SgHama's MBA Dream

After 2 years of what if's and worrying about the finances... class of 2008 here I come!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Interview with Chicago

I'm now at the departure gate in Narita airport. Checked my email - and found out that I've got an interview with Chicago :) Did a search for interviewers in Singapore and I managed to find one alumni that I met at an infosession. I'm going to email him and see if he's free to interview me sometime this week. Otherwise I'll have to look for an interviewer in Tokyo.

The great thing about having the Tuck admit is that this interview is pretty much pressure-free. I can approach it without being stressed about getting in. This will hopefully enable me to give a better performance than the Tuck one (which I guess didn't suck as bad as I thought =))

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Tuck loves me!!!

Woooohooooo.... SB - i'm still in Tokyo so will be hitting the shochu pretty soon =)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


I just got a call from Tuck! But I don't know what it's about... could it be THE CALL??

I've been in Tokyo for the past couple of weeks and my wife got a call at home in Singapore 20 minutes ago! She MSN'ed me but I was in the shower! arrrghhh...

I just called the Tuck lady and left a message on the voice mail... Just checked the BW forums and apparently the calls have started going out!

Aw man- when is she going to call me back??

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


I am reeling now from my interview experience. I messed up - simple as that.

The call came on time at 8:45pm and the interview took about 35 minutes (my interviewer had an 8:30am class, 9:30pm my time). Questions asked:

  • Question about one of my extracurricular activities.
  • Why do you need an MBA now?
  • What do you want from an MBA program?
  • How do you see yourself contributing to Tuck?
  • Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and what you did to achieve it.
Simple enough right?? It should have been. But I think my nerves got the better of me. The first question kinda threw me offguard, and my answer was so so. I was nervous, and it definitely showed. I completely froze halfway through the Why MBA question. My mind just went blank and I couldn't say anything for a good 20 seconds. What went wrong??? I have no idea - this is the story that I know like the back of my hand. I mean , I've written about it in 3 essays. No excuse for screwing up a career goals question. I sounded ridiculous.

I answered the next question with a "Why Tuck" response. Over here I guess I was ok, but with one glaring mistake - I forgot to mention the close-knit, collaborative community!!! That is what Tuck is all about and I was rambling all about academics, proximity to nature, but nothing about the community. Strike 2.

My answers to the next two questions were alright, I guess. I talked about a couple of clubs and discussed a work experience. I got more comfortable as the interview progressed, but my delivery was far from articulate and smooth. At the end I asked the interviewer about his experiences with his first year project and international field study.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I would probably give myself a 5. In hindsight, I now know why people have mock interviews. What really drives me crazy is that the questions were easy and I had prepared them. My answers just didn't come out right. I just hope that it wasn't bad enough to keep me out. I've heard how a good interview won't bump someone up from a ding to an admit, but that a bad interview can certainly hurt.

Interview... or not

Yesterday I got into work and saw an email waiting for me. It was from my Tuck student interviewer asking me to schedule an interview by Jan 4. I didn't want to keep sitting on it, so I suggested last night, 9:15pm. Might as well get it over and done with.

I got home early, ate dinner, showered, ran through some practice questions, and waited by the phone. 9pm... 9:10pm... 9:15pm... 9:20pm... 9:45pm... 10pm... ??? I sent another email, and it turns out he hadn't checked his email! Duh.

I've scheduled it for 8:45pm tonight. And the wait begins again. I hate this antsy feeling...

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year!

This past weekend has probably been one of the most relaxed weekends I have had for the past few months. For once I was able to just bum around without worrying about essays and the like. Watched 20 episodes of the Bleach anime (yeah I can be such an otaku when I have the time) and it totally kicks ass. I only stopped cuz I ran out of episodes to watch, and will need to bug my friend about downloading moreā€¦

Ok, I did try to squeeze in some interview preparation between episodes (I've got this feeling that my Tuck interview is going to hit me sometime next week) but that just consisted of trying to fill out responses to some sample questions. I've been pretty lazy about the whole process and am wondering whether my complacency is going to come bite me in the ass. Guess I've usually been able to articulate my thoughts at interviews, and Tuck does interview 70% of its applicants so I think this interview wouldn't carry as much as weight as it normally would at other schools.

Right now I'm trying to come up with points for the following questions:

  • What types of people would you pick for your study group?
  • If you had one year completely off, what would you do?
  • Example of a great leader and what makes him great
  • Since your long term career goals is in your home country, why do you want an MBA from a US school?

These are trickier questions and if anyone out there has any thoughts on them, please drop me a line. I think it's a fine line between what I would do if there were no implications and what the interviewer wants to hear. Spending 6 months surfing and another 6 months snowboarding would be a damn good way to spend a year if I didn't have to do anything else, but saying that would tantamount to suicide.

Work starts tomorrow and I'm dreading leaving my comfy lifestyle at home. I'll probably be traveling again soon - looks like I'll be going to Tokyo next week and I'm not sure how long I'll be there for. Tentatively 6 to 8 weeks and coming back home maybe once every 2-3 weeks.

I have mixed feelings about this assignment. While I look forward to going back to Japan - will be able to meet up with friends from high school and college I haven't seen in years - the prospect of seeing my wife only 3 days a month isn't as appealing. Throw in the fact that I'm supposed to be staying in a 13.5 square meter hotel room (the area includes the toilet) and the situation looks bleak. But I cheer myself up by looking forward to leaving town and hitting the slopes on weekends where I don't have to work. I haven't stepped on a board in 8 years and I am ready to start carving huge turns and getting big air... as long as I don't leave impressions of my face in the snow.