Dinged on my birthday

I was completely in love with Kellogg….the MMM program in particular…deeply, madly. It’s my birthday today and my mom is here and she makes it all the more difficult. I can’t curl up in my bed with all the b’day chocolates and cake at my disposal and cry away my sorrows of this rejection with my favorite chick-flicks. I have to be her brave little girl and laugh it off while gearing up for the next schools.

Gawd…my birthday sucks!!


Dinged by Kellogg

I quote-
Dear Ccatcher:

The Admissions Committee has completed its review of your application for the MMM Program. Despite your many merits as a candidate, I regret to inform you that we are not able to offer you a place in the entering class.

The Admissions Committee carefully evaluated your application in the following areas: work experience, career plans, academic ability and performance, extracurricular and community involvement, leadership and interpersonal skills. Decisions are based upon a thorough evaluation of your individual strengths and weaknesses, as well as your qualifications relative to all others in our applicant pool. This decision is not a reflection of your personal qualities and achievements or your potential for success in management, but merely a reflection of the limited number of places in the class.

We certainly wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors, and thank you for your interest in the MMM Program .

Kellogg application status changed……

“All the required elements of your application are complete.

If your interview has been completed, the application has been submitted for review to the admissions committee. If your interview has not been conducted, the application will be submitted to the admissions committee upon completion of the interview. The next status check update will be the admission decision (Admit, Waitlist or Deny). When a decision has been determined, the Office of Admissions will send you an email notifying you to check your status for your decision. Application decisions may be released on or before the decision deadline, but the majority of decisions will be released during the last few weeks of the round.”

Burn out??

I feel tired all day long. No more do I read the school websites tirelessly. I don’t go on sending mails to current students and admissions people with my questions. I don’t check all the MBA blogs for updates. I don’t even read my essays over and over again. Nor do I send them to my friends anymore. Am I burnt out? I am done with just two schools so far. Tuck is not even complete yet. I am still to submit the scholarship form and essays. What’s wrong with me??? Seriously. I can’t put all my eggs in one basket and keep praying for Kellogg till December 18.

I really need to do a good job for my safety schools to get some scholarship. I do need to go for an MBA this year because after having told my manager about my plans, I really can’t stick out another year at my job. It’s time to gear up I guess. May be starting my running routine would help pump back the gumption.

Kellogg interview experience

I had my Kellogg interview on Nov 12, Saturday. I had received an email from the adcom with the details of one emergency contact. I googled the contact and eventually he turned out to be my interviewer. He was a 2010 alumnus, an extremely tall and nice guy. The interview event was in Gurgaon and a lot of alumni interviews were scheduled there. I reached there an hour and a half in advance. My kid brother wanted to see what the Kellogg people are like, so he had also come. He stuck out like a sore thumb dressed in his green tee and hiking shoes. Well, he told me that I looked fine. I met a lot of people whom I had already met in the information event. After spending the time mostly talking to my brother, I was called for the interview. Here is how it went-

Interviewer: Hi Ccatcher, I am <his name>. Then he told me about his experience. I don’t even have a copy of your resume. Can you give me one. (I gave it to him) Now walk me through your resume.

Me: I did my graduation in <my graduation major> from <my college> (I launched into my detailed story)

Interviewer: Hey, I was just looking for a brief intro. I want this to be a conversation.

Me: Sorry. (I completed my “brief intro” in two lines)

Interviewer: Tell me Ccatcher, when did you start thinking of doing an MBA and what prompted it?

Me: Talked my interactions with the CEO and other senior staff and how it made me realize my shortcomings.

Interviewer: Why Kellogg. How did it figure in the list of your schools

Me: Collaboration+ Team work + some ranting about the course

Interviewer: You seems to have a lot of ECs. Tell me about them

Me: Talked about my community work in and outside Adobe

Interviewer: Tell me about a time when you had to deal with hostile team workers

Me: Told a story when I saved a project from getting scrapped

Interviewer:What I meant was “people problems”. At times people are not very motivated or they have ego problems.

Me: Told a story when I had helped resolve a problem by identifying new opportunities for my team.

Interviewer: Indian IT. Last year, we took just two people from this profile. Why do you think we should take you

Me: My diverse experience and creativity (Discovered that we had went to the same school at different points of time)

Interviewer: Give me an example of when you had solved a problem creatively, not when you designed something creatively. Also tell me about the things that you plan to do at Kellogg….clubs you’ll join etc. I realize that I have asked two questions. You can answer the first one for now.

Me: Talked about the time when I initiated a new approach for the community service activities at work.

(Though I remembered the second question, he asked another one so I skipped the second one)

Interviewer: Do people report to you?

Me: Answered it.

Interviewer: Do you go to your college to recruit?

Me: Answered it.

Interviewer: What’s your plan B if you don’t get a job in the US after your MBA?

Me: Coming back to India and finding a job here.

Interviewer: (Talked about the huge financial undertaking an MBA is. Talked about his own loan. Told me to think through it all.) OK. Tell me about the things you plan to do at Kellogg

Me: I talked about the problems in one of my community initiatives that I hope to solve at Kellogg and about the clubs that I am interested in.

Interviewer: have you interacted with any of the current students or alumni to find the ground reality because some of the things may not live upto your expectations. You have very limited time and you should try and invest it most wisely.

Me: Yes I have been interacting with <name>, a current student.

Interviewer: Talked about the things he found disappointing. With your particular career goal why don’t you apply to college x in the US or one of the Indian colleges

Me: Talked about the diversity they provide.

Interviewer: This could apply to any top tier college in the US. Which ones have you applied to anyway.

Me: Narrated the list. Told him that I like this particular program at Kellogg

Interviewer: Picked at my choice for a European college. Suggested another college with similar program and that I should look it up too.

Me: Said something….don’t remember what. I thought the course he is suggesting is not exactly what I am looking for but didn’t point that out as I was not sure.

Interviewer: Do you have any questions for me.

Me: How did the Kellogg experience change you personally and professionally.

Interviewer: Answered in detail. I listened intently.

Me: May I ask one more question.

Interviewer:  (Looks at his watch) Yes

Me: Asked about his most memorable experience.

Interviewer: Answered in detail. I listened intently. Well Ccatcher, this is it. (Stands up and we shake hands) Now I will submit your interview report to the adcom and they will look at your complete file including your essays, resume and GMAT score. It will be between you and the adcom now.

We exchanged niceties. I asked for his business card which he didn’t have. He gave me his email id. I came back and wrote a thanks note to him to which he replied after a day. 

This was it, I don’t have any definite feeling about the whole interaction. I came out to find that my brother had become best buddies with everyone sitting in the waiting area. We wished them all good luck and came back.

Fingers crossed!!


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.