Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Goodnight and Goodluck!

I have been terrible about updating this blog. Sorry!

Much has happened since.

Spanking new role at work, Much better focus on what I want to do next, Revelation that I don't need Bschool to do what I want to do, Withdrawl from B-school Apps *after a drawn out period of deep thinking and agonizing*.

I've decided to put this Bschool-specific blog to rest while continuing my real-life blog.

I do check the MBA Applicant blogs often, just to see what everyone's been up to.

Goodluck, y'all!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Steps ahead

First, Thank you fellow-bloggers for the comments. Wish you the best for the application process!


Argh. I'm slowly getting sucked into the vortex of work, personal chores and other mundanities.

I m-u-s-t REFOCUS!

In the hope that publicly committing myself to the required tasks will shame me into action :)
here's my plan.

Target schools --

HBS, MIT, Stanford [and Wharton]

Round 1 targets: HBS and MIT
Round 2 targets: Stanford [and Wharton]

Main tasks --

1. Application forms
2. Resume'
3. Class visits
4. Recommendations
5. E-S-S-A-Y-S
6. Collateral (Write-ups for recommenders, background info/examples)

Timeline --

AUGUST 2nd week:

* Think hard and long and write up a doc about my long-term goals,
why MBA, where have I been, plan ahead etc. etc.
* Prepare Resume'
* Order transcripts
* Zone in on the HBS essay topics

AUGUST 3rd week:

* Approach potential recommenders and ask them nicely
* HBS 3 essays - first-cut drafts

AUGUST 4th week:

* Track transcripts
* HBS other 4 essays - first-cut drafts

SEPTEMBER 1st and 2nd week:

* Re-meet recommenders, armed with material/preso/writeup
* Furiously work away on HBS essays
* Fill out the HBS application form.

SEPTEMBER 3rd and 4th week:

* Schedule a class visit to HBS and MIT.
* Nag recommenders about HBS app.
* Craft and re-craft HBS essays.

OCTOBER 1st and 2nd week:

* Get HBS app all in order
* Submit HBS!

OCTOBER 3rd and 4th week:

* Fill out MIT app form.
* Labor over MIT essays.
* Nag recommenders about MIT app.

November 1st week:

* Submit MIT!

November 2nd, 3rd and 4th week:

* Fill out Stanford app form.
* Work on Stanford essays.
* Nag recommenders about Stanford app.

December:

* Submit Stanford!


January:

* chill (adj.) brrrr.
* chill (verb) zzzzzz.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Return of the Yukta

I fell off the face of the earth for months. and not for any exciting reasons either. :)

I've just been doggone busy with work and tons of personal stuff. My b-school plans had to be kept on hold for the most part.

I finally got off my butt and got done with the GMAT. Did pretty well ( 740+)

Now I gotta tackle them essays, recommendations, transcripts, app forms etc.

Sigh.

Hope all's well with other bloggers.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Bearable lightness of being

Swoop started an interesting thread on the economics of fast-food, government's role and personal responsibility.

Power Yogi raises a key 'If you build, will they come' question.

Is it possible to provide healthy+inexpensive+tasty food *and* make profit?

What makes fast food irresistible?

1. cheap.
2. tasty.
3. efficient. (no need to pore over bafflingly-complicated-menus. orders are easy to pick, take and make).

Introducing

Hunky Dory
Healthy and Fine. Just like you!

Menu to follow in another post. Gotta get me some food. ;)


Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Oh Maria!

A part-comical part-musical break from all those deep-deep thoughts!

So I discovered this Tamizh song 'Oh Maria' ...
Music by A.R.Rehman, movie is Kaadhal-something. Not to be mistaken for the Hindi song from dimple-kapadia-comeback-film Sagar.

The first 2 lines go
' Oh Maria, Oh Maria..Fruit Cherry-a, Nee vareeya? email-love letter tariyaa'
(With the 'r' in Maria, rolled more furiously than a belan would do a chapati)

The song rocks! :D

Okay, back to my 'Thinker' mode. :)


_ O,
/ /\/
__(_/_
| //
------"

Monday, January 24, 2005

Shift in my thinking

There's been a background thread running in my mind the past few days. Here's an attempt to articulate these thoughts.

Considering B-school, thinking about applications, work experience, how-i-am-just-not-good-enough, the pitch,the can-i-ever-make-it, the lure of the pedigree etc. had made me restless and nervous. I was anxious and preoccupied with planning to plan the strategy and ready to focus everything I do this whole year towards building a successful MBA application.

All along, Something just didn't feel right. like a mildly-ill-fitting shoe.

And then two things happened.

I chanced upon a few wise words by a successful woman - CXO of a company. a happily married mother of 3, radiating confidence, cheer and centered-ness. perfect.

I also came across a passage :
"Why, I saw all at once that a man cannot possibly conceal himself or appear

either better or worse than he is, not for long! for the secret leaks out at
every look. There is no style, no art, no lie, that can long cover up what
a man is. It discloses itself in every word he says, every line he writes ---
whether he will or no --- and gets itself soon published abroad. This may be
clear enough to many men; but long ago it came to me as a kind of discovery.
It made me laugh at myself and that ended my fear."

"It did!" he exclaimed eagerly.

"Yes," said I, "to be able to laugh at one's self is the beginning of peace --
and you cannot imagine the comfort I began to feel. The sense of wishing to be
known only for what one really is is like putting an old, easy, comfortable
garment. You are no longer afraid of anybody or anything. You say to yourself,
`Here I am --- just so ugly, dull, poor, beautiful, rich, interesting, amusing,
ridiculous -- take me or leave me.'

"And how absolutely beautiful it is to be doing only what lies within your own
capabilities and is part of your own nature. It is like a great burden rolled
off a man's back when he comes to want to appear nothing that he is not, to take
out of life only what is truly his own, and to wait for something strong and
deep within him or behind him to work through him."

What I'm beginning to fathom is ....
Focusing on success is actually pointless. Focusing on being worthy of success is worthwhile. If it takes an MBA application to bring about the self-transformation to be worthy of success, so be it. But keep the focus on the *process*. not the result.

If you ignore it, find short-cuts and even manage to wing reaching the goal some-how, you will only feel unsure and jittery, like you didn't deserve to be there. *and* you will then have to build capabilities that you are already supposed to have.
sooner or later, the hollowness of it all will catch up with you.

(Interestingly, this is what happened with me thus far, to an extent.
I have always managed to get what I want, with minimum effort and indifference. It worked okay in the world of academic courses, standardized tests. but at some point, the lack of knowledge-that-ripens-over-time showed. It makes me diffident and hollow today)

BUT..I feel like something just clicked inside my head.
and I seem to *finally* get why it's important to do the right thing the right way.

Does this make sense to anyone at all?



Friday, January 14, 2005

Politics and English language

Last night, I read George Orwell's 'Politics and English language'.

Brilliant and incisive!

Words are often constructed and repeated, to conjure images, provoke strong reactions and imply value judgements. They have very little to do with 'Truth'.

Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Dowry Death.
Globalization.
Secularism.

PS: Aisi Google ki Jai ho! (loose transl: Hail Google)
You can find the essay online at http://www.resort.com/~prime8/Orwell/patee.html

Mugambo is no more! :(

Amrish Puri, one of the finest actors in Indian film and theater land is dead.
:(



Thursday, January 13, 2005

Tainted!

I've just been looking at random blogs, the student profiles on the hbs website.

It's hopeless. not a *single* case of a software engineer getting into HBS!

finance/consulting/military/government/politics/liberal-arts/philosophy/manufacturing/
operations..anything but s/w development.

I have been tainted by 5 years of software engineerdo(o)m.

There's no frikkin way I'm getting into HBS. :(


The L-word

Outside of work: I've been sorta kinda active in the community wherever I have been (school, college, local community).

Nothing tremendously impressive (like executive-director-of-a-non-profit)
but demonstrable and consistent with my interests in general.

BUT...

I have exhibited *no* signs whatsoever of leadership potential at work!

mainly because well..err..how do you put it..umm..i have been..what do you call that..uhhn..
GOOFING OFF!

1. No raise or promotion in the past 3 years.
2. Not seen as anything more than a lowly and asocial *wince* software engineer.
3. Hardly any social capital at work.

*dark clouds of depression brooding around these brutal facts*

So what can I possibly do now to rebuild my professional self?

and more disconcertingly, why is there such a disconnect between my work-self and the other-self, in performance and personality.

Does this mean I can't really succeed at things-that-really-matter?

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Why Now

The right reasons:

- have solid background in tech industry
- short-term goal - want to move to product management
- eventual goal - Chief Marketing Officer of a tech company
(right combo of art and science that makes me tick)

The real reasons:
- am going to be 30 if i get in. if not now, when??
- want to move back to my home country in 6-7 years. if not now, when??
- want to take 1-2 years off to have a baby, sometime in the next 3-4 years.
a top MBA makes it much easier to get back on track.


Why MBA

The good (weeeak)

- Cross-functional skills
- intellectual environment
- make education complete
- well-roundedness for an executive position in a big company


The bad (dominant)

- Pedigree
- Power
- Peer pressure
- Flee from s/w development
- Money


Tuesday, January 11, 2005

HBS vs Sloan

I spent a wee bit of time looking at HBS and Sloan web sites - descriptions of the MBA program, what the schools are looking for in applicants etc.

From an application-strength perspective (quant background, techie job, startup-experience etc.) I probably have a better chance at Sloan than at HBS.

BUT..
From what I think of myself (outside-this-techie-job) and where I want to be in future (generalist-wannabe, people-motivator/manager-wannabe -- just didn't get a chance to do so because of doing s/w development all along :( )

I'd *love* to go to HBS!




Monday, January 10, 2005

Beginner's advantage

Something I have noticed happen, over and over again.

I have good 'raw' intelligence. I grasp new concepts very fast.
I'm usually the smartest kid (and a vocal one, too) in an introductory class.

And then something happens.

I get smug. lazy. distracted. I remain stunted at the initial surge of understanding.
because I simply don't know how to *consciously* advance my learning.

In other words., I don't know how to learn to learn.

This is perhaps why my relationships with people don't get deeper over time either.
I manage to establish a very good initial rapport initially. but the understanding doesn't
increase over time.

and we all know, E = RG + RL * t

Where
E : Expertise (or Success or Mastery or..)
RG : Raw Goods
RL : Rate of Learning
t : Time

My raw smarts are not massive enough to compensate for the close-to-zero rate of learning.
Result? My success-over-time graph is a steady short plateau..

This totally SUCKS.



Friday, January 07, 2005

Schools

Just been browsing through a few applicants' blogs.

The gestation period, from the initial seed of a stray thought 'hey, how about doing an MBA' to being ready to apply, appears to be atleast 2 years.

I've barely begun to entertain the notion of doing an MBA and don't really know enough about the whole darn business. BUT...

Here are my choices and highly uninformed opinions.
*ignoring the nasty little 'you-ain't-good-enough' bugger in my head snorting*


Harvard

uppers: ze name, those quaint brick buildings, the whole 'leadership' spiel.
downers: notorious hbs arrogance, fear of being an armchair-generalist.

MIT

uppers: the place one'd learn the most, quant-ness over touchy-feely.
downers: narrow emphasis - engineering and innovation.

Stanford

uppers: top5 school, weather, strong hi-tech proximity.
downers: move across the country.

Wharton

uppers: older crowd, top 5 ranking.
downers: philly.

Voices

Yukta: Use your brain intensely for 5-6 hours a day.
Yukta: Become VP-of-something. Leave a mark.

Yukta: Get decently paid. own more of your time.
Yukta: Be smart and ambitious. Use your talent and potential.

Yukta: Do Yoga. Relax.
Yukta: kick some ass!

Yukta: Practise caricaturing in cute little cafe's.
Yukta: Influence people's lives. Build something lasting.

Yukta: Be around your family and friends.
Yukta: High time you worked hard in life!

Yukta: Write those pomes and stories.
Yukta: Engage in professional development. Plan career growth.

Yukta: Simplify.
Yukta: Be all you can be!

reminds me of this verse by Vikram Seth --

'Voices'

Voices in my head,
Chanting, “Kisses. Bread.
Prove yourself. Fight. Shove.
Learn. Earn. Look for love,”

Drown a lesser voice
Silent now of choice.
“Breathe in peace, and be
Still, for once, like me.”



Hello world!

As techie-averse as I am, I join the world of bloggers..finally.

I'm a hesitant Bschool applicant flippity-flopper at the moment.
I intend to use this space to ---

'face the fears!' 'vanquish the doubts!' 'conquer the self!'
or less slogan-like and more likely,
'learn to write 3 full sentences that make a semblance of sense!'

I'm a 28 year old techie woman. have an undergrad and masters in computer science. been working for about 4-5 years now. feel like it's about time I expanded my horizons . more about why I'm even considering bschool, later..