Saturday, September 18

Stacy Blackman helps in designing the b-school strategy...

I have been fortunate enough to get hold of "DESIGNING YOUR BUSINESS SCHOOL BRAND" by Stacy. The book talks about various parameters that one should take into consideration while formulating the application strategy. It starts by explaining the important aspects of branding yourself, moves on to help you plan your branding strategy and ultimately touches upon the topic of communicating your strategy to the ad-coms.

The book has just 28 pages and i believe is a good resource for applicants who have started late. The book will help an applicant to understand his/her own strengths and accordingly create a portfolio of schools based upon the risk apetite. The book explores the characterstics of decision making body {ad-com}, and the nuances of app process, helping the applicant to create an effective sales pitch.

Then there is a brag sheet, an exercise that will come handy while working on various type of essays {basically helping you to answer the WHAT part}. Once you have listed all your accomplishments {small or big/ personal or professional} you need to articulate them in an interesting manner..and here Stacy suggests the STAR approach {Once the plot is freezed STAR approach will help you in building the narrative}..Lastly, the book will help applicants to answer "Why" and "How" parts of the app...

Having read Richard Montauk's bestseller {How to Get Into the Top MBA Programs } and scott shrum's "Your MBA game plan", i couldn't help but compare Stacy's product to these 2 books. Montauk's book is as detailed as it can talks about positioning, effectively communicating your story etc etc in utmost details and to add to it the book has many sample essays...The problems that i see with Montauk's book are:

1. it is too detailed..gets boring at times...and after reading sample essays you might be tempted to think along those the way losing your own unique brand ... {reading sample essays is good but getting too influenced by them is bad..}
2. if you are starting late then Montauk is not for you...reading hundreds of pages and understanding them will take time...
3. reading some out of the world essays and recos might deter your spirit...the sample essays included belong to some of the Godly candidates...and i am not one of them....{these sample essays might create a self some of the applicants}

The MBA game plan --

1. talks at 20, 000 ft level...
2. good to read when you are contemplating whether to go for an MBA or not...

Stacy's book
1. Short, crisp
2. has good exercises to help you create an app strategy
3. downside is the USD 29+ i think price is a bit on higher side..but then you are going to spend 140k USD on 29 USD is peanuts..

p.s: the views expressed above are entirely mine..

Thursday, September 16

Life comes a full circle!!


"It's 10 in the morning and you are lazing around.."

"Dad..i don't have much to do..i have given the board exams and now let me have fun for some days.."

" have fun ... i am leaving for office...will play poker with you in the evening!!"

"Bye dad!!"



"Dad, it's 10 in the morning and you are still reading the newspaper.."

"I am a retired person now...let me have fun .."

" have fun ... i am leaving for office...will play poker with you in the evening!!"

"sure..i will wait for you ... bye !!"

"bye dad"

Life has indeed come a full circle...

Thursday, September 9

Colloquial Language in essays!! Is it fine??

Today while taking a call with one of the clients i came up with a revolutionary idea about writing the essays. But my concern - "Is it fine to be totally myself in the essay??" For example -- i love to use smileys ... !!! marks...and colloquial language...i know that too much of colloquial language can write me off...but if i pour my heart out in 1 of the 4 essays, then is it fine?? I re-wrote one of the essay for a school....and got some great compliments from my friends...The new approach made the essay really humorous and fun to read...but the compliments came with a statutory warning -- KT -- you will be taking a big risk by submitting this can make or break your case...

I want to ask fellow bloggers/consultants/students/ {and adcoms - if u have the time to read this blog :)} ... can i be myself in one of the essays??

PS: I am feeling really great about this essay....i think i wrote my previous drafts under the influence of the matter that i have read/heard .... is it fine to be original??

Wednesday, September 8

Leadership Essay - Kellogg + Kaneisha Grayson

I had no plans of writing any blog post but yesterday i re-worked on Kellogg essay 2 that wants the applicants to share their key leadership experiences. This is one of the most challenging essays i have faced till now. with 600 words at hand how to share key leadership experiences and then also share the leadership areas that one hopes to develop while pursuing the MBA.

I shared my draft with Kaneisha of theartofapplying. Actually she offered to proof read my essay and help me with it...Must say that despite of being busy with her clientele she helped me in real quick time. Kaneisha not only pointed at the exact shortcomings of my essay but also suggested ways to improve upon it. The idea was right there on paper but i wasn't able to put it down concisely and effectively...Kaneisha's comments helped me in doing so...Now my essay looks a lot better...Thanks Kaneisha for your wonderful support!!! And very soon i would like to have a detailed discussion with her around the app process and how she can help the applicants who started late...{believe me i am not being paid anything to write this :) ... but i wish i were paid a few dollars ;) }...

Now coming back to order to tackle this question..don't simply focus on "WHAT"...its redundant to tell the ad-com what you did...because in one way or the other your resume/data sheet or reco will convey the ehat part,,...

Answer the whys/hows in as much depth as possible and with vivid example...whyswill help the ad-com in understanding your passions...and hows will help the ad-com in understanding your personality..+ what traits you developed in the process and what is it that you bring to the table...

lets take an example...I lead my undergrad soccer team to a victory in inter college soccer tournament. We won the cup and $10, 000 in cash..our feat was highlighted by local papers and channels alike..i was nominated the man of the match ... i scored 4 goals in final and 12 in the tournament...Do you think this is going to help??

During the final year of my undergrad dgree i was given the responsibility to lead the college soccer team. With most of the senior players already out of college i was facing the challenge to construct the team and motivate the players to perform well in inter college tourna....i analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of our team and realized that our defense suffered a major blow as the seniors {who were playing in defense positions} moved out...i changed my position from a centre forward to central mid support the weakend defense..revised our strategy...instead of playin 4-4-3, i used 2-3-5...bla bla...obviously u want to convey the challenge and your approach in a concise manner..not like me...finally i asked my team to give their best..i told them that if u guys can pull it off you will be hot properties in college with lots of girls going ga ga over you...{i used the right carrot to motivate the team..;)} ...

Also, as i did last year...i checked the GMAT distrib of incoming class at Kellogg and here is the analysis

Gmat Score (UP TO 640)    (650 - 690)     (700 - 740)    (750-800)

Enrolled Students 12% {71}  23% {135}     48% {282}  16% {100}

Total Applicants    6% {316}  20% {1054}   52% {2740} 23% {1212}

Acceptance Rate        22.47%      12.81%        10.29%       8.25%

Interesting trend..and i kept on fretting about GMAT score

Monday, September 6

K-1 Submitted

Long time since i wrote a post on this blog!!! illness turned out to be a bad throat infection and that eventually led to a high fever. Bleeding throat + Fever + 5 Sick leaves {am still not fully fine..100F..and weakness..bleeding has stopped}...didn't had much to do .. prepared a one page resume...and i think this one will come handy for all my apps...

am really getting scared now...not much time leaving the town on Sep-19...and will come back on sep-29...Kellogg app is sealed..ll make few cosmetic changes before submitting can i submit those essays...i have to work on essay4 - one more time...

Booth and Fuqua -- status quo -- no work done...for both these schools essay 1 and 2 are done...3rd essay needs to be worked upon....and i plan to do so in next 2 weeks...

Fourth school -- Wharton/Tuck/Ross -- oh my god...i love all 3 of them...but i am not sure to which i wud be applying this time....or maybe i will push 2 of these schools to second only 3 schools in r1...

And finally i submitted my Kellogg part 1 and again checked all the info...paid $250 using my c card...and as soon as i hit the pay button i felt i didn't answer some ques...last minute psyche up...had checked the part 1 on pdf format {Kellogg allows you to check whole of ur r1 app before submitting...}but still wanted to feel the times i hate myself for pushing hard against the deadlines.. {part 1 deadline is sep24}...

Will share some resume crafting tips soon,...worked hard on my resume for the first time in my life...and  people liked the final few compliments such as -- the resume shows u re a 'leader', 'driven', 'passionate', 'result oriented guy' ..woha....i am loving it....wish ad-com feels the same...

plan to submit part 2 once i am back from my trip...ll try and share the progress....until then.....Bbyeee.