Belated happy diwali…….and Tuck

Dint go home this diwali because of the MIT deadline and then didn’t submit the MIT app in R1. There were multiple reason. The recommendations didn’t shape up on time as my recommenders were in the festive mood. Also, I hadn’t interacted enough with the school. So, I postponed the application to round 2. I have the essays kind of ready. Will send them to my reviewers soon.

All that said, I love Tuck….everything about it, especially the great sense of community. I grew up in a close-knit community which was comprised of a diverse set of people. Now, what am I doing to go to the college I love so much. So far I have went through the school website. I am reading the clearadmit  Tuck guide. It’s a good and concise compilation of the information about the school. Stay tuned for a detailed review.


I have had a tough time getting the perfect recommendations not because I didn’t know even two people willing to write great things about me but because I had too many choices. For my remaining apps, I plan to stick to the two safe options from work.

I Kellogg and Tuck, I submitted one recommendation from my ex-manager. He tried too hard to make it sound real due to which the recommendation sounded kind of week. To offset that, I submitted a third recommendation from my current manager which was great. I just hope that in all the three recommendations work out fine. In Tuck, again the ex-manager was too qucik to submit his uber-real recommendation. There also, I plan to send a third one from my current manager. Now for MIT, I sent an extra-curricular one. This recommender commented that after reading the draft I had sent him, he thinks that modesty is not one of my virtues. I just hope that he didn’t write the things exactly as I had sent them. Now, I have just three more schools left. I am going to stick to my safe bets.

Kellogg Round1 done

I submitted the part 2 of the Kellogg application well within the first round deadline. Yaay!! <does the celebratory jump around dance>Yaay!!

It took two sleepless nights when I wrote draft after draft of the essays and my friend read each of them. He didn’t become immune to the essays and kept pointing out the flaws. Stinky….You are awesome. Right now, I am feeling a little hammered and am finding it difficult to follow people who speak fast. I even did a product demo this morning. Cracked a lot of jokes. They must be thinking that I am on crack.

This experience taught me that <essay lingo> one should never write an essay without writing an outline first. Yeah, do a lot of introspection. Paint a grand picture of yourself. Dig out the old appraisal forms you wrote, your old journals and even that big bundle of useless certificates. Make a list of events and see if they all say some common things about you. Make a list of people and think that what do they feel about you and find a theme there. Now, with your own image clear in your mind, attack the info about the school. Go through the website. Read your email interactions with alumni and current students. Don’t stop absorbing stuff about the school until you develop a “feel” for the school. You should have a fair idea of the curriculum, the remarkable faculty members, clubs and the teaching method of the school. Also, find out if there are certain things that the school is famous.

Now read through all the questions and first create a broad outline of the overall pitch. Then make the outlines for individual essays. Please write only when you are feeling like, i.e. when words are just flowing from your fingertips. Never ever write your essays if you have to drag through them. Please don’t put all your info out there in the essays. Put it in a list in bullet points.

Transcripts: Check

Yeah. I went to the office for the high-res scanner.  Scanned all my transcripts and made a pdf. Some were too big for the scanner so I had to scan them in parts and then stitch the parts together in Photoshop. After all the was done I had a 42 MB pdf. I tried reducing size with the Save As options but they didn’t work out. What worked is listed below-

  1. Open the .pdf in Acrobat
  2. Ctrl+P
  3. Choose Adobe PDF as the printer
This reduced the size to 1.9 MB. Then I did further size reduction through the options in File>Save As sub menu and got it below the required 1500 K.

Reviewed Kellogg Essay: Doing it all over again

This is what happens when you have too many reviewers. I kept slashing things as my reviewers kept suggesting. Finally, my most informed reviewer says that my essays are too vanilla. All work no fun.

Damn you other reviewers. I hate you guys. So, instead of taking a good nap, I am here just reading the comments over and over again. I am gonna read them till I learn all the comments by heart.  Then I will sketch the basic structure for all the essays on paper. And then I will write them all over again. Once done with this, I will cross check them with the comments and probably make someone else read them for grammar and flow. That’ll be it.

Too bad that all the experiments are happening on my dream school app. I plan to read the Tuck guide this weekend. Stay tuned if you are interested.

740 it is

Yeah, it’s done and I have made a leap of 50 points. I am happy….really happy. Towards the end of the exam, a though flashed to my mind-“What if  I score something like 570” That made the 740 look all the more beautiful.

Now, the details. On Wednesday night, I had done two MGMATs in a row. That’s like around 7 hours of slogging. I went to sleep at 6 in the morning on Thursday. I had taken leave from work for Thursday and Friday (the d-day). On Thursday, I got up at around 1 pm and was feeling rather bombed. I had some caffeine and analyzed the last MGMAT. Then I slogged my way through the second GMAT prep test in which I scored 750. There is something about the GMAT software UI. I was more tired by this one test than I had been after taking two MGMATs in a row. Then I watched a Kirsten Dunst movie on tennis. It’s titled Wimbledon I guess. After that I had some more tea. Then I went through my mistakes in the GMAT prep test.

The UI depressed me again. So I went out for a run but instead walked around and went to a temple and then searched for granola bars in all the grocery stores in my vicinity. Didn’t find the bars, so bought some Dairy Milk Silk  chocolates and came back. Then I had a shower, some light dinner and went to bed at around 10. I didn’t sleep very well. I kept getting up. Mi mama woke me up at 6:45 AM on Friday by calling me. After that I had a sweet and short nap till 7:15 . I got up, did some skipping (with a rope) and had tea. Then I just got ready and left for the office at 8:45 AM because the office cafeteria is the only place which serves breakfast this early. In office, I had some breakfast and left for the metro station at 9:30. I reached the center at 10:30 PM. Had no difficulty locating it this time.

Since I had a lot of time to kill, instead of going to the test center on the fourth floor, I roamed around and checked out the opening shops. I bought some coffee and a bottle of water and headed for the center. I was still early and had around 45 minutes. I finished my coffee and sat down on the stairs to read the OG. I had to bend a lot and it was straining my backbone. So, I gave up on the last minute brush up and spent time playing teeter on my cellphone. I was let in at 11:30. After going through the usual verification process, they led me to the examination room. I think I was given the same seat as the one I had last time.

The exam started. The argument was easy to rip apart but somehow I had to type really fast and had just five minutes left when I stopped typing and started proofreading. I had to struggle a bit in the issue essay but then I thought of using a personal experience as an example and sailed through it. I took the break and had half a chocolate and two glasses of water. Then I returned to my exam. I found the verbal to be a little more difficult than usual and really got stuck at the 31st question. I spent a lot of time on it because I could. I had 28 minutes remaining. After spending  more than 5 minutes on that one , I moved on and encountered a lot of data sufficiency questions which I hate. But, they were not very difficult and I had all the time to follow the complete DS workflow for each of them.

I took a break again to finish the remaining chocolate and re-hydrate myself. The section started with sentence correction which I love. Then there was CR. The passages were all easy to follow except one about some Florida guy. That also was not very difficult. I really took my time with the passages making notes and stuff. I didn’t finish half an hour ahead of time as I used to in practice tests. I think I had around ten minutes left when I finished. I was remarkably calm inside when I clicked the End Exam button. Then I finished the usual info stuff and finally opted to view my score. It was 740 and I thought for a moment about how should I feel about it. Before, the thought could finish, I was flooded with an immense sense of relief-“God….it’s over!!” I picked my stuff from the locker and came out a happy woman 🙂


AWA ESSAYS: Analyze Issues
“In making a complex decision, one should trust experience more than instinct.”

Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the position stated above. Support your viewpoint using reasons and examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.

I agree with the statement that in making a complex decision, one should trust experience more than extinct. Experience is the wisdom one attains by going through difficult situations in life. The emphasis that is usually put on conditioning and training signifies the importance of experience over instinct.

One good example is the intervention of India in the freedom movement of Bangladesh. The Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had a complex situation before her. Bangladesh was struggling to become a independent nation. Getting Bangladesh separated from Pakistan was in India’s strategic interest. There was the problem of illegal immigration of Bangladeshis to India to be considered. But, India also risked antagonizing the US by intervening in the internal affairs of Pakistan and Bangladesh. Om top of this, the intervention would have had a significant military cost for the country.

Instead of going be her instinct and sending over an army in the months of August-September, the prime minister consulted the Army General Sam Maneckshaw, an experienced man of war. He suggested her to postpone the military intervention and wait for the rains to get over. Sending over the army during the rains would have been a suicide for the Indian troops due to the floods in the river Brahmaputra. The Prime Minister heeded the general’s advice and waited for the rains to get over. India successfully intervened in the civil strife and helped Bangladesh become an independent nation.

Another good example is Hitler’s defeat in Russia. He didn’t learn from Napolean’s experience and attached Russia during winters. The Russians kept drawing back while Hitler’s army froze and starved in the Russian winters. Had Hitler been a little more attentive to learning form Napolean’s experience, he could have averted the crushing defeat of his army.

As this examples clearly prove, it is extremely important to listen to an expert’s experience before taking a complex decision.