Thursday, January 10, 2008

July to August

First up.. what happened in July and where'd I disappear to in August?

Well, some of you remember that aside from finally keep myself seriously preoccupied with work, I was applying to business schools around the globe. To be completely honest, I was pretty much out of options for attending business school in 2007 as most application deadlines had run out.

I'd sat for the GMAT test (thats what I visited Shanghai in June for), but since then had changed my mind and decided to join the business full-time.

Then, on the 10th of July, came the email....

the University of St. Gallen invited me to send an application for their 1-year MBA program. Deadline: 15th July.

My first reaction: Burst out laughing at the thought of going to Switzerland to study... no way did I wanna put that burden on my parents.. Just the tuition itself was about Rm. 150,000, so you can understand my concern.

A couple of evenings later I casually mentioned it over dinner to dad, just as a joke. Apparently he didnt take it as humorously as I did, since he sincerely told me to get my butt online and apply ASAP.

So what did i do?? Thats right.. I was up till 3 or 4am filling out the application just a couple of hours before the deadline..

Anyways, so in a couple of days I get an email saying they'd like to set-up an appointment for a telephone interview.. and a few more fine days later, on the way home from the gym 1 evening, I get a call from the admissions dude askin me if I'm free to talk now... great!! this is an interview for an MBA programme, I haven't prepared anything at all, I'm not even in the proper environment.. so naturally what do i say???: Sure!!

45 minutes later, the call's over, and I felt it went pretty well... but the thought looming in my head was 'Why the heck should I make my family afford this???'.. so my crooked brain decides: hey, if these guys with supposedly 'high' requirements are accepting me, then y not look at some university better than it, but cheaper and ranking among the Top 100... so I find EADA in Barcelona, Spain, and decide to apply for their MBA programme instead...

Long story short, they refused me admission to the MBA programme, but decided to offer me admission to their International Business masters programme instead.. So i go: COOL!!! I'm headin to Barcelona!!! Spanish Chicks all around!!!

Or thats what I thought, neways...

Dad came home a night later, and I updated him on the situation.. so he spoke to a personal friend of his, who has alot more expertise in this stuff than the 2 of us combined... n then sits me down, and asks me why did i not wanna attend the Swiss uni.. simple reason: the Money!! plus i didnt really wanna trust an upcoming program, so i wasnt sure about it... after some research, we find out the uni's really well ranked, but its just their MBA programme thats new and unknown... Dad pretty much figures out the reason I'm more interested in Spain:

Dad: You just want to go to Barcelona to watch Ronaldinho play!!
Me: No Dad!!! Honest... (I really didnt... up to that point until dad mentioned it..)
Dad: Then why not choose the Swiss uni??
Me: Because it just sounds fishy the way they're aggressively recruiting me... I'm not THAT good!!
Dad: Look, lets consider the Swiss uni.. after all, the guy said you have chances to get a loan!!
Me: Ok.. let's see (I hope I dont get the loan.. I hope I dont get the loan!!!

1 day later: I get a call from the admissions officer at the Swiss uni: We're offering u 50% loan...

Me: Oh Crap!!!
Dad: All Right!!! Look, its definitely a viable option now!!

another 2 days later: I get an email from the Swiss uni: We're offering u 100% loan...

Dad: Thats settled then!!! You're going to Switzerland!! Trust me, its a good uni, and the MBA programme will be too!!!
Me: I'll Never Get to see Ronaldinho Playyy!!!! :(

So neways, within another day or 2 we're talking visa requirements with the uni, and it turns out I have to return to Paki-land to arrange for my Swiss visa...

A week later, I'm back in Paki-land.. on the 14th of Aug (Independence Day), amid bombing threats... within a few days I've applied for my visa.. unfortunately, around this time my grandmother (May she Rest in Peace) took to being ill, and I was among the ones taking turns keeping watch at the hospital...

Mom shows up on the 27th... unfortunately, it was due to Grandma's condition... on the 29th, amid growing fears regarding Grandma's condition, I cut my Birthday Pizza (instead of cake), and a few hours later boarded the flight to Karachi, where I would catch the Emirates flight to Zurich via Dubai.. (First time in my life I got to celebrate my birthday in 3 different countries simulteneously!!!)

And so, after nearly bashing a kid's head in during my 10 hr layover at Karachi airport, I was on my way to Zurich!!!

Up Next: It Begins...

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