Going to a b-school requires a strong introspection of what lacunae in your professional persona, impede your growth. One really needs to find out how the school helps him grow and in what ways, one grows during the program.
The SoP statements (read, essays) which detail exactly this insight in these schools are the make-or-break items in your b-school application. Here is my moment of ‘wow’, that helped me build mine:
Around this same time last year, I was struggling to find an expression for my feelings of constraint – feelings borne out of the dissatisfaction of being half-fit for working in a technology product business firm; feelings emanating from a pure technical mind-set that knows the sophisticated Machine learning, Distributed computing but cannot see why these pieces can be juggled to solve a problem that creates value. The more I pondered, the more restless I went on becoming.
Every morning at 1130, I and a few colleagues got together for a cuppa coffee. This was a closed group which discussed everything between the brown and the blue. And on one such occasion, my friend Imteyaz pulls of this spectacular verse of Allama Iqbal:
Mita de apni hasti ko agar kuchh martabah chahiye
Ke dana khaak mein milkar gul-e-gulzaar hota hai
(Erase your own self for as many times as needed, for it is when the seed gets deep into the soil, it creates a whole new blooming garden).
The idea caught on. Here was what I could do, I said to myself.. I was going to destroy ‘me’. I was going to throw away the 13 year experience into oblivion and go to a b-school, learn the other half of technology business and prepare for higher responsibilities. I found the statement of my purpose of going to IIMA. All I had to do was to now identify the program strengths that matched my pain points and demonstrate the utility of the program to my career. The former part was easy given the presence of a good number of IIMA alumni around me. The later part was the dissatisfaction. The essay now got drafted far more easily and I posted my application, with a confidence; at least on the essay front.
More importantly, I found my possible path to Imteyaz which in Urdu, means Distinction. Reaching IIMA is not that distinction. It is an important stop though towards that. Whether I will get there, time will answer.
Image courtesy: http://christophergutierrez.org/