applying to business school from India: part two

For me, the easiest part of applying to business school was writing the essays.  Essay questions for potential schools included: “Talk about a significant cross-cultural experience.” HA.  I was honestly tempted just to be like, “Well, I wake up to the doorbell of someone coming to clean up pigeon carcasses off my windowsill, then I take a rickshaw across a river of poop from the slums to my office of 3,400 Indians. That’s all before 9am.”  Editing to 500 words was a bit of a challenge.

One of the hardest parts was learning about the schools from so far away.  I have no idea how Indian applicants handle this component.  Since I couldn’t run off and visit every school, I based a lot of my decisions about which schools to apply to and how to approach the applications on internet rumors, online brochures, and pure speculation.  I had a few family friends who connected me with people who gave some guidance, but for the most part I was kind of feeling around in the dark.

For better or worse, since India is such a huge market for MBA programs in the US, many of the top schools have info sessions in Mumbai or Delhi.

The first and only info session I went to was for Dartmouth.  The admissions woman organizing the event was a blonde American woman.  She and I were the only two white people, and two of very few women in the room.

Everyone else were Indian young men, some in work clothes and some in plain clothes.  Most had the low-slung backpacks that I’ve learned to absolutely detest during my time in India.

There was a nice Powerpoint presentation, and some handouts and that all went ok.  One overly well-dressed man came in late, and loudly sat down in the front row.  After this presentation, there was a question and answer panel with some alumnae, and that’s when things started to go downhill.  The five or so all-male alums from India all went around and introduced themselves, their career history and some story about their time at Tuck.

A few of the alums mentioned the informal cricket team at Tuck.

I could hear ears perk up all over the room.


Indians frickin’ love cricket.  Literally nothing in the whole world will get Indians fired up like cricket.  Not even Bollywood anymore.  Go ahead, call me a racist.

Hands started to go up around the room.

“Yes, hello I am a graduate of [some acronym I can’t remember] with [some grade percentage that doesn’t make sense to me].  What are my chances of getting in and also how often does the cricket club play?”

“Uh, myself [some Indian name, like anyone cares].  Basically, I am from [somewhere, again, who cares].  I am having a question about internships.  And also whether the cricket club practices on weekends or weekdays.”

Some common themes emerged 1. randomly rattling off your test scores to a room of strangers, 2. asking whether or not you will get in, and 3. obsessing over what I imagine is a pretty minor part of the Tuck community, the cricket club.



After everyone had obviously decided to apply to Tuck to further their cricket career, the guy in the front row with the pointy white shiny cowboy boots and hair highlights shot up his hand.

“Well, I’m mostly interested in luxury goods.  What kind of programs does Tuck have for luxury goods and what kind of luxury goods industry leaders can I make connections with in the luxury goods industry?  Because I work in luxury goods.  Like my family is from a luxury goods background and I want to pursue luxury goods.”

Got it.  Luxury goods.  Obviously someone didn’t Google image New Hampshire.  Best of luck with your search, bro.

On the way out, I heard the luxury goods guy harassing one of the alums about opportunities in luxury goods.

Eventually, I finished all my applications despite my pathetic internet connection and got all my recommendations in on time.  Then it was just waiting.

MMNFD: In 2011-2012, India finally got a school onto the top 300 of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.  Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, placed in the 301-350 range.  

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8 Responses to applying to business school from India: part two

  1. Melia says:

    Christ! You are such a nasty bitter bitch! Who the hell shit in your wheaties this morning? So they asked questions that to you the arrogant, condescending bitch that you are seemed foolish. Big fucking deal. I doubt Indians are any more obsessed about cricket than americans are about football. If you had an ounce of maturity, I think you’d realize that was probably just to see if there were any extra-curricular activities they could take part in to feel at home, or make friendships or meet other people from the same background. Going abroad to study is a huge decision and a very expensive one. The reason admissions officers visit is to deliver as much as information as possible to anyone interested in the school. As someone who’s unfortunately living in the states (in hillbilly infested south carolina ) these guys still sound loads better than you’re average, sloppy, dumb as a brick, ignorant, redneck, white trash, disgusting, fanatical creationism embracing idiot american. Most of these white americans can’t even eloquently express themselves in english (the only language they’re expected to learn to speak). One of these days while you head off on your rikshaw through the “river of poop”, I hope you fall in it and choke.

    I don’t know if you’re racist, but you do come across like a cunt.

  2. Melia says:

    You’re very welcome! There’s more where that came from =D

    • Karban says:

      If you get a chance, go to goa. Follow the source of trance music. It is infested with similar jewish characters but far worse. These ones in goa are israeli soldiers who are sent to exotic destinations around the world on holidays as a way to cool off from the crazy stuff they do in that country. Most indians are unfamiliar with these tourists and their real identities back home. Isn’t indian govt awesome?

      India truly is great

  3. Aninda says:

    I found this post hilarious! Thanks for making me nostalgic. I was a graduate student in the Lone Star state for 8.5 years. Playing Cricket with other Indians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, and Australians during the weekends was elevated to something akin to a spiritual experience in the cowboy land.

  4. bombaysun says:

    I feel you were really tired of Bombay when you left, hence the post. I am sure you see that the people in US has their shit going too! :) And i am quite sure you miss bombay too,
    Loved your posts, please keep on going xx

  5. hilaryfg says:

    Thanks! Though yes, quite tired. Checked out your blog – lovely photos! We’ll see how tired/not tired you are after another year or so in the Bomb ;) Enjoy it.

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