Waitlisted by W.P. Carey

The title says it all! The R1 results for W.P. Carey are out and I am one more step closer (or away?) to make it to the Carey MBA. Will run the last mile and see if I can gracefully cross the finish line.
Got a chance to get interviewed by Carlson as well. Hope to hear from NUS and NTU sometime soon. Expecting the clouds to fade away by feb 09. Till then…it is time to wait and watch. All the best to fellow applicants and new year wishes in advance!

Biography of Application Process!

Prologue: Long post!

Early 2007:

Dad – Didn’t do well in CAT – no worries – Why don’t you give GMAT sometime?

Me – What? GMAT? That is the exam for doing international MBA. International MBA? What? Dad, are you getting what you are saying? (yeah – I did not think of dad being so mature that time :p). International MBA – that is meant only for the Richie Rich and only the people born with the silver spoon and wings do that (Mr. Anil and Mukesh is what I could associate an international MBA with that time)! It is not for me.

Dad – Well, why are you worrying about all that right now? Things are changing and it is not that difficult nowadays. What’s there to lose if you just give the exam, now that you don’t have any extra baggage on your head? (except the money which he didn’t give a damn!)

Me – No. I still think that I can manage to get into some decent MBA program in India next year if not the IIMs. I am ok with tier two schools.

Dad(little adamant now) – But you deserve better. And why settle for less if you can get into better schools outside?

Me – OK. I will think about it. But I am in no mood to spend that kind of fancy money just for the sake of doing my MBA abroad. After all, spending your fortune just for all this seems ridiculous.

And then I scheduled my GMAT. I focused only on GMAT during this time as I had no inclination and time to research on the pros of global MBA, B-schools, etc.

3rd quarter of the 2007:

Dad – See, I told you that you will do well in this exam.

Me – Ya. Thanks!

Dad – So what next? Are you now convinced that you want to do this now?

Me – Hmm….doesn’t look that bad. I mean having an international degree is not as bad. (look at the change in my tone here :-), though I was still apprehensive about the feasibility aspect).

And then I started to dig into the issue. Pretty soon, one day, I attended the ISB session.

Me – Dad, I happen to attend the ISB session today. But I don’t think I have the kind of work experience they need. Looks like it is too early to make a call.

Dad – That’s fine. There is no hurry. Take your own time. Now that the score is ready, you can focus on your work and apply next year.

Me – (Wow! Realizing the kind of support and maturity shown here again). That’s great! I think I now know what to do and how it has to proceed from here. Thanks a lot for your vision and help dad!

And then I decided to ditch all the Indian MBA exams and just relax for six months and then start with the application journey full swing in the coming year.

Cut to Feb-March 08:

The application process starts here. I can’t stress the importance of doing a thorough introspection of what you are, what you have done – basically the SWOT analysis – like some of us usually do in the project. Just that this time your life is at stake! You screw this up n there is a pretty good chance of you getting misled hereafter and missing the bus! So that’s what I did. Prioritized what I want to get, what I can get and how badly I need it! One thing I wanted was almost certain – it has to be now, it has to be now!

So did a realistic evaluation – engineering from a decent college, avg. GPA, a decent job profile, avg. ECs, and below avg. work ex which meant that I was still a little junior when it came to the kind of leadership or international work ex. that I usually see in the profiles of Ivy league college aspirants. One positive thing I found out was – the work ex that I got in last twelve months was enough to substantiate most of the essay questions – but essay questions of which schools? Now that is the key to shortlist your schools – “Are you ready to answer their questions?” (apart from the culture/goals fulfillment that you are looking for). I don’t have to explain this in detail. People can read between the lines.

Cut to May-June 08 –Inception of this blog – decided to share this journey!

The rough idea of the colleges was now on the horizon and so I had to give TOEFL as well! Got over with that in Aug so that I could focus on the monster essays which did feel like killing a beast. Applied to 8 colleges – yes – “eight“ colleges in R1.

Cut to now:

School – So how are you doing now?

Me – This is the most anxious period of my life. Somehow, getting over with the application process doesn’t seem to mitigate the misery.

School – Hmm..but I never told you that results will be out immediately and you know this too.

Me – Yes…I know…but still…somehow can’t help it. These are my emotions and not logic!

School – So you gonna be like this till mid of Feb?

Me – Well, that depends on you. If one of the magic mails comes before that, then I promise you that I will be in total control of my misery. Sending the interview invite will also help (well not to reduce misery, but definitely to focus and kill some more time).

School – Patience is what you need. Do something productive. Pursue your hobbies during this free time.

Me – I am trying my best. But it’s like falling in love. Can’t get you outta my mind.

School – You are nuts!

Me – And the reason is you!

School – K. I will try to do something about it. You have to get over this.

Me – You do that, and I will free my own will (sounds like a blackmail??).

Watch this space for the epilogue!

Updates – IVed by W.P. Carey and Kelley

And it feels great again! But I have given up pinning hopes to anything now. I am trying to think of this application process being as objective as possible. Do whatever you can. Leave the rest to the school. If you have it, the school will set the doors wide open and roll out a red carpet for you. If you don’t, well there is one more year to take the constructive feedback and then work on it. In fact, don’t wait too long, as the dings come on the way, you will get a clarity on what is really missing in the bigger picture. In the end, it doesn’t even matter (or does it??).

Nyways, now let’s get to the meat. Carey was along a webcam interview which lasted for fifty minutes and it was a great experience. Carey does take interview seriously and is an inherent part of the admission process. The time duration shows this. They want you to talk. They want to know your perspective, how you react, how you handle the situation and what have you been through. They will present you with a case study as well. Found this really fascinating. The interview will give you a tinge of what the B-school is gonna be like and it will give them an idea of whether you fit in. Questions were right from why mba, why now to the difficult times in the team, leadership, etc. And it was pretty conversational. Kelley’s was a phone interview and it was short and precise. It lasted for around 25 mins. Crisp usual questions, and I gave to-the-point answers. Disclaimer – these are my personal views.

Moreover, I am done with the application process. So feeling a bit relieved yet sometimes boring (you suddenly find some free time and keep wondering what to do). Last three and a half months have been great – and there won’t be any regrets – come what may! And yes, when will the governmet take measures to prevent things instead of curing it at the cost of the lives of our brave soldiers?