Tuesday, June 26, 2012

In Training

I have a confession.  I am nervous about business school.  It’s been over a decade since I’ve been a student.  Thanks to the GMAT studying isn’t the distant memory it once was.  However, studying for one exam doesn’t compare to managing a full course load, especially when that course load is focused on the subjects that gave me fits in undergrad.  I have a healthy fear of stats and economics, fueled by complete disinterest and my brain’s inability to make sense of concepts like marginal revenue=price and correlation coefficients.  Whether I like it or not the only way to an MBA is through these subjects.  Since I am spending my summer happily unemployed, I figured it would be a good idea to face my fears head on and get reacquainted with stats and econ and introduced to case studies and Excel modeling before school starts in September.  Enter Manhattan GMAT Pre MBA bootcamp.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Great Expectations

I’m not one for writing in series.  Save for a few exceptions each entry in this blog is self-contained.  Last week an email from a friend tipped me off that I may have unintentionally created a “Pedigree” series about business school admissions and MBA programs.  I never intended to do this, but I guess the many facets of this topic have been on my mind.   If you count Money Over Everything as Part1, The Real World as Part 2, and False Alarm as Part 3, then I guess this one is Part 4.

The other day I was chatting with a friend who plans to apply to business school in the next two years.  He wants to wait a little longer so he can get a new job and knock out the GMAT.  I suggested that he could apply to school sooner than he thinks because his work experience, while non traditional, is definitely relevant and he’s had some really good achievements at work.  Will a new job at a more recognized firm help his candidacy? Sure, but he’s still in the ballpark for getting into a top 15 school from his current employer.  When I suggested he apply to Johnson he replied, “I work at a no name employer and have a lower GPA from a no name school.  I have to go to a top school to get the job I want.”  I paused for a second, surprised by what he’d said.  “But Johnson is a top school,” I replied.  In that moment it suddenly dawned on me that we had gotten caught in the MBA matrix.

Friday, June 15, 2012


From the week before Memorial Day to the week before Labor Day my company operates on summer hours, which means HALF DAY FRIDAYS!!! Today I left work at noon just like I would on any other half day Friday. However, this Friday is different.  Unlike before, I will not be going back to work on Monday.  I won't be  going back on Tuesday or any other day.  This half day Friday was my last one with the company I have been with since I graduated college in 2002. I turned in my company car, handed over my laptop, and left my office keys on the desk.  I am officially done.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

False Alarm

"Whew. Longtime reader here. I agree with you, but I definitely have a crazy different background than anyone I've met and Kellog, Tuck and Duke all admitted me this year (headed to Kellogg in the fall). I actually think you're generalizing everyone into one of two camps - blue chip and other - instead of the three camps that really exist. Sure "blue chip" is the largest group, but for aspiring applicants, "other" should be divided as "boring" and "exciting". Seriously! I have a little bit of a blue chip background (2 out of 6 years) but the other 4 years have been crazy exciting with startups that no one's heard of and enough stories to write a tell-all about the tech/entertainment industry. If someone's applying without blue chip experience, I say go for it as long as it's exciting/different/scandalous... and to be honest, it's us different ones who make bschool fun for the rest of ya'll squares."

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Real World

"We're going to start things off with a little ice breaker," the section leader said to us.  I sat in a classroom with 69 other newly admitted MBA applicants and prepared myself for the ritual I now knew by heart.  We would state our name, where we went to school, our current line of work, and one fun fact that could hopefully elicit a chuckle from the crowd.  We started on the opposite side of the room and I listened as one by one my potential classmates gave the condensed version of the last 7-10 years of their lives.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

The Ones that Got Away

At 5:00 p.m. yesterday I transferred $1,000 from my savings to my checking and paid the second tuition deposit at Chicago Booth.  If it wasn't already settled before, it definitely is now.  I am attending Booth in the fall.  I have already dived into being a Boothie.  I found a great roommate who also has an aversion to community laundry facilities; started three Booth class of 2014 fantasy football leagues; and worn my complimentary Booth t-shirts all over town (an alum even stopped his car to chat with me for a sec when he saw me sporting the maroon).  Best of all I am Random Walking to Fiji in August with The Keychain (mpg2011 from GMAT Club) and a dozen other Boothies.  However, in the midst of all the excitement and anticipation there are times when I find myself wandering over to Wharton's class of 2014 Facebook page or logging onto the Kellogg admitted students' website.  Sometimes in the quiet moments between all of the Booth hoopla I wonder what if I had chosen differently.