Friday, October 28, 2011

If You're Applying 2 B-School

Hey so I'm following this post up with one that I've wanted to write for a couple of weeks now.  Yes, I should be sleeping, but I can't at the moment because of the 3 hour nap that I took earlier today in Sage.  In any event, I just want to give some advice to all of the applicants out there.

I've been editing people's essays - some of whom have received Interview calls already!  Those people have no idea how much that made my day to hear that they had crossed that threshold!

There won't be any structure to this post and I'll probably ramble at points, but just try to follow.  Some of the things are repeats from posts at earlier times.  You can probably just SEARCH my blog for some other key takeaways.  Some of these things are mistakes that I made last year going through the process!

When you are writing essays - do not say "I like school ______ because it's a small close-knit community"  Many many many many people make this statement.  Plus it's a statement that can be found on most school's websites.  It's not original and puts you in a category of "Okay.. does this person know anything about us beyond this point?"  Sure it's a valid point to call out and show that you know what the school is about, but there are other ways to do it.

When reaching out to current students to inquire about the school refrain from saying "Tell me about your school."  This is an incredible broad statement and a tough one to answer.  It's ESPECIALLY tough to answer when we are all incredibly busy.  That's not to say that folks won't respond, but it's much easier if you say what you know and ask students to add color around things that you're interested in.  I'll be the first one to reply with "I'd like to hear what you know about Johnson and things that you're interested in.  That will help me to help you."  Please don't read this as "Oh... I'm too busy" because I do not mean it in that light.  I'll be the first one to respond with paragraphs and paragraphs of information if I have some direction.

When you finish speaking with someone on the phone, ask "Is there anyone else you think I should talk to?"  You want to do as much research on the school as possible and one person's experience may not be indicative of the whole student population.  I made it a point to speak to as many people as possible.

When you visit a school or talk to someone on the phone, know that you are being evaluated.  I can only speak for the culture here at a small school, but people DO talk, so be cognizant of that.

Hhmm there were other things that I wanted to say, but they've escaped me.  Thankfully I can just hop back on here when they come back to me.  I have to go write another blog post now for Johnson!

The offer still stands if anyone wants me to review his/her essays.  I do ask that you send them in a word doc and not a PDF.  Also, remember that I do not fix grammar.  I do help bring the story that you're trying to tell out in an essay in a manner that makes sense for the Ad Com.  Feel free to email me at richardbattlebaxter@gmail.com.  Also, in your email to me just give me some slight background about you and why you want to go to business school.  Nothing robust, just 2/3 sentences so I have SOME context!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Year Ago Today!

So I most definitely had to write a blog post today!  A year ago today is the first day that I stepped onto campus here at Johnson.  I came up for JMB (Johnson Means Business) which is the Diversity Weekend. I pointed this out in my blog post that I made last year at the beginning of this week, HERE.  Things have definitely come full circle as tomorrow I am hosting a JMB attendee!  I'll try to be a good host, but as all of my friends/classmates know (and yes, I'll keep saying it) things are incredibly hectic!  Now that we're in the 2nd half of the core, things are ridiculous now that recruiting has come into the mix - HEAVILY!

I'll just give you guys some quick updates about my life now at school.  Today was a day of FEEDBACK.  I participated in a study group held by one of the 2nd years here.  I always enjoy focus groups as I like to give my opinion on things.  I think there will be a follow-up meeting at some point in the near future.  The focus group went from 10am - 11:15.

Then I had 15 minutes to myself before I had to hop on a call with one of my target companies!  It was just an informational phone call and I had actually reached out to someone in my network who works at said company.  He and I spoke for about 45 minutes and I'm glad that I was able to have a candid conversation with him about the company and trends within the business.  I now plan to take those learnings and input them into my recruiting binder.  This binder if full of pertinent information and tidbits that I pick up here and there that I then put into the binder so that I can weave stories/examples/information into any conversations I have with companies.

After that phone call, I had to run to a Core Team meeting.  This meeting was also about feedback but in a different way.  We were with our 2nd year core team leader who was facilitating the conversation and we had to give live feedback to one another, without interruption.  It was going well until 3 of the 5 of us had to bolt out of there at 1pm to go to a Nov-Aspire Mock Interview.

Nov-Aspire mock interviews are incredibly useful if you're prepared for them.  Basically, you sit with a professional and do a mock interview.  The caveat is that you have 3 other classmates in the room taking notes on your performance.  You're also being recorded!  I haven't watched mine yet, but when I find time to do so, I will!  That was another 2 hours of my day.

Then after that, I went downstairs in Sage hall and took a nap on the couch for ::sigh:: 3 hours!  It was funny because sometimes I would wake up and my classmates would be behind me just going about their business!  We've all been in a situation where we've needed to just catch up on sleep.  I knew that if I went home, I would have had to be back at the business school later to attend the finance review session and a study session with some friends, so I just decided to stay in Sage!

Hhmm let's see.. what else?  Oh.. there are elections going on now!  I'm running to be a part of student council!  I actually think the results will be in tomorrow!  ::crosses fingers::  I really hope that I can be a voice for my classmates!  I'll let everyone know how it goes.  After tomorrow, I'll share parts of my platform with you all!

Okay this post is long enough... I have to go over my cheat sheet for the Finance quiz tomorrow at 7:30am!  I'm actually going to write a blog post for my Johnson blog and then send out some emails!

It was funny, today I saw the Director of Admissions and she's like, "How are you doing?"  I said that I was doing well...but stressed and busy! To which she smiled and said "It's supposed to be"  I followed that statement up with, "...BUT, that's what I wanted right?"  She laughed...

okay now I really have to go!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Reaching Out MBA Conference REVISITED!

Why Hello Hello...  for those of you who have been following me for over a year now, do you remember last year when I went to the Reaching Out MBA (ROMBA) Conference in Los Angeles?  If not, here's the post of my ROMBA Pre-Arrival Post.  I definitely had one of the best times of my life at that conference last year which I even told the organizing committee at the end of the conference.  While many of my friends are at National Black MBA conference in Dallas right now, I decided to forgo that conference because we have finals this weekend.  I just took my Economics final on Friday and today I studied about 11 hours with some folks on Accounting.  Thankfully our accounting final is open book, but we all know that open book exams can be THAT much harder.

In any event, I bring up ROMBA, because next week I'll be attending ROMBA in Dallas with 14 classmates as an MBA student!  Last year I went as a Pre-MBA student and was able to make some incredible contacts and friends!   Some of the other Pre-MBA friends that I met there are now at other schools - Anderson & Tuck to name a few.  It'll be nice to reunite with them next week, although I've seen my friend from Tuck a couple other times this summer.

I'm thrilled to attend the conference again, but what's more is that I'm excited to see my classmates enjoy the conference for the first time, because I know how much it helped me last year.  Of course I'll be on the prowl to make some connections for recruiting purposes!  We all need to get a job right?  Speaking of which, I have my work cut out for me over these next couple of days.  There are a handful of companies that will be at the conference and I want to impress them.  I know how beneficial making contacts at this conference will be, so I have to have my game face on!

On the flipside of that, I can't wait to be reunited with all of my other friends at random b-schools.  I know they're going to read this blog, so to those of you at Tuck, Columbia, NYU, Darden, Chicago, Yale, Tepper, Goizueta, and let's not forget Michigan (Go Blue!), I cannot wait to see you guys!  I know I'm ready for the line dancing festivities.

I must be going to sleep now because I have an Accounting final tomorrow (today) at 1pm.  Need my beauty rest.  Until next time.

Monday, October 3, 2011

MBA Blogger Interview

So Accepted.com, an Admissions Consulting company, interviewed me last week and I wanted to share the link with you guys.  I would just copy and paste the content from their website but that would probably defeat the whole purpose of promoting their company.  This is not the admissions consulting company that I used, but I'm always willing to put information out there in hopes of helping others navigate the grueling admissions process!

If you'd like to read the interview just go here:  MBA Blogger Interview: Richard's Journey!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

"Real" Business School Admissions Essays

I was just forwarded this email and find it absolutely hilarious.   Here are the "Real" Business School Admissions Essays.

Harvard: Of which Fortune 1000 company are you going to become the CEO and why would you pick that company?

Wharton: Of which Fortune 1000 company are you going to become the CFO and why would you pick that company?

MIT: Draw an ASCII picture of your favorite Lord of the Rings character and describe three lessons that today's business leaders can learn from Lord Of The Rings.

Stanford: Why? (100,000 words recommended)

Chicago Booth: Provide a detailed statistical analysis of why Chicago-Booth is #1 in BWeek and never higher than #3 in USNews. Do the math in your head.

NYU: How badly do you need a vacation from your ibanking job, and what makes you think you will be able to get back into ibanking upon graduation?

Yale SOM: Which nonprofit organization do you plan to run, and what about running a nonprofit makes you feel important?

Columbia: In your opinion, what is the best way to sabotage the Whartonian CFO of your company and become CFO?

UC Berkeley Haas: What makes a hippie like you think you can succeed in business? Use the words 'sustainable' and 'green' at least twice in your response.

Cornell Johnson: Describe how awesome being an Ivy Leaguer would make you feel.

UVA Darden: How badly do you want your ass to be kicked by our professors on a scale of 9 to 10?

Notre Dame: Describe how awesome Irish Football is, and list ten ways we can make our MBA program as well-known as our NFL training program.

London Business School: Answer NYU's essay and use the find/replace function to replace all 'NYU' with 'LBS', 'New York' with 'London' and 'program' with 'programme'.

Wash U Olin: How early are you willing to wake up to serve coffee to our medical students?

UNC Kenan-Flagler: See Notre Dame but replace Irish Football with Tar Heel basketball, and NFL with NBA.

U of Phx (pick 2 of 4): When your boss finds out you have enrolled here, how loudly will he/she laugh? Have you ever wasted a lot of money on something useless before? Would you be willing to appear on a billboard or would you rather keep your enrollment a secret? What is 5+8?

Tuck: Do you remember summer camp? How amazing was that!?!? Don't you wish you could go to camp for 21 months? Attach a letter you wrote to your parents in fifth grade summer camp explaining how awesome it was.

UMich Ross: What was the craziest thing you did while tailgating during undergrad, and are you prepared to tailgate like a pro again? In your essay, try to include the words moonshine, goat, and anus.

Kellogg: Explain why you think good quantitative skills are not required in business and discuss the importance of teamwork in situations in which no one is skilled enough to do the job by himself.

UCLA Anderson: Have you seen that show "The Hills?" Isn't it amazing? Discuss your strategies for getting into clubs to party with the cast of "The Hills" so you can feel important.

Duke Fuqua: What are your short-term and long-term career goals? Begin your essay with the sentence, "My career goal is to provide investment and business advice to the much more successful graduates of the Duke Law and Medical Schools."

Carnegie Mellon Tepper: Draw an ASCII picture of your favorite MIT student and list three things that business leaders can learn from MIT.

INSEAD: List the number of languages in which you are fluent, and explain how knowing a bunch of languages and studying in one of the world's slowest economies for ten months will make you an effective business leader.

CEIBS: Would you rather be upper middle class in the US, or rich in China? Pleeeeeeeease say rich in China!

Saturday, October 1, 2011


So there is a youtube video that has been making it's way around Cornell and abroad.  This was shown to us at one of our events and I'd like to share it with those interested!  I can only imagine how much MORE this video will mean to me after I've graduated!

I hope you enjoy it.  Here is the full url if you want to go to youtube. - http://bit.ly/o03vA5

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