Sunday, September 04, 2005

I have not written much about the application process - which is a tough one since it is a process where you must relegate control of your "destiny" to a 3rd party. However, if you take a look at life circumstances, there is only so much you will be able to control, and that's ok.

I have been asked several times about this application process. It may be worth a post.

There are excellent blogs on how to write application essays or prepare yourself for business school. My number one recommendation is to plan ahead and take the time. Talking about oneself is difficult. Talking aobut oneself in a meaningful way requires more introspection, and most of it just comes with time, and maturity of reflection, not necessarily an active effort.

- people who will read your essays may read them at 2am. Make it clear and easy for them to understand. Tell them what you are going to say early, then tell them in more detail, then conclude by reminding them of what you were going to tell them :)
- try to find something "remarkable", including how you present stuff. Originality is likely to be remembered. Doesn't have to be in what you did but in how you present it. More importantly than this, be yourself. It is remarkably easy to spot something that doesn't ring true.
- don't just make statement, prove everything you say. For instance, if you say: "I care about others", show an example of this being true. otherwise, find something else that you will be more representative of who you are, what you care about, care enough to dedicate significant time and resource to it.
- take the time to write your essays, let them mature. Chances are your first draft will be very descriptive, let the story sink in, stop thinking about it consciously, then revisit later
- the challenge in this process is to get to know people with very little. Every detail counts. Make sure every word you add adds something to your story.
- don't try to assume anything else about the other applicants other than the fact that they will be of extremely high quality. you won't know them, so don't position yourself "competitively". Diversity is important in business school. Concentrate on your story, think about what it is you want to convey, make it real and clear.
- don't make suggestive statements such as: it is clear that I am the most qualified candidate because. state facts, talk about state of minds, talk about your path, how you matured, what you learned, how you learned, what you are passionate about. Talk about everything that makes who you are, let them decide.
- always remember the objective of the admission committee: they need to make a decision about you in their program. Write only about what will help them with this decision. What matters? your motivation, your likelihood to accept an offer they may extend (e.g. why their program in particular), your ability to follow the curriculum, your active participation to the program, what will you bring to the school (during your MBA and thereafter) and to your fellow participants, etc...
- It is true that past behavior isn't necessarily a good predictor of future behavior. However, in a lot of cases, that's what you will have at your disposal to help the Admission Committee find out more about you

I will write more if I can think of something else

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I have received a few timid enquiries - yes I am still alive and happy to take questions! You can just email me!

Friday, February 18, 2005

It's been a while since my last post...

I am on a business trip. I went running the other day. Chose the biggest city park, conveniently located a few blocks away from my hotel. Left at 6.30am, half awake. I was planning on doing a 5 mile/45min loop, full of fresh morning intentions - and I paced myself for this dynamic morning re-adaptation to life.

I got totally lost. I did two or three loops inside the park, at a very professional looking pace, waiving at the patrols along the way, greeting dog strollers and admiring these weird flashy orange gates that have mushroomed everywhere. Found a cute icy lake and some Star Trek decor looking rocky hills before finally ending up on the North side of the park, when I was really looking to go back to the southWest entrance. I was also some 70 streets north of my origin. I ran a quick market analysis in the back of my brain (and old reflex acquired in business school, seems to run constantly as a background job now) and concluded: not good.

I tried to zig zag back through the park, ran all around some large reservoir only to find myself on the exact opposite side again from where I really wanted to go. I was facing East and wanted to go West. this stupid sun chose not to show up, so i didn't know which way West was. I tried many paths and bridges, got chased by a tiny dog who could run surprisingly fast given the size of his legs (maybe I was surprisingly slow given the size of mine) - stopped for half a second to ask for directions. I spotted a lady who was walking dogs from an entire neighborhood - managed to hear her say "you must exit the park" in the midst of barking and roaring and finally, picked a direction and started to look for an exit sign. I had long stopped trusting the twists and turns inside this evil park.

I ran all the way back ALONGSIDE the park, on the west side, until I found my point of origin. I was another mile or so away from my hotel, which I covered at supersonic speed as I was getting horribly late for my first meeting.

Bottom line, I ran between 10 to 12 miles, and was out for 1 hr and 40 min.

Since then I have mutated into a snail.

But really the reason for my posting something is simply because I did promise some late perspective on this blog - and I have not forgotten my promise. I will get organized around day