Tag Archives: columbia

Do you Aim-WSC (?)

Hi there,
Check this out, haahaa
I just changed the title of this blog. (I merged all my blogs now)
Do you Aim-WSC?
It’s the name I chose for myself in some GMAT and MBA related forums couple of years ago and now it’s almost became a synonym for me… though I go by Johny Cage, my identity as aim-wsc is more popular than my name. They’ve nicknamed me as “aim” and now I really check the sentence twice whenever I see that word…Many of my phone calls I answer these days had to attend by aim-wsc and not by Pranav Amrute.
Heck! People actually discussed about my username on “forum trivia” thread!
Aim-wsc has a great potential to grow further in future! (but now I dont endorse that brand)
Watch this space as I’ll be writing more here from now. And make a brand as aim-wsc :mrgreen:
I have been doing research on b-schools since ages; and when I joined these online forums, I had shortlisted MBA programs from three top b-schools: Wharton, Stanford, Columbia. Today, though I have chucked the thought of applying to Stanford, ( as I realised that it’s not my kind of school and I dont fit in that MBA program.) , it is still there in my name.
I am loser yet I am aiming high. Do you too aim higher?
Do you Aim-WSC?
If you do, join the squad!
Check out the Google friends connect in the sidebar, & sign up.

Reflection to MBA tour

My some of friends asked me to write some detailed account about the tour experience and my reflection on it.

So I am adding one more article here. You might find this bit rude but that’s the way it is.

The atmosphere in fair hall was supportive. I mean, you feel nervous before entering into the fair but once you have entered you are relieved.

You should avoid being idiot and ask stupid questions to the college representatives. Since the real turn off to the people standing on other side of stall is lack of preparation of visitors. You can learn a lot by simply overhearing the conversation.

Another turn off is when a visitor says that she hasn’t taken the GMAT yet. The representatives then fail to gauge your level and hence fail to give good advice. It also shows that you are not that serious candidate among all others.

Now on personal experience:

I was at Columbia desk for most of the time. No person from NewYork City had come to represent Columbia there. All people were Alumni settled in Mumbai. Couple of them were not present in the hall virtually. They were much bsuy attending their phone calls than attending visitors at their desk. 😉

The Alumni were trying to comment to visitors query as neutral as they could and ending up in no real, significant and informative reply. No inside info. The guy was even hesitant to reply-straight a question as simple as whether living in NYC is more expensive than other college campus.

But still it was an experience talking to real Alum of such a big shot school.

Some visitors were not aware how big the name Columbia is and thus asking questions like whether she would get a good placement after MBA from CBS. I moved to next desk
lol.

Some of the school representatives were so desparate to talk with visitors that they were literally calling each person and telling them about their university, giving them brouchers. And all. Yes I became a victum ot such college too. Now I have this broucher in my hand which I am not at all interested reading it. I have something better to do with this pamphlates. Yeah! I am in train right now. I am writing this (rough) article on this broucher. I don’t have a notebook to write.
Lol

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!