Sunday, July 18, 2004

Lazy weekend

After a fairly busy week at work, it was nice to have a somewhat lazy weekend. I made tentative plans to head up to Irvine to watch the Pro Wakeboard Tour, but ended up staying in San Diego so I could get some things done around my apartment while I had some free time.
Meeting my mentee was great. "M" is a very outgoing and friendly teenager. Her family is poor and as I said earlier is she one of 9 kids, so I can see how she might get lost in the shuffle. She opened right up to me and I think we're going to get along great. She has some big dreams, but it seems like no one has really helped her make a plan to achieve those goals. I hope I'll be able to help her get moving towards them. I'll probably be seeing her again next week. We'll spend the next month or so just getting to know & trust each other before we delve into the reproductive health curriculum. Lucky for us the program has a clinic tour scheduled for next month that should help us get started. I'm still a little nervous about this part of the program, but I think I'll do fine. It will be interesting to see what kind of questions she has and how much she'll want to know about my own personal experiences. I also want to incorporate some personal finance education into our relationship. Financial literacy is a major corporate citzenship initiative for my employer and it's also a cause I care about. I have so many friends whose parents never taught them about debt and financial responsibility. (My parents drilled it into me...they own a collection agency!) Many of them are up to their eyeballs in credit card debt and a couple have declared bankruptcy. It's sad. I don't know why my generation has this notion that they should start out after school at the same standard of living as their parents. We forget that they worked hard for years to save up for that new car, new furniture, or exotic vacation. With the wide availability of consumer credit, we live in a time of instant gratification and it's a slippery slope to being in over your head. I think some predatory lending does go on and is partially to blame (trust me, there are times when I feel like I work for the devil), but each of us are ultimately reponsible for our own finances. If kids aren't getting educated about it at home, I think it's time for our schools to step up and implement personal finance curriculum. OK, off the soapbox.
I looked into using an admission consultant before I left on vacation. I couldn't believe the expense involved and I took note that ad comms are known to frown on using these services. I decided to use Clear Admit for an assessment and application strategy recommendations only. I felt like it would be worthwhile to have an impartial third party with ad comm experience take a look at my profile and experiences and get an honest opinion about things that should be highlighted, weaknesses that need to be addressed, and potential pitfalls to avoid. I also feel very strongly that execution of this strategy is my task and should be done without professional assistance. This is something I want to accomplish via my own hard work. I received the assessment from Eliot on Friday and I'm very pleased with the feedback. I'm ready to dive into my essays and feel like I'm well on my way to getting some acceptance emails.
One thing he addressed I'll be contemplating for the next couple of months. Harvard & Stanford consider my GMAT score too old and I'd written them off as a result. I think my time and money will be better spent on putting together some kick ass applications for Kellogg, Wharton, Haas, and Anderson. He planted the idea in my head that I can send my current score reports to those schools, retake the GMAT, then send the new scores to just H/S. Even if I don't score as well, there's no risk because the other schools have my old report. Hmmm, I don't know. It's still a lot of time, effort, & money. I think I'll stick with my original plan and apply to the schools I'm currently targeting in round 1, then depending on how I feel, retake the GMAT and submit round 2 apps to H/S. I'll cross that bridge or take the ferry when the time comes.


aregon23 said...

I was reading in "How to get in the top MBA programs" that admission directors actually recommend for you to get a third party to read your essays. The concept behind that being:
1. Editors will help you brush your language and help you in clarifying your thoughts.
2. Get a different perspective than your own, which could be clouded.

The thing that AdComs frown upon is someone writing your essays for you. That apparently is a big no-no.

How did you like the assessment from clear admit? Do you think it helped you clarify your themes or was it contrary to what you planned to write? Did they short list colleges that are within your reach?

Not sure if GMAT score "age". I was under the impression that as long as the GMAT scores are accepted by the school (5 years) they are good for the job. The key thing is that your GMAT scores take less than 1 min of the AdCom's time, and more than GMAT scores it is the essays and work ex that matters. I wouldn't let "old" GMAT scores slow you down.

Just sitting down to write the brief history of my life and I have already hit a mental block. :)

Wakechick said...

I'll definitely have a handful of friends review my essays. I found the assessment helpful in clarifying themes and identifying what should be highlighted/adressed/omitted.

GMAT scores expire after 5 years, but each school interprets this differently. Some say it's five years from the application deadline, others five years from receipt of the score/application, and others (like H/S, Tuck, Yale) set a specific date. Per "GMAT scores taken prior to January 1999 will not be accepted/valid for admission to the 2004 MBA Program."

Wakechick said...

Forgot to add, yes, the assessment did address programs where I would be competitive.

dreamer said...

Hey WakeChick, I think its wonderful that you're on this mentoring programme with M. I hope to hear more about it, and your progress with her. Most of us forget to contribute back to society, especially when we're busy chasing our dreams (for an MBA, a bigger house/salary, etc.).

What's this financial literacy initiative? Is this another free education to the public thing? I completely agree with you about instant credit and how it ruins you if you let it get out of control. Hence, my apprehension for leveraging, an attitude that seeps into my work.

Dirty_Martini said...

hey Wakechick!

I saw somewhere that you are considering coming up the the LA Wharton info night.. I will be there and I'm hoping it will be good.

aregon23 said...

Thanks for the update. I am thinking of getting some help in clarifying my message as well. And ClearAdmit is on my list of companies that can help. This is the second blog where I read about them being useful. So I am a little inclined to go towards ClearAdmit myself.

Wakechick said...

Martini, I hadn't heard about the event until just a couple days ago and according to the Wharton website the event registration is full. I'm glad you'll be going and hope that you'll post a little summary on your blog if possible. Thanks!

Wakechick said...

Faith, yes, it's free education on all things credit and savings related. Visa has a great website that is a good example of some of the financial literacy efforts out there:

aregon23 said...


I was checking the Wharton website for events, and there seems to be some openings for the LA event. You might want to grab it real quick. Here is the link for your quick reference.

Dirty_Martini said...

by the way... did you read the book "Pledged"? What did you think of it? Were you in a sorority? I was in one and was intrigued by the book..... I read some article by the author and it seems pretty biased, but I'm still intrigued :)