Wednesday, February 28, 2007

2nd interview completed

Had a nice conversation with the Prof. Nice and friendly, with some laughing sprinkled here and there. But after putting the phone down, I couldn't laugh much.

Broadly, the conversation covered some issues - 3, to be precise. The first is that because of my undergraduate major, it is unlikely that the PhD Director would allow me to take a particular track/discipline, should I get in. So I need to explore and consider whether I am game/suited to take another track.

The second issue came in the form of a very frank question: "What happened to your (undergraduate) grades? (laughters followed....)" I had a C and a D in my undergraduate transcript. Prof said that people who do PhDs have more of As and Bs (or did she say "more of As than Bs"... anyway....). So I tried to give a short explanation without sounding that I'm justifying too much.

The third issue has to do with how serious they think I am in getting into academia. They have this concern because of my current work. I shared with the Prof my plans and how my work would be useful for research. And this issue is the major bomb. Near the end of the discussion, I asked what was the main weakness of my application, and the Prof said that this was it - how serious am I? The school wants to train researchers who are very keen in pursuing academic careers.

Basically, I think I'm in the shortlist - otherwise, I would not have this conversation with the Prof. But the challenge is on how convinced the ad comm is of my seriousness.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

2nd interview invite

Just received an email from a Tier-A school for a discussion (via phone) tomorrow. I have had a good email correspondence with a prof from this school. But it will be a different prof whom I would be talking to tomorrow. Exciting...

Monday, February 26, 2007

Over the weekend, I done up a website to keep track of application outcomes at Although some websites and online forums are doing this in one way or another, (GJ) is a little different.

Firstly, it ties the application outcome to the applicant's profile (e.g. GMAT score, GPAs, experience, etc.). This helps others to have a better picture of each offer or reject. Secondly, GJ is more structured than what other websites/forums are doing. Lastly, it focus on B-school graduate programs (e.g. PhDs., Masters, MBAs.)

My wife thought that I'm crazy to spend time and money to do I agreed with her. But I guess it is just me - seeing deficiencies in existing systems and doing something about them. One good thing is that doing up the system would keep my mind off the waiting season. Or maybe not. Hope I can post my own application outcomes in soon.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

good news!!!

A piece of wonderful news!

Just received an email from the last school (Maryland (B-2)) that I applied to - that all my supporting documents have been received (although it is now way past the application deadline) and my application will be reviewed accordingly.

Ok, sorry for the false alarm... But I'm glad that my prayers have been answered, that the package has been received by the school. I'm thankful that the entire application process went quite well, with no major screwups.

Now, back to the regular waiting game.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

results are coming in.... for others....

Started to see admit results from other applicants. Some of these admits are to the schools that I applied to as well. Hence I'm getting more emotional about my application status. I don't know how to describe the cocktail of emotions that I'm going through, although I can strike out those that are not in this cocktail, such as Happy, Glad, and Delighted. Sad and Disappointed are also out.

I have not heard from the school that interviewed me 2 weeks ago. Looking back, although I think I did ok for the interview, one area that I could have done better is to show more passion, committment and interest to the particular school. However, it was post-interview that I realized that the school is a better fit than I thought it was. Anyway, just have to wait for the final verdict to be announced.

My wife asked me how would I feel if I don't get admitted to any schools. At this point, I can say that it will not be the end of the world for me. I will be disappointed, but not discouraged. And I believe that whether to go or not is all part of God's plan and will for me (although right now, I still believe that graduate studies is in His plan and will for me). I will remember what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Philipians while he was in chains:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Phil 4:4)

I will rejoice whatever it may be.