Tuesday, June 29, 2010

GMAT - Die or be Killed!

Hello everyone!!!!!

I have to give an great congratulations to my now good friend Brandon.  For those of you who are familiar with the contest on BeatTheGMAT.com back in February... Brandon's user name is Osirus.  As I've mentioned before he and fast became friends during the contest and have talked everyday since.  The first time he took the GMAT he scored a 680.  That was back in January and he just retook the GMAT last Thursday and scored a 730!  I'm very proud of him and he's being a source of inspiration for me.  CONGRATULATIONS!

Anyway since this is MY blog... and I'm an only child who is used to talking about myself... let's get back to me!

Tonight I studied for 3 hours.  I went through the Veritas Arithmetic book.  It's taking me longer than I originally planned.  I realize there are certain topics that I can do 100% of the time in under 1 minute with no fail.  Then on the other hand there are some things that I think I should know that I just give up on and flip to the end of the book to see the explanations.  I'll have to give myself some time before I go back to tackle those questions.  It's nothing alarming and that I shouldn't be able to sure up after some more practice.

I had to stop tonight at question 68 because my head was spinning and I was seeing stars.  No big deal...it was actually very therapeutic to start studying again.  Now... I just need to keep putting in this kind of time.  That way I'll forget what it's like to have a life.  That's really where I need to get again... to the point where I don't have a life, because that's when I felt I got the most appropriate studying done.  During the summer there is waaay too much distraction.  Once I fall off the bandwagon once, it's tough to get back on.  So with that being said... I'm going to cross my fingers and hope that I can put in the same amount of time tomorrow night.  Step by step right?

Tomorrow I think I'm going to tackle Critical Reasoning - ::biting nails::

I want to update you guys on my Digital Marketing class that I took last week.  This is the 4th class of the NYU Digital Media Marketing certificate program.  I'll save that for another time though!


Monday, June 28, 2010

5000th Visitor!!! Special Guest!

I have surpassed the 5000 visitor mark! 

It's an exciting feat for me. You guys have kept me motivated and I love the little community that we have going on here!  I actually had no idea that my blog would become as popular as it is.  It initially started out as a venue for me to record my ideas in preparation for b-school essays.  It has evolved into an online diary and you guys have been great in keeping me focused!  I know I have been missing in action lately, but I have been incredibly busy...but that's ok right?

I'll give you guys some statistics about my blog, because some people have been curious:
Total Visits - 5,395
Most Visits in 1 Day = 250 - this was the day I posted my GMAT debrief!
Top Countries = United States -> India -> Canada
Top States = New York -> Canada
Top Referring Site = www.BeatTheGMAT.com


On another note I would like to give something back to you guys for the continuous support.  Way back in one of my previous posts I received a comment from my now friend - Brett Nowak.  I think it was my Dartmouth post that caught his eye.  I don't remember the exact post and quite honestly don't feel like searching for it haha.  In any event, we bonded over the fact that he was admitted to Tuck! Yes... I'm jealous.  He and I have kept in touch since March because I think he's a great resource.

Brett Nowak - owner of www.IvyAppSuccess.com:
  • Graduated Harvard in ’03 where he played varsity hockey and started the Harvard Fly Fishing club
  • Drafted by the NHL then play professional hockey in the AHL for 2.5 years
  • After hockey, I helped build Meteor Solutions, Inc., an angle funded startup, into a profitable company as the Business Development Manager 
  • Was accepted into Tuck school of business in ‘09
  • Caught a 17lbs Steelhead on a fly rod, a big accomplishment for an obsessed fly fisher like me
  • Deferred a year from business school to start Ivy App Success and IAS Recruiting
  • Attending Tuck this fall

Aside from having another person to meet when I get back up to visit Tuck in the fall, I think he can offer all of us some incredible advice over the next couple of months.  It's nice to be able to pick the brain of a student who just went through the application process.  Last month I told Brett about my upcoming 5,000th visitor as a thank you to you guys... and to him for the advice he's given me.

Disclaimer - "I'm asked to promote a lot of things via my blog, but I feel that I should be candid about anything that I post so it does not seem like it's not genuine.  I asked Brett to answer the questions below, because for me he's been a great resource since March and I wanted to share the wealth!"

Me:  Why did you choose to start IvyAppSuccess.com?

Brett:  There were many reasons why I started Ivy App Success but initially it was because I wanted to make it easier for people to apply to business school. 
The biggest reason why most people don’t get accepted is that they don’t apply or don’t apply well. I wanted to share my knowledge and abilities with others so that they too would get accepted into top business schools (regardless of their GMAT and GPA). 
I also spent time thinking about what type of business I wanted to start and what valuable skills I had. Since I had helped people get accepted into school even before I was accepted, I was very confident that I would be a strong admissions consultant and knew that I enjoyed the work. 
This year, I will provide more tools that facilitate the application process. I’ll be writing more tutorials and providing an online application management tool to help more people finish their own great applications.

Me:  As a student who has been through this process that many of us are looking forward to ending, can you tell me what you wish you knew when you were applying?  Why?

Brett:  I wish I had spent more time picking the right schools. There are a ton of great schools out there and although I picked a great one, I could have explored my options further.
I also wish that I had applied to some schools with the goal of getting accepted and receiving a scholarship. I would have applied to two top 40 schools, possibly in a later round, with the hope that I would get a decent scholarship offer. To me, a free MBA degree from a 35th ranked school is comparable to a degree from a top 5 school that costs $180,000. I would have liked to have this option.

Me:  It seems as though there a lot of people who know they will be applying this upcoming season.  Even though applications have not come out yet, is there anything that one can do to prepare for application season?

Brett:  First, get the GMAT over and done with now. Take it twice and get a great score so that you don’t have to worry about it while you’re writing the essays and application.
Second, start to network the crap out of each school. The more people you know at or graduated from your target school the more likely you’ll get accepted. These contacts can give you valuable information on how to apply and sometimes even write in on your behalf. Reach out to them now so that you’ve built a relationship with them early. 

Me:  Let's say I'm an international applicant and did not get the best score on the Verbal portion of the GMAT nor did I score in the 50th percentile on the AWA section.  What, if anything, can I do to show competency in the English language?

Brett:  Write great essays and really practice for the interview. Take language classes or practice regularly to prepare for the interview because if you can’t communicate well in the interview, you’ll have a hard time getting accepted. Plus, this class will be a nice extracurricular activity on the application.
Then let your recommenders compensate for your poor Verbal score. Suggest to them to possibly mention things about your ability to communicate. And finally, include classes on your resume or extracurricular activities that demonstrate where you demonstrated English skills.

Me:  What's the highest GMAT score you've heard of being rejected from a top business school?  What's the lowest score you heard of that was accepted to a top business school?  

Brett:  Someone I know was waitlisted from Tuck with a 720 on his first GMAT attempt. I told him that he should take the GMAT again but he decided against it. When he talked to Adcom, they said he was waitlisted because of his GMAT score. As for the lowest, I believe there was a 580 person who got accepted into HBS last year. 

Me:  Piggybacking off of question 5 - Can you explain what a "Hollistic approach" is and how important is one's story in the application process?

Brett:  A better way to think about the “Holistic approach” is that the application process is a zero-sum competition, which means that you must beat other applicants for a set number of spots. For example, if you get a 720 on the GMAT and 500 other applicants get a 720, you are now tied with 500 other applicants for a class of 200. Therefore, to get accepted into a top school you must find areas – the holistic parts - of the application to BEAT THE COMPETITION. These are the areas that get you accepted into top business schools. 

Brett can be reached via www.IvyAppSuccess.com... You can also sign up for the newsletter which is very informative.  

Thursday, June 17, 2010

An MBA Degree makes me a what?

So guys this will be my last post forever!  Lies...  actually no...  I'm approaching a milestone so my next post... won't really be MY post!  But more to come on that later...

So the title of this post is in response to a conversation I was having with a coworker today.  She was talking about how her brother just graduated from Law School last week and he can't find a job.  While we were in the elevator going back up to the office somehow the topic of debt that people accrue from business school and how one pays it back.

She said - "yeah when you go to Law school.. you're on your way to become a Lawyer.... when you go to Medical school you're on your way to becoming a Doctor... what do become when you graduate from business school?"

I said - "you become broke from the $100k+ debt you've just accrued?"

Of course this is something that I've thought about quite frequently.  I mean for us on this business school journey, of course we need to know WHY we would like to obtain an MBA so any of us could answer that question.

Then I simplified it even further for her.  I said "We are essentially paying $100k+ to add three letters to our resume!"  I mean think about it... once we graduate from B-school, we can't call ourselves doctors or take another exam and then call ourselves lawyers...  All we can do is put our recent Alma Mater on a piece of paper (at the bottom no less), with a date and MBA.

I guess one benefit to having an MBA degree is being able to come into a new company and decide ones fate.  So this is happening to me right now at work.  So let me take you back just a little bit... long story short... I've been having discussions with the VP of my division about a promotion/title change.  In all honestly this isn't because I'm looking to go to business school and think I need it for my resume.  My resume is strong already.  This promotion/title change is long overdue.

So the VP (who knows about my MBA plans) basically told me to create my ideal position and write a job description for it and then we'll take it from there.  So I did just that... I created a Sr. position for myself, unfortunately it's not a managerial role/title because at my company they're very stingy with those.  In any event, I gave her the document two Friday's ago.  Just yesterday I went into her office at the end of the day and asked her if she had a chance to review it.  She said that she did and that she was getting thoughts on it from my new director.

Now this is where the MBA degree comes in I guess.  So my new director started in the end of April.  She has her MBA from Kellogg.  Very smart woman.  But in essence she has only known me for a short period of time so how can she really know if I'm fit for this position?  I'm not sure how this is all going to pan out, but I am hopeful.

Also, the VP doesn't know... or maybe she does know now... but before speaking to her about creating this new position, I spoke with my director and asked her if she thought it was a good idea and she did.  Keep your fingers crossed for me guys!

Friend from HBS:  On another note... do you guys remember when I visited HBS in April for the LGBT open house?  Well an interesting story about that... at the reception at the end of the Day I spoke briefly with this current 2nd year who was also in Retail as I am.  Granted he was on the buying/merchandising side, whereas I'm in digital marketing.  In any event, shortly after I got home from the event, I found him on LinkedIn and we became contacts.

So last week, a girl who left my job and went to a competitor to be e-commerce manager, updated her LinkedIn profile with her company, and I guess this HBS student saw it in his feed.  He emailed me and told me that he was now in NYC and was looking to make a contact at that company.  I was glad to make an introduction to her for him.  So I wrote the introductory email... sent it over to her and cc'ed him on it.

Then we made plans to meet for coffee since he's in Union Square.  So this past Tuesday after work I hopped on the 6 train downtown and met him at Starbucks.  It was phenomenal to get the chance to talk to him.  He was telling me how the HBS degree opens pretty much any door that you want it to but once you're in you have to be able to back it up.  So that's where he is right now...

We also talked about the schools that I want to apply too.. he said he got into HBS, Wharton, and Columbia.  The main thing that he said to me that resonates is that I should not underestimate the LGBT community at each school.  I guess I was minimizing this in my head, but the more I think about it, the more he has a point.  I mean why shouldn't he?  He just went through the whole process.  So for instance the total LGBT community (1st and 2nd years) at HBS is about 40 strong, whereas at Tuck it's about 12.  So the network one could build from HBS is incredibly stronger than that at Tuck.  In any event, I won't go more into this now, because this blog post has been all over the place.

Later Peeps...  GO LAKERS!

Sidenote - I LOVE STUDYING... finally got back into the swing of things!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ugh I knew this would happen!

This is going to be short and sweet...

I'm finding it incredibly hard to start studying again.  I've been doing random things here and there but I need to get back into the groove of things again.  Deadlines, Essays, and Applications are being released and I'm surprised that hasn't given me the kick in the butt that I need.

Summer is getting in the way.  I'm sure others out there have experienced the same thing.  I should have never stopped studying right after I took the GMAT.  I'm also feeling very guilty.  I've been fortunate enough to have every resource available come my way.  Am I taking them for granted?  I think so...

So I've made a decision that tomorrow is the day when I turn things around.  Once I start I know I'll be fine... also in all honesty I'm tired of:

thinking about the gmat,
blogging about the gmat,
talking about the gmat,
worrying about the gmat,
paying for the gmat,
looking at my gmat books,
having people (not you guys) ask me about the gmat,
hearing friends "fail" the gmat,
practicing for the gmat,

you get the idea...

Thank you everyone for the support.  It's officially crunch time because I'll be damned if I have to study for this exam concurrently as I'm completing applications.
Copyright © 2012 · museodeartecarrillogil , All rights reserved | Proudly Powered by