Dream School

“Dear …..

It is my pleasure to confirm the decision of the MBA Admissions Committee to offer you a place on the 2015-2016 MBA programme.

Your interviewer was impressed when they spoke to you during your interview and the MBA Committee has agreed that you meet the very high standard expected of an Oxford Student.

Starting today, you will become a member of a very selective community which will change your life and expand your ambitions.”

I must have read this mail 3694 times, hoping for the 3695th time that it is not a prank or a dream.

It’s 5th December and…

..this anxiety is too much to handle. Oxford is supposedly releasing it’s decision today and as much as I try to prepare myself for the worst, I can’t help creating scenarios in my head about what it would be like to hear an affirmative news from my dream place.

To be among the best, taught by the best, AND have my family around more……sigh I should stop dreaming and get back to work.

In retrospect..

It’s been a whirlwind of an year, don’t you think?

I started the year on a good note at work with an outstanding performance rating and ended it with taking the first step towards the big leap in my career. It’s been an year of taking initiatives, both at work and personal front. I jumped head on into GMAT preparation, and I must admit that getting back into studying mode after four years, specially with a day job in hand, was tougher than I had imagined. There were times when I would be on the verge of giving in to the temptation of dropping the “ridiculous idea of studying further when I am doing well enough in my life”, and there were some when I’d be frustrated with the slow pace of my preparation.

A month before the D-day, I had a take a break from my GMAT preparation and head to my hometown. I figured two weeks of no work and no chores to take care about, I will be able to prepare with more intensity and focus at home. My luck had some other plans. Because of intermittent power supply and weather conditions, I could not manage to take even a single full length mock test. I had less than three weeks to go for the exam date, and knew I was doomed.

In hindsight, I realise this did me a world of good. The piling frustration was not helping. I could not take any mock tests properly and there was nothing I could do about it. I tried to study for longer durations than my (minuscule) concentration power could allow me to. This manifested in early signs of a burnout.  I could not afford that. I had two options, either to reschedule my exam date since I felt I could do with a couple of weeks of more preparation, or to take a complete break from studies for the two weeks that I was at home and get back rejuvenated for the rest leg of preparation. Since I had already scheduled my exam for September and any further delay would have meant losing out on early rounds of applications, I decided to take the leap of faith and shut myself off completely from studies and enjoy the vacation. And boy that worked for me. I felt more confident and was able to concentrate better. My mock scores improved and as a result, I ended up with a good enough score.

Last three months were all about immersing myself in my applications. I wanted to make sure I put forth the strongest profile possible for admission committees to review since a lot was at stake at work. I had to let my manager know about my MBA plans, which basically meant I had little room for messing up my applications and try again next year. I did whatever I could, in my essays and resume as well as interviews. Time to sit back and watch my efforts bearing fruit now. Fingers crossed!

I’ve decided to take a break from the applications. It is important that I don’t burn out. I will wait for a couple of weeks before I start hearing from b-schools about their decisions. Will then decide the next course of action (if any) and get kick started for January round of applications.