So yesterday I get a call on my cell phone around 11 am PST. It's a number I don't recognize from an area code I don't recognize. At first, my heart skips a beat..."Is this a call from McCombs?" Nope. It's someone from Arizona State's MBA program, calling to make sure I was aware of their San Diego reception. It was held tonight at a hotel in downtown San Diego right near where I work. The guy has me on the phone, I've revealed that yes I know the hotel and it's less than a block from my work, so naturally I agree to attend. I get off the phone and I'm kinda feeling...ugh...I've been to so many receptions, my applications are done, it would take a total failure of five applications to get me to consider applying to ASU and now I've been talked into going to this reception during one of my busiest weeks at work. Great. Little did I know...
Earlier today I tell my co-worker that I'm going to this reception. He asks if there's going to be free food. I tell him there's a pretty good chance of that, so he decides to go with me. We head over there around 6 pm. Well I'll be darned if this isn't the best reception, food & beverage-wise, I've been to all year. It was hosted at the W hotel, which is very swank and cool. They had fantastic heavy hors d'oeuvres and get this...open bar. Nice. This was the only MBA reception I've attended that offered booze. It's unlikely that I'll even apply to ASU, but hey, thanks for the free goodies! It felt a little funny when alums asked if I was applying to ASU, trying to spin a story about having a couple apps in to other places first round and maybe applying in a later round. This was completely different than any other reception I've attended. There was NO formal presentation. Zip, zilch, nada. No powerpoint, no brief words, nothing. Just mingling with alums, a couple staff members and current students. Anyway, we had a good time, met a really cool prospective applicant for class of 2008 and I gave her my business card so I can hook her up with information, and I enjoyed exchanging snarky comments with my co-worker (who now wants to accompany me to any and all future MBA-related events even though he has no interest in an MBA).
Tonight's reception was also a nice preview of the fare the W has to offer. Our office holiday party will be there a week from tonight. It should be really nice. I hope we've ordered the beef wrapped asparagus spears, they were awesome.
Now, a couple of folks have asked when I expect to hear back from schools. Here's a run down (in order of anticipated decision notification, with area code noted because I am a dork and looked them up after yesterday's gut check):
McCombs/Texas--(512)--Could hear any day, supposedly 3-5 weeks post interview. Looking at the BW thread from last year, it looks like those who submitted apps in early November were notified by mid-December. No decision deadline due to rolling admissions.
Kellogg/Northwestern--(847)--Probably won't hear until after the holidays, however some R1 applicants last year were notified of favorable decisions in mid-December. It was only a handful so I'm betting on January. Decision deadline for R1 is January 17.
Anderson/UCLA--(310)--Pretty much same story as Kellogg. Decision deadline January 19.
Chicago--(773)--Last year decisions started being release about 2 weeks before the decision deadline. This year's R1 decision deadline is January 21st, so this will be mid-January at the earliest.
Haas/UC Berkeley--(510)--This one is a little different. Interviews are by invitation only. Looking through BW thread for R1 last year, invites really didn't start going out until the beginning of January, then decisions started going out after the Super Saturday interview weekend in late January. The decision deadline for R1 this year is January 31, so this is probably the last school that I will hear from.
EDIT: I've re-read through this post a couple of times. I'm not going to change it because I feel like it was kind of a funny experience and I had a couple of glasses of wine and it captures that. I do want to add that I think this post may come off a little snobby, but that is not my intention at all. All of the ASU alums I met tonight were really cool and it is a respected regional program. It also has a pretty good sports business program, and the dean is a former Whartonite, so I have a feeling this program is going to continue to improve. I don't think it's the right place for me at this time, but I think it is an up and coming program.