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You are not your percentile-My Journey to achieving my MBA

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One year, two months and an MBA offer letter later, when I look back at how time has flown, serendipity says that was defiantly worth it, but more than the baffled, tiring and anxious roller coaster I definitely learnt something about what makes the dots connect in an MBA application and most importantly about myself. I'm going to divide this blog into concepts and try and quash as many fables which are created around the MBA application process.

You are not your percentile-The first thing when you start looking for a school you end up looking at the financial times rankings and average GMAT scores. You begin to think if I get a 710 I can apply to a certain set of B-school program but if I get a 600 I can apply to a completely different and inferior set of MBA programs. So is this true? Well it depends on the school your applying to and that's why the word fit is so important, you need to find a school which not only helps you in your career journey but also shares the same values as you. This is more than a generic slogan on the universities website but more about the ethos of the place and how you feel about it. I got rejected from a school 1 day after I sent my application there. They did not read my essays, they did not go through my resume, they did not see anything in that application which was actually me but wrote back that since i don't have a 700 GMAT score I don't make the cut. At first, i was shocked and outraged, I mean I knew there was competition out there but not even a glance to see who i was? Just a numeric which defines my intelligence. Then there are other schools who try to see the complete picture, who know that yes quantitate ability and thinking on your feet are important skills needed to be a good manager but not the only skills.

Quantitate ability has layers-Coming straight out on this one, I am not quantitatively inclined when it comes to imaging lines which bisect angles, I am not qualitatively inclined when it comes to thinking about what time two trains will pass each other in under 1 minute and I am not quantitatively inclined when it comes to calculating the probability of picking 2 single eyed jacks in a deck of cards [ok I might get that one because of the cards bit], but is this the only dimension of quantitate ability? I don't think so. I'm good with data. I work with excel all day long reading between the lines for the last two years at my workplace and have recently begun to pick up SQL. I love data [true story] because the numbers here let me think and I don't need to think on scratch paper but on my laptop which is a medium where i can work on simultaneous fronts at one go. So the next time you feel that you don't have it when it comes to quant [i doubt you'll feel this if you are Indian+Male+Engineer] find new ways to tell the world just how good you can be quantitatively.

There is no one in this world more anxious than you but you are fine the way you are-I don't know if it was just me but when I began the applciation part I kept asking myself what is so special about me? I mean there are people out there who have fought in wars, struggled in small towns and moved up the capitalistic ladder and pioneers of belief systems. That's the amazing part, you don't need to look at the world, you just need to look at yourself. Many people would think man how do I sell myself to this admission committee. My advice here is you don't need to. We have enough door to door sellers with plastic smiles and products roaming our streets already. instead tell a story, your story, you know why?-Because everyone loves a storyteller. Your story is so interesting you have no idea. The only problem is it's scattered and a little bit of a mess but amazing things happen once you begin to connect the dots as one wily old apple/computer seller once said. Once you connect those dots the tapestry is a work of art, so much so you might feel like your reading the story for the first time

Money should not equal fear-To begin with I was fearful, i kept thinking by any chance if i get in what am I going to do? I'll have to take this huge loan upon my head and put a house as collateral [couldn't bear the thought] and what if something goes wrong? What if the global markets crash in 2018? what if I don't get a job? So many what ifs it felt like a nested if statement [bad excel joke]. So I began to say well see. Why well see?-Because it let me focus on the tasks at hand and leave the rest of their due course in time. I am extremely grateful because things managed to work out I got a 30,000 $ scholarship which was nearly half my tuition fees and now i don't need to take a loan. My point with this topic is not to go down the fanciful road and say that miracles happen and the stars will align themselves for you [They do by the way]. My point is believe in yourself and your story, go and apply for that scholarship and if anyone tells you that scholarships go to only a certain kind of individual well then tell them your story.

Have a blast-The time you take out to go down this journey can vary from a month to over 5 years [changes from person to person, their grit, determination, and aspirations]. You are going to be overwhelmed, you are going to feel tired, you are going to feel defeated and broken. So while all these feelings play themselves out in the background have a blast because well you need to. Study but don't study like your trying to mug up a dictionary of a new foreign language, focus on your application but do not keep it open every waking moment of the day and don't keep pressing the refresh button on the application status a million times until you think it will magically turn to a yes. Get anxious but embrace it. Panic but then jump with joy. Go out with your friends tell them what a boring bookworm you have become. Drink Wine [Brain energy], watch a soap which is not politically or educationally inclined and play on your PlayStation otherwise just like mine it might stop reading disk after being untouched for 3 months [its fixed now phew].

Mihir Samir Verma