Archive for the ‘MBA’ Category

My first week

July 13, 2008

It’s Sunday night, and I’m going to start my second week of my Analytical Skill Workshop this July before the formal beginning of classes in August. So far, it’s been pretty good. I’m signed up for 2.5 classes, so I have a fair amount of reading and homework to complete, but it’s not unmanageable by any means, especially if I get an early start on things, which I’ve been doing to a surprising degree. It’s also cool that I’m not finding any of the material boring, and all the professors are at least decent.

At 8am, I have Microeconomics. It’s not as hard as I thought it would be to get up for that in the morning. 9:30 is Statistics, and the professor is probably my favourite. He’s definitely got some personality, which helps given the subject material. The half class is Finance, and it only counts as half a class because it’s every other day.

On top of all this are all the presentations and workshops that we’ve had to go to. There was a presentation on communications (that professor is particularly memorable), a case analysis workshop, and even a presentation from the Wall Street Journal about the benefits of subscribing (I’m still not convinced).

But I especially like the social events. There’s one event per week on average (this first week had two), and it’s a great opportunity to meet a lot of the other students. It’s nice that I’m starting to recognise more and more of them, and more importantly, I’m remembering their names. 🙂

All in all, a great start to business school. Let’s see how it continues.


And the verdict is?

February 5, 2008

I’m going to be a Tar Heel in August. I guess this means I’ll have to watch those damn basketball games with Dina. *sigh*


Today’s the day

February 4, 2008

After going through the application process over the last 5+ months (and spending plenty of money in the process), today is the day I find out once and for all what I’m going to be doing for the next few years. In less than 24 hours, UNC gets back to me with their decision. *sighs* Cross your fingers.

And then there was one…

January 30, 2008

Harvard, Chicago, MIT and Berkeley have all decided, in their infinite wisdom, that they would prefer to forsake the many benefits that I would bring by being enrolled in their respective MBA programs. I say fuck ’em.  Bastards wouldn’t even give me an interview.

On Monday the 4th, I get the official response from UNC, the last school remaining. At least I got to interview there (albeit everyone who applies is expected to interview. It’s not by invitation), so I was able to sell my case in person, which helped, I think. Regardless, in five days I find out if I’m going to business school or not. Fingers crossed, but I’m still keeping my resume ready. *sigh*

Who needs Chicago anyway?

November 15, 2007

Got my first ding. *sigh* Oh well, still four more to go, and I just need one to work. 🙂

4 (almost) down, 1 to go

November 5, 2007

Harvard is done. Chicago is done. MIT-Sloan is done. Berkeley-Haas will be done in a few hours, once I have a couple of people look at it. But that’s as good as done too. The only one left is UNC-Kenan Flagler, but that’s still over 4 weeks away.

The application process has been pretty interesting, and I can honestly say that I learned a lot about myself while I was writing all the application essays. That being said, let me reiterate what I’ve said before: I hate writing essays. I’m much more of a stream-of-consciousness writer, so having to get my point across within a pre-defined word limit is quite frustrating.

Also, I’ve been very lucky with the way the application schedule worked out. Harvard was due Oct 2. Then I had two weeks for Chicago (Oct 17), and almost two more weeks for Sloan (Oct 30). I was a little worried about Haas (Nov 5), since I had less than a week after MIT. But after looking at the Haas essays, I saw that almost every single topic had been covered in the three previous applications, so the only thing I needed to do these past six days is fix them up for Haas.

It’s also interesting how I can get a vibe about the school based purely on how the application is laid out, what kind of questions are asked, and even the user-friendliness of the application interface. So far, the best vibes I’ve gotten have been from Chicago and Haas. I actually visited Chicago’s facility earlier this year, and since it was a new building (circa 2004), the facilities were rather impressive. As for Haas, it’s in the Bay Area, and that automatically makes it a cool place to be. 😀

On a side note, I have a complaint about how most MBA programs notify applicants (with one major exception). With every other MBA program I applied to, the process is kinda like a black hole. You submit your application, they send you an email either inviting you for an interview, or telling you that they don’t want to interview you (which is essentially a rejection). Then, on a specified date, they will post their official admissions decisions (which is only of interest for people who got an interview since, if you didn’t get an interview, then you already know you got rejected). For example, Harvard has a decision notification date of January 16, 2008. That’s the date that admissions decisions will be posted online. It’s also the only deadline they offer for giving me any information at all. In other words, even if I get an email saying they don’t want to interview me, I might potentially have to wait until January 15 before I even receive that email, leaving me on tenterhooks the entire time. The advice I received is, “If you haven’t heard back, you’re still in the race.” Very comforting. 😛 Still, it could be worse. I talked to a friend of mine who’s a Harvard alum, and he said that realistically, people with interview invites are notified by mid December at the latest. The only times Harvard notifies people later than that is if they screwed up, and too many people who got admitted to Harvard end up going somewhere else.  Regardless, it’s still frustrating when I don’t even know how long to wait (except for that interminable Jan 16 deadline).

That’s why I appreciate Chicago’s schedule. By Nov 14, they will notify everyone who applied if they have an interview or not. In other words,  within the next 9 days, I should hear something back from them. *crosses fingers*

I don’t like essays

October 25, 2007

I’m an engineer by training. Sure, I love talking. And I can write pretty reasonably when it comes to steam-of-consciousness. But I thoroughly dislike writing to a specific theme. Especially when I need to come up with examples from my own life that I can’t necessarily recall.

What am I talking about? MBA essays. Ugh. I hate them. And I’m having real trouble with the essay topics from one of my schools in particular. (No names, since they might find this blog. Then again, if they read this post, they’ll recognise the topics. Ah well…)

Here are two of the four required essay questions:
1) Please tell us about a challenging interaction you had with a person or group. Describe in detail what you thought, felt, said, and did.
2) Please tell us about a time when you defended your idea. Describe in detail what you thought, felt, said, and did.

Here’s my problem. I’m 27. I’ve had a limited set of experiences, compared to someone who’s 35. And so I try to milk those experiences as much as I can. That’s what any MBA candidate would do in my place. But what do I do when I have the exact same example that I would use for both? I repeat again… ugh.

In other MBA news, Harvard and Chicago have been submitted. MIT due next week, Berkeley the week after, and UNC in early December. I’m also considering applying to another school or two in their second round. We’ll see how that goes. I can tell you right now though; I’m getting tired of all these essays. 😛

Almost done with #1

October 2, 2007

My Harvard MBA application is ready. All the recommendations are in. My essays are done and uploaded. Resume updated and uploaded. I just need to submit and pay the fee.

*shudders* Here we go…

Inspiration comes in all forms

August 29, 2007

Many people like to keep music or the tv on while they work (or study). The background noise helps them concentrate. Others require absolute silence, for even the merest whisper can throw them off their game. I’ve come to the conclusion that I fall squarely in the former camp. However, it’s a little more complicated than just having some noise playing. Experience has shown me that it has to be something very specific.

When I was in school, I’d do homework while watching TV, and while I’d never admit it to my parents now, my concentration would go completely to shit. And listening to the radio would distract me because I’d be paying more attention to the song, especially if it was something I recognised. I needed something that only engaged my aural senses (which eliminated TV), but was something that wouldn’t take my attention from the task at hand.

Lo and behold, here is my solution. Scoff not, it actually works pretty well! There are two 20 second commercials every 20 minutes, which makes for a nice break. And while most people might not have the patience to listen to this stuff, the fact that the station only plays selected pieces from the most famous composers makes it a lot easier to have in the background.

Why am I mentioning this? Because writing essays for MBA applications is a real pain in the ass, and I approve of anything that makes me more efficient in completing this task. 🙂