Sunday, February 27, 2005

Wharton visit

Currently enjoying a lazy Saturday night due to tomorrow's full agenda...wakeboarding in the morning, So-Cal UCLA admit happy hour in the afternoon, and a friend's Oscar party in the evening.

I had a really nice visit to Philly and Wharton, and I'm really happy I opted to do my interview on campus rather than locally with an alum. I feel like I have a fairly well-rounded impression of the program based on the visit, the info session I attended last summer, and all of the information available online. Next up is the Chicago Admit weekend. If I get good news from Wharton, I should be prepared to make an informed decision between March 24th and April 1st.

So, a recap of my trip...it was a quick one. It's a busy time of year at work and I couldn't take any more than a couple of days off. (Plus, I'm hoarding vacation days for a trip home to Seattle in April and I want to have some left as my time here in San Diego draws to a close, for things like packing and playing hooky to hit the beach or go to opening day at Del Mar.) Wednesday was pretty much just a travel day that started early and put me in to Philly in the late afternoon, which didn't leave me much time to sightsee around the city beyond a couple of cab rides. Iceman and I had planned to try to meet up for dinner that night, but never managed to track each other down. Got some dinner at the hotel, watched Lost & American Idol and called it a night.

Spent all of Thursday in Huntsman Hall. First up was sitting in on Abel's Macroecon/Finance class. Not the most exciting class, but the material was familiar to me from undergrad. Poor guy had a horrible cold and pretty much no voice, about half of the class was absent and the other half, despite the prof's requests, wasn't doing much of the talking to help him save his voice. The next class was a lot more interesting, a business law class with Borghese. The class is part of core and the full cohort was there. The lecture on employment law was pretty good, but it was even more interesting to see the interaction and banter between members of the cohort. It was evident that they were a tight group, much like a family, exchanging ideas and good natured ribbing.

After that, a few first years joined up with all of the prospective students for lunch and Q&A. It was around this time that I realized that I was the only female prospective student out of about 25. Seemed kinda funny since Wharton is 1/3 women and their applicant pool is likewise about 1/3 women. I was happy to see a couple of other women coming out of interviews while I was waiting for mine. My interview went really well. It was the most conversational interview I've had. She only asked my 3 real interview questions: walk me through your resume, what do you consider is the weakest aspect of your application, and why Wharton. Other than that, it was very chit-chatty and I probably asked more questions than she did.

I forgot to mention that Wednesday night's news was all about snow, and sure enough, it started snowing around 10:30 am (and hadn't stopped by the time I left Philly). When I was finished with my interview around 2 pm, I started checking online to see what kind of delays I'd be facing at the airport. US Air was still listing my flight as on time, but the FAA site warned of minor departure delays but significant (i.e. 5+ hour) arrival delays. Our departure time would depend on the arrival of our plane and our crew. I've done this dance with the Philadelphia airport before, so I knew I could be in for a long night.

About this time, I met the man behind Wharton's online presence, Alex Brown. He was also planning to brave the airport on route to London for HUB interviews. We figured we'd share a cab, so we plotted a strategy of hitting Pub for a beer then heading to the airport early because the snow was beginning to accumulate on the roads. He fared a bit better than I with just a two hour delay.

My flight was originally supposed to leave Philly at 8 pm EST and arrive in San Diego at 11 pm PST. Late, but not so late that I would be a mess at work the next day. I got to my gate around 7:30 pm and at that point our estimated departure was 9:40 pm. Of course, our plane was grounded in Manchester NH, and the time kept getting pushed back. Lucky for me, I made a friend in the gate area so we went and got a couple of drinks until our plane arrived around 10:30 pm. At this point, anyone on an expense account had already bailed, knowing that the flight would either be cancelled or very very late. Oh, if only I had the luxury of an expense account (at least everyone who was left had a full row of seats to themselves for the flight). We boarded the plane at 11 pm and proceeded to sit on the tarmac, taxi, de-ice, and sit on the tarmac some more until we were finally wheels up at 1 am EST. Ugh.

My new travel buddy and I had some pre-flight entertainment. There was a woman on board who was absolutely *bombed*, out of her mind drunk and/or high. Given our wait on the tarmac, even though technically we were supposed to be in our seats, the crew was cool about trips to the bathroom. However, drunk chick kept getting up and getting lost...on a pretty much empty airplane. She went to the back a couple of times, then back to her seat, then pulled her suitcase out of the overhead bin and about knocked herself out, then "charged" towards the front before being escorted back to her seat. She got up again and locked herself in the bathroom. The male flight attendents jimmied open the door and took her back to her seat again, this time forcing her boyfriend/husband to sit on the outside so she couldn't get past him. She proceeded to hit him and growl at him. It was weird and somewhat entertaining, as long as she didn't get so beligerant that we'd have to return to the gate. According to the flight attendant, the dude she was with told them that she was on anti-anxiety meds and had a few drinks at the bar. Whatever it was, she had no idea what was going on and was probably going a bit schizo. Hell, by the time we landed in San Diego around 3:30 am PST, I was a bit delirious. First song that came on the radio when I got in my car to leave the airport was "Blurry"...very appropo.

Wharton...good impression, could definitely picture myself there in the fall. Philadelphia...seems like a nice enough city, but the air traffic control needs some work so they don't get so backed up in bad weather.

Funny aside...Wharton students are some busy people. So busy, in fact, that every one I talked to had no idea that snow was in the forecast. It seems that most of them don't have time for the local news; however, judging from the number of people carrying the distinctive pink paper, they consume a lot of the world's financial news. Either that, or salmon newsprint is the hot accessory in Huntsman.

5 comments:

britchick said...

Weather, ATC and drunk woman aside, it sounds like a great trip. You really do have to be out of it to get lost in an airplane! hope you get good news on the 24th.

Atta Girl said...

Sounds good..!! Will watch out for ya...
All the Best..!!

Brad said...

Philadelphia International Airport ... I don't have anything nice to say about it :-)

kim said...

Sounds like a good trip, aside from the flight issues. Women were around 25-35% of the prospectives when I was there earlier this week - you're not alone. Hoping for good luck for you!

IceMan07 said...

Sounds quite eventful. My flight out of Philly was delayed also. This may have been good luck since I was 'flagged' by the airline to be searched....twice. More on that later in my report.