Tag Archives: Indian

When is the right time to take the GMAT

This is the most common question/concern I hear from GMAT students. And I’ve answered it plenty of time. & let me tell you, the answer never change: the short version of the answer is: When you think you’re ready for the test; just take it.
But this time we have special occasion. & I would write a long answer. If you’re reading this article, most probably you’re facing this question currently and still haven’t booked date for the GMAT. I think you’re  fortunate if you’re in that boat. Because you still have the freedom to decide and schedule your preparation according to the date of GMAT exam you opt for.
Unlike the CAT (the national level Indian entrance test), GMAT can be taken any day, any month of the year/season. Therefore this question becomes very critical. (CAT on the other hand happens nationwide once in a year.)

I usually do not suggest to post-pone, delay/extend or per-pone the GMAT test. But specifically for this period, if you’re thinking of taking GMAT this or next month (ie. March/April 2009) I would suggest you to wait for NEW OG. It’ll be beneficial to you if you refer to new book, study it thoroughly and then take the test. If you’re in the middle of the preparation but haven’t booked the date for the GMAT, this is right opportunity to you to buy OG 12. Once you have OG 12 GMAT review book, add some 6 weeks to your preparation & book the date accordingly. It’s very important & I feel you very lucky to be in this situation. Having new OG fresh n young is like a goldmine, my reasoning for this para/statement: I’ll explain it in my next article. (stay tuned).

OG, the official guide, if you dont know already is called the bible of GMAT preparation; published by the people behind GMAT test (GMAC). Its latest edition is out on stores. Check out the following link of OG12
The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 12th Edition.
(My Indian visitors fyi the book will hit in most of the Indian book stores by month end. or you can always order online via the link above.)
The new edition has new set of questions, ( I’ll make a post about the detailed review on this book later in the 3rd part of this article) & it’s highly recommended that you should go through these new set of questions. I’ll explain you later why it is important to buy OG 12th edition even if you have earlier editions of offcial guide. (ie. OG 11, OG purple & OG green)

GMAT boot camp, Bangalore.

Crack verbal is launching a GMAT workshop this month.
It’s a four day session a boot camp in weekends of February. You can check the schedule for more detail.
If you are in Bangalore, preparing for GMAT, can afford fees and if weekends suits you then there’s no reason you should not attend this session. Go ahead and register yourself.
I’ve not met Arun J personally but I know him online since ages and I can guarantee you’ll never regret your decision of attending his GMAT workshosp.

Pagalguy Case study

For all those fans of pagalguy.com it’s a moment of pride.
Being the prospective MBA students, I hope you all know what business case study means. (& what it meant to be the case study itself 😉 ) Definitely a proud moment as I consider myself once associated with pagalguy forums…
I heard last year that IIM Banglore is making a case study on Pagalguy.com. but it was not made open to public. Now it’s available & you can read who document here: http://www.iimb.ernet.in/~gprabhu/pgcase.pdf
There’re a lot of take aways from this document a lot to learn for any dot com startups or those who want to build a social networking sites etc. Although I already knew alot about it, as I’ve been watching the site closely since years, there’s great analysis and data in there. worth reading.
For those new to this site & pg, I’m tempted to write more about this company and its founder Allwin Agnel. So I’m just gonna copy-paste the stuff I wrote about him sometime back…

Allwin Agnel is one of the most dynamic entrepreneurs I have ever seen. His innovativeness on launching an online forum at the time when such technology was not much known to the audience & his creativity of constantly adding new features/tools to the portal & forums, Pagalguy.com, made it one of the MOST INFLUENCIAL websites for MBA aspirants. It’s not just a forum; it’s more of a community which go beyond online sharing of knowledge. I personally, made (a lot) more social contacts via pagalguy forums than all other social networking sites combined. And without selling any product to its members, he made a business model which is generating revenue & positive cash flow. (Something which web2.0 founders stuck to figure out). He’s an excellent motivator and a role model. Despite the fact that handsome jobs are raining in India, I am astonished to see, how successfully he created a great team at Inzane Labs and attracted more talented HR. It’s always a dream to work with him.

Indian IT MBA applicants, Google adsense & more

Some updates from my side.
I am leaving for a special course which will keep me away from cyberspace for 10-15 days. But before I leave I’ll add a new thread on the forums. It’s about Indian IT Males applying for MBA to various b-schools. Check it out in b-school in general section it will be up by tomorrow morning. (Done now. check it: Indian IT Males MBA applicants )
Also there are some changes I have done in my blog layout. I have removed “partner blog” part from the column. Also I have added list of recommended books for MBA preparation. I felt to add it as application season is coming soon it would be beneficial to the readers. I would recommend to buy these books. Some of the books will help you in long run, not only will help you during the application process but also during your actual MBA course. Well! you can check the amazon reviews if you don’t trust me.
And last but not the least: I have removed Google advertisements from this blog. I just said “not the least” right? it’s a big move from my side. I am worried if it hampers my blog writing motivation (?) But what the heck! I have decided to get rid of it.
Back to Indian IT Male thread,
I am looking for the right picture which could convey my message, which is what delaying this thread from its birth. It has made exclusively for Indian IT Males, one of the largest pool of MBA applicants each year who apply to various business schools. The trouble with these fellow applicants is their average GMAT score is higher than their counterparts. Yet they are so out-numbered than any other group of applicants that they are considered to be commons and hence their higher GMAT score doesn’t matter anymore.
Remember your high GMAT score can make you competitive and keep you in the race but lower GMAT score, especially for this group of applicants is detrimental & devastating for their application. Some times I think for Indian IT Males, higher GMAT score is a must, even though, ironically, it doesn’t matter to their profiles. Sorry if I confused you by that, you can post your doubts in that thread. Unfortunately I am not available since tomorrow & I am thus initiating thread and leaving it to our members J who would further take it. I’ll be back in 12 days by 22nd September 2008.
…Till then All the best for application. I know it’s coming close…
PS : I think I’ll start the thread anyways without uploading a picture. Although I still believe that adding a picture would convey my message even more clearly I think it can be added later…

Applying to IIFT (Indian Institute of Foreign Trade) New Delhi

As you know already, that I am thinking of applying to IIFT this year. So, I have to hurry and get the application form filled as deadline is nearing. I checked the official site of IIFT
which of course I liked. haahaa not because I am applying there… honestly I am more used to homepage of US MBA programs & it’s very different from them. Simple-Light and Plain!
No flashy pictures and no fluff. Yeah I agree that those flashy homepages look cool and sleek.
This however is much coarse.
I read all instructions and I realised that I HAVE to make a demand draft first and then check with rest of the application.
A demand draft of Rs. 1330 for general candidates and Rs. 700. for minorities/ and if you are a foreign candidate or NRI(non residential Indian)/ NRI-child you’d have to pay $75 for applying.
Couple of days back I went to town to the Bank for DD. But as usual seeing jammed packed (crowded with people ) bank was real turn off. The bank is going through major transformation and so is very troublesome lately. It was obvious that it’d take me at least four hours in queue standing 😯 to get the DD. So I chucked the whole plan and came back empty hand.
…Actually this was a wise decision as we have sub-branch of it in our village which hardly has any transaction. I submitted my DD form to the sub-branch & I got the DD next day!
Cool isn’t it! I didn’t have to wait for it standing for four hours.
I was not in hurry so I could afford this.
Now that I had my DD in my hand ready. I again checked IIFT site to apply online…
applying was easy but it said that you should have a printer ready to take out the print of your application which then to be sent to IIFT.
haahhaa & my printer is in my home town so right now I have just copied it for printing it from a stationery store or cyber cafe tomorrow.
Once I take the print out of the application form, I’ll have to send it to IIFT along with the Demand Draft.
I got to keep a close eye to all deadlines:
One thing I like about the website is as soon as I applied online they gave me access to my page through which I could track important informations like deadlines
so here’s a sneak peek’
:

1. Last Date for Sale of Prospectus by post: 20th August 2007
2. Last date for Sale of Prospectus across the counter at IIFT: 3rd September 2007
3.Last Date for Receipt of completed Applications: 3rd September 2007
4.Written Test: 25th November 2007
(10 am–12 noon)

hmm interesting! they haven’t mentioned about he Group discussions and Personal Interview dates… I think that should be around January-February 2008.
And for my own record: I am writing the test pattern that is mentioned on the college website verbatim

The admission test is a multiple choice objective type written test (in English). Duration of the test is two
hours. It will cover English Comprehension, General Knowledge & Awareness, Logical Reasoning and
and Quantitative Analysis.
THERE WILL BE NEGATIVE MARKING FOR WRONG ANSWERS.

I used to be good in General knowledge once… haahaa ages back.. guess I’ll have to again start reading pink papers .

Thinking of Indian MBA…

Dont look around, you are right. It’s me. Yes! aim-wsc is thinking of applying to some Indian MBA programmes this year!
surprised? yeah! even I am as surprised as you’re!
I think I must clear this haze around aim-wsc a bit…(OK may be I’ll write an introductory post soon.)
…that’s not the purpose of posting this article… today however, I’ll just talk about my voyage to various Indian MBA programs.
Now you might ask which programs am I thinking of: IIFT. IIFT & IIFT. Right now it’s the only one college I am thinking of applying but soon I’ll reach to some concrete decision.
FMS New Delhi, SP Jain, IIT SOM Mumbai are some of the other colleges I am thinking…
Now the obvious question arises: Why IIMs is not in the list… well for some odd reasons I don’t want to apply there… (not like sour grapes 😉 Yeah I know it’s not in my stretch and even if it would’ve I wouldn’t apply there…)
I’ll check it up with PaGaLGuy Forums but surprisingly I get more hits @ CoolAvenues when I searched about any MBA program in India on google… seems they are doing better with SEO and the stuff.
So I’ll check CoolAvenues site too…yeah I should not forget that this site is commercialised even before PaGaLGuY forums/ portal started. Anyway all I need is some information about these institutes which I would use to make a decision whether to apply to their programmes or not.
Well most probably ( according to my instinct) I wont be apply to any of other Indian or international MBA program this year. So it’s gonna be IIFT only.
But I’ll surely come up with some good reasons for the decision that I would make.

World MBA Tour at Mumbai.

OK. I am lit’l nervous right now, since now onwards there’ll be two persons who know me ‘in person’ will read my blog. Till yesterday there was nobody. Yes, I met these guys at World MBA tour.

I was saying NO NO to the tour till the day before the event. (Even today I know, it’s bit early for me to visit such forums. As of now I am planning to apply for class of 2011?) But on last day I said OK. My cell phone was on repair & had to go to the city to get it; also I wanted to meet an online buddy, coincidentally he was going to attend the fair. These reasons were enough for me to come to the city and attend the fair. But there was one more and rather important reason to attend the event.

All these days, months, I have been reading about these b-schools, was checking their websites reading numerous blogs and various online forums, I was contented with the stuff I have about this GMAT and international MBA thingie. But the knowledge (information) I have (had) is 2nd hand information. I never attended such event before; never visited any b-school and never a seminar or as such. Never seen a person, a b-school guy in flesh-n-blodd; how she walks, talks, presents. That”s about it. So this was the time so I thought to visit the fair.

I got a VIP pass from pagalguy.com. I appreciate this and I promise the forum ( here in public) to help and contribute, intellectually any way I can. Thank you pagalguy.com!

Since I decided to go to fair on last day, I was not prepared, neither mentally nor logistically or materialistically. I asked Iday the other day about what to wear. I know it’s a stupid question, but I think, this comes to everybody’s mind when he’s nervous or visits such events for the first time. ( and therefore I am covering this later in the post) I think formal wear + tie would be OK.

The day started and I realised that I dont have the list of the schools attending the fair. I requested in forums to provide the link. Apurv sent me the link. Thanks Apurv. I printed the list, invitation & the VIP pass.

Oh! Did I mention that my home is three hours away (by train 130 kms) from Mumbai? It was noon & I had missed 3 trains already. I was bit tensed since it was 6th dec. the death anniversary (is that a word?) of one of the founders ( actually principal founder) of constitution of India, Dr. B. R Ambedkar. People from all places of India come to the city and gather at a place called Chaitya Bhumi. (it’s in Dadar)

Train had already travelled more than 1500kms and was ultra crowded when it arrived at my station …as expected. I had no space to move my hip by an inch! I went to city STANDING all the way. Apparently the local train from Virar was not that crowded I managed to get a window seat!


HOW I APPROACHED TO THE FAIR (READ: PREPARE)

Then, in local train, Aim-WSC had some time to check the printed list.  I’d shortlisted some schools. The main attraction was the Columbia. (Yeah! theres C in my userid!) I went to library @1725. checked www, checked some websites of the schools I shortlisted. I didnt check Columbia’s since I knew already what I want to ask. After checking the websites I again shortlisted the schools. The no. of schools reduced to very small number then.

When I checked the websites, I checked the tuition fees, living expense, fin- aid & scholarship school can offer, & approx. ranks of the schools from say BW & FT and lastly ROI. Now what ( /all) I wanted to ask there (and inquire about) at fair is alumni network and demographic distribution of alumni

By 1800hrs I was out of library heading to the fair. Am I late? Event started @1700.

The attire.

From the reception counter on the way to the Hall I received many leaflets that I blindly put into my purse.

Purse? No! it was a jute hand bag actually, which some people including myself sometimes think it as awful. At least when you go to such ^posh^ area, you become even more conscious. I didn’t wear a tie. I had thought to wear it in library; ( library is my second home in the city) but on the way, in local train I met a college kid who was also going to fair wore scrappy shirt and pair of jeans. I said heck! I dont have to wear a tie. The reason: I am not gonna make any ”impact” there or something, I am just gonna sort of window-scan the b-school counters that’s it! So no tie for me, it’s still in the jute bag. A plain shirt, trouser with belt and leather shoes. A hand bag in hand & a pen in a pocket. That’s it. Perfect.

The Fair

The first counter I saw in the hall was Columbia’s. I nodded assertively and smiled.

By the way did I tell you Dr.B.R. Ambedkar was from Columbia University. (probably the first Indian!!) It was bit crowded so I moved on without stopping @CBS. I checked entire hall (two halls actually). You can gain a lot just by overhearing the conversation, provided you blindly jumped in such forums without doing your homework. I checked U at Buffalo, state U of NY. Enquire about financing options. I shortlisted few more state colleges which I cancelled to visit once I was in the hall. I already knew most of the answers, rep was giving.

I would have been happy if Kellogg had come to the tour. The Kellogg site disappointed me big time (and maybe that’s why theres no K in my userid :D)

Some other big schools came, like Chicago GSB, Tuck, Darden. But I was not interested. Thankyou.

Now remains wharton and Columbia.

I just looked at big W’s stall, the most crowded one. Sigh! I never wanna go there. I know A to Z of W’s website. Heck I have been checking the site since I got the internet connection @home. I know I am crazy. But there are many crazy people around here, reading my blog :p

I had a healthy talk with one of the CBS alumni. ~20mins I was @ CBS stall.

Asked some questions about blogging ( yeah that’s right. You wanna hear it?) also whether adcoms do investigative job & check applicants other online activities? @ MySpace, forums or @ blogs et al.

The answer is NO. unless you specify about it in you essay. The other alumna also gave me strat on how to deal with such situations. Haa haa though I have no bad record in cyberspace it was for my other online buddies 😀

Overall the visit paid off.

Met Rohit and Sonam, these guys work for pagalguy.com thumbs up once again thanks for the pass, fellas.

My online buddy was in seminar which I missed. I attended some of the last part of the seminar which was cool. No regrets though, since I was talking with CBS people then.

I met the online buddy there were two of them. And together we complete another round in the hall. On return I saw a familiar face at the other side of the counter. I greeted him and asked whether we have met earlier? Yeah! the person has done MBA from of that particular school. I am so happy, Now. I was not aware that this guy is one of the alumni of my one the fav. School. THIS IS A BONUS.
And the best part is he’s in the same industry that I am interested in. that’s triple bonus!

BONUS BONUS BONUS.


Things I regret for:

  • Not attending seminars, they were good and boy! it was Matt Symonds. yet was free of cost.
  • Not taking down the address/ visiting card of alumni with whom I talked. But I know I will meet him sometime in future (the bonus guy, yes very stupid of me, not taking his card).
  • And most importantly for not asking question to alumni about the total expense in MBA education. What I mean is, is there some truth in Forrest gumps BW finding?
  • You can discuss about it here. Is really Harvard or to say any top notch school�s that expensive? $345000?

I think alumni are best persons to answer this.

So all you readers/ bloggers out there please tell me the answer, sicne I forgot to ask about it in the fair.

SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE ATTENDANTS:

  • Make best of your trip. Do good homework.
  • Bring a pocket notepad.
  • Check with alumni & if day is good, ask for visiting card.
  • Believe in yourself attire is not that important afterall, the place’s always crowded. But if you’re expecting instant interview, or have taken appointment of any adcom/person: wear suit. (And if it’s New Delhi: always wear the suit)
  • The fair also showcase huge no. of scholarships for various MBA programs, get the forms filled & all the best!

What it takes to be the best B-school

dear b-schools, DO YOU HAVE IT IN YOU? (lolz :p)
Check this out!!

I have a question. People normally talk about “Top Business Schools”. My question is which exactly are the top business schools around the globe ? What qualifies a school to fall in this category ?

Baccardisprite answers:

It’s a good question.
My answer / definition, both arguable and debatable is – A top business school (below in no particular order):

  • is almost immediately recognized and recalled (instant oohs… and aahs…) i.e a well-known university or legacy brand that has built itself over many years of the success enjoyed by its alumni (both of the university and the business school)
  • offers it’s students a superior allround academic, social and cultural experience
  • (in a stable/good economy) opens professional doors for the students in the form of strong access to its closest job market with less regard to a students back-ground, origin, or citizenship or in some cases even pre-MBA experience – in other words the opportunity to change elements of one’s career (industry, function and geography). Example – a Top US school to the US job market. An INSEAD all over Europe and the UK. An LBS in London.
  • has a strong, legacy network of alumni who are known for their willingness to help current graduates
  • has career services that possesses the street-credibility to bring top companies from various industries to campus; therefore the oppportunity for MBAs to meet, network and interview with; and offers the right king of training, advice and guidance for students to confidently go off-campus to find their jobs
  • offers you the ability to experience a program with smart (or smarter), ambitious, knowledgeable and wise peers.

These are the things I wanted from my school. Below are the schools that largely fulfil these criteria. These regularly turn up in the rankings NOT because the magazines think so but because they have built themselves over years of success and investment of time, money, and effort to the criteria stated above:

USA – Stanford, Harvard, Wharton, MIT-Sloan, Chicago, Kellogg, Columbia, Michigan, Tuck, Duke, Darden, Haas, Yale and a few others I might have missed.

Canada – Richard Ivey, Rotman, Queens and York – good because they’re good schools and I understand that Canada has recently started offering MBAs the opportunity to work in Canada for 2 years after graduation (this needs to be confirmed).

EU – INSEAD, London Business School, IMD + more recently the European schools that made it to the UK Government’s HSMP list of school’s whose MBA graduates are eligible for a work-permit (NOT tied to employer) in the UK.

Asia Pacific – IIM (A/B/C) – now with the PGPX which is likely to be a success, ISB, INSEAD (Singapore), U-Chicago (Singapore EMBA for more experienced people in the region), Ivey (Part time in Hong Kong), CEIBS (Shanghai).

Notice that I would NOT rank the top 2 Australian Schools here until /unless Australia offers a good opportunity for Internationals to work in Australia after the MBA. Currently not the case as Australia is generally unwelcoming to non-Aussies or non-permanent residents. Unless the country offers an automatic opening to work there or at least a short term chance to work without having to be sponsored, this is NOT a good place to study.

If someone has recent updates that show an improvement to this, please share.

Given their weak career services I would also NOT rank NUS & NTU (Singapore) and CUHK and HKUST (both in Hong Kong).

Hope this helps everyone.


COURTESY NOTE:

Taken from B-schools-Assistance desk thread of pagalguy.com. (very heavy and informative thread by the way!

the thread is mostly controlled by the big-guy.

This guy, (calls himself baccardisprite) lives in Switzerland (spelling check :p).
Whaterver he writes is pure gold, product extracted from is wide work-experience (more than hundred months of international work-experience.) and twelve months of heavy duty MBA from one of the top b-schools in the world. JohnyCAGE recommends to go through all articles he posted.
I have extracted some of his thoughts on what it takes to be the best business school.
(reference link)

Pagalguy turns four!

Ok now look at some stats:

Active Users: 200

Threads: 17,192
Posts: 568,705
Members: 81,036

The stats I have provided above and the website I am talking about is one of the most popular and populated youth forums website.
Yes, I didn’t say MBA-Admissions related forum site. I call it youth forum website.

Yes, four years ago the founder, Allwin (you can find his blog link on the bottom of the right column) might have started the site with the same intention: to provide CAT related discussion forum. And the scope of the site might have been restricted to CAT (Common Admission Test: entrance test conducted for Indian premium institutes like IIMs) related discussions; however today this site has gone beyond that… Beyond CAT, Indian MBA, beyond GMAT, and now international MBA. The website takes interviews of deans of various business schools.
Recently site published the interview of Mr. Caleel, Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Oh yes apart from MBA business this site also do some charitable work. Check out touching lives forum there. I can go on & on but talking about Pagalguy.com in a single post is impossible. You just gotta check it.

I am very fascinated by this site. I started participating in the discussions lately. Since I am aiming for US-MBA my activities are(/were) restricted to two forums only. Which do not quite rock as compare to its other Indian-forums. If you see the numbers, when I say its not rocking, I mean the new thread started has just hundred visits in a day. Well that’s actually quite big number.
So I didn’t quite know the persons there. Then one day I came across this invitation thread.
I checked in.
And I attended the celebration too. Check out the thread you might see me there in the photos….(don’t expect some running man’s pic there… I don’t always run.)
I think I was the only fool who was wearing shirt and a trouser on the party day!!

Some vet-n-loyal people of pg shared some stories about what was there earlier and it is today…I actually had gone through a fantastic thread of history of pagalguy the day beforeand as I hv mentioned I hv done PhD in Allwin’s blog, so I knew the story already…

All the best wishes to Pagalguy.com