Sunday, December 24, 2006

R1 admission statistics

Search on the LBS Portal gives 179 R1 admits (including people who deferred from the last year). In 2006 according to Angie's post there were 140 admits at the time. Rumor says that applications were up 50% in R1, so adcoms probably had hard time crossing out the applicants. Female rate is 28%.

Anyway I know that some people are waiting for acceptance letters from other schools, so there is hope for waitlisted candidates. And good luck to all R2 applicants!

UPD: The number of R1 admits has dropped to 129, so the yield this year is 72% in first round.
UPD2: As Marcelo pointed out, the number of MBA admits has risen to 150 - probably those are the people from the wait list - welcome on board! :)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

LBS - I am in!

Yes, I have an offer :)))

So... what's next?

First, I will wait for my "offer pack" to arrive and see if there's something interesting in there.
Angie said in the BusinessWeek forums that last year LBS had notified annual fund scholarship recipients by phone on the day the offers were issued (and I've never heard anyone from Russia receive this scholarship), but still...
Then I will celebrate :). Anyone in Moscow who wants to get in touch - drop me an e-mail!
And then I will pay my commitment fee. Dollar is falling - damn! so it is better to pay sooner than later.

Congratulations to fellow admits! Hope to see you soon on the Portal :)
I wish patience to the 'waitlist' candidates. If you really want to go to LBS, I think, you'll be able to. I know a couple of candidates who were admitted, but are waiting for other offers ;)
All of those, who didn't get in this year - don't be upset and keep struggling. If you really want it - you will make it, I know.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Let’s talk about ethical issues, shall we?

Fourth essay topic at Harvard is stated as following:

In you career, you will have to deal with many ethical issues. What are likely to be the most challenging and what is your plan for developing the competencies you will need to handle those issues effectively?

Before I came to this essay “ethical issue” was unknown beast to me, but I have done a good research on the subject since.
First, ethical issues should be distinguished from their false brothers. For example, when you receive change in the supermarket and the lady in charge gives you 20 instead of 10 by mistake – it is not an ethical issue. You should return the money.
Second, recently I came across a very interesting ethical issue which in the end resulted in this post.

Imagine, that you are a manager of the team. Your boss comes to you one day, closes the door and says: “Tell anyone and you’ll be fired. We gonna outsource your whole department to a cheap faraway country. We need half a year to do that and full support from the current team. After that we gonna fire them all, apart from you, of course. You will be promoted. But we need to do this transition quickly and effectively. This will save us a billion zillion dollars”.
What are you gonna do?

I do not know the right way to respond. Maybe you should be loyal to The Company. After all, they pay for your heart, soul and mortgage. And your team members are big boys and they should already know that there is no such word as “fair”. As a second thought maybe your boss is just testing how loyal you are?
To hell with the loyalty then.
I will go to my team the same very day and tell them everything. Something like:
“Guys, this company neither loves us, nor respects us. We have to pass our duties to guys in cheap faraway country and then say goodbye. This is bad, bad, really bad news and I understand your shock. But let’s look at it another way. It won’t come to you as a surprise-surprise two week’s notice. We have half a year to polish our CVs, and I will give you all good references, and we will probably receive a nice paycheck in the end”.
OK, let’s make the problem a little bit difficult.

The situation is the same. But you do not like the team you lead. They are arrogant, lazy and overpaid. And the people from the cheap faraway country are good workers and will benefit very much from your firm’s investment into their economy.
Will your decision change?

Nope. I will do the same thing not because I love my team and view them as “my guys”, but because I feel it is the right thing to do. I am not in place to judge if the guys are overpaid: we have a market, aren’t we? They can be a bad team, but they are my team. And maybe I am a bad leader if I have (or agreed to have) such a team. And my people will still face problems with paying loans on time, searching for a job, dealing with their undermined egos, etc. My people are more important than my company.
Good. You treat a team as if they were your family. So let’s make your choice tougher.

You’re not a boss. You are a consultant. Your firm has signed a contract and you have signed non-disclosure agreement. You will help us make the transition and promise to keep our purposes secret.

Yes, this is tough. I cannot say “I won’t work on this project” - someone has to do the job. I cannot tell the people, because it is not really my business. I cannot make their life better in any way. And I cannot be sure that they won’t go straight to their boss – and then my firm gonna lose a billion zillion dollars they obviously promised seducing it to carry out this contract. The only way I see is guerilla warfare. I might begin asking question like: “What do you think your company gonna do after this transition?”, “What have they done previously in such situations?”, and even “Have you looked at the job market recently?” If they are smart they will understand. If not, well, at least I tried.
There is no easy answer to an ethical question. (If your answer was “Just get up and get out of their”, imagine that your mom needs an expensive operation and you need the money badly. Who would you choose: your team or your mom?) Your answer might be completely different from mine.
I will just do what I feel is right. Right to how I feel, how I was brought up, in what I believe… but, please, tell me what on earth does Harvard mean by “developing competencies that will help me to handle those issues”?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

LBS interview experience

I had my interview yesterday and I enjoyed it immensely.
It was a kind of unexpected, so I didn’t have time to become scared (that’s a plus).
We had previously agreed to meet during the weekend, but my interviewer phoned me yesterday morning and asked whether I could come the same very day (he sent me an e-mail on Tuesday night that his plans had changed, but I received it only after his call). I said: “Yes, of course, if you don’t mind seeing me in jeans”. He didn’t mind (and thus missed the opportunity to see me in blue-suit-white-chemise-and-tie :)).
Such “unexpectedness” meant that I didn’t rehearse my answers and didn’t prepare for all of the tough questions. But there were not as many tough questions as I expected (no “ethical” ones, no “tell me how your team failed”). Nearly the first thing the interviewer told me was “Forget about the structure you have probably prepared. It will be more like a normal conversation”.
We planned to talk for about an hour, but ended up with more than 2 hours. I only wish I could steal a little more of his time, because the last part (my questions about his experience) was rather short. Well, it was late, middle of the week, he still had work to do, and his family was waiting for him.

So let’s get to the practical part now.
Interview was conducted in English. He received my current application, essays and CV. No recommendation letters or even the recommenders’ titles, no last year application.
He was curious “what were those huge improvements and changes that made adcoms consider you this year” so we talked about my last year aspirations as well.
I wasn’t asked about Life and Universe and Everything (I mean why MBA, why NOW, why LBS), but this question loomed in the air.
What I was asked:
  • Your short-term and long-term goals. How LBS curriculum will help you fulfilling them? What skills do you think you need?
  • How did you like your visit to school and what was your take-away from the lectures you visited?
  • What project would you choose with your study group at LBS if you were at the point of choosing? What role in the group would you play?
  • How would you choose between different schools if you were in such situation? (what would be the base for your decision?)
  • What it the difference between firms at which you are targeting?
  • Tell me about your current industry, its main players. How do you see the perspectives of this industry?
  • What would you do if not admitted?
  • How you plan to finance your studies if admitted?
  • How do you lead? Describe a recent experience. Any lessons learned from it?
  • Your three good traits from your colleagues’ point of view? Three bad traits? (that was a tough one)
We got into the details of some of my essays. Talked about my work, current project and international experience.
At the end the interviewer gave me a presentation topic. It was close to my heart so I hope I was able to handle it well. In the meantime I ruined a whiteboard in the conference room, because the highlighter turned out to be non-erasable (The interviewer promised to send me a bill for the board to clear my conscience, so that’s OK ;))

In the end I don’t know what impression I’ve made. On my way home I thought of thousands of better and well-structured answers. But I enjoyed every minute of the interview, I believe this is what really matters.
Let’s wait for the 19th of December and see what the school will say.

Good luck to those of you who are preparing for their interviews.
For those in Moscow don’t forget that LBS is giving an information session this Saturday – hope to meet you all there!

Friday, November 17, 2006

LBS interview invite!

Yes, I have one!

I am delighted to inform you that based on the strength of your initial application you have been selected for interview by the MBA Admissions Committee.


UPD: The interview must be scheduled until 8th December and the admission decision will be on the 19th of December.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Book about IB, trading and consulting - "Fast track"

Couple of days ago I came across one interesting book and immediately thought of first year MBAs who are now torn between banking and consulting.

1. The "Fast Track" is written by Mariam Naficy who worked at Goldman Sachs (IB) and Gemini (MC), and then got her MBA from Stanford.
2. The book holds lots of interviews with insiders and a very good list of additional literature.

If you're interested look at Amazon reviews here.
Tip: don't check the book's website - it is useless.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Terrible guide on writing a great essay

The first advice which famous writers give to youths dreaming about Pulitzer prize is simple – read. But beware. Reading is the only activity on which one can spend a lot of time and produce nothing (we are not considering computer games, are we?). So read actively. Keep an eye on things that will look good on your application.
I read lots of students’ blogs, professors’ diaries, articles, guides, and books. And write down excerpts and thoughts they evoke in a little green notebook. Many pages are already filled. The book is there every time I’m stuck with my essays.
Funny that it always opens on a certain page with just one word: PASSION!
The word tells me: don’t write what they will like, write what you like. You need to make a strong impression - that’s the only way.
Will you read the book if you don’t like it? Hmm, maybe. If it is classic. And this means you have to. And you can proudly say ‘I did it!’ afterwards. But in any other case you won’t.
They say, anyone can write at least one book. Memoirs. That’s it. And you have two thousand words or so to describe your whole life.
So you’re there with bright thoughts and passion, eager to nail it down and they ask you: “OK, what is most people do not know about you?”. Well… that’s a difficult question for one who lives with a heart upon one’s sleeve. It is even a harder one for those who do not open much. If nearly no one knows what I did last summer, do you really think I will tell you? Another good one is “what role do you think you will play in your study group?”. Of course, I want to be a fairy. No, thank you, I don’t want to play lobster. What? Um, sorry… what roles can I choose from in the first place?
But if you struggle and struggle with words and stories and don’t like what you produce in the end, maybe it is a point to think twice. They ask for a thriller, but you can only write a romance.
--- anecdote ---
Soviet times. Deficit. A wife is going to have a baby and convinces her husband who works at a plant that produces baby carriages to steal some parts and make a carriage for their kid. Husband finally gives up. He tries to make a carriage, but regardless of all his effort, the only thing he can assemble from the stolen parts is a machine-gun.
--- smile here ---

And if they still want a baby carriage, I mean, “what you thought, felt and did”, then, perhaps, this is that notorious “fit”. Or rather “not fit”.
Or maybe they will like your romance anyway and take you for you diversity. And 800+ GMAT. And don’t forget to mention how you saved the world. Twice.
The secret is simple: you need a hook. Make you essays promising. An introduction, like your CV. You won’t wait long for an interview.

A couple of links that would be useful:
Better beginning (short)
Tighten the language (short)
Writing style guide
Crash course on essays

Thursday, October 19, 2006

LBS application submitted!

I am done with application and essays for London Business School. Feeling I have written much stronger application this year:
  • Recommenders are the most V.I.P. guys from those who know me – check.
  • Essays have just the right proportion of everything – check.
  • Definitely much more commitment – check :)
  • I even included a couple of jokes!
If I myself were on admission’s committee this year I would consider me worth a try.
Thank you everyone, whom I have talked to and whose blogs influenced my writing. Special thanks to Angie and Divine Miss N!

No other Round One schools for me. What a relief! I will have a decent weekend! How I love this application process for the overwhelming joy of life after “submit”!
I have missed lots of b-school events because of writing during the last two weeks. And though they are gone and I cannot have World MBA tour or Chicago Women Meeting back… I won’t regret. Next week is all planned for going out with friends!

The interview decision (or ding) will be available on the 17th of November.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

American schools postponed till R2

I have decided not to rush with my Harvard application after my recommender looked through my essays (you know, the ones with "leadership, leadership, leadership, leadership" all over the place) and said:
- Hmmm, it seems to me, you've missed leadership here.
- Where? Where?
- Between leadership and leadership, I suppose.
- Arghhh....
So I focused on writing Chevening scholarship essays instead (who knows, maybe this year I will be more lucky?) and submitted them yesterday.
And now I have just the LBS application left. Still significant amount of work, because even harmless question "With whom have you discussed your plans to undertake MBA studies and what were their responses?" in the application took me 40 minutes to answer. I reprobate myself for not saving last year application (I have only essays left). If you're applying, be clever than me and save it :) It is saved easily unlike the Harvard one...
A piece of good news is that LBS accepts e-mail recommendations this year.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

First Russian LBS blogger!

Traditionally new LBS bloggers are reported by Divine Miss N and Angel Angie, but this time I decided to create a new tradition.
Let me introduce you to Genie in a bottle: First year LBS MBA student from Moscow who has just started her blog! Good luck girl, we are all looking forward to read you stories!
(and I have run away to talk to my recommender :))

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Chicago Students Reception, 18th Sep, Moscow

Yesterday I managed to get to the reception organized by current Chicago GSB students, Oleg and Katya (Oleg has a LiveJournal in Russian).
Good example (and thank you, guys, if you’re reading)!
I hope to host a similar event when I'll be an MBA student myself ;). I only wish Russian LBS or Harvard or Columbia students could come to Moscow for a cup of tea and tell the audience about their experiences. We are not at all spoilt with b-school attention in Russia :)
It was long time ago when I attended such an interesting and useful meeting.
So... brief takeaway:
1. Why Chicago?
  • electives, no 'core' (flexible study group as a consequence)
  • much value is given to facts and figures
  • big city (has consulting offices, but banks are mainly in NY)

2. Being a bookie I have added "The Goal" to my wish list (read at Operations course and Operations is the essence of Consulting).
3. Post MBA opportunity I haven't ever thought of: VC in IT. My experience will be valuable in accessing start-ups. Not that I viewed VCs as dream-job having heard about them only from developers' side :)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A few photos from Spain

I wanted to spend this Sunday creeping on my HBS application, but ApplyYourself is down now, so I decided to post some photos from my holiday in Spain :)
As for my choice of schools (this is the most popular question I receive in comments), the list is short: LBS, Harvard, MIT and Chicago. I'm exploring the latter two and not sure that I'll have time to do them in Round 1. A friend from NYU Stern is coming to Moscow this week so I'm also hoping for a lecture on NY opportunities.

Is this beast called 'lobster'?

Beware, it is fresh! (sketch on a restaurant wall)

Coastline near Sant Antonio de Calogne

A mountainview from the citywall in Girona

A piece of ceiling of Dali house in Figueras

Night view on Palamos

UPD: I've somehow managed to delete my entire blog template. So all the links in the righthand bar have disappeared. I will restore them as soon as I can...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


I've been silent for quite a time being on a wonderful holiday in Spain (promise to post some photos later). But now I'm back to my drafts and applications... and there was a wonderful advice waiting for me at my favourite Happy@Work blog: Top 10 tips for productive, creative, fun writing.
Alex, the author of the blog, is writing his 'Happy at work' book. In fact, he is nearly done (spent just 20 days on it)! So I couldn't leave my fellow MBA applicants without his advice.

I love this blog and would recommend it to anyone who believes that 'work' is other than 'make tons of money and go'. Some random postings I'd share:

And for fun:


  • Find out where your boss shops and buy exactly the same outfits. Always wear them one day after your boss does. (This is especially effective if your boss is
    a different gender than you are)
  • Wear a hands free phone headset throughout once in a while drift off into an unrelated conversation, such as: ‘I don’t care if there are no dwarfs, just get the show done!’

Have you read "Freakonomics"?

Even if you haven't, you've definitely heard about the authors idea - there was some buzz a while ago, blogsearch brings about 20,000 results - that legalization of aborts in seventies decreased crime rate in nineties.

Authors cite lots of convincing statistics, but I'd like to add my 2 pence.

My granny remembers the times when abortion was legalized in Russia. Death rate among young women and mothers dropped dramatically, she says.
You cannot stop that thing, legal it would be or not, but women suddenly could receive doctor service instead of being treated by some next-door healer.
So more kids had mothers, got better nursing and education, became good citizens, never went to prison and now phone their mothers every weekend. Of course you wouldn't be able to collect any trustworthy data for Russia at that time.

The book is very interesting, a must-read for everyone who likes to question "generally accepted practices". Articles from New York Times on their website and their blog are worth checking too.

UPD: Published in Russian in November 2006. Link to Ozon

Friday, August 04, 2006

Get things done!

As many of MBA hopefuls who sunbathe and barbequeue and calm themselves stating that tests are passed and rough drafts are written, I'm hypnotized with every article which has a sour "procrastination" word in its title.
This one - A Procratinator's Guide on Getting Things Done is worth checking out for methodology (non MBA related, however, but might be a useful read for interns). As for technology I would advise another tool: Backpackit.
I first read about it in theDivineMissN post and use it ever since to make wonderful to do lists. An example of which I've made below in 37 seconds :)

Worth checking out and has a lot more than that even in free version.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Back on MBA track

I have decided to stay in current job for one more year and apply to business schools once again.
I haven't finalised the list of schools yet and, of course, I have no time left for research now :) "Where was my head half a year ago?" - a typical question for many MBA-hopefuls, I'm afraid.

LBS, of course.
And a couple of American top schools (again, no safe choices - challenges, here I come!). I'm quite definite on Harvard and I think about Stanford and MIT, Columbia, Chicago (you'd better stop now, girl, or...)
Last year admission season gave me a lot: friendship, better job, lots of contacts and much wisdom :) I wonder what this one will bring?

And a piece of advice from people who managed to get in while having 60+ hours jobs, sleep and private life is most welcomed :)

Friday, June 02, 2006

Natural born entrepreneurs

Some time ago I read the 'Story of my First Business' by Joel Spolsky and it touched my heartstrings.

Young Joel worked at the university library; he loved donuts, but there were no shops around that sold them. So he asked a friend to buy some on his way to work and began to sell them to other people… whole story here

Every person who ever played a strategy game (Civilization, Settlers, Warcraft, etc) knows this feeling when you focus a lot and play hard and at one moment you raise your head, look around and ask – hey, am I a WINNER?

In real life this feeling is even stronger, because the 'war' never ends and that's this state of constant pleasure of winning little battles is what makes you high. That's why, I think, people start their own companies.

When I read Joel's story I began to think about my first business. As a child I've always had ideas like making hot pies or sewing shirts and selling them. However, when I shared my ideas with parents they told me it's not gonna work. I trusted them and gave up (maybe they were wrong, who knows?).

So my nearly real first business became my web project. It doesn't bring me money, so that's why it is 'nearly real'. When I started it consumed much of my time (and again my parents wanted to persuade me leave it: 'It costs you so much effort and nobody will ever pay attention', 'Phone your friends and go to the movies, don't live this weblife, will you?'), but it became popular so quickly that they stopped.

As you look at the revenues from your business, you'll say, "gosh, it's only 3:00, and we've already had nine customers! This is going to be the best day ever!" And the next year nine customers will seem like a joke, and a couple of years later you'll realize that that intranet report listing all the sales from the last week is unmanageably large.

One day, you'll turn off the feature that emails you every time someone buys your software. That's a huge milestone.

I know.

Do you still check how many people come to your blog and where are they from? I do :)

But I haven't checked this for my project for the last three or four years.


If you think of becoming an entrepreneur once, then you've probably had your first business already. Want to share the story?

UPD: check this article, it's fun: Top 10 Signs You're Made to be an Entrepreneur

Friday, May 19, 2006

Re: 'Microsoft is not a monopoly'

At LBS I attended a lecture about monopolies and the case was ‘Microsoft vs U.S.Government’. Lately reading Joel on Software I came across and interesting excerpt which may help those who will present Microsoft case in future (if LBS will still use the case next year).
Briefly 'Microsoft' had to prove that they were good, that they were not a monopoly and the fact that they included Internet Explorer in their Windows System didn't mean anything.
Joel think it doesn't mean. If IE is good - it will be used. If not - nope.
…even though Windows out of the box can play MP3 files, everyone I know uses WinAmp, not the Windows Media Player, to listen to them. Even though MSN is on the desktop, everybody uses AOL. Back when the browser integrated with Windows was crap, Netscape had 80% market share. So please stop fretting about the power of bundling.
The full article won’t help to crack the case, but the site itself is really interesting (at least for an IT person who I am).

Offtop: Google gives some money for women-students in Computer Science and related

Sorry for posting this offtop on MBA blog, but maybe this post will help any of the readers.

* Scholarship up to $2500 to visit Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference in San Diego, California from Oct 4 -7, 2006
* Eligible women students specializing in Computer Science, Computer Engineering and the like - studying outside of US
* Deadline: Thursday, June 1, 2006
All other details and online application are here.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Things that we shall learn at school, not business school

Today I was able to attend an event, organized by Chicago GSB Alumni Club and Ernst&Young. It was a lecture by professor Marvin Zonis. He was supposed to talk about transformation of companies in an uncertain world, and he indeed gave us some interesting statistics, but the main point of his speech, which I took home, was the following one. He was asked what his mission was and he said:
‘While I was at high school, I worked at a clothing factory. The work was so hard that I promised myself I would never work again – and I became an academic… *audience laughs*… Yes, I’m joking. In fact, I’m in education, because education can reduce the level of pain people suffer before they change their behavior. Let me explain what change I mean… No one who has lung cancer smokes. Why did they make themselves suffer so much to stop smoking? Why didn’t they stop while being healthy?’
I come to such events for those little things of wisdom. They are obvious when they are pronounced, but it takes a genius to formulate them on your own. So, education is the tool that people can use to learn from other’s experience and mistakes, but not to suffer themselves. On the other note, I believe, that this is the ultimate answer to the Divine Miss N question: why does Entrepreneurship club brings people who are not MBAs - aren’t MBAs make successful entrepreneurs? First, the club does bring just a very small amount of all entrepreneurs – namely – the successful ones (and how many of ‘not MBAs’ are unsuccessful? A lot more than unsuccessful ‘MBAs’, I think). Second, maybe when you know all the statistics, all the constraints and problems – you’re not that eager to try it yourself?
I wish you didn’t have to pay huge sums of money to learn ‘why you need to learn’. I wish more people would hear about it while at school, not business school.
It’s hard to stop doing what you do, even if you know that it may have bad results. That is why it so hard to change companies, even successful ones (especially successful ones!). That is why from the 500 biggest companies in 1947, only 74 of them remained in 1997. That’s why it took Lou Gerstner to take IBM out of crisis. That’s why Jack Welch travels around the world and reads lots of lectures.

Other interesting facts:
* Largest world consumer of gasoline per person… you’ll never guess… It’s Luxembourg!.. The gas is cheaper there than in Germany and France, so many Germans and French go there, buy gas and drive away. So, in fact, the largest consumer is, of course, USA – the first guess you probably had :)
* We will soon reach an oil peak (optimistic estimates – in year 2025), at which half of the oil in the world would be already produced and consumed. So from that point on the prices will go up and the world supplies will go down. Hmmm, maybe a car is not such a nice purchase after all? (No, that’s not the thing that can make me hesitate if I want to buy a car!)
* Bad fact for Russia: easy money (from oil, of course) haven’t helped any country in the world to build a market economy. Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, u-name-it – didn’t have and don’t have a market economy.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Women in business schools

Tidying up my bookcase yesterday I came across a year old copy of 'Insead Quarterly' I have collected somewhere. I didn't have time to read it during the application process, so I decided eliminate this defect.

There was an article 'How business schools can bring more women into business', a part of which I want to share with all the readers of this blog:

Get 'em when they're young

One of the most obvious challenges that women face at top business schools is the age at which you are supposed to attend them. Since most schools want students to acquire a few years of business experience first, the average student age is around 28. It would be hard to imagine a more difficult time for women. By the time they graduate, they will be around 30, and will be looking for a job at the same period they're thinking of - or actually starting - a family.

It would be better to accept younger women into business school, and not just a year or so younger. Women should be encouraged to apply as early as possible. Two of the authors of this article entered business school at 21 or 22 and managed to launch their careers a decade before they launched their families, giving them time to learn and travel and work, concentrating on the professional dimension, before learning to juggle and balance between family and work. (It's easier when you've gotten better at your job.)

I agree with every word written here. I just wonder - does INSEAD walk the way they are talking?

UPD: I've been linked by Stacy Blackman Consulting. They have posted a very interesting interview 'Stanford's view on the age of applicant', check this out.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Women in Business Forum - first time in Moscow

Women in Business forum will be held first time in Moscow this year - on the 26th of April.
The forum will roll from 14-00 until 17-00 on Wednesday - and the organizers believe that a lot of business women can show up. Admission is by invitation, you have to submit CV to get be considered. I have the invitation, but I'm not sure I can come since I'm busy working the day it is organised.
At the moment the program is as follows:
  • Two workshops: "Women Entrepreneurs, Myth vs Reality", "The Importance of Relationship Building"
  • Panel Debate: "Having It All, Is It Really Possible?"
  • Company presentations by GE, Shell, L'Oreal, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

It will be a pity if I cannot come, because the event seems to be interesting. Anyway, there will be another Forum - in London on the 22 of September and... who knows?

YES - from Oxford

Finally got an e-mail from Oxford, saying that I've been offered a place and they sent the letter to me by mail about a month ago. Nice :) Great. Fantastic! Wo-hoo! I have a chance to become a great Computer Science specialist :)
So I'll have to wait for the letter to come and then, I hope, I will know all the details.
I understand why they want to write the decision on paper, but why not inform people by e-mail before the letter comes? It would be great to have a letter on the 1st of May, saying, 'If you do not contact us until the end of April...'

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Nothing from Oxford yet, research for B-schools and thank you note

I am still waiting to hear from Oxford. In their catalogue the decision was due on the 17th of March, in e-mail I got before the interview they hoped to inform prospective students by the end of March. Here we are in the midst of April and no answer yet. I've searched for some kind of forum (like Business Week forums) to find other applicants, but with no success. I've sent adcoms 2 e-mails already, which remained unanswered. I know I have to dare a phone call :)

Meanwhile I decided to take seriously the advice to look at US schools and started my research. Two initials on my list are Harvard and Stanford. I promised to a friend that I will apply to Harvard (nice answer to 'Why HBS' question, right?), and Stanford looks good for further career in IT.
And of course, I will reapply to LBS. On the happy note, this year LBS bloggers community seems to have expanded beyond limit :) 5 people and the term has not even started. Fantastic!
It feels a bit strange to find the links to my blog from new LBS bloggers, hear 'Yes, I've read the blog of a girl who tried, but failed to enter LBS' at the LBS2008 meeting and still see the link to my notes on the current students' diaries. Thanks a lot! This means so much to me... this means that those things I wrote turned out to be useful and interesting to many people, and it is a highest praise any blogger might dream of. And thanks for support, everyone, my journey continues :)

Friday, March 03, 2006

Me in London

That's Hyde park on the sunny Sunday

My new job includes trips to UK, and right now I'm sitting at a client's office (and since it is the open space and I don't want at least six people around me to know what I'm doing - I'm not blogging for a long time). So now the only one who didn't blog about Rusgirl beeing in London - is me. I decided that this is unfair :)
*so... blogging*

I was lucky to be in London on the same day some LBS admits decided to organize a meeting - and I was invited by Angel Angie (and she IS an angel :)). What can I say? I enjoyed the event immensely! Everyone I've met from LBS so far are very interesting people (adcoms, well done! ;))
Next morning I met DivineMissN and KV for a brunch (if anyone from KV web-fans reading this - know, in real life he is even more cute than in his blog :))
Some information from the kitchen:
* Read The McKinsey way to have a good understanding of what consulting is about (not that I wanted to jump in their shoes, just of pure interest)
* People who get an MBA but do not have enough working experience (or Bachelor degree) can face difficulties in finding a job (and all that MBA thing is about finding a good job after all). Most well-known firms from Industry ask for 5 years of postgraduate experience. They just won't look at your CV no matter how good you are and how killing you CV is! Of course, you have chances with not so well-known companies, this means networking, networking and networking. Be prepared :)

As for my Oxford note, I've had an e-mail interview with them, where they asked me to solve a few problems. Sent it back promptly and they promised to get to me at the end of March.
(at the meeting I met a girl who's finishing her Masters and has been admitted to start MBA next year, so that's an option for me too. But if I happen to be in Oxford, I'll definitely work for a few years after graduation. Now I believe that I need that.)
By the way, I have a dream to skate in Hyde park. Maybe someone knows where I can hire a couple of rollerblades? (I don't want to bring any from Russia, you know :))

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?