What makes Haas my dream school ??

As I had promised previously in one of my posts,  I will be writing next few posts on why I chose to apply to Haas and why Haas is my dream school. I have applied to Haas in round 2 and Haas was my last application and my best application in terms of essay responses. I applied it as the last application because I wanted to make sure I submit the best application possible to my dream school.

One thing that clearly differentiates Haas is the emphasis on Leading through Innovation and creating leaders who possess Confidence without Attitude. And the Haas lives up to this challenge by being a highly innovative, collaborative and student driven community.As I have mentioned multiple times before, small class size and collaborative culture were among the important factors in my school selection and Haas easily scored in this. But what other factors contributed to my Haas dream ? Read on.. Here goes my Haas story

Informational Interview Haas student Pejman

My first peek into the Haas experience was through a current Haas student, Pejman. I thoroughly enjoyed conversation with him and his candid review of life at Haas and the MBA decision. He also shared his entrepreneurial journey of founding Magoosh with me. You can read the full interview on my post Haas Student Interview

They say 1st impression is the best impression and it was true for Haas. I was more inclined towards Haas after this interview and decided to dig in more. 

Haas in social media 

Visiting Haas is not the only way to learn and understand the Haas program. For me understanding the the culture of the school is as important as understanding the MBA program. Being an international, today I have a very good understanding of the school, MBA program, and the Haas culture; thanks to the wealth of information available online. Haas has a strong social media presence on twitter, linked in, facebook, blogs and more.Visit haas.berkeley.edu/haas/socialmedia to get latest updates from Haas.Also Haas students and alumni (e.g. Kryzak on gmat club) are very active on various MBA forums and are ready to share their thoughts and perspectives with Haas aspirants. You can also directly interact with Haas admissions team on the Haas messageboard. Also Haas students are very friendly and open to conversations. So I got in touch with few current students to get a more holistic view of the program. A good starting point to reach out to them would be to get in touch with the Haas student ambassadors

Berkeley coffee chat Bangalore

I attended the Haas coffee chat which happened few weeks back in Bangalore. Rohan Reddy, Haas class of 2011 was here in Bangalore to do the coffee chat and the session was extremely helpful in getting a first hand perspective of life at Haas. Unlike other information sessions, there was no big crowd. We were a group of 10 15 people who really were interested in Haas. So it was a very meaningful exchange of thoughts and ideas. I knew Haas had a very collaborative culture but after talking to Rohan I realized that Haas is a very student driven community. Right from GPA disclosure to course electives, students have the complete freedom to choose what is best for them. That is really nice to know about. I also learned more about 3 clubs which am most excited about - Redwoods@Haas (The Haas outdoors club), Berkeley Net Impact and Haas Technology club.
You can learn about various clubs@Haas by visiting this link : http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/MBA/student/

Why Haas is a perfect school for me

When I was researching the schools and learned more about Haas and decided to apply, there were many people who said -
"Hey Haas is great school but it is very particular about the work experience of the applicants. You have much lesser work ex than the school average and you are just wasting your efforts"

This did deter me a bit initially but the more I learned about the Haas, the more interacted with the Haas community, the more I loved the school. And I decided to go ahead and apply to Haas. I knew my candidacy was more than few data points. I knew I could relate my previous experiences ( in Technology innovation and social entrepreneurship) and my future goals really well with Haas MBA program.
(  I am passionate about emerging technology innovation and my current stint in a tech start up has further reinforced my ambitions for a technology innovation career. But I am equally passionate about sustainability initiatives. So my dream is to pursue a career in sustainable technologies like clean technology which would be a perfect way to leverage both my passions - emerging technology innovation and sustainability - making it a dream career after my MBA.)

And let me tell you Haas is big in both these fields. When it comes to technology, Haas perhaps has one of the best technology programs. And its specially has a strong focus on emerging technologies such as clean tech. The newly opened Haas energy institute, the cleantech-to-market program all are wonderful initiatives which ensured that Haas can really offer the best resources for me in my MBA. And of course the location of Haas with a close proximity to Silicon Valley makes it a top notch technology program.  To quote the Veritas Prep Haas annual report

One of Haas' truly distinctive elements is the school's focus on technology and its ability to place students into the tech industry. Haas sends 30% of each graduating class into the tech sector, which is not only the highest percentage among elite business schools, but is also twice that of the next closest programs (Ross and MIT Sloan). This emphasis, combined with Berkeley's tradition for innovation, leads to truly unique programs such as the school's latest push for the commercialization of clean technology.
I place high emphasis on Business ethics and the importance of having a socially conscious attitude in business. In fact this is what makes me interested in sustainable businesses. Haas again was able to amaze me with its strength in the field of responsible business.The Haas Center for Responsible Business is dedicated to "create a more sustainable, ethical, and socially responsible society". Just what I expect from a MBA program and more generally from the world of business. I strongly believe business is more about creating value to the people, to the society than just making profits.

Great technology program, wonderful opportunities to learn about clean technology, strong CSR focus and wonderfully collaborative community. Perfecto !!!! Now that's what I call a perfect fit.

The Haas application

What an application !! With 7 essays and 3000 words limit, Haas was the most challenging yet most enjoyable application I did in my MBA application journey. Fitting my ever expanding thoughts into 250 word essays was a real challenge and so were the other long essays. I have put in a lot of effort to reflect on my past experiences and how would I, with the help of Haas MBA, translate it to my future goals. I hope the effort pays off.

What next ?

Will I make it to Haas ? I will know by March 17th. Now all I can do is to pray that Haas also sees that ideal fit in me and embraces me into its wonderful community. Fingers crossed.

Update 1
P.S Just learned that my dear friend Fábio Póvoa, also a fellow international blogger at MBA in The USA made it to Haas in round 1 with full tuition scholarship. Am really really really happy for my friend and he deserves every bit of it. Congratssss Fabio :) It will be great to join you at Haas this fall.

Update 2 -
Haas is keeping on my toes. Deadline is approaching fast and I am eagerly awaiting for some news. Haas are you listening !! I feel strong is my strongest application and best choice in terms of fit. fingers crossed !!

Search on for U S Cosigner

Hi all, its been pretty silent from my end. I was taking time to decide between Olin and Tepper. Given my goals in Technology and experiences with Tepper adcom and alumni, Tepper felt like the best fit for me and my goals. So here I go.. Tepper it is..

But with this decisions come tons to things to do.. Tepper has no loans without U S Cosigner. I don't have any immediate relative who is an US permanent resident or citizen. So I am trying to find a potential US Cosigner in my personal network. I hope to find one who will play a pivotal role in my MBA dream.. Will I find one ??

Just created a RSS collection of Haas blog feeds. Get all the Haas news at one place.

This one is for people interested in Haas. As I told in my previous post - what-makes-haas-my-dream-school
, Haas has a strong online presence. It has multiple blog channels through which it updates about the latest happenings at Haas.

In an effort to help those who are interested to get the updates from Haas, I have created a RSS Feed collection which comprises of multiple Blog feeds from Haas. So all you need to do is to subscribe to my RSS feed bundle by clicking on the button below

Alternatively, you can anytime subscribe to this feed by using the widget "Haas Happenings" which you will find in the footer of my blog page. Following are the list of blogs which are included in the bundle. Please note there is no need to subscribe separately for each of this. Instead subscribing to the above bundle will get you the latest feed from all the below blogs. Enjoy !!

How to get into the Berkeley MBA Program   
The Director of Admissions for the Full-Time MBA program discusses the admissions process.

How to get into the Berkeley EWMBA Program   
Interested in a part-time program? Hear from the  Director of Admissions for the Evening Weekend         MBA Program.

A year in the life of a Haas student
Full-time students share their experiences getting a Berkeley MBA.
Part-timers juggle work and school  
Evening Weekend MBAs blog about maintaining their professional and student lives.

Classroom innovation goes beyond books
Full-time Berkeley MBA students share class projects that turned fresh ideas into firsthand experiences.

 Meet the Haas Student Ambassadors
HSAs work with the admissions office to provide a student perspective to prospective students.

Bringing high-tech products to market
The latest news and events taking place with the Management of Technology (MOT) Program.
Analyzing global issues
Read the latest from the director of the Haas School's Clausen Center for International Business Policy.
MBA students hit the (international) road
MBA students travel abroad as consultants as part of the International Business Development program.

Quick update on Olin - Forte Fellow again :)

Received my Olin admit packet today :) They have offered me scholarship of $12500 per semester which sums up to a total of $50k. hmmm :) this makes my Tepper Vs Olin dilemma slightly more stronger :(

I also received email about the Olin admit weekend today and this is what it reads

Dear M,

Congratulations again on your admission to the Washington University MBA Program! We’re having a very strong year here in the admissions department, and our Class of 2012 looks to be yet another outstanding group.

In order to further acquaint you with Washington University and its people, and to allow you to meet many of your future classmates, we are pleased to invite you to our annual Admit Weekend. This insightful and fun event will be held on campus April 9-10.


Update : Just viewed my Olin admit packet (previously my father had read the letter and called me)  and I must admit its awesome. A folder full of relevant information. I was up to a pleasant surprise. I have been selected as Forte Fellow again by Olin too :) And the scholarship of $50k is being given by Forte Foundation.  Now that is really a big honor for me. Am happy :)

Need Help. Looking out for a Pre-MBA summer Internship

Hey all,

I am hoping to find some help from MBA blogosphere. As you all know I am starting my MBA this fall and intended career focus in general management with a focus on Technology entrepreneurship. Given my limited work experience (2 years before I begin MBA this fall), am looking out for a opportunity to intern this summer in a managerial/strategy position in India or USA.

Pre-MBA internships are not very common but I feel this is a excellent way to position yourself before MBA begins. This is especially important for Career changers or early career candidates like me.

So if any of you are thinking about such internship this summer or know any person/ any company who can provide me with such opportunity, please let me know.

Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Glad that I watched this video before starting my MBA - The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination - J K Rowling

J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement from Harvard Magazine on Vimeo.

Video - J.K. Rowling, author of the best-selling Harry Potter book series, delivers her Commencement Address, “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination,” at the Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association.
I can't help but share this video on my blog whose readers are mostly the MBA aspirants and those who have the power to shape the future of their own and the world around them. This video will really inspire  the viewer to think positive, accept and learn from failures, look beyond their personal well-being and live life the right way.
What A talk.. Witty, Wise, Prolific all at once. Though am not a big fan of Harry Potter, I did become a fan of J K Rowling for her words and her thoughts. I am gonna quote few lines from this speech. Each one them is my personal favorite and taught me a lesson or two about life
The first thing I would like to say is ‘thank you.’ Not only has Harvard given me an extraordinary honour, but the weeks of fear and nausea I have endured at the thought of giving this commencement address have made me lose weight. A win-win situation! Now all I have to do is take deep breaths, squint at the red banners and convince myself that I am at the world’s largest Gryffindor reunion.
I would like to make it clear, in parenthesis, that I do not blame my parents for their point of view. There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you.
Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above the price of rubies. 
--- -
 Unlike any other creature on this planet, humans can learn and understand, without having experienced. They can think themselves into other people’s places.
"What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality"
That is an astonishing statement and yet proven a thousand times every day of our lives. It expresses, in part, our inescapable connection with the outside world, the fact that we touch other people’s lives simply by existing.
But how much more are you, Harvard graduates of 2008, likely to touch other people’s lives? Your intelligence, your capacity for hard work, the education you have earned and received, give you unique status, and unique responsibilities. Even your nationality sets you apart. The great majority of you belong to the world’s only remaining superpower. The way you vote, the way you live, the way you protest, the pressure you bring to bear on your government, has an impact way beyond your borders. That is your privilege, and your burden.
If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful, but with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped change. We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.

For the full text version and video visit http://harvardmagazine.com/commencement/the-fringe-benefits-failure-the-importance-imagination

So did this inspire you ??

I met this Tepper Alum in Tepper event.

Alumni network and connections can be one of the biggest takeaways from the MBA program. Carnegie Mellon really scores on this front. CMU brand is also strong back in India. I feel its mainly due to the legendary Computer Science school at CMU.

In the Tepper event that happened in Bangalore, as I told in my previous post  there were 5 Tepper alumni present and ready to share their story with us. One among them was Vikram Narayan who currently heads a technology enterprise in Bangalore.

But I just found more about his entrepreneurship adventures. He was featured on the YOUNG TURKS ON THE ROAD (CNBC) show. Here is what I saw and I am thrilled to know what I learned about this alum. Hats off Vikram.

Video - The Meme machine

Came across this interesting video about Memes (information which is copied) by Susan Blackmore. For now sharing the video. Memetics sounds damn interesting. When I get time I will dig into the topic, read The Meme Machine by the author and get back with more info.

For now enjoy the video

Am not headed to Australia this fall. BUT !!!

In part 1 of this post, I had posted the problem. About the campus safety. I am now updating the post with a great initiative which works for safety of the international students. read on..

Part 1 - Campus Safety

The Campus-safety aspect barely features on the list of considerations when selecting a MBA program. Even I had not given it a serious thought till now as we hardly hear any untoward incidents in US B schools.

But off-late I am getting deeply disturbed by reading the news ( Here and here ) about the attacks on Indian students and professionals in Australia. I cannot really comment if all the attacks were racist by nature, surely a part of them were. The campus safety is what we take for granted in many scenarios. I deeply empathize and sympathize the internationals (not just Indians) who are becoming victims of such inhuman attacks. I clearly feel that no measures are being taken to effectively stop such attacks and punish such antisocial elements. It becomes the natural duty of any such international education destination country to protect the international students coming to that country.

Though am not headed towards Aussies this fall and US feels relatively safer destination, I feel I should at least do some preliminary research about the crime rate and campus safety measures of my target b schools. This way me and my parents can be relatively ensured about my safety while I pursue my MBA away from my home for 2 years.

I urge all my fellow applicants not to ignore this part. Be safe !!!


Part 2 - One possible solution

I came across this interesting organization called Sara’s Wish Foundation which is working towards students who opt to study abroad. There is a story behind the start of this organization. I will quote the full article from International student blog for the benefit of me and other prospective applicants who are heading abroad for studies. Here it goes

In 1996, Sara Schewe, a student at Georgetown University, was killed, along with 3 other students from her program, while taking a bus in India to see the Taj Mahal. Since that time, Charles and Anne Schewe have dedicated themselves to bringing awareness on how to minimize safety issues while traveling abroad.
Since 1996, there have been a number of advances in the materials and information available from the U.S. government, colleges, universities and study abroad programs, other organizations, as well as support available through insurance and emergency assistance providers. There have also been domestic and international meetings and workshops supporting improved health and safety policies and procedures to support U.S. college and university students.
Sara’s Wish Foundation has collaborated with some of these organizations to develop the video “Know Before You Go”, and to put together the information you will find on their website. The information and links are intended to help inform students, parents, and friends who may go abroad or support others who do, that knowing more about good study abroad program practices and health and safety challenges in countries around the world can help students have a healthy and safe time abroad.
Foreign travel and study abroad remains an invaluable learning experience, broadening a student’s world view and enhancing the college experience. While there have been advancements in the field since this incident to ensure student safety, precautions must still be taken, students and families need to research about benefits and risks associated with a particular location and/or program, and understand that the quality of support does vary from institution to institution and from program to program. It is Sara’s Wish Foundation’s hope that together we can avoid tragedies and difficulties as students begin that wondrous adventure to broaden their lives.
For more information, please visit the Sara’s Wish Foundation website where you will find further, excellent information and advice.

Wahoa.. That was quick - Olin says am accepted

Olin(WUSTL) has certainly impressed me by its attitude towards MBA admissions - simple, hassle free and quick.The Olin application was such a simple app. No application fee, No chasing recommendors for reco letters. Just one statement of purpose to cover my story and I loved doing it.

And my interview invite again was clear. In the 1st mail itself my interviewer suggested a date and time and it worked perfectly for me.. It was a telephonic interview which again went on smoothly and by far one of my best interviews.

Not even 4 days have passed, I received my decision as well. And yes I have been accepted to Olin :) Simplicity rocks.. 

I just realized something..

Here is some more non mba stuff.. So if you are up for such reading then go on..

There is a sea change in me and the way I lead my everyday life since last year when I started my MBA application process. I am a out and out multidimensional person who is into multiple activities at any point of my life. Outdoors, leading a Bangalore NGO, Music usually keeps me engaged other than my profession. Amidst all these, I used to have that "Me time" where I used to do the apparently useless but tremendously self rewarding chores like staring at mirror (myself rather) :P Like any other typical young gal, I used to love this activity.

Today when cleaning my room, I looked at the mirror and just realized that its been so long since I had my "Me time". All through the MBA application phase, I looked into myself to do all the self reflection and while it was immensely rewarding, somewhere in the process, I stopped looking at the mirror altogether.. While this is just an example, it just showed that I stopped enjoying those lil lil moments of life due to my demanding life schedule..

No regrets whatsoever.. But I don't wanna lose those moments at this age of 22.. Life is more than just one thing, be it anything..

So I decided to put back the "Me time" in my everyday life again.. I am resuming my Yoga classes as a 1st step.. And ya some more time in front of mirror.. I am lovin it :)

Would love to listen the perspective of other MBA applicants in this regard. Guys please share your thoughts as comments..

Weekend with Tepper in Bangalore

Hey all,

Hope you all had a great weekend. I had a highly social weekend this time.
Great people, Sumptuous food and a great time - this sums up my weekend :) 

Apart from the couple of family functions I attended this weekend, I also had great time in the Tepper Bangalore event that happened this Saturday in Le Meridian Bangalore.

The event was open was for round 1 admits/WL , round 2 applicants. Tepper Adcom members James Frick and Gwen Stanczak were present at the event. Occasion was also graced by 5 of the Tepper/CMU Alumni now based at India.

Alumni Panel was a informational discussion where each alumni shared his thoughts about why they chose to do MBA, why Tepper was their natural choice and how Tepper MBA has helped them to reach the stage they are now at. I could really draw some inspiration from these Alums and felt great to know that even I can learn all that and more from Tepper. One thing that really helped me cheer up was when one of the Alumni who is a teetotaler shared his experience at Tepper that how his friends respected his values and made his life easy at Tepper. That really means a lot to me. B school is where I can be myself even amongst 100 demanding cultural changes :) Am happy :) 

Then there was a MBA information session and the following video by current Indian students.
Indian community is very strong at CMU and that's a good news again :)

Also networked with few of the fellow admits and prospective applicants. And it feels kinda cool when so many people come and ask - Hey you are the Mad Bubbles right !! I like your blog..
World is really small.. I am not really as anonymous as I intended to be...

So whats up with you folks..