Accepted.com Interview

I´ve done an interview at Accepted.com quite a while ago and if any of you are interested, here is the link.

I´m through my preparation of my second GMAT attempt. Hope to have good news soon…

Letter of Recommendation

It has been a good week so far. After the disappointment with my GMAT score, I have started to study again, re-schedule the new test date and talked with my boss about the Recommendation Letter.

Rescheduling the GMAT

25th of November will be THE date. There´s no time to lose from now, it´s only studying and practicing.

Recommendation Letter

Asking for a Recommendation Letter is one of the most feared aspects of one´s application, specially mine, and the reason is that I´ve not talked to anyone in my work that I´m applying to MBA programs. Since I work for the same company for 4 years, my options really should be around there.

Well, I spent a long time thinking about whom I should ask to be my recommender and the reasons below helped me to make my decision towards my manager:

  1. Native English speaker: although he´s Brazilian, he moved to Canada at a young age, so he has a perfect English. Besides that, he lived in NYC for a good while to work at an investment bank before joining our Firm here.
  1. MBA Abroad: believe it or not, he´s the only one in the company who earned an MBA abroad (in Canada), which is interesting since I work for a Big 4 Consulting Firm. Besides that, during our conversation, he mentioned he has done several recommendation letters before and remembered when he was the one asking for it.
  1. Technical knowledge: he has profound knowledge in corporate finance and has the CFA (which I aim to have in a couple years). I´m not sure whether this would improve the RL, but shows that he is qualified.
  1. Works with me for about 3 ½ years: a couple months after I started to work here, he was hired to be one of the managers in our area. We have worked together in several projects, so he knows a lot about my business performance.
  1. Trustworthy: this sounds obvious but I do not want my colleagues to know that I´m applying to MBA right now and I truly believe he´s someone I can trust.

All that mentioned above, our conversation went smooth, I told him the reasons I want to earn a MBA and we discussed the other aspects of the application for a while. It was a good talk, which made me feel confident of the choice of him. I will use the GrantMeAdmission “Killer Recommendation Package” to help him through the letter.

I know it is safer (and sometimes required) to have at least two recommenders, but I cannot think of anyone else at the moment.

That´s it, good luck to everyone!

The GMAT experience

560 (Q33 V33). Yes, that was my score on my first GMAT attempt and that is the reason I´m retaking the GMAT in mid-November (not decided the date yet).

I don´t know what exactly happened but I left about seven unanswered question in Quantitative section, even though that this did not happen during my practice tests. One thing I know is that I have no excuse to such a low score so I will try again in a month. This low score made change almost all of my plans of dividing my applications between round 1 and round 2 and now I will apply exclusively on round 2.

Besides studying for the GMAT, my main goal for this week is to talk with one of my bosses to be my recommender. As I work in a consulting firm there are several managers that I could ask for a letter of recommendation, but I am not sure they are all “open minded enough” to understand my decision of pursuing a MBA in USA. After a long time of thinking, I´ve decided that one of them would understand me more and probably will be a good help during the process.

Since I have no time to lose, tomorrow I will probably have a lunch with him and have a frank conversation about my MBA. Depending on how well this conversation goes, I will talk about the letter of recommendation.

That´s it for the moment.

Let me go back to the GMAT. Ciao.

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My Top 6 Key Resources for the GMAT

Great sources of GMAT information!

Grant Me Admission: An MBA Applicant Blog

As I’m studying to improve my 710, I’ve gotten a lot of questions on what key GMAT resources one should get in order to achieve their dream score. In my opinion, here they are in order of importance:

1. Free GMATPrep Software – FREE
This software, provided by GMAC, provides THE BEST practice tests available, FOR FREE! You can get two more tests for $40 and extra questions for $30. You simply cannot get better questions/tests than from the official maker of the test/questions. Get the software on the official website: http://www.mba.com/

gmat2. The Official Guide for GMAT Review 2015 – ~$50
This guide has over 900 REAL GMAT questions, 100 question diagnostic test, and access to an online test bank and videos. This is the only GMAT guide offered by the official makers of the GMAT (GMAC). This item has just been updated (in the last few months) and…

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Back to back

Yes, I´m alive.

It´s been more than a month, actually 51 days, without writing on this blog. I have no excuse for that, really need to come back here more often. Despite of that, I´ve read every single posts of my fellows bloggers who are keeping me motivated during my GMAT study. Special mentions to Grantmeadmission, Texaswannabecali, Naija MBA Gal and Top Dog MBA.

A lot of things happened in my life during my absence, some which matters to the MBA subject and some who does not. Let me show the highlights:

1. Got a job promotion: Yes! Yes! Yes! Now, I´m finally a Senior Consultant, although I´ve been working as one for a year at least. Now it´s official and it´s a nice information to add to my resumé.

2. Created a logo for the blog: Ok. It´s not THE logo, but it´s nice to have a picture over there.

3. More than 80% done of my GMAT study plan: As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I have a goal of studying about 160 hours to take my first GMAT test and I’m almost there. My “G Day” is planned to be the 23rd of August.

4. Watched some games of the World Cup: For sure that was the highlight of June/July. As I am a fanatic of football (“soccer” for some of you), having the oportunity to watch World Cup games in my country (and some in my city) was such a huge experience. To name a few, I’ve watched live Croatia x Mexico, USA x Germany, and the Final at Maracanã. Really really great!

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Right now, the only thing that matters in my life is to beat the GMAT. I’m pretty obsessed for that and I think I will only rest in peace after getting my target score. Since I’ve less than a month for the test, I will try to focus on practicing as many questions as I can.

All the other steps are in second place right now.

Getting ready for the GMAT

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Yes, I’ve started my GMAT studies!

Since last monday I’m studying an average of 2,8 hours/day, resulting so far into 14 hours of study (including 60 practice questions). My goal is to study around 160 hours so I’m still trying to keep the pace since it’s been a while that I don’t focus to study that much.

For the moment, I’m using the Magoosh website to watch the videos and to practice some questions.

As I’m trying to study as much as possible for the next 2-3 months (I’m really not willing to study more than 3 months) my study plan is based on the 1 month GMAT Study Plan from Magoosh’s website. My idea is to cover all the areas of GMAT in 1 – 1,5 months and then do tons of questions.

I’m trying to keep the control of everything I’ve studied so far and the amount of hours spent. I’m kinda an Excel freak (just kidding) so I’ve made up some tables where I can understand my development. Based on this I’ll be able to schedule the exam. Below is one example:

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Tomorrow, I’m planning to take the full-length GMAT on the GMAC software, thus I’ll be able to see in general what are my weakness and strengths.

*** The picture in the top of this post is very emblematic for me. He’s Dunga, the Brazilian national team captain, holding the trophy after the victory against Italy at the 1994 World Cup in USA. Although I was only 5 years old I can remember every match we played in that World Cup. Next week, the 2014 World Cup starts again (here in Brazil!!!!) and I’ll probably stop studying to watch some matches. But as Brazil won in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002 (hopefully 2014 as well), I will beat the GMAT in my personal challenge against myself!🙂

 

Do you speak English?

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So you must beat the TOEFL.

As you may know, getting accepted into a b-school requires a lot of planning and preparation. For international applicants, besides all the required steps that English-spoken people needs to take, we have to prove our proficiency in the English language, which is more than obvious if you are planning to study (and discuss) complex subjects for two years in USA.

The most well-known test is the TOEFL, although some schools do accept other certifications. Here in Brazil, it costs US$ 210 to take the test, but it varies from country to country. As I took it last year I don’t quite remember the number of questions but, with a little help from Mr. Wikipedia, I found the table below:

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As you can see, we have about 4,5 hours to finish the test, and the results come up after 2 weeks in general. The score validity is for 2 years, so I must watch out as I took it in February 23rd, 2013.

I scored a 108 out of 120, which was a good score in my opinion. The grade was divided like this:

Reading: 27

Listening: 30

Speaking: 23

Writing: 28

I really need to practice more my speaking as I don’t want to sound weird (incomprehensible) during the interviews (hope to get there!).

My next step is beating the GMAT. I won’t say that I’m afraid of it. But yes, I am.:/

Right now I’m building a study plan based on GMAT Club and my friend’s experience at Grant Me Admission.

I’m still postponing to take the cold showers, but well…😉