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MBA Admission Consulting

Round 1 can be brutal. Most of you who applied to Harvard and Stanford were rejected. Recuperating from the injury to your self-esteem, many take a break. The week-long break becomes a period of sulking and self-defeating thoughts. Many call me in the first week of November when most results are published and ask ‘what should I do.’

What was the error in my strategy?

How should I approach the essays in R2?

Should I aim lower?

The number of GMAT test takers peak in December, just before the Christmas break. Then there is a mad rush to create new narratives and sometimes rephrase the ‘creative’ Harvard essay for other schools. Many assume that a turn of phrase praising their stint as a class monitor would offer a balanced perspective on their potential.

During the extensive profile evaluation and strategy session, the client and I often create narratives of their three weaknesses. Without recognizing...

There were no injuries, no blood oozing out, but the 21-year old biker laid motionless. The pulses were regular. Suspicious of the nature of the injury, the Doctor moved his hands around the head. A coin-sized hole punctured the man's skull. Just as he was examining the chest area, a vibration with blue light emitted from the biker's dusty front pocket. 

The phone showed "Mom." 

The Doctor couldn't pick the phone and share the horrible news. 

That evening my brother - the Doctor, had a few extra rounds of whiskey. Last week when I saw him, he has turned into a veteran in managing patients in the Intensive Care Unit. 

6 years have passed. I asked the same question I asked him the day we met for drinks, "What upsets you now?"

He gave the same answer, "Young people wasting their life on cheap thrills."

All our major career decisions are made in the teenage years when the pre-frontal cortex - the region of the brain that controls impulses, is not fully developed. So we jump into careers that looks good on paper or for the society and hope to acquire the lifestyle that we envy.

Years pass, you acquire the comforts of life and reach a stage where money is not the motivation anymore. 

Spinning "selling sugary water" as "bringing...

We are constantly distracted by the desire for Novelty and the discipline of repetition. Ever since I made my personal phone public, I am getting calls from young engineers and Finance professionals (less than 2 years of experience) with worries that they would be stuck in a monotonous career as a Software Engineer, Associate Analyst or an Engineer in a declining Oil & Gas industry. It is an instinctual call that the future is not safe - not just from a life satisfaction point of view, but because tools and technology can replace your job with the right data.

I have shared about Pain and why it should indicate that you are in the wrong career, but any moment of discomfort is not Pain. Even if you get into a dream career, repetition of at least 6000 hours and scrutiny at the highest level is required if you want to be among the 1%. Unless, AI is integrated to our input (visual, audio), we need repetition to develop contextual awareness, and eventually the knowledge to solve complex problems.

You will experience some form of pain while performing at the top percentile. That is not an indication that you are in the wrong profession. It's just the sign that our limited input options (screens, mouse, keyboard, and internet) and attention is not sufficient to connect two diverse concepts and build imagination.

No AI can imagine what the world would be in 1-year, but...

Searching for a job function that you enjoy and get paid well requires a lot of trial and error. I started F1GMAT with the goal of helping applicants with GMAT preparation. Hence the name. Soon, I realized that although I am a good teacher, I didn’t enjoy the process.

What I really liked was writing. Teaching through Writing was appealing to me as I could have an impact on thousands of MBA Applicants from over 180+ countries. There is some element of ‘God Complex’ there. If you are planning to do anything worthwhile that will change people’s lives – expect to see the world through what you can do instead of what the world can do for you.

Schools don’t hesitate to ask about IMPACT. The word by definition is a little narcissistic. But would schools accept you if you cite an increase in salary by 120%, and 'Buying a Yacht' as motivations?

How customizing curriculum gives value in MBA

Professionals who are delusional write long-term goals with ‘IMPACT.' You work in a Fortune 500 company and with a few Global Experiential learning trips with an MBA; you are going to acquire the skills to change the world?

The truth is you just might.

How you customize the curriculum and what you believe is the only thing that matters when you are solving a complex problem. Don’t use your...

Hey there!

Hope you have started writing the second and third drafts of your essays. If you have not, download Winning MBA Essay Guide to kick start your writing process. One common theme of questions I have been receiving is that “Is it wrong to demonstrate an increase in post-MBA salary, implicitly or explicitly, as motivation?”

As I mentioned earlier, writing about internal motivation (Mastery, Autonomy, and Empathy) gives a bigger picture of where you want to be post-MBA. It is like changing your job. Rarely will you receive a lower compensation than your previous job. When you get into a Top MBA program, the salary increase can range anywhere from 50 to 200%. With word limit going down, it would be a waste of an opportunity to write about the ‘obvious.’

The answer, therefore, is “NO.”

Don’t write about the increase in salary.

As we near closer to the Round 1 deadlines, I have seen applicants making one common mistake.

They target too many schools.

If you are good at what you do professionally, you might be struggling to find time to...

Hey there!

I saw a Linkedin update from of one of our readers. He shared a truth about how lateral movement within a job function is restricted and then suggested that HR policies are turning companies into risk-averse entities that cannot see beyond the immediate profits. From an Employer's Perspective, super specialization takes the burden away from the training cost that courses equivalent to an MBA would need.

If you have found a niche where you have excelled and persisted for over five years, there is a high likelihood that you found your life's calling. But in those 5 years, if you have switched companies more than 2 times, it is a subconscious suggestion that you are still on the lookout for that job function that would bring out the best in you.

The culprit - age.

Think about the time when you made the choice to do your undergraduate degree? Not the best time to make any life altering decisions. So perhaps, you shouldn't be stuck in a life of misery just because your teenage self, made a bad choice. That is where an MBA program becomes useful. You are playing by the rules of the market. If the market values MBAs, play the game, but with caution.

Yesterday, I was updating the Top General Management MBA program for ...

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