Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Many miles to go........


Too much of time since my last yeah. That's what struck me and I thought I'd write some updates about the stuff that is happening

1) Financial Aid/Loan - Sorted. Just a little paper-work is remaining

2) VISA - After a few anxious moments, finally got my visa

3) Job - Informed. Aruged a bit and then a bit more. Serving the notice period, training my successor. Hoping to move to my parent's house in the second week of July. Really look forward to the joblessness

4) KWEST - The bonding trip - A small issue but I think it will be sorted out

5) Housing in Evanston - Finalized a house. Sent the deposit. Waiting to sign the lease

6) Immunizations - Took everything. Have a 3" X 3" red mark on my right arm.

7) Shopping - Pending

8) Pre-term course work - Pending

9) Meeting friends and saying goodbye - Pending

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Impossible is NOTHING

Contarary to the general idea you may get when you read the title, this isn't some advertisement of Adidas.

I just wanted you all to know that I'm in at Kellogg. I got the message a couple of weeks back and I'm all set to move to Evanston this fall. This was quite a tiresome journey. The day I received my admit was full of emotions because I received my admit from Kellogg about 6hrs after I received my ding from Chicago Booth.

Those 6hrs were PURE TORTURE. Anyway, all is well that ends well. So, no more complaints.

Special thanks to my brother, who burnt midnight oil reviewing my essays, my parents, who did not complain when all I talked about was B-schools in the past 2 yrs and my friends, who are priceless.

I'll write a long post detailing my journey when I get some free time.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Is it Christmas?

A rant. Read if you want to spoil your party

I seriously doubt that it's Christmas. But for the 10 days off I have from my work, everything seems usual. I have been killing myself at the gym since the last 3 weeks because I have to compete in a regional power lifting championship in the 2nd week of January. I have been writing, feeling a bit down, deleting, feeling a bit happy and then writing again, over the past few weeks. All I think about is essays; anything I have on mind is related to b-school; what I have in my hands is a qwerty keyboard and a barbell.

As MFT once said 'why drink when you can improve yourself?', I will follow his advice. On this Christmas and New years eve I will work at improving myself, at taking a step towards achieving my goal, at doing something that I really want, at spending time on the things I really care about. These days, I find no difference between 5:00AM, when I jog 5kms in the chilly December winter and 11:00PM on a Friday night, when I'm busy editing my essays. There is a rage within, a little beast inside with a sledge hammer constantly pounding my heart. Every time I think about pulling the little b*****d out and snapping his neck, he seems to be getting bigger and stronger. He's there everywhere - in my sleep, at the newspaper stand, in my closet. I feel a connection between me and him. Sometimes, he seems to be feeding on me. Sometimes, I feel I'm feeding on him. I think about how to get rid of him, forget him or beat him to death with an axe. But I don't seem to get the courage. Then I start taking care of him, think about ways in which I can put him to some good use, and he concurs. At whatever task I put my mind to, he gives me the energy of a hurricane and the focus of a monk to move ahead. I don't feel anything upon seeing those things that disturb most of my friends. I've lost the ability to feel, to smile and to cry.

You people enjoy Christmas and New Year. It comes only once in a year!



Sorry for the abrupt ending....

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Yup, that's what is my TOEFL score. Though I was a bit anxious about the listening section, as people who sat beside me started their speaking section, the scores are OK. With this the TOEFL chapter is complete, and the books will be moved from my study table( I had kept them in case my shitty luck pops up its head)

After receiving comments from my reviewers, I changed the essay structure( not style and content)at least 8 times. Despite being so busy, 2 of my reviewers have been very kind to give me an in depth analysis of my stories. I really appreciate them.

'People, there are still good guys around in this world'. Thanks to LSMBA for his offer to review my essays, I look forward to hearing his comments.

Also, 2 things I felt while writing my Chicago essays

1) 'You will get better at essay writing with time'. I did not believe when people said this and suggested that I write the essay of my number one school last. I did not give it much thought because I had already decided what stories to write and what tone to use long before my GMAT. But, I was proved wrong. The Chicago essays are a lot sharper content wise and style wise. I had to go back and rewrite my Kellogg essays. So, the suggestion is to write the essays of safety schools first, and then start with your top-choice schools. BTW, I'm not applying to any safety schools,and I like Chicago and Kellogg both in equal measure

2) Unlike Kellogg, Chicago doesn't give a lot of room for you to write and paint your personality from different angles. So, chose what you will do with slides carefully because you cannot do much with Essay 2 and Essay 1. Think leadership skills, teamwork etc

I visited my university to collect my transcripts. So, I'm ready to submit the part I of my Kellogg application this week.

All the best to the R1 applicants for the final results. I think the following 2 weeks will be emotion laden for almost all.



Sunday, November 22, 2009

Done(?) with TOEFL

One hell of a experience it was, indeed - completely unprofessional ETS guys and a bizarre design of the test center and of the exam format

I don't know how much I'll score but the Reading and the writing part went OK. I'm banking on my 5.5 in AWA to get me through the writing section. What's crazy about this exam is that there is a host of candidates( read physiotherapist wanting to do her higher studies, guys wanting to do their MS in Germany because their consultant told them to take the exam!) sitting next to you and speaking loudly when you are trying to concentrate. Can't they provide individual cubicles or noise canceling headphones!

Funny thing was that when I had my listening section, guys next to me had their speaking sections. Here, you will be asked to speak on a variety of topics, and I was completely flabbergasted by the responses of a few candidates. Some spoke of the rigor of the French education and how it churns out the best doctors, while the others spoke of how harmful rays from CRT cannot take the print edition of newspaper out of circulation.

When it was my turn to speak, few other guys also spoke with me in unison. Only in Reading and writing did I have some peace of mind. Going by the experiences of a few guys, I was aware of such environment but was not prepared enough to handle the catastrophe. The exam was supposed to start at 10:00AM but it started at 12:00PM, a network error caused the test admin to restart my computer twice! By the time I was done with the test at 3:30PM, I was feeling so god damn hungry that the thoughts of hamburgers and pizzas were already doing rounds in my head.

The experience was a stark contrast to the GMAT's. But as they say there is something positive in every experience, here too I had one. I went to McDonald's with the physiotherapist and we exchanged numbers.

I'm at the mercy of ETS till they send me some good scores in 15 working days.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

TOEFL - T-3 days

I did my first practice test in the OG yesterday. First 2 sections back to back and the next 2 after the gym break

For those of you who have their exams in near future, here's a run down of the exam

There are 4 sections. You can score a max of 30points in each section (TOEFL iBT is for 120points)

1) Reading - Takes about an hour to complete. Will have around 45 questions with very long passages. The GMAT strategy will not work here - you don't have to understand the passage, you just have to look at the portion where you can find the answer. So, the prudent thing to do is read the question first.

2) Listening - Takes again around 50 minutes. Will be a bit unsettling if you don't pay attention.The trick here is 'memory'. Few questions, but not all, are based on memory. So, note taking while listening is very important. Other than this, there's nothing which is worth mentioning


3) Speaking - A Sucker of a section despite being the shortest( 20mins only). There are some 6 tasks which more or less require 60 secs of speaking after 15secs of preparation. These taks are basically a combination of (Listening, Reading, Reading+ listening)and speaking, which is your talk. In other words, you'll hear some lecture or a conversation for 1 min and you'll be asked to speak something. The craziest thing is the response time. 15 secs is not sufficient for me even to begin thinking about a topic forget about coming up with points.

Since there is no option to guage your own 'talk', the best option is to record your voice in the voice recorder which comes with Windows and compare it with the sample 'high level', 'medium level' and 'low level' responses provided in the OG. And I hear that people who have been expecting 30 have got some of the lowest of scores and people who thought they did poorly got above 25. So, the idea is to prepare for the worst and well hope for, you guessed it right!

4) Writing - If you manage to maintain your sanity by the end of 3rd hour, you'll be asked to write 2 essays of about 1/2hr each. One section is similar to the Issue topic of GMAT, while the other, in which you have to reconcile the points mentioned in a lecture and a reading passage, requires a bit of preparation.

By the time you are finished with the exam you'll not know how you did on the exam. You'll either be very happy that you 'nailed it' or be devastated that you 'screwed up'. You'll have to stay put with this feeling for 3 weeks until someone from ETS grades your responses and sends you the score report. Then you'll know whether the 'nail' did the job or the screw's threads were rough

Monday, November 16, 2009

Chief Marketing Officer - CMO?

You can find how the future heads of marketing of FMCG companies will be here. This was presented in the Kellogg Marketing competition held on 13th Nov 2009. Apparently the guy who is singing, wrote the lyrics and edited the video himself.

Thanks to Gil for posting the link. As mentioned in the comments in youtube, I seriously pity the competitors. Man, I now know why Kellogg is the number 1 school for marketing

T-5 days for my TOEFL. I better get back to studying