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Indian Admits -Room : Keep all desi discussions here!

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Director
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Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Technology
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Re: [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2008, 15:05
ncprasad wrote:

I dont claim to know what people feel about me, I am only making a judgement based on what they tell me. If some one tells me "Your essays are great, but no amount of editing will change the fact that you are male Indian IT", what conclusion should I draw?

And none of us here believe that if we dont get in, its because of our demographic/background. I know that a lot of desi applicants get in because they put together great applications and there is no reason an Indian Male IT, like me or mNeo or others, cannot be one of them.

Indian Male ITs face a lot of stereotyping, which does us no good from an application perspective. Thats the point of my whole post.

riverripper wrote:
NC, I dont think that people (consultants or otherwise) feel that Indians' leadership is not true leadership or that an Indian Consultant is not a real consultant because they work in India...this is not what causes people to say Indians have less of a chance. Its that there are a lot of people that have similar backgrounds, so its harder to set themselves apart. Plenty of Indians get in, they just happen to work for a name brand, have extremely impressive examples of leadership, and are going to be at a higher level. Its the same thing as bankers...HBS is going to take the VP from Goldman over the analyst from some unknown bank.


If you target only the UE schools with no backups, then I would suggest revising your application strategy. You need backup schools as well.
Other issues which restrict Indian acceptances is the sheer volume. With all schools talking about diversity, it means they can`t fill a school with people all of the same background and similar future goals. It doesn`t make for a great learning environment. Furthermore, with restrictions on work visas, schools are probably aware that it may affect their statistics.

As for the steroetype, doesn`t affect me, I work with lots of Indians and visit Bangalore as part of my job, so I`m well aware of how good (and how bad) some of the workers are. I`m also well conversed in `Bangalore-Time` ;). A lot of the better engineers from Wipro/Infosys et al, tend to get poached by other companies, and I`ve met quite a few excellent specialists and consultants.
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Re: Indian Admits -Room! [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2008, 15:38
Its coming in the next week or so.

Ozmba wrote:
ncp, dos -common folks --

where is the debrief
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Re: Indian Admits -Room! [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2008, 19:56
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Ncprasad’s MBA Story – Part 1 : The MBA Decision

I never thought that I would one day be applying to business school. Like most young engineers in the Indian IT sector, I thought that MBA grads are there just to make up fantastic stories about how our software rocks and how our <insert outlandish buzz word here> business model is better than that of all the other companies around, so that clients will give us business. In fact, I had a fair amount of disrespect for MBAs. In my mind, they were too snooty, too lazy and certainly no good. Years rolled on and my views that MBAs are nothing but glorified over-paid power point professionals had not changed that much since the early days of my career.

It was years later when the MBA question came up. I was in the US and was managing a bunch of smart folks who were more intelligent than me and had more ambition than I had. The “Star” team member on my team came in one day and asked me if I would recommend him for business school admission. Obviously, I wanted him to continue working for me. So, I challenged him to convince me how and why an MBA will help him and what it can do for his career that his current job wont do. That conversation opened my eyes and I saw the great benefits that an MBA could offer for me. I helped that guy get into Tepper, he went on to get a great job at Booz and I was inspired, more than ever. Then, reality set in.

I was married and a kid was on the way. There were numerous other family commitments to fulfill. I thought through and decided that an MBA is not in my future. It was a bitter pill to swallow, but family came first. The possibility of an MBA was relegated to unknown confines, somewhere deep inside my mind.

Life went on. I progressed at work, but could still sense emptiness within me. It was not the money or prestige. I simply hated the mundane nature of my work and wanted new challenges to satisfy my intellectual appetite. Perhaps motivated by this, a group of friends and I started an IT start up focusing on developing software targeting the municipal governance sector. We had fun, made a lot of great contacts at top government agencies, won an award for our software and basically accomplished a lot more than we set out to do. The possibility of working for myself and taking this casual enterprise to the next level re-ignited my desire to pursue an MBA. After talking to an enormous amount of folks, I finally decided to take the plunge and apply.

The first thing I found out about the MBA is that it costs a lot to get one. Well, at least a decent one costs a lot. Usually upwards of $ 100,000. Convert this into Indian Rupees(we desi folks have this habit you know!), and I was looking at a huge expense. It was a WTF moment. I couldn’t believe that people would quit a good job, and spend enormous amount of money on a 2-year degree that may or may not make a difference to their careers. So, I decided to be a smart ass and decided to pursue an EMBA from Thunderbird. Nice school, was ranked #1 in International Business( :-D ), and my company was going to move me to Phoenix very soon. Thunderbird seemed like a great option.

So, I went to my manager(an IIM-A graduate) and asked him if the company would support me for an EMBA. He said “Yes”, and then advised me that there is a HUGE difference between an EMBA from T-bird and an FT MBA from a top 20 school. More than all the salary and job profile info that he shared, what struck me was his confidence in my ability to succeed at a top MBA program. Over a period of 1 year, he constantly quizzed me about my MBA search, and egged me on to take it more seriously. Then, a colleague of mine told me to stop worrying about the type of MBA and start worrying about the GMAT because I had to take it no matter what. Apparently I had to take this exam and get a score of 700+(what a weird scoring system, I think) because I have a cookie-cutter profile (More on this later). At the end, he told me to register at this website called http://www.gmatclub.com. And I did. The rest, as they say, is history.

The history lesson will continue sometime next week...
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Re: Indian Admits -Room! [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2008, 20:00
dude... :-D

ncprasad wrote:
Ncprasad’s MBA Story – Part 1 : The MBA Decision

I never thought that I would one day be applying to business school. Like most young engineers in the Indian IT sector, I thought that MBA grads are there just to make up fantastic stories about how our software rocks and how our <insert outlandish buzz word here> business model is better than that of all the other companies around, so that clients will give us business. In fact, I had a fair amount of disrespect for MBAs. In my mind, they were too snooty, too lazy and certainly no good. Years rolled on and my views that MBAs are nothing but glorified over-paid power point professionals had not changed that much since the early days of my career.

......

So, I went to my manager(an IIM-A graduate) and asked him if the company would support me for an EMBA. He said “Yes”, and then advised me that there is a HUGE difference between an EMBA from T-bird and an FT MBA from a top 20 school. More than all the salary and job profile info that he shared, what struck me was his confidence in my ability to succeed at a top MBA program. Over a period of 1 year, he constantly quizzed me about my MBA search, and egged me on to take it more seriously. Then, a colleague of mine told me to stop worrying about the type of MBA and start worrying about the GMAT because I had to take it no matter what. Apparently I had to take this exam and get a score of 700+(what a weird scoring system, I think) because I have a cookie-cutter profile (More on this later). At the end, he told me to register at this website called http://www.gmatclub.com. And I did. The rest, as they say, is history.

The history lesson will continue sometime next week...
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Re: Indian Admits -Room! [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2008, 22:01
nice, can't wait to read the rest, NC! :)
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Re: Indian Admits -Room! [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2008, 22:14
Yes, continue.

I think we all like to hear about these stories.
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Re: Indian Admits -Room! [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2008, 11:08
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Ncprasad’s MBA Story – Part 2 : The GMAT

So, with no idea what type of MBA I was going to pursue or where I was going to apply, I registered at GMAT Club. To give you an idea how naïve I was at that time, the only “Ross” I knew at that time was the discount clothing outlet near my house. In the beginning, I was intimidated by the posts on the math forum. Hobbit and Fig were posting regularly those days, and their explanations to tough math problems went a million miles above my head. My confidence that I can ace this test (after all, I scored 100% in math all through high school and college) was shaken. But by now, the competitive juice in me was flowing and I was really addicted to the forum. I started working diligently on OG problems. Then, I slowly moved to verbal which surprisingly came easy to me. For CR, the area one can most improve on, I used the “other” official guide in the verbal forum. One written by HongHu, the GMAT goddess and a PPT written by AkamaiBrah, the real-life wizard of Oz. Slowly but surely, my GMAT practice went higher and higher and I was soon getting 800s in my practice tests. I was also posting a lot on the verbal forum. The more I posted, the better I got (New members, take note of this).

11/29/06 - Power Prep 1 - 690 - Q45,V40 - With virtually no preparation.
12/17/06 - Power Prep 2 - 760 - Q49,V45
01/02/07 - GMAT Prep 1 - 750 - Q49,V44
01/13/07 - MGMAT CAT 1 - 780 - Q48,V51
01/20/07 - MGMAT CAT 2 - 780 - Q49,V51
02/06/07 - MGMAT CAT 3 - 800 - Q51,V51
02/10/07 - GMAT Prep 2 - 760 - Q49,V45
02/16/07 - Repeat GMAT Prep - 780 - Q51,V47

Finally, the D-day came and it came with disappointment. 740 with Q50 and V40. I know it sounds silly to call this a bad score. But, that’s how I felt at that time. I publicly admonished myself on the forum and I quickly regretted it. There were many who would give anything to have my score and by ranting I was indirectly insulting those who worked very hard for their 730s and 720s. If I was not happy, I needed to vent myself gracefully. From that experience, I learned an important lesson. To be sensitive to others opinions and emotions when I post on the forum. I needed another way to work off my frustration. I decided to retake the GMAT. (shocking, I know!).

I analyzed my test day performance and realized that in my anxiety to see my final score, I had rushed through the verbal section. I promised myself that I will take it slower the next time. I also bought the Quantitative review book and worked out all the problems. I printed hobbit’s explanations of tough math problems and read them every day. I prepared less intensely the second time and tried to relax in the build up as much as myself. (thank god, I didn’t relax with Jessica Simpson in Cancun. It would have been hell to pay).

Finally, I scored a 760 with Q49 and V44. I was satisfied.

GMAT done and dusted, I took time to pen my thoughts on how best to go about preparing. I am reposting them here in the off-chance that it might help someone.

Some random thoughts on the GMAT

GMAT Study Materials - Must Have List

Quantitative - OG 11th edition, OG Quantitative review
Sentence Correction - Manhattan GMAT Prep, Strunk and White - Elements of style
Critical Reasoning Strategy - LSAT super prep
Reading Comprehension Strategy - LSAT super prep

I have heard good things about the Manhattan book on word problems. But I personally did not use them and so I cannot comment.

QUANTITATIVE SECTION
I did not buy any other books for Q. Fig and Hobbit do an awesome job on the math forum and you dont need a book with those two around. Do NOT fret too much about probability and combinatorics. I have seen a lot of people who worry too much about these 2 areas of math and thus, waste valuable time which could be spent much more productively on other areas.Hobbit hit the nail in the head when he said this...

the most common prep mistake (in my view...) that people do:
- concentrating on advanced concepts and hard questions. the ROI of this kind of prep is small (it would be higher if you were to advance for 48-49 to 51).


One other thing. Do not spend too much analyzing the difficulty level of the questions during the real exam. I have heard my friends say that if you are doing well, you will get more probability and combinatorics questions. It's not true.On the real GMAT test, I got ZERO probability questions. I got exactly 1 tough combinatorics question. I still ended up with a 50. Work on improving weak areas, but do not spend too much time working on a couple of question types. Make sure that you practice the routine questions again and again. Ultimately, these questions will decide whether you have a good test day or not.

Strategy to get into the GMAT mode of problem solving
The GMAT tests very basic mathematical concepts. All the questions can be solved using simple math formulae and common sense. You can prepare for the GMAT math by regularly doing this simple, yet fun, exercise.
Pick a couple of your friends who are preparing for GMAT.
Use simple math forumulae create try creating twisted GMAT-type questions.
Each of you can create a list of questions in this manner and challenge the others to solve it.
By doing this exercise enough, you will begin to think like the test makers and your brain is better trained to spot the traps.

Also, everybody knows that asking questions is a lot more easier than answering them

The problems in the real test are slightly more complex than the ones in GMAT prep. For example, I got one real twister in the math section.

The question had 2 linear inequalities with variables x and y. The answer choices were 5 graphs and I had to pick the choice that graphically represented the solutions to the inequalities. The question threw me off, and I ended up spending 5 mins on this one.

The point is, no matter how much you are prepared, GMAT will throw you off the wheels with a twister. When you encounter a twister, just take a deep breath, give it a shot for 1 or 2 mins and if you still cannot solve it, guess and move on. Dont dwell too much on 1 question and lose valuable time. Because I got the above question close to the end of the math section(35th I think), knowing that I had 10 mins for the last three questions, I could afford to spend more time on it.

VERBAL SECTION
The LSAT super prep book is excellent for understanding CR and RC strategies. Believe me, you can improve as much in CR and RC as you can in SC.

For CR, check out HongHu's stickies on If X Then Y logic and Logical fallacies. They are hard to understand, but keep at it and spend some time studying and digesting them. It's well worth the effort.

I will hang around the verbal forum and will try to participate as much as possible. If you have questions on CR, PM me. I will be happy to help you, as much as I can.

Final thoughts

This club is the best online support group for GMAT preparation. Apart from the awesome materials available on this site, there are some extremely smart and helpful folks around. If you are a new club member,you should be happy that you have made the right decision by registering at GMAT club.

If you are a newbie to GMAT preparation, you will probably be intimidated by the quality of discussions at gmat club. I have some good news for you. Most of us felt intimidated at one time, but there is a simple and effective method to get over it.

PARTICIPATE!

And when you post answers,do not just say 'A' or 'B'. Be detailed when you post your answers. It makes for a very fruitful discussion. Now, I know what you are thinking.

I have a 12-hour work day and I have my wife and kids. I cannot post detailed answers:-(

Well, that's understandable. But remember, you can manage your time by choosing quality over quantity. If you can post only 1 quality post in a day, then so be it. The forum will be better for it and believe me, you will be too.

If you are wondering, 'What's in it for me?'

I request you to adopt this practice for another reason. To track your progress and to measure exam readiness accurately, you should verify that you not only select the correct answer, but that you also choose it for the right reason. Such introspection is especially important for the verbal section of the test and for the data sufficiency portion of the math section. Whenever you take a practice test, review the answers and categorize your correct answers as as 'truly correct' or 'false postive'.

One of the key decisions that will significantly affect your final score is your exam schedule. You should take your exam when you are in 'the zone', when everything seems to click.

The key question then is 'How do I determine exam readiness'?

Here's how.

For every CAT that I took, I rescored my practice test to account for 'false positives'. You do not need to have a really complicated rescoring method. One easy method that I used and recommend is to dock 0.5 point from your raw score for each false positive and finally round off your score to the lowest whole number.

For example, lets say you get Q49 and V45 with 5 false positives in each section. Rescore your test result using the above method. Your score becomes Q47, V42. This exercise can be little demoralizing in the beginning. But if you work diligently on identifying and correcting your weak areas as much as possible and reinforcing your strong areas, you will soon observe a downward trend in false positives.

I recommend that you take your GMAT only if your re-scored raw score combination consistently exceeds your target score by 20 points. (Obviously, this wont work if your target score is 800 )

And, take care of your health. I had severe sinus headache and fever on the day before the exam. In hindsight, I believe I was not in the best shape on exam day and I suspect my endurance during the test was lower than normal. This probably played a part in the final outcome.

Again, the point is, put yourself in the best possible position to succeed and being in good health is the first step towards putting yourself in the best position.
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Re: Indian Admits -Room! [#permalink] New post 14 Jan 2008, 11:31
ncprasad wrote:
Ncprasad’s MBA Story – Part 2 : The GMAT

01/13/07 - MGMAT CAT 1 - 780 - Q48,V51
01/20/07 - MGMAT CAT 2 - 780 - Q49,V51
02/06/07 - MGMAT CAT 3 - 800 - Q51,V51


Great post NC. I don't know HOW you got Q51 *and* V51 on the MGMAT CATs!!! Wow! I'm not worthy! :) The highest I have ever gotten on the MGMAT CAT is Q47 and V41...

Anyway, lots of kudos for you for this very informative and useful post. +10!
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Re: Indian Admits -Room! [#permalink] New post 15 Jan 2008, 15:17
Amazing story nc , you are motivating me to think about taking the GMAT again - I scored a 720 at first attempt, which, I felt, was not my best effort. I have not used any of the manhattan or LSAT books and feel I can improve both my math and verbal enough to do better. I have some more time on my hands, now that I have finished my applications for 2008 start.
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Re: Indian Admits -Room! [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2008, 09:15
I suppose I came to the party a little late. I got my CBS admit just around thanksgiving time - been coasting along ever since :) Thought I had a good chance at LBS - the other schools I had applied to. But the subjective nature of the process and being in the desi pool took its toll - a waitlist. But I am happy I got into a great school...... It is not easy for desis that's all I can say. The key is to differentiate. Best of luck everyone.
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Re: Indian Admits -Room! [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2008, 09:47
Congrats on CBS! Were you a reapplicant there by any chance? Also- could you please post your profile in the admissions/rejections thread? That would help future applicants. Thanks!

summer2010 wrote:
I suppose I came to the party a little late. I got my CBS admit just around thanksgiving time - been coasting along ever since :) Thought I had a good chance at LBS - the other schools I had applied to. But the subjective nature of the process and being in the desi pool took its toll - a waitlist. But I am happy I got into a great school...... It is not easy for desis that's all I can say. The key is to differentiate. Best of luck everyone.
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Re: Indian Admits -Room! [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2008, 11:19
[quote="dosa_don"]Congrats on CBS! Were you a reapplicant there by any chance? Also- could you please post your profile in the admissions/rejections thread? That would help future applicants. Thanks!

Thanks dosa. Not a reapplicant. Just feel lucky/glad I got through the chatter and the excruciating b-school adminssions process.
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Re: Indian Admits -Room! [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2008, 11:22
Hey summer, congrats! Do you mind posting about your profile?
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Re: Indian Admits -Room! [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2008, 12:19
i added summer2010 to the results list. Just need his profile in the profile list. :)

Congrats summer2010! :)
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Re: Indian Admits -Room! [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2008, 10:38
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Ncprasad’s MBA Story – Part 3 : Profile Evaluation & School Selection

By January’07, I was a full-time lurker in the B-school application forum. Just reading posts by the class of 2009 about their application process, decision anxiety and their happiness in getting into their dream B-schools was worth every second that I spent. I was hooked. By February, after much discussion with my wife, I had decided to apply to full-time MBA programs. Having read at least 500 profile evaluations by Paul, Hjort and Scott, I knew it would be difficult to succeed in the admissions process. After I took my 1st GMAT, I submitted a crudely put together profile and waited for Paul’s response. I am reproducing it here from memory as best as I can.

6 yrs work ex, Indian Male IT, 740, 78% in Engg from a top Non-IIT school. Ranked 3rd in graduating class. I don’t remember putting anything about my ECs at that time.

Paul wrote a typically blunt review and basically told me: no shot at elite schools, may be you will get in one due to your GMAT. And don’t even think about UE schools. I pressed Paul to suggest schools where he thinks I might get in. He said UNC was my best-case situation and no school ranked higher than that. Now, UNC is a great school with its own strengths, but I was not thrilled with what I was told. I am bringing this up for one specific reason.

In most cases, people ask for profile evaluations right after they take GMAT or immediately after registering at GMAT club. Typically, profile requests posts are lazily written and with no second thought to what’s being written. I think this is a big mistake. Some of the people with crappy basic profiles(like mine above) in reality have a better profile. By writing a poor evaluation request, they run the risk of applying to schools worse than the schools they are capable of getting into. Simply put, they sell themselves short.

Think about profile evaluation requests as 1-page application files. You need to cover all facets of your candidacy – background, education, EC, Awards, Promotions, Type of Work, Management responsibilities (specify if they are direct/indirect), hardships overcome, Interests or Hobbies and any related accomplishments. Write succinctly, but with good detail. Spend at least a day or two writing your evaluation request and if possible get some one to review it for you before asking Paul or Scott. Do not submit one 15 minutes after you reach home from Pearson. If you want a good example of a well-written profile evaluation request, look for riverripper’s request in the Accepted forum.

4 months after my 1st request, I spent a week writing my second profile request. This time, I spoke in-depth about my goals, my accomplishments, my background, in detail. I included a 5-year and 10-year plan for my career, showed the various steps I see myself taking in my future career and most importantly made a good case for why I want to pursue that career. This time, I got a much more favorable response. I was told that I wont have any trouble getting into Ross, good chance getting into MIT and Wharton, and a may be for HBS. Accordingly, I switched my portfolio. From a reach school, Ross became a definite possibility school(As vindicated by the final decision). Based on the suggestions I received from Hjort, Paul and a few others from another GMAT forum, I came up with this final line-up

Hail Mary - no regrets school : HBS
Stretch school : Wharton
Possible : MIT
Definites : Cornell, Ross, UCLA
Back up : Haas PT


Drawn by rhyme’s irresistible charm, I ended up applying to Chicago GSB in addition to this list.

Compare this list with the original portfolio suggested by Paul.

CMU
McCombs
UNC
Babson
MIT (Hail Mary school)


In summary, I recommend doing a lot of research prior to making a profile evaluation request. In addition, feel free to go with your instinct and apply to 1 or 2 stretch schools irrespective of what someone says. Your dream school will remain in your dreams if you don’t apply to it. Just combine that with a healthy dose of objective decision-making.
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Re: Indian Admits -Room! [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2008, 10:55
great post! kudos!
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Re: Indian Admits -Room! [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2008, 12:11
Ncprasad...Great debriefs man, really very helpful. I am new to this forum but over the last few days have gone through all the 50+ pages of this forum; having read your previous posts, all I can say is you deserve it man...good luck and you are a catch for Ross...
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Re: Indian Admits -Room! [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2008, 18:31
great post NC! Especially about Accepted.com. I posted a pretty detailed profile and got told that UCLA was "possible", Berkeley was "unlikely", and Kellogg was "slightly better than minimal" :)
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Re: Indian Admits -Room! [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2008, 19:19
Good debrief NC. Perhaps we can put all the separate pieces together and make one big "ncprasad's journey to B-School" post and sticky that.
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Re: Indian Admits -Room! [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2008, 19:38
NC I hope you plan on posting all that in your profile area. Probably the best place to keep it all together for the future members to read.
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Re: Indian Admits -Room!   [#permalink] 17 Jan 2008, 19:38
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