Yep, and it was worth it. I went wakeboarding this morning at Lake Elsinore. We had great water and I got in a couple of fun sets. I'm addicted to wakeboarding (hence my nickname "wakechick"). A friend introduced me to the sport a few years ago and I've been hooked ever since that first time up. I had some bad luck last summer and blew out my right knee (ACL/MCL/meniscus). I'm ~9 months post reconstructive surgery and this was my second time out with the new ACL. I'm still working on getting over that fear of getting injured again, but there's not much better than hitting the lake at sunrise and skimming over the glassy surface at 22 mph. I may meet some friends at the beach later this afternoon, or I may just take a nap. I may even do both.
OK, so I should probably do a little introduction and let anyone who might be reading this know where I am in the MBA application process. I graduated from Washington State University in 2000 with a degree in Economics. I took a job with a financial services company and moved to the east coast (VA) a couple of months later. I spent my first three years doing marketing data analysis, then about a year ago made the switch to financial analysis and transferred to our San Diego office. They really had to twist my arm to get me to go :) San Diego rocks! Four years out of undergrad and I'm feeling like I've kinda "been there, done that" with the work I've been doing and I'd like to take it to the next level. Specifically, build on my marketing & financial analysis experience with an MBA and move into strategic planning & business development. I would like to attend a program that will let me further specialize my MBA to include sports/entertainment/media curriculum (or at minimum has an active student club with that focus). I'm a sports nut and my ultimate dream job would be the Commissioner of the NFL or President of the NCAA (and yes, I would find a solution to the BCS mess). An old roommate once asked me if there were any sports I didn't like or wouldn't watch. My answer: curling, but that's really a lie because I would probably watch that too if it was on ESPN.
Let's see that covers undergrad, work experience, and basic motivation for the MBA. I've already taken the GMAT. In fact, I took it a long time ago. This is not my first venture into MBA acceptance. I applied to 5 top 30 programs during my senior year at WSU. Dinged by all, obviously, lack of work experience and vague objectives across the board. I was pretty bummed at the time, but everything happens for a reason and I can see now that I was no where near ready for b-school. I think that first attempt & rejection will help me this time around. So, the GMAT...very happy with my score except for the fact that it expires in November. I really don't want to take that thing again for several reasons, primarily time, money, and fear that I won't do as well. That eliminates a few schools from contention right off the bat, but none that I really had my heart set on and it might be a good thing to help me narrow down my choices. I still need to trim down the list quite a bit. I'm shooting to apply to 5-6 programs in their first rounds. The list as it stands today: UCLA/Anderson, Berkeley/Haas, Chicago, Kellogg, Michigan, Wharton, Indiana, Texas/McCombs, Arizona State, Oregon. Anderson & Haas are at the top of the list (for now) based on program quality & curiculum, location, and my CA residency. It also doesn't hurt that Berkeley is not too far from the West Coast mecca of wakeboarding, the Delta.
Next steps for the weeks to come: deeper research into the programs & trimming the list, requesting GMAT score reports & WSU transcripts, updating my resume, and getting my thoughts on career path/why mba/why now sorted out into some outlines that can help me as I start drafting essays.