Tepper interview and other updates.

So Tepper interview happened two hours back. This was my first ever interview and only God knows how many times I must have visited the loo during the day 😀

The interview was much more relaxed than I was dreading. Also I managed to speak quite a lot, contrary to my apprehension of losing my voice. In hindsight I think I could’ve framed some answers better. But I am happy with the fact that I managed to speak well considering this was my first interview.

The interview was with a young lady from Tepper’s admission committee. She came across as very friendly and warm person. Started by making me comfortable, asked me about the correct pronunciation of my name and what it means etc. The interview was very conversational in general and she was making notes throughout.

The questions were pretty basic in nature:
Why MBA.
How MBA seems to be the next step to what I am doing currently.
Post MBA plan.
Alternate plan if immediate plan does not work out.
What do I know about Tepper and how that interests me.
My work and any interesting experience that I had with clients.
Any conflicting situation at work, culturally or otherwise. How I handled it.
My key takeaways from working in a multi-cultural organization.
Any situation where I worked over something I had little knowledge about. How did I cope with it.
Any situation where the client did not seem too happy with the kind of solutions provided. What was my learning there. How did I handle the situation. What could I have done differently.
What are my personal hobbies.
I had mentioned during the discussion that I am involved in diversity team. Asked me to describe my experience.

I realized I spoke a lot, despite my mind going completely blank the moment the Skype call started :)
However she was extremely patient and listened intently, while making notes all the time.
She ended with asking me if I had questions for her. In the end wanted me to ask her “one last question”, despite the call crossing 35 minutes by then. I wonder what made her do that.

My suggestion: Do not try to over sell yourself, definitely not talk about what you haven’t done. They are not looking for your achievements and awards but want to know if you will fit well with the kind of culture the Tepper community has to offer.

So while I was totally fretting out last night over Tepper’s website trying to find any bit of information that may come handy in the interview, in popped a mail from McCombs inviting me for interview discussion! OMG. The same McCombs for which I struggled with getting my manager’s recommendation. Which by the way, he submitted only last weekend on 18th, that was 4 days past the deadline. I had lost hopes of my application being considered for the round 1, which would have meant I had effectively only one application in Round 1. Probably writing to them informing of my delay in recommendation helped. But now that it all got sorted AND I received an interview invite too, I feel much more better. Took some pressure off the Tepper interview too 🙂

Next is Oxford’s Said business school., due 31st. I have yet to start on it. My ex-manager had asked me last week to help him with brief so he could recollect better. I had promised to get back to him in 2- 3 days because of other work, but it’s been more than a week and I have yet to get back to him on that. Since I wanted to give my best shot to this school, which somehow seems like a stretch to me, I finally gathered the courage to speak with my Product Owner as well. The talk with him went faaaar better than I had expected, he was very co-operative and encouraged me to give it my best shot. He also seemed a little disappointed that finally I have decided on pursuing higher education too. This has become a concern at my workplace as most of the college joinees have been leaving in a couple of years for MS, mostly. He said he was still happy that I was considering MBA and will support me there. That was such a relief to hear because I was sure that being product owner he’d start worrying about resource allocation issues among other things. The guy was kind enough to take time out from his super busy schedule to write a nice write up and submit it on his way to the airport before flying off for vacation at Thailand :’)

That made me feel so special. The fact that you have at least a few people who support you in your personal goals.

It’s Diwali time, so I’m going to take a little break for the next two days or so, and get onto Said’s application in the following week. I realized I badly need to recharge my mind after weeks of constant pressure about applications. Happy Diwali, folks!

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