Saturday, February 02, 2008

Some gyan for a change

Feels great to wake up in the morning and read a good news in the mail. Finally an admit from one of my preferred bschools. It was one application where everything went right, from the essays till the interview. In the process, I realised a few things that I would like to share (if anyone is interested ;-) ).

1. Don't blindly accept all comments that your counsellor gives you. I had heavily editied my Tepper and North Carolina essays based on my counsellor's suggestions. At the end, my essays did not reflect myself and my own career goals, no matter how hazy they might sound. For my Kelley essays, I chose not to edit my essays too much and went ahead with what I felt was right. I believe one particular essay in which I could add a touch of humour made the difference. The adcoms have to read thousands of essays. If you can show something new, something fresh, they will definitely appreciate that.

2. If you have an opportunity to have a face-to-face interview, take it. Show them your confidence. It might be my personal opinion, but my face-to-face interview was smoother and definitely more comfortable than my telephonic interview. A personal interview with the Head of Admissions of a good bschool is worth the experience. It was very professional but casual at the same time and I got good insights into Kelley with the answers given to my questions. I believe that this is where Indian bschools miss a trick or two. Presentations are usually dull. One-on-one sessions are definitely more informative.

3. Avoid cliched answers in interviews. If you have a list of '200 most likely questions asked in bschool interviews', shred it. You cannot have all answers prepared. Yes, prepare a few answers, but don't learn them like the formulae in HSC Chemistry. The adcoms want to know you. They will ask you the regular questions but they will also ask you stuff like "if you had to go back and change one thing in your professional life, what would that be?". They ask these questions to evaluate you better, to see if you are the right fit for them.

4. Know the school well. Ask questions that really interest you. eg.Kelley gives students an opportunity to complete their final year courses online. I asked them if students actually go for it and how does it compensate for the group activities that one might miss out on? He was honest with his answer and told me that in the last three yearss only person had applied for it and that the school did not recommend it a lot. Also, do ask them about the life in the city, especially if the school is based in a student's town.

5. Suit up for the interview and be professional. Do exchange basic courtesy. If the adcom member asks you how your day was, do give a reply which is more than 'fine!' but keep it short.

Anyway, I guess too much gyan makes a blog dull and these are just my experiences and one might disagree with my approach as well.
Feels good...this has been just a wonderful day!