Blogging at Net Impact Conference 2010

MBA has been a crazy ride. So many things to do and so little time !!! I already completed my mini 1 last week and looking forward to begin my next mini semester this week. There are some interesting things happening in next 2 weeks. This week I will be attending the National Hispanic MBA Conference at Chicago and the next weekend I will be at Ross School of Business attending Net Impact Conference 2010.

I am really excited about NI Conference. My association with Net Impact has been very strong as I founded and led Bangalore professional chapter of Net Impact in 2009 which was a defining experience for me in terms of personal and community leadership. So I always wanted to attend the Net Impact annual conference. This time I have been selected to be the official blogger by Triple Pundit to blog in the conference !!!  This is a wonderful opportunity for me to get involved in the conference at the same time giving back to the community in the form of blog posts.

More Later !!

4 weeks @ Tepper - QSRP and Orientation

Its really true that time flies by. Its been almost a month since I came to Pittsburgh and started my MBA journey. Am already so engrossed by the MBA course that I have not been able to take out time to blog. Here is a brief list of things I did in these 4 weeks.
  • First 2 weeks was a math refresher bootcamp called QSRP - Quantitative Skill Review Program. Coming from an engineering background, the course was not of great use to me as  I had covered most of the topics in my undergrad courses. But this course did help me to settle into the school atmosphere, get to know my classmates and etc.

    Swartz Entrepreneurship bootcamp also ran in parallel but I did not enroll for it but heard from my friends that it was a good experience for people with plans to turn entrepreneurs in short or long term.
  • Attended my first ever baseball game during the QSRP week @ PNC park in downtown Pittsburgh. Though I din't enjoy the game  so much, the crowd, stadium and the experience as a whole was enjoyable :)
  • Orientation was very useful in terms of introducing us to various things that MBA life will be made up of. Various career sessions, alumni panels, networking sessions were really useful.
  • One day picnic @ Camp Guyasuta was an amazing experience. We were challenged to perform different physical activities like rock climbing, ziplining, pole jumping. I pushed my own physical n mental boundaries that day by daring myself to do activities which seemed impossible at the first look. Amazing day, amazing learning !!
  • Most special part was mostly the celebration of Indian Independence day on August 14th Midnight (August 15th). Dressed up in Indian attire, Indian National Anthem, Indian food  = One memorable night !!  
Also exploring the city of Pittsburgh a bit. So that sums up my first 4 at Tepper. Classes start at next monday and I cant wait to get completely engrossed in the experience. 


A Glimpse of the beautiful CMU Campus

Hello !! You all know most of my posts contain atleast one photo which I think is relevant to that post. Sometimes I spend more time searching for an photo than I spend on writing the post. I am a visual person and I like my posts with photos.. But this post is a lil different. Am gonna upload some of the pictures I clicked in the beautiful CMU Campus. So go on and have a look !!!

Inside the Tepper School of Business.

Do plan for a campus visit to explore more if Tepper is among your target schools..

How to deal with homesickness

Hey all, this is my 1st post after coming to USA. I dint write blogs immediately because I was not in a great state of mind just after coming here. This is first time away from home for me and I was all terribly homesick (I still am, but getting better everyday). I dint wanted to write about all those emotional turmoils I was going through and scare the readers who are also potentially gonna go abroad for their studies.

Now am a lil OK, things are getting settled. So I thought I will write on how I dealt with this terrible phase. I hope it helps someone who is also going through the same phase. So here is what I did (you can also do) to get over home sickness and blues.
  • Keep yourself engaged.

    This is the first and most important rule. All of you know that empty mind is a devil's workshop and that's every bit true. The idea is to keep yourself busy in some or the other things when you come to a new place. The moment you are free with no work, you will start feeling lonely and all that. So don't let that happen and be engaged as much as possible. You will have lot of options on how to do that. Go explore the new place, visit the campus, shop for your new place, make friends with locals. There are some essential things to be done once you are in a new place. I will write a separate post about it.
  • Get enough rest and proper food

    Being said about the 1st rule, its also equally important to give importance to your health and physical condition. When you come to a entirely new place, you will need time to recover from jet lag , adapt yourself to the local food and etc. Please don't ignore this part. I had to suffer a lot initially as I was not getting my choice of food (I am a strict vegetarian and too choosy about what I eat) and when I was hungry I use to feel worse. So make sure you get good food and good sleep to keep you going.
  • Don't stay alone (if possible)

    If possible try to share an aptmt with your classmate or friend so that you are not alone at home. Also try to make some friends in the new place and try and do things together. Remember others may also be going through the same thing and supporting each other in such times will make your lives easier.
  • Talk it out

    After doing everything, its still not possible to completely avoid being homesick. It will happen and it is OK. We are all human beings and its in our nature to miss the people and things we are associated with. And when it does happen, make sure you handle it right. This can differ from person to person. For me crying out helps to come out of deep blues. Once you are a little OK, talk to your parents or siblings or friends whoever you are close to. Talking out about your situation will help lighten the burden on you. Never try to take on everything on your own. Involve others to help you out and you will be happy that you did it.

    If you don't have a phone connection yet, make sure you keep in touch through online messengers, voip applications, facebook, email etc. Make full use of technology at this time and you will technology for the way it touches our lives.
  • Believe in your decision

    This is entirely from my experience. At time I felt so bad so bad that I was getting the thoughts of going back to India ditching everything here. That's the kinda emotional turmoil I was going through. But then when I talked to my friends about it, they made me realize that its ME who have taken this decision to pursue and MBA abroad and its upto ME to stand up to that decision.

    Yes, you have to become strong so that you justify your decision. Believe in your decision and put your best to it.
So that's about how I dealt with homesickness and let me tell you I dint expect it to be so bad. It did hit me real hard. But by talking out with my people, keeping myself busy, am slowly getting over it. There are still times when something somewhere reminds me of home and makes me feel sad. But accept that these things will happen. Keep faith in your decision and keep it going :)

At the end I am sure we will be happy that we did it and it was worth the effort !!

Let the journey BEGIN !!!!

Photo : Selva

How much ever cliched it might sound, its true that every end is a beginning to another journey. And for me tomorrow marks one such important moment as I fly to Pittsburgh. This journey also marks the beginning of the new phase of my life as a MBA student. Away from my home and my people, this phase is going to be challenging in all ways.

In next 2 years, I hope to learn a great deal of things - personal & professional, meet a lot of new people, make some lasting bonds and be a better me :-)

This will be my last post from India. Next update from the other part of the world :) 
Wish me luck !! Let the Journey BEGIN!!!!

Getting to know Pittsburgh - My next home..

Photo Courtesy : Louis

Just 7 days left for me to leave back everything I knew all my life and move on to a terra incognito. Come July 21st, I will be in the city of Pittsburgh. The more I think about this move the more excited and nervous I am. All my life I have been in India and blessed to have been lived the cities like Belur, Mysore, Bangalore and more which offered me ideal living conditions and I just love all of them. 

Pittsburgh, my home for next 2 years, is something I am getting to know from past few months. I believe every city has its own character and each city offers a unique experience to people. From whatever I have learned about this city till now, one thing is clear. Pittsburgh is a beautiful city with rich historical and cultural background. No longer the dirty steel town of old, Pittsburgh is now a true renaissance city and I am really excited about my move to this city. 

Few fun facts about Pittsburgh that I found out from scouting the web.
  • Pittsburgh is within 500 miles of more than half the U.S. population, and the city is less than 90 minutes flying time from 20 states and Canada. 
  • The Smiley :-) was the first Internet emoticon, created by Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist Scott Fahlman in the city of Pittsburgh
  • The first theater in the world devoted to the exhibition of motion pictures was the "Nickelodeon," opened by Harry Davis on Smithfield Street in Pittsburgh.
  • Pittsburgh is a city that bleeds black and gold, the colors of our three professional sports teams. But much as Pittsburghers love the Pengins (2009 Stanley Cup Champs!) and Pirates, the Steelers -- proud winners of six Super Bowls -- are more akin to a religion here. 
  • Pittsburgh has more bridges than just about any city in the world, including Venice, Italy, and more steps than Cincinnati and San Francisco combined! Three rivers and hundreds of hills will do that to a place. Most downtown bridges are painted a distinctive golden yellow (the official city colors are black and gold).
And now a bit about 2 most notable locals of Pittsburgh who are also behind the legendary Carnegie Mellon University that am going to attend from this fall. Its a interesting coincidence that these 2 share their first names :-)

Andrew Carnegie

Born in Scotland, Andrew Carnegie started building his fortune as a bobbin boy in a cotton mill in Allegheny, PA, for $1.20/week. He eventually became the "Steel King of America," the richest man in the world and a generous philanthropist.

Andrew Mellon

An American financier, industrialist, and statesman born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Andrew William Mellon was influential in the beginnings of many companies, founded the town of Donora, PA, and was actively engaged in many philanthropies, including the Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh. 

That's it for now. But do join me as I keep my first step in this city and explore all that it has to offer to me :)  I will share all that I learn and experience in this city for next 2 years on this blog. 

Pittsburgh here I come !!!!

Got my International Driving Permit (IDP)

Being an international student means we have to take care of many additional things than domestic students worry about. If you plan to drive a vehicle/car while being in US, its a good idea to get your IDP (International driving permit).International students may drive in foreign countries with an International Driving License, which has the maximum validity of one year. Note that they are required to get their license from the country they're staying within one year period.

Documents needed to obtain International Driving Permit in India

 Following documents are to be produced at the time of applying for an International Driving Permit
  • Valid driving license with atleast one year more of validity.
  • Valid passport
  • Valid Visa
  • Required Fees (INR 500 as of 07-July-2010)
  • Three passport size photographs.
  • Copy of air ticket 
  • RS 1000 worth of NSC taken in the name of applicant
  • Medical certificate
  • Duly filled IDP application form (available in RTO premises)
For me the whole process took just two days and it was pleasantly smooth and hassle free. I am really happy the ways things work at RTOs without any kind of bribes these days. 

So if you are planning to drive while being in US (or any other country), do get your IDP.

Laptop for B school - Mine is here :) The lenovo thinkpad Edge !!!

Cool new addition to my gadget list - Lenovo thinkpad edge :)

I am a technophile n its no wonder that I love gadgets ;) Thanks to my impending B school journey, I just got myself a super cool fully loaded laptop :) Its Lenovo thinkpad edge 14" black laptop and man I am in love with it from the time I got it in my hands. Thinkpads are well-known for their sturdy make and this is no exception. The keyboard is just awesome with mac style keys and super responsive trackpad. Its fully loaded with the latest i3 processor and windows 7 :) Last 2 days were spent in setting up all software and stuff on my new EDGE ;)

Just loving it !!! N literally am living on the EDGE ;)

Yay !! Done with my US Visa

Sorry for being inactive for long time. I am back and hope to post regularly from now on.

Just yesterday I got my US Visa approved at US Consulate, Chennai. As I had all necessary documents ready, Visa interview was a hassle free experience. Read my post on MBA podcaster blog to help you prepare for your visa interview. Now am left with shopping (yay !!!) and packing. In coming days will be writing more about the crazy phase of pre-matriculation. 

Have fun !

A request - Dont ask for other's MBA essays

One of the nicest takeaways of starting this blog is an opportunity for me to interact with several new people who visit my blog. Everyday I get emails from my blog readers. Most write to ask info about MBA admissions process and some write just to connect with me. I am really glad to connect with my readers and also help them in their MBA application process within my time limits.

But off-late am noticing a disturbing trend. Few of the readers are asking me to share my MBA essays with them and I am not at all happy with this. It has 2 very practical reasons
  1. MBA application process is all about being yourself. Everyone has a unique profile and a unique story. And a MBA essay is mostly about YOUR story. So that directly implies that one has to come up with his/her OWN story to make it successful in MBA admissions.

    Though its not wrong to refer to sample essays to get an idea of format & language used, referring too much to others essays is sure shot formula to doom in the MBA application process. Why ? Simple - Once we have a ready-made essay with us, it will definitely impact one's willingness to dig into his own life to come up with his personal story.

    So for your own good, never ever have others' essays as your starting point if you want to succeed. Instead spend a lot of time in introspection and come with your OWN story. Remember there is no right or wrong answer to an MBA essay. Its all about BEING YOURSELF. And remember it pays !!
  2. Secondly, if anyone is planning to take a short cut route to MBA admissions, remember we have some super experienced guys as adcoms. They usually read some tens of thousands of essays every year and with that magnitude of experience they can readily say how much of your story is truly yours. Read this interesting article on Business week -

This is my sincere effort to make (few) my readers understand the importance of coming up with own essays. Being said that, you should definitely involve others for essay reviews. I hope they take it on a positive note and rock in the admission process. I only want my blog friends to succeed.

All the best !

My first MBA assignment is here

Its been long since I posted on my blog. I have quit my work and preparing for my transition while taking a much needed break at home. I have got my loan approved and sent my documents for I20. Also booked my air tickets with Air India.

Today Tepper sent me my 1st ever MBA assignment - Accounting workbook. I need to complete this pre summer assignment before I leave to Tepper. Am yet to turn around the pages of the book and I plan to do it starting in June.

Am all excited to be a student again :) My dad is a commerce graduate and banker with 3 decades of experience in commerce, accounting and finances. So seems like he will be my 1st MBA guru as I plan to take few lessons about accounting and finances from the in house expert  :)

More to come..

Amazingly Inspiring. Period.

Yay !! Clear admit BOB top 3..

I was out of town yesterday and when I opened my laptop today, I realized that Clear admit BOB results are out. Much to my pleasure, I have been voted among top 3 applicant bloggers. My dear friends, Dream chaser and Hari have bagged the top spots and am so so happy for them. Here are the top ten spots for mba applicant bloggers. Congrats all :)

Top Applicant Bloggers
1. Dream Chaser
2. Hari
3. Madalogue
4. Rocky
5. Beautiful Mind
6. XLick
7. Steve
8. The Dreamer
9. Braveheart
10. Biz Wiz

Exciting news - I now blog for MBA Podcaster !!!

Early 2009 - I had decided on doing my MBA and was vigorously searching for all the information relevant to B schools, Application process and etc. When I found MBA Podcaster, I instantly became a fan of their podcasts ( I downloaded all the relevant podcasts and put it on my mobile and used to listen it very often to get the required perspective. They did a great job by giving first hand perspective of life at business school, different career options and more

April 2010 - I am now a blogger for MBA Podcaster blog - I just published my 1st post and you can read it here -
I am so excited about being a part of the MBA Podcaster team !!! From now on I will be regularly blogging on MBA Podcaster blog about my MBA experiences.

From MBA thoughts till acceptance - my MBA story (till now)

Nomination to Clear Admit BOB awards inspired me to sit back and think through my journey on the path of MBA till now.. Last one and half year has been a life changing period since I started my MBA quest. This post is my dedication to that wonderful journey which is now the prelude to more exciting journey that awaits - the journey of 2 year MBA.. So here it goes.

Why MBA ?

Why I decided to do MBA roots from the kind of person I am. Am a people's person who always strives to achieve something everyday at the same time making a difference to the world around me. I am highly multidimensional with varied interests in life. Naturally I felt my engineering education is not sufficient to quench my thirst to master different facets of this world such as business, people management, innovation and more. So MBA was a natural next step for me after an year in software industry and non profits. But I had my share of doubts and uncertainties about opting for an MBA from a US B school. After careful deliberation I decided to go for an MBA in US with a confidence that it will be a decision I will justify any day in my life . Here are some posts which reflect my thoughts during this decision making phase. If you are trying to decide if the MBA is a right thing for you, be sure to check them out.
Why now ?

So I knew MBA was the right thing for me. Next step was to check my readiness to take the next big leap. In this post about early career MBA,I share few pointers about how can I justify my decision to do MBA just after 2 years of work ex.  I also on that point of decided that I would like to come back to India. 


Then I booked my dates for TOEFL and GMAT. I have always been comfortable in excelling at exams so these 2 happened without much ado.

TOEFL exam (31 May 2009) was bit screwed up due to crappy facilities at the test center. Exam kept postponing and finally when I exam begun I was out due to hunger and boredom.  I finally finished all 4 sections and managed to score 111/120 in the iBT format and headed straight to airport to see my cousin off to London. One helluva day..

GMAT in August was a breeze. As I had written the coveted CAT exam in 2008, quants was pretty easy and hence I mostly concentrated on verbal section during GMAT preparation.  Had taken a week off from office to prepare but to my luck it turned into sick leave as I was down with fever till 2 days before exam. But probably not over preparing helped me to be fresh on the exam day. Once I finished my GMAT, a score of 750 popped on the screen and I did few yeahs , yuhoos and all that in the test center and went back home.. 

over to more real stuff like essays n i/vs.. 

B-school research
Though I had started spending significant time on browsing through MBA rank lists, B School websites from early 2009, finishing my GMAT was the time I turned serious about shortlisting my target B schools. 
Blogging opens a whole new world

Meantime my blogging was reaching new heights with me making several new connections with fellow MBA bloggers, my blog readers and more. Few things which marked my progress was 
Applications and MBA admission interviews

This was one of the most challenging and stimulating periods in my journey. Every essay I wrote enhanced the understanding about myself and my goals. Each self reflection gave me such fresh perspectives about my life and I loved it. Applied to Tepper and Darden in round 1, Olin and Haas in round 2. Interviewed with 1st 3 except for Haas.
The coveted acceptance call and Forte Fellow twice. 

Tepper was the 1st one to embrace me. The 1st acceptance news will be cherished all my life. What made the moment more special was the honor of being selected as the Forte Fellow. I was twice lucky when I got acceptance from Olin and was selected for forte fellowship again by Olin too. 

I got my share of dings from Darden and Haas.

So its Tepper, CMU - my MBA destination
  Now it was my turn to decide btw Olin and Tepper. Both were great schools but Tepper scored in terms of fit and career goals in technology.  Am totally kicked about attending Tepper and also attended few Tepper events in Bangalore.   I recently declined the Olin MBA seat and am still feeling kinda bad about it. But I had to choose one and let go another. 

Self reflections

In the process I learned 2 major lessons which I will take with me whole of my life
  • No matter what Be yourself
  • Always give time for yourself when things are happening at the crazy speed. Don't forget to enjoy the little cheers that life offers to us. 
Pre-Matriculation craziness - loans, visa, I20 and more..

This section deserves multiple different posts and I will continue to write on it.. 

So that's the story till now.. I apologize for being too long but I hope this helps the readers who want to tread this path themselves to pursue their dream MBA. 

Cheers !!

Declined Olin MBA seat

Today I sent mail to Olin MBA admissions team informing them my decision not to attend Olin. And I must admit, its not a great feeling. Olin is a great school and the whole application process with Olin has been a hassle free experience. I really appreciate the simplicity of the Olin admission process.

Tepper admit weekend is happening on April 23rd 24th. I am not attending it as I am wrapping up things at work. I will be quitting in May second week. But am really sad that I can't attend Tepper admit weekend because even the CMU International Festival also happens around the same time. I have seen the videos of previous international festivals at CMU and it looked like loads of fun.

More updates to follow..


I have started my quest for one more terra-incognito - US student visas. I am in the process of arranging my funds, getting my I20. Once these 2 things are done, I can apply for my visa. But I started on gathering the basic information about getting an US visa. This post is to share the information which I have gathered to help the my blog readers.

The useful step by step information I have put in below is taken from VFS website

Step by Step process
Determine your consular district and visa type.

Obtain a photo that can be uploaded and meets form specifications.

Access the form DS-160. Complete your DS-160 application online. Save often to your desktop! Answer questions as thoroughly as possible before submitting, as incomplete forms may not be accepted.

Print the DS-160 barcode confirmation sheet at the end of the DS-160 application on a laser printer. After you have printed it, email the confirmation page to yourself so you have a backup copy. The file is a PDF file, so Adobe you will need Adobe Acrobat on your computer to open it.

Pay the visa application fee at an approved HDFC bank.

Make your appointment using your barcode number and fee receipt. If appropriate, use the “coworkers/family members traveling together” option. Then, download and print your VFS appointment letter.

For Mumbai district applicants only: Drop off your required documents three working days prior to your appointment at a VFS center in Mumbai, Pune or Ahmedabad.

Report for your interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate fifteen minutes before your appointment. Carry appropriate documents and follow security regulations. All applicants can find a list of documents under their visa type in the All About Visas - Non-Immigrant Visas section.

Approved visas are returned by courier. Click here to track your passport.
Websites of U.S. Missions in India New Delhi Chennai Mumbai Kolkata Hyderabad

Documents needed for the Visa application/interview
This webpage has all relevant information about students visa application and required documentation - For the quick reference here are the documents that are required (list may not be extensive) for Applicants applying at the U.S Embassy, New Delhi / U.S. Consulate Chennai, Hyderabad or Kolkata

Mandatory Documents

Valid original passport. You are recommended to have passport valid for at least six months beyond your interview date.
One photograph as per specification.
CEAC Barcode printout.
Valid HDFC Bank visa fee receipt. (Embassy copy)
Original interview appointment letter.
Original form I-20 or DS-2019 as applicable.
Form I-901 (Sevis Fee Receipt)

Additional Supporting Documents required at the time of interview

Principal Applicant
Evidence of financial resources: proof of liquid assets sufficient to pay for the entire first year of education and living expenses as well as proof of readily available funds to cover the remaining year(s) of studies.
Proof of your relationship to the sponsor (such as your birth certificate), the sponsor's most recent, original tax forms, and the sponsor's bankbooks and/or fixed deposit certificates
Original degree certificates along with mark sheets.
Original Bachelor degree transcripts or high school diploma along with mark sheets from previous institutions attended.
Relevant test scores, e.g. TOEFL and SAT, GRE, GMAT or LSAT
Unlike F-1 visa applicants, M-1 applicants must demonstrate the ability to pay all tuition and living costs for the entire period of their intended stay and cannot work while in M visa status.

Spouse / Dependent Children

An approved form I-20 from the principal applicant's U.S. school or program with the dependent's name included;
A copy of the Form I-20 of the Principal Applicant.
Photocopy of the Principal Applicant’s valid visa (if applying separately).
Original Marriage Certificate (for spouse) along with your entire wedding photo album.
Original Birth certificate (for each child).
Additional financial resources to support the dependants

Wait time for US Visa
Advance travel planning and early visa application are important. You can use this website to calculate the Visa wait time depending on your locality  -

This FAQ section answers the most common doubts, we applicants can have about US student visa

This post is just to share the information I have gathered through online search. I will be writing a post about my personal experience of getting my US Student visa once I go through the process.

Clear Admit Best of Blogging Nominee !!!

Am really humbled to be nominated for Clear Admit BOB awards. My hearty congratulations to other nominees. As I have said multiple times, I love the MBA fellow blogosphere. My fellow bloggers have been a source of support in my journey and some of them have even become my good friends. So here it goes to all my dear friends -

CHEERS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Weekend with TEDX at Mumbai & some more updates

Hey all, I have been very irregular in my blog updates from a month. Writing this post to give brief updates about whats happening in my life.

Life is taking interesting turns everyday. Today received email from Olin that they have no cosigner loans. Man why can't tepper have something like this even after being a top program :(  Latest update is that I am still trying to figure out my best financing option and yet to finalize on my US cosigner. So things are yet to be done. Meantime I have talked to HR dept at my company about my exit and I plan to do it in May.

This weekend was well spent with TEDx at Mumbai. My 1st ever trip to Mumbai was really enjoyable. Though I felt TEDx was not really on par with the TED itself, I met some new people and had a good time. Here is a detailed report of what happened at TEDx Mumbai -

I recently added my blog to the Beatthegmat blog list, thanks to fellow mba blogger Hari. Now you can also get updates from my blog on

I also bought a bike (cycle) for myself. Yayyyyy !! Am very very happy to have restarted biking. :) Yesterday I got my copy of a MBA admissions book and I plan to read it and write a review sometime in this month. In the next post I will write about what plans I have made for next 3 months while I will be jobless. I plan to make it complete fun. What fun ? I will write about it soon.

Exciting milestones - Tepper deposit paid, blog visitor count crosses 20k.

Decision is only wishful thinking until you take that first irreversible step. You can tell yourself that you have already decided, that nothing now can stop you, but if that step backwards is so much safer than step forwards, what will hold you true to your when the going gets tough? Sometimes, the right thing to do is to take that first irreversible step, the one after which you cannot go back. And now, for me, is one of those times.
Am almost trembling with excitement as I write this post. This moment probably marks one of the most significant decisions I have taken in my life till date. My MBA journey took a turning point with me paying Tepper deposit today to confirm my seat in the Tepper MBA class of 2012. Yayyyyyyyyy !!!! A new journey begins and I expect it to be anything but a smooth ride. Nevertheless am all set for this ride of the lifetime :)

One more milestone in my blogging journey. My blog visitor count crossed 20k mark. When I started this blog, I expected nothing but a way to write out my feelings and experiences. But now this blog has been a part of my life and rewarded me with so many learnings, experiences and new friends. Love you blog.

A big thank you for all you friends out there around the world who come to my blog and show your support in all ways possible. Keep it coming folks :)

Guest Post : US Co-signer : From an American's perspective

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I was searching for US cosigner and was finding some hard facts from the process. It is very difficult task to find yourself a cosigner unless you have a close relative/friend who is ready to be your cosigner. I realized that the American mindset regarding finances is something I need to understand and that would give me a clear picture of why it is to so hard to find a Co-Signer. So I asked my dear friend and admissions consultant Grayson Leverenz to share her thoughts about this. Specifically I asked her to give the American's angle of this issue. She was kind enough to readily agree to help me on this topic. I am posting her thoughts as a guest post so that it will help my readers who are in the same boat. Hope you enjoy reading this post and benefit from it just the way I did. I would like to say my heartfelt thanks to Grayson Leverenz for this post.

How to Find a Co-Signer

By: Grayson Leverenz 

Now that the application process is over for most future members of the Class of 2012, it’s time to focus on funding your MBA in the USA. Limited options for no co-signer loans have a lot of international students seeking co-signers with US residency to help fulfill their MBA dreams. Finding a co-signer is hard. There’s no other way to say it.

Americans love to take risks when we are in control. We will gamble significant sums of money if we have control of the outcome. The perfect example is we have no problem taking out loans for our own education; we’re confident we’re going to succeed and be able to pay them back. The tricky part in American culture is that we’re not so trusting when someone else is in control. That’s the cultural reason why it’s so hard to find an American co-signer.

Now that you know why it’s so hard, let’s talk about what you can do.

1. Explore local options first.
If you plan to use your MBA in the USA to return to your home country and help improve the world through business, your community may be willing to support you. Talk to your local bank about loans. HSBC India has loans for Indian students; other options may exist as well.

2. Approach potential co-signers as if you were an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs take business plans to meet venture capitalists. You can do the same thing when approaching co-signers. Spend some time writing a business plan for your education. Map out your goals for your studies, your internship, and your post-graduation employment. Highlight your motivation to succeed, and how you plan to be accountable for your loans. Trust is the key component to getting someone to co-sign your loan, and walking in with a business plan is an impressive way to introduce yourself to co-signers.

3. Start with friends and family that have legal residency in your target country.
We talked about trust being crucial to finding a co-signer; logically, people that know you will trust you more than people that don’t. Tap into your network of friends and family to identify people that can help. Share your business plan with them, and find out if they can help.

3. Contact alumni that have been well established for 20+ years to build relationships and ask about co-signing.
The key here is finding people that are well established. Recent graduates have loans of their own, often in excess of $100K. While they may really want to help, the risk would most likely be too much to take on. However, if you’re approaching well established alumni, they will be at a point where they’re more financially stable. They may also be looking to mentor young minds. That would be a double win to find a co-signer and a mentor!

4. Be bold and contact business superstars.
There is a saying in the US that the most beautiful girl never gets asked out because guys are afraid. The same thing happens in business. There are people in business who seem untouchable. Who are the superstars in your industry? Pick a few and reach out to them with an email. Take a mentor approach with these leaders. Finding a mentor is a win by itself, but with the right relationship in place, they might just turn into a co-signer.

Good luck!

Grayson Leverenz founded MBA in the USA to help international students learn, succeed, and have fun during their MBA. You can read more on her blog. You can also follow her on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.  

Is it the time to share the real ME ? Yes

Hey all,

Yesterday marked the end of my MBA application journey. And boy whatta journey it has been. I started this blog with the intention to share my MBA application journey. Its been 8 months already. Time surely flies by. Honestly, when I started this blog I never thought more than the application phase. Now that I am headed to Tepper and the road has become even more challenging, I have no plans to stop my blogging here.

This blog opened up a new side of myself which I myself was not aware of - my creative side. It gave me a confidence that I am not only a talker (I talk too much LOL) but can also share my thoughts through writing. And it has been immensely rewarding.

Now I am thinking that its a good time to end my anonymity on this blog. What do you guys think ? Should I disclose the real me or continue to be the elusive Mad Bubbles ?? Leave your thoughts in the comments. This is going to be some harmless fun :D

update - Felt its the right time to end anonymity. I have added my real name and links to my facebook and linked in :)

International Festival 2010 - Tepper CMU

Was watching this video just posted on youtube. Was amazed by the diversity and talent of Tepper students. Have a look.

Ding from Haas

After more than 3 months of wait, I got a ding from Haas today. But have no regrets for putting my best into this application.. Things are more clearer now.. And I have happily accepted what ever this MBA application journey has offered to me.. 2 admits (Tepper, Olin) and 2 dings (Darden and Haas) and infinite learning and some great bunch of friends.

So here I move on.. From applicant phase to pre-matriculation phase. Hearty congratulations to those who got in.. And empathy to those who couldn't..

Tactics of Persuasion & Influence

Check out this SlideShare Presentation: About Tactics of Persuasion and and Influence.

Haas loves me ; Haas loves me not

So here is a MBA love story which is waiting to end with a smile. Its a love story between me and Haas. So here goes the story till date.
It all started when I came to know about Haas through a common friend (Read more).
I was smitten by Haas and started to know more and fell in love. Haas was perfect fit for me and Haas had the power to make me complete (Read more).
Finally I proposed to Haas on 8th December 2010 and started the waiting game. Haas is taking a long time to think and reply to my proposal. Meantime I collected all possible info regarding whats happening with Haas and shared with the world (Read more).

Only few days left to decide my fate. But surprisingly I have been extremely calm during this waiting period. What will be his answer ? I will know on March 17th..

For now, I am spending my time by doing the "Haas loves me ; Haas loves me not" ritual. And praying that the answer will be positive. :)