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It’s over…

August 4th, 2004 No comments

Well, it’s over… I wish I had written this post on the day I knew it was over… I’m afraid that in the 2 weeks it’s been since I heard news, I’ve lost some of the emotions that I’d felt… Okay, here’s what happened:

In my last post I mentioned that an individual (who shall remain anonymous) in the GSB admissions office asked me to call them every Friday to check where my app stands… Based on the fact that there are three reviews for each application, I figured that I’d most likely hear back from the GSB in early August, and by late July in the best case. On Wednesday, July 21st I came into work thinking that I’ll call the GSB this Friday and get an update. Then, while I’m chatting with a couple of colleagues in my cube, my cell phone rings… The area code was 312 – I knew that number… “Hey! That’s a Chicago number!” I thought to myself… I wasn’t expecting to hear back for another 10 days at best, so I assumed that the call was similar to the email I got from NYU… I assumed that the committee was reviewing my application and came across something they wanted me to clarify, and that’s why I was being called…

“Hello?” I inquired… There was some static on the line, and the conversations in my cube were drowning the other voice on the phone… I heard the other person say something about the GSB, but I couldn’t hear what… “I’m sorry, I caught some static there, could you repeat that please?” I asked… Then, I about went speechless as the other person informed me that my application had been reviewed, and that the GSB would like to offer my admission to the Evening program starting in Autumn 2004!! I was blown away by the decision, and the fact that it was made in a mere three weeks after I submitted my application!

Wow… When my mind settled, I couldn’t believe I was in… It all started with a dream two years ago… I stumbled on the University of Chicago’s website and was impressed by the school… There was an air of prestige that I felt as I read through the site… I remember thinking that I’d never have a chance and that I wouldn’t bother apply… The following year I decided “what the hell! I’ll apply to the best schools I can and see where I end up”… And now here I stand, a future GSB MBA…

As I contemplate my GSB application, it was both good and bad… I don’t think I’ve ever had as bad an interview (MBA admissions or otherwise) as my GSB interview… I was tired, not on my toes, and out of it in general… In fact, I was surprised that I got in with that interview… The essays were also a little rushed (I wrote the last one in a single day)… But, although rushed, I did feel that my GSB essays were a little better than the rest… I think what really helped was the combination of stellar recommendations, essays, the post-graduate courses I took, and the GMAT…

A lot has happened in the last two weeks… I won’t go into the details; they’ll unfold in other posts as time goes on… It really struck me over the last two weeks how much my life changed in a matter of 5 weeks… I doubt most people have such a dynamic life… In the middle of June I was to be moving to Pittsburgh… Then, a week later, things changed, and I’d be in Michigan… My wife and I called family and friends, did research, and prepared for the move to Michigan… Then, in the third week of July things changed again – we’d be going to Chicago… We started all over again with the planning and the research…

It’s been a pretty crazy ride… I’m glad it’s over and that I can now move on to the challenge of B-School… I’m also very, very glad that I got into my top choice… It just goes to show – you never know what you can do until you try…

On a related note, I did FINALLY hear back from NYU… NYU took the longest time to decide of all the schools… While most schools will notify you within 6 weeks, NYU states that they’ll let you know within 8-10 weeks of the final deadline… I got my decision 11 weeks after the deadline, and from what I can tell on Business Week forums, people had to wait even longer than that… NYU gave me my first, and last, B-School admissions ding! That’s right, I didn’t make it… I don’t know why, I doubt that NYU has many more applicants than other schools, and I don’t think it’s a heck of a lot more selective… Maybe it’s the fact that I didn’t interview with them? Or maybe they didn’t like the video I sent them in response to the third essay question… Whatever the case, they were my third choice, and I have no regrets about the ding… In fact, I’m sort of glad I got it – now I’ve seen both sides of the admissions fence…:)

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The big update

July 20th, 2004 No comments

Wow, it’s been over a month since I last posted…  Work, home life, and MBA admissions have all been crazy recently – one thing after another just keeps me from posting!!  Let me try to recap as best I can…  Lets see, when I left you last I was drained, but had to get ready for my Chicago interview…  So, I’ll pick up there…

 


Driving to Chicago had to be the most stressful drive I’ve had in a while…  To give you some background, my interview was on Friday, 6/18. We had a release at work on the night of Thursday 6/17…  For the non-techie audience, a “release” is when we update our production software with the newest version…  So, I left work on Thursday at about 2:30pm due to a power outage, and came back at 5pm. Then I worked from 5pm until about 6am on Friday morning…  I figured that I’d go home, take a shower, do a little more preparation for my interview, and then leave for Chicago around 8:30am…  Well, that didn’t happen…  I was so tired from working over night that I actually fell asleep, and didn’t get up until about 8am…  We didn’t leave for Chicago until about 11am…  Showing up at 6pm on a Friday for an interview that was supposed to be at 4pm was pretty much useless…  However, things worked out for two reasons: firstly we had budgeted more time to get there than it actually takes, and secondly Bhairavi and I drove pretty fast on the way there to make up for lost time…  I arrived at the Gleacher Center at 3:30pm, a half hour before my interview time…  As soon as I sat in the chair in the lobby to calm myself before the interview, I started feeling tired…  Damn it, I should have worked some sleep in somewhere!!  During the interview I struggled with sleep deprivation, and so I wasn’t as cohesive as I would normally be…  When all was said and done, I was just glad to be out of the interview…  I knew in the back of my mind that this was my worst interview yet (MBA admissions or otherwise)!  As I left the Gleacher Center, I didn’t even think about the interview – I was ready to start a relaxing weekend vacation in Chicago!!

The Chicago Interview – 6/18/2004

 

 


It was Monday, June 21, 2004, and I was back in the office after spending the weekend in Kenosha, Wisconsin with family.  The weekend was a nice way to kick back and be relieved from all the pressure of the Chicago interview…  I was sort of tired, but also very anxious – in two days I’d know what the University of Michigan Business School admissions team had decided about my fate. The week before I had gotten a false alarm – a mail that I thought contained my decision, but rather simply stated that my decision would be available at 12:01AM on 6/23/2004…  I had already decided that I would stay up late on Tuesday night (6/22) to view the decision…  I was then either going to go to sleep really excited and relieved, or really sad and worried…  The time was about 4:30pm, and the weather outside was gorgeous…  It had been a hard day and work, and I was tired and ready to throw in the towel…  I was still stressed by the Chicago essays I still had to write…

News from Michigan!! – 6/21/2004

 

Just as I was about to leave, my phone rang…  I didn’t recognize the number – the area code was 734…  My tired mind immediately associated the “734″ area code with the “740″ area code of Delaware, Ohio…  I knew some people in Delaware, but who would call me at 4:30pm on Monday?  I picked up the phone…  “Nationwide, this is Yash” I said inquisitively…  “Hello, Yash Patel?” the voice on the other end asked. “Yes, this is Yash,” I replied…  “Hello, my name is [...] from the University of Michigan Business School…”  “What??!!” I thought to myself…  “The University of Chicago?  Why are they calling me? I just interviewed a few days ago, they can’t possible have a decision for me…  Heck, I haven’t even submitted the application…  Oh, wait a minute, she said the University of Michigan”…  She continued “I want to be the first to congratulate you on your admission to the University of Michigan Business School!”…  My jaw dropped, and my mind went blank…  “No shit! You’ve got to be kidding me” I replied in my bewildered state… I quickly followed up, “I’m sorry, I can’t believe it – I’m so happy!”…

All of a sudden a tired Monday afternoon turned into a lively, energetic day…  The first thing I did was call Bhairavi…  She just screamed with excitement as I broke the news to her…  I then interrupted colleagues who were discussing work to share the great news!!  I was completely floored since my decision had arrived earlier than expected…  I had assumed that all statuses would be updated on the website and that I’d find out late on Tuesday night…  I was not expecting a personal phone call on Monday afternoon!!  A huge sense of relief, accomplishment, and satisfaction overcame me – I had finally reached my goal of being admitted to a top 10 business school…  I have made some bad academic decisions in the past, but I’ve been able to overcome all of them and move forward…  I had a renewed sense of self-respect…

 


We had a trip planned this weekend to Put-in-Bay, Ohio, and then Cedar Point…  All of our college friends had planned on going – this would be the last big group trip for Bhairavi and I for a while…  Once school starts and we move, we simply wouldn’t be able to do something like this…  I still hadn’t gotten my essays done as we started the week of June 21…  My goal was to absolutely have them all written before I left…  I didn’t want to feel guilty about not working on essays while I was on vacation…  We were to leave early on Friday morning…  Sure enough, there I was at 6:30 am, the day we’re leaving for vacation, adding final touches to my essays…  After getting them finished I mailed them out for review, and then went about my way to a relaxing time, celebration for my Michigan decision, and lots of alcohol!!!

A weekend to relax and celebrate – 6/25/2004

 

Mailing the essays for review had a strange feeling…  This was it…  I was done…  These were the last essays, I would not have to write any more…  My battle of several months had finally come to an end…  I was glad…  I was getting tired…

Not much to write about the weekend…  Put-In-Bay was okay – I don’t think I’d go again…  Cedar Point was great fun – it made up for a lousy Put-In-Bay…:)

 


Damn, we were exhausted!!  After late nights, alcohol, swimming pools, and a day at Cedar Point, I was exhausted…  I was hoping that work would be light this week…  I got a note back from Jackie, my colleague who had so kindly reviewed my essays…  She had a few minor suggestions on two of my Chicago essays, and more substantial comments on the third…  I wasn’t surprised…  To be honest, I was completely satisfied with the third essay either…  Neither was Bhairavi, or Vijay (another colleague of mine who was reviewing essays)…  So, although I thought I was done and had set my mind in the “done with the applications phase”, I had to go back to the drawing board…  I started by tweaking the third essay, then ended up rewriting it all together…  The next day I resubmitted my essay for review…  This time the feedback was much better…  I’m glad I rewrote the essay – my own confidence, and that of my reviewers, really made me feel a heck of a lot better about my Chicago app (although memories of the interview were still depressing)…

Back to the drawing board – 6/28/2004

 

 


Finally got the Chicago app done and submitted…  I’m happy with the essays and pretty happy with everything else that goes with the app…  I’m a little surprised and disappointed that Chicago doesn’t require a resume to be submitted with the application – I think my resume is fairly good…  I’m also still bummed about the interview – but that’s past me, and I can’t change it…  I didn’t make my goal of submitting by mid-June, or before we went to Put-In-Bay…  But I’m really glad that I submitted before the start of July…  In the worst-case scenario, I should hear from Chicago by the middle of August – two weeks before Michigan orientation…  Now I’m finally free from the application process…

Now I’m really done – 6/30/2004

 

 


The last several weeks have been pretty busy…  Work has been unconventionally rough and stressful…  My personal life has also been demanding…  There are a lot of changes going on at work, and the atmosphere is very tense and uncertain…  Our business partner (the person who determines the requirements and future direction for the application we’re building) took an opportunity in another area – so our project is currently orphaned…  In addition my team knows that I’m definitely leaving to go to school this summer, so they’ve posted for my replacement, and are in a transition mode…  Finally my boss (who by the way is by far the BEST manager I’ve every had) is also taking an opportunity elsewhere within the organization, so we’re planning for her to leave…  As a matter of fact, she’ll be leaving before I will!!

NYU, where are you??!! – Today, 7/20/2004

 

So, in all the chaos of work, I’m trying to find peace with myself…  It’s been weird not going home and working on applications for the last three weeks…  This weekend has been the first weekend in months where I’ve been bored!!  I have been getting other things done (such as some work on the Maxima, and bringing up my computer environment at home)…  Bhairavi spent all of last week with her parents, so I was alone and missed her…

So, with all that said, the important question is: where’s NYU??!!  This Friday will mark the end of the 10th week after I applied…  The way things are going on, I don’t think I’ll have a decision from them by then…  I think 8-10 weeks for an admissions decision is absolutely ridiculous!!!  I called NYU this morning and told them that I have to make a decision for my second choice school, and so I really need to know what NYU’s decision will be…  But they weren’t able to help at all…  I was told that a lot of decisions will be updated online this week and next…  Next week will be the 11th week…  What happened to 8-10 weeks, folks??!!  I was also advised that if I really need to know by a certain date, then I should write the admissions committee chairperson and let them know of my situation…  I still can’t fathom what the admissions committee could possibly be doing for 8-10 weeks!  I don’t know why I’m going to all this trouble…  With an accept from Michigan, I’ve already decided that NYU is out…  I guess I’m just really anxious…  I’m looking for filler to fill the space between now and Chicago’s decision – an admit from NYU would make great filler!!

On a related note, I do have some news from Chicago…  Well, it’s not news really…  I spoke with someone in the Chicago admissions office last Thursday…  She was a LOT more helpful than the folks at NYU…  I explained to her that I have to make a decision for my second choice school soon, and asked what the best way would be to get notified as soon as possible about Chicago’s decision…  Well, it turns out that Chicago does not post their decision online…  They also don’t email their decision…  The only notification they give is a mailed letter!  But the lady in the admissions office was kind enough to advise that I call her every Friday to check the status…  She said that they generally shoot to have decisions made closer to the 4-week end of their 4-6 weeks notification period…  She also said that since I have to notify my second choice school soon she’ll watch for my application as it comes out of the initial review and make sure it is quickly passed onto the second review without sitting on a desk somewhere…  I learned one other thing – all applications WILL get three reviews…  Two preliminary reviews, and then one by the director of admissions…  I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that I’ll hear from Chicago by Friday 7/28…

Wow, I’ve written a lot…  I’ve caught you up on the last month’s happenings all in one week…  I’ll try to do a better job of keeping you all up to speed from now on…  For now, I’m going to rest my aching hands, and curse a little more at NYU…:)

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Drained…

June 16th, 2004 No comments

I’m drained… No really, I am thoroughly drained… I think it has a lot to do with work (we have a release coming up, performance issues, and new fires cropping up everyday)… We’re actually doing a remarkable job of putting out the fires, but it does get tiring… In fact, I’m so drained that I won’t write much today… The short of it is that I still have made NO progress on the Chicago essays… So, I can kiss the idea of submitting the Chicago application before I leave for my interview, goodbye… Heck I’ll be lucky if I can submit by the middle-to-end of next week! One more thing, I got an email from Michigan on Monday (I’ll tell you the story about the email later)… The email just said that my decision will be available online at 12:01AM on 6/23 (next Wednesday)… Yes, I’ll probably stay up late on Tuesday night and wait for the decision…

Until next time…

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I’m in!

June 13th, 2004 No comments

Yep, that’s right – I AM IN! Woo hoo!!!

I’m having mixed emotions as I write this post – I’m tired, I have a headache, there’s some relief in my mind, a little excitement, and some guilt about not being as excited as I really should be… Don’t get me wrong; I’ve been waiting for this day for months… In fact, it occurs to me that I’ve finally (partially) realized a dream I’ve been having for years… Maybe I’m not “bouncing off the walls” excited because I’m tired…One thing I know for sure is that I am rambling…

Bhairavi’s been pressuring me for days to work on my Chicago essays… To be honest, I don’t think I’d be going to grad school this year if it hadn’t been for her pressuring… Although we men may say that our wives “nag”, the truth is that we’re secretly very grateful, because if you wives didn’t “nag”, we wouldn’t be able to accomplish most of the things we’ve dreamed of!

Anyway, back to my story… Bhairavi had just finished telling me that I need to get off my butt and start working on my Chicago app… With that I decided to check what time my Chicago interview is on Friday so we can adequately plan our trip… VPN had connected, and Lotus Notes finally started up… Bhairavi had turned her back and was walking toward the kitchen… My default Lotus view, “Yash’s Phat Lotus Crib”, had loaded, and my mail occupied the right half of my window… I scanned the red mail entries, the new mail, at the bottom of the screen… The email from the Tepper School caught my eye first since the sender name occupied three lines (it reads “Tepper School of Business Masters Admissions Team”)… In a split second several thoughts crossed my mind… I remembered my disappointment at 6:15pm on Friday when I checked my status in the online application system and it still said “under review”… I was expecting a decision by the end of last week, and it hadn’t happened… That thought was immediately followed by the brief realization that the wait was over, this message was probably the verdict I had spent weeks anxiously waiting for… I had barely finished that thought, and my eyes rolled over to the subject line… No sooner did I read the first two words “Exciting news…”, did my mouth mutter the words “I’m in”. Bhairavi, no more than 4 feet away, said “yeah right” in disbelief… “No seriously, I’m in” I replied… “Really??” asked Bhairavi in excitement… The rest, as they say is history…

So, I have the first response… That’s right, I’ve been admitted to the MBA program at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University!! Oh yes, one more thing: the e-mail came in at 6:11pm on Friday… As I had expected, I did have notification before the end of Friday… The online application site still says that my application is under review, so I guess the status site isn’t the best place to get notification either…:)

I’ve written a lot, you’re probably already bored, and I have to get moving for dinner, so I’ll end here… Before I go, I’ll share one more thing… Once the excitement had settled, Bhairavi said “I don’t know if this a good thing, I hope this doesn’t impact your Chicago application”… Pritesh, my cousin, later said “This is great news! It’ll give you some confidence to really dominate that Chicago application”… I think that right now I’m in agreement with Pritesh… This news for CMU has finally gotten me motivated to work on the Chicago app… Tomorrow morning I’m going to get cracking on those essays!

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A dream…

June 10th, 2004 No comments

Still no word from Carnegie Mellon… Damn it, I’m getting anxious! Bhairavi had a dream on Tuesday night that I got a letter from Carnegie Mellon saying that I was accepted. Woo hoo!! I’ll save the celebration until the letter actually comes (if it comes) – but I’ll take the dream as a good omen…:) CMU says they’ll notify applicants by 6/14 (next Monday)… I hope I hear something before the end of Friday…

I just got off the phone with someone in admissions at NYU and she told me that decisions are mailed 8 to 10 weeks after the application deadline (which was May 15th)… Last time I was told 4 to 6 weeks… The admissions person said that all the decisions are mailed out together, so I’m not expecting to hear from NYU until sometime in July…

The only other app left is Michigan… I called them yesterday and they too said that they mail all their decisions at once… I was told that the target is July 1, and although they may beat the deadline, it’ll only be by a couple of days… So, I’ll hear from Michigan in three weeks!!

Still no progress on the Chicago app – I need to haul ass this weekend!!

It’s 2:40pm, and I’m hungry… Must eat…

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