Thank you all for your wishes. Now that I am done with my apps, I have lil time to write a short write up abt my exp.
Also I will be vacationing starting from today and all thro Jan, so I will be checking msgs few times within now and then.
As some of u might know that my journey started with GMAT. Being in indian pool, I was drilled into my head abt scoring
750+ to stand a chance in top 5. So I thot I needed 750+ and scored 760. Altho I am not sure whether my admit has anything
to do with my score but I didn't want to keep any stones unturned as being a 30 yo, I needed to start MBA now.
Once I was done with GMAT, I took few weeks off and started the harrowing journey of apps. Initially I liked it but towards the end I was sick and tired of it. Joined BW forum and Wharton's s2s. Based on my engg background I knew I needed to show
that I am more than just an engg. So I chucked everything abt engg and tech and in all the essays focused on my soft skills
and leadership roles. Plz know that "leadership" doesn't just mean that u have to have someone reporting to u (that's what I
thot and sweat abt it). It is in everything u do....ur initiative, ur team skills......try to identify ur small and big accomplishments. Remember nothig is small, all u need is to think abt how it added value to u and adcomm will see it too. Being an engg is hard,as we don't have hard numbers to show tangible accomplishments, however, if u lead projects etc highlight it as ur leadership skills. Once leadership and team skills angle are addressed, leave an essay to talk abt ur unique family background etc.
I know if u read BW forum and Sandy's msgs, one wud think that all the ppl from India r clones of each other, but that is BS as each and everyone here has unique life, so reflect to it and show it in ur essay as to how ur background and family life was unique and how it helped u develop. If u have good acads and GMAT, forget abt showing ur academic potential, let ur score
and GPA do the work for u, so don't waste even a single line on ur essays abt ur academic achievements.
Re: school research, I used "MBA Game Plan" and websites. I didn't bother going to classes and on-campus visit, I think
it is overrated. I only went to HBS and MIT as they r within driving distance, that's all. I had only one rule of thumb. If ur
schools is small like Tuck or Cornell, then take the extra effort an go as they r sensitive to their yield and think ppl
use them as backup, but if ur school is big they don't care. Also as another rule, if ur school gives interviews to everyone
then it is not that imp to go on-campus for interview, however, if it is invitation only then go to on-campus, if possible. I was suprised that in the school visit when I asked what makes ur school unique, they all gave me same BS abt community, leadership env etc. It was ironical that schools expect from us that we be unique but at the sametime can't come up with something unique to distinguish themselves from peers
Make sure u show lot of knowledge and passion for the school in ur essays and work in any alumni names that u might have talked to (I tried talking to atleast one from each school - good fodder for essays). Look at adcomm interview in BW for
schools and try to work in the same "buzzwords" that adcomm says in the interviews in ur essays e.g. HBS is all abt
leadership, empathy etc. In u r why school X ques, make sure u talk abt some courses and then talk a lot abt the clubs
etc that will help u. But don't just list all clubs, make sure they tie into ur passion (e.g. music in my case) and goals.
U need to workin ur leadership, team skills in all ur essays in equal proportions for all schools.If u only talk abt leadership then adcomms mite wonder if u cud be an effective team player and vice versa.
Lastly, there is lot of BS abt MBA app process, so don't believe in everything u hear in forums, consultants etc. Specially I have a feeling that some consulting services try to instill fear in some app groups (e.g. Indian subgp) to get more business. Remember, no matter if u r an engg, IT type (I hate that word !) or not, u r unique in ur life, exp, personality. Bring these in the table and u will be all set.
Stay +ve and aim high, u will get there!
Hope the write up was helpful....shoot me any questions, preferably post it here instead of IM as it will help everyone in the forum.
Good luck to all......I will be checking the forum intermittently.....
first congratulations to you for being accepted in schools such as chicago and wharton.
also thanks for your detail posts with invaluable insights and inputs.