Saturday, May 29

TOEFL Waiver Mails

Sent the TOEFL waiver request mails to my target schools today. Even if one of the schools plays spoil-sport i will have to take TOEFL. I have decided that i must get TOEFL and all other nitty gritties out of my way before July-31-2010. Once essays are published i simply want to focus on putting down my story.

Will approach my under-graduate institution next week to get the transcripts done. Or can we simply send across photocopies of under-graduate degree? If transcripts can wait till admit then i will also wait ;)

Any suggestions??

Wednesday, May 26

Kites - Movie review

Watched Kites with Miss S this morning. Miss S was disappointed with the movie and i somehow liked it.

the Plot -- 2/5 {Could have been a lot better}

The movie is the story of J {Played by Hrithik} and Linda {barbara mori}. J and Linda both want to get rich. While J is a dance teacher in Vegas, Linda is an illegal immigrant from Mexico. J's student Jeena {Played by Kangana} falls in love with him. Jeena's dad is owner of one of the biggest casinos in Vegas and has police, senators etc. in his pocket. J senses an opportunity to get rich by marrying Jeena, whom he hardly loves.

J also marries illegal immigrants for money in order to get them green cards. J also marries Linda for money, while J speaks English or Hindi, Linda speaks Spanish. How they fall in love is still a mystery.

J finds Jeena and Linda finds Jeena's brother Tony to get rid of poverty {quite a co-incidence}. Now J suddenly realizes that he loves Linda and Linda reciprocates his feelings. Before Linda and Tony's marriage J asks Linda to finalize their divorce before she can start a new life. Linda accepts his proposal and they spend a romance filled night together, champagne, kissing, rain dance. Both admit to each other that it would have been great if they had married for real.

J drops Linda home and while he was saying good bye, Tony comes in. Rest of the story revolves around how J and Linda run to save their lives. This part is comic, thrilling and romantic at the same time. I won't reveal the end here for it is not a typical bollywood film ;).

Plot could have been a lot better. Aesthetically - movie is good, music and back-ground music is fine {3/5}.

Performances ---

Barbara Mori -- Delight -- looking good, great acting -- 4/5
Hrithik - dancing star, awesome physique, good acting but somehow its not effortless - 3/5
Others -- they don't have much but rest of the cast works fine -- 3/5

Overall -- its a good one time watch -- if you can digest the first 30 minutes of movie, you will like the movie.

3/5 - for me.

Monday, May 24

Fuqua Announces essays for fall 2011 Entry

Fuqua has announced its essays for the fall 2011 entry. There are only 3 required questions { i guess till last year fuqua had 1 long and 3 short essays}.

The essays are usual b-school essays, asking for why MBA, why Duke and why you. Applicants must respind within 2 pages with a minimum 10 point font, meaning one has about 850 words to frame the answers.


New Essays for Fall 2011 Entry

Three essay questions must be completed before submitting your application. Prepare your essays carefully. The Admissions Committee considers your responses to the following questions important in the selection process. Please respond fully and concisely using 1.5 line spacing. Your response to each question should be no more than 2 pages in length, with a font size no less than 10-point.

Candidates who applied to The Duke MBA between September 2009 and April 2010 are considered re-applicants. All re-applicants are required to complete the Re-applicant Essay in addition to the Applicant Essays.

All applicants have the opportunity to submit an optional essay to explain any extenuating circumstances of which the Admissions Committee should be aware.

Applicant Essays : Answer all 3 essay questions.

Today, companies must navigate through complex and interdependent issues. They must deal with health and security matters, environmental impact questions, and diversity and cultural concerns. Leaders need adaptability, imagination, emotional intelligence, and business acumen. Thus, Duke is in the midst of an ambitious global venture that will embed and connect us around the world, and we are seeking future leaders of consequence, who value diversity and collaborative leadership, and who aspire to impact the companies and communities of which they are a part in a lasting and positive way.

In an effort to identify, engage, and foster the development of future leaders of consequence, the Admissions Committee would like to get to know our applicants in a more holistic manner. We would like to know who you are, what has shaped you into the person you are today, and how you hope to impact both Duke and the communities of which you will be a part in the future. The essays are your opportunity to convey that to us. Please be open, genuine, and passionate. Share with us what makes you a dynamic, multi-dimensional person.

1. Describe your vision for your career and your inspiration for pursuing this career path.

2. How will your background, values, and non-work activities enhance the experience of other Duke MBA students and add value to Fuqua's diverse culture?

3. Why Duke? (If you are interested in a specific concentration, joint degree, clubs or activities, please discuss how you would contribute to these in this essay.)

Optional Essay (not required)

If you feel there are extenuating circumstances of which the Admissions Committee should be aware, please explain them here (e.g., unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, significant weakness in your application).

Re-applicant Essay

All re-applicants are required to complete the Re-applicant Essay. Please limit your response to two pages. Write an essay describing how you are now a stronger candidate for admission compared to the application you submitted the previous year.

Friday, May 21


Just finished working on essays {from previous year} of one of my target schools. Must say that writing Essays is the most difficult, most interesting and most important part of the application. It took me 5-6 iterations for each essay before my story started making SOME {I think 15-20%}sense. Introspection, positioning and knowledge of target school play a huge role in crafting a winning application.

I now need to read all the essays together to get a holistic picture of my positioning effort. This is important -- don't just focus on a single essay. Start by keeping your overall story in mind. Put down everything, small or big that you have achieved in your life. Now based upon the essay segregate stories, as to which story would be used in which essay. Try to link up all the essays to one common theme but reveal different facet of your personality every time. Make sure that your passion and motivation should reflect in essays.

Would enjoy my friday night and from tomorrow back to work ... hope that by next 8-10 days i will have a set of essays that i would be able to share with one of my friend to get some feedback..Also need to explore the school in much more detail I felt that i need to know a lot more about my target schools before i even think of applying to them....

don't know how much sense this post would have made...but just wanted to share some thoughts :)

p.s: I have started thinking about safety schools :'( ... thats a bad sign for sure... hope that by october this thought fades away ..else ..

Saturday, May 15

Paintings for sale !!

I am uploading 3 paintings by Miss S, they are up for sale. In case you are interested please revert on braveheart4mba(@) I will share the price and delivery details.

Thursday, May 13

Career progress and future goals essay

Briefly assess your career progress to date. Elaborate on your future career plans and your motivation for pursuing an MBA. (600 Words)

I was really aghast with myself as i saw the draft of my answer to the question above. I elaborated my career and never assessed the same. And i briefly touched upon the idea as to why i need an MBA. Needless to say, i used 1200 words to shape up my response.

If i want to submit winning essays i really need to understand the question before i started vomiting my useless answers on word pad. The ad-com commitee wants to understand how i have fared in my career till now and what are the various skills that i have acquired and honed. Also, they want to get a flavor of the impact of my work and most importantly want to understand the motivation behind my career moves. Elaboration of my career goals would point towards the skills that i need to acquire.
Wish i had given a lot more time to understanding the question and framing up the answer than just scribbling my thoughts down.

Plan to work on this essay during this weekend and hopefully trim it down to 700 words before finally taking it to 600 word limit.

lots of work!!!!

Friday, May 7

Clear Admit Career Guides - Review

Disclaimer: The views expressed below are my personal opinion and in no way related to clear admit or any other company.

I recently bought Clear Admit Career guide for Marketing. I am really sad to say that the publication disappointed me. Rather than a true career guide the pdf serves as a handbook for comparing Marketing curriculum of various US b-schools {that too is not a detailed comparison}.

The guide speaks about the career in Marketing only for 1 page. Yes you read it correctly, its "1 page". And this description is also limited to "Brand Management or Product development" paths in Marketing.

The publication could have been a lot better had it served the following purposes:

1. Provided clear cut distinction between a Marketing career in CPG industy and a Marketing Career in non-CPG industries {such as Financial services}
2. The guide could have explained the career progression in Marketing industry and could have explained the roles and responsibilities of Marketers at various stages of their careers
3. Also, the guide fails to describe in detail the skill-set that is required to kick start a career in Marketing,

Good points:

1. Gives you a good flavour of Marketing curriculum at various schools -- though you will have to explore the website and other resources to get the whole story

in short, for $40 the clear admit guide for Marketing is not a value for money buy...if i have to rate this guide on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the highest:

My verdict: 1.5/5

Thursday, May 6

Pleasing a school viz a viz Pleasing a girl

Strange title for the post huh!! :) Well i was pondering over the question "Why xx b-school?". Like an average applicant i began listing down few stupid ideas such as: 1. XX has a phenomenol brand name 2. XX has great faculty,  3. I will learn yy at XX school

Pathetic effort isn't it? Now consider a situation where a guy sees a super hot girl and wants to woo her.

Thousands of guys would love to hang out with a beautiful chic, like thousands of applicants want to get into a reputed b-school. So, be it a beautiful girl or a reputed school - both have a problem of plenty. Now, if a guy makes a strong case and tells a girl why he has fallen for her {Why XX B-school?}, what will he do for her {How will you contribute to the school?} and How will she fulfill his dreams {How will the school help you in achieving your goal} there is a chance that girl would give the guy a chance.

Also, Guys fall in love with what they see {How often we fall in love with a school that has a superb brand equity ;) } and Girls fall in love with what they hear {Schools love applicants who express themselves well -- ESSAYS ARE V-IMP}

We have seen one approach above to woo a girl. Now consider this:

Guy: Hi Gorgeous!! I just wanted to tell you that i often dreamt of an angel whose eyes had innocense and sensuality, whose cheeks were crafted out of rose petals and whose lips were like strawberries. An angel whom god crafted out of marble and whom god coated with honey. You are the one whose smile is more beautiful than the rainbow. I can spend rest of my life watching you smile. When i saw you first i couldn't believe that someone could be so beautiful. {This was why XX school and how it fits in your scheme of things?}

You are the one for whom i would die a thousand times, if you would say i would get the most precious jewels for you, i would keep you like a prized possesion. I would kiss your lips and play with your sensual hair. I would peep into your hypnotising eyes for hours, i would really love to make love to you. {What would you do for the school?}

Half the battle is won if you market yourself well. School might call you for a date {read interview}

While addressing "Why XX school?" question don't just mention how good a school is. Ad-com already knows that, that's not unique ... Tell the ad-com exactly what are your scheme of things and how you found the school fitting in...all the courses, faculty, clubs, alum network, placements, student projects, guest speakers etc. anything and everything that you can think of -- and those things that add an extra punch to the story. Now, don't just stop here, express what would you do for the school once accepted. Most of the top b-schools are student run organizations and schools are looking for students who will pro-actively contribute to the activities of school....

More later...

Wednesday, May 5

Best advice for GMAT preparation

Clear Admit BoB results are out!!!

Congrats Dramchaser{DC} and Orlando for winning the best applicant and best student category awards respectively. DC is headed to Kellogg and Orlando is studying in Kellogg!!! Actually Kellogg students have swept the awards :)

And this very blog was voted the "Best Advice for GMAT preparation". I feel honored and would like to thank Clear Admit and Fellow bloggers.

The results can be found here .

Worked on my resume yesterday. Still looks pathetic and needs a lot of work. But as compared to my previous resume the new version looks impressive :). Will share some tips for crafting Resume...And any suggestions from fellow bloggers are welcome !!!!!

Saturday, May 1

10k hits

Finally my blog recorded 10k hits. Thanks to all the readers.

As expected max. no. of hits are from USA..followed closely by India. One interesting trend that i noticed -- Normally Indian hits are almost half of US hits on other blogs. But in my case they are almost 80% of US hits.

Is it because Indians love my blog or people in USA hate it?? I would like to believe the former :).

On Apps front haven't made much progress for last 2 weeks. Only good thing was that i disclosed my MBA plans to one of my recommendors. She is my client and was very pleased to hear my decision to go for an MBA. Now i need to intimate my 2nd recommendor -- my current supervisor. I have been working with him for past 3 years now. He knows my strengths and weaknesses, he is the one who has seen me grow professionally. I think he won't mind writing a reco for me but then you never know!!!

My back pain has returned with a bang and has not allowed me to read or write much. Ortho department failed to heal my injury and now i am under the supervision of Neuro department.

More later...ciao