Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Duke Fuqua Diversity Conference = Waitlisted

On the eve of the beginning to Johnson Means Business for Cornell’s diversity conference, I’ve just received an email from Duke that I’ve been waitlisted to their diversity conference.  Now this one is not surprising to me because I submitted the application at the very last minute because I was debating on whether or not to go ahead and try to attend, but then I figured “What the hey?!”
So yeah, no surprise or disappointment there for me.  That’s the same weekend that I will be out visiting the Ross School of Business at Michigan University, for their LGBT preview day, so yeah I wouldn’t be able to attend the Duke conference anyway.  I’m going to send an email to them letting them know that I cannot attend.  It’s tough / interesting figuring out how to prioritize/navigate all of these events and conferences albiet fun.  No different from how it will be in business school when one needs to prioritize EVERYTHING!
Right now I’m on the bus up to Cornell and it’s 9:30, we should be there in about an hour and a half.  Tomorrow we have a full day of class visits... introductions..dinner.... free drinks (or lordy) and I’m not sure if anyone is going to be going out on the town, but it is Thursday, so maybe I can tag along with some folks.
You can definitely tell who on the bus is applying to business school because we’re all awake and working on our essays right now.  I know you may be saying “Um Richard... you’re typing your blogpost right now how can you be writing essays?”  Well I was actually editing my Consortium essay for Dartmouth.  I needed to do a brain dump of the newly acquired information before I forgot it all.  Now I’m going to write some thank you letters to random folks in various places of the world that I’ve been holding off on for a while because of... well the GMAT.
I’m forcing myself to stay awake because I didn’t sleep well last night and if I go to sleep now I’m going ot keep my JMB host up all night and I’m pretty sure he has class tomorrow.  I’ll be attending a Statistics class and a Strategy class, so I need to be bright eyed and bushy tailed!  I’m surprised I have been able to stay up this long, but coffee and soda will do that to you.  I also think I’m keeping some people slightly awake because I have my two individual lights on, but oh well.. “woe is them!”
I’m not sure when I’ll get to post this because the internet on the bus is sporadic, but whenever it goes live...  enjoy boys!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dartmouth Tuck Interview

Hello Hello...

So after my hellish day yesterday of a sub-par yet improved GMAT score, I drove 4 hours up to Hanover, NH to my hotel for my Tuck interview today.

I woke up in the morning and got ready and had to figure out how to get from White River Junction, VT to Hanover, NH which turned out to be only a 15 minute ride.  The weather was gloomy, but that was ok because it wasn't going to put a damper on me being at Tuck.

I arrived at Tuck about 30 minutes before my the class visit/campus tour began and couldn't find parking right near campus but luckily I had given myself enough time to figure out where to park.  So I drove to the parking lot and waited for the campus shuttle to arrive.

I went into the admissions reception area and waited.  I wanted to sit in the same seat that I sat in the last time I visited, but had no such luck.  That spot was taken!  The atmosphere was much different FROM the last time I visited.  When I visited in March there were not as many applicants doing their interviews, which makes sense since it was R4 when I visited last.  I would say there was about 12 of us in the reception area.  Some people in the group already had their interviews for the day but most of us had later interviews.

Ok so the format was identical to my last visit.  The first item on the agenda was a class visit.  I sat in a Leading Organizations class which was very insightful.  It was a T'12 (first year) class.  This class session went over organizational heirarchy and when one would know that it's not functioning properly and how to remedy the issue...essentially.  Of course there's more to it but I was too busy observing the students.  Different from the last class visit, these students didn't have their laptops open.  I guess you don't really need a laptop open when discussing organizational heirarchy, whereas the last time I sat in on an accounting class and I guess students kind of need their spreadsheets on hand.

In any event, after the class visit it was lunch with a student time.  We didn't sit in the main section of Bryne hall but we sat in the Executive section which is an offshoot from Bryne hall.  Sandwiches, brownies, cookies, chips, and soda are things we ate.  While sitting here with the student I only asked one question and let the other folks get their questions in.  The question I had pertained to something that I heard from an admissions officer at the Tuck Reception back in September.  The element I speak of is becoming a larger part of my "Why Tuck" answers, and I wanted to get some clarification from the student about it.

After lunch with a student it was time for the Campus tour.  Nothing new for me here... it's still the same campus!  Our student guide who is a T'11 (meaning he will graduate in 2011) was more than willing to offer any information about Tuck that he could.  He exuded campus pride and it was obvious that he loved being there....Classroom.... Classroom.... Student Residences (which are still amazing)...gym.....dining hall... etc etc like I said... Same buildings that I've seen before.  (I can give that campus tour!  ;-)

So then after that was the Admissions Q&A... I could only stay for this section for about 10 minutes because I wanted to go back to the reception area to look over my resume again before my interview.  I knew going into it that the interviewer would have only seen my resume, so I made sure that I know it back and forth.  I recommend that everyone do this because you may have forgotten things you did back in 2005 or so and you will definitely be asked to 'Walk me through your resume,' which was the first question I was asked by the T'11 student interviewer.

The interview itself was very conversational and I didn't feel nervous at all.  I got tripped up on one thing because I had never been asked it before so I didn't have an example readily available, but that's alright because he wasn't trying stump me or trick me he was just curious, but I got through it.  All in All I give my interview an A, but then again from what I heard all of the prospectives students who interviewed today would probably give themselves the same grade!

After my interview I met up with a Tuckie whom I've been conversing with since March of last year during my visit.  I needed his help with one of my essays and he was glad to do so.  I will explain more in the coming months, what I needed his help with, but for now just know that he helped me.

Then I had about 3 hours to kill before meeting with another Tuckie whom I met last year and have also kept in contact with.  I drove around Hanover and the surrounding towns, looking for a Burger King.  I was craving Chicken Fries, but much to no avail, I did not find one!  I also bought a $15 sweater in the Gap.  Funny story about this... So I have a Tuck T-shirt from an information session I attended the day of my first GMAT Exam on May 8th.  I was wearing it after I left campus and was driving around and walking around Hanover.  (Wearing the T-shirt had something to do with my essay... don't ask..)  Anyway I was in the Gap looking for a maroon/red sweater for my trip up to Cornell.  When I got to the register the woman said "Do you want to save 30% today by opening up a card?"  I said "Yes to the first question of saving 30% but no to opening up a card because in the long run it will end up costing me more than 30%."  She laughed and said "...You Tuck students are always calculating money."  I just smiled and didn't correct her haha....

So then I went back to campus to meet up with my friend in the dining hall.  We met at 6 in Stell hall and then walked over for coffee.  We talked about everything under the sun.  His internship... my application process... his living situation.... etc etc blah blah... Then about 45 minutes into it another Tuckie whom I've only spoken to on the phone about digital marketing showed up and sat with us.  It was nice to meet her in person and her and my friend are good friends on campus.  We talked for another 30 minutes and then he had to go to class and I had to hit the road to come back to good ol'e Manhattan.

I just got home not to long ago... and now I'm laying in bed...  My rental car has to be back by 2pm tomorrow but since I parked on the street across from my building I have to move it by 8am.  I think I'm going to pack up some of my belongings and drive them home - since I'm moving back home to Jersey next week.  In order to get that done and stay on that schedule I have to be up in 5 hours.  No worries though... the only things I have to do tomorrow are unpack my things from my Dartmouth trip... iron... steam... repack... and then be at the Cornell Club by 6 so I can catch the bus up to Cornell for Johnson Means Business.

I'm a busy busy bee this week!

Monday, October 25, 2010

620 GMAT Score 38/38 :-/

So I'm not going to give a big long debrief because A.) I'm bummed and B.) I'm exhausted from driving 5 hours up to New Hampshire.  I made it up there in good time, but after running around the last couple of days I'm pooped.

But as the title suggests...much to many people's surprise, I took the GMAT today and scored a 620.  Some people (not people who are in schools I want to be in) are saying that they would kill for a 620.  Me... I'm thinking "I want to die because of the 620!"  Not really.. it's not THAT serious, but it kind of is!  So this was my second time taking it and I felt fine going into it.  I didn't put much thought or time into my two essays, so I wouldn't be surprised if I got a 4 or 4.5.

The essays are not what threw me off.  The first two quant problems put me off kilter.  I don't even remember what the first one was, but I do remember guessing.  Then I got the second one which was a very easy conversion problem and I didn't that one correct either.  Some people may be asking, "How do you know if you got them correct?"  Well if I got them correct, then they can be marked off as lucky guesses because that's exactly what I did.  Then I just felt dumb for the next couple of questions until I got into my groove.

Needless to say the GMAT saga is not over and I plan to take my next and last attempt as soon as possible.  I cannot study for another 2/3 months.  That's just not going to happen.  My brain can't take any more.  Every single day for a year I've had to think about this exam it's so draining.  So to anyone out there who may be contemplating business school.  Just take the exam as soon as possible and get over the hurdle.  It's a necessary evil.

So now, I'm going to have to do what I wanted to avoid - study while writing essays.  I have to get my applications in by January 5th so this is going to be a very lonely holiday season for me because I will need to study and write essays throughout.  It can be done though!  It must be done!  It will be done!

On the flipside of things - at least I did improve by 40 points and I'm closer to my goal of an 80% range. I know what I need to do for the next time.  I will not be scheduling a date ahead of time.  I've exhausted all practice exams and I will not waste 3 hours in a day taking practice exams.  Timing for me is not the issue... it's content.. and not even the hard content...the easy  content.  I knew the content well when I was scoring in the mid 40's range so once I'm comfortable knowing all of the easy content, then I will schedule my exam.  It won't be hard for me to get back to that point.  I think I simply missed my peak this time around.  I need to peak the day of my exam and I overshot it by a couple of weeks.

Whatever, no excuses needed.  I know what I need to do... and I shall do it.  At this point what's there to lose?  I will say that the lowest score I thought I would get was a 640 so I just hung my head down in shame when I saw a 620 then went to the bathroom and let out a couple of curse words - may have punched something (myself), and then got it together.

On a lighter note.... I'M UP IN HANOVER!  Well technically I'm in White River Junction, Vermont.  Dartmouth is about 15 minutes from here, and I'm just laying in bed relaxing!  Tomorrow is my class visit/campus tour/INTERVIEW.  I'm looking forward to it.

I also reached out to a couple students I know up there to see if they wanted to meet up with me.  I'll be meeting up with one student whom I met last March and kept in touch with.  I'm excited to hear what he's been up too.  He knows what I've been up too!  I also reached out to the Tuckie who was at the Reaching Out Conference.  I'm going to meet him in between two of his classes because I need a favor from him pertaining to one of my essays.

On that note - I'm going to sleep because I'm exhausted!

Friday, October 22, 2010

GMAT Test Practice + Life + Conferences = Hectic(ocity)

It's been a while since I've given an update but I'm going to keep this short because I need to get back to studying...

How have I been fairing on my studies?  Well I just finished a set of 32 RC questions.  I got 5 incorrect, but... 4 of the incorrect answers were on the first passage.  I blame the 2 hours of Jersey Shore that I watched before beginning to study.  After those four I only got 1 wrong out of the next 33 that I did.  That's amazing for me and works very nicely with my 17/17 CR the other night.  I just need to keep this up.  My main focus is going to be to make sure I remember the basics in Quant.  My floor needs to be higher and the only way it will be higher is if I remind myself to not make stupid mistakes and to check my work and not spend too much time on any one question.

I've been doing Quant and Verbal every single night!  My scores have not been terrible and my practice exams have been after a 9 hour work day.  I only have internet at home sporadically because I'm stealing it from neighbors.  That's a story for another day!  Here's my upcoming schedule though...

Saturday - Wake up... study Quant, Quant, Quant.  Pick up my dry cleaning.  Then go to work, not to do work, but to take my 2nd GMAT prep practice test.  Come home and then alternate RC / Quant, break, then CR / Quant, break and MAYBE go to my friends housewarming party in Hoboken for a couple hours.  I will NOT be drinking...ok if I do go... ONE beer will not hurt, and I will be coming home early because I have an early day on Sunday.

Sunday - Wake up... go to La Guardia airport to pick up my rental car.  Then at 4pm I'm going to my tutor.

Monday - Drive up to Dartmouth!!!!  I'll probably get up there around 11pm.  I hope I don't get lost on the way up there!  Then check into the hotel.

Tuesday - Dartmouth self-initiated interview/ class visit/ campus tour.  My interview is at 2:15 and I sent them my resume today.  I've been asking friends who have already had their interviews, what it's like and they said that it's very laid back.  Then after my interview, hopefully I'll get to meet up with some of the Tuckies I'm friends with and maybe take them out to an early dinner or coffee for helping me.  Then I drive back home and drop off the car back at La Guardia and come home and pack.  Pack for what you ask?

Wednesday - 6:30pm, I have to be at the Cornell Club in Midtown Manhattan, to hop on the Cornell bus.  I'm going up to Johnson Means Business a day early!  The event starts early in the morning on Thursday, so it's better to get there the night before.  I'll be hosted with a current student, who ironically I met when I was out in California for the Reaching Out Conference.  Funny how things work out huh?  ;-).  He also told me that there's a Halloween party that weekend and that I'm more than welcome to attend.  I'm not even thinking about what I would want to be, but if I decide to be anything, I'll get the costume on Wednesday.

Thursday - Johnson Means Business

Friday - Johnson means Business

Saturday - Johnson Means Business, and then I'm taking the greyhound bus to NYC at 5:30.  So I'll get home around 11pm and probably just pass out.  NYC is going to be pandemonium on Halloween, so I'd rather not be involved.

Sunday - Start packing up my room... I'm moving back to New Jersey.  I haven't reserved the truck or anything yet, but I have to be out of my apartment by November 2nd.  I'm sad to be leaving NYC, but it will be good to pay off credit cards, and save money for business school, since I won't have a steady income for two years!

So yeah... that's the update... hope you enjoyed it... I'm going back to studying!!!  Later Peeps!

IT GETS BETTER: Tagline against Gay teen suicide

Yes my blog is about my road to business school and I will not divert from that, but I just read an article about another gay teen who has taken his life due to bullying and I felt compelled to write a note to any teenager out there struggling with their sexuality.

Coming off the heels of such an empowering weekend at the Reaching Out Conference in LA, it's breaking my heart to have to here these stories about LGBT Youth taking their lives.  So this post is in memory of all of the teens who have taken their lives in the last two months (Sept 2010 and Oct 2010)

Seth Walsh - 13 yrs old
Asher Brown - 13 yrs old 
Caleb Nolt - 14 yrs old
Billy Lucas - 15 yrs old 
Justin Aaberg - 15 yrs old
Felix Sacco - 17 yrs old 
Cody Barker - 17 yrs old
Justin Lacey - 18 yrs old
Tyler Clementi - 18 yrs old
Corey Jackson - 19 yrs old
Aiyisha Hassan - 19 yrs old
Zach Harrington - 19 yrs old
Raymond Chase - 19 yrs old 
Alec Whitney Henricksen - 19 yrs old
My Friend - 21, who took his life last year

No matter what anyone tells you...it gets better!  I've been through your situation and it sucks but do not let ANYONE push you to the point where you take your own life no matter how bad it gets.  Let it be something that makes you stronger not weaker!  If I were to say that 99.9% of us have been through what you're going through it may be an understatement, which is why we're all so touched by your stories.

I've been bullied and tripped in middle school while being called a homo.  I've been embarrassed in science class because a girl yelled out "Richard are you gay?" with malicious intent.  I've been on the bus and been called a faggot, because some kid thought that would make him cool.  I know how you feel and you feel about 1 inch tall and feel as though there's no reason to live.  It's something that's awkwardly tough to stomach because people are not attacking your clothes or intellect.  They're attacking the most core part of you, something that in most cases you haven't come to terms with yourself yet.

Trust me when I say... WE as a community know how you feel.  This is not to say that I know how one could actually go through with committing suicide, but, I do understand the process with which one

We've been there, but IT GETS BETTER!  I know I know it sucks to say that It Gets Better, because it should already be better for you.  If there was one thing that my 28 yr old self could tell my 12 and 13 yr old self it's that THING'S WILL GET BETTER IF YOU ARE ALIVE TO EXPERIENCE THEM!  I'm glad I'm alive to experience them!  :-)

To LGBT Friends, Families, and other Allies - TAKE A STAND!  If you hear of any homophobic remarks of any sort in a malicious manner, EVEN WHEN THERE IS NO ONE WHO IDENTIFIES AS LGBT IN THE GROUP, SPEAK UP!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Columbia Business School ALSO told students...

So thanks to a blog reader, this link was recently posted in response to my last post about Columbia Business School students and I wanted to share it this go around...

Click the hyperlink to see what  else Columbia Business School told their students!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Columbia Business School told students...

For the next couple of days I will NOT be spending time updating my blog.  I'm taking a sabbatical for the time being.  I do plan to post articles and other things sent to me just to keep the GoogleBot reading my page for organic ranking purposes!

Click the hyperlink to see what Columbia Business School told students!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Reaching Out Conference: Pre-Arrival

The good news is that I've just finished packing for the Reaching Out Conference in LA!  

The "bad" news is that the van to take me to the airport comes in three hours!  I realized that I had to do laundry because I forgot to include a couple of things in my original list.

I'll be flying out of Newark airport.  I know that a lot of New Yorkers prefer to fly out of Laguardia or JFK, but since I'm a New Yorker by way of New Jersey, I prefer Newark.  I consider THAT to be MY airport!

So now is when I start debating whether or not I should just stay up for three hours and then sleep on the way there, in the airport, and on the plane half way until they serve breakfast.  Or if I should take a quick nap and hope that I don't oversleep.  Luckily the van will be at my door and they have my cell phone number, so hopefully if that's the case, I would hear my phone, but you never know.  

Honestly, at this point I'll probably opt for the first option.  

I'll be rooming with two people whom I connected with online through conference references.  Definitely a great way to cut costs...  So what will occur at this conference?  Well here is the agenda for the Reaching Out Conference.

Let's just say that it's going to be incredibly fun!

The conference is mainly for MBA students and professionals, but there are about 20 pre-mba students (myself included) who will also be in attendance.  A great thing about the conference is that it's mainly organized by 2nd year MBA students.   I've met a handful of them.  Two are 2nd year Tuckies, one of whom I met when I visited in March.  The other one I was introduced to a couple weeks ago by the Tuckie whose going away (from NYC) party I attended.  Another organizer is the gentleman that I reached out too who goes to Cornell.

They suggested that the pre-mba students get together before the reception tomorrow at 8, so I sent an email to all of the pre-mba's to see if they wanted to meet up for dinner.  I'll be arriving at the hotel around 1 and then will check into the room and study a bit.  I have a whole host of homework to get done, and I know that later in the day I won't be able too.  From 4-6 I'll be volunteering which may entail helping to set up... or helping to register folks in.  There are two reasons I chose to volunteer.  The first reason is because I figured it would be a good networking opportunity before the conference officially starts.  The second reason is because instead of the $99 registration fee the fee for volunteers is $75.

So on that note, I'm going to watch a CNBC Original about the life of garbage!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

GMAT Sentence Correction & more

Hello everyone... very quickly because I have to go to sleep.

Today, I took the crosstown bus to work and I was doing Sentence Correction on the bus.  Yes!  Believe it!  I was THAT guy doing GMAT work on public transportation.  Oh well, I don't care...X years post business school I'll be doing work in the back of my Maybach!  ;-)  Work was very hectic today.  I'm still playing catch up after being out last friday, so I'm going in tomorrow around 7:30 so I can try to get caught up and then get ahead before heading off to LA for the weekend for the Reaching Out conference.  Although tomorrow I do have a 6 hour training session on some business objects thing-a-ma-jig so that should be "fun".

After work, I hopped on the subway and headed down towards WTC to go to the Goldman Sachs building where UC Berkeley Haas was having their information session.  I got there just as the presentation was beginning.  I was VERY impressed with the presentation and when the list of recruiters came on the screen I nearly threw up - mainly because I saw Google and Apple... well mainly Apple.  I think Google needs to work on their marketing a bit.  Hhmm.. maybe that's why I should work there... to help them work on that.  Anyway I digress....

I left the info session a bit early because the representative was talking about scoring in range on the gmat.  The range is 680-760 and I thought to myself "well.. sitting here will not help me score in range so let me go home and study..."  So I hopped back on the subway... did 10 more sentence correction problems and came home.  Once home I did 20 more sentence corrections.

I've been out of the sentence correction game for a while now.  Just getting back into it recently.  I did all of the SC's in the purple OG review guide.  Out of the 113 problems I got 27 incorrect.  I was surprised I still knew a lot of information.  I did see a trend in what I was missing so now I know how to hone in on those topics.  Or rather... have my tutor drill the concepts into my head.

After studying... I started packing for the conference and then looked at the agenda.  I honestly think that this weekend will be the best weekend of my life!

In any event, it's time for me to go to sleep.  Tomorrow I have a tutoring session and I'm slightly scared at what he's going to throw at me.  Actually no... let me rescind that statement.  My TUTOR should be worried about what I'm going to throw at him!  I have a list of a lot of math problems that I do not fully understand quite yet.

Until next time... Battle-Baxter = OUT

Monday, October 11, 2010

4 New Posts Hyperlinks!

So because I just made four posts this evening and I know I get a good amount of direct load traffic, I just wanted to put the four links in one main spot for people to navigate with.  I have a backlog of posts and hopefully two guest posts coming down the pipeline, so that I can focus on studying and not blogging.  That's guest posters (if you're reading this).

Business School Application Process - Progress

Free Business School Branding Guide - Stacy Blackman

NYU Diversity Conference Day 3

NYU Diversity Conference Day 2


Business School Application Process - Progress

This is my last post of the night!  I had to purge my brain of all that has transpired in the last couple of days and now this is the final post.  I have to give you all an update on how I have been doing!

I'll go in chronological order.

1.  Tomorrow - UC Berkeley Haas is having an information session at the Goldman Sachs building downtown.  It was either I attend that or an HBS event and since I've visited HBS and haven't had that much interaction with Haas, I'll be down there in the Goldman Sachs building.

2.  Wednesday - I'll be meeting with my tutor so he can drill some more information into my thick skull!  It's been a while since I've seen him so I'm anxious to get there so we can pick up where we left off.

3.  Thursday - I'll be flying to Los Angeles for the Reaching Out conference or ROMBA as it's called.  I'm uber excited to get down/out there and network with other LGBT students, professionals, and prospective students.  I haven't been to LA since I was about 12.  Clearly these circumstances are much different but it should be a great time!  I'll be sharing a room with two people thankfully!  That hotel is NOT cheap!  I plan to write essays on the plane - deadline is Nov 15th and that's still the one I am aiming for!

4.  Next Monday - Lots and lots of GMAT material to study

5.  Next Tuesday - I'll be meeting with my tutor again!

6.  Next Wednesday - Lots and Lots of GMAT material to study!  DRILL BABY DRILL!

7.  Next Thursday through Monday - Same

8.  Following Monday - Drive up to Dartmouth.

9.  That Tuesday - Dartmouth Interview and drive back to NYC.

10.  That Wednesday - hop on the bus up to Cornell for the diversity weekend through Saturday

Oh throw in writing essays in there wherever there's free time!  So that's the outlook for the rest of my October.  I don't have any free time but that's ok.  It's great preparation for business school.  First year at least...

Free Business School Branding Guide - Stacy Blackman

As I stated previously in the last contest post, I'll be transparent and say that I was offered a branding guide from Stacy Blackman consulting.  I think it was an offer for all bloggers but I like to think that it was just for your truly!  But... being the kind person that I am there are two other branding guides out there for the taking!  I don't think that I need three identical ones, so this is for you... and you...

Here is a snippet from the website about the guide:

"Successful business school applicants know how to effectively market themselves to admissions committees. This guide provides insight into how an admissions committee operates and helps you construct a marketing campaign that will resonate. Chock full of brainstorming exercises and practical tips, our branding guide is a perfect first step in developing a winning application strategy."

This contest question is going to be a hard one because I think the other one was too easy!  Also, YOU MUST POST THE ANSWER AS A COMMENT!

Question:  When was I first introduced or did I meet my GMAT tutor and under what circumstances was it?  
Hint -  March < Date in question < July

NYU Diversity Conference Day 3

Ok so NYU Diversity Conference Day 3 started off with... yup you guessed it... breakfast!

This time we were upstairs on the 5th floor sitting at tables and not in the reception area downstairs.  I got there around 9:30 and talked with people until about 10 when the event was to start.  It was funny because we were sitting with a current student during breakfast just talking about life in NYC.  She was amazed that we could order food from the grocery store and have it delivered to our houses.  Then she was like "yeah and some people have maids!"  I'm like... "I have a cleaning lady..."  and she's like "yeah see that's what I'm talking about."  and I'm like "but she's not a maid... I mean she cleans the apartment from top to bottom and does my laundry, but she's not a maid."  and then someone else sitting at the table said "I have a cleaning lady too..."  and another person said "Me too...and I'm addicted to ordering groceries!"  That's how the conversation went, but to us who live here it wasn't anything new or uncommon.  

Anyway - I digress...  So after breakfast there was an informal speaker just about things to get involved in at Stern and the student life.  This was for about an hour.

Then we went upstairs and sat in groups of 4/5 with a current student to go over our 60 second pitches!  Now this was incredibly helpful!  It's amazing how people interpret what your saying in a completely different way from what you originally intended!  I definitely need to practice my 60 second pitch.  Basically what you want to get across is:

Where you want to be -> what you've been doing up until now/background -> How an MBA will get you to where you want to be.  Someone in the group would go... and then the rest of us would make comments and so on and so forth.  Great exercise!

After the 60 second pitch practice was the mock admissions committee.  This was very interesting... So all 80/90 or so of us sat in a classroom with a mock application in front of us.  Upon reading the application we were to vote on whether we would Interview - Waitlist - Deny the candidate.  In the packet they gave us the following:

- Mean gpa/gmat scores for Stern Class of 2011
- "her" resume
- "her" transcript
- "her" 2 letters of recommendations
- "her" 2 essays

Initially the majority of the class (myself included) voted to interview her.  I read the application wanting to know more about the candidate.  So then we all started commenting on the pro's and con's of the application.  This is where it got interesting and because of this exercise I have a new found respect for admissions officers.  Just picture 40 people raising their hands emphatically tearing about this "poor girls" application.  Then picture 40 people raising their hands to defend the application.  Great points were brought up by both groups...  by the end of the sessions more people had switched their votes to waitlist this candidate.  I kept my vote the same because I still wanted to know more.  

It was an eye opening experience to hear people's comments about what some would consider minor things in an application.  I can't remember all that was said, but I have the takeaways and notes that I will be taking into account for my application.  A couple of comments made me say "damn that was harsh" but hey... everyone has a different perspective.

After this mock admissions committee it was lunch time with a Stern Alum!  I ended up sitting at a table with someone I've met before.  I met him last year at a Stern LGBT Reception.  I think it was last October actually.  I won't go into detail about what we all spoke about, because I'm tired of typing right now.  It was good though lol... 

So this was the last part of the Diversity conference but AHBBS was coordinating a night out at Tillmans on 26th street.  So as all of us prospectives were saying goodbye to one another we kept asking each other if we would see each other later that night at Tillmans.  So I went home... took a nap...took a shower... and then went down to meet everyone.

I will leave the rest of the nights events up to the imagination, but let's just say that there was a lot of Facebooking w/ current and prospective students and picture taking!  It was a blast!

One particularly funny thing happened though.  So one of the kids that was sitting at my table the day before at lunch (remember that omg you know so and so conversation?) Well he's now a friend of mine.. so when I was adding him to Facebook we saw that we had a friend in common.  Yeah so the friend we have in common is the girl that I met and talked to in the train station at Yale back in February!  Remember?  Which is also the day when I met my two friends at Ross!  Apparently they went to high school together in DC!  Small world....

So yeah... I have one more blog post to write tonight and then I have to write my essays. 

NYU Diversity Conference Day 2

Sorry to write this post so late, but things have been hella crazy and I'm going to write all of the blog posts tonight in order to catch up.

So first thing's first... This blog post is about Day 2 of the NYU Diversity conference...

The first item on the agenda was breakfast!  You know I love me some free food!  I got to the Kaufman building and went into the reception area.  I said hi to a couple of newly found friends and got my food and sat with three other prospective students and chatted with someone on the admissions committee.  It was very informal even though we were all dressed formally for the AHBBS conference later.  The conversation with the admissions officer wasn't all about school and such, but it was also about life in general.  Every one of the admissions staff is very nice and hospitable.  Also... they are "regular" people who just happen to hold people's fates in their hands!  ;-)  But no it was a great conversation... and then I was talking with another guy who tapped me on the shoulder on Day 1 and mentioned that he reads my blog!  (Hi N_____ if you're reading this).

He and I were exchanging war stories about the application process and different campus visits we've attended.  It's nice to hear all of my thoughts echoed by others.  ESPECIALLY about how expensive the process is!

In any event, after the breakfast it was time to go to a mock class.  We were split into two groups.  Group A (my group) attended a mock economics class and Group B (not my group) attended a management class.  Sidenote - economics is called Firms & Markets at Stern.  So the professor was Professor Askor and yeah the list of his credentials is very long!  Being an economics major in college I was excited for this class.  Maybe excited isn't the operative word, but intrigued at how it would be different from my undergraduate class.

We played a game during the class illustrating how markets are formed where he split the class into two groups and handed out envelopes with a price on it.  One group was the buyer group and the other group was the seller group.  We had to buy 1 unit of "something."  So long story short... I had $200... so when a seller yelled out that they would sell 1 unit for $80 I said... "I'll buy it for $80"  Now that person selling for $80 probably made money on the transaction if they had a $60 unit.  But I didn't care because I made $120, so my margin was higher than theirs.  We didn't actually find out which group won at the end but we did see the transaction price converge around $100, which was the goal.  Supply and Demand baby!

After the mock class we went to the AHBBS conference.  The lunch was great and was in the student center.  Here is a picture of the view from the student center...

Sitting at the table was good times.  It was weird because somehow everyone at the table of say 8/9 people knew everyone or someone that someone else knew in some capacity.  Yeah I know that's a lot of one's, someone, etc etc blah blah you know what I mean.  Picture a scene out of a movie (i don't know what movie) where someone says "oh i'm from X" and then someone else says "Oh Do you know so and so?"  and then they say "yeah... we did such and such together..." and the other person says "yeah I met him/her at such and such while we were doing such and such..." and then someone else says "did i hear you say you were at such and such place?  i know someone who was there... do you know so and so?"  and the other person says "Omg yes! i met him/her when I was there and then we all did this...we lived across the hall from one another!"

But yeah that's practically how lunch went and then it was time to go to the ABBHS conference.  Long story short there were 8 speakers talking about diversity in the workplace and how to navigate it and be successful.  There were many great takeaways from this conference, which also included current students.  All in all it was about 5 hours.

After the conference us prospectives into another room so we could ask question about financial aid and admissions.  Now I will say that the group of people I was in had great questions.  Many of which I would not have come up with myself.  T'was very insightful!

Then it was on to the happy hour!  If the drinks are free guess what... I'll take three!  I didn't really take three but I did have two!  While walking over I was talking with another prospective student who said he reads my blog too!  When we got to the bar we were talking about how we would see one another again at the Cornell diversity conference in a couple weeks!

Apparently, there was another after party at another bar later and I was debating on whether or not to go to that but decided against it.  I actually met a friend uptown at a bar near my apartment, and then headed over to Therapy to meet two other prospective students because we wanted to go to hhmm how shall I say it?  A bar with familiar surroundings!  ;-)  This bar is a staple in Hells Kitchen (area I live) and true to form, I ran into some friends who were hanging out, so we sat with them and danced and drank.  I cut myself off because I knew I had an early morning and did not want to feel crappy.

Of course we ended up at a diner but I was in bed by 2am and not drunk at all - thankfully!

Ok... time to write Day 3

Friday, October 8, 2010

Free GMAT Practice Questions Winner is...

Caroline can you email me so I can forward your email onto the folks at BTG?!  Thank you...

As for everyone else, I have another contest that I'll be posting later tonight.  I got another prize that I can give away.  It's not GMAT related, but it's definitely admissions related!

I didn't know I would get as many responses as I did for this contest, so the next one will be harder!!!

Ok... I'm off to the NYU Diversity conference... Day 2!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

NYU Diversity Conference Day 1

So... today was the first day of the NYU diversity conference.  As I lay here on my bed I figured I would write an update before going to sleep.  I'm going to write it as the days events happened...

First I went to work haha.  Unlike a lot of the people, about 50% of people are not from the tri-state area, I live only a couple of subway stops from NYU.  So I got to the Kaufman building around 4:30.  Upon picking up my name badge I was told that I look familiar, by someone from NYU.  I said "yeah I've been here last year for a marketing event."  They said, "Oh yeah.. and your last name is unforgetable."  I smiled and thought to myself "Thanks mom and dad!"  If you guys don't know, my last name is Battle-Baxter.  Battle is my moms last name and Baxter is my dads last name.  It just happens to flow.  Say it outloud and you'll see...  Richard Battle-Baxter.  If you throw in my middle name it sounds even cooler...  Richard Alvin Battle-Baxter.

Anyway, upon arriving I was escorted into a reception area with soda, coffee, and some snacks.  I met a couple of cool people.  You know how that goes.  Initially everyone is standing in a small group of 3/4 asking the standard questions - "What do you do?"  "Where are you from?" "What other schools are you looking at?"  Just have these answers ready because you will be asked them by other prospectives at every event you attend.

So then after the little hour long reception we went upstairs to the 11th floor and sat at tables for an introductory speech to the weekend.  I noticed that there were about 100 prospective students there.  Actually, I think it was closer to 90.  So after that speech it was time for ice breakers.  It was similar to musical chairs in that each table was given a scenario ie. "You are the owner of a restaurant and have to come up with a dish that represents NYU."  or "You are an olympic planning committee and you are to come up with a city and new sport for the next olympics!"  The games were fun and interactive and allowed us to meet a whole bunch of people we probably wouldn't have met otherwise.

Then after the ice breakers it was DINNER TIME!  Dinner was only across the hall but it was a complete 180 from where we were previously.  It was as if we were at a 5 star restaurant!  I sat at a table with my friend Jessica and we had two current students sit with us, as well as the director of admissions, Issor Gallagay.  I personally love 3 course meals.  We had a nice appetizer.... steak and potatos....this amazing cupcake...and coffee. Oh... do not let me forget to mention that the wine was flowing!  My glass was never empty and at one point I said to the person next to me.. "they really want us to get drunk don't they?"  which was funny because then the waiter echoed my comments as he refilled my glass.

One of the best parts of dinner was listening to the Dean speak.  Being a minority himself, he could really relate to the positions that we were all in.  If I tried to begin to mention all of the accolades of this dean, I would write a 9 paged book.  He's phenomenal and has this hhmm... ora... about him.  The dinner conversation was great.  It's always nice to hear from current students, but this time it was different.  I think maybe because we were sitting at the table for so long and the personalities of the two current students assigned to our table, we got a lot of great insight into the Stern experience.

After dinner we were lead downstairs into the basement for Beer Blast which was dubbed Sangria Blast for the evening.  From what I understand this event occurs every Thursday and is open to all Sternies.  So we get down there and it's hot because there were so many people, but it was fun!  I saw a couple of my friends who go to Stern and talked to them for a bit.

An coincidental thing happened though, which in hindsight is not too surprising considering my past experiences.  So one of the students who was sitting at my table saw me at Beer blast and told me to come find her after I got my drink.  So I did, and she introduced me to the two people she was talking too.  One of the guys told me who he used to work for and I'm like... Oh did you work in Ohio?  He said yes.  So I asked "do you know ________ and _______?"  He's like "oh I love _______ and yes I know ________ and (Current student sitting at my table) knows him too!"  I thought that was weird so I turned to her and said "How do you know ________?"  She said "I grew up with him!"  I thought that was weird because I grew up with him.  We played soccer together since we were very young and I had never met her.  So I said.. did you live in Old Bridge?  And she said "No... our parents grew up together in Nigeria so we've know each other forever!"  I was like "wow... what a small world?"  Now if you guys are wondering who this person we were talking about is... Well.. he's my friend who is now at Duke Fuqua!  You know... This Guy!

With that being said - and I could have said much more - I'm going to go to sleep.  I have a very long day tomorrow and I'd rather not be tired.  Plus I'm excited to get to wear my new custom suit that I got last month!  Not sure which shirt I'm going to wear with it, but I'm sure I'll figure it out in the morning!


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

GMAT Practice Questions FOR FREE! Riddle me this...

To my surprise I've won free BeatTheGMAT practice questions account.  The only thing is that I already have an account, so I emailed the kind folks over at BeatTheGMAT to see if I could give away this prize to  someone who doesn't already have one!  They responded with a kind YES!

If you're unfamiliar with how I won it just read my post about the $100k Giveaway.  So the good thing about this is that it has a $99 value, even though I think it's worth more because of the knowledge gained.  But hey whatever's clever.

So to get this "prize" is very simple although it might involve some digging into prior posts.  The first person to leave a comment with the closest guess to the following question shall reap the benefits.  Then all I will need is your email address so I can send it over to the BTG folks.

What was the comment that I overheard a girl say as I was getting my picture taken the day of my first GMAT?  Hint - it's in a post from May and is quite obvious!

B-school Essays + Insomnia = Productivity

So because my sleep schedule is all screwed up right now, I am awake at 4am again.  The thing is... I AM getting the proper amounts of sleep.  I'm just getting the sleep at not so common times.  But this has been my MO since high school.  I feel that I should go to sleep when I am tired and not when it's "time to go to sleep."  If I'm laying in bed trying to go to sleep my brain starts racing thinking about the things that I could be getting done.  I see no reason to lay in bed for an hour and a half with my eyes closed trying to go to sleep.  Not right now when I could be getting so much done.

So needless to say over the past 2 days I have gotten about 14 hours of sleep.  So that's great 7 hours/day!  So leave me alone and let me do me!  I'm used to my sleep craziness and I've learned to work with it.  With that being said... I've been awake for a couple hours now and I did the last 20 or so Reading Comp passages in the Blue Book Verbal Guide.  I only got 4 incorrect Woop Woop!

Then I did 42 quant problems.  The last problem solving questions in the Official Guide!  Those are HARD.... I definitely need to go through those again because my hit rate was not as high as I would like it.  What's good is that when I show my tutor my error sheet he'll just be able to scan the numbers of the problems I got wrong and know which topics I need more work on.

I'm starting to get nervous about this test, but it's a good nervous.  In the past it was a nervous like "oh well... this isn't going to go so well...wonder how bad it's going to be?"  This time its a nervous like "oh you're sooo close... make sure you remember to always check your work and answer the question they are asking."

Now I'm going to work on an essay.  Gotta get it done...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Writing Cornell Essay at SMX Conference

So like I said earlier in the week, this week is incredibly hectic for me.

Sunday I had to stay up late to do work, Monday I attended the Search Marketing Expo (SMX) at the Javits center, Tuesday I attended the SMX conference, tomorrow I'll attend the SMX conference, Thursday I'll go to work then leave early to go to the NYU Diversity conference, Friday is the NYU Diversity conference all day, Saturday the Diversity conference is half the day.

Ok so really quickly, what is the search marketing expo?  

Attend SMX East and you’ll take away tactics that increase traffic to your web site, increase conversions…and sales! Choose from 60 sessions on search engine marketing topics including search engine optimization, paid search advertising and social media marketing on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

You can also go around to the booths of different vendors and they give you their pitch.  Since at my job we have our vendors already I was mostly going around putting my business card into jars for ipad giveaways!  All of the vendors get wide eyed when they see that I work for Bloomingdales.com A.) because in metro areas it's a known brand B.) We're owned by Macy's so they think that if they get us to sign with them, we'll act as a liason to Macy's.

How does this tie into my business school application?  Well today was especially intriguing because there was a session titled:  Search Engine Marketing for CMO's and those who work with them. There were a lot of great takeaways from this session.  Since one of my b-school essays is going to intertwine this message into it, I was glad to have attended.  Prior to the start of this session I was working on my Cornell essay.  Thankfully I brought my laptop today.  Yes I was THAT GUY sitting in the front of the room with the rest of the people on our laptops and coffee just typing away.  The essay topic I was working on is - "What is your greatest professional accomplishment and what value did you add to your company?"  The topic for me was easy, and I'm finding that writing it is even easier because I know the example perfectly.

With that being said, I'm done for the night.  I have to get my normal sleep schedule back because it's taking away from my studying and that's the LAST thing I want to happen right now.  It's crunch time for me so I need to be real cognizant of how much sleep I'm getting.  The most important thing for me now is to get sleep because I do better and retain more in terms of studying!  So tonight I'm sacrificing some studying so I can get back to a normal sleep schedule.  Damn...

Management Consulting

So although I have no plans to go into management consulting ($ is tempting) I was just reading up on it.  The learning curve for me from where I've come since last year has been tremendous.  Last year this time I had no idea what consultants did.  I have a friend who is a consultant for Capgemini and I was like "wait... so do you work at _______ or do you work for Capgemini?"  I couldn't wrap my head around the whole thing.

Then I believe either last year or earlier this year Conde Naste' hired McKinsey to audit their portfolio.  The only reason this was big news for me and my industry (Luxury Retail) is because there were many articles written in the NY press about how Anna Wintour, the Editor of Vogue, was worried about losing her job.  That's a different story in and of itself because Vogue would be stupid to fire Anna now.  In any event, so yeah that's when I was like "Oooohh that's what McKinsey does."

But now that I know more about consulting, I would advise ANY and EVERY ONE thinking about getting and MBA to research this profession.  There's no way you can go into business school and not know what consultants do.  One important reason is that you want to have something to talk to your friends about.  As you progress through the application process and meet new people you'll inevitably meet those who want to go into consulting.  By knowing the basics, you'll be able to have an intelligent conversation with them.

Also - by researching what consultants do and how they think, the GMAT will make more sense and it will be easier to break down!  I kid you not.  So here is the basic website I was perusing just now about Management Consulting.  I was also on Bain's website looking at some of their case studies through this widget they have:  Bain Consulting.  I promise that if you go through these resources you'll understand why b-schools want people who think a certain way!

That's it for now... I'll update you on Day 2 of SMX tomorrow and I'll also tell you why I am up at this hour!  My schedule is messed up because of work I had to do late last night - for work!  Ugh...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My GMAT Theme Song!

You know how sometimes you're going through something in your life and there's a song that you just listen to constantly that sums up exactly how you're feeling?  Well I have found this song and I'm going to play it out until I take the GMAT.  

This song puts me in a phenomenal mood and has a great verse:

"Don’t let haters get me off my grind
Whip my hair, if I know I’ll be fine
Keep fighting until I get there
When I’m down and I feel like giving up"

You know this artist's FATHER really well actually.  Her dad is Will Smith!  Her name is Willow Smith and her song Whip My Hair is my anthem for this month.  Yes she sounds grown but she's 8!!!  Here is the song if you care to listen although it's not on itunes yet - Willow Smith - Whip My Hair

So how does this song fit into the theme of my blog?  Well this past weekend I felt down.  Well just Saturday in particular after that 36 Quant score.  Lately I've been going through all of the questions I've gotten wrong in the Official Guide books.  Going through this process makes me realize that the 36 in Quant that I got on Saturday was certainly an anomaly.  There is no way that I haven't learned anything since May.  Remember - my quant score when I took the GMAT was a 36.  So it's not that I felt like giving up because shoot at this point I'm waaay to invested.  

As I go over the questions that I've gotten wrong months ago, they're so easy for me now.  That's how I know that I've learned something.  You would think that the mid 40's scores would tell me that I've learned something but noooo... it's going over my previous mistakes.  So like Willow Smith says I'll keep fighting until I get there!  

Now some may be thinking "Why is he stressing so much about the GMAT? It's just a barrier to entry!" Well for some people they stress over making themselves stand out from the crowd because they are in an over-represented group in business school.  So while that struggle may be their pain point.  The GMAT is mine - FOR NOW ;-)

I hear everyday from friends that they've been scoring highly.  Not that we're competing against one another, even though we really are, but we're all rooting for each other.  It's funny because none of us is telling the others when our test dates are.  Lol so randomly we get text messages and updates with scores.  I also have friends who are pushing back their test dates and the rounds in which they apply.  I cannot be in this group of applicants because if I study for any longer I'm going to burn out.

As long as I keep my head down and keep on the grind I feel that I will peak at the opportune time.  I haven't used the word opportune in a long time! Not sure where I pulled that from haha.

Like I said, this month is going to be HELLA busy, but I'm so excited because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!  Almost there.............

Diversity Conference + Work Conference = Busy Week

So this post is going to be relatively quick because this may be the busiest week of my life and I gotta get back to getting my life together. So really quick...

1. Yesterday I took a MGMAT CAT exam and scored a 36 on Quant.  Not too sure why that's the case and of course it A.) Surprised me and B.) Pissed me off!  Nonetheless, I'm writing it off an an anomaly and not thinking about it.  There's explanation for scoring in the mid 40's and then all of a sudden back to mid-thirties.  It's not like I forgot the information!  So yeah, I'm going to just go back to my routine and discount that one. 

2.  Last night one of the Tuckies I've become friends with (the one I ran into at the Tuck Reception) was having a going away party down in Chelsea.  I got an email earlier in the day, and I told him that I would come and buy him a drink and thank him for his help.  I'll also see him next week at the Reaching Out conference in LA, so it wasn't all bad.  So I showed up at the bar...said hi to him and was talking to his friends.  

Now I can talk it up with anyone especially when drinks are involved, but this night was fun.  Let me explain to you who was in attendance... about 5 recent Tuckies...a Harvard undergraduate...Stanford B-school graduate... So yeah I was "wide eyed" as my friend so eloquently put it.  Needless to say there was a lot of "So what do you do now?" Questions.  All of their faces looked so familiar to me because I've seen them at various events except they were on the other side of the table.

3. Here is the schedule for my week - ready for this?

Sunday - Quant then work on Essays and clean my room
Monday - I'll be attending the Search Marketing Expo (SMX) at the Javitz center
Tuesday - SMX
Wednesday - SMX
Thursday - I'll be in the office but we have a vendor coming in that we're vetting.. and then I have to leave at 4pm to head down to the NYU Diversity Conference that starts at 5. 
Friday - NYU Diversity Conference
Saturday - Diversity Conference

Oh and Mon - Sat I'll have to find time to study, eat, and sleep, in there as well!

With all that being said, I must be going now.  Reading Comp awaits!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Freakonomics Movie - Funny Story

Well it's not really a funny story but coincidental!  So about 2/3 hours ago I posted the NYU diversity conference update and at the end of the post I wrote about how I was going to watch the movie Freakonomics!  I have been looking forward to watching this movie on iTunes for a while now.  As I was watching the trailer again while it was downloading I was thinking... Hhmm they're talking about a different way of thinking.  This may be good to watch to get movie to watch to get into the right mindset for the GMAT.  (I kid you not I was thinking that)..

Here watch the trailer and go into it thinking about how you need to reason Critical Reasoning and Reading Comp questions - Freakonomics Trailer  it talks a lot about CAUSALITY AND CORRELATION.  hhmm....  ever hear these words before in GMAT Verbal explanations? lmao

So I'm laying in bed... the opening credits are rolling and I see the following portion on the screen....

You guys may be thinking... so what?  Who is Chad Troutwine?  Well.. he and his business partner started... wait for it... wait for it... VERITAS PREP!  He's actually a very nice guy!  I got to meet him when He and Brian Galvin were over here in NYC visiting my soon to be GMAT Teacher... not tutor.. but Teacher.  Both great / nice / helpful guys!  

So yeah... that's my post for right now.  

NYU Diversity Conference - ACCEPTED off Waitlist!

So today around 4pm my gmail updated itself and the following email w/ corresponding subject line came through:

I smiled and said "YES!!!" to myself again haha.  Then of course I immediately texted my friend who was also accepted!  The same one who I will be going up to Cornell with.  

The conference is NEXT WEEK!  But don't cry for me Argentina, I had already warned work that I would be taking those days off.  I told them last week that it was tentative, but to keep it on the schedule.  At least I don't have to worry about lodging and traveling costs lol.  I'll just use my metrocard and in the morning instead of going East on the subway I'll go South.  Just a hop skip and a jump.

Here is the schedule for the days events:

Thursday, October 7        
4:00-5:00 p.m.            Registration
5:00 p.m.                    Welcome and Icebreaker
6:30 p.m.                    Opening Dinner Featuring NYU Stern Dean Peter Henry
8:30 p.m.                    Stern Beer Blast (optional)

Friday, October 8        
9:30-10:15 a.m.          Check-In and Breakfast
10:30 a.m.                  Mock Class
12:00-7:00 p.m.         Association of Hispanic & Black Business (AHBBS) Students Conference
7:00 p.m.                   Happy Hour with AHBBS (optional)

Saturday, October 9        
9:30-10:00 a.m.         Check-In and Breakfast
10:00 a.m.                 Career Development and Student Activities Presentation
11:00 a.m.                 Your 60-Second Pitch Workshop
12:00 p.m.                 Mock Application Workshop
1:30-3:00 p.m.           Luncheon with Stern Alumni
8:00 p.m.                   A Night out with AHBBS (optional)

So I'm looking forward to it!  Reminds me that I must put my suit in the cleaners!  Ok I just wanted to give you guys an update.  

Here is my weekend in preview:

Friday night - Study then watch Freakanomics on iTunes.
Saturday - Take a full length MGMAT CAT Exam...  Go into work to do some stuff... Study....Continue writing essay.
Sunday - Study... Continue writing Essays

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