Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Still Living the Dream!

Hello everyone!  I wanted to give a quick update as to some important events that have occurred these last 7 days.

First - Last Wednesday I stayed late at work to take a class at General Assembly called Deconstructing iOS.  It was a class about Apple's iOS software and how best to create mobile applications that adhere to the Apple UI guidelines.  The reason that I decided to take the class after work is because I'm trying to develop an idea that I have.  Who knows, maybe this blog will turn into how I created a start-up after business school and became a billionaire!

Second - After the class, I went to meet two of my friends from MLT.  I say from MLT but in reality,  I know one of them from 2009 when we attended an NYU Starn Marketing Weekend as prospective students!  We've come a long way since then!  In any event, I met them down by Union Square as they were finishing up dinner.  We sat and chatted for about 20 minutes.  She now goes to Duke and here is the post from when she got in.  My other friend goes to Columbia.  He was actually my roommate at CTLS last year around this time.  I think I wrote a blog post about CTLS.

Third - After meeting them for a quick chat, I went to the West Village to meet up with one of my best friends from school and one of his friends who also went to Columbia.  I sat with them for drinks and just talked about everything under the sun.  He was very interested in learning about my experience at General Assembly.

Fourth - On my way back from NYC to my house in New Jersey, I was on the bus wearing my CORNELL hat!  I find myself always wearing Cornell apparel because I always seem to run into someone who went to Cornell either as an undergrad or graduate.  There's an immediate sense of camaraderie when this happens that I wonder if it's unique to Cornellians.    So yes, I was sitting on the bus with my hat and I turned my hear to look out the window.  As I did this, I see someone notice my hat and then say "Did you go to Cornell?"  I said that I am currently a student at Johnson and he replied excitedly with, "I'm in Dyson now!"  For those of you who don't know, Dyson is the name of the undergraduate business school at Cornell.

We started talking about how we missed Ithaca and what not.  He then asked if I knew someone by the name of XXXXXX.  It was funny because he prefaced it with, "You probably don't know this person but do you know....."  I said, "I probably do know them because it's a small school."  So he said the person's name and to no avail I did know the person. The person is/was a 2nd year.  Apparently they had a class together in the business school.  After chatting for a couple of minutes, I told the student that he should give me his email address so we could keep in touch.  He was happy to do so, so I emailed him last night.

Fifth - The weekend was an interesting one because it was one filled with me introducing my business school friends to my non-business school friends.  On Friday, I was in Morristown, New Jersey because I have a classmate who is interning and living there.  I also have an undergraduate roommate who lives and works in Morristown.  I wanted to introduce them so that m b-school friend would at least have someone to go out to the bars with this summer when he isn't in the city.  When we got to my Undergraduate classmate's house my b-school friend said "I want to know everything there is to know about Richard from undergrad."  So the night had a lot of reminiscing going on!

Sixth - On Saturday, I was back in the city for a friends birthday.  We were staying in a hotel in Soho and were partaking in some libations before we went out.  As we were getting ready, I was inviting my business school friends to come out with us.  It was interesting to see things come full circle.  There were about 20 of us in the hotel room and there was at MOST 1 degree of separation between everyone.

- So some of my friends who came had met my business school friends when they came up to Ithaca for my 30th birthday.
- Some of my business school friends had met my other friends from other business schools during the Reaching Out MBA conference back in May.
- Some of my business school friends had met the brother of one of my Sternie (NYU STern) friends when said brother stayed with me in Ithaca for his interview.

It was all very surreal.  Everyone got along especially well!  <3 them all!

Okay it's 6:50am and I have to catch the bus and head to the city.  Adios!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

MBAs in NYC Facebook Group

There are a ton of FB groups that I have become a part of since starting my MBA.  One of the most recent groups is the MBAs in NYC group.  I'm not sure who started this group but has about 275 people in it.  From what I gather it's all of us, now 2nd years, who are currently interning in NYC.  In the group there are posts about apartments for rent...and random conversations.

One conversation that was started was by someone who is interested in start-ups.  I've completely taken to this start-up life and had my interest immediately piqued as to where the conversation would go.  We ended up planning a happy hour get together for those of us interested in Tech start-ups and Venture capital.  One of the people in the group actually works at GA with me.  This person doesn't work for Craft Coffee, but we definitely pass by one another on occasion throughout the days.

When we met up at Fiddlestix in the village we grabbed beers and then had to go through the obligatory introductions.  For me this was a "Is this really my life moments?" to where I was sitting at a table with a classmate of mine, two folks from Columbia, someone from Chicago Booth, Tuck, and Yale.  The fact that I was at a table with folks from those schools is not what I'm referring too... That wasn't my "Is this really my life moments?" but rather it was the fact that I was sitting at the table with these fellas talking about start-ups and VC.  Never have I ever thought that I would find myself in such a position, but in hindsight, it's amazing that I never thought I would find myself in that position.  That last sentence may not make a lot of sense right now but in time it will.

Interestingly enough as I was walking to this happy hour event, I crossed paths with my friend who helped me edit my essays the day before they were due a year and a half ago.  Don't believe that that actually happened?

Here check the link for yourself - http://money9111.blogspot.com/2011/01/essay-madness.html The part where I reference my friend is in the last paragraph.

So yeah, I was on my way to this glorious meeting of the minds and I run into the person who I say helped me get into business school.  Of course there was a whole team of folks ushering me along, but this friend of mine really helped me!

In any event it was at this happy hour that I realized that I cannot simply say that at Craft Coffee I'm in charge of Acquisitions because to people who have Private Equity backgrounds and/or those who are interested in VC, an acquisition means something totally different.  

So yes... that is my sidestory from the blog post right before this one!  :-)

Summer Internship

Hello everyone.  Okay first thing first - obey your thirst!  Okay that's not really what I wanted to say, but it sort of rolled off of my finger tips.  I know I have yet to post pictures from my trip to Japan and Korea, but that is still on the docket.  I want this post to be the first official post about my summer internship.

It's hard to imagine that just last year around this time I was coordinating meet-ups with my new classmates here in NYC.  It's amazing to see that the incoming class is now doing the same thing.  SHOUT OUT TO ALL THE INCOMING JOHNSON CLASS!  In any event, while they're busy buying laptops and doing MBA math, I'm busy working at my internship.

I did land back in NYC after a grueling recruiting process.  I'll leave all of the recruiting details for my book (thinking about it) but let's just say that recruiting is a bitch!  Especially when you find yourself in the predicament that I did in May.

Without going into all of the details here is the long and short of it.
- Had an offer in March
- Offer fell through
- Was thrown back into the recruiting process
- Sent resumes out all over
- FInished 1st year "technically" and was headed off to Japan & Korea, didn't have an internship settled down yet.
- Was in Korea and had Skype interviews with the East Coast.
- Got the offer from one of those companies.
- Accepted the offer from one of those companies.
- Started working at Craft Coffee on June 4th.

What is Craft Coffee you ask?  Well here, just go to the website and see for yourself


The company is a VC backed start-up that operates out of the General Assembly in the Flatiron district in NYC.  THe next question I'm usually asked is "What is the General Assembly?"  The best that I can describe it is a co-habitating working space for a bunch of start-ups.  It can definitely be likened to a start-up incubator and/or accelerator.  The General Assembly does not take an equity stake in the companies that are a part of it like an incubator would. Nonetheless, I believe all of the start-ups are funded.

Here is the link to the General Assembly website if you'd like to know more about it.  http://www.GeneralAssemb.ly

Other than being able to network with like-minded individuals the General Assembly (GA) provides classes that GA members can take as well as fireside chats with industry folk.  I just signed up for a class about iOS iphone & ipad applications.  The class is tomorrow evening after the work day, so I'm looking forward to that.

Okay enough background about all that... I haven't said what I am doing for Craft Coffee.  Well...I'm in charge of Customer Acquisitions.  (CLICK HERE FOR A SIDESTORY)  I enjoy what I do on a daily basis because I'm using the skills learned during my 1st year and applying them to my current job.  It's interesting going through the Core and wondering "When will I ever need to know how to do this stuff?"  Well, for me... the answer is RIGHT NOW.  On Day 1 I started working on something that directly correlated to my first two weeks of business school.

I also know that if I were to get stuck with something, I could simply post in our Johnson Class of 2013 FB group that I needed help and I would get 5-10 people respond to me within a couple of hours offering assistance.  Every time this occurs in the FB group the person initiating the post concludes with "I LOVE OUR CLASS!"  That's a great thing about our class is that if one of us doesn't know something - there is only 1 degree of separation to someone who does know and all it takes is a friendly reminder that "Hey... so and so did that" or "Hey...so and so is working on something similar."  We definitely have each others backs!

So with that I'm going to finish this post and then write another one that is the sidestory mentioned above.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

"Is this really my life?"

I wanted this post to be about my trip to Japan but my memory card is upstairs and I don't feel like walking upstairs to get it.  Therefore all of my pictures from Japan will have to wait until a later date.  In the mean time I can just talk about some things that I've been up to.

Reflecting on my first year of business school still happens, especially when I meet people who say "Hey you have that blog right?"  But now that I've started my internship and am back in the workforce, for the summer, I'm realizing the importance of business school.  I've learned an incredible amount as well as experienced a great deal that makes me understand why I worked so hard to get into business school.  I frequently have "Is this really my life?" moments on a daily basis.

For instance, two weeks ago a classmate of mine had a birthday party in NYC.  It was on the rooftop of his apt building in midtown.  I had previously been at another friends going away party in Brooklyn.  It was a small one bedroom apt but was nice and quaint.  It was great to see my friends but I had to leave that party early to go to this classmate's birthday party.  I remember hopping back on the subway and heading into the city.  When I got my my friends apt building in midtown, I took the elevator right up to the rooftop.  When i opened the door on the roof I was greeted by a huge building with red, white, and blue lights.  It's a building I had seen every day for the last 4 years, but it was still awe inspiring to me.  It's not everyday - at least not for me - when you find yourself partying on a rooftop with the lights of the Empire State building beaming down on you.

After i got over the shock and awe of where I was, I RAN over to my classmates and gave them ALL big hugs!  It was like being reunited with long lost family members.  We just sat outside and drank.  Definitely something we had done many-a-times before, but it was different this time because things had come full circle.

That was one incident that recently happened.  The other one occurred this last weekend.  I got a text earlier in the week for a party at a recently graduated 2nd year (I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I am now a 2nd year).  So this text message was from a recent Johnson alum.  I'll just say that.  So on Friday after I finished work, I headed uptown to meet up with two of my classmates and one of their Columbia MBA roommates.  We had a couple rounds of drinks and then went our separate ways, but we were to reunite later that night.

I headed downtown to the Financial District to go to this house party.  I walked into the apartment and didn't see anyone in the living room.  I did hear music in what I thought was the bedroom, so I made my way that way.  I walk through the bedroom and see people outside on the patio/balcony.  NOw if you don't know NYC, a balcony/patio is an incredible perk.  I saw many of the 2nd years who I had just seen a month previously.  It was very great to see them and see that they're all doing well.  The "Is this really my life moment" came when I realized that we were staring at the Brooklyn Bridge.  It was a gorgeous night, we were in a gorgeous apartment, we had great food, great drinks, and I was with great classmates.  It was definitely a great moment in time.

Then a classmate and I took a cab to the village to meet up with some of our other classmates.  We went to the bar and got drinks and sat, talked, and laughed.  It was great.  I couldn't tell you what we talked about because I don't remember.  I had a lot of vodka, but I know that we had fun.

This week is going to be filled with other activities.  I'll try to keep you all posted!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summer Neglect!

Hi All,

This is a letter/note to all of those who follow my blog (and those who just found it!)  i have to apologize for not updating you on the last couple of weeks of my 1st year!  It was a whirlwind.  A lot of happened to me in the last couple of weeks.

- I went on a class trek to Japan and Korea!  I have to write a separate blog post about that.

- I also started my internship!  More to come on that as well...

- I'm missing my classmates even though we just left one another, but thankfully I see them in the city!

- I am officially a second year.  That's weird to say and comprehend.

I promise I will write more about these things and others this week.  I also know that the new essay questions for business school applications are coming out shortly.  I will probably rehash some old posts to help those who are applying AND reapplying out.

Lastly - If anyone needs help with their applications this year, do reach out to me and let me know.  I plan to help 5 people this year.  I can't edit 150 essays like I did during the core last year.  So I'm going to help 5 applicants for a small fee.  Let me know if you're interested.  (Oh and if you're wondering - I don't do the whole...ONLY 3 EDITS or ONLY 2 SCHOOLS) thing.  Think of it more like keeping me on retainer.  Email me if interested - richardbattlebaxter@gmail.com
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