Sunday, October 30, 2005


Have you ever greedily bitten into a piece of cake and ended up with most of the frosting on your face instead of in your mouth? This is exactly how I feel about most of my essays right now. Topics and words all over the place and still not quite hitting the target on the bull's eye.

My Kellogg essays are coming along smoothly with constant re-editing and revising. The others still have a long way to go. My laptop has seriously become my best friend. Forget all the computer programming I do at work, my eyes will be married to LCD screens until all my applications are in. Then the sweat-action kicks in (I will reek of BO for months from pacing the room, unable to sit still.) as I wait impatiently for responses from all the adcoms.

My Kellogg interview is this month. I'm excited & nervous and just praying I'll be able to hit the questions on the head. *breathe in, breathe out* This period in life is really a test of my self-confidence and maturity. Or maybe I just need to pamper myself with more massages...

Happy Halloween, folks!

Saturday, October 29, 2005


I've already made quite a couple mistakes with my MBA application process, but hopefully others can learn from them too.
1) Do your research early. Seriously, just do it like Nike says.
2) Divide your apps among the different rounds. At least by 2nd round you'll know if you were dinged/accepted to 1st round schools, etc.
3) Don't submit your app too early! Even if you feel an app is done, it's good to wait even closer to due date just in case something catches your eye and you want to make a change. I submitted Kellogg Part I wayyy too early (knowing I was going to apply round 2). Now I'm kicking myself in the butt for it.
4) Visit schools if possible. You just learn more about the culture and helps so much with essays!
5) When apps/essay q's come out start working on them already! Even if they're not out yet, you can look at the previous year's app to get a grasp of what may be needed.
6) Plan ahead. Prioritize your time. Pace yourself. I met some people who haven't even started their essays yet, and they're applying round 2. It's almost November!

It's that constant time bomb ticking inside your head... tick... tick... tick... tick... tick...

Click the "Submit" button.

Wait, not yet!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Times like this...

... prioritization really does take first place. It's like holding a book in one hand while simultaneously juggling 9 balls in the other. The book is my sanity. The balls are all my commitments: work, MBA applications, community service, travel (professional and personal), etc. I'm waiting for the circus clown to waddle out from the curtain wings, give a shriek of laughter, and *poof* have the magician wave the magic wand and it's March 2006 when I'll know if I've been accepted/rejected. Then I can plan my life and career from there.

Enjoyed a weekend in Chicago at the GSB Fall Preview! Truly enlightened by the well-prepared organization of events for prospective students. Chicago's adcom is really on top of the ball. I really encourage other MBA seekers to explore Fall Preview next year if applying for '09 or later. Hopefully other schools will organize events like this. I know Sloan has their daily Ambassador Programs. Hopefully I can make it out to Cambridge sometime. I still have yet to explore Boston and Irish pubs. I signed up for most of Stanford's events last May: student lunch, class visit, tour, and info session. I think the most important aspect of attending these events is getting a feel for each program's environment through the students, classes, and campus. It also helps solidify your motivation for going to a particular school - plus aids tremendously in the essays!

If you know you want a MBA then jump on it now. Don't be a procrastinator like I was. It's never too early to start your research - but cramming it as deadlines are approaching like I am will kick you in the butt. I knew I wanted a MBA 4 years ago but got lazy when it came to research. Talk about working under pressure now... ack.

Perhaps I should whip out the pom-pom's stashed at the back of my closet from my cheerleading days and perform a little song and dance: "G-S-B! G-S-B! You-need-me!"

Or maybe I'm just a fool.

Saturday, October 15, 2005


1 AM and still working on a Friday night. Well, technically Saturday morning now.

Explain the path that has led you to pursue an MBA...

I know I'm probably aiming for too many schools, but then there's that feeling in the back saying I might regret if I didn't try. All the schools are awesome. Of course my top two choices are the University of Chicago and Stanford. Chicago especially for its academic rigor and competitive nature to challenge myself in the GSB environment. Stanford especially for its culture, connection to the Silicon Valley, and strong general management program. If I could get into either of the GSB's, I would fall to the floor and kiss your feet. Ha, you wish. No. But I would definitely be flying on high sky.

What matters most to you, and why?

Sometimes it can get so nerve-racking talking to my boss about the recommendations. The first time I approached her about it, I had to think very thoroughly about what to say as not to sound like, "I'm outtie. Sayonara!" but to make a compelling argument for why its my time to head back to school without her taking offense or feeling like I'm really leaving... yet. I tried to find comforting words to show that my heart is still in my professional work though I might be quitting in a year. Eek. Whew! I felt like I was gently breaking in a horse for its first ride, speaking soothing words...

To be successful in life, you must be able to distinguish between fleeting trend and genuine innovation. Tell us of a time when you had to make such as a distinction. What, if anything, would you have done differently?

This Chicago question is really tough. I wonder what % of applicants will answer it? I can't come up with any examples myself. Hmm...

I think my brain is fried for the night. 'Til morning.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

An experience with Yale SOM adcom

Yes, I am "another one of those engineers." A software engineer, to be exact. It was interesting when I attended the Yale SOM reception in San Francisco last year. After the presentation a group of aggressive candidates approached Yale's adcom with our multitude of questions. One guy, I remember, started off, "I am an engineer. What are my chances at Yale?"

SOM adcom rep: "Our admissions has this internal joke where we see another application from India and we think to ourselves, 'oh, probably another one of those engineers...'"

Me: "What?! Are you saying that because we're engineers we have a lower chance of getting accepted??"

SOM adcom rep: "No, that's not what I'm saying at all. It's just, umm, our own internal joke..."

I'm not sure if that adcom rep should have told us about her "joke," but (though I'm not Indian) being an engineer I was already a bit miffed over her stereotyping a group of people. I did not think this was the right attitude for adcom to have. (Or at least, she could have kept it to herself in a setting like that??)

Anyway, for having the strongest program in the social sector, I decided to overlook this one rep's comment and focus on Yale's strength that drew me to the school in the first place: Yale's ongoing commitment to its social responsibility to the community. Fortunately, the SOM adcom rep I met at the Forte Foundation San Francisco forum this year was awesome and reinforced my original thoughts on the school.

Yale SOM: Still a candidate in the running.


They seem like the all the rage these days. I remember getting my first on-line journal from back in 2000. Since then, blogs have been popping up all around. One can only imagine how much data is floating around there on the good ol' world wide web. They just keep building 'em servers, and its amazing that the traffic doesn't seem to jam up as bad as the Los Angeles freeways during rush hour. Bless the internet gods.

Now its my turn to add another profile and more data into the overflowing pool. With all the competition as MBA applicants race to pump out strong apps and fight for the limited spots at top schools, I can only hope my head is one of those that is still above the surface at the end of the swim.

What I have going for me? My passion, my interest, my craving, my intellect, my curiosity, my determination, my clear goals.

What I have going against me? My age, my experience (or lack thereof), my time.

It's already October. Nearing mid-October at that. Round 1 will come and go, as I know I am not at that point to submit any apps yet. All schools will all be Round 2. Less than 3 months away. Can I do it? Can I compete? It's never too late to play the game. Focus your eye on the prize. You lose some, you win some.