Books Crib MBA Apping

It’s like deja vu..

Some people never learn. Wait I am talking about myself.

After the pathetic experience I had with Indiaplaza the last time around, I had virtually decided that I would not be using them for buying books. But then I forgot the lesson learnt, and ordered Montauk’s “How to Get Into the Top MBA Programs” – apparently a must read for all MBA applicants. Anyways, that was almost 10 days back I have still not received the book.

Though the fault this time lies with the courier service, their customer help desk remains clueless as ever. Here is the response I got from them after complaining mid last week.

I apologize for delay in delivery of the ordered book ‘How To Get In To Top Mba Programs’ placed under order ###. I request you to provide us more 2-3 working days so that we will check with the courier and deliver the book to you. We will try not to commit this mistake in your future orders.

Try not to?? Are you guys fricking kidding me??

MBA Apping

MBA apping

I had initially thought that I would document the entire apping process on my blog. However, after a lot of thought I have decided that it might not be very wise to do so.

I track a lot of blogs of MBA aspirants (will add the links to the sidebar soon), and feel that they are awesome places to look for wise words and help. However, I have noticed that they are mostly anonymous. I think that this makes sense in today’s digital world, where a simple Google search can reveal a lot about an applicant, and I do not want to stand any disadvantage due to something I post on my blog. Therefore, I have decided that, other that some gen things or occasional rants about the entire process, I would not be writing much about the process on my blog. At the end of it I might do a comprehensive post, but that is another story. Meanwhile do check out the blogs listed on the sidebar – they are awesome!!

I am right now in the process of shortlisting schools I want to apply to. I think I want to join a school that fits the following criteria:

  • Provides loans without co-signor
  • On campus study – I love being in contact with people
  • Should focus on Strategy (and probably helps some Biotech/Pharma/Healthcare related courses)
  • Should be fun!

I have kind of decided on 2 schools already, and I think I would end up applying to 3-4 other schools. Any suggestions are welcome. Also, due to all the apping work and a busy social calendar, posting will be very very irregular.

Tech WTF

Vista rant!

I have been using the Windows Vista on my brother’s Sony Vaio for a couple of weeks now, and am amazed at the uselessness of the OS. I would say that XP is at least a thousand times more user friendly and smarter OS. In fact it is so irritating at times that you feel like gnawing your arm off!!

1. The UAC – Stupid. You are making an OS for people. Not for asses. If I click on Windows Update and want to go ahead with installing some update by clicking on “Install Updates”, it means I want it done. Please do not ask me if I want to continue with it!! If I did not want it, I would not have made two effing clicks.

2. The Windows Update – The Vista applied some updates everyday till yesterday, and suddenly decided today morning to install the SP1. Can someone tell why the fuck did it not do it at the first go itself instead of installing a copy of those updates individually earlier when the SP1 has been available for months now?? Further, it would not allow me to install SP1 till I plugged my laptop into a power supply despite having 90% battery life left. For God’s sake – Stop being my mom!!

3. Stability – Its a joke. It hangs more than Windows 98 I would say despite having very few installed software, latest drivers, and all OS updates.

4. Speed – Yeah right!!

Thankfully Vaio provides all XP drivers on its website and I am thinking of “upgrading” to Windows XP within the next couple of weeks. I think the Vista team can let go of the Mojave, and start being smart.


iPhone dreams smashed!!

If you think the iPhone was expensive, think again!!

Its a complete rip-off here in India. Both Vodafone and Airtel have priced the iPhone so high that I guess you won’t see it going mainstream in India anytime soon. Also, with India not having a 3G network yet, the new iPhone is not of much use anyways.

The 8GB model is priced at ~USD 710 while the 16GB is priced at ~USD 830, without the data that is. The only option left now is to get an unlocked device from US (for ~USD 550) – sigh!

MBA Apping

The GMAT Experience

I decided to get a MBA degree somewhere around the middle of May. I took the first Princeton GMAT Diagnostic Test on 16th May, and scored a pathetic 580 on it. However, since I had decided to go down the MBA path, I went ahead and booked my GMAT on June 10 for August 6th, which was the closest available date to the 2 month time required to prepare for it.

I knew from the diagnostic test that I sucked at the verbal, and was rusty at quant. Sentence Correction and Critical Reasoning were the toughest.

The preparations began slowly in June. I was swamped with work in office and also had no habit of sitting down to ghot. I was doing mostly 30-40 min sessions some 3-4 times every week. The first round was a quick review of the Official Guide, 11th Edition. Its a great companion for GMAT. All kinds of questions are reviwed with multiple examples. A must do (and redo) for all GMAT aspirants as mentioned here and here.

Anyways, after the first round of OG, took a test from the GMATPrep software and scored a decent 680. This was the mid of July. After a quick trip to Hyd, and some time wasted at office, I was back at prep. This time it was practice using the Kaplan Comprehensive Program. Another GMATPrep Test and scored a good 720. I knew I was doing better and then started focussing on the rough edges. I was already hitting 48-50 on the quant and regularly doing 35+ on the verbal.

Next came the Kaplan GMAT 800. This nearly shattered all the confidence and I felt like a noob!! So bad I was at it that I almost gave up all hope.  However, some friends wisely advised that this was not the easiest of the tests and I should not give in to despair. I now entered the last week before the actual day and started working on OG GMAT Verbal Review. I must confess that this was the wisest decision ever made by me. And all credit goes to Dharmesh for this. I was able to up my scoring on the verbal part and reached 40 a couple of times.

The last 5 days before the actual date were spent taking additional tests. I scored 690 and 710 on two Kaplan tests and 750 on a Princeton Review test. I also did some general sentence correction exercises (thanks to Akanksha and GTalk for that.)

Finally, the I flew to Kolkata on August 5th and spent the night at my brothers place. I woke up early the next day and started for my test centre a couple of hours before the scheduled time of 10AM. Since the test center was not open yet, I spent the time at the Haldiram shop opposite the center drinking iced tea. When the center opened I went there and waited for the test to start, doing some Sudoku (and failing miserable at it.)

The test started after the standard photo and passport check. A novelty was the finger print scan. Anyways, sailed through the AWA essays. Took a break and started the Quant. The first question totally stumped me and I spent a good 5 minutes on it. I started off very slowly and did only about 10 questions in the first 25 mins. However, I was very careful and did well on it. The next set of questions were easier and I strolled through them and completed the section with around 7-8 mins of spare. Took a quick break and started the verbal section. First question was easy. But right next up was the RC. Damn it!! Ate up a lot of time and again I took a lot of time in the first 8-10 questions. I upped my speed after that and was able to complete the section with some time to spare. Went through the formalities then till it came to the point where I could submit or cancel. The last leg of the quant was too damn easy and for once I thought that I had screwed up and might have cancelled. However, I thought better and submitted the test. After some agonizing wait the score showed up and they were so good that I nearly fell off my seat.

Verbal – 50, Quant – 42, Total – 760. AWA (reported later) – 5.5

I think that the last week before the test was crucial and taking all those tests at the same time as the original test helped me quite a lot. First, it gave me the patience to sit down for those long hours. And second, it conditioned my brain to function effectively during that part of the day. Thanks to a lot of people – Akanksha, Misra, Bansal, Ankur, and all you great bloggers (Necromonger in particular).

So that was the GMAT Story. Now to choosing the schools and writing essays.