Monday, January 31, 2011

It's Official - Decisions Next Month!

"La Di Da Di Be Da" - Saying it like Karen Walker from Will and Grace as she saunters around Grace's office out of boredom.

That's all I can think of right now.  If you've come to read my blog today thinking that I would have had some big epiphany, sorry to disappoint you.  I have no idea what to write about tonight.  I will just babble about random stuff though.

1.  I'm not sure how long this feeling of potentially being rejected from everywhere lasts, but yes I still feel that it's a possibility.  Thank you to those of you who emailed me informing me that you too feel the same way.  That uncertainty is cruel and unusual granted it's very usual since it occurs every year.  I'm not sure if it will ever go away until March when I begin to find out from schools.  I'm trying to just get my mind off of it but it's difficult actually I'm going to say it's impossible.  It's partly my own fault though.  I've built up such a network of folks who are pre-mbas, current mba's, and alum that those are the people I talk to every day more so than my "normal" friends.  That definitely makes it tough since 2/3 groups of people I talk to are in or have been in the very position I hope to be in come August.

2.  So this week is a big week for A LOT of prospective Tuckies.  I am not in this batch of folks, but I do know someone who is.  On Friday the 4th the decisions will be released for November R1 for Tuck.  I'm going to be nervous because I want my friend's friend to get in soooo bad.  After this round there probably won't be THAT many spots left.  Not from what people have told me which is the reason why I was urged to apply earlier than I did for Tuck.  But ::shrugs::  I submitted my best application so I'm happy about that.

I don't think I applied to any other school that has an Early Decision/Action round, so this should be the only one that gets released this week.  I believe Haas, Cornell, Yale, Ross, and NYU all just have R1, R2, and R3 meaning those decisions will be released in March.  Although, I do believe that I received something from Yale that said that we should hear by February 25th - or maybe it was the 24th.  I'm not sure... It's too far away for me to think about it.  Either way I don't know if it matters because I haven't been invited to interview.  I'm not even sure if many Consortium applicants are invited to interview.  ::shrugs::

3.  I was going through my Google reader just to get an update on what was going on in the MBA world and it's all GMAT stuff!  ::sigh::  I remember those days.  I'm beginning to get emails from folks who are applying this fall to matriculate in 2012.  It's a tad bit surreal and while I'm writing my email responses I say to myself "What gives you the credibility to respond to this person?"  Then I think back to what I've been through.  While I may not have the highest stats...I think I know how to work the system.  If I get into a b-school then I'll really let out all of my secrets.  That will give me the confidence to say "Yes, Richard you know exactly what you're talking about."  But I don't think I've ever told anyone that they need to listen to what I say or do and replicate it.

If I get into business school it will be the happiest day of my life.  If not...then I'll just start making plans on how to bolster my candidacy for the next go around.  All that stuff I wrote about in my essays about Why MBA won't be null and void simply because I may not be accepted.  No...it all still hold true because the topics that I wrote about were, in themselves, true.  So yeah... if I don't get in.. I re-apply.  No big deal!

I just hate this part of the process.  It's like my life is at a standstill.  I just want to know what's going on with school so that I can continue on with my life but right now I feel like time is just standing still.   I often day dream by thinking about how life would be at any one of the 6 schools I've applied too.  I think about walking to class.... talking to classmates and professors.... happy hours..... studying for finals....being so busy during the first semester that I don't even time breathe.  I want to be there, somewhere, so bad and there's nothing I can do about it now. Lol How did I ever get through this process for college?  Was it this nerve-wracking?  Probably not... although my top 2 schools were Dartmouth and Stanford.  Maybe one day I'll tell you why I don't think I got into either of those schools. It's HILARIOUS!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Rejected from Business School...

I dread saying those words...but...it IS  a possibility!

Today was a tough day!  I was being a Negative Nancy all day.  You know those days where you are just in a funky mood?  Well for me that was today!  I was thinking about b-school, of course, and potential outcomes.  It's interesting that while you are doing the applications you try to make everything perfect and set yourself up to get accepted.  All the while you're also trying to be realistic because you know the competition that you're up against. 

Nonetheless you remain hopeful and keep pressing on.  For me I felt the most confident right when I submitted my applications.  I was like YEAH MAN my applications are phenomenal and for a day or two I thought I would get into every school.  It may have just been a function of working so hard and thinking that no one would be rejected after going through that.  How I was feeling then is 100% different from what I am feeling now.  Everyone is telling each other to stay positive and don't speak negatively, but it has recently hit me.  What is IT?  It is the possibility that I may not get into a business school. 

When I say this to my friends they're like "no shut up... you're going to get in....  you submitted a great application etc etc."  Now 2 days after I pressed submit I would have agreed with them, but now... I don't think it's rare for this thought to enter people's heads.  Now I have not lost hope at all.  Don't get me wrong... but... like I told my friend today "Look at this objectively and not as my supportive friend."  There is a chance that I may not be accepted to any school.  Then what?  The waiting is the worst because you hear about people and their profiles who applied R1 being rejected and you think "what the hell?"

Luckily I now can ask people who have been through this if this thought process is normal.  All of whom said yes.  The waiting does something to you because you start to dwell on the weaknesses in your application.  I guess for me and everyone else who applied R2 will find out in a couple of weeks.  Actually I guess it'll be in the next week or two because interview invites are coming out.  

Only time will tell... I'm going back to drinking my wine now.  Just needed to vent a bit.  B-schools are so fickle and I hope that one understands the application I submitted and says "We need to have him here!"  So hopefully I do turn out to be one of the 3638 Applicants revealed in my quantifying business school chances post.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Stalking Email for Interview Invites

Exactly 365 days ago, January 27th 2010, I had my first Manhattan GMAT Prep class.  Boooy do I wish I knew then what I do now about this whole process!  I find it kind of ironic that on the day when I "officially" started this process a year ago.... Interview Invites for those who applied to Michigan Ross R2 started going out today.  That means that IT'S OFFICIALLY MY TURN.  Hopefully it turns out for the best, but at least I'll know one way or the other how chips are going to fall.  I do have a Plan B so I'm content now.

Even though I'm content now... as you guys know I live out of GMAIL.  It's on all day.  Today I didn't go to work because we have another friggen snow storm!  But even on a regular day I keep GMAIL open.  Let me tell you what not to do when you've applied to business schools.

Do Not Keep Refreshing Your Email!  - Funny that I say that even though I do it.  If you do not want to make yourself crazy then check your email in the morning and then again at night at most!  Do not live out of your email like I do and some of my friends do.  Sure you want to be on gchat, but still.. no it's not worth it and here's why.  Every time you get an email, no matter who it's from, your heart will jump.  Then.. god forbid you get an email from a business school, your heart will race 100 times faster than if it was just a random email.  And for that split second you think to yourself "Could it be?" and then you read the Subject line and you realize it's something totally not related to your application.  Usually about something the Dean of the school said or some new class that was just offered.  Stuff that two months ago you may have been interested in but now you're only interested in one thing.

It's even funnier when you get an email from a school that you didn't even apply too and your heart still jumps, races, and does flips.  I got this email today from Columbia:

and nearly died.  Then I realized wait - I DIDN'T EVEN APPLY TO COLUMBIA!?  Maybe I'm just overreacting, but I'm just being real in what occurs.

Then my friend called me and said, "My friend just said that someone in the admissions office as Ross just tweeted saying that the first wave of invites would finish going out by COB (close of business) today and then would continue to trickle out."  This put me somewhat at ease because I now know that if I don't get an invite today it doesn't mean that I won't be invited at all.  Just means that I'll have to wait a bit.  No big deal right?  Nope... but you better believe that I just started following that Ross representative on Twitter lmao!  I know I'm a mess!  But at this point we all are.  

How many people out there have just randomly checked their spam folders on gmail?  If you're anything like me, you have NEVER checked that spam folder because up until this point you've always received the emails that you were meant to receive and the ones you did not care for were filtered out right?  So why is it that all of a sudden we think that Google has failed us and we feel the need to check our spam folders?  I find that comical, but hey... WHAT IF IT DID GO INTO THE SPAM FOLDER?  Then what?  Needless to say, I will be checking my Spam folder more frequently.

Oh and this just doesn't just occur on the computer.  These DAMN Smartphones and their email syncing and vibrating is making me go crazy too!  I could be in the middle of saving someone from a fire and if my phone vibrates signifying an email, that person may just have to wait!  Every single time my phone vibrates I just HAVE to check the email.  Granted I have three email accounts that are synced with my phone so the chances of the "next" email being the one that I've been anticipating is slim to none, but when in this situation no one thinks realistically.

So on that note.... I have 3 new emails and I must go check them....  adios!  I know.. I'm not sane!  :-)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dating Strategery: The Eight Immutable Laws of MBA Dating

Dating Strategery: The Eight Immutable Laws of MBA Dating: "The B-school dating scene (heterosexual, anyway) is a good case study on that old rule of supply and demand: What happens when a commodity is scarce and its consumers are plentiful? Men outnumber women by as much as two to one in many MBA programs, which means women can be picky."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dating in Business School

I'm not in business school yet and will have a very limited dating pool at whichever school I do plan to attend simply because of the limited number of gay students in business school...BUT however, I still have found this topic very interesting.  I stumbled across a blog post from someone at Uva Darden about Dating in business school and decided to talk about this topic.  I have nothing else really to do at this juncture although I think I'm going to re-read Ahead of the Curve!

In any event, so dating in business school... does it happen?  Well of course, it's inevitable.  I have friends who tell me that School X and School Y are notorious for folks matching up and getting hitched later in life.  I've also been warned by folks that if you go to a small school in a remote location with say... 250 students.  Your business WILL get out.  This isn't just isolated to dating per se, but I guess people may think that those are the juicy details.  In my eyes I'm like.. hey to each his or her own.  If you like it... I love it!  If it works for you.. then it works for me!  As long as I'm not being hurt....then by all means!

In the blog post from the Darden(ite), I'm not sure what students at Darden as called, there was one bullet point that said -

"Taken people don’t always act taken: Sometimes people with boyfriends, girlfriends, fianc├ęs or spouses act single. Most folks are faithful, but the tasteless joke is that MBA stands for “Married But Available.”

Now that's disturbing.  Sure it happens but that's unfortunately.  Here is the link to the full blog post about Dating in Business School.

Here is another article about 15 Ways to Know You're Dating an MBA.  There are a couple of hilarious bullets in here and I wish I could just republish this, but it's not my content so I'll give you a little teaser - 
1.  "Calls the first month of your relationship a "preliminary assessment period""
2.  "Refers to love-making as a 'win-win' 

This person also made another post about The Eight Immutable Laws of Dating an MBA.  And here is a teaser for this post!
1.  "Women are scarce and are therefore in demand, Men are plentiful and therefore a commodity"
- The B-school dating scene (heterosexual, anyway) is a good case study on that old rule of supply and demand: What happens when a commodity is scarce and its consumers are plentiful? Men outnumber women by as much as two to one in many MBA programs, which means women can be picky.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Super Saturday on the Horizon

I am back from my relaxing weekend getaway in Fort Lauderdale! I went from 80 degree weather to 6 degree weather :-(  and now it's back to obsessing over business school.  In all honesty I'm not obsessing as much as I was last week and I imagine this will continue until I hear about or my friends hear about Super Saturday.

What is Super Saturday?  On February 12th, Consortium applicants who applied to Michigan have the opportunity to interview at the school should they be invited.  Here is the blurb from the "We've Received Your Application" email that I got from Michigan - "

Consortium Interview Saturday – Ross is hosting a special Consortium candidate-only event on the afternoon of Saturday, February 12th in Ann Arbor.  More details will be included in the interview invitation." 

We (applicants) should be hearing about potential interview invites within the next two weeks.  I don't remember exactly when, but they did say that the invites would be sent out in waves.  So after my nice relaxing weekend it's back to monitoring my email like a hawk.  I still like being in this position better than say... a month ago when I didn't even have time to think about when to go to the bathroom!!

So while a host of R1 decisions will be sent out within the next 14 days, I am thinking about potential interviews.  I know that for Consortium applicants interviews are not necessary and are at the discretion of each school, but I really hope that I do get interviews at all of the schools that are "curious" to know more about me!  I will feel much better about my chances if that happens.  Not because I believe that an interview is a necessary barrier to entry for the schools I've applied too, but I know my strengths so an interview would serve me well - I HOPE.

This is just one more thing that people think about when going through this process.  I may be using that sentence a lot in the coming weeks because as I've said before, THIS part of the process is something that not many people have insight to.  I really hope that I make it to the next 'step' in this process.  If I do get into a b-school I'm going to be able to share a wealth of knowledge and insight into the process...moreso than I've done thus far - trust that.  HHmmm maybe I'll write a book!  ;-)  Foreshadow much?  Naaahhh not really. Or maybe?  Um no... lol won't have time for all of that!

I'll tell you what I'm trying NOT to do-----think about my essays and wonder if I got everything across that I wanted too.  That would probably give me a major headache, but you can believe that if I get an interview invite I will be going through all of my essays just to refresh my memory.  I should actually remind my friends to do that!  I have a friend who got an interview invite from Chicago as well as Columbia.  And then another one who just got an invite to Kellogg (yeah they interview everyone).

In addition to reminding my friends to go through their essays again... I need to check to make sure that my suit still fits!  I think I've gained weight since I last wore my nice one and that would be a shame!

On that note... I'm going to do some random internet browsing before bed.  Adios!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It Gets Better Part 2

It breaks my heart still that another LGBT teenager has decided to take his life.  I read THIS article on Huffingtonpost today and so I have updated my It Get's Better page.  

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! 

Seeking Post-Submission Motivation

Applications are in... GREAT!  Now what?  Well from speaking to a lot of my friends the thought process that one goes through is simple.

You spend all of your time from September -> December preparing to submit your applications.  You kind of block out everything else in your life and just go through the motions at work because you're so preoccupied with making sure everything is set for submission.

Then once you hit submit - you and your friends just look around at one another like.. "ok now what?" Things start to get exciting when your friends who applied R1 begin hearing back, but that only lasts so long.  Then you start to get back into the grind at work but it's inevitable that a certain thought begins to creep into your mind.  That thought being "What's My Motivation?"  I found this image that is perfect for what I've seen people experience after hitting submit and from what I hear goes through people's heads after they've sent in their deposits to schools.

To those of us who have had this thought creep into our heads I say this:  Let's not get ahead of ourselves ok?  I know that I definitely need to re-calibrate and I'll bet some others out there need to as well.  No matter how many times my friends tell me (or I tell them) "Oh you'll be fine!" there's really no telling how it's all going to pan out for anyone.  Even my friend is nervous for his NYU decision and he was already admitted to Booth and Columbia.  I keep telling him that he will be A OKAY, but again, nothing is guaranteed.

So who knows... I may not end up in business school next year.  I'm not looking for sympathy or anything like that but just putting that notion in my head JUST IN CASE.  That's why it's important that at work it's important to not get complacent.

I had a rough day at work today so that's why this post is pertinent today.  But yes some re-calibration is definitely in order!  REMEMBER -

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Random Topics Out of Boredom

In my non exciting post submission life all I do is wonder what's going to happen to me in the next couple of months.  There's nothing I can do at this point as we all know, so I'm going to stop saying that.  I have a lot of spare time and still haven't fully gotten used to it.  I really haven't!  Remember a year of this process keeps you pretty busy.  So yeah I'm still getting used to "Oh I don't have anything to do."  anyway whatever...

I have a couple of things that I'd like to write about today as I'm watching the Golden Globes.

1.  After practically staying up for 48 hours preparing to submit my application on the 5th, I found out today that The Consortium has extended the R2 application deadline to February 1st.  Imagine that... 26 more days for someone to submit their application!  I'm glad that I got my application submitted but I wonder if it would have been a "better" application had I had an extended deadline.  And to that... I say MOST DEFINITELY!  The reason being I would have had time to retake the GMAT one last time.  The main reason I did not take it again was because there was no guarantee that it would have been added to my application.  I did not want to rush to study again and not be fully prepared.  But that's the way the cookie crumbles I suppose right?  Everything happens for a reason so if it was meant to be... it will be!

2. On Friday night I called up my buddy (Osirus) to vent.  I had been drinking so I don't remember exactly what all was said, but I do remember being very pessimistic with regards to my b-school chances.  I just keep hearing about all of these stories from people with better stats than me and they're being rejected.  I know that maybe they didn't have the best essays or best stories, but when you're comparing yourself to other people you never really compare the things you did better than them.  You compare their strengths to your weaknesses and ignore the rest.  In my case I know my weaknesses and hope that all of the admissions committee "get me."  I feel that if they "get" the application that I've submitted, then March won't be as depressing as I have it mapped out to be in my mind.  But then again this is just a natural head game that people play with themselves after they've submitted.  Actually that's a lie.  I'm the only one of my friends that's playing this game with myself.  My other friends are cool calm and collected.  We shall see the outcome!

3.  I just read this article on Poets & Quants titled: Should You Use MBA as a Suffix?   If you don't feel like reading the article it just basically talks about how some people put MBA on their business cards and stuff like that.  It seemed like a lot of people graduated from non-prestigious MBA programs.  I posted a comment that said

"This reminds me of a blog post I wrote “An MBA Degree makes me a what?” If I get into school I will not be using those three letters on my business card. I don’t think it has any business there. One’s accomplishments as a result of the knowledge gained from the MBA degree is a better differentiator than the degree itself."

What do you all think?

4. Here is something else I read earlier today about an account of a B-School Minority.  Interesting read and it's sad that these things still occur.  The article gives examples of the naivety of the blogger's professors in business school with regards to his ethnic background!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

30,000th Visit - Hip Hip Hooray

Another Milestone achieved!  I just got my 30,000th blog visit in just over a year!  Below you can see how my traffic has grown over the year.  Pretty exciting for me to see even though I look at these type of metrics all day every day!

Your Story w/ a Deck of Cards

A couple of minutes ago I was outside killing my lungs and I thought of what I could equate the business school application process too.  It's a lot like playing poker with your friends except your friends are your potential classmates and people whom you beat out.

Think of it like this, every card is a piece of your story.  So the Ace of Spades could be an event that was very life changing and important and a 3 of clubs may just be something that happened in your life that you think may not have meant much.  In trying to analyze why some of my friends are accepted to certain schools and others are not I keep telling myself "ok their story may not have been cohesive."

What I think happens is that people hold their hands and look at their cards and see an Ace and tries to run/win with that.  So if they're lucky they'll uncover another Ace upon further introspection and then they have a pair of Aces.

When in actuality the person who may have the 3 of clubs and then builds on that with the 4 of clubs, 5 of clubs, 6 of clubs, and 7 of clubs = a straight flush, builds a more compelling story for the admissions committee.

So now you have a pair of Aces (AA) up against a Straight Flush (3,4,5,6,7)and we all know which hand is ultimately the better hand.  I think the Aces are supposed to be in your resume and the then you need to try to build a royal flush!  But if you end up with just a straight flush then that's fine too, as long as you're not ONLY competing against other royal flushes haha.

I'm delirious right now and don't know what I'm talking about... I'm going to watch Target: Inside the Bullseye.

The Waiting Game

This whole waiting thing is brutal.  Well actually since I'm still coming down from last week the waiting game hasn't been that bad.  I've been catching up on a lot of drinking and even planned a vacation to Fort Lauderdale next weekend with two of my best friends.  We're staying here at the Westin Diplomat hotel:

This vacation will help me get my mind off this waiting game.  Even though I'm waiting now... I have friends who are not.  The people who applied Early and I believe R1 are beginning to find out their decisions.

I have decided to stop trying to figure out how someone gets accepted.  It's too much of a crap shoot.  My friend whom I first met at the HBS event last April just told me that he was rejected from NYU.  I thought his profile was incredible.  I mean...730+ GMAT and a liberal arts background you would think B-schools would eat him up right?  Hopefully NYU was an anomaly and he'll be admitted to all of the schools he's applied too.

He told me "If I put as much effort into this process as you did the outcome may have been different."  he's not thinking about what he's going to do if he's not admitted to any schools.  It's funny FROM MY PERSPECTIVE because I'm like... "If I only had a 730+ GMAT my outcome may be different!"  The grass is always greener on the other side I suppose.

This is not all that goes on post-submission.  Now I'm beginning to walk myself through my essays in my head asking myself "Did I include this... did I include that?" etc.  This is the worst feeling in the world because you know that you can't do anything about what you've submitted.  So what I do is just tell myself that yes I included everything that has been coming to mind.  BUT there is one essay that I wish I could rewrite because I remembered something post-submission that would have made that essay sooooooooo much better.  But there's nothing that I can do about it now - or is there?

Ok so I have a notebook that I started waaaaaay back in September 2009 when I attended my first MBA fair.  Since then this is the notebook that I've brought to every MBA event so I have all of my notes in it.  Even if I forgot the notebook at home I would transpose my notes from said event into that notebook.  There is still one more part of the process that I may have to go through.  Even though I had my Consortium interview back in October, some of the schools may request an additional interview.  I'm not upset or anything by that because I know that I can rock interviews - more so than essays, or so I think! ;-) So all of the things that I'm thinking about post-submission, I'm simply writing in my notebook.  If an opportunity arises in my interviews for me to speak to these things then that would be phenomenal.

Always plottin!!  So while the process is pretty much over... it's really just beginning!!!  Couple weeks folks until R1 Decisions come out (Beginning of February I believe)....  mine won't come out until the beginning of March so I'm still breathing but I make no promises how I'm going to feel mid-February!  March is just going to be a mess for me... I'll probably lose so much weight from stress and not eating.  I wonder if I should weigh myself on the 1st and then weigh myself again on the 31st!  hhhmmmm hahaa

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What is The Consortium?

The name of this post should really be - The Consortium application process through the eyes of an applicant.

Last week I was asked by a blog reader what The Consortium was, so I wanted to address this topic since I've spoken so much about it and relatively, not many people would know about it unless they were applying through it.  So I'll give a little bit of background on The Consortium and then go into the application process because it's definitely SOMETHING ELSE!
I first heard about The Consortium from a friend who was applying through it two years ago.  I had never heard about it before but then when I started seeing it referenced on the school's websites that I was interested in I began to inquire further.  Here is evidence:  NYU Stern, Dartmouth Tuck, UC Berkeley Haas, Cornell Johnson, Michigan Ross (whew that took a lot to find all those links!)  So yeah I saw a reoccurring theme going on here.  Now some people may ask "Where is Harvard, Wharton, Columbia..."  Well... from what I hear... in order to become a member of The Consortium, the other member schools must vote you in.  So ask yourself this...Would NYU want to vote in Columbia?  Would UNC want to vote in Duke? Would any school want to vote in Wharton, Stanford, or HBS?  :-)

The Consortium MissionThe mission of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, an alliance of leading American business schools and some of our country’s top corporations, is to enhance diversity in business education and leadership by helping to reduce the serious underrepresentation of African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans in both our member schools’ enrollments and the ranks of management. 

To this end there are 17 schools that are members of The Consortium meaning they're dedicated to the mission stated above!  Here is the list of Consortium Member Schools (go take a look at the list and then come back to my blog and you'll understand later why I wanted you to see the list of schools.)

There are four main benefits of applying through The Consortium and here's where I will add my perspective as an applicant.

1.) Common Application - One application allows you to apply to up to six Consortium schools.

My 2 Cents - So yes there is one application which a lot of people find amazing (myself included).  There are only two rounds though.  R1 was Nov 15th and R2 was Jan 5.  The only "downside" to this is that all of your applications are due on the same day, hence the reason for the madness I went through last week.   Here is what the application entails:
- 3 Recommendation letters - 2 professional and 1 that is from someone who can speak to how you support the Consortium Mission.
- 2 Mandatory essays - 1 about career goals and 1 about how you support the Consortium Mission
- 1 Optional essay - is there anything else you'd like for us to know?
- School specific essays - So each school has a topic or topics that they would like to use.  In a lot of the cases the school specific essay mirrored the school's "normal" application, but in some cases it did not ie. with Tuck - remember my video essay?
- School Rankings (fun times with this one...see Fellowship below)

2.) Tiered Application Fee - Using The Consortium common application significantly reduces your application fee costs. You may apply to up to two member schools for $150, three schools for $200, four schools for $240, five for $275, and six for $300.

My 2 Cents - nothing really to say about this other than it was simply INCREDIBLE!  Had I applied to 6 schools outside of The Consortium it would have cost at least $1200, but when I hit submit I had to pay $300 total, so that's a blessing.  This is why I added one more school to my list the Sunday before hitting submit.  My friend said "Richard what's another $50 and 2 essays?"  He was right too!  It's not like I needed to find new recommendation letters and what not.

3.) The Consortium Fellowship - Last year, Consortium member schools offered more than 330 fellowships covering tuition and mandatory fees for two years of full-time study. Applicants who are admitted through The Consortium process and become Consortium members are considered for these prestigious fellowships.

My 2 Cents - so when you apply through the consortium, you HAVE to rank your schools in order of preference should you be accepted.  Do the schools see your rankings?  The consensus is that they don't, so I'm going to go with that.  Why do you need to rank them?  Well it's all for fellowship consideration.  I believe in March the schools Consortium representatives get together in a room and practically "duke it out."  Here's an example of what happens to the best of my knowledge.

All of the acceptances and decisions go out with the rest of the people who applied normal R1 and R2.  If I am accepted to my first choice school they get the first chance to offer me a fellowship.  If they decide to forgo giving me a fellowship, I can still attend, but have to find other means of financial aid.  Also, if they decide to not give me the fellowship, then the school that I ranked 2nd gets the option to offer me one of their fellowships.  This continues all the way down the line.  At this stage in the game I do believe the schools know where they fall in your ranking.  Cool Right?  Well no not really because us applicants know which schools tend the have more fellowships available so that factors in to people's ranking decisions.  You can only be offered 1 fellowship because of the trickle-down effect works.

For instance, Michigan has a large Consortium cohort and I have many friends who are applying to schools outside of the Consortium who ranked Michigan first.  So now when doing my rankings I need to factor that in.  Also, one would think that a school would choose to give the fellowship to someone who ranked them first, but they don't BUT if you rank a school too low, the chances of getting a fellowship dwindle.  And then you get into a situation where you know that there are a couple schools out there who will not give a fellowship to anyone who does not rank them 1 or 2, a couple won't if you rank them below 1. So then you think to yourself.. hhmm if I won't get it if I don't rank them first then I'm just going to put them last so that I have a better chance with another school who likes to see themselves 1st or 2nd.

Now you see the trickiness of it all....  But once accepted you become a Consortium member.

Furthermore - If you've applied in R1 for any non-Consortium schools, your deposit will be due before you find out if you've received the fellowship, or acceptances for that matter, from any Consortium schools.  So you get into a situation where you may have to send a $2k deposit to school X before you know if you're admitted to schools A,B,C,D,E, or F.  

4.) Consortium Membership - Consortium members gain many benefits, including access to over 70 corporate partners, a mandatory Annual Orientation Program & Career Forum (OP) prior to beginning their MBAs, and access to nearly 6,000 Consortium alumni across member schools.

My 2 cents - This orientation program occurs in the summer and a LARGE percentage of students who attend walk away with an internship before the start of the school year!  This is huge because as we all know the recruiting process is grueling and pairing that with school work and activities is tough, so I've spoken to many students at schools who already had their internships when they started so they never had that recruiting headache.  You may be asking, well which companies recruit that soon?  Well... companies who are dedicated to increasing diversity.  All of the big MBA recruiters are there so it's not like these are just Tier 10 (are there Tier 10?) recruiters.

Also if you're a Consortium Member, you get a huge network!  HUGE! Networks are always fun!

Read and re-read this post if necessary, I know it's confusing.  That's all folks

Monday, January 10, 2011

ANOTHER ESSAY?!?! ::sigh::

Hola!  I had to take a break from business school life for a couple of days.  Last week was exhausting and I've been partying ever since, but it has now ceased!  Now I get to the part of this whole application process that I have not heard too much about.  I'm learning by watching my friends who applied during Round 1.  Thankfully I've built this network of folks around me because they have been incredible.  I'm not going to break up this post because I don't feel like it haha.  I'll just start from where I left off last week.

Wednesday - Submission Day

Thursday - My friend (the one who got into Chicago) was in the city for his NYU Interview.  So I met him and my other friend in the city for happy hour.  Both of whom I attended NYU's Discover stern with.  We had celebratory drinks for me being "done" and for him getting into both Columbia and Emory!  So happy for him!  We were in midtown Manhattan and were just catching up on this process itself.

One thing that stuck out in my head is that he said that his GMAT journey is not over yet.  One would think that after you get an acceptance that you're pretty much done, but nope not the case.  He has some conditional admits and since he and I pretty much have the same GMAT score, I'm ok with realizing that I may have to tackle the beast one more time.  It's actually the reason I didn't have a GMAT Book Burning night.  I knew this was a possibility.

When I compare his profile to mine there are so many similarities it's ironic.  Now I'm not foreshadowing in any way because he and I only have three schools that overlap, all of which have not given him a decision yet.  We shall see, but hey maybe there is something to this "hollistic" process!!  ::fingers crossed::

Friday - Just went to a party at a friends house.  It was actually a sleepover since I don't have a car, so there was liquor and laughing.  That's all I ever need!

Saturday - I had my party at Therapy in the city.  My party was my "Back to Life - Back to Reality" shindig.  Some guest list honorable mentions are:
- friend who I met at the Kaplan event back in the summer
- friend who I met at Reaching Out MBA conference back in October - Came from far far away!
- friend who should have been writing her Kellogg essays...

Sunday - I laid in bed all day and watched crap tv.  It was phenomenal.  A couple of times I thought to myself "I should be writing something..." and then I remembered that I did not have to!  It's sort of like a detox and everyone will go through it if you've applied to this many schools and had to get them in at the same time.  I'm still not fully accustomed to it yet.  You have to realize that for me this has been a hard core ongoing process non-stop since the summer when I thought I was applying to Tuck for the Early Decision round.

Monday - Went to work WITHOUT A BAG which felt amazing!  For the last 6 months or so I have always brought a bag to work with my GMAT books or my laptop so I could write essays or study, but today I did not!  Then I get to work and I'm helping my friend with her HBS essays and she says to me "Don't forget to fax your scholarship information to Tuck."  I said "UM WHAT WHAT?" So she gave me the debrief and sent me the link and yes... apparently... scholarship consideration forms need to be faxed to Tuck by the 12th!  Thankfully she's applying there too because I would not have remembered to do this and would have been SOL.

I looked at the information that they are asking for and it seemed pretty standard.  Income... taxes... blah blah.. then it said 500 word essay.  ::sigh:: I hung my head down in shame.  Now this essay is pretty easy relative to the other ones I've had to write recently so it shouldn't be that tedious, but it's just like really?  Another essay?

 Please write a short biographical essay, no longer than 500 words, telling us about
yourself. Noteworthy topics may include:
• Undergraduate degree and honors or awards
• Extracurricular activities (volunteer, leadership, sports, etc.)
• Work experience

So to that end... I'm going to brainstorm!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Application Submission Exhaustion

Well folks... the journey is partly over!  I would like to tell you all about my day today because it was EXHAUSTING.  I’m not sure how long this post is going to be, but I have a lot to get off my chest, so you may need to grab a snack and a drink.


Ok so let me just pick up where I left off.  My last post was around 11:30 when I posted about my blog’s 1 year anniversary right?  Yes, that’s right!  At 11:30 I was still working on my essays.  As I said previously, I was working in tandem with my friend who would read my essays for grammar mistakes and then send them back.  This may seem like an easy plan, but when you fix one thing with grammar, it may change your original intended meaning, so then you get into editing sentences.  Well sentences are part of a paragraph so...--- you get the point.  

Now...multiply that by I think it was something like 13 essays.  So it went like this.  I would edit and essay... send it to her...and then start working on another one. Then I would send that one to her and she would send back the first one.  Repeat this over and over again for 13 essays.  Then once I got through all 13, I went back to the first one she sent back to me and redid that one.  So we essentially went through 26 essays in one night.

I finally finished my essays and felt good about going into today only having to enter the essays into the application.  Easy stuff right?  HAHAHAHAHA Yeah... you’ll see.  I figured I had gotten by the hard part.

I finally turned my light out at 1:15am because my eyes were closing from the all nighter the night before.  At this point my computer was on my bed and I was picking up something off my floor when I see that I have a message from my friend who is also applying.  (There were about 6 people on my buddy list who were all working on essays last night.)  Anyway... so the message said “GET ON SKYPE I AM FREAKING OUT!”  

I thought that she was just overwhelmed with everything and needed someone to talk her off the ledge.  Little did I know that her next words to me would make me want to GET ON the ledge.  On Skype she said something to the effect of “someone on Facebook posted that the Consortium application is due at 3am for us!”  So I was like “UM.... COME AGAIN?”  She’s like “yeah someone said that on the email from the Consortium it said that the application was due 12pm Pacific time.  I’m like “yes that’s right... 12pm Pacific time is technically 3am for us on Thursday.”  So then of course the doubt set in.  I was like... ok what if I misunderstood and this person is correct?  At this point I was not stressing out about it because it was 1:30 and I thought I would have enough time to input my essays.  I mean I had just finished them right?  Hhahha YEA...You’ll see (lmao).

She and I tried calling the Consortium phone number in hopes of someone being there, and of course no one was there!  Granted it was the middle of the night, so I don’t know why we even tried.  I said to myself “ok hhmm.. how cna you find out?  Ok let me check Facebook!”  So I go on the Consortium Facebook page and see that 12 minutes before I checked Facebook there was a Tweet from the Consortium that was filtered through the page status that said “APPLICATIONS ARE DUE TODAY - SUBMIT NOW!”

Ok so this is when I started to think that this random person was right.  I then go to twitter and send a message to #cgsm asking “Does this mean 3am on the 5th for people on the East coast or essentially 3am on the 6th for people on the East coast?”  I was hoping that since the person tweeted (Or they could have scheduled that tweet) not too long ago, that they might respond.  But no such luck!  Then I went back to the Facebook page and posted asking the same question, again hoping that someone would respond.  Again... NO RESPONSE.  So I look for my friend who lives in California to check his FB status and a couple hours prior he posted “JUST APPLIED TO BUSINESS SCHOOL.”

Then I started freaking out but moreso in a pissed off manner.  I thought “THIS CANNOT BE HAPPENING TO ME RIGHT NOW  NOT AFTER EVERYTHING I’VE BEEN THROUGH!”  By this time it was 2am, so I thought I only had an hour to get everything submitted.  I went into the Consortium system and started filling out my information.  That was easy then I realized that my updated resume was on my work computer!!!!  (insert curse words here) I was so pissed at myself.  Then I remember that I had a copy in my person email.  Whew!

I email myself everything because my thought is that I trust Google more than I trust my laptop.  If my laptop were to be stolen, since I bring it everywhere, then at the very least I would still be able to submit my applications because everything would be in my inbox.  Anyway, I digress.  Ok so I had my updated resume...I had my essays... I filled out the boxes that I could fill out....and I had my transcripts.  Perfect right?  Just have to upload everything.

So first I tried uploading my transcript.  The day before I scanned a copy and emailed it to myself, so I thought I was good.  NOPE.... FILE WAS TOO LARGE!  The file size limit was 1000kb and mine was 1500kb.  The only way I know how to compress PDF is with adobe and I don’t have adobe on my computer.  (insert curse words here)  Then I started giving up hope thinking to myself “ok I’ll just apply Round 3 but will have to write all new essays.”  I then figured maybe they’ve had this problem before and I can send my transcript later...let me get my essays in.

So I open up my essay and here is my inner monolouge:

 “.... copy it.... click into the dedicated box within the application and click paste.  Hhmm... it didn’t paste.... That’s odd let me try again.  Copy...Paste... didn’t paste.  Oh I think I’m using the wrong keys.  COPY.......PASTE.  I think I need to restart my computer.... ok let’s try this again.  COPY PASTE... WTF IT’S NOT WORKING!!!!!  Let me try typing a couple of words in the box to see if it works.... WTF WHY DID THAT WORK while the other one didn't?”  

By this time it was 2:50, so I tried to convince myself that this person had actually gotten the times mixed up.  By this time with the lack of sleep really really hitting me at this point, I tried to go to sleep.  2 hours later and many pillow punches, I fell asleep.

Hahaha 2 hours go by and it’s time to wake up!  FML, but honestly I don’t feel tired because I’m still on that adrenaline high!  So I wake up and immediately get sick to my stomach.  I keep thinking the worst.  What if that person was right and I’ve totally fucked up the deadline?!?!  (you know it’s serious when I curse on my blog, but that doesn’t begin to describe how I felt this morning).  So I get dressed....and didn’t even work on anything on the bus ride going in.  Normally I look over essays or something, but I was so pissed off that I could not think straight. 

I was pissed because I thought that I had missed the deadline....pissed because I thought that I would have to TYPE all of my essays into those small boxes in the application....and pissed because I was tired!!!  I get to work and immediately call the Consortium and ask what the deadline is and she said today!  I had the biggest smile on my face and said “ok I can do this....” in attempt to pump myself up to TYPE all of my essays.  When I got to my desk, one of my recommenders came over and said “you know what’s dumb... that you can’t copy and paste from a document!”  I said “YEAH I KNOW...BUT I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT BECAUSE I HAVE TO TYPE ALL OF THESE ESSAY INTO THE APPLICATION!”  

Needless to say I was livid!  I signed onto gchat and was venting to everyone on my buddy list.  It’s a good thing I did that because when I asked my friend who is also submitting today, she said “No... I was just able to do it.”  So then I’m like “what?  how!?!?”  Then I realized... WAIT A SECOND - I’M USING CHROME!  I asked her what she was using and she said INTERNET EXPLORER.  So I immediately opened up Internet Explorer as well as one of my essays and the Consortium application.  I COPIED.... and IT PASTED!  You can imagine my relief.

Let me stop here and say that no where within the application did I see that “It’s recommended that you use Internet Explorer.”  I don’t know what I would have done if my friend did not mention that she could do it prompting me to try in a different browser.  Thankfully at work we have PCs (I never thought I’d say that), because at home I have a Mac and there is no internet explorer on my Mac.  I have Safari!  I think there will be some very surprised people tonight when the deadline approaches and they are not able to copy and paste their essays.  Hopefully they read my blog and see before they go through what I went through not too long ago.

Ok so... the essays were “pasteable”.  Now all I had to do was copy and paste all of them.... upload the 3 Core essays... send my transcript to my friend to have her compress the file... upload the transcript... upload my nyu transcript... fill out some more personal information...upload my resume.. and fix the last part of an essay.  HAHAHAH I know right?  Although that paragraph sounds more crazy than it actually was.

Yeah... I was at work, but I was doing this inbetween doing work.  At one point my manager came over and saw me and said “hey Richard I’m sorry to bother you but I just have a question about something.”  Again...I’m blessed to have understanding people at work, although had this been the beginning of December things would have been different.  

From the time I got to work, I was on gchat talking to my friends who were also submitting.  I had to convince my one friend to call the Consortium to inquire about how she could submit one of her essays.  She thought that she could email it and read the instructions a different way, so I told her to just call because it would make ME feel better.  ;-)  I knew that would work honestly... she did call and turns out that she had to submit it the same way as the other ones.  It’s good that she asked because that meant that she needed to cut down the word length.

After that fiasco, the day went on and I was just fixing up things here and there... formatting essays... etc etc.  Then I reviewed each element of the application about 10 times.  I didn’t want to leave anything out.  I must have uploaded - then deleted my core essays 4/5 times.  But I got them JUST RIGHT!  At this point it was 4pm!  Yes.... it takes THAT long to get everything situated.  And I am not an isolated case, because all of my friends who also submitted today finished +/- 30 minutes from me.

Strictly because I don’t know if anyone else felt this way and I’m not embarassed by it... I clicked “Preview full application” and then printed it out... and I felt myself get misty eyed and then had to get tissue and go to the bathroom.  It had nothing to do with being nervous about hitting Submit, but was more of a release of over a year of hard work.  I told my friend Brandon (osirus) that it would probably happen, but I didn’t think it would happen like that.  I thought about all of the people who helped me get to the point when I could press submit and it was a good feeling.  

My saga was not over yet because then yeah... I still had to pay $300 hahah.  That’s how they snap you out of your fantasyland of “YES I’VE APPLIED”.. because then they’re like.. OK that’s great that you uploaded everything but can I have your money please?  

So I paid my $300 since I applied to 6 schools and then was ELATED TO SEE THIS:

So now I should find out next week right????  hahahaha... Time to open the bubbly.  I'm going to drink some champagne and edit my friends essay lolol..


Tomorrow I will post a checklist for other applicants of things I wish I knew going into today...but as for now... I need a drink!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Blog Turns 1 Year Old - Ironic

It's ironic that on the 1st anniversary of my blog, I have finished my essays and am ready to submit all 6 of my applications tomorrow!  I did not plan it like this folks.  I have actually been working on my essays all day, but did not want to miss this chance to hop on here and write a quite post since it's the anniversary of:


Oh BTW - I still have not been to sleep.  I told you...  I am high on adrenaline right now.  I will definitely crash tomorrow though.  I do not plan to pull an all nighter like last night.  I will be going to sleep within the hour. 

Adrenaline Rush - Countdown: Day 2

As per my last post - I have accomplished my all-nighter!  How was that so quick you ask?  Simple...I normally fall asleep around 2:30/3am and since I live at home I live with my mother and she wakes up for work at 4:30!  If you don't believe me that I am used to going to sleep at that time, just refer back to my posts in about...August/September before my GMAT tutor recommended that I start going to bed earlier.

Anyway...at 4:30 her alarm clock started going off.  I asked her what time she was leaving for work and she said 6am, so I am going to have her drop me off at the bus stop.  This way I will get to work about an hour early and have time to get work done uninterrupted.  I'm going to take an hour lunch today just to work on my essays again.  Since I'm going in to work early I'm going to leave an hour early for the last time!  I'm thrilled to be able to say that today is the last day that I'm going to leave work early on account of this whole business school application process!

As per the last update - here is what I have to accomplish.  When all of the essays get to 10 then I can hit submit.

Consortium Essay 1 - 9.5
Consortium Essay 2 - 9
Consortium Essay 3 - 9.5
Cornell Essay 1 - 9.5
Cornell Essay 2 - 9.5
Cornell Essay 3 - 9
Michigan Essay 1 - 9.5
Michigan Essay 2 - 9.5
Michigan Essay 3 - 9.5
Haas Essay 1 - 9.5
Haas Essay 2 - 9.5
NYU Essay 1 - 9.5
Tuck Essay 1 - 9.5
Yale Essay 1 - 9.5
Yale Essay 2 - 9.5

Right now I am just on a pure high!  That's the only way I will be able to get through these next 48 hours!!!  

Extra To Do List:  Upload Transcripts (they're in my bag!) - I have my GMAT scores so that I don't forget what I got! lmao as if THAT'S going to happen.  

Wish me luck lmao!  Gotta go hop in the shower now.

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