Dreaming of Picasso

Friday, March 31, 2006

Rejection and more

The Stanford ding arrived yesterday. I actually realized that the results were released as I took a quick peek into mbajackass' blog. I was expecting this ding but I did feel a tad bit bad.

I do have better news. Haas has been showing some love as I mentioned in my previous post. Dean Tom Campbell will be attending the April 4th reception. I had a very nice conversation with the second year student from Haas. He explained how he has been accelerating the MBA program so that it can be completed in 2.5 years. We shared some other interesting information. I think it was nice of Haas to connect existing students with new students. I will be sending in my deposit for Haas next week. Making this choice was not hard as I really liked Haas. I am now waiting for the reception on April 4th 2006.

I am still working on how to complete the statistics requirement. There is a UC Berkeley extension course that will take care of this requirement. However, I am trying to register for some classes in the community college. It is definitely cheaper than attending UC Berkeley extension, however if I don't manage to get the class, I will enroll in the UC Berkeley extension class. I also thought about taking the statistics waiver exam in May but I have enough stress at work, and I do not want to add the passing of the statistics waiver exam to that list.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Back from Vacation

Wow, I really needed this vacation. I feel rejuvenate and ready to go. I went to work briefly and found that a second year Haas student has left a voicemail with his contact information. I think it was very nice for Haas to show some "Love" for the admitted students. I also joined the yahoo-group set up for the admitted students. The most important thing that I have to figure out is how to work the statistics prerequisite. I can only do these classes after work and currently there are some schedule kinks.

I have also been drafting my "Decline letter for Duke". I was supposed to tell them about my decision earlier this month but they gave me more time. It is sort of hard to write the decline letter because it was not that long ago that I was trying to convince them how happy I would be to attend Duke. How paradoxical is it now to say - "I liked you but not that much". That being said, I waiting for the Stanford ding tomorrow and may be I will just reword the ding letter.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Off to Mendoza

I am writing this post from the Retiro bus station, Buenos Aires, where I patiently wait from my bus to Mendoza. Mendoza is the Napa Valley of Argentina. March is the season for the grape harvest festival so there are lots of activities centered around wine.

Punta was fabulous. I thouroughly enjoyed it. I unfortunately did not have enough energy to catch the nightlife action in Uruguay. Everything starts hapennning after midnight, and after all the sightseeing I am completely spent by 11:00 pm. Ah well, that will have to be in another trip.

In Mendoza, I am planning to visit some of the bodegas and do a drive up the andes. The couch potato in me says - "No Hiking, just seeing and drinking"


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

With Love, From Montevideo

I have been doing things at a break neck speed. Last night, I was in Argentina. Tonight, I am in Uruguay. I took a ferry from Buenos Aires to Colonia , and then a bus from Colonia to Montevideo.

I personally feel that I have been able to do so many things in this trip only because I took time to plan the trip out. Literally, I mean, I have a spreadsheet that outlines not only the places but also the sights that I want to see. I also build in a buffer of 2-3 hours to allow me to change the schedule if needed. So far it has worked out well and I am waiting for more excitement.

I have been trying to make the most of my time on this vacation, simply because I know that once I get started with the MBA, I just will not have time to travel like this. Part-time MBAs make it hard to juggle work, studies and leisure.

So far things are going great. I am keeping my fingers crossed. Tomorrow, I am off to Punta Del Este in the Uruguyan Riviera for some beach time.

Monday, March 20, 2006

MBAs everywhere

I am in Buenos Aires and waiting in line to get tickets for an opera(La Boheme) at Teatro Colon. It is a long line so I start talking to folks standing in the line. I soon discover that the group of people in front of me are from University of Maryland and are pursuing their MBA. They are visiting Buenos Aires as a part of a study trip. Later in the day, I run into them during dinner.

Are MBA┬┤s everywhere because this is really really wild....

Friday, March 17, 2006

Part Time Options

When I first started looking for part time MBA programs in the bay area, I kept hearing from people that the bay area doesn't have any options. After I researched, I came across two types of programs

-Commute and Study
Wharton West
Haas, UC Berkeley
Tepper, Carnegie Mellon
UC Davis
Leavey, Santa Clara
There are other "local" programs like San Jose State etc but I really did not go after them.

- Fly and Study
Chicago GSB
Anderson, UCLA
Fuqua, Duke

The reason for writing this post is that I keep hearing that there are no good options in the bay area. In my opinion, if going to top 20 program is a must for someone then it may be worthwhile to consider programs like Chicago GSB. Personally, I was very impressed with the overall content of the Haas program and it aligned very well with my goals. I was also not sure that I wanted to do all the flying. Although, one could easily argue that flying from San Jose to LA may consume almost the same as commuting almost 100 miles in rush hour twice a week.

In my opinion, there are a good number of options considering that one can get a quality education and still have the pleasure of living in the bay area.

Since, I will be off to South America, this blog might not get updated regularly. That being said, after a wonderful vacation, I will come back to the Stanford ding (I have already accepted my fate with Stanford). I am all excited about my vacation and I have to get back to my packing now...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

What If..

The excitement of the "double whammy" on Monday is still sinking in. I received the formal acceptance letter from Haas and the status online has changed. I will be attending the welcome reception on April 4th 2006. I have sent my confirmation, and most likely I will drag my partner in. I have also filled out the paperwork to enroll in the local community college to complete the statistics requirement.

All this is great, but all through the months after application, I was trying to prepare my "What if" options. The top one on that list was - what if I get waitlisted. My plan of action for this scenario was
  • Contact some of the Alumni and get them to write an additional endorsement. I managed to get into the good books with alumni of all the schools I applied except Stanford
  • Visit classes and the campus again ( with the hopes of running into someone from adcom )
  • Contact some of the current students and ask them to put in a good word for me. During the previous information sessions, I had made friends with some of the current students - great folks who were very supportive during my application
  • Write about the increased responsibilities at work
  • Write about some of the extra curricular activities that I had not highlighted before

The clear admit folks also had some great articles on handling waitlists. I truly wish the best of luck to all the Haas applicants in round one.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Haas Loves Me

I have these scores of meetings almost every afternoon. After having a healthy does of arguments over project schedules, I returned back to my desk to see my voicemail light flashing. As I picked my voicemail, I thought that it might be the a message from the Haas adcom but then I reminded myself that I have been getting several recruiter calls and I tried hard not to get my hopes too high.

The voicemail was from Beth Hoch, Haas admissions Committee. She said that she has some exciting news about my application and that I should call back. Very soon, I was speaking to her and I was given the good news - You have been "recommended" for admission. She quickly explained that "recommended" translates to an actual admission decision and I should not worry about this when I receive the actual paperwork. I was also invited to the April 4th admitted student reception.

This turned out to be great day. I would like to extend a special Thank You to all the readers of this blog and my fellow bloggers for your immense support.

Sweet and Sour

I got an email titled" Exciting news from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon". My first thought was - what an awful time to send MBA Spam. Nevertheless, I opened the email that read -
"Hello from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon! I am writing with exciting news for you regarding your application to the MBA Program. To learn more, select the link below (or paste the link into your browser). The link will open a brief flash application. Once the application has ended, please click on the buttons for additional information."

This means that I have been admitted to Tepper.

Haas has started calling up people (as per Businessweek forums) to communicate the positive admission decision. I am keeping my fingers crossed and trying to be positive.

Phone - please ring with area code 510..

Friday, March 10, 2006

One Year Back...

Doing an MBA was lodged somewhere in the back of my mind. A year since, I am anxiously waiting for my Haas and Tepper decisions. The past year has taught me a lot of things about myself because of the introspective nature of the essays. The other great thing that has happened is that I was forced to inventory my accomplishments. While I knew my accomplishments, seeing them written down gave a shot of confidence that in my opinion, has translated very positively into my work. I have become better at "showing-off" my accomplishments at work by better relating them to the overall business strategy.

While I have spent countless evenings and weekends studying for the GMAT, writing-rewriting essays, I do feel that my writing skills have improved. I have had the chance to meet some very exciting and accomplished people - fellow bloggers, applicants, and current students. The process has had it's share of ups and downs, but at the end of the day - I have a better understanding of myself and my goals.

PS: I am still quite nervous about the upcoming decisions.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Hail Sudoku

I keep reading how bloggers have made peace with the process and how zen they are being about this whole decision process - Ladies and Gentlemen - I am _not_ in a zen state. Since actions like incessant checking of the Haas message board, and businessweek forums are deemed as addictive behaviors, I am trying to replace this addiction by solving the good old sudoku puzzles. In other words

Over the weekend, I got myself one of the sudoku books by will shortz . I am not a big puzzle solver but I have to say that I am totally hooked. I have managed to go through about 15 of them so far. Since I have progressed to the more difficult puzzles, they are taking more time to solve and I hope that this book will last me through next week.

On a related note, I read on the businessweek forums that the Haas adcoms do start calling admitted applicants 1-2 days before the 15th of March. This means that now I can add phone gazing to my list of obsessive behaviors.

Monday, March 06, 2006

The killing wait

My mind has been going full throttle on the obsession freeway after reading a post on the Haas moderated message board. All I have been able to think over the past weekend are the upcoming decisions for Haas and Tepper. Suddenly, my mind is racing with all possibilities - one of them being, what happens if I get waitlisted? I have been told that unless you are an absolute shoe in, Haas loves to put round one applicants in the waitlist purgatory because the volume of round two applications is almost double the number of round one applications. For me, this situation is as good as a ding because I have to send the admission deposit for Duke by the end of next week.

I almost envy my fellow blogger mbajackass' relaxed attitude about this decision wait. Although, I would probably choose Duke over Tepper, I still really want to get a positive admission decision. I really don't know why- may be it is because I have put in the effort to get the application, and the interview, and now I just want to see the magic words in the ApplyYourself system. I was told that Tepper just sends an email update stating that the admission status has changed.

I can almost predict that the next 10 days will be full of obsessive compulsive behavior.

Friday, March 03, 2006

MBA Buzzed

This week, I received some very kind words from the good folks at MBA Buzz . They have been extremely kind to feature my blog this week and I truly wish them best of luck. Sites like MBA Buzz and Admissions 411 have cropped up to allow prospective MBA candidates to get a jump start into all sorts of analysis - like how many Stanford interviews are yet to be sent out.

As I mentioned in an earlier post - the businessweek forums are the cornucopia of hope. Sites like MBA Buzz try to provide some factual data into the obsession most MBA applicants go through as we "patiently" wait to hear from the adcom gods. I liked their plotter functionality as I am a picture person. Over the years though, some very interesting trends can be deduced from the data being collected at sites like MBA Buzz. I wish MBA Buzz the best of luck for continued success.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Power Struggles

Things have been going really hectic at work - lots of business planning related issues are being dealt with and an interesting side effect of this is that there is big power struggle. Unfortunately I am in the middle of this and at the end of all of this, there is a good likelihood that I will be the fall guy. Handling power struggles is not my forte. I often think that my biggest learning experience during the MBA will be my ability to apply the classroom education directly into situations like these.

That being said I again counted the days to the decision
Tepper - 12 days left
Haas - 14 days left

I am keeping my fingers crossed ...