Tuesday, January 31, 2006

My tur... no - tag! now :)

Thanks for Angie and RSR and Moe for this tag! Wow, what a tag :))

I'm still waiting for my Oxford interview and preparing for a businesss trip, why not write something?
I wanted to write a post about reapplication to LBS, but found out that I don't have anything to write about: if you reapply the following year, you have to submit again one application and the whole set of essays, but the School doesn't ask you for transcripts and recommendations. In two years time you're a brand new guy (gal) and you have to submit every single thing again. Short post that would be, isn't it? :)
But I digress! I wanted to write all those 4-letter-wor... or no, 4-things-whatever. Let's start.

Four jobs I've had in my life:

  • Ballet dancer
  • Secretary
  • Programmer
  • Sales manager

Four movies I can watch over and over:

  • Love actually
  • Insterstate-60
  • Die Hard (1,2,3) - will that go as one movie? ;)
  • Run, Lola, run
I'd better stop right now and not mention "Italian Job", "Some Like it Hot", "Dogma", "Ocean's eleven", "Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels", "Crocodile Dundee", "Ice Age", "Matrix", "True Lies", "Hitch", otherwise you'll consider me a film fan which I am not.

Four places I have lived:

  • Arhangelsk, RU
  • Kaliningrad, RU
  • SaintPetersburg, RU
  • Moscow, RU

And these are not my home towns! ;)

Four TV shows I love to watch:

  • Friends

well... I don't have a TV thus I don't watch shows. Cartoons from childhood count? Then...

  • Disney series on Fridays
  • Macron-I
  • Star Sheriffs :)

Four places I have been on vacation:

  • UK
  • Czechia
  • Lithuania
  • Turkey

Four of my favourite dishes:

  • Pasta
  • Pizza
  • Potatoes (fried, baked, boiled, any kind of)
  • Roasted meat

Four websites I visit daily:

Four places I would rather be right now:

  • London, UK
  • Rome, Italy
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • somewhere on the south coast... I should have put this first if it was not for London!

Four bloggers I am tagging:

  • Al - he's been tagged, but not responded ;), so one more label!
  • Karibu with his new job
  • Guillaume in L.A.
  • Mave who has disappered in the R2 rush. Come back!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Timing your application

As for going to admission consultants, there are three situations when you should think of them:
1. You cannot spend time researching schools and their requirements. You need information right now.
2. You apply to 3+ schools in one round.
3. You need a good advice about your essays.

1. Essays
Start: ASAP
Finish: three weeks before deadline
Think about essays as soon as you decide to do an MBA. Read books, watch news, work – always thinking about your essays. Write down ideas.
Extreme schedule: finish your essays three days before deadline, give yourself a break and then one day before the deadline reread and correct them (not recommended).
Normal schedule: finish the drafts as least three weeks before the deadline and give them to someone to reread. Better it be two persons: a former (or current) MBA and a person, who knows your current affairs very well (a close friend, a beloved one, a parent). The first one can say in what way you should rewrite the essays to sell better, the second – what you have forgotten to mention about yourself.

Start: ASAP
Finish: 2 months before deadline

Schedule as early as you can. Otherwise you may be prepared but there will be no seats.
Extreme schedule: Pass at least a month before deadline. Prepare for at least for two weeks. You should obtain GMAT literature beforehand. You’ll have to take a two-three week holiday at work and make yourself a crash-course on GMAT. You’ll have to be successful the very first time (not recommended).
Normal schedule: Pass at least two months before deadline, so that you will have time to redo it. Prepare for at least for two months.

3. Language test
Start: ASAP
Finish: 2 months before deadline
If you pass computer-based TOEFL, do it immediately after GMAT.
If you pass a paper test like IELTS, you’ll have to schedule it a month beforehand and wait for results 1,5 months after it.
Important note: make a copy of all your score reports and send them to schools with transcripts. Your official results arrive separately, but you don’t want to worry whether they arrive late and you’ll know about it one day before the decision due.

4. Transcript
Start: three months before deadline
Finish: 2 weeks before deadline
Ask for it as soon as possible. Your university may not make transcripts (Russian universities don’t, for example), so you’ll have to take care of it yourself.

5. Letters of recommendation
Start: two months before deadline
Finish: three days before deadline
Ask your future recommenders at least two months before the deadline. Find out whether they’ll have any business or holiday trips at that time.
You should provide a draft for them at least a month before the deadline.
If you write the whole recommendation yourself, give them at least a week before the deadline to read and correct it.
If they have to print recommendations, sign and give back to you, make sure, you know how to mend the broken printers. Don’t forget to buy envelopes.
If you have online recommendations, offer your recommenders help in submitting it. They may not be accustomed to the interface.
Thank them afterwards.

6. CV
Finish: a week before deadline
I must be ready at least a week before the deadline. This is one of the easiest things to do. You can even start with it: put a tick in your list and feel that part of the task is accomplished. If you’re not sure it is good: send it for some good vacancy – if they reply, you know it is good.

7. Application
Start: two weeks before deadline
Finish: a day before deadline

You’ll need at least a week to make an application. Many schools (including LBS) ask for additional mini-essays in the application form – this may come as an unpleasant surprise. And you’d better spend a day on familiarizing with the interface of the application. And better submit it a day or two before the deadline.

8. Send written application
Finish: two days before deadline
If you send on a holiday (or weekend) DHL will charge you 10 dollars more. So better send on weekday. I’ve heard that in US there is such thing as ‘University express’, e.g. you send documents to universities they take a half of their normal charge. Alas, no such thing in Russia.

Once, when my mother’s friend was waiting for a baby – tired of 8 months of nausea, immobility and all other things that accompany this happy process – she said: ‘Oh, how good it will soon be all over!’. And my mother, who already had me by that time, replied: ‘No, dear, IT is just the beginning’.
The application process is also just the beginning :)
Good luck!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Quick note about myself

I've sent the application to Oxford. It was a ton easier to get everything together, since I was so much more experienced with the whole application process, but still really difficult. I don't know how you guys manage to write 30 essays while applying to 4+ schools ;)
However, there happened two things that made me less sure that I will actually go there even if I'm accepted.
First, Angies's story (see the link to her blog in my previous post) made me think that I do have chances if I reapply next year to LBS. To my opinion selling yourself to a B-School is the same as selling yourself to an employer. Just a bit harder. That leads me to my second reason: my new job. I'm not sure that I'll be allowed to leave so soon and that I'll want to leave :) I've found my dream job :) I know that I'm exaggerating, but 1) it will give me an international experience and working in a international team 2) I'll learn a new technology and discover a completely new (to myself) industry. Have I mentioned that my former CEO agreed to give a future reference for MBA while I was leaving?