Thursday, June 23, 2011

Leaving for OP in Minneapolis!

Hello everyone!  I have to make this post VERY VERY short and sweet.  Today is the beginning of OP in Minneapolis.  Throughout the application process you heard me state that I was applying through the Consortium.  I would try to find the posts but I'm on a tight deadline right now.  In any event all of the Consortium applicants are flying in to Minneapolis today for essentially a 6 day recruiting conference.  We've all done our preparation and now it's time to shine.

I feel like I have the earliest flight out there.  My flight is at 6:05am from LaGuardia airport in NYC.  Well.. I live in NJ!  Sure I work in NYC but the bus schedule now that I would normally take to get into the city is... well.... non-existent.  I don't live in "cute" Jersey like Hoboken or Jersey City.  I'm in CENTRAL Jersey.  In any event, that means that I'm being picked up in an hour!  It's now 2:25am and my ride is coming at 3:30.

I'm done packing and just need to shower and shave my face.  Then I'll be whisked off to the airport.  (note to self - print boarding pass).  I'm flying with two of my friends who are going to Tuck.  Then once we get there we will split up and go meet up with our schools.  I know that we (Johnson) have a dinner tonight that I'm really looking forward too!

People kept asking me if I was excited and earlier today when I was at work it didn't hit me yet.  But NOW I am.  So that's what's been going on in my life.  There's no way that I'll be able to blog while out there.  Because the opportunity cost of blogging vs. networking is simply too high.  I will be tweeting thought!  You can follow me @Money9111 on twitter.  

TWITTER - http://www.Twitter.com/Money9111

To my Cornell classmates ---  CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU ALL AGAIN!  LET'S REPRESENT!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


GPA GPA GPA... three letters that can be the bane of one's existence if he or she did not apply him/herself during undergrad.  When I went into this process I thought to myself "Ok...well I'm older (29) so my GPA won't hurt me as much as someone else who is right out of school."  I mean when I hit the submit button I had been out of undergrad for 6.5 years.  What I came to understand was that... yes Richard.. it DOES matter.  It's another data point that they can then use to compare you to your competition.

Just like a 710 GMAT misconception... a 3.6 GPA is not a bad GPA, so if you think that it is... please rethink that asap.  You may even just alienate people if you ever tell them that.  People who may ultimately become member of your network and now they have that impression of you that you're a perfectionist or just misinformed.  I mean that's really a stretch, but yes people will think you're crazy if you're like my UGPA was a 3.7 and was so bad.

I remember a time right around submission day when I had two friends send me their transcripts because I had a program on my picture that could reformat them.  I saw their GPA's and was like "wow...this is my competition... ah crap!"  But you know what?  I then remembered the things that I did to kind of show that I had competency in certain areas.

I did take two classes at NYU School of Continuing Professional Studies.  I took an algebra class and a statistics for business class.  I also took some marketing classes but I knew that I had to do well in the math classes especially.  I was also able to call out classes that I took during undergrad.  I was an economics major so naturally I had a very very heavy quant-focused course load.  Upon further investigation of my transcript I saw that there were some key classes that are essential for business school and that I had done well in them.  For instance.... Financial Accounting - A.  Who would have thought?  I totally forgot about that!

Hhmm what else can I say about GPA?  For those of you who did well in undergrad - great!  For those of you who did not.  All hope is not lost!  Trust me, but definitely use that optional essay to speak about it.  With that being said there is a way that you have to speak about it.  You can't say "I did poorly in college because..."  there's definitely an art to writing essays.  ESPECIALLY THAT ONE!  but it can be done.  If you are curious as to how... just email me.

Johnson at Cornell 2011-2012 Essay Questions

Hello all...  did you really think that I wouldn't rep my school and post the Essay questions when they came out for the upcoming year?

Here they are!!

1) What career do you plan to pursue upon completion of an MBA degree and why?We are obviously looking at your career pathing and focus.  The adcom wants to see that you have done your due diligence on your career trajectory and what is it about b-school (hint: why Johnson) is the right fit and time in your life.

2) You are the author for the book of Your Life Story.  Please write the table of contents for the book.  Note: Approach this essay with your unique style.  We value creativity and authenticity.We have been asking this essay question for the last two years.  It is a favorite to read and to write for our applicants.  Keep the creativity and personality because we enjoy learning more about who our applicants are!

3) What legacy would you hope to leave as a Johnson graduate?The adcom wants you to really evaluate what "fit" means to you for Johnson.  "Fit" is different for everyone, so we want to see how authentic and purposeful you are about applying.

The application is set to go live on July 18th.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


This post is going to be part of what I'm going to call the LISTEN UP series.  It's going to be my way to vent about different components of ones application.

As per my last post, I wanted to make sure that I took the time to address the new applications this round.  I think I've made a similar post before so maybe some things will be repeated and if so... oh well...  it means that it's just THAT important.

Here's the deal.  I haven't completely abandoned the b-school application process.  In "not" doing so, I still encounter many articles, many of which are repeats from last year and the year before and the year before.  I wondered why these topics were being repeated and then realized that, each year, applicants have the same questions.  So it's not necessarily a bad thing that such topics are being recycled, but I just wanted to quickly address some things that I learned throughout the year about different topics.

GMAT - I've said it before and I'll say it again.  This exam sucks!  It's the worst thing ever... I hated every moment of it - except taking the actual test, that was kinda fun.  Now of course those of you who are taking the exam now and/or studying for it, you're completely obsessed about it right?  I mean I was...we all were...  Just think of it as a barrier to entry into business school and you'll be fine.  Do not obsess over a certain score.  I suggest that you obsess over a RANGE instead.  Here's why... let's say you tell yourself "Ok I need to score a 720"  what if you score a 710?  Do you then obsess over taking it again to improve 10 points?  NO, do not do the opportunity cost of studying for the exam vs. putting time and energy into your application is very high.

What do I think the GMAT is for?  well... other than just to annoy people?  Well it's not a sign of intellect.  It does give the adcoms a standardized way to compare you to others. Okay fine.. we can all accept that right?  I mean we've been through it before all throughout school.  I think people obsess over scores because they thing it's the MAIN thing that adcoms look at.  I'm here to tell you that it's not.  I know of a couple admissions consultants who will tell you otherwise but I don't care what they say.  It's NOT the main thing.  In reality the MAIN thing is the whole application but that's a vague statement.  The MAIN thing that they will evaluate is your essays.  Just bang the GMAT out... get a score 600+ and then go from there.  If you're in the 500 range then it will be difficult - not impossible - but difficult.  I know that's easier said than done, but whatever.. you have to get through it.

It's completely frustrating... I know.  Here is a post from my GMAT tutor back in November that I had him write.  I think this sums up my journey quite well.  Post from my GMAT Tutor.

What's funny about the GMAT (yes there is some comedic value in it) once you get over that hurdle, is that it will stay with you for a loooong time whether you like it or not.  I don't mean it'll stay with you in that you'll always be doing DS or RC questions, but the way you think about things will stay with you.  Now let me caveat that by saying that if you were already at the point where you thought the way that one must think on the GMAT then my previous statement does not hold true.  FOR ME it does.

I cringe whenever I hear people say "them" instead of him/her in a sentence.  In my head I instantly correct him/her.  I know I do it sometimes when I'm writing lazily, but that's just how it goes.  When I write my blog posts, I'm not really paying attention.  I'm always multitasking, which is why it takes me an hour to write a post, but if I were to pay attention I know I could at least get THAT rule down every time.

I also now think of the assumptions when I either read something or someone is telling me a story.  And yes, I'll mention it to them.  I frequently find myself saying "well the assumption in that theory is..." or "but you're assuming that..."  and if I'm talking to certain people I'll end by saying "...I'm not saying that it may not be true, but I just wanted to throw that out there to give you something else to think about."  or "...just so that we think about that when evaluating the next steps."

So yes in that regard the GMAT will stay with you.  But I'm done writing about the GMAT... sometime this week I'll talk about GPA and the importance of it... cuz that's a cluster____ in and of itself!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Reality Check

Earlier today I decided to see what I was doing at this time last year and BOY how the tables have turned!  On June 15th of last year I was finding it increasingly hard to start studying AGAIN for the GMAT.  This is the post I'm referring too:  Ugh I Knew this would happen!  I don't remember that day like it was yesterday but I do remember the experience since it's still quite recent.  I "hated" the summer last year and could not wait to be in the position that I'm in today.  I'm thankful that I poured my heart and soul into the process because life now is just as hectic as it was last year.  It's just a different type of hectic now.

I'm not going to type out the laundry list of things that I have to accomplish because I think I've already done that in a previous post.  But this hectic(ocity) is welcome!  I enjoy the stress that I'm under now and when it starts to get overwhelming, and my friends can attest to this, I say "Hey...if I could weather the stress from last year, I can definitely get through this pre-mba stuff.

Now as this upcoming year's essay questions start coming out, I see the stress that the new batch of applicants is going through.  In a perfect world I would say that I feel sorry for you, but think of it as a barrier to entry that can be weathered.  Trust me... it CAN be weathered.  Embrace the process because you can make it somewhat fun if you remove yourself from your "normal" life.  No not everyone does that but you know if you're the type of person who needs to do it in order to be successful.  I was the type of person who needed to do that...and I recognized that..so I did that.

I now have incredible friends who inspire me every day.  No my friends are not just the ones who will be going to school with me.  Yes I have become incredibly close with many of my soon to be classmates, but I'm talking about the ones who went through the process along with me.  It's funny because we say that we are all going to school together but just in different locations.  That's really what it feels like.  I now have true friends at Tuck, Duke, Kellogg, NYU, Columbia, Georgetown (sup Cory), HBS, Stanford, Haas... etc you name it.  A couple weeks ago I was just at a Tuckie's going away party here in the city (Hi Ashley)...  and then my friend whom I met at the Reaching Out Conference back in October (who is also going to Tuck) showed up too!  He also now works a block from me so we met up for lunch one day and will do it again in the near future.

I'll be flying with a bunch of Tuckies and Sternies to the Consortium Orientation Program next week...That's going to be a blast!  No not the flight because it's at 6:05AM but just the week in general.  I'm sure I'll see 80% of the folks who I was just with last week too.  Needless to say I'm very grateful for where I have come from and how I didn't know ANYONE who had an MBA to now where I'd say that most of my friends are on the same path as I am.  It's very exciting!

I do want to make a post speaking to the new group of applicants who will be applying this application season because they need a dose of reality.  Now I can be blunt... no nothing mean.. just simple things like "If you're GPA is a 3.4 that's not considered low" and "A 720 GMAT score is not a bad score" and "Don't tell people who you are reaching out too, what your safety school is."  You know... the "little" things that go a loooong way and leave people with a certain impression about you.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

To My MLT Family

To my frequent blog readers this blog post may seem foreign and out of place, but it's dedicated to my new MLT family that you've read so much about on my blog.  If you remember back a couple of weeks I was nominated to be a part of MLT and after spending five days with these folks at the culmination of the year they've day, I need to write an open letter thanking them.

To My MLT Family,

I honestly don't even know where to start this letter.  I'm sure I should write an introduction and then add some supporting paragraphs and then sum everything up with a conclusion, but in all honesty it probably will not happen that way.  But at the end of this letter to all of you I hope you get a sense for what MLT has meant to me throughout this hectic process as an initial NYC outsider looking in.

When I started this whole business school process I didn't know ANYONE who had an MBA, so I started blindly and had no idea what I was really embarking upon.  It's interesting because I have felt a part of the MLT family this whole time because I've become close with so many of you this year.

The words that were spoken about the program and the newly found friends on Saturday definitely hit home for me!  The support that I have received from MLT tertiarily (yes I made that word up) has been invaluable and I can remember each day that I met all of you and can speak to how much you've helped me throughout this process.  You have all been my support network and I do not think I would have been able to be gearing up to go off to business school without your help.  

Two years ago I was not even thinking about an MBA and did not know how many people who looked like me were actually successful in getting acceptance.  I did not know that I was capable of doing it, but I was constantly reminded that by my MLT friends that yes... you can do it, but more importantly.... YES, YOU ARE WORTHY.  I needed to hear that at every moment that someone told me that because I was beaten down time and time again.

The constant reminder that I could do it and that I was worthy of doing it was not taken lightly.  I cannot stress the help that I've received from everyone in MLT prior to being a nominee.  We all know that the application process is the most grueling thing ever.  GMAT prep what? yeah never again thankfully... 3am essay edits and mock interviews?  Thank god that's over in the context of b-school applications.  I remember talking to Jessica online on January 5th, the day that the Consortium application was due, and when I hit submit I told her that I was crying.  I did not cry a month after when I got the acceptance call, but yes, I did cry when I hit submit sitting at my desk because I, like everyone else, poured my heart an soul into getting to that juncture.

Many of you have been a source of therapeutic relief for me and I definitely would not have been able to feel the sheer joy of getting through the application process without many of you, even if you don't know who you are.  Hearing about amazing things that were being achieved and R1 school acceptances gave me confidence that I too could do it.

This past weekend gave me much needed confidence as I prepare to head off to Johnson. I'm glad that I was able to make new friends and nurture relationships with old ones because  you guys are truly an amazing group of people.  I keep saying that I'm humbled and honored to be a part of MLT now.  After meeting so many of you at various information sessions and diversity weekends I'm amazed at how my life has been affected by all of you.

The friends I've made throughout this process are, without a doubt, lifelong friends.  Even prior to this week I have been welcomed with open arms by everyone I've met in MLT.  The qualities that have been displayed by you guys are a testament to the type of organization that MLT is.  To give yourselves to me without asking for anything in return is incredible.  A couple of days after my acceptance I emailed my contact at Johnson to ask "How do I get nominated for MLT?"  I'm not sure how many other people did that but I knew that I needed to be a part of this great organization.  So I thank you all for being an amazing group of folks.  I know that you've been an inspiration to me and other people with whom you've come in contact with over the year.

I know I'll see a lot of you in a couple of weeks at OP.  So with that I'll say... HERE'S TO BEING SCRAPPY

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Busy as a Bee before B-School

I'm not going to sugarcoat this and just apologize upfront for being mia for quite some time now!  I'm wondering if I need to reintroduce myself... I mean.. I'm not going too... but the thought crossed my mind.

So phew... I found 10 minutes to myself where I can write this blog post - at friggen 2:30am.  Ok let me just start by telling you why I've been so busy.  This post will be all over the place because I think I've forgotten how to blog haha...

Well for starters...my new job, while less stressful, is more time consuming.  I'm freelancing at an agency now and am working on a big restructure of an account so I've been putting in 11/12 hours days.  I know some of you are going to say "So what? 11/12 hours who cares?"  Well... that's just AT work.  You have to keep in mind that I commute 1.5 hours to and from work everyday.  So that's potentially 14/15 hours of the day that I'm busy.  I'm not complaining about the hours because I enjoy what I'm doing... but in terms of being able to find time to write a blog post... it's been slim.

So aside from work what else has been keeping me busy?  Well.. there is a lot of preparation that I have to do for CTLS.  I explained what CTLS is in my last post here about MLT.  The CTLS conference is next week from the 7th - 11th.  To prepare for it we have to read some cases... attend some webinars... get our resumes in line... etc etc.

In addition to the preparation for CTLS, I've been working with my Career Coach at Johnson to get ready for OP (consortium event in Minneapolis).  This includes more "assignments" ... mock interviews... webinars... et. al.  This is at the end of the month from the 24th - 30th.  So there's another week of June that's essentially taken up by pre-mba activities.  I will say that it IS  a TON of work but it WILL pay off come may!

I just finished updating my LinkedIn profile.  It was recommended that we do that before these two conferences.  So if anyone would like to link to me on LinkedIn - here is my profile url.


IF YOU DO LINK TO ME... JUST TYPE A MESSAGE LIKE "I READ YOUR BLOG" or something of that nature just so I know before I accept you.  Otherwise you'l sit in my Friend Request Box for months..

I've also been trying to square away my housing situation.  I have the roommate... did the whole credit check thing.... got approved... now just need to send the deposit check to the management office and then sign the lease.  So I'm trying to track down the person who sends out the leasing agreements.  I'm also on the look out for furniture!  My roommate and I are renting most of our furniture but we need the little things... plus I want to buy a Keurig Machine!

Now I have to run around trying to get my doctor to sign off on these health forms.  That one was my fault because I totally let that slip my mind!

Yesterday (well on June 1st) I submitted my 2nd deposit!  So at the very least that knocks like 2% off of my tuition since your deposits go towards tuition.  Gotta look on the bright side right?  So no less than 48 hours after I submitted the deposit, did I get the email for Math Camp.  Now I knew that I'd be going to Math Camp so that wasn't a surprise.  But the cost for it was an initial shock.  So today I shelled out another $600 in total for math camp and some orientation week activities.  But at least now I know that there is only 1 more thing that I'm going to have to pay for and that's only $150.  I think that's for the background check.  I'm going to look into what I need to do for that tomorrow.  Actually, I'll shoot off an email to someone right when I'm done with this blog post.

That's all I'm going to write for now.  I have a lot to catch you guys up on but I need to take my body to bed.  The morning comes very quickly!

A word to the wise, and I'll elaborate on this another time, for those of you who are in my position... as soon as you get emails that you may need to respond too.  RESPOND TO THEM!  I try to do that so that I don't forget about them because a lot of information is time sensitive.  K thanks g'night!
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