Sunday, January 30, 2005
Now, on to my pros & cons list. Please keep in mind that these are my personal opinions. You may agree with me, you may disagree with me. That's fine. Just take them with a grain of salt. What's right for me may not be right for someone else. Feel free to leave comments if you have information that may be helpful.
Curriculum: Prescribed core with cohort system at UCLA vs. Flexible core at Chicago. Applied Management Research Program at UCLA (required) vs Management Lab projects at GSB (optional), both sound like really cool experiential learning opportunities that can be customized for desired function/industry. Leadership Foundations at UCLA (5 days pre-term) vs LEAD at GSB (quarter long lab class, only "required" class)…I could see myself really enjoying LEAD and being a facilitator in my second year. Really like the flexibility of the Chicago curriculum, the selection of classes, and the quant strength (I may pretend to be cool, but I’m really a nerd at heart).
Prestige: Rankings aren't perfect, but generally speaking Chicago is top 5, UCLA is top 15. Chicago has 6 Nobel prize winners. My old economics major advisor at WSU would be tickled pink about my scholly from Chicago (and he might die if I turn it down!).
Network/Career: Both networks are roughly the same size. BW rankings Chicago was #1 among corporate recruiters. While UCLA has some location & program specialization advantages with regards to entertainment/media management, either way I'm going to be doing a lot of the recruiting leg work myself if I‘m going to find a job in the sports business arena. Disney/Nike/Reebok recruit on both campus, plus Fox at UCLA and the Tribune at Chicago. UCLA’s network may have better representation in my desired industry, however those alums are probably more highly utilized than Chicago alums in that industry (i.e. I’ll be one of many pestering the same set of UCLA alums vs. one of few pestering Chicago alums). UCLA is great for opening doors on the west coast, not as strong elsewhere. Chicago will open doors west coast/mid-west/north east.
Advantage: Toss up
Climate: LA is sunny and 70 pretty much year round, very little extreme weather and very subtle "seasons". Chicago is more extreme, hot & humid summers, bitterly cold winters, and definite seasons.
Advantage: UCLA (by a mile)
Sports: LA has the Lakers, but I'm not a fan. Chicago has the Cubs & Wrigley Field. UCLA is a Pac-10 school, Chicago is Division III. Not sure that I'm ready to divide my loyalties between two Pac-10 schools (being a loyal Wazzu alum), but it would be fun to go to big time football & basketball games. UCLA has the advantage when it comes to collegiate athletics; Chicago has the advantage in professional sports. It's a toss up so the tie-breaker is length of wakeboarding season.
City Life/Housing/Transportation: La-la land = pretentious & plastic people. San Diego is a kinder, gentler version, that's why I live here and not there right now. A car is a must-have in LA, nice-to-have in Chicago. From what I hear, you don't want to spend time on an LA bus unless you absolutely have no other choice. Traffic sucks in LA, parking on campus is not an option, so you have to live as close to campus as possible (read: not cheap). Both campuses are beautiful, for different reasons. Much better public transit in the windy city. Slightly cheaper cost of living in Chicago. More down to earth people. Excellent restaurants.
Friends/People: LA is close enough that I would still be able to see my San Diego friends regularly. Already have a wakeboarding network established in So-Cal. A couple of my best friends from undergrad live in Chicago. Clicked a little more with the students/fellow applicants at Chicago than at UCLA during my initial visits, but I liked everyone I met.
Advantage: Toss up
Intangibles: I've lived on both coasts, but never in the middle. I will probably end up on the west coast in the long run because that's where my family is, so it might be nice to spend a couple of years somewhere else. I'm not a fan of LA, and I‘ve kinda “been there/done that“ as far as living in Southern California goes, but I liked the school. On the other hand, I loved the city and the school when I visited Chicago. Personality-wise, I think the school and the city are a better fit and most of my friends that I’ve told about UCLA & Chicago say they see me at Chicago. Plus, I don't know that you turn down 50 large from a top 5 school, regardless of post-MBA aspirations.
So yeah, I'm leaning towards Chicago and really looking forward to the admit weekend :) But nothing has been decided yet, and I'm still waiting to hear from Wharton. However, I do think I'm ready to decline the McCombs admit at this point.
Went to see In Good Company last night. I really enjoyed it. Topher "I'm too cool to shorten Christopher to Chris" Grace is really funny, and Scarlett Johanssen is beautiful as always. Great satire on coporate life and cute story about dads and their little girls. I'm definitely daddy's little girl and I always will be.
Oh, and on the BWBB front, another co-worker's last day with the company was Friday and he was having lunch with BWBB. He promised to say something to him about it. We'll see if the halitosis is kicking again tomorrow. For others facing the same problem, there are actually several bad breath solution companies out there that offer annoymous email services.
Monday, January 24, 2005
Booked my ticket to Chicago today. I *heart* Southwest Airlines. Great prices, easy scheduling/reservations, easy to earn free tickets. Direct flights to and from Midway at convenient times for $175. My friends are so excited that I'm coming to visit again and have started campaigning in earnest to get me to Chicago. I'm looking forward to seeing them, experiencing a little bit of Chicago winter to see if I can handle it, and learning more about the GSB.
I've started pros/cons lists for Chicago & UCLA. I'm not going to post them just yet, but I probably will in the near future.
My weekend was awesome, but I'm exhausted. I needed a weekend to recover from my weekend. Hit Big Bear for some snowboarding with friends on Saturday. We made it a day trip so it was a long day. The drive up wasn't bad, but the 38 was closed with a rock slide, so there was only one way down the mountain (330/30) at the end of the day and it took us 3 hrs just to get down to the Redlands, not to mention drive back to San Diego. We left the mountain at 5:30 and got home around 10 pm, with only one stop for food. We were all tired and a little looney towards the end. I hallucinated a wiener dog in the car in front of us. (I actually said out loud "Look at that cute dog!" and everybody was like "What dog??") That provided needed entertainment for the rest of the drive. The hand shadow wiener dog is now our running joke, and I will be the first to crack it because I can laugh at myself. The next morning we were driving up to Torrey Pines for the Buick Invitational, entering the reserve from the north end along the beach. Me: "Dolphins! For real this time!!" There were 20+ dolphins just offshore, surfing the waves, jumping, playing. It was an incredible sight, it would have been awesome to be out there surfing with them (if I actually surfed, that is).
The Buick was so much fun. A friend of a friend works for the Buick/PGA Tour (yes, I've got her on my list of people to contact for internship/job stuff). She hooked us up with passes for the day. Torrey Pines is beautiful...makes me want to take up golf! Highlights from the day:
- Seeing Tiger get sandy twice on #1 and still make par
- Seeing Tiger & Lehman tee off from about 10 ft away
- Ending up positioned perfectly to see Sergio make a great shot out of the rough on #15, also close enough to see that he was wearing plaid boxers under white pants (who does that?? not to mention, white in January?)
- Seeing Daly drop his cigarette, make his put, pick up the cig and cut up with the crowd
- Sitting in the stands on #18 to witness Howell3's approach shot hit the pin, bounce practically out of the hole and into the water hazard (that was killer! and it cost him at least 2nd place by himself and maybe 1st)
- Fellas, sorry to say that we saw neither Phil's nor Tiger's hot wife, but we were on the lookout
If anybody saw the telecast, you know about the fog. It had been wreaking havoc all week. It was pretty incredible, you could see it hanging around offshore and you knew it was only a mater of time before it moved in. It was so thick for awhile that we were sure play was going to be called for the day and we nearly left. We were really happy that we stuck around because the sun came back and it was a pretty great finish. I'm telling you, if you have the opportunity to go to a PGA event, go. It's like a carnival, with all of the booths with free stuff, activities, lots of beer and food. The best part is that you are up close and personal with the greatest golfers in the world.
Thursday, January 20, 2005
Although I've received good news from Anderson on two occasions, today was the first time I got a phone call from the folks up in LA. Dean Willison called this morning to confirm that I had received the congratulatory emails and to let me know how excited they are to have me join the Class of 2007. He also said that he was pretty sure I would have other admits to consider and that if there was any information he could provide to make my decision easier I should call or email him. I thought it was a nice gesture and I appreciated the offer to answer any questions I might have.
I've requested time off work for admit weekends and my boss is dragging his heels a bit on days for Chicago because it hits right as we're in the thick of month end reporting and my co-worker is already planning to be out of the office that week. Hoping to get a schedule of events soon so I can work my negotiation magic and find a way to have my cake and eat it too.
I've joined the Yahoo groups for Chicago & UCLA admits. My blogging cover is pretty much blown at this point as far as those groups are concerned. I forget how much information about me is really contained on this little website; it doesn't take much to connect the dots. So I will just throw out a reminder that there is a reason why I don't use my real name on this blog, and I would appreciate it if those who leave comments also refrain from using my real name. And of course, if you have any questions or concerns, you can always email me privately. Thanks!
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Bloggers are kicking serious ass right now. Congrats to PowerYogi, TDC, and Megami!
Had to check my phone this morning to verify that yes, I did in fact receive a phone call from the 773. My boss and former boss were elated by the news, and of course took credit for their excellent recommendations.
I must have built up some really good karma or something. I wish I could bottle this good fortune and save some for the internship & job hunt.
Early on in this process, everybody was talking about the oddball Chicago essays. I always kinda liked them best and had a great time writing them, so I think I'll share my "choices", so to speak. Keep in mind that a creative or original idea is probably least important for these essays. I think it's much more important to choose something you really believe in, and tell a great story with solid reasons for your choices. I don't think any of my choices were particularly original, but I had fun with them and I definitely used humor in the essays and really tried to let my personality come through.
Mascot--polar bear (however, I didn't give him a name or anything)
Celebrity--Oprah (which is kinda interesting because one of my friends in Chicago just landed a job with Oprah)
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Stacey Kole called about 20 minutes ago with the good news. I'm in, and they've offered me $50K ($25K first year, $25K second year)!!!!!!!!!!
EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Holy freaking cow, how did I get here? :)
That means money is pretty much a non-factor now when considering UCLA & Chicago. Texas is officially out of the race. I have to accept the Chi offer by April 1 and the admit weekend is the first weekend of March. I'm thinking I'll drop a deposit to both UCLA & Chicago, attend both admit weekends, see what happens with Wharton, and make a gut check from there.
Stacey had some really nice things to say about my application. I used the optional essay to talk about my previous application to Chicago, how I reacted to their decision, and how far I've come since then. She specifically cited that essay, that she remembered my old app, that she agrees that the decision was right for both parties at the time, and they are really excited about my progress and think I'm ready to take on the world with an MBA from Chicago. Swoon!
I'm so excited I could puke. First call after I got off the phone with Stacey was to my mom. Second was to my friends in Chicago. They are just as excited as I am.
Monday, January 17, 2005
I haven't made any decisions yet. Nothing is set in stone and I still have a lot of time to think, talk to people, make visits, etc. I'll get my Chicago decision by the end of the week and I have no plans to pull my Wharton app. I am in a "wait and see" mode, while I'm getting my financial stuff together for my tax return and FASFA, and also trying to find a couple of scholarships to apply for. My sorority gives out a lot of scholarship money each year and I'm still actively involved in an advising capacity, so I think I should be competitive. Just need to get some sorority-related recommendations lined up.
Thursday, January 13, 2005
Wow. Just....wow. Considering I'm a CA resident, that is a substantial chunk of the expense. Thank god I have an office, because I'm a mess right now. Called my mom, crying and hyperventilating.
I have to accept by March 1st. Not sure what this means for my outstanding apps (W/Chi), and McCombs is most likely out of the running at this point. I need to think.
Dave's post also resonnated with me because of the book I'm currently reading. Einstein's Dreams, by Alan Lightman, has been out for over a decade, but I only recently discovered it. I wouldn't call it a novel so much as a collection of short stories, which makes it a nice book to read in small doses whenever you have a few minutes to spare. Even if you only spend a few minutes reading each story, the ideas linger with you much longer. Each story is one of Einstein's dreams as he works on his theory of relativity, each dream an alternative idea of the nature of time, either in this world, or in other worlds. Time stands still, moves in reverse, is slower at higher elevations, is circular, moves in fits and bursts. Wonder what people would do if everyone knew the exact date that time & the world would end? Lightman has a great take on that scenario.
Fantastic book. My favorite quote: "I want to understand time because I want to get close to The Old One."
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Ding letters really don't tell you anything other than you didn't make the cut. They are form letters with bad news. I'd like to see schools spice it up a bit. I realize they don't have enough time to personalize every letter, but maybe they could get a few more options in rotation.
Typical ding letter phrases:
"careful evaluation and consideration"
"superb quality of the applicant pool"
"not a reflection of your personal qualities"
"best wishes for future success"
Ding letter phrases I'd like to see:
"it's not you, it's me" (boyfriends/girlfriends have been using it for years!)
"yeah, right. nice try, thanks for playing"
"thanks for supporting our office fun day budget with your $200 application fee"
"if only you had climbed Mount Everest or cured herpes"
"the office pool has you at 2-to-1 odds for your local truck driving program"
Bummer. Oh well. Post-mortem on this app: My first application, and definitely not as refined as later apps. My first interview, and the one I felt least confident about walking out of the interview room. Only one recommendation, from my current boss, may have not painted a comlete picture of me as I think my former boss knows me a little better and I worked on completely different types of projects with him, but I wanted to follow the rules and only submitted one. Wish I had asked a family friend who is a Kellogg alum & very successful CEO to submit an informal letter of support (had decided to keep that in my back pocket in case of waitlist).
It's a disappointment, but in the grand scheme of things I still feel pretty good. Having that Anderson admit alleviates much of my worry. We'll see what happens with Chicago. Wharton seems like a pipe dream at this point.
Monday, January 10, 2005
Sunday, January 09, 2005
As for the Preview weekend, it could get crazy. McCombs Preview is April 7-9 (Thu-Sat). Anderson Days is April 9-11 (Sat-Mon). Oh boy. I definitely want to go to both. The schedule for McCombs Preview hasn't been finalized, but it sounds like Friday & Saturday are the fun days, Thursday more of a travel day. So I'm hoping Saturday at Anderson Days is more of a fluff day and I won't miss much if I don't arrive until late evening from Austin.
Saturday, January 08, 2005
My friend and I decided to do the Moondoggies Marathon while watching the Orange Bowl there on Tuesday. She is a Maryland grad and the MD folks had convinced the Moondoggies staff to open their favorite bar early so they could watch today's game vs North Carolina at 9 am. Then we figured we wanted to watch the Chargers-Jets game there later, and with the Seahawks-Rams game in between, it just made sense to secure a good table and stay in it for the long haul. We figured a Maryland win vs #4 UNC was a long shot, but we thought we'd at least split the NFL playoff games (I'm a Seahawks fan since I'm from Seattle, and we're both Chargers fans because we live in San Diego).
Part 1 of our tripleheader was ugly. Maryland started well in the first 15 minutes, playing good defense and taking a 5 pt lead. It was all downhill from there. They stopped putting much pressure on NC, and the Tar Heels started hitting shots and before we knew it they were up by 20 points. They ended up losing by 34 points. Ugh. 0-for-1 with two games to go.
The ending for Part 2 was inevitable. The Rams beat the Seahawks twice in the regular season, the Seahawk defense has been hit hard by injuries, and Seattle hasn't won a playoff game in 20 years. So when the Rams scored a touchdown to take the lead late in the 4th quarter, my heart sank but I wasn't surprised. Seattle did make a go of it, driving down the field trying to tie it up and send the game to overtime, but on 4th and 4 at the Rams' 5 with 27 seconds to go, an incomplete pass sealed their fate and added to the streak of playoff losses. Double Ugh. 0-for-2 with one game to go.
The bar was packed in time for kickoff of Part 3 and we were glad we had put in the time to get a good table as it was standing room only. This game was the most exciting of the three. It was back and forth, there were some spectacular catches, and wouldn't you know it...the Chargers needed a drive similar to the Seahawks, trying to score a TD in the final two minutes of regulation to send it to overtime. Like the Seahawks, the Chargers faced 4th and Goal from the Jets' 1 with just seconds left in the game. Drew Brees was sacked and it looked like that was it, but never fear, a flag for roughing the passer is here, and with it, 4 more downs. The Chargers got the TD to send the game to OT, where they won the toss and got the first shot at winning the game. They drove down to the 20 yard line and sent in the kicker. I should mention the kicker is a rookie and the Jets' used a timeout to "ice" him...which worked. He just pushed it to the right, so the Jets' took over, driving down the field and winning the game with a FG. I should mention that the Jets' kicker had missed a FG in the first quarter and later had one hit the the goal post and just barely make it through. I feel so bad for the Chargers' kicker, poor kid, that was the biggest kick of his life and it ended their season. I hope he recovers. A bummer ending to an otherwise great game, and a great turnaround season for San Diego.
Triple Ugh. 0-for-3. Stick a fork in me, I'm done. At least Wazzu beat USC in hoops today.
Friday, January 07, 2005
Edit/update: My employer announced today that they will be providing call center support for the tsunami aid telethon on Saturday. Glad to see them stepping up again! They've put a call out for volunteers, but I'm not sure if our call center here in San Diego will be put to work. We'll see, I'd love to do it again.
Thursday, January 06, 2005
I just attempted to officially pull the trigger on the W app, but it appears there is a little glitch in the system right now in that the Round 2 option has disappeared from it's drop down menu and they won't let you submit the app without selecting a round. Hopefully that will be fixed in the AM.
I am really excited to be applying to Wharton. I drew a hard line at 5 applications for Round 1 and didn't think I would be able to apply in Round 2. It was a tough decision to drop Wharton from my Round 1 lineup, so I'm happy that it's back in the lineup and I won't be wondering "what if" a couple of months from now. The funny thing is, since it's my last app, it might be my strongest (despite the rush) and the delay may end up working to my advantage. We'll see if adcom agrees.
In other W news, I attend a coffee chat tonight put on by Wharton Women in Business. A first year (and San Diego native) hosted it and fielded questions from a small audience. The audience included a R1 admit, a partner of a R1 admit, a Fall '06 prospective, and yours truly. So the questions were all over the place, from living arrangements to partners finding jobs to GMAT study strategies. Very casual. One interesting thing is that she was the first Whartonite I've talked to who lives in the on campus grad student dorm. Sounds like it's a pretty typical dorm, very close to campus, cheaper than apartment living, but has some minor drawbacks, such as space and the fact that most folks live in Center City so that's where the action is. I don't think I could handle the space thing, but it would be nice to be that close to Huntsman during the winter. It was also nice to talk to the admits about the process after you submit the app.
Monday, January 03, 2005
I had a pretty good New Year's Eve. I'm over the whole "buy a fancy outfit and spend a bunch of money to get into a club and hang out with a thousand people you don't care about" thing. There is so much hype around New Year's Eve that it rarely lives up to expectations, and it's just not worth all that money. I'm down with going to a house party or your regular bar, and letting the night take you wherever it may go. My friends and I went the regular bar route last year and did it again this year. We have a friend that works in a bar downtown and it's our usual spot. So that means no cover, cheap drinks, and our friend who is working gets to feel like she gets a New Year's too. It's a beautiful thing. The best part? Four of us spent $80 TOTAL for the whole night, including parking, cab ride home, booze, and burritos at 2 am. And to think some people spent more than that per person just to get in somewhere. BUWAHAHAHA!
Quote of the night, from our bartending friend's little sister, who was letting two guys feed her way too many shots. Context...said during the cab ride home, in reference to hitting her head as she dismounted her bar stool (read: fell off), and the fact that the guy she made out with at midnight had witnessed it and decided to move on for the night:
"Seizures. Gyrations. Whatever. It could have been hot."