Okay Guys, What’s up? How is life going? I guess each one of us is anxiously looking forward to the upcoming admission session. Last week, Stanford GSB and HBS released their application essays for the 2012 batch. With hem, I guess all of us must be gearing up to put our best to our dream schools.
I have lots of update from my side.
Firstly, I am done with the essay of the Reliance Stanford Fellowship. It was a fun writing the essay and changing it again and again. It becomes really challenging when reviewers try to give their comments and suggestions. I don’t know how many reviewers try to put themselves in our shoes to look from our perspective. But I fell that should be the ideal and honest approach for helping the applicants. What I found challenging while writing the essay was the topic “How do you aspire to shape India’s future?” and that too in 250 words or fewer. You gotto be kidding me. That was the first reaction when I tried to analyze the topic. I wanted to tell a lot of things but there wasn’t enough space for me to do so. What I did was I thought I should first try to understand what it really tries to mean and most importantly, what message I want to convey here. Trust me this approach helps as one knows very well where and how thought process is is shaping up. Next, I straight away sat down for almost 7 hrs to write down whatever came to my mind following those guidelines. I did not look back to re-read it at that time. Not surprisingly, I wrote almost 9 pages. It was well above 1500 words. But then, every alternate day I used to sit for 2 hrs re-reading the essay and fine-tuning it, using each word economically and appropriately. The last 2 weeks, I took advice from couple of friends and took their opinion on the essay. A lot of them appreciated the starting and the end paragraph though there was one who did not like my concluding statement but when I inquired about it more from others, they agreed with my statement. Basically, I would say the concluding sentence is the statement that came right from my heart and the only sentence in the whole essay, which I just changed in due course but never was in a mood to take it off at any cost. As for personal opinion, I feel each one of us should have his/her own USP of the essay and it should never be compromised because if we do we lose ourselves in it. Here are few guidelines when one approaches the Reliance Dhirubhai fellowship essay:
- The focus should be on giving a shape to India’s future. Remember there is a big difference in “shaping” and “changing”. A good way of tackling this is to think of a current scenario which can be harnessed further to have a strong effect. It would be really nice if someone tries to link his current professional experience coupled with Stanford MBA to address it.
- Discuss human and socio- economic issues in India and how they form part of your plan of shaping India’s future. Show your love and commitment to India’s growth and future genuinely.
- Try to link your professional aspirations to the theme of the essay. Try to dram a roadmap from your past life to Stanford MBA life and post MBA India life. Always remember, the fellowship requires fellows to come back to India within to 2 years of their graduation for at least 2 years to work in public/private organization.
- How MBA from Stanford fits into the overall scheme of things. Do your school research and try to show “HOW”.
- keep in mind the word limit (only 250 words). It is definitely too less and everyone is bound to struggle as I did. Probably, 100 words could do more justice to it.
So, well I am ready with my essay and I will be probably submitting it today or tomorrow. Overall, I am satisfied with the final shape of the essay.
Secondly, on GMAT preparation front, I am spending a lot of my time with the OG. I am bit terrified but I am confident. I feel I have got a good grasp on SC and CR now and have to work a bit more on the RC front. Quant section is never a problem for me as I generally score on the range of 47-51 on it. So, all the focus is on the verbal front. I will be taking the tests from tomorrow regularly to judge my course. I am yet to take a date and probably, I will wait for the Reliance Fellowship results because if I happen to be in the 5 finalists, then I can get a GMAT voucher for them. So, as of now, anytime July mid will be the GMAT date.
Finally, I have developed a strategy for choosing the schools. It is very similar to the recruitment process that is generally followed in all the institutes in India. I am going to have two Dream B-Schools and in terms of priority it is going to be Stanford GSB and Hass Berkeley. I am passionate about both of these B-Schools. In fact, they are the only two universities that I have visited on my USA trip last year. Honestly, Stanford GSB has been always been my only unchanged and permanent love because somehow I feel deeply connected to it and I feel no matter what, Stanford can understand me and my aspirations. I am going to go full guns loaded to it. In fact, I got in touch with an alumnus, who has assured me of helping to develop my profile for the GSB. While interacting with him for last couple of months, I found that we have a lot of similarities and when I approached him with the idea of helping me out, he instantly said yes.
So, apart from the dream schools, there will be 4-5 schools where I feel have a good competition to get an offer, which would depend a lot on my GMAT. I have got a tentative list of almost 12 schools in this category but have to dig around a lot more before finalizing the FOUR. Other than this, I am going to apply for ISB and NUS in Asia.
I guess starting early on all fronts will help me getting things proper at the right time and not rush. I am planning got decide on my recommenders also soon. I wrote my first essay with the Reliance Fellowship essay and I feel to get a good essay, one has to bring himself inside out. Though I always knew, what and how I think about my India, but this exercise showed me my shadow in the mirror in true sense. I am really excited about the application season and I hope it is going to be an amazing ride to hidden revelations about myself. One thing for sure is “The mantra for writing essays should be bringing one’s INSIDE OUT”. The more one knows and reveals him in the essays, the more comfortable and confident he would be with the essays.
With Almight blessings and blessings of my parents, I am going to submit the Reliance Fellowship Application today or tomorrow. Ia m keeping my finger crossed.