Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Gone too long

Two weeks since my last posting, oh my! Am I a slacker or what? Well, blog upkeep has slipped down the priority list recently. Work has been keeping me very busy and I've been trying to make the most of the last couple weeks of summer. That's a pretty lame excuse though because summer doesn't really end here in San Diego. Hard to imagine that this might be my last non-winter winter if I end up in Chicago or Philly. However, part of me misses having real seasons. Fall in Virginia is beautiful and a winter without any snow doesn't feel right. I miss the GREEN of the Evergreen State (my home state of Washington), but I sure do enjoy year round wakeboarding, trips to the beach, etc.

MBA application update. I decided that 5 applications is definitely my limit since I want to get them all in Round 1. Crazy, I know, but that's the trade off for not retaking the GMAT and using a score that expires soon. So, last I checked in I was trying to reach a decision between Chicago & Wharton. I've decided to go with Wharton (but I did send a score report & transcript to Chicago just in case, better to be safe than sorry). Now I need to resume work on the Wharton essays that had been put off pending that decision. Haas essays are coming along, have not started any others. Resume has been updated. I've pushed back getting the dossiers to my reco's until Sept 10. I would rather get them to my reco's tight and on point a week later than originally intended than get them in this Friday half assed. It still gives them at least 4 weeks to complete the recs that are due the earliest. I'm still feeling good about getting all my apps done (and done well) for Round 1 even though I've been distracted lately.

Distraction update. Family in Florida survived the storm. Their houses did not fare so well. They are not completely unlivable, in fact they are staying there while cleaning up/fixing up to fend off would be looters. We were definitely worried about them. Like I said, work is crazy, but that is par for the course this time of year. I've been wakeboarding a bunch this past month. And I have a new beau. Perfect timing, right? I start dating someone I'm really digging right when I need to be focused on myself and making very important decisions about my future. Rest assured, enrolling in and completing an MBA program remains my top priority. In the mean time, I'm having a blast with the new beau. He teaches 2nd grade, so that's part of why I've been trying to enjoy the last few weeks of summer, because he's trying to enjoy his last weeks of freedom before it's back to school. We've gone to several concerts lately. Last Tuesday we saw The Cure and it was a great show. This past weekend was Street Scene here in San Diego, a two day music festival downtown with a laundry list of bands. Got to see Black Eyed Peas, Ludacris, Social Distortion, Foo Fighters, Jimmy Eat World, Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, and A Tribe Called Quest, among others. Tribe on Friday was worth the price of admission alone. It was their first performance together in 7 years and it was such a great show. Foo Fighters put on the best show on Saturday, IMO. Hit after hit after hit, high energy show. They rocked.

I had a great time meeting up with Dirty Martini and Dave for dinner a couple weeks ago. I met DM at the Wharton Info Session, but it was great to meet the man...the myth...the legend...Bloggin' Dave! They are both kicking butt in their application processes and I feel confident both will be matriculating at their programs of choice a year from now.

Got some great news today. I referred a friend for an open position at work. She was offered the position today and accepted! This means I have a nice bonus headed my way just in time to cover my application expenses. I'm happy for me, but I'm also very happy for her because the role is a perfect fit for what she wants to do long term. Definitely a win-win.

This weekend is my birthday and I'll officially be in my late 20s! The girls and I will be hitting the town Saturday night, the new beau is taking me to dinner on Sunday, and I should be wakeboarding at least once, if not twice. Should be a great weekend :)

My prediction: A very productive month of September! Ready, Set, GO!

Friday, August 13, 2004

I just talked to my dad, who talked to my aunt, uncle and cousins about 2 hours ago. They live in Port Charlotte, FL. According to CNN.com, Hurricane Charley has made landfall pretty much in their backyard. I am praying for their safety and the safety of all Floridians in the path of this monster storm.
Still ridiculously busy at work, and it looks like it should stay this way the rest of the month. Oh, joy!

I got a huge kick out of Chicago's essay questions. How much fun are those going to be? They may be the thing that convinces me to apply there, just because I'll have a blast writing their essays. I really want to limit myself to 5 applications. I don't want to sacrifice quality pumping out any more applications then necessary and I don't want to create too much of a burden for my recommenders. Adding Chicago would put me at 5, but that would mean not applying to Texas which I'm loathe to do. I've heard awesome things about Austin, there's a fantastic wakeboarding scene, UT has a great sports tradition and a large sports business student group. So that means I either have to bump it up to 6 or drop one of Kellogg/Wharton/Haas/Chicago/Anderson. Anderson & Haas are a given, because they are good programs, great brand (particularly on the west coast), I'm a CA resident, proximity to the media & entertainment mecca of LA, etc etc. Kellogg is pretty much for sure, due to the culture, location, size, brand, prestige in marketing, etc. I think it will come down to choosing between Chicago & Wharton. Argggh! I need to kick that around a bit over the weekend and make a decision ASAP.

But let's face it, I probably won't get much done this weekend because...the Olympics start today! I can't wait. My friend is having a Greek themed party tonight for the Opening Ceremonies, complete with spanokopita (sp?), greek salad, and wine...lots of wine, I'm sure. Thank goodness I have DVR, because tomorrow a friend is having a beach party during the day and another friend is having a birthday party in the evening. I will have to catch up on Saturday's action on Sunday. It should work out well because I will be able to skip all the commercials and boring special interest bits and move right into the action.

In this post-911 world, I am seriously concerned about our athletes at the games. I'm praying that we will never see another Munich. I've heard stories that our athletes are keeping a low profile, wearing less red/white/blue/USA stuff. I think that's sad, but smart. However, if I looked at the situation strategically, it makes more sense to strike somewhere unexpected if everyone is focused on Athens. It will be an interesting couple of weeks and I think the world will be holding it's collective breath until the games close.

On a more positive note, my Washington State Cougars open the 2004 College Football season just three weeks from today at New Mexico...GO COUGS!!! College football is my favorite sport to watch and I've been eagerly awaiting kickoff.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Time flies....

when you're busy! Work has been HECTIC. We've been undergoing some personnel transitions in the financial analysis team, and my forecasting colleague is out on vacation, so I'm holding down the fort this week and I'm the sole person to handle ad hoc requests from da boss. Meanwhile, we're getting into the thick of our quarterly forecasting cycle and the Q3 version is always a hoot because of the emphasis placed on next year and finding a way to meet corporate guidelines while growing our line of business. I'm looking forward to many revisions and lots of negotiating. It builds character, that's for sure, and provides some good stories for b-school application essays. I'm pretty pleased right now because we put together a big quarterly report, kind of a state of the union address and prelude to 2005 forecasting, and our presentation was very well received by senior management. We're off to a good start and da boss is happy.

I hope this means I will sleep better tonight because the past few nights have been rough. I don't have problems falling asleep, but I've been waking up around 2 or 3, then my mind will get going and I have a hard time shutting it down again. By the time I'm ready to fall back to sleep, I've got neighbor noise. The doctor upstairs has his alarm set for 4 am, and the girls next door like to run their blender around 6 am. If I do fall asleep, I'm out cold, which makes it that much harder to get up when my alarm goes off at 7. So it goes.

I have mixed feelings about the whole RSS/public/private debate. On the one hand, the reason I started a blog in the first place was to share my experience with others and to bounce my ideas off people. These are "public" objectives. While I'm not crazy about some of the more personal things in my blog getting syndicated and perhaps being taken out of context, I feel that they are a necessary part of my blogging experience if this blog is going to be about the real, complete ME. Much like an MBA application, it needs both professional and personal introspection, plus a bit of personality, to be meaningful and portray an honest account of who I am, what makes me tick, and why I've chosen this path. That's the only way it will be useful to me, and it's the only way it will be useful to others. Am I concerned that my thoughts, opinions, preferences, etc. in my blog will find their way to an adcom member and perhaps change their opinion of my application? Sure, but the truth is my applications *should* be consistent with my blog. Otherwise, what's the point? If they are consistent, I have nothing to worry about. Plus, I think adcoms are probably too busy to read every applicant blog and connect the dots back to specific applications. They have plenty of other, more important things to worry about.

That said, it's time for a disclaimer. This blog is not quite written as a stream of consciousness, but I want to keep it pretty informal and I certainly don't care to spend time correcting every typo, misspelling, or grammatical error. So please forgive me for not sweating the small stuff. Also, if you're reading my blog and you know me personally or think you might, please do me a favor and send me an email to let me know you are reading. Thanks!