(Well, almost Friday now)
Good lord, where has my week gone? Lots of excuses for being a lazy blogger. Busy at work, traveling in back-to-back weeks, got a friend in town this week, getting some stuff together for a yard sale on Saturday, etc etc etc. Haven't had time to do laundry, much less sit down and write up my trip to Chicago (and do it justice). So I'm forcing myself to put some thoughts together, not labor too much over it, while I watch Wazzu try to beat Stanford for the third time this year and advance to the Pac-10 conference semi-finals. Go Cougs! Thomas Kelati is on *FIRE* right now, draining 3s like nobody's business. Wish I was up at the Staples Center cheering them on in person.
So, Chicago. First off, let me clarify something from my previous post. 99% is less than 100%. The remaining 1% will be decided, either by Wharton or by me, on or about March 24th. How much weight that 1% carries remains to be seen.
Until then, I'm officially undecided.
Unofficially...I really like Chicago. A lot. I would be extremely proud and happy to be headed there this fall.
[Mid-post game update...1 minute to go, Schlatter just hit a 3 to put the Cougs ahead by one. Down the court, rejection by Verum...AWESOME, Go Cougs!]
I think Chicago (both the city and the GSB) fits me well. Things just felt right there, whether I was talking to current students or fellow admits, listening to faculty, or spending a night on the town with my friends. After reading blogger reports of the Kellogg & Wharton admit weekends, I was curious to see what Chicago would do. I wasn't too surprised to find it pretty light on style, heavy on substance. No rah-rah for the sake of rah-rah here.
[Speaking of rah-rah, 17 seconds to go, WSU is down by 2....ARRGGHHHH! C'mon Wazzu!!]
The majority of activities during the day Friday and Saturday were in the format of either a panel discussion or small group discussion. IMO, we spent a little too much time seated in a conference room with too few breaks, but there's only so many ways you can disseminate that much information in two days. And at times I wondered how much of this stuff will be repeated during pre-term activities. But those were my only complaints.
[Damn, Schlatter's 3 didn't fall. Stanford wins, 60-58. Stupid Cardinal, what kinda mascot is that anyway?]
I was very impressed by the faculty who participated in the weekend. They came off as approachable, extremely intelligent, open to new ideas, excited about teaching, and ready to crack a joke at any time. Some very witty folks (I must take a class from Ann McGill). I really got a taste for the classes available and I'm stoked that the program's flexibility will allow me to explore whatever my little heart desires. From the get-go. Very cool. Plus, I'm an econ nerd at heart, so the opportunity to take a class from Nobel prize winners like Fogel & Becker...well, that just rocks. I was also very impressed by the experiential learning programs that are available (management lab, private equity lab, new venture lab/challenge).
A couple of phrases used by the faculty stood out in my mind as an apt description of the GSB. It's the "intellectual equivalent of Manhattan" where "ideas compete and people collaborate." Sounds a little grandiose, but seriously, you could feel this vibe in everything we did, and I don't think it was affected or put on. The description seemed as genuine as the people who spoke it. I got the sense that this is a program with momentum. They've got incredible intellectual capital, a great brand, a beautiful new building, and recruiting just keeps getting better.
The faculty and staff are serious about making sure their students leave the GSB with a timeless education and a toolbox ready for whatever business issue comes their way. I feel like everyone at the GSB is serious about learning, and not just focused on getting a job and having fun. Chicago definitely appeals to my intellectual side. That's not to say that these folks don't know how to cut lose and have fun. At Friday's Liquidity Preference Function, there was a variety of liquids for consumption to satisfy whatever preference you may have. And it was pretty cool to see beer pong being played in the Winter Garden. That definitely earned bonus points in my book. Everyone I met was so cool. Based on the quant jock reputation, I figured there would be some geeks/social misfits, but after this visit and my October visit, I have to say that reputation is bogus. GSBers (current & future) are smart, witty, down to earth, cool ass folks.
Byron & PowerYogi--great to meet you guys! Sorry I was a bit MIA in the evenings.
I didn't participate in any of the evening events. I didn't get a hotel; I was staying with friends from undergrad, so I wanted to save my evenings to spend time with them since it was a quick visit and my days were packed. Friday night we went to a tapas place downtown and enjoyed more than our fair share of sangria (yum). Saturday we went to a couple of bars on Southport in Lakeview, just a couple blocks from their apartment. I have to say, after the housing tour of Hyde Park, and hanging out with my friends and exploring Lakeview/Wrigleyville, I'm thinking the North Side is more my scene than Hyde Park.
All in all, a great weekend.
But I'm still officially undecided.