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The evolution of your B-school pursuit

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Re: The evolution of your B-school pursuit [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2008, 07:49
helg wrote:
Great story, pandeyrav. It demonstrates your spirit. I am rooting for you, man!


Thanks helg. I just wish i have something good to show when all this is over.
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Re: The evolution of your B-school pursuit [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2008, 18:19
pandeyrav wrote:
helg wrote:
Great story, pandeyrav. It demonstrates your spirit. I am rooting for you, man!


Thanks helg. I just wish i have something good to show when all this is over.


Inspiring story!! Am sure you will end up at your top choice. Chicago interview is just the beginning.
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Re: The evolution of your B-school pursuit [#permalink] New post 20 Feb 2008, 21:21
How has your B-school plan evolved? When did you decide to pursue this, what were you goals and have those changed, and of course the rotating decision on what schools and which is your top?

Note: I'm applying for 2009

When: I knew as soon as I graduated undergrad I wanted to get my MBA. I slacked off a bit in college but still graduated with a decent GPA. I always wanted to do Investment banking after college, but due to my GPA I didn't get any offers. Plus I didn't know what it took to get there at the time. I didn't realize the commitment or effort required, call me naive. After attending two Super Saturdays in investment banking and getting 0 offers, I knew I would have one more shot starting as an associate after an MBA. I tried my best to align my career path with my eventual goal, currently working in Strategic Planning and doing buyside M&A. So I've been looking for the right time to go back to school and I feel Fall 2009 is it.

Where: So it's February 2008 and I know the first thing I need to take is the GMAT and then I can begin to narrow down my list of schools. I've been taking practice tests and studying hard. Test have been in the 660-720 range and my current list of schools is UCLA, USC, Rice, Emory, Texas, UNC, Duke, Kellogg, and NYU.

Schedule: I have already visited Rice and it was ok, I plan to visit Duke, UNC, Emory in March and Texas and NYU in April. Next fall I'll be going to USC and UCLA. And hopefully Kellogg in the Fall as well. I am taking the GMAT in June and will know more then. Also, I'm adding more EC activities now as you can never have enough with leadership on your resume. I know where my weaknesses are and I plan on correcting them between now and my first app.

Hope this helps anyone making the decision. I will keep this post updated as I go along.
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Re: The evolution of your B-school pursuit [#permalink] New post 24 Feb 2008, 22:09
Great story man ! Good luck....I am sure your hard-work will reap rewards.
pandeyrav wrote:
I haven't been accepted anywhere yet but a journey is a journey even if you haven't reached the destination. So here goes my story.

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Re: The evolution of your B-school pursuit [#permalink] New post 25 Feb 2008, 14:42
Addendum to my story: I finally bit the bullet, took the GMAT, got a killer score, and now I'm full steam ahead for this B-school thing! 8-)

Bring it on! :twisted:

(Applying in the fall)
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Re: The evolution of your B-school pursuit [#permalink] New post 25 Feb 2008, 15:36
congrats rca! hopefully we can help you get into your dream schools! :)
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Re: The evolution of your B-school pursuit [#permalink] New post 26 Feb 2008, 17:57
RCA you have a huge advantage to be starting so early. My advice visit some schools this spring. You wont be as rushed this fall.
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Re: The evolution of your B-school pursuit [#permalink] New post 29 Feb 2008, 07:07
Thanks kryzak and riverripper!

I've already set up a visit day at MIT and I'll be doing the same for HBS in a few weeks (they only schedule one month in advance and I need to go in April) . Kellogg seems to offer more in the summer, so I'll hopefully get a chance to fly out there for a long weekend. Maybe I'll see if I can do an interview while I'm out there. I'm not sure yet if they let you get your interview in pre-application.

The craziest thing I'm doing is already starting to structure my essays and I'm compiling lists of experiences relevant to last year's essay questions at my target schools. They also may be helpful for interviews. I've got a recurring email I send to myself whenever I get an idea for something good to add! :lol:
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Re: The evolution of your B-school pursuit [#permalink] New post 04 Mar 2008, 17:59
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I only just discovered this forum a few days ago, but I have to say I quite like the vibe here! Humorous and introspective -- a far cry from the other mainstream MBA forum...

Anyway, sharing my story since I think it'll be fun to write it. It's almost like writing my application essays anew, which I had a great time doing. What about the rest of you?


The Prequel
I'm sitting in an undergrad finance class utterly captivated by the 30-minute mathematical proof of Black Scholes that my professor is writing out by memory. By the time she had filled 4 chalkboards worth of numbers and formulas, I was committed: finance was the perfect marriage between mathematical theory and a baffling market that's often regarded as random and unpredictable.

Then I looked around me. I think everyone else in the class had fallen asleep 25 minutes ago...


Parental Paranoia
Fast forward to the February before graduation; my parents are getting antsy that I don't have a job offer lined up for post-graduation. After hearing about so many students receiving offers before Christmas, they thought for sure I was doomed to be unemployed. Their solution? "You still have time to apply for an MBA! Go write your GMAT!" Despite my objections, they book me a time slot 2 weeks from that very day. Did I take the test seriously? Hell no. I was quite resolved to prioritize my own life as I saw fit, and show no support for their rash decision-making. During those 2 weeks, I continued with my regular classes, doing assignments and studying for exams. On the day before the GMAT, I finally acquiesced and spent a couple of hours doing some practice problems.

Elsewhere in the household, my dad is panicking about the following day "It'll be a miracle if you get over 500."

Such little faith. ;) I scored 700+.
(I admit though, I got lucky and probably couldn't duplicate the result.)

But enough about overbearing parents. I did end up with a job a few months later, and I shelved the MBA question for when I'd have more work experience to benefit from it.


MBA Where?
It's four years from that time now, and the 5-year expiry on my GMAT score draws near. Let's get cracking on school selection! No surprise, Chicago topped my list given my love of financial theory. They have an incredible roster of Nobel Prize Laureates, and this young lady once spent an entire summer internship with a picture of Harry Markowitz stretched across her computer desktop! (Done half out of admiration, and half out of amusement for the funny looks it draws from passers-by.) Anyhow, I very much admired the school's culture and dedication to academic achievement. The furtherance of human knowledge is a goal I respect a great deal.

I also put London Business School on my list. What I liked about the people I've met from there is that there was an actual person behind the three-letter acronym, and they didn't simply treat the degree as a notch in their belt. When it comes to my own leadership style, I don't believe in leading by fear or intimidation. I expect to earn that respect by being genuinely excellent. Hence, London struck me as a good fit, as they seem to select well-rounded students coupled with the strong business acumen you'd expect to get from any top school.


So Long Finance!
In the end, I only applied to LBS. As much as I love finance, I came to the realization that I only love it academically. I couldn't picture myself working in the typical finance job today where I might be passing off P/E ratios as a sound investment strategy to a public who can barely manage their credit cards, or convincing company directors that taking on more debt to raise dividends is the best idea since sliced bread. It's not these aren't the right things to do, but I couldn't see myself happy in a role that... practically thrives on an obscene amount of financial illiteracy from the very people I'm supposed to add value for.

Anyhow, I don't mean to bash the career goals of those who do want to enter finance. As I mentioned, I was that kid in class who was spellbound when I first learned about derivatives pricing. So I mean it sincerely when I wish you guys all the best in landing that finance job which lives up to your enthusiasm for it.

So, once I realized I'd be sufficiently happy running simplistic NPVs on whether to buy a new TV, or playing armchair analyst on the weekends, I struck Chicago off my list and went full-force with my LBS application--in pursuit of goals that would take another 4 chalkboards to describe (so I won't). In the end, I couldn't divorce the fact that I still have a life to live despite being a full-time student. And, since I've never been to Europe before, I figured it'd be a great place to spend two years exploring. :)


Concluding Update March 27, 2008
Got the nod from admissions--accepted!

Last edited by FairPlay on 27 Mar 2008, 11:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The evolution of your B-school pursuit [#permalink] New post 05 Mar 2008, 22:11
FairPlay, I really-really wonder, what do your essays look like? :wink: Great post! Kudos to you. And, have you been admitted to the LBS already?
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Re: The evolution of your B-school pursuit [#permalink] New post 07 Mar 2008, 11:16
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Helg, my essays probably aren't as fun to read as my original post. I made a conscious decision not to get too "storytell-y" -- adcoms might have regarded it as an insincere gimmick to make my application stand out.

What I didn't shy away from however was making my essays extremely values-focused, and positioning myself as a catalyst for change and progress. Oh you know, the usual stuff like breaking traditions, kicking past-precedence to the curb, or outright telling company executives where they haven't got their act together. ;) (In retrospect, a potentially disastrous career killer, but it was a risk worth taking.)

In effect, I used my essays to communicate those leadership qualities which I have a great respect for: taking initiative, effectively facing adversity (how many of you have dealt with people who perpetually work in denial and hope reality never catches up to them?) ...and most importantly always being backed by a genuine desire to improve the status quo.

***

Anyway, for anyone out there struggling with application essays either this year or next: Don't Dread It. It's not every day that you have the pleasure of examining yourself in a good light--so enjoy it!

Certainly, you each consider yourselves an excellent person by your own right. And by extension, this means you must have numerous examples from your lifetime to support why you are. Perhaps you're sitting there racking your brain to come up with work experience examples that will sound great on paper... Just stop; you don't need to fabricate anything. Maybe you haven't saved the company X-million of dollars, or transformed that drug-addled homeless kid on the street into a productive member of society--whatever. Every school is asking for you to demonstrate leadership, but leadership is underscored by your values. So if you're at a loss as to what to write about, maybe write about those pocket aces you silently carry around with you... they are, after all, what make you excellent.

Last edited by FairPlay on 27 Mar 2008, 11:17, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The evolution of your B-school pursuit [#permalink] New post 07 Mar 2008, 11:35
Impressive story, Fairplay. kudos to your parents for forcing you take the GMAT (who does that these days? )
I hope you will get into your dream school. :-D
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Re: The evolution of your B-school pursuit [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2008, 11:14
Update: Accepted into LBS!

(a bit of a relief since it's the only MBA school I applied to and a now expired GMAT score!)

If I'm allowed into the essays vault, I'll preserve my essays there for future posterity.
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Re: The evolution of your B-school pursuit [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2008, 13:26
Congrats FairPlay! Really great story. I plan to do an exchange program in Europe (program TBD)
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Re: The evolution of your B-school pursuit [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2008, 22:18
FairPlay wrote:
Update: Accepted into LBS!

(a bit of a relief since it's the only MBA school I applied to and a now expired GMAT score!)

If I'm allowed into the essays vault, I'll preserve my essays there for future posterity.


Congrats, FairPlay!
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Re: The evolution of your B-school pursuit [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2008, 22:40
congrats Fairplay!

PM Praetorian and tell him you will contribute your essays to the vault and he may let you in.
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Re: The evolution of your B-school pursuit [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2008, 17:54
FairPlay, if finance doesn't play out for you, take up writing. Specifically, storytelling. Your story was great!

(Of course, I am confident that with such a strong ambition, you will succeed in finance, but maybe writing on the side?)
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Re: The evolution of your B-school pursuit [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2008, 08:51
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I'm done.

Yesterday I turned in my pager and moved out of my office at the hospital. No more rounding at 5:00 AM. No more 30-36 hour shifts. No more driving to the hospital at 2 AM to see a patient in the ER.

I had promised a few months ago that I'd write a post detailing my decision to attend B-school. Now seems like a good time. Before I start, though, I want to thank everyone here. I don't come from a "normal" pre-MBA background. I knew a few physicians who'd gone into industry, but I certainly didn't know anyone from medicine who was applying with me. If it weren't for gmatclub, this entire experience would've been a very lonely (and likely far less successful) endeavor. So thank you.


THE INITIAL DECISION

I first really considered business/industry in college. I double-majored in biology and economics and loved 'em both. At the time, combining both areas by pursuing something like healthcare-focused consulting, banking, or entrepreneurship never occurred to me. So I had to pick one area. I dipped my toe in the medical waters by volunteering at local hospitals and doing some biomedical research. I really liked the experiences and decided on medicine. Went through medical school and residency and started fellowship (additional subspecialty training beyond residency) without any problems. I was working hard but having a lot of fun. As fellowship went along, though, a sense of dissatisfaction began to gnaw at me. It developed for a lot of reasons... frustrating interactions with HMOs/insurance companies and the somewhat repetitive nature of the invasive procedures I was performing were certainly significant factors.

What could I do instead, though? I'd kept up with business throughout medical training and that seemed a reasonable route. I looked preliminarily into available options. I could get a position as a medical director, running clinical trials for a biotech/pharma or medical device company. That didn't seem like a whole lot of fun... I'd be taking orders from upper level management, carrying out trials at their behest. Alternatively, I could enter consulting via a program like McKinsey APD. Consulting didn't enthrall me either, though. I then spoke to a couple physicians who'd gone to HBS and gone on to entrepreneurship/startups. These conversations made me realize two things: 1) Entrepreneurship/early-stage development really excited me, and would hopefully allow me to continue to positively impact the patients I cared for (via medical devices or biotech/pharma); 2) I would need an MBA to gain the credibility necessary to really get anywhere in the business world.

STARTING THE PROCESS

I didn't make the above realization until the very end of June last summer. When I realized how much effort and time would be required for the GMAT and applications, I panicked. When I calmed down a bit, I made a preliminary list of schools based on my interests (thankfully the list didn't change... they were the five schools I ended up applying to). I started studying for the GMAT as well, using the Official Guide as well as a few Manhattan GMAT guides (I hadn't taken a math class since DiffEq... in 1993!). I signed up for an early September GMAT sitting. While working on the GMAT, I started to work on essays as well. In retrosepct, working on the GMAT and essays at the same time was an incredibly stupid move. I wanted to get my applications out in R1, though, so I plowed ahead. Thankfully, the GMAT went OK.

I was then able to fully commit to the essays. As with everything else in this process, I seriously underestimated the effort required to write effective essays. Thankfully a friend let me look at some of his essays and lent me a copy of Montauk's book. A lot of people still didn't know I was leaving medicine, so I wanted to keep my online presence to a minimum until I actually had an acceptance (paranoid, I know). So I lurked on gmatclub a fair amount :). Using all of these resources, I understood that I had to explain precisely what my goals were and how they had developed from my clinical experiences. I also had to be completely open and honest. A difficult process (I nearly threw my computer at a wall during Stanford's essays), but a good learning experience.

INTERVIEWS

I think preparation for interviews varies substantially. Some people like to prepare for every conceivable question, others like to go in feeling fresh and spontaneous. I fall squarely in the former group. I prepped by reading the databases on accepted.com and Clearadmit and practiced my responses in front of a mirror (and looked ridiculous in doing so). The interviews themselves ran across a broad spectrum. Kellogg and Wharton interviews were on-campus with Adcom members (a student in the case of Wharton), and corresponded pretty closely with the existing databases. Sloan was on-campus with an Adcom member... they use that funky BEI/STAR technique. I thought it went pretty poorly, but things worked out. The Stanford interview was literally a conversation with a really enthusiastic alum at a Starbucks. I came out of the Stanford interview knowing the SGSB was my first choice.

DECISIONS

- I think my Sloan interview went so poorly that it killed the enthusiasm I had for the school. Besides, I've been in Boston for a while and would like to try a different part of the country.
- I absolutely loved Wharton. The Health Care Management program there is incredible and I really liked the people. For a long time I thought I would end up at Wharton, and I know I would've been very happy there.
- Well, I liked Stanford even more. For what I want to do (entrepreneurship/early-stage/VC), it's a great place to be. And the Bay Area's not a bad place to spend some time :)
- I'll attend DAK II and see how it goes. I really like Kellogg and the money from the Austin thing's pretty cool.

SUMMARY

Wow, I can't believe this process only started nine months ago. I just want to reiterate how grateful I am to everyone here. I have every intention of sticking around and helping out. And if I end up at Stanford, I'll do my best to partner up with Kryzak (assuming he ends up at Haas) and entice people to the West Coast :-D
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Re: The evolution of your B-school pursuit [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2008, 10:41
Great post, terry12. Once again, all the best for your future.
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Re: The evolution of your B-school pursuit [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2008, 12:57
wonderful post terry! It's great to see your though process and see you successful! I hope to write mine soon, but I'll wait until I make that final decision. I think most likely I'll be your partner in crime (if I can't go to Stanford, I'll live vicariously through you, haha, j/k :P) next fall to get folks to come to the West Coast.
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Re: The evolution of your B-school pursuit   [#permalink] 01 Apr 2008, 12:57
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