3rd November, 2008 – 1:50pm-2:45pm, at Alum’s office, Mumbai
Was it an interview ? There were no questions. Well, almost. The alum is an awesome guy, a real flagbearer for Kellogg. I had a really engaging conversation with him in his office, which lasted I think for 45 minutes. Just towards the end when things were getting better, he had to rush for another meeting.
There were no resume checks. No walking through the resume. It was a one to one man to man discussion on his past and my future. I’m sure he spoke for more of the time than I did.
A(alum) – So where did you grow up ? chit chat.. (2-3 min)
A – Ok give me your raw material in terms of team work and leadership experiences.
me – the only question where I became a bit nervous and started speaking with no connection between what was being said and what was being thought. He might have noticed a slight quiver, but apart from that I handled it well.
A – ok define the qualities of a leader.
I – mentioned 6 points. By this time I was normal, and the connection between my head and tongue resumed.
A – Wow didn’t u just define God ? And then he spoke on each of these aspects and how Kellogg promotes leadership, citing some of his experiences as well (5-10 min)
And then it ceased to be an interview. He kept discussing about his experiences at Kellogg, and in between he kept asking me a few things, like –
What inspires you?
Whats your definition of success?
What are you looking for from an MBA?
The moment I mentioned MC, he really gave me good insights into the market conditions at present and cautioned me to give a real hard look at the situation today and to be prepared for the fact that the recession can last longer than 24 months. We then discussed the difficulties posed by removal of non cosignor loan options, and then he asked me about interesting essay topics from other schools. I mentioned the MDP one from Ross !! From then on it was totally a fun discussion, and he had some great insights to share from his Kellogg experience and his career in general.
Some other questions that I remember –
What is your plan B?
Why not other local MBA schools?
How do you plan to work out the finances?
How would the present recession scenario help Consulting firms?
To say the least, it turned out to be the best interview experience for me. After almost dozens of interviews in India before a panel which is ready to strip you bare and then laugh at what they see (I would exclude my ISB’s interview experience today, which follows in the next post), it was refreshing to have an interview where someone really wants to know you, and not judge you at the spot. I would always remember some of the jewels the alum shared with me regarding priorities in life and the way Kellogg promotes servant leadership.
Was it a successful interview? Only time would tell. I fumbled for say 5%. I got a good chance to project my strengths. Of course I could have answered some questions better. Of course I could have impressed on him more about my passion for Kellogg in addition to hearing his passion for Kellogg! Though towards the end I really opened up and told him a lot of things even without being asked for them!
Was it a good experience? You bet! It strengthens my attraction towards Kellogg, and I completely agree with everything he had to say about leadership and teamwork (though I could not interject and mention that I completely agreed!!).
So now starts a long wait for December, or would it be January ?
I just can’t wait to get done with all my interviews. Ross is coming up this Friday evening, and I’m mighty excited about it!
Whats with Wharton, Tuck, Duke and Insead? Don’t they want to be the lucky one?