Sunday, June 18, 2017

I never pursued my MBA. I found myself learning more from the field, meeting a few fellow entrepeneurs, participating in a few Startup Weekend events, even cofounding one or two startups of my own.
If you'd like to keep track of what I've done since I retired this blog I suggest:

  1. Following my recent blog posts on technology at
  2. Following my more personal blog posts at
  3. Checking out the Caribbean Tech Forum, the last startup I cofounded in my native homeland of Trinidad, and joining our Slack group if you're interested in participating with a world-wide group of Caribbean diaspora including top thinking startup entrepreneurs, technology developers and blockchain enthusiasts.

Thanks for reading my blog!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Restarting the search

It doesn't seem like only 2 months ago I decided to put on hold my ambitions to enrol in a top-tier MBA programme in 2009. A recent invitation by TopMBA to meet one on one with several schools has recently had me thinking I should consider aiming for a 2010 admission though.
Here's my listing of the schools I met that day.

1. Manchester Business School
2. Ashridge Business School
3. Chicago Booth Business School (formerly Chicago Graduate School of Business or Chicago GSB)
4. Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University
5. Henley

As I go through the materials I gathered that day, I'll hopefully have time to blog about the meeting with each school's representative, and my takeaways from this plus my research.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Putting MBA dreams on hold for a bit

It's been awhile since I wrote to this blog. Initially I had planned to take a brief hiatus from writing here as I sorted out the logistics of my move to London, including finding stable work and housing.
Unfortunately, just as things seemed to be settling down, it all went into madness again. My mother, having just had surgery, suffered severe complications which forced me to return to Trinidad twice within a matter of weeks.
Sadly, she passed away on November 2nd 2008, and it is only recently I have returned to the UK, again trying to settle into a routine of life, now without one of my main pillars of support.

Life has been a bit too chaotic of recent for me to put a proper effort behind getting into a top-tiered MBA programme, and my mother's passing has also left me asking many questions of myself, and the career I wish to pursue moving forward.
All I have accomplished in my life, all the dreams I pursued, it was always with a goal of proving to my parents that they have in me a son they could be proud of, and their pleased smiles always gave me the confidence in myself to believe I could accomplish anything.

Now that half of that much loved duo is no more, I find myself a little bit emptier inside, and in need of some time to adjust to that new void, to again find the strength to push forward with my MBA dreams.
I hope one day to return to this blog with the fire and drive I had once before, ready to share the challenges, struggles and experiences in my quest to be accepted to a top-tiered MBA programme. But for now, I'll put my MBA dreams, and this blog, on hold as I simply seek to survive through this ordeal.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Update from VUE

Students taking a test at the University of Vi...Image via Wikipedia
As was recently posted, the testing centre I attempted to rewrite the GMAT at was unable to accomodate me due to technical difficulties. It took over a week, but I finally got a response from Vue about the position with my examination. Here's the text:

Dear Nissan,
Thank you for informing us of your relocation and your request to reschedule your exam after you have relocated. When you are ready to reschedule your exam, Please contact us referencing incident number xxxxxxxxxx.
Thank you,
Pearson VUE GMAT Customer Service

So I guess I'll be rescheduling my examination in a month or so from London once I've completed my move there.
Zemanta Pixie

Monday, July 14, 2008

We are experiencing technical difficulties

I was to rewrite my GMAT examinations on Friday. My preparations this time were a little less hectic, but just as intense and definitely better directed now that I had the experience of wriitng it once and identifying the areas I knew I definitely was less prepared for. Unfortunately my VUE centre of choice was experiencing "technical difficulties" with their computer systems on the date I set for my rewrite, and they were unable to set me up for the examination that day.
They have indicated that I would be granted a resit date, however I am in the middle of relocating, so a resit date within Trinidad would not be possible as time would not permit it. An incident number was given to me, and I wrote to the Pearson Vue support email address available in my profile, but currently have no response from them.
In fairness though, it has only been 2 business days, and the incident I would hope was not one that is typical, so I am assuming that the delay is administrative in nature as the evaluate how best to compensate me for the incident.
Still, I believe once I get the approval I will have to delay my rewrite of the GMAT for at least several weeks because of the priority of "moving" logistics.
I will update this particular post with the latest status from Vue on this incident. I am, however, left with a bitter taste in my mouth at the unevaluated preparation effort, as this time could have been more usefully used had I known the test would not have occurred. I am also left with a distrusting feeling when it comes to utilising Trinidad's testing facilities and would definitely rather do my test abroad where hopefully these types of technical issues can be better dealt with in real time so as not to avoid cancellations of tests because of "technical difficulties."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Lessons learnt after getting a 620 GMAT score

The results are in. My first attempt at GMAT led me to a score of 620. I believe I can do much better though, so I've already rescheduled for July 11th to retake it. I learnt several lessons during this examination.
  1. The erasable notebook given in the exam is a little trickier to manage than typical pen and paper. It's just aesthetically different, especially as the marker I had tended to blot on the page since I tend to stick the pen to the paper while focusing trains of thought. The grid pattern and the nature of the pen also made it difficult for me to use them effectively, as my writing tends to be rather large, especially when I'm brainstorming or moving to a deadline. The grid squares, however, were a bit small by comparison. The layout of a monitor, keyboard, mouse and notepad on the desk given also was a little clumsy for me since I both write with and click with my right hand. I'll have to figure out a more optimal method now that I know what I'm dealing with.

  2. I need to learn to better clear my mind during an exam, it was too unfocused for me to think straight at several points. My stamina also needs to improve, inside the last hour of examinations I was terribly tired and hungry, having taken the examination through at 10am and missed lunch. These problems have never been a problem for me though in past exams, although it was several years ago that I had my last serious set of examinations. I have several theories as to why this was the case this time though. It could be because of the pressure of the moment, I do have much riding on getting a good score. This could have been because my mind was distracted by other personal issues. I had tried to clear my mind of the fact that my mom was awaiting surgery after having recently been hospitalised. I had struggled with finding focused study time in the week before my exam because of the increased demand on my time by family obligations related to my mom's illness. I had also tried to reassure myself that this would not be the last time I would be in such a quandary, where high professional performance was expected of me despite conflicting personal issues, and that I should use this as the example which I would set from here on. Despite the score, I still think I did well enough for a first attempt.

  3. I need to run through more practice questions. The quantitative questions really creamed me, and I did not do as well in the verbal section as I thought I would. The first thing I did Monday morning was order the GMAT Verbal and Quantitative Review guides, which contain a tonne more practice questions. I could afford to do better in both areas. It's a matter of being a little more crisp in the verbal section, and understanding better how to use the quantitative techniques required to tackle those presented. The questions I got in the real GMAT were much harder than any I tried in practice as well.

  4. I need to plan my essays in advance. The list of Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) topics are posted publicly, they're about 150 possible topics for each section. While I think I did a decent "Argument" essay, I felt like I struggled with my "Issue" essay because the topic itself was a bit difficult to grasp for me. To top it off, my "Issue" topic was the 3rd listed in the document listing all the possible essay topics, meaning I should have had a plan for it already if I'd prepared better. I don't intend to write the essays, but I do intend to go through as many topics as possible beforehand and structure stronger points for each, so that at least if I hit a challenging topic I already know I built a plan once, so building a new one for the examination won't be as difficult as it was the first time.

I'll be using a new study schedule focused more heavily on tackling sample questions for the next month as I prepare for the 2nd attempt at GMAT. We'll see how well this technique works in time.

Monday, May 26, 2008

GMAT Basic Training Part Two - Examination Preparations

Read Part One.

For the GMAT examination I am utilising two books for test preparations. The first is Princeton Review's Cracking the GMAT and the second is The Official Guide for GMAT Review - 11th Edition. A third book, Barron's GMAT, was sent to me by an aunt very recently and which I only briefly had time to explore as I found the first two quite adequate.

I chose Cracking the GMAT as it was one of's most recommended books for preparing for GMAT. I do not regret the choice. The book breaks down each section of the exam in a very structured manner, and introduces very powerful techniques such as Process of Elimination (POE) which are designed to help one increase one's GMAT score significantly. My only complaint about this book is that I felt that the included DVD should have offered more content than it did. The DVD felt more like a marketing tool for the student to feel trusting of the book's techniques rather than as a proper addendum to the content of the book itself. The book also has listings of top-ranked MBA programs which I used as the starting basis for my own research. One link in particular which I found very useful was to a website which assisted me with initiating the application process to multiple MBA programs from one page.

The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 11th Edition was recommended as an additional buy by the Princeton Review as it contains a base of real past GMAT questions on which to practice the very techniques shown by the Princeton Review in order for one to gain trust in their viability on the field.

While studying for the GMAT, my goodly aunt, who was unaware that I was already studying towards getting accepted into an MBA program, sent me a copy of Barron's Guide to the GMAT in the hope that it would spark my interest again in post-graduate work. Excellent timing Aunty! Definitely some good mind-reading going on there :)
The Barron's guide is in general a good book, covering all the theory necessary to prepare one for the examination. The technique it uses to assist students focuses more heavily on understanding the Mathematical and English language theories behind each area tested and gives very little for the student who may be stuck and looking to make an educated guess when memory fails them on the application of theory.

There were two other books I had wished to acquire, The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review and The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review, both of which contained more past paper questions and which could have done no harm in having, had I the time to use them effectively before my examination date. As it currently stands I am finding it quite challenging to allocate time just to the number of questions contained in the Official Guide For GMAT Review 11th Edition.

As I continue with this regimen of full-time work and part-time study preparation for GMAT in just a few weeks, I continue to look for any tips and practice questions I can online. has been invaluable for providing these so far, as I often find myself challenged to overcome "common mistakes" when evaluating their questions for correct answers. I welcome anyone reading this to post their own sources for sample questions, or any hints they might have to better prepare for the GMAT examination.