Friday, December 09, 2005

Stick a fork in me...

I'm done. With my first quarter of my MBA at Chicago GSB.

Yeah, its been awhile. I've been busy and lazy as far as blogging is concerned. The problem is like letting dishes or laundry pile up. You don't do them for awhile, the pile gets so big and the task so daunting that you will continue to put it off until you run out of silverware or underwear and have no other choice. Same with blogging. Each week that passed was just that much more that I needed to update. But today I'm breaking the seal with a massive post, hopefully anybody still reading this won't be too bored. Just warning you though, I will be without my laptop for about a week coming soon, so I may not make another update til Christmastime. Anyway, on to the big show....


Microeconomics: Thank god my bid for Turbo Micro failed. Topel's "baby turbo" was more than enough to keep me occupied, and I was an Econ major! In one of the first couple classes, Topel told us that his Micro class would be different than anything we might have taken before and that's just the way its done at the University of Chicago. Sure, UofC is (or has been) home to the most influential modern economists and more Nobel Laureates than you can shake a stick at, but really...could it be that different? Seemed kind of arrogant to me. Turned out to be true. Things that were taught "take it as given, no need to prove it" in my Micro classes at WSU were completely broken down by Topel. He really focused on the theoretical and the "why" behind everything. Which made for interesting lectures, but when our group got to the problem sets....what?!? Figuring out how to apply the theoretical was left completely up to us to figure out. No easy task. But excellent preparation for future classes and work. Because UofC is Econ's Mecca, most (if not all) classes have some foundational economic aspect(s). Topel's Micro was an excellent "prepare you to think like an economist so you won't get your ass handed to you in the future."

Statistics: What can be said about Stats? It's icky, it's kinda boring, it's stuff I kinda remember from undergrad but usually have to look up in a book if I'm forced to use it. It's a foundation course, it's a chore you just gotta do. I refer to my professor as the Silver Fox. Bester has a head full of silver hair, but he's only 28 years old (!) and the guy is like the damn Energizer Bunny. He has so much energy and I really don't know how he does it. My class was Thursday 6-9, and it was the last of 3 sessions he would teach in a 24 hour period, yet he still managed to keep the energy up most of the time. He made it fun because his enthusiasm for the subject (and for teaching it at Chicago GSB) was both obvious and contagious. The problem sets and midterm were pretty fair and I usually scored above the mean, but the final kicked my ass. I rarely fail to finish a test but I did last night. Not a good feeling, until I started talking to my classmates and realized that very few people finished. We'll see how it turns out.

Operations Management: I wanted to put off Accounting and Marketing til Winter quarter because (a) I only wanted to take 3 classes and I wanted one to be case based but (b) I wanted to take Marketing from McGill and she was only teaching in Winter. So I chose to take Ops Management and get a breadth requirement done. Plus, I had never done anything like it so I figured it would be an interesting and different class to balance the previously travelled roads of Stats & Micro. I ended up really liking this class, taugh by Adelman. I mean, sure, the guy does tell bad jokes that no one but him laughs at, but I think he's a darn good case discussion facilitator. This class was a nice mix of quantitative & qualitative case work, and I really enjoyed the business process simulation we did in November. Overall, it was nice to look at business from an Ops perspective, something I had never really done before.

I think I managed to pull a B average, although I won't know for another week or so. As for next quarter, I got my perfect schedule....

  • Monday: No class
  • Tuesday: Accounting with Roulstone (morning), Marketing Strategy with McGill (afternoon)
  • Wednesday: Managing in Organizations with Wittenbrink (afternoon)
  • Thursday: No class
  • Friday: Competitive Strategy with Bertrand (afternoon)

Really looking forward to next quarter, should be fun and hard.

Career Stuff

Attended the handful of presentations of companies coming to campus that interest me. I will probably participate in on campus recruiting for 6-8 companies. Other than that, I've been working on my off-campus research, collecting information from websites, trying to find alumni to contact, etc. It's kind of daunting. I'm pretty sure I will end up playing chicken with my internship...meaning most of the companies I would really like to work for do just-in-time hiring so I probably won't have an internship secured until May. Could be stressful when a lot of other people start getting their offers from on-campus stuff in February/March. I will just have to stay focused and positive. I've got some things coming up that could be very helpful. A friend and I attend the Promotion Marketing Association Law Conference here in Chicago last week. They had a couple of interesting Sports Marketing panels and I made one good contact that I need to follow up on this weekend. In addition, the Employer Development office at Chicago GSB has been working on some new relationships with professional sports teams like the Chicago Cubs and the Seattle Mariners! Very exciting stuff. I've actually been in contact with HR at the Mariners and I'm going to have an informational interview with them while I'm home for Christmas. Also, the Chicago Bulls are having a career fair with 25+ other Chicagoland sports teams and related businesses on December 20th, so I'm sticking around to attend that. It will probably be mostly for sales jobs, but it's worth a shot to go check it out and maybe make some good contacts. There's another job fair hosted by the NCAA in Indianapolis after the first of the year that I may try to attend as well.

Social/Fun Stuff/Weather

Still working out a lot and going out a lot. I love this city. I leave on Monday for a week in Vail on the Chicago GSB ski trip with about 100 of my classmates. I didn't do a Random Walk, so I'm really looking forward to a vacation and a week of pow-pow. It will probably be my only chance to snowboard this year since there is no "real" mountain anywhere near Chicago (those landfills converted to ski areas in Wisconsin don't count).

I'm attending a couple of holiday parties this weekend, and then my housemates and I are going to do family dinner Sunday night to celebrate Christmas early before we all head separate ways for the holidays. We did a full Thanksgiving dinner and had so much fun, we're going to do it again.

Last weekend, we tailgated with a bunch of friends at Soldier Field for the Bears/Packers game. We had a good time, but was cold! The weather has SUCKED. BIG TIME. Worst start to December in like 50 years for Chicago. It hasn't been above 32 degrees F since November 29th. This week, I had early morning finals on Tuesday and Wednesday and when I left my house at 6:30 am it was like 5 degrees, sub-zero with windchill. Then, last night as I'm taking my Stats final, a blizzard decided to roll in. I finished my test at 9:30 pm and had to dig my car out of 7 inches of snow. Took me about 15 minutes, then my drive home (normally 20 mintues) took 45 minutes. Plus, I have a rear wheel drive only SUV, so it's always fun to go around corners leading with the ass end of your vehicle. Fun times. My friend who used to work for UofC Law said that they never put pictures of campus in the snow in their recruiting publications because they don't want to reinforce how bad Chicago's winters are (even though campus is GORGEOUS in the snow). So, I apologize to the U of C if this post gives Chicago winter a bad name, but 2 years in San Diego made me soft and this sucks! It is supposed to warm up to the 40s this weekend so there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Now, to really make it up to any readers I have left, here are some pics from my Chicago antics the past few weeks...

Our beautiful Thanksgiving table, turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, fresh cranberries, green beans, rolls, homemade pumpkin pie...we know how to do it right! And about 2 bottles of wine per person, plus after dinner Texas Hold 'Em and Trivial Pursuit.

Tailgating at Soldier Field with 2 out of 3 of my housemates. It's about 10:30 and 20 degrees here and we are *choosing* to spend the day outside (yep, no tickets to the game but someone brought a TV and we watched the game there...crazy, I know)

Yeah, tailgating for Bears' games is WAY more fun than tailgating for Chargers' games in sunny San Diego! /sarcasm

Whiskey keeps you warm. It's a fact.
Whaddya think...should I include this in my resume drop to Jim Beam?


PowerYogi said...

Happy Holiday Wakechick !

I'll see you in two classes next Q :)

Redwolf056 said...

Just be glad you don't have to cross the midway everyday in that weather. The wind really gets you then!

The Dirty Canuck said...

whoa, she's back. i'd berate you but as you can tell from the absolute lack of anything at the toque, i had exactly the same problem last month. glad to see you enjoyed first quarter and didn't get steamrolled. most of us seem to have survive with (the majority of) our sanity intact. ps: that last picture of you is amazing. it should totally be the highlight of every resume you send out from now on.

KV said...

Wow girl! I used to think London was cold but Chicago looks REALLY cold. I’m back in Cali now and I’m way stoked...

Congrats on being done with your first term and enjoy the holidays.
Merry Christmas (my favorite time of the year...after March Madness ;-)