Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Best wishes to all of you out there as we begin 2008! And good luck to those of you working on applications for those upcoming R2 deadlines!

Friday, December 21, 2007

The way the cookie crumbles

So time to 'fess up....

I actually got an admit to Columbia the week before I heard from Chicago. Given the timing (per the binding Early decision agreement, I have two weeks to send my deposit to secure my spot at Columbia) I decided to wait it out and see what Chicago said. I was SHOCKED with an acceptance. After last year when I went 0 for 4, I got accepted at my top two choices. I'm still actually flabbergasted at the thought.

For the last week, I've been struggling with whether or not to break my word to Columbia and go to Chicago. I consider myself a very ethical person, even when it isn't always easy. Having just visited Chicago and loved it... it was a big temptation. Several times I thought I had made a decision and then immediately changed my mind. Last night it became very clear to me that I should go to Columbia. I wish I could say it was some major revelation, but it wasn't. It felt like it was the right thing to do for me. (I do realize the impossible situation of making a bad decision in this scenario. I hear the world's smallest violin playing right now.) This morning Columbia got my deposit (with probably no time to spare) and I've secured my spot as a member of CBS Class of 2010.

So, all you GSB waitlisters out there, I hope one of you get my spot. BschoolDiva, you think they'll swap one Texas girl for another? I remember the pain of being on the waitlist; I was waitlisted through two rounds until August before the semester started. Just keep sending those meaningful updates and let them know that you heart Chicago GSB. And if you make it, sign up for a Random Walk for me because that was one of the things I really wanted to do.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

YES!!!!!!

I got the admit call from Chicago this afternoon!!!! The only way to describe my feeling right now is pure elation.

When I step off cloud nine, I'll blog more.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

counting down the days

As I wait to hear final decisions, I'm spending my time
  • Playing in a work intramural kickball tournament: we won it tonight. rock on!
  • Christmas shopping: I am at the point where amazon won't cut it any more so I will have to face the crowds.
  • Moving: my roommate moved out so I'm moving slowly in the master bedroom.
  • Recommender presents: a good time to get them thank you gifts with the holiday season. I'm planning on getting them spa gift certificates since they are both very busy women who need some "me" time. Last year, I got gift cards to a popular restaurant in our area and that went over very well also.
  • Nursing my running injury: I haven't run in weeks and I think the half marathon in February will probably not happen. I may try for a 10k and half-marathon relay instead.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

columbia interview complete!

I did an alumni interview with Columbia on Monday. Seeing as it was so soon after my Chicago I was a little nervous I would say Chicago instead of Columbia in some of my answers, but luckily I avoided that. Overall, I felt less nervous but lacked a real "connection" with the interviewer. We didn't have much in common, but I enjoyed our conversation. He got a good feeling of my goals, reasons for wanting to go to Columbia and my personality so in that sense it was a success. We met at a Starbucks and luckily I was able to pick up the large corner table so we were able to have something resembling a private conversation. For those of you doing an interview in a public place, I would recommend getting there early to acclimate, get used to the noise level and relax a bit.

I was pretty thrilled to receive the news that Chicago's notification date was moved up to December 19th. I wonder whether they will call admits as they did last year... Two weeks left! The motivation to complete my R2 two applications is low... anyone else feeling me out there?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

chicago interview

I went up to Chicago GSB this weekend to interview at Super Saturday. All in all, the interview went well. I had an alumni interviewer - he was very relaxed and laid back. He asked a few of the standard questions, but after a while it became more conversational. He seemed to appreciate my genuine Why Chicago. A question I am getting very used to is "Why not Kellogg?" as I want to go into marketing. At that point, I am glad I have visited programs and can say "I didn't feel a fit at Kellogg because of a, b, c, but I did at your school and here is why." While I enjoy a conversational interview, it is harder to get in all of those points that you want, but, in the end, I was pleased with the interview.

What this Texas girl was not pleased with was the frigid snowstorm. It started to snow at the beginning of the scheduled lunch with first year students and by the end of it, was really coming down. The temperature was in the 20s (probably teens with wind chill); that is a 50 degree differential from what I am used to! Unfortunately my flight was canceled on Saturday, and a friend offered to house me and drive me to O'Hare the next morning. While I tried to enjoy the extra time in Chicago and spend some time seeing the city, the cold eventually got the best of us and we sought solace inside my friend's condo.

Now I only have one more month until the January 3rd notification date. I really want to get in as every time I visit the campus I just fall a little bit more in love with the program.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

happy turkey day!

Happy long weekend to all of you out there! I started my time off today and I'm hoping to be very productive with the days off, completing a few drafts of the Michigan essays and prep for my Chicago interview next week.

In update news, I got an invitation to interview at Columbia this morning. I had been told that reapplicants who interviewed the previous year often do not re-intervew so the news was a bit anticlimatic as I expected a final decision. I'm trying not to analyze too much why I was asked to interview again, but see it as an opportunity to ace it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

3 down!

With just over three hours to spare, I submitted my NYU application tonight, which closes up my Round 1 efforts. Next up is Chicago interview prep and Michigan essays. I hope to make a big dent into Michigan over the Thanksgiving holiday.

In running news, I aggravated my plantar fasciitis this past week so I haven't been running. Just lots of ibuprofen, stretching and icing my left foot while writing. Hope I get better or I may change my blog to mbalimpinggirl.

Friday, November 9, 2007

i've finally arrived!

So I'm a little bit of a dork, but I was really excited to merit a mention in Clear Admit's Friday on the Frontline. I've been reading the blog for months so I got a little giddy when I read it this morning.

My nose is to the grindstone as I work on my two NYU essays (standard essay one and a "how have you improved since last year" essay 4 for reapplicants) I am finding it difficult to simply refactor what I already have for these essays, but I am determined to get them done and good despite a nagging cough and an out of town wedding tomorrow.

Those of you who may be struggling with NYU's essay 3 (or even Chicago's ppt), think how you express yourself to your friends and family now. Without giving away what I did last year, I will say that I did not think it was that creative (though it was a tangible item that I sent in versus an essay) but it got the feedback "This is so you" from my close friends. This was exactly what I was going for (yay) Look for something that is truly representative of the awesomeness that is you - like your love of tennis, travel, basket weaving, and knitting tacky holiday sweaters. Good luck!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Scheduled Chicago interview

I decided to go ahead and fly up there and do the campus interview thing. It was difficult to pick a date with trying to finish up NYU and wanting enough time to properly perpare, not to mention factoring in Thanksgiving week as the worst time to fly. Anyway, I chose December 1, the round 1 Saturday interview date, which will serve my purposes since I've visited many a time.

I'm stoked except for cooooold in Chi-town. My friend told me that the lights should up on Michigan avenue by then, which is fun news for a retail junkie like me.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

nail biting...

With only two applications out the door, I'm constantly checking my email in hopes of word from Columbia. I saw a former roommate at a wedding this weekend and she is a first year at CBS. She just got me even more stoked about the idea of going there. NYU is coming along slowly. I should make the November 15th date without a problem, but work has been manic and I come home drained.

I had lunch with a friend and co-worker yesterday. He is considering applying next year, but is very early in the game. No GMAT, no short-term, long-term goals - he just knows that he wants to be doing something else. It was great to coach him a little bit on how to determine his goals and how to approach the MBA application process. I'd like to think I've learned something in the last 18 months about applying to business school.

Friday, November 2, 2007

events of today

Today I....
  • Got a full LASIK consultation and scheduled my surgery for January. I can't afford any down time while working on R2 apps.
  • Got a tooth filling
  • went to work with my eyes dilated and numb mouth (yup I was a mess!)
  • went to a wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
  • went to work briefly for a software release
But must excitingly.... I GOT MY CHICAGO INVITATION TO INTERVIEW!!!!! :) *High five to all of you out there*

Now I just need to decide whether or not to interview on-campus. I've visited GSB twice last year, but the closest alumni interview is about an hour away - and I think the same person I interviewed with last year. Thoughts anyone?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

my dog hates application season

because he doesn't get quite as much play time as normal. With my roommate gone on a vacation, he just sits and watches me type away.

As of today, one week before the deadline, I put Michigan to Round 2. Now I can just breathe a little bit and can focus on NYU due November 15th.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

How to convert a .ppt to a .pdf

So, Chicago says that your powerpoint must be less than 10MB to upload into the system. Mine is right over 5MB and refused to upload. The alternative is to convert the file into a .pdf file which will be considerably smaller. Warning: I had a little difficulty since I had some cutesy labels that were tilted - most of these solutions mangled my cutesy label!

Some solutions for those even more last minute than me (or I suppose R2)
1. createpdf.adobe.com - sign up for an account and you get 5 free chances to convert your file to a pdf.
2. www.pdfonline.com/easypdf - This one was pretty good, and kept the tilted labels in the right place. However, with the free trial, there was a small logo on the bottom right hand side and my photos were a little fuzzy. I also though the one time usage fee of $15 was high.
3. www.go2pdf.com/download.html - POS. Don't bother.

My solution after trying all of these? I uploaded my file to www.transferbigfiles.com. My friend who has macromedia 8 downloaded it, converted to pdf and sent it back to me. My tilted labels stayed tilted. One of the pictures ended up looking fuzzier than I wanted it to, but I noticed all solutions resulted in degradation of quality.

Good luck!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

piece of advice

If you are planning on spending your entire weekend working hard on an application that is due in 5 days, do not start your Saturday morning by making your annual visit to the eye doctor. I had my eyes dilated for the first time today and could not read until about 2pm. Oops... Be smarter than me, folks!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

first update...

I am now under review at Columbia. 10 weeks and I'll have a decision.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

columbia submitted!

It feels good to have that one out of the way. I think I went through six distinct drafts of my re-application essay before I got to the final one. I kept re-reading data forms and hitting submit was difficult. Oh well, now on to Chicago :)

Good luck to everyone as we get round 1 finished up.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

less blogging, more writing

Title should be sufficient. I'm around, but evenings are filled with essay writing. I may move Michigan to Round 2 as I have yet to start drafts. And Chicago's powerpoint is still killing me. Otherwise I'd rather not discuss as I'm stressed :)

Not to mention Fall TV has started. As a self-professed TV junkie, my Tivo is working overtime to get everything recorded so I can watch later.

On a more fun note, my break area at work got a Wii. I bowled a 215 on Wii bowling today! :)

Sunday, September 9, 2007

progress..

In a word: slow

First draft is back with comments. I'm working through them - fairly substantial as I expected. I'm hoping to get through them in the next few days. I want to get Columbia out in the next two weeks and then focus hard on Chicago (ie school that kept me on the waitlist for five months and still wants me to fill out the whole application to re-apply)

The stress is starting to get me. For the last week, my stomach has been constantly churning. I'm going through the same feelings as other bloggers - the roller coaster of confidence and "no one will want me" My piece of advice to all of you out there is to err on the confident side, because lack of confidence will permeate those essays.

To do:
Send out last recommendation packet (yeah, I'm totally late on this)
Finish Columbia essay - draft 2
Email a few more students and alumni
Finish updating resume
Go to a speed dating event (I'm shocked I'm doing this, but my friends and I agreed months ago to go together.)

PS: Did anyone see Britney on the VMAs? I turned in on just so I could catch the performance... and wow, yikes.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

happy september!

I went running this morning at the gym - I am attempting to get geared up for training for a half marathon in January. I've let myself get out of long distance running shape, but have been doing pretty good recently. Unfortunately, this morning, I was dragging and didn't make it very far.

Hopefully that won't be indicative of my long weekend, which I hope to be very productive. By today or tomorrow, I want to have a decent first draft to send off to my various readers.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

write, rewrite, rewrite

Does anyone else find themselves constantly re-wording, rephrasing every sentence of their essays? Perhaps it is because I'm still on my first essay, but I'm having difficulty committing to any of my words!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Going Cold Turkey

I have a confession. Last year, I was addicted to the Business Week forums, in a bad bad bad way. When I should have been writing essays, talking to my friends, eating, sleeping, I was reading the BWeek forums and deciding that since I have never built and funded an orphanage all by myself I was never going to get into b-school. It sprouted intense paranoia and unnecessary stress, and since it was not the applicant community and support that I needed, I'm quitting! Instead, I'm going to read blogs - lots and lots of blogs.... :)

Updated list

I finally got dinged two days ago from Chicago GSB off of the waitlist. As far as I know, the entire waitlist has been entirely cleared out. It wasn't such a big surprise after their exceptionally high yield and overbooked class. In fact when I got the email, the whole thing was anti-climatic. I felt nothing except maybe a slight twinge. I'm planning on improving my Chicago GSB application this year (looking forward to the powerpoint slides actually!) and will hopefully move from that maybe to "heck yeah, come on down!" list.

I've updated my list of schools. I am planning on adding one one more round 2 school; I was debating two schools, but application burnout is a horrible feeling. And I think it was evident in my essays last year that got progressively more bland. How is everyone else researching programs?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The writing has commenced.

I have started work on draft one of my first reapp essay. I put together a time line of when I wanted everything to be submitted and it got my rear in gear. If I want to meet all of them, I should have started...oh, a month ago.

I'm a horrible blogger. Who finds these things interesting?

Sunday, August 5, 2007

some decisions...

I'm still on the research trail. I am putting feelers out for friends of friends who go to the business schools I'm adding to my application list. I like Duke and Michigan a lot so I am pretty sure about those which just leaves one more school for my list.

I think I'm going to attack my reapplications first: Columbia and Chicago. I also signed up for an MBA tour at the beginning of September and then I'll start my Duke and Michigan apps since I'll be better informed at this point. I'm still a bit indecisive on what schools I'm applying to for R1 and R2. Most likely it will be Columbia, Chicago, NYU and Ross R1, Duke and maybe one or two more programs R2.

On a more fun note, I'm planning on prepping for a half-marathon in January. It'll be a nice contrast to the hell that is applying to MBA programs and hopefully a stress reliever.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Feedback!

I had a feedback session last week with Columbia. Like what I heard from some others out there, it was mainly "you were great; we just had a really competitive year." About 10 minutes into the conversation, the admissions officer eventually said that while my transition to my post-MBA goal was believable and defined it would have been more elaborated especially compared to my peers. I was glad to hear that since it is feedback I can use and apply to my reapplication effort.

I'm still researching programs. The maybes include Tuck, Emory, UNC, UCLA, Georgetown, Haas, Michigan and Duke. I only want to apply to six (maybe seven) programs so with Columbia, Chicago and NYU, I only have room for 3 more. Next up, scouring school websites and finding people I know at the maybe schools.

Monday, July 9, 2007

first up...

I have actually not decided whether or not I'm reapplying. The application process is emotional, demanding, and honestly not something I'm sure I want to repeat.

Why, you may ask?
1. I'm not entirely happy at my job and I'm not sure I can last another year there. Finding another job, I believe, would push me back another year at least in MBA terms. (a job switch so close to applying would probably come back to bite me when trying to explain my career career path thing in every Essay 1)
2. Am I that much stronger of an applicant than I was a year ago? Would I fare that much better? Or was I the "victim" of a nervous interview (yes on two accounts) or incomplete essay packages or undefined goals.

I have a feedback session with Columbia this week and I hope that will at least clarify number 2. On the more positive side, I did interview at every school I applied to and am hanging in there on the waitlist Chicago GSB. I think applying round to more programs would help out - as would just knowing the application process.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

starting off...

I've decided to join the MBA blogging community because I pity my friends and them having to listen to me discuss MBA admission, ad naseum.

I applied to four MBA programs last year and was rejected after interview from NYU, Columbia, Kellogg. I am actually still on the waitlist at Chicago, but as I am a optimistic realist I have begun preparations for re-applying for Fall 2008. I feel that I have learned a lot in my first application effort and I'm ready to start early and hard-core :)