Monday, November 22, 2010

JBS App Submitted

Drumroll..........Just sent in the cambridge application! Took me long enough! Started the process in September and after two long months of brainstorming, essay writing and re-writing, insulting and praising myself in equal measure and annoying my reference providers with 'gentle reminders' every couple of days, i can say i am reasonably happy with my application. I have obvious weaknesses....a low undergrad gp, pretty mediocre extra curriculars and less than stellar work exp. I do think however that i have been able to play up my key strength.....applying from an under represented region (Africa) and an under represented field (private equity) mean that i am likely to bring a unique perspective to the class. My classmates would probably not know what investing in emerging and frontier markets entail....I would have liked to emphasize on my role in my previous place of work where I was instrumental in bringing about a lot of change but the jbs questions appear skewed towards achievements at my current job. Fortunately, I mentioned my previous achievements on my cv so i hope that i get a chance to elaborate on these when i get interviewed....JBS had three main essays:
Essay 1: What are the key issues facing organisations in your sector over the next three years and what course of action would you recommend to such organisations.
Here i focused on the difficulties in investing in Nigeria. Corruption, weak capital market, infrastructure deficit etc. My recommendations centered around alignment of interests between investee and management and the need for pe professionals to deepen their competence. Personal rating for this essay, 7/10. I felt it was almost academic but decided a school like cambridge would like a bit of intellectual posturing.
Essay 2: What did you learn from your most spectacular failure?
Here i used this question to acknowledge one of the weaknesses of my application - my low undergrad gpa. I explained how i never thought i would fail to make a second class upper degree. I also explained how the failure helped me develop my strongest qualities - tenacity and drive and how i learnt to fail forward. Personal rating for this essay, 7.5/10. I felt it was more personal than the first and i think the fact that i reflected on my low gpa without trying to make excuses for it would be a postive.
Essay 3: What are your long and short term career objectives? What skills and characteristics do you already have will help you achieve them? What do you hope to gain from the degree and how do you feel it would help you achieve them.
Here i elaborated on my desire to make the transition from an analyst at a Nigerian focused PE fund to an associate at an emerging markets focused PE fund in the short term, and own my own fund in the long term. This essay was anecdote heavy and i think my best essay. I linked JBS's entrepreneurial focus and events such as 'Enterprise Tuesdays' to my goals. I would rate my essay here 8.5/10...
Lets hope adcom agrees with my ratings!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Application seaason's in full swing with my first deadline on the 7th of December (Judge Business School). I've uploaded all my essays and my referees have sent in their references. Just waiting for my mastercard to be activated so I can pay the application fee. Problem is my next deadline is only a month away (said). I have to get two essays, write toefl and complete the application in about a month. Its a tough ask but doable. I'll upload my application essays in my next post.

On th personal angle, I was robbed recently at home and documented my goes;

The clock just struck 2am.....the night was silent and peaceful. I had just entered my third tier of dreams(inception style) when I heard an explosion like noise...I jumped up.....what was that? I pondered....was it a gas explosion? OMG I'm gonna die! This is how it'll all end!
And then I heard it again....No it wasn't an explosion.....some pple were trying to break down my door! I tiptoed to the door, briefly considering grabbing a knife from the kitchen....a mental picture of the knife sticking out of my neck stopped that line of thought....
I looked through the peep hole....and alas! I saw a lot of torchlights and heard voices....they had switched off the lights in the passage! The third bang explained what was happening...they had brought along a huge metal battering ram to break down my door! I could hear the door giving way.....what do I do?
I ran to the balcony(not sure why) soon as I got there, I found myself in d spotlight! They had more people watching on the street! They had pointed their own torches at me! I fell to the floor (like a well trained navy seal....yeah, fear does that to you)....and rolled back into the house
At this point, sensing defeat, I decided to open the door for I walked toward d door, another bang followed by the sound of the door opening startled me! Like a guy with good home training, I postrated flat on the floor....declaring my willingness to co-operate with their excellencies....
Where 'h'is your money? Bellowed one guy with a chronic case of 'H' factor....'its in my wallet in d room'. But who answered? That's not my voice! That's a girl's voice! What happened to my deep manly voice? Apparently, its a medical condition called AK47laria....affects male voices!
As one of the guys marched toward my prized laptop with glee in his eyes, another was fiddling with my prized flat screen tv...My TV? Lailai! They cannot take it o....I this point, I remembered how spartacus was inspired to kill everybody that was messing with his prized possesion....with my brow furrowed, one eyebrow raised and fist clenched....Gbosa! A kick in my face woke me from my little day dream....wia is ur car key?
Na third party insurance I get o....I thought...e don finish for me today! My car key? I stammered....its somewhere here....lemme look for it. For some reason, their excellencies lost interest and proceeded to repeat the process with my neighbours next door.... As I watched them drive away from the window 30 minutes later....I pondered what might have been...and proceeded to watch a repeat episode of girls of the playboy mansion....afterall, life is short!