Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Some tuning: Want to be notified about new messages in blogs?

Here by the ocean waves carry voices…
© Michael learns to rock

Last month I read in Guillaume’s blog about getting notified about recent blog entries by e-mail. I decided, that this is a good idea: not read the blogs from time to time, but be notified as soon as something new comes out.

So, I didn’t want to change my mail-client to Mozilla Thunderbird (by the way, I already have a lot of mail in my mailbox and don’t want another huge pile there!). And I didn’t explore the opportunity of Bloglines, where you don’t need to install anything, but can acquire everything on a single browser-page (correct me, if I’m wrong). Instead, I searched for some programs, that collect blogs, and came across RSS Bandit, so now I have a smiling yellow face in my tray ;)

I’m notified not only about MBA’s blogs, but also about entries in ClearAdmit (it was not easy to find their atom feed!) and Ed Brill’s Blog. Maybe I’ll add some more blogs to my list later :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Clubs at LBS

Mickey Mouse club
We'll have fun
We'll be new faces
High! High! High! High!
© Mickey Mouse Club March

One of the essays in Application Process this year was “What type of student club or campus community event do you envisage yourself initiating?”. I am not sure, whether there will be the same essay next year, but I’ve been thinking for some time about clubs I would join (or organize). I was searching for LBS Clubs and by chance found this link with all clubs, present at LBS.
I would like to ask LBS MBA2007 (KV, Suzy,, what kind of clubs are you going to organize (if it is not yet a secret)?
I wish (in future) I could join Swimming Club (to swim for MBA Olympics - I love swimming and go to swimming pool at least twice a week) and Women in Business (naturally, why not?). I’m thinking about Italian Club (I love Italian food ;)), Snow Club (not surprisingly for someone, living in a country, which one third of the whole year is covered with snow :)) and, perhaps, Tennis Club (been playing tennis since the age of 7… ah, tennis rackets were so heavy then, I had to hold mine with both hands…). And I also have an idea about organizing a community of my own, but I won’t disclose the idea yet :)

Sunday, June 26, 2005

GMAT resources on the web

I was lost in France…
© Bonnie Tyler
I decided, that I will name my posts with a proper title and the words with “©” place in the epigraph. Else it will be too difficult to find anything here after some twenty posts.
I will not provide a full list of GMAT resources here, but I will write some, that I found quite useful. All the resources listed below are free of charge (or you can receive some useful info in them for free, and pay for additional info or course).
GMAT Club - good forum with lots of materials and help (available to registered users). You can pay for some materials, or you can receive them for free if you contribute a certain number of posts to the forum (a big number, I should say). There are a lot of good advice there, for example to keep your error log of every single error you make in order to revise them before your exam. Then, it's a wonderful community, which can help you prepare for the exam: post your questions, get explanations, help others - explain what they don't know.
Test Magic - also a great community around GMAT and other tests.
ScoreTop - another forum with lots of information. For example, you can easily get 3000 of additional RC questions (registration not needed), or pass a timed quant test on-line (registration needed) or find Kaplan Workshops and GMAT+ or download all AWA essays. (Thanks to Forrest Gump for this link!)
POWERPrep Software - direct link to the practice test download (registration needed).
You can also download AWA topics from that site.
I haven’t found a single free of charge complete book worth of reading in the net, but here is a link for some CR problems from Official Guide.
GMAT Tutor has good plans of preparation strategy (you can also find such plans on the forums above. Many people, who score high, post their strategies in forums), a list of idioms, tips and tricks.
GMAT Study Strategy from Dave - this is a very useful resource together with Dave’s blog. A single grade list of easy-hard questions in Official Guide is lot more you can gain from many other sites. Dave devoted a lot of effort to prepare this outstanding piece of advice about strategy and books, and all other stories.
Strategy for CR (and other sections) - not very long but quite useful guide for all GMAT sections.
Questions on your e-mail
DeltaCourse - a new math question every day, both easy and hard ones.
Manhattan GMAT - a difficult math problem every week.
These are the links I have found most useful (I know there are a lot more out there - but we don't have time to explore them all. After all, we are to pass the test, not to enjoy the process, aren't we?)
As for myself - I have read through strategy sites, done POWERPrep tests (if they are computer adaptive, then they are adaptive in a different way, than that we are told in textbooks), receive questions on e-mail and do them. I keep track of errors I make in an error log, and I also arranged a database for myself, where I put all links, articles and other materials, which are related to MBA. ;) It is a good thing to do, because you will not worry, that you’ll miss or forget something.
As for epigraph - it's easy to get lost in all these data, you find in the net :)

Friday, June 24, 2005

Choosing the School and searching for GMAT Literature

Hey Joey, c'mon tell me 'bout your dreams…

© Bon Jovi


In March I came across a contest, - organized by some good Russian newspaper – the winner of which would be awarded a place at Durham School of Business. I began searching for articles and essays to get the idea “why MBA, why now”, I searched the Durham site and found out that the place was awarded in distance-learning program… what a pity!

I appreciate distant learning and all the advantages of Internet, but I still think, that it is better to study full-time and in person, because, first of all, you can devote all your time to studying, second, you have face-to-face contact with staff (I have always preferred vis-à-vis exams to written or test ones, because I’m not able to use my charisma during the latter *joking*) and finally, get to know your classmates, build you personal network, which is the next (for someone even the first) big thing apart from the education itself.

So I didn’t take that chance, but I started thinking about MBA.

Then I came to a presentation, organized by British Council, about getting master degrees in UK (that was a really helpful one!), found out about ratings and resources. Going through those resources I surfed to LBS site and registered. They sent me their catalogue (surprise!) – and at that point I began to think about LBS seriously. I read through the catalogue, then the website, then began searching about LBS in BusinessWeek-Forums and eventually came across these blogs. :)

I already knew, that there are also Oxford and Cambridge MBA programs (not forget about Durham) in UK and INSEAD in France (and a lot of other great schools, like IESE, but they won’t put me closer to UK). I feel that I’m missing something, having not researched them properly, but I like to focus on one important thing and do all my best about it. And then – I’m lucky, I know that, I usually do it from the first attempt.

STEP 3. LITERATURE FOR GMAT (useful for Russians!)

When I was preparing for IELTS, I have found all the materials I needed in the Internet, but I couldn’t find the same thing for GMAT. It seems to me, that this test is not so popular among Russians as IELTS (many people pass this one for immigration to Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and they tend to help each other).

So I found out that in our major bookstores (in Moscow) and even online ones there are no books for GMAT (except for Barron’s, but it’s the same as “no”). I went to American Center (Nikoloyamskaya, 1, metro Taganskaya) and found a great variety of books for GMAT, SAT, GRE, TOEFL, but they don’t give them home. Stay there and study… Although my trip was not in vain: they gave me phones of shops where the books may be:

  1. Anglia, (095) 299-77-66. They usually have Princeton Review (great!), Arco and Barron’s
  2. Angliskaya Kniga, (095) 928-20-21. May already have something.

And in a week or two I decided to phone MBAConsult (the company that prepares for MBA) and it turned out, that they also had books! (Official Guide, Princeton and some of Kaplan’s)

I found out, that most GMAT-takers in Moscow order books from Amazon (you must have a credit card anyway to pass your GMAT – else it will be very difficult to register) and wait for them for about 4 weeks. Amazon is also a great source of discovering whether the book is worth buying or not.

And at last - it’s possible to buy second-hand books (I will sell mine when I pass the test :), but it’s a game of chance: you need books quickly, but they maybe no one wanting to sell.
I don’t know how people in other cities of Russia manage to get books, it seems an impossible task, really :)

Well, I’m preparing right now. Quant is nearly easy (I get more than 90%), but Verbal seems impossible. I cannot really master the logic of it.

So I’d better go and study and post some good web-resources a bit later.

*Little bit more about HSMP

You can get a HSMP without MBA – first of all, you must qualify, then you have to gather a lot of documents, wait for 2-7 weeks about the decision and finally you must find job in UK. But with MBA from TOP50 all you have to do, is provide your diploma – and you get the visa (it will be definitely easier to fing a job ;).

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Where to go, what to do - a bit about myself

She was the first girl on the moon...
© Roxette

No, not first, really. I know, that there are some people from Russia (or better to say Russians or Russian-speaking-people, because they may have lived anywhere, prior to coming to school) who graduated from LBS. I don't know them in person, so they are like a phantom example to me. Most people here, in Moscow, are eager about American schools. I don't, in fact, understand why: I see advantages in American schools, but I also see disadvantages in America. So I will not look in that direction (at first) and focus on European schools.
I'll make myself clear - I'm not admitted anywhere yet, because I'm just starting my Application Game and keeping fingers crossed to finish it next year :)

I always wanted to have a chance to live and travel in Europe: it is a set of small (comparing to Russia, mind me) countries, with different languages, different cultures and long-long history, - already fascinating, isn't it?..
Europe is near and America&Australia are too far away: it will be to expensive to visit my friends and family or to persuade them visit me ;)
I have always been specially interested in UK: reading books about ("Oak roots" for example, though I don't think it was translated into English), reading English authors (Conan Doyle, Stivenson, Tolkien, Rowling, Pratchett - wow! - and it is not the whole list!), loved music, films, was interested in people, culture and history...
English language is the one I know best of all European ones (additionally studing French and German and hope, someday they will be as good as it).

Short time ago, I have done IELTS: not yet knowing, what for - simply to test my knowledge of language, which I studied for so many years. I got 8 out of 9 and was pleased with myself :)
Immediately after it I began researching where I can go in UK to continue my education (I believe, this is the best investment in myself I can make).
...I am still thinking about applying to some Master Program in IT or Usability Course in Holland... Maybe it will be my backup if I fail in GMAT. But I'm bewitched with the idea of MBA (had been bewitched and reading about it at the age of fifteen, but then it was just a dream, really).

I found out, that all MBAs from TOP50 can get a HSMP Visa in UK, and this is great. Also a person, who had a Master degree at Scotland can have a work permit (for two years, as my sclerosis tells me) in Scotland.

to be continued...