MBA Applicant Blogger Interview: Rolipolli’s Journey

  

Next up in our series of featured MBA applicant bloggers is Pardeep, author of the blog, “Rolipolli… a walk through life and path to B-school.” Please enjoy Pardeep’s thoughtful answers and use them to help you make your way through the MBA admissions process.

Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself – where are you from, where did you go to school and when did you graduate; and what prior degrees do you hold?

Pardeep: My name is Pardeep, I’m 26 years old, and I’m from India. I graduated from NIT Jalandhar (India) with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2007 and I have 4 years of full time work experience from one of the largest independent power producer company in Asia.

Accepted: Why do you want to go to business school? What are some of the factors motivating you?

Pardeep: To change my career path from engineering to social engineering. I want reforms in the education system and education industry of India! Another major reason to go to business school is that I want to start my own business.

What motivates me is the will-to-see-equality in society. I’ve been to Budapest (Hungary) to volunteer for one Roma organization and I do write for various local magazines on issues pertaining to society such as women’s empowerment, discrimination and child labor.  

Accepted: How many times did you take the GMAT? Are you happy with your score? Are you planning on retaking the exam? Are you preparing differently the second time around?

Pardeep: I’ve taken the GMAT once and I wasn’t happy with the score so I’m planning to take the GMAT again for the last time. On the first attempt, I had no strategy to handle Reading Comprehension passages; I would say this was the biggest mistake I ever made! GMAT knows well how and where to exploit test takers, so one needs to have strong strategies to handle all the sections. I’m taking Veritas GMAT classes and GMATPrepNow classes this time and I hope these classes will save me with guidance and strategies.    

Accepted: When do you plan on applying to business school? Which schools will you apply to? Do you think you’ll apply to a “safety school”?

Pardeep: I will apply next year; then I will have about 5 years of experience and nothing much new left at my present job to learn. I’ve decided to apply to Babson College because it’s been ranked no. 1 in entrepreneurship for the last 18 years or so, also keeping my interest of social entrepreneurship in mind. Other colleges of my choice are Carnegie Mellon (Tepper), HKUST, Michigan State University and a few others.

About “safety schools”, I’ve not still decided whether I should apply to these but I will think about these depending on my GMAT score.

Accepted: Have your parents’ success (or lack of success) influenced your desire to go into business? Please explain.

Pardeep: My parents are teachers (the first educated people in my family), who always inspired me to go for my dreams and do something for the betterment of the society. Yes, my parents’ struggle for life inspires me to do better than their expectations. Both my parents once upon a time used to work in fields and used to sell ‘grass’ but they never let anything come between their aim and studied. After that they gave me and my two brothers the best education they could provide despite facing many problems and I became a mechanical engineer and my two brothers became medical surgeons!      

Now, when I see kids working as child labor in farms, tea stalls, railway stations and almost everywhere I feel like crying, and all this inspires me to be fruitful for these kids. As my parents say,” Every child is special and deserves better education. Free education now or fill prisons later.”

Accepted: Do you follow current MBA admissions news? If so, which news sources do you read?

Pardeep: I follow MBA admissions news mostly on Twitter, GMATCLUB, Accepted.com, ClearAdmit.com and StacyBlackman.com.   

Accepted: Why did you choose to blog about the MBA application experience?

Pardeep: I decided to blog about the MBA application experience because I wanted to document my journey so that I could look back at my posts while writing my essays and also get some help from fellow applicants. I wanted to keep things organized.

I also wanted to interact with other incredible applicants and wanted to help make sure that future applicants don’t make the same mistakes I made.

There is another personal reason behind blogging — I also want to be a writer one day! :-)  

Do you want to be featured in Accepted.com’s blog, Accepted Admissions Almanac? If you want to share your MBA admissions journey with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at mbabloggers@accepted.com.

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Accepted Tweeps…Thanks!

  

We want to thank all of our @Accepted followers for helping us reach our 3K goal! To show our appreciation, we’d like to offer all our Twitter followers a special discount, which we just announced on Twitter. The discount can be used one time per user through August 9, 2011. 

Visit http://www.twitter.com/Accepted to follow and learn about the discount.

Thanks for spreading the word, and enjoy your discount!

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Law School News Roundup

  

  • Northwestern University School of Law announced it has appointed a new dean, Daniel B. Rodriguez, effective January 1, 2012. Rodriguez was previously the Minerva House Drysdale Regents Chair in Law at the University of Texas School of Law and former dean at the University of San Diego Law School.
  • Harvard Law School has launched the new Harvard Law School Mobile App.  The app is available for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry, and provides HLS students and the public with information about the school. There is even a  “News” tab with all the latest HLS news, as well as a list of “Tweets” from 30 different Harvard related Twitter feeds.
  • Have you ever wondered what to do about your criminal record when applying to law school? Blueprint Prep explains why one should always be open with the school about any misdemeanors.  One should be in control of the facts so that the school doesn’t find out about your record in the wrong way.
  • The National Law Journal reports that law school grads’ salaries have dropped tremendously, according to the National Association for Law Placement (NALP). The average salary went from $93,454 to $84,111 for the class of 2010. However, NALP Executive Director James Leipold explains that it is not that large firm salaries are dropping, but that more recent grads are working at small firms that pay lower salaries.

law-school-personal-statements

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Win Fantastic Discounts By Following Us on Twitter!

  

When we hit the 2K mark last October we were thrilled. And now that we’re approaching 3000 Twitter followers…well…we’re even more thrilled!   

To celebrate this momentous occasion and to show our appreciation of our followers, we’ve decided to launch a special offer available for all @Accepted followers. The deal, which will be announced when we hit the big 3K, will be good for 3 days only, so check in often to make sure you don’t miss it.

In the meantime, until we reach our 3K goal, we’ve got another special offer for you. If you:

  1. follow @Accepted.com on Twitter;
  2. tweet about your favorite Accepted.com resource, including the link to it; and
  3. include the hashtag #A3000 in your tweet,

then you will automatically be entered into a drawing to win one FREE hour of consulting or editing (valued at $260).

So what are you waiting for? Tell your applicant friends and fellow tweeps to follow @Accepted today and to answer the question: What do you like best about Accepted.com?


MBA Admissions: UC Berkeley Haas and Technology

  

This post about Haas and technology is part of a series of interviews of top MBA programs called “MBA Career Goals and the B-Schools that Support Them.” Please subscribe to our blog to ensure that you receive all the interviews exploring the elements at each school that support career goals in finance, consulting, general management, entrepreneurship, marketing and more.

1.  What kind of background and skills do you like to see in applicants expressing interest in a career in technology?

The Berkeley MBA Program is delivered from a general management perspective, and thus attracts applicants with a diverse range of backgrounds and interests.  We seek candidates who have solid professional experience and leadership potential, and who possess the Berkeley values of confidence without attitude and a willingness to look beyond the status quo.

Candidates who wish to pursue a post-MBA career in technology should demonstrate at least one of the following pursuits through their application: previous work experience in a technology function, related extracurricular involvement in technology with a leadership role, or comprehensive research into specific positions or organizations for post-MBA employment in technology.  Candidates who are making a career-switch into technology should also be able to clearly articulate how they intend to leverage their skill set and work experience to date to successfully make this transition

Learn more about general admissions criteria.

2.  What aspects of your curriculum do you feel are best suited to students who want to eventually pursue a career in technology?

Berkeley-Haas is one of the world’s leading graduate programs for the study of technology.  In recognition of the pervasive impact of technology on business, the Berkeley MBA program provides students with an overview of technology management as well as the opportunity for specialization.  Our proximity to Silicon Valley strengthens our connections to the high-tech community.

Students at Berkeley-Haas have access to Management of Technology (MOT) courses to supplement their general management curriculum.  MOT courses focus on the set of management activities associated with bringing high-tech products to market.  It is an interdisciplinary effort of the Haas School of Business, the College of Engineering, the iSchool, the College of Environmental Design and the College of Chemistry.  Students benefit from the diverse knowledge and experiences of an interdisciplinary classroom.

MOT courses include:

Students interested in technology are increasingly exploring Berkeley-Haas’ strong energy and clean technology offerings.  The Energy Institute at Haas sponsors numerous courses and experiential learning opportunities.

Student-initiated courses, such as Topics in Technology, Managing Internet and Digital Media Products and Alternative Energy Speaker Series, bring real-life practitioners from top firms to the classroom and deliver first hand insights on critical issues in the technology field.  Students frequently will have an opportunity to meet with the speaker in a small group setting or over dinner.

In addition to technology-focused courses, Haas’ general management curriculum teaches students fundamental business concepts – from accounting and finance to marketing and strategy.  Through core and elective courses, experiential learning and a global focus, the Berkeley MBA Program helps students develop skills to become innovative leaders.

3.  Which school clubs and extra-curricular events are most relevant to people interested in technology?

Providing students with hands-on exposure to real-world business situations is a key strength of the Berkeley MBA Program.  Experiential activities are required for graduation, and numerous out-of-the-classroom initiatives give students the opportunity to build on their technology skill set. 

  • Clubs: Most students take a leadership role in the industry club that aligns with their career interests, such as the Haas Technology Club.  Many also join an industry club in which they’d like to focus, such as the Digital Media & Entertainment Club or the Berkeley Nanotechnology Club.   The clubs aim to educate students on career paths in technology, connect them with alumni in the field and prepare them for job interviews.
  • Business Competitions: Case competitions challenge students to apply classroom learnings to real-life business problems.  In recent years, students have participated in case competitions with Apple, Facebook and Hewlett Packard.  In 2010 Berkeley-Haas students took first place in the 8th Annual Innovation Challenge, earning them the title of “America’s Most Innovative MBA Team” from over 100 competing teams.
  • >play Digital Media Conference: >play brings over 500 attendees to campus for a day-long dialogue on digital media in an immersive, interactive and entertaining environment. Keynote speakers in 2010 were Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of Wired magazine and Dr. Michael Johnson, Moving Pictures Group Lead at Pixar Animation Studios.
  • Industry Leaders at Haas: Each year, distinguished leaders are brought to campus to share their real-world experiences and insights.  Recent speakers with a technology bent include Paul Otellini, CEO of Intel, John Chambers, CEO of Cisco, George Lucas, Founder and Chairman of Lucasfilms and Biz Stone, Co-founder of Twitter.
  • Energy and Clean Technology:  Energy and clean technology is an increasingly popular area of emphasis for Berkeley-Haas students.  The Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative (BERC), the Energy Institute at Haas, and the UC Energy Institute facilitate numerous courses and experiential learning opportunities, including Cleantech to Market.
  • Haas@Work: This experiential learning course gives students an opportunity to develop innovative recommendations to address a competitive challenge posed by the sponsor company. The strongest recommendations are then added to the client’s business roadmap for implementation.  Haas@Work projects often have a technology component, and sponsor companies have included Cisco, SunPower, Hewlett Packard, Autodesk and Applied Micro.
  • Career Management: The Berkeley-Haas Career Management Group was ranked #4 nationwide by recruiters in a 2008 BusinessWeek survey.  Career Management plans workshops, panels, networking events, job fairs, company visits and receptions specific to all phases of the marketing job search.  They also work closely with the clubs on a Technology Firm Night, attracting dozens of companies for technology specific roles nationwide.

Hear more about technology directly from Haas students on the Berkeley MBA Student Blog, the MOT Blog or the Design Thinking Blog.

4.  Since “technology” is a very broad term, can you break down some of the some of the sub-categories in the field that Haas excels in?

  • High Tech: Through the Management of Technology (MOT) program, Berkeley-Haas students will have access to courses around design, new product development, open innovation and innovation strategy and entrepreneurship.  Students who pursue this path will frequently take post-MBA roles such as Product Marketing Manager, Product Manager, Business Development Manager, Product Planner, Corporate Development Manager and Strategy Manager, among others.
  • Energy and Clean Tech: Additionally, students with an interest in Energy and Clean Technology can take advantage of the Energy Institute at Haas, a joint venture with the UC Energy Institute.  Courses in energy and clean technology prepare students to lead businesses that address the market, policy and technological challenges of the energy industries.

5.  Which five technology firms recruit the most Haas graduates? What kinds of positions did they go into?

Berkeley-Haas remains one of the world’s leading centers for the study of technology.  Approximately 25-30% of students gain full-time employment in the technology sector after graduation.

In 2010, the top technology employers at Haas included Amazon, Apple, Autodesk, Cisco, Facebook, Google, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, VMWare, Yahoo! and Zynga.  Graduates typically pursued the following roles: Product Marketing Manager, Product Manager, Business Development Manager, Product Planner, Corporate Development Manager, Senior Financial Analyst, Strategy Manager and Operations Manager.

In addition, Berkeley-Haas graduates are increasingly pursuing jobs in energy and clean technology.  Most recently, 11% of the graduating class landed in the energy field.  Top recruiters in 2010 included Bloom Energy, PG&E and SunPower.

Learn more about the technology career paths post-MBA from recent graduates:

Learn more about careers post-MBA, view an employment snapshot of recent graduates or see a list of firms that recently recruited on campus.

By Morgan Eckles, Assistant Director, Haas Full-Time MBA Admissions.

Download Accepted’s new special report, MBA Action Plan, for practical tips on what you can do now to increase your chances of getting in to a top business school next year. (P.S. It’s free!)


MBA Admissions: UC Berkeley Haas and Marketing

  

This post about Haas and marketing is part of a series of interviews of top MBA programs called “MBA Career Goals and the B-Schools that Support Them.” Please subscribe to our blog to ensure that you receive all the interviews exploring the elements at each school that support career goals in finance, consulting, general management, entrepreneurship, marketing and more.

  1. What kind of background and skills do you like to see in applicants expressing interest in a career in marketing?The Berkeley MBA Program is delivered from a general management perspective, and thus attracts applicants with a diverse range of backgrounds and interests. We seek candidates who have solid professional experience and leadership potential, and who possess the Berkeley values of confidence without attitude and a willingness to look beyond the status quo.

    Marketing at Berkeley-Haas is ranked among the best in the world. Candidates who wish to pursue a post-MBA career in marketing should demonstrate at least one of the following pursuits through their application: previous work experience in a marketing function, related extracurricular involvement with a leadership role or comprehensive research into specific positions or organizations for post-MBA employment in marketing. Candidates who are making a career-switch into marketing should also be able to clearly articulate how they intend to leverage their skill set and work experience to date to successfully make this transition.

    Learn more general admissions criteria or download the Haas marketing brochure.

  2. What aspects of your curriculum do you feel are best suited to students who want to eventually pursue a career in marketing?A solid general management foundation is a prerequisite for a career in marketing. Haas’ general management curriculum teaches students fundamental business concepts – from accounting and finance to strategy and marketing. Through core and elective courses, experiential learning and a global focus, the Berkeley MBA Program helps students develop skills to become innovative leaders.

    Elective courses comprise over 60% of the curriculum, and students begin to customize their own course of study in the first year of the program. Students have access to numerous elective courses in marketing, designed to prepare them for the rigors of a career in the field.

    Students can choose from a range of marketing electives specific to their area of interest:

    In addition, student-initiated courses such as CMO Insights Series, Managing Internet and Digital Media Products, and Careers in Marketing bring real-life marketers from top firms to the classroom and deliver first hand insights on critical issues in the marketing field. Recent speakers include leaders from Apple, Clorox, Facebook and Gap.

  3. Which school clubs and extra-curricular events are most relevant to people interested in marketing?Providing students with hands-on exposure to real-world business situations is a key strength of the Berkeley MBA Program. Experiential activities are required for graduation, and numerous out-of-the-classroom initiatives give students the opportunity to build on their marketing skill set.
    • Clubs: Most students take a leadership role in the industry club that aligns with their career interests, such as the Haas Marketing Club. Many also join an industry club in which they’d like to focus, such as the Digital Media & Entertainment Club or the Design & Innovation Strategy Club. The clubs aim to educate students on career paths in marketing, connect them with alumni in the field and prepare them for job interviews.
    • Business Competitions: Case competitions challenge students to apply classroom learnings to real-life business problems. There are a number of marketing competitions, including the Elite Eight Brand Management Case Competition where Berkeley-Haas has taken first place in four of the last six years. In 2010, Berkeley-Haas students took first place in the 8th Annual Innovation Challenge, earning them the title of “America’s Most Innovative MBA Team” from over 100 competing teams. Other recent case competitions have been with Facebook and Apple.
    • Industry Leaders at Haas:  Each year distinguished leaders, and innovators are brought to campus to share their real-world experiences and insights. Recent speakers with a marketing bent include Clorox CEO Donald Knauss, Levi Strauss President and CEO John Anderson, IDEO General Manager Tom Kelley and Twitter Co-founder Biz Stone.
    • Haas@Work: This experiential learning course gives students an opportunity to develop innovative recommendations to address a competitive challenge posed by the sponsor company. The strongest recommendations are then added to the client’s business roadmap for implementation. Haas@Work projects often have a marketing component, and sponsor companies have included Clorox, Virgin America, The Walt Disney Company, Cisco and Visa.
    • Career Management: The Berkeley-Haas Career Management Office was ranked #4 nationwide by recruiters in a 2008 BusinessWeek survey. Career Management plans workshops, panels, networking events, job fairs, company visits and receptions specific to all phases of the marketing job search.

    Learn about other extracurricular activities directly from Haas students on the Berkeley MBA Student Blog. Browse the blog library or find marketing specific posts using relevant keywords.

  4. 4. Since “marketing” is a very broad term, can you break down some of the some of the sub-categories in the field that Haas excels in?From the curriculum perspective, Berkeley-Haas courses equip students with the strategic, quantitative and innovative skills they need to succeed post MBA. Specifically, courses investigate substantive issues such as pricing, market entry, distribution channels, consumer choice, role of emotions, and managerial decision making.

    Post-MBA, Berkeley-Haas students transfer the knowledge gained from the curriculum and experiential learning to various marketing functions. The most common include:

    • Associate Brand Manager, such as at a consumer packaged goods firm like Clorox, Del Monte or Unilever. In these roles, graduates typically manage the P&L for a product category, similar to a general manager role.
    • Product Marketing Manager, more typical of a technology firm like Apple, Microsoft or Salesforce. In these roles, graduates commonly manage the outbound marketing decisions related to pricing, promotion and customer targeting.
  5. Which five marketing firms recruit the most Haas graduates? What kinds of positions did they go into? Berkeley-Haas remains one of the world’s leading centers for the study of marketing. Approximately 20-25% of students gain full-time employment in a marketing function after graduation, from product marketing in technology to brand management in consumer packaged goods.

    In 2010, dozens of firms recruited on campus for marketing functions. Some of the top employers include Amazon, Apple, Clorox, Del Monte Foods, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Salesforce.

    Learn more about the marketing career paths post-MBA from upcoming graduates:

    Learn more about careers post-MBA, view an employment snapshot of recent graduates or see a list of firms that recently recruited on campus.

By Morgan Eckles, Assistant Director, Haas Full-Time MBA Admissions.


2012 Applicants: Time to Poke the Box





I just finished Seth Godin’s Poke the Box, an ode to initiative, innovation, and overcoming fear of risk and failure. In this short book, which Godin alternately and accurately refers to as a “manifesto” and a “rant,” he motivates the reader to just do it. Get going. In Godin’s words, “I’m merely encouraging you to start. Often. Forever. Be the one who starts things.”

I have had an idea percolating in my head for several months. But I hadn’t started. The idea has to do with MBA careers and MBA students, but inertia, and fear of rejection and failure were winning. I had more palatable and less honest excuses too: I was moving cautiously. I was busy. I had to check my email, Facebook, Twitter. Go to the gym. … You can probably imagine the list yourself.

As I finished Godin’s book, I decided to just do it. And I have started. I haven’t finished or “shipped” in Godin’s terms, but hopefully you will see the fruits of my start in a few weeks right here.

I poked the box. Now it’s your turn. While I am not sure Godin is a big fan of grad school or graduate business education, despite his MBA from Stanford GSB, Godin’s message is particularly pertinent for 2012 applicants.

Yes. You should start. This week. Today. Now.

Here are a few suggestions for 2012 graduate school applicants:

  1. Register for the GMAT, MCAT, LSAT, or whatever test is required of you, as well as the relevant prep course, if you haven’t already done so. You want to get the test out of the way and you want as high a score as possible. (See the video below “3 Action Items for 2012 Graduate School Applicants” from Eye on Admissions for a my mild rant on this topic and other suggestions to start your 2012 application. Now.)
  2. If you are an MBA applicant who will need to write a goals essay or someone who will need to write a statement of purpose for grad school, research your goal/purpose. Email 3 people to request an informational interview about your field so that you can clarify your reasons for pursuing graduate study and your intended path for achieving your goals.
  3. Assess your qualifications and begin to shortlist schools based on your goals and qualifications.
  4. I wouldn’t start writing application essays or personal statements yet, but I would create a file where you can jot down ideas for topics to include, notes from your informational interviews, and thoughts about schools and possible essays topics.

As I read Poke the Box, I also thought of the many programs, especially top MBA programs that ask applicants about times they took a risk or their response to failure. Understandably, applicants squirm when they have to respond to these questions.

Stop squirming. Godin has something empowering to say on this point too. “Change is powerful, but change always comes with failure as its partner. ‘This might not work’ isn’t merely something to be tolerated; it’s something you should seek out.” Failure is a tough partner to embrace, but embrace it nonetheless. It is Initiative’s significant other.

So whether you are facing memories of failure or fear of failure, just start. And consistently plow forward. Poke your box.

By Linda Abraham, Accepted’s founder and president.

 

MBA Admissions News Roundup: Improv, Social Media, and More

  • In a Businessweek blog post, “MIT Brings Improv to the MBA Classroom,” Alison Damast describes the leadership focused MBA acting class called Improvisational Leadership: In the Moment Leadership Skills. The second-year course integrates creative arts into the more classic business school curriculum, and focuses on “soft skills” by bringing to the classroom experiential exercises, real-life simulations, and interactive improvisations. 
  • Does where you attended college as an undergrad affect your chances of getting into a top MBA program? According to Dean Jim Dean of UNC Kenan-Flagler, it matters some, but it’s not the only thing that matters. What really matters, he explains, is doing well, and so you shouldn’t shy away from applying to a top MBA program if you didn’t go to a top undergraduate institution. For more on this, view the Bloomberg Businessweek article, “Does Undergrad Institution Matter When It Comes To MBA Admissions?
  • George Yip, dean of the Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University, announced his decision to stand down as dean in June 2011, reports a recent Financial Times article. The top business school, located in the Netherlands, will be naming a new dean in the next few weeks.
  • If you want to participate in the business world nowadays, you’ll have to know a thing or two (or more) about social media. Facebook and Twitter have literally changed the way businesses communicate and business school students need to make sure they stay up-to-date with online networking technologies. Read the recent Wall Street Journal article, “Business Schools Tackle Social Media,” for insights as to how social media is changing the business world and how business schools are updating their curricula to accommodate those changes.

Become a part of Accepted’s social media network and stay up-to-date on the latest admissions events and news. Follow Accepted.com on Twitter and Like us on Facebook now!

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Connect with Accepted.com on LinkedIn

Want to get in touch with us? There’s always the good ol’ telephone and email, but perhaps you prefer other means. Something more Web 2.0. We provide them:  Accepted’s Forums, Facebook, Twitter, our blog, and now…drumroll…the Accepted LinkedIn Group.

Accepted.com editors and consultants will now answer your admissions and application questions on LinkedIn! Ask us about anything from school selection to choosing essay topics to interviewing to dealing with waitlist woes to choosing the right school when you have the delightful dilemma of multiple acceptances. We’ll respond ASAP.

In addition, we plan to invite other professionals (like GMAT prep experts and career counselors) to join in this group. It’s in its infancy now, but with your participation it will become a resource that will serve you for years to come.

Join our LinkedIn Group today!

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We Have 2100 Twitter Followers!

Congratulations to us for reaching our 2100 goal – thank you to all followers who continue to make that number grow!

As promised, to celebrate our appreciation of our followers, we’ve chosen two Twitter followers at random who will each win one free hour of consulting from one of Accepted’s experienced staff members!

And so…without further ado…the winners are…

@sally_liu and @NeilRatna

Congratulations to you both!

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