After the GMAT

Well it’s been a while since I declared GMAT Conquered. Seeing that it was more than 7 months ago, one would assume that I have been hard at work researching colleges and completing applications. I did actually manage to do some research but I have come to realise that I have barely scratched the surface. With the world wide web of resources to guide the process, it just makes infinite sense to utilize it and prepare the strongest application one possibly can. Needless to say I do not currently have the strongest application I can possibly have. I pulled out a lot of my hair just putting together an updated resume after three and a half years of letting it get dusty. Thankfully both the GMAT and TOEFL are out of the way so I can safely check them off the proverbial checklist. I have also been trying out an interesting concept which was inspired by a video I saw on the INSEAD Business School website. A student there suggested that in order for the essays to truly reflect who you are, you need to keep writing down in bits and pieces whatever comes to mind when you think about the questions you need to answer. It resonated very strongly with my belief that our life experiences really shape the person we are today but unless we reflect upon them, we won’t be able to see the patterns. So I set about the task of doing just that and I’m glad to report: Mission Accomplished.

So here is what I did. I first selected from my 25 years of existence, the 15 most significant “life events”. The process to decide these events was simple, I just went with the ones that had left the strongest impressions on me. If you think that it sounds too arbitrary, let me remind you that ultimately we are what we believe of ourselves. So however subjective they may be, our experiences are what define us. Once I had the events in place, I made myself answer three questions about each one:

  1. What it meant to me?
  2. What I learnt from it?
  3. How has it affected the person I am today?

I started out by writing them out on paper where they ended up being more narrative and less bullet points. But that was good, because it didn’t restrict my thinking and I came up with a lot of things that actually surprised me because I had never really given them too much thought before. Afterwards however, I translated the key points into an excel where I can now glance through them all with ease and which I usually do once a week. Its strange to know that even though you know yourself best, you still need to remind yourself of some parts of you so as not to forget them. But I digress. This entire task however should not have taken as long as it did, so I definitely need to be more disciplined with my time.

The next part of the job which was to use all this insight to actually begin drafting essays didn’t quite materialise. Sure I have an outline in place, but it has a lot of blanks to be filled. So now begins the real journey where I give myself completely to the process and see what emerges.

Until next time, Cheers!

4 thoughts on “After the GMAT”

  1. Hi again! This exercise reminds me of something similar I did using Avi Gordon’s ‘MBA Admissions Strategy’ book. This was recommended to me by someone who really struggled to structure and write essays (he was later admitted to MIT and Oxford).

    If that is a weakness (and you have time on your side), the book may be worth a look?

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