to the beaches, strolling through the sand and waves washing my feet with each rhythmic cycle - he he just kidding guys. The fact is last summer was very very hectic and i hardly ever stepped out of my house! My door was closed to the outside world, clothes scattered around and dishes unwashed and me sitting on my desk with a GMAT book in hand! Yes it was the start of the notorious MBA application season! And now seeing summer again I'm happy to have crossed that phase of my life.

But now i see myself in thousands of applicants who are shut in their rooms with the Official Guide or staring at the probability question while taking the GMATPrep for the 16th time. Yes, the application season has begun and if you will, its well into its core stages when many have taken their GMAT and are contemplating on whether to give it another shot or to think about their applications. Books are the best friends during this one year process and there are many many great books that I've already mentioned in my previous posts.

Yet today I'm here again to recommend one more fantastic book - "The MBA Reality Check - Make the school you want, Want you" by authors Evan Foster and David Thomas.

So the big question you might be or should be asking yourself is - whether you need another book to help you sail through this treacherous process. Let me provide you a glimpse of this book which i thoroughly enjoyed reading.

For the ease of typing let me call this book MRC. MRC is a no BS straightforward book that will take you through the life of more than 20 applicants in their own quest to get into the best business schools. What i loved about the book is that it shows you not only what you need to do/have but also how to best put forth yourself as an applicant. One of my favorite quotes from the book is "you are not competing against other applicants but you are competing against yourself". Makes you think, doesn't it?!

Evan and David are no new comers to the admission arena. They have years of experience in counselling several hundreds of applicants and helping then get into top b-schools. What they have done right (and which is also why this book stands apart from the crowd) is that they have simply shared their experiences directly on a case by case basis with the audience. This makes the read a lot of fun without sounding like a lecture!

I also loved the structure of the book, which starts from the very beginning of how to get ready to face the rigorous process, then discussing about the most important aspect in a candidate - leadership and then telling you how to find the leader in you. Once you are ready, Chapters 5 thro' 7 discuss on how to get started with creating a strong profile. The second part of the book deals with Essays. Each type of essay is one chapter on its own and each chapter is a story about an applicant. The chapters conclude with the applicant's final draft of the essay that led him/her into a top school! The fascinating part here is that you will see yourself in the applicant and hence you will get answers to your burning questions. Extracurricular is rightly given a big importance in this book and ways you can tell a compelling story of your contribution to the world - not matter how small it is.

The book also provides you sound advice on Admission Interview, waitlist tactics and re-application advice. The final part of the books is for you to taking a pencil start you work. Ideally named "Workbooks", the book provides 9 workbooks for you to systematically implement all the advices that the authors give you in the previous chapters! Again, this is what i like - Not telling you what but showing you how, and finally making you do it.

Summary: A solid no B.S. fun, practical guide on MBA admissions that works!

Verdict: A reality show on MBA Admissions - Highly recommended!

Disclaimer: The book that i received was a review copy and the above review is purely my own opinion.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A shout out from the East!!

Hi everybody! A year back I promised myself never to let a fortnight go by without a blog post, but my move to India came with several thousand commitments and engagements that I was simply even not in a position to turn my mac on! So i hope you guys are not too frustrated..

Anyways here is a quick recap of the past 20 days -

* Reached Chennai, India on the 10th of April, sleeping my way through the 16 hour non-stop flight - thanks to the empty Boeing 777!
* I was warmly greeted by the 110 degree excruciating summer blast which still adamantly continues.
* Paid a visit to the terrifying Passport office and spent one day standing in a que along with 2000 people in a 20 by 20 room on a peak summer noon.
* Got hooked to the IPL (Indian Premier League) and ended up going to see the most boring match of the tournament - praise my luck!
* Cheered for my team Barca FC all along only to see them loose notoriously to Inter. (But hope is not lost and I'll continue to cheer)
* Got nominated for the Clear Admit Best of Blogging Awards! Wow this is a privilege considering the other nominee blogs! Thanks CA and thank you dear readers.
* Got a new phone number and a phone. So if anybody wants to give me a shout out please email me for my number. (On another note, I'm simply blown away by the number of new local cell phone manufacturing companies which have sprouted across the country!)
* Read 2 books - Bounce and Liars Poker - Both of which I truly enjoyed.
* Networked with fellow IESE admits and some current students. Spanish visa and accomodation are on top in my list of things to do.

Overall life in the past 15 days was slow with nothing much to do. I've prepared a to-do list which includes taking spanish lessons, joing a fitness program (lol) and preparing visa documentation.

Will be back soon with another post that would be of interest to GMAT test takers !

Happy Summer!

Monday, April 5, 2010

IESE Business school - Welcome kit

Last Friday, I received my "Welcome Kit" from IESE. Even though you know that you are admitted to a business school, this welcome kit is sweet re-affirmation that you really are in!! And needless to say i was jumping with joy when I saw the kit, which made me feel that now I'm part of a family called IESE MBA 2012.

So lets see whats in the nice red box!
As soon as I opened the box, a red gym bag was smiling right at me. Although my camera was adamant that it was dark maroonish-purpleish in color i definitely think its the legendary IESE red.
But anyways, inside the bag were some very interesting and unexpected stuff, and some expected stuff. Here are the contents,
1. A welcome letter by the Director of Admissions
2. An invitation to attend the Admit Weekend in Barcelona on 28-29th May,
3. A welcome guide to the school, city, housing and much much more (and wow its got some amazing pics of BCN),
4. A map of Barcelona,
5. IESE Alumini Magazine - latest copy
6. And rather surprisingly a Solar cellphone charger and a bio-degradable pen. Boy, do they know how to state their "clean green" motto!

Here is another picture of all the goodies for your viewing pleasure.

On a totally different note, I'm getting close to the end of my stay in the States. Will be leaving for India this Thursday. Yesterday was horrible seeing off my GF at the airport. I am currently, without a job, without a car, without anything important to do and now my gf is 7500 miles away :(

So with that note let me sign off for now.


P.S. I'm currently reading a very interesting book on MBA admissions. I'll be posting a detailed review of the book in my next post. So watch out for it!

Friday, April 2, 2010

BTG Scholarships are back!!

Wow this is probably the best opportunity to get save some serious $$$ and boost your GMAT numbers. Beat The GMAT is back with its legendary Beat The GMAT Scholarships 2010.

Whats in it for you?
Six scholarship packages for six winners, valued at over $8,500. Each includes a GMAT course from one of the top GMAT prep companies and a $250 GMAT voucher!

Important dates:

Last date to submit applications: May 20
Results: May 30.

Find more details here

All the best!!