Tuesday, August 18

Quant - tips 1

While i am recovering from my back injury and while my prep has taken a back seat, i just wanted to share a few quant tips which might be useful. Feel free to add your own tips to these and i will also add many more as soon as i refresh new fundae and find something useful.

1. Keep a note of basics and imp formulae --eg area of a triangle can be calculated as
.5*base*altitude, or
0.5*a*b*sin(q) {product of adjacent sides and sine of INCLUDED angle}, or
{s(s-a)(s-b)(s-c)}^(1/2) where "s" is semi-perimeter. These variations can help you in DS section. Consider the following:

Calculate the area of paralellogm ABCD with diagonal AC=14 units ;
1.) AB = 10units
2.) BC = 12 units {the measurements might not be of a true paralellogm, i have just taken imaginary measurements}
here the third formula will come handy.
2. Whenever you solve an equation and get 2 values for dependent variable then ask yourself whether it is possible for the dep var to have 2 values. Consider the following ques:

Solve the problem in 2 minutes and chances are you will mark the choice C as answer, but here's the catch. Y can't be negative {see the question}, the answer should be D.

3. Don't panic -- if you are not getting the answer right even after applying the logic ...then check your logic again ... due to stress during the exam it is quite possible that you are using the formula wrongly or using the wrong logic. I faced this problem while solving a progressions problem. I was using the sum of series of AP as {a/2(2a + (n-1)d)}; whereas right formula is {n/2(2a + (n-1)d)};
4. See {actually just glance} the answer choices before you solve the problem, No need to find the answer in decimal if answer choices are in fractions. This technique will help when GMAT cleverly hides the right answer in a different form {and you will not be baffled to see a different set of answers after solving the problem}.
5. Always put down what you have to find and the units in which you have to give the answer and most importantly place a question mark in front of it. After finding the answer check whether you have found the right variable in right units or not. If question is asking about $ then don't work the problem in cents. Use the scratch paper well.

Friday, August 7

Random!! {brokeback mountain}

Don't assume anything about my sexual preferences from the topic of this post. Its just that i broke my back yeserday while playing cricket :'( ... I need to understand that i am not as agile as i was 10 years ago. Took a diving catch { Was a really good catch :) } and then walked off the field.

Heavy workload with backache will ensure that prep takes back seat now for some days. And Ms "S" is gonna kill me when she will learn that i am blogging and not resting {but how can i convince her that blogging (reading blogs of successful candidates) is a cool way to relax}

Had given GMAT club test day before yesterday. Quant is upto the mark {5 mistakes}, verbal is getting better {9 mistakes}. The GMAT club test was good, both the sections are balanced unlike Kaplan and MGMAT {with enormously tough verbal and damn hard quant respectively}.
I need to be a lot more focussed while giving the test {my attention was wavering during verbal}. Quant -- need to brush up inequalities and set thory {wasted 5 mins on a set theory question where i should have used comon sense}.

As soon as my backache goes i will get back to business. {If GMAT is anywhere near the level of GMAT club test then i should be writing GMAT in 5 weeks from now. Good news is that a new GMAT test centre has come up near my place. Earlier the closest centre was 40 miles away }

Wednesday, August 5

Business Development

Thats what i will be doing for next few weeks! Now the biggest problem is that i have to start thinking like a non-Technical person. I am trying to make a presentation wherein i can showcase the benefits of analytics and data backed decision making to the clients. A lot of times i start pouring in the technical jargon and after the review my boss asks me to go easy.

For e.g: Logistic regression and Linear regression for binary and continuous variable prediction for optimizing the marketing strategy have to be quoted as "Predicting Customer Behavior for effective use of marketing channels". I think an MBA degree will help me in such cases.

Moreover, i have to cover Insurance, Credit Crads, Mortgage and IVR domains :'(. This BD exercise is going to give me a valuable exposure and a lot of understanding of above mentioned domains. Here i go .....

Sunday, August 2

Which b-school -2 !

This is in continuation to my previous post "Which b-school?". I had 9 colleges in my mind and after exploring the websites of b-schools and talking to current students i have decided not to apply to Emory and Kelley. So, that means i have no safe school in my list. I am going to apply to 2 schools in R-1 and other 2 in R-2 next year.

Also, a further research enabled me to flag some schools as reach schools and others as stretch. I am able to shortlist 3 of my target schools but still have to shortlist the 4th. Adding to my confusion are Tuck, Cornell, INSEAD and Duke {yes, i have added one more name to my list but then the good news is that i have crossed out 3}

Below is my updated list:

1. Cornell ---> Reach --- wrote a detailed post about Cornell. confused

2. Wharton ---> dream school --> Stretch -- Applying in round-2 next year. Wharton passes the test that one of the fellow blogger had mentioned {My mom knows about this college}. Brand name: for me it can't better than this, Culture: After reading student blogs, talking to Alums and students i feel that Wharton has a culture which promotes learning. You learn, have fun, meet great people from diverse backgrounds. Grade non-disclosure policy in place {very imp for me}. Placement stats are fabulous {can you believe Mckinsey and Boston together recruited close to 100 students last year}. All in all Wharton remains my dream school.

3. Kellogg ---> Stretch ----> Everything about Kellogg is awesome. Has a tremendous Brand value, International appeal, Excellent General Management Program. Above all Kellogg is pioneer when it comes to "Team Work". {In all my posts i am cribbing about team work, collaborative culture. There is a reason behind it which i will explain in another post} Students are supportive, curriculum is what iam looking for and not to mention the great employment statistics of the school {career development services are one of the best among top b-schools}. I cannot explain all my reasons in words, after talking to students, going through website, brochure etc i had a hunch that i would fit nicely in Kellogg. Applying R-2 next year.

4. INSEAD ---> Everything is wonderful, only confusion that i have in mind is whether i want to attend a 1 yr school or not? From what i have heard {students in US b -schools}, 1 yr programs don't give as much opportunity to learn and enjoy the MBA experience as 2 yr programs give. Have to call one INSEAD student this week and will discuss this in detail with him. confused

5. TUCK ---> Stretch -- Great b-school and one of the most selective schools in US. Excellent General Management curriculum, Great Faculty (esp Strategy and Ops management), One of the most close knit community with fabulous Alum network. Alums are too supportive. Remote location (i would love to spend 2 years in Hanover), No. 1 in terms of ROI (Forbes 2007 ranking, ROI matters a lot). Tuck students enjoy good Intl mobility though Tuck is not a very popular brand outside US but i read one of their Adcom officer mentioning that Tuck is trying hard to spread its name outside USA, which is a good sign. A bit confused, whether i should apply or not?

6. EMORY ---> safe school ---> Dropped--> after to talking to current students i realized that Emory lacks a good Career development cell. Also, the recall value of brand "Goizueta" is not too great. In case one wants a global career then Emory is not a very good choice.

7. Kelley --> safe school ---> Dropped --> Too good for Marketing but nothing else to boast about.

8. Chicago Booth ---> Booth is a great college and in a previous post i had written that i might aply to Booth next year. Only issue i found with the school is its culture. After speaking to current students and after trying to contact alumni i found that people in Booth are not as helpful as in other top b-schools. I had read that Chicago alums don't share very strong bonds with the school and i could sense that during my conversation with a few of them (may be i selected the wrong set of people). While students at Darden, Kellog, INSEAD, Emory etc were enthusiastic about discussing their school {despite their hectic schedules}, Booth's students were hardly responsive. No matter how great the curriculum or career support at Booth is, i don't want to end up at a college wherein i can't fit. Dropped.

9. Darden (though its heavily tilted towards case method) -- > I am applying to Darden in R1-next year. Had a conversation with a current student (Paige) and all my inhibitions twards case method were gone. Paige's passion about Darden was infectious. The learning model and collaborative culture at Darden appealed me a lot. Moreover, after thoroughly understanding the Darden's culture, learning model and curriculum i think i will be fortunate if i get to attend this school. Career development services offered by the school are great. ROI per se school ranks 4th (Forbes 2007 rankings). And the general management curriculum is something that i am looking for. And i feel Darden is a reach school.