After the two weeks I have had, I have come to believe that an MBA is actually a 4 year program. From the moment you begin to even think about embarking on this path till you finally graduate, it is a non stop and absolutely breathless process of preparation. If one even tries to just read every single thing written about the subject online, I’m pretty sure it would take an entire year. A year doing nothing else mind you. So those of us interested in a life, a job, food, sleep and exercise, it would probably take well over two. And here’s the irony, reading and researching is only one tiny part of the process. One-fifteenth of the process to be precise, according to the generally accepted list of steps 😛
But jokes aside, I am eternally grateful for the gift of the internet and for the kindness of so many people willing to lend a helping hand. “Ask and you shall receive” kept playing through my mind as I browsed countless pages of resources. After a lot of skimming, clipping, bookmarking, downloading and organizing, just when I thought I had a handle on things, I would find one more link to one more site where I found one more thing to save and you get the picture.
Well I am pleased to report that ultimately, I have arrived at a plan. This plan is in no way original or as detailed as it should be. But its a start and my next week will be dedicated to thorough research about the vague idea of my goals and writing them down!
I take my hat off to all all those who have been successful on this journey and I sincerely hope that I can call myself one of you someday.
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:
What it meant to me?
What I learnt from it?
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.