Application Process Gyaan: MS in the US

Spitting out some gyaan, some common questions people asked me over the last few weeks about their “Application Process for Masters degree in the United States”. The following information is based on my experiences and are my opinions. If you do not agree with them, please ignore them. If you find them useful, well, that’s why I am writing them down for.



  1. How is university XYZ?

    • University XYZ is very good. Please do your research first and ask more specific questions.
    • I’d strongly recommend asking questions specific to my university (USC) to me.
    • I’d love to direct the rest of the questions to the folks I know at the respective universities.
    • You can put Facebook Graph Search for a better use. 🙂
  2. How is the job scenario at university XYZ?

    • IMHO, the best way to know this is by looking up “Career fair <Fall/Spring> <year> XYZ ” page. This page usually has a “List of companies” that participate in the career fair.
    • If you find the companies that you’re looking to work for in there, then you know that the opportunity to talk to one of the recruiters of the company is there for you at XYZ’s career fair.
    • Most of the companies have online application process for jobs/internships. In most cases you end up filling their forms irrespective if you spoke to them on campus during the career fair. So even if you don’t see the name of your dream employers in the list, you can always apply online.
  3. Tell me good professors at XYZ that work in the ABC area.

    • For USC CS department, I’d start at the Faculty Page. Current or ex students at XYZ can surely give you more valuable insights.
  4. How much will I end up spending if I study at XYZ?

    • The following costs are approximate, just to give you an idea. You should check XYZ’s website for exact numbers. I’d split the essential cost into the following categories:
      • Tuition FeesUsually there is a per unit tuition cost mentioned on the university website. You can multiply that by the number of units required for you to complete the course to know the exact tuition fees. Usually the per unit cost goes up each year and also has additional (not hidden per say) costs such as Lab/Equipment Fees, Library fees etc.I’d add approximately $2000 to the multiplication
      • Living Expenses: I managed to survive with $700 (tops) per month (including rent and other amenities)  in Los Angeles. I do not expect any other place in the US to be more expensive for living. This cost largely depends on how you live, what/where you eat and how much you party, if you know what I mean. 😉
      • Health Insurance: Approximately $1400 ($800 for Spring+summer, $600 for Fall) per year.
  5. How are on campus jobs at XYZ?

    • They’re always there. You need to be at the right place at the right time to get one and be flexible, disciplined to manage your studies with them.
    • Please remember that you’re coming here and pouring dollars to study and not to work on campus.
P.S: There are many more questions that get asked frequently. I will try to address them here in a later post.

32 weeks bits of MSFT

  1. MSFT is awesome!! Every aspect of it.
  2. People are passionate about their work and inspire you!
  3. The impact of your work is incredible
  5. $$$$$$
  6. Awesome perks!
  7. STEVE B can make you emotional at the company meetings
  8. I <?3 Windows Phone!
  9. Fantastic roommates!
  10. Summers in Seattle beats any weather conditions in the world, hands down.
  11. Program Manager  = (Define what we need to do + spec it + drive it to success with Devs and Test )*features
  12. Active Directory = (Almost) Everyone uses it somewhere or the other, knowing or without knowing! #ProudToBeAPartOf
  13. Nissan Altima = Fabulously smooth car!
  14. Cafe43 = one of the best cafes on campus
  15. ProClub = the place where you go once a week for gym or whatnot!
  16. Windows 8.1! You have to use it to love it.Image
  17. Worklife balance = 10/10
  18. Miss those internship days! Don’t miss a single opportunity to talk about them.
  19. My Manager = A person full of energy and passion who drives the entire team!! 15 years and running!!
  20. Weekends = Xbox + bowling + movies + Hikes + sleep
  21. Lunch = Team members + Cafe43 + all sorts of discussions
  22. // is eqal to waq waq #MSFTLingo
  23. We dogfood everything!
  24. New people, new friends, love it.
  25. SEAHAWKS!! Newly found awesomeness! GO HAWKS!!!
  26. It has to be on your outlook calendar if it’s going happen in the future.
  27. We bing google.
  28. giving (donations) is in the culture here. We do things like playing poker, running 5k marathon around the campus for charity 😉
  29. $$$$$$ 😉 😉
  30. We move the world and as my recruiter had said in his presentation, “if we stop working, the earth will stop spinning!” I know how true that is! No kidding.
  31. I use chrome, but I also use IE at work. :p
  32. It’s been 32 weeks bits already!!! Time flies! Ready to fly with it.

Packing packing

2707 Portland Street has been my home away from home for more than 9 month now. Indeed I am going to miss this place and the fantastic people here. I am not able to imagine it right now, but I am not going to be here for the next FOUR months!

I don’t know who will go and buy milk on every alternate day there!

I don’t know who’s going to cook that amazing “Sabudanyachi Khichadi” or “Palak Paneer” or “Batatyachi Bhaji”.

The 3 idiots

Who’s going to crib about everything in life!

Who’s going to solve the ultimate “dhamadhol”?

Who would it be at the receiving end of all those abuses :p

The Happy Singh!

Who would say at 11:30 pm, “chal re Ralph’s, do six pack leke aathe hai”.

Who’s going to mimic “Campus Cruiser, where-you’re-located?” and laugh their ass out?

Man! I am going to miss it!

It feels like I am on a turn once again, too soon.



“मी ते केलं नसतं तर…”

“वेळ” ही फारच गमतीदार गोष्ट आहे. कधी वाटत आपल्याकडे तो चिक्कार आहे. इतका की शून्यात विचार करत बसण्यातसुद्धा तास निघून जातात.पण कधी कधी तो इतका कमी असतो, इतका कमी, की किती वेळ उरलाय हे सुद्धा बघायला तो नसतो. ती गोष्ट वेगळी की वेळ कमी असतानासुद्धा  जास्त वेळ “किती वेळ उरलाय” याचं गणित करण्यातच जातो, पण असो.


कित्येक वेळा विचार करत असताना माझ्या मनात हा विचार येतो की “चायला मी ते केलं नसतं तर” किंवा “अरे यार, ते अस करायला पाहिजे होतं”.

आता “ते” काहीही असू दे,  आता त्याबद्दल विचार केल्यानी काही फरक पडणारेका ? असा विचार केला तरी बुचकळ्यात.

पूर्वी केलेल्या चुका पुन्हा नाही करायच्या अस मानून “आपण काय काय चुका केल्या” याचा हिशोब ठेवत बसायच? की झाल ते झालं, त्याचा आणि पुढे होणाऱ्या गोष्टींचा काहीही संबंध नाही हे मानून वागायच? नाही कळत मला..चुका कशाला म्हणायच आणि बरोबर वागणं काय? ते कोण ठरवत? मीच ना? म्हणून वाटत की काहीही संबंध नाहीये काल आणि आजचा.पण मी आज जो कोणी आहे तो मी काल जो कोणी होतो त्यामुळेच  ना ? मग अस कस? चूक केली तर त्याबद्दल विचार करत राहणार तो मीच आणि काही छान केलं तर त्याबद्दल विचार करत राहणार तो पण मीच.पण मी एकटा नाहीये इथे. हा प्रश्न सगळ्यांना पडत असणार, कळत नकळत त्याच उत्तर शोधून सगळे काहीतरी करत असणार.

खूप आधांतरी विचार वाटत आहेत हे सगळे..  पण असा विचार करत असतानासुद्धा मी तोच विचार करतोय नाही का ?

“मी ते केलं नसत तर…”?

Phase shift

It’s been more than three months now since I left India and started studying at USC. It’s been great so far and I am really enjoying everything out here. The weather, the university, the courses, the people, the everyting! :p


I was talking with some of my college friends yesterday on google’s hangout and that’s what made me write this post.

The experience of talking with people from VJTI was so refreshing! ( Thanks Deshpandu and Khajiv!  🙂 ) It’s surely is one big family!

It made me go back in time! I’d read post from my seniors mentioning how they miss being at VJTI, the quad, the canteen and so on.. but I never knew what that would be like in real! I had been so busy with the projects and assignments at USC  (never did them at VJTI :P) all this while that this emotion was somehow not popping up. Yesterday it did!

I was talking with some people from a batch junior to me and I felt like going back! Sit on the stage in the quad.. basketball.. the lukhagiri,, the spontaneous plans.. man I am missing it.. big time.

The phase has changed and I have to change with it. But I consider myself very lucky to know such awesome people from VJTI.

Miss you guys!

Aamchi aai tumchi aai……

Attitude of Littering

The other day, on my journey back home from college I was sitting in the first class compartment of central railways, Mumbai. The evening had just started and all the white collar dudes were on board. Most of them had that blank and dull look on their face.The train left Dadar station and was pretty much empty by the usual standards. I had managed to get a window seat.( yay! )

The dude sitting opposite me had a wafer packet with him and was eating them with making noticeable disturbances to the surroundings. The entire compartment was done giving him looks which said “Dude! Behave!” . Well, he was least bothered, a perfectly normal behavior, and continued enjoying his food. The train took speed and reached Kurla. Many dudes were exchanged and a whole new set joined. Most of them were in their early thirties.

By the time, my old friend had almost finished his wafer packet and was trying to get the last bits of wafer out of the packet. I started guessing what his next action would be. First I thought he’d just put the wrapper in the bag and help in keeping Aamchi Mumbai clean. But nope. Sadly he put his hand out of the window and let the wrapper out.

I got upset and made a loud disappointing noise “Pchhhh”.


He got surprised and thought he’d stepped on my feet. He asked me,” What happened? “

I asked him “why did you do that?”

He had no idea what I was talking about until I clarified. This disturbed me further.

A dude of my age, a young Mumbai-kar, had no notion about his own actions of “Littering”. The Attitude of Littering was the culprit.

I asked him why did he throw the wrapper outside.

His explanations or rather useless argument was “Oh then what am I suppose to do? There’s no dustbin around!”

“Oh really? So that means you should throw the wrapper out of the window, is it?” I asked.

“Well, yes! That’s what everybody does! Nobody cares! What’s going to happen even if I don’t throw the wrapper out? Somebody else will!”

“Well, then why do you always want to be that somebody??”

May be he realized he wasn’t right and stopped arguing. I asked him not to do the same mistake again.

The Attitude of Littering does not help us in any ways.It’s the attitude that’s creating problems not the lack facilities such as not finding a dustbin nearby.I started noticing many people after that.People who call themselves professionals-travel in 1st class compartments and still do not have the simple sense of responsibility of keeping the city clean.

I tried talking with everyone of them and many of them realized their mistake. I can proudly say that I do my part by not littering anywhere. There are one lakh solutions if you really don’t want to litter.

I feel that it’s on us, the gen-next, to change this attitude and keep our city clean!

Go Mumbai!

Life, Cubes and Everything