the trials and tribs of an MBA hopeful!

Come join me in coffee shops, hiding in conference rooms at work, and generally giving up my entire social life as I work on my MBA applications!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Looking for answers in all the wrong places...

So, I dont know about you, but these days I am looking for "signs" everywhere. Does the formation of the tea leaves in my cup mean I'll get into Stanford? Is my dream about Columbia a premonition of things to come?

And in the absense of signs, I am more than content to surf the internet for any website that claims to tell me my odds based solely on my gmat, gender, and gpa (if only it were so simple!). Sometimes this leaves me in a state of panic, but sometimes the results are just humorous. Thought I would share my most recent findings...

(I know these websites are doing their best to help, but my god this is not helping me work on the berkeley app!!!!!)

School/ Interview/ Acceptance

Berkeley/ 31.71%/ 11.48%

Columbia/ 80.80%/ 47.58%

Harvard/ 45.84%/ 58.98%

Northwestern/ 96.33%/ 52.26%

Stanford/ 44.07%/ 57.62%

In other news - a Kellogg adcom announced on the BW forums that they will begin to release decisions "in random order, on a rolling basis" beginning this Friday. yikes.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

It came!!!

I just got my interview invite from Harvard!!!!!! Woo hoo!!!!!

It's 2 weeks from tomorrow - time to start prepping! I gues this means the idling is over :)

More later - just wanted to share the good news! :) :)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Idling between R1 and R2

Even I have become sick of b-school talk these days. I half-heartedly check my email about 5 times a day looking for the elusive harvard interview invite. And I do browse through BW to see if the SF hub interviews have come out (seems to be no as of today...) But besides that, all is quiet for me on the b-school front.

I am still having some trouble getting the momentum up for R2, specifically my #5 school which unfortunately has the closest deadline. I think I'm one of those all-or-nothing type of people...i either need to hang out with the serial chess players at the coffee shop every night (I was definitely becoming their non-chess playing regular) or I cannot get much done at all.

If I were to do it all over again, I would go all 5 apps in R1. I know all you peeps out there worked your a$$es off to get them done, but it must be such a satifying feeling! The waiting begins instead of this strange dead zone between rounds...

Anyway, the good news is I'm at my parents house this week "working from home." Uh - guessing these will not be the days I describe when asked to describe a typical day.

"Good question, Mr. Interviewer, glad you asked. Here's a typical day for me working remotely":

8am: woke up, turned on my computer and IM, fell back asleep
9am - 11am: propped up in bed and checked BW, read my fave blogs, and watched Thursday's Grey's anatomy rerun online
11 - 1pm: lunch
1pm - 3pm: watched some bad dating shows on TV (but still managed to respond to all emails since my computer volume was turned all the way up to alert me. that's good and responsible, right?)
3pm - 3:30pm: ate snacks
3:30 - 5pm: cleaned out my overflowing inbox while chatting on the phone (hope those emails i just deleted weren't important...)
5 - 6pm: stay "online" to look as though i'm working hard/late at home (as if i'm fooling anyone)

And I think I deserve to go to business school, why? ;)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


1. Ok ok - I admit it. I check the dreaded business week forums about 7 times a day. Sometimes more. Everyone told me not to, but it's like a drug...after an hour of tedious work, I need it. Even though it makes me feel like shit half the time.

2. Last night I tried to be productive past midnight. I was playing on blogger and accidentally deleted my post :p (you're probably thinking "they ask you if you're sure. why did you press 'yes'?" i embarassingly have no excuses here, just was half asleep)

3. I've only worked on my apps 1 day this week, down from a usual 4. It's just sooo hard to work on your 5th choice! (yes, this is my excuse! i tell this to myself everyday)

4. (gulp) I haven't been thinking too much about my apps. How did this happen? I need to get back into obsessing mode! My friends and family have begun calling me again and asking about my life. And I have stuff to tell them.

5. I accidentally waited 5 days to email back my Kellogg interviewer. yiiiiikes.

That's all I got for now. Posting in my cubicle during work, so have to be sneaky...

Monday, November 13, 2006

an unlikely love story

An MBA-babe & the Stanford application = an unlikely love story?

Let's start at the beginning. MBA babe's total obsession with business school started long ago - probably back in Sept'05 when she began studying for the GMAT. Her mind had become singularly focused on b-school, which quickly became the most important thing in her life.

So, MBA babe used to have a boyfriend who already had his MBA. He was so supportive of the GMAT studying, but became a little less understanding when her future seemed to only include b-school, not the boy. Inevitably came the break-up, leaving her even more time to obsess over b-school.

As she started on her apps, she encountered the dreaded Stanford question #1: "what do you value most and why?"

It's strange - these questions really make you evaluate your life and what is truly important, huh? Was b-school really the most important thing in her life? Does it have to be? Anyway, this MBA babe has done A LOT of thinking lately...which has led to the new era of MBA babe and her boyfriend!! =) It made sense that the b-school app process broke them up, but who would have thought it would also bring them back together???

The end.

Anyway, I know this post is not really b-school related, but felt like rambling in the lull between R1 and R2. Oh yeah, and also because I am SO HAPPY (!!!), and not only thinking of b-school for once!!! =)

Also - with this new found distraction, I mistakenly waited FIVE days to send a thank you note to my interviewer! YIKES!!!!!!

BTW - thanks to Hobbes for recovering this for me! you are awesome :)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Kellogg interview: unplugged

When you are interviewing, ever feel like you are having an out of body experience? You are talking, but at the same time the voice in your head thinks, "what am i saying?! how can i make this stop????" Or, if you're lucky, "WOW - i just sounded so intelligent. GO, ME!" In my case it was pretty much a combo of the two. So, here's an account of the questions that were asked, and my in-the-moment thought process:

1. We had some awkward chats waiting for coffee. "How was your day." Me: "you know, normal." (really? normal? that's the best i could think of??? nice start, my friend. Interviewer - 1; MBA babe - 0)

2. So, tell me about yourself. (Wait - is this the walk me through your resume part or is she just being friendly? probably resume as we're certainly not on a date! Why did I just start with my current job?? Is it ok to backtrack???)

3. What are your career goals? Why do you want an MBA? Why now? Why Kellogg? (so many questions! i had prepared these separately. I hope she doesn't fall asleep as I talk for 10 minutes straight. Career goals? hmm she seemed slightly confused. Why MBA? check. Why now? check. Why Kellogg - i only got out 1 out of 4 reasons...oops. ran out of steam i guess)

4. Looking at your resume, can you elaborate on how you led this team, what are the details? (this is the 4th bullet down - definitely was not expecting this. hmm, coming out ok though surprisingly! niiice!)

5. Tell me about a time you were on a team that did not go well. (omg - why am i talking about this experience? i didn't resolve anything here at all. shoot, think quick on your feet. nothing. dammit! *excuse the language - it was much worse in my head*)

6. Tell me about a time you failed. (no prob! i even have a story w/ a happy ending)

7. What would you contribute to Kellogg? (rambling, rambling, make it stop! make it stop!)

8. How would you be involved? (oooh - nice way to fit in my community service achievements as an opener)

9. How are your strengths conducive to your career goals? (ok - rambled a bit, but got my points in)

10. Question time! (She was a big talker, LOVES kellogg, so no prob here. i'm a chatter too - think it ended on the right note)

Being my first interview in over 4 years - (yikes!) - I think the best thing I can do now is evaluate how it went and how to improve from here. First, I should have done more formal prep. I used the same gestures over and over (did you really just make the quotations gesture again??) and felt like I was rambling a bit at times (stop talking!!!) However, the interviewer was very informal and friendly so she made me feel like I had done ok. It's just so hard to tell! Should that elusive interview invite come from harvard, i will definitely start my prep much ahead of time.

Overall: 7/10.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Kellogg status change

Phew - my status on Kellogg finally changed to completed. I kept reading that others had received the message, so I had been diligently checking every day between "4pm and 5pm central time." Funny- I had a dream the night before that i was accepted to kellogg! (yes, i wish i were not dreaming about b-school but i don't really have a choice in the matter i guess)

I didn't realize my application would not be reviewed until post-interview. My interview is Wednesday in a coffee shop nearby...happy that it is somewhere casual although it does feel a bit strange! Definitely need to prep and search through blogs to see what to expect.

FYI - Here is the status change message from Kellogg:
All the required elements of your application are complete.
If your interview has been completed, the application has been submitted for review to the admissions committee. If your interview has not been conducted, the application will be submitted to the admissions committee upon completion of the interview. The next status check update will be the admission decision (Admit, Waitlist or Deny). As the majority of decisions are updated twice a week, we recommend checking the status on Tuesday and Friday, between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Central Standard Time. Please note the majority of decisions will be posted during the last several weeks of the deadline.