Thursday, April 29, 2004

Oooo. I got my Wharton email account today. Now I feel all official. The email isn't active and is in forwarding mode until Pre-term, but creating my account allowed me access to things like MySpike. MySpike is Wharton's internal portal that has a detailed schedule of events, news, and Wharton happenings. For instance, Wharton was just recognized for its excellent Admissions materials by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. (Congrats to Alex and the crew, y'all deserve it.)

Logging onto the portal made me feel even more like a part of the Wharton community. Isn't it funny how something simple can evoke a little swell of emotion?

Speaking of which, logged on to the Blogger League today and was greeted by the new layout. Most of the class of 2006 blogs were moved to their respective school listings. I was a little sad that our blogs are not listed together anymore. It's kind of metaphorical - we're all moving in different directions, and its time to pass the baton to the class of 2007 blogs. But I'm still a little sad. I guess this will finally motivate me to get my bloglines subscriptions together.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Life has been busy. One of my recommenders is running for state representative, and I volunteered today to man the campaign office since its primary day in Pennsylvania. Work has kicked into high gear. I think I realized how little time I have to complete all the major projects on my plate.

And I'm looking for a new apartment. Which I think is kind of fun, actually. In the past 5 years, developers in Philly have redeveloped a slew of historic places into apartments and condos. So there are all these great spaces with great characteristics like, huge windows, lofts, and hardwood floors. I'm enjoying seeing the spaces. I'm looking forward to moving back to the city.

I am a little stressed about my current lease (and any and all opinions are appreciated). You see, last winter my landlord sent my lease extension while I was out of town (I was recovering from surgery in Texas, which is another story entirely) by certified letter. I never picked up the certified letter. I know it was my lease because I've lived here for 5 years and that's how they send the new lease. I also never signed the new lease rider. The lease rider has a clause that says, "if you don't notify us by X date that you are moving out, we will extend your lease 12 months even if you don't sign this rider." Now my father thinks that clause isn't legally sound. He says you can't hold someone to something like a lease without that person's acknowledgement. So my dad thinks I should just notify them that I'm moving and move.

I like my dad's interpretation but I don't want to get sued. I really want to live in the city. It will totally suck to commute to school. What do y'all think?

Friday, April 23, 2004

I've become a Wharton diarist!

I guess the days of anonymity are over. Now people can find out who I am. But worse, my parents could find my blog! How much would that suck? I'd have to explain what a blog was, and the wall between my child/parent-life and my actual-life would come crashing down. Much like George from Seinfield that wanted to keep relationship George and friend George separate, I want to keep the parental units out of the intricate details of my life. It would only stress them out if they knew all of my business... well at least it would stress me out.

Oh well, here's hoping the parents don't google me!

Oh my goodness - this is funny.

I'm trying to work out my living situation now that I've committed to Wharton. I live in the Philly suburbs (about 1-1.5 hour commute during rush hour) but I would really like to live in Center City. Unfortunately my lease rolled over and it doesn't expire until December. And my landlord, frankly, is being an ass about letting me out of the lease.

So I'm trying to devise ways to either sublet or get someone to take over my lease. I headed to the Craig's List to put up a posting offering $100 to someone willing to take over the lease. I was reading up on the rules of the List before I posted, and by following a series of links I ended up reading the "best of" list. A CL guide to paying your tuition without ever having a "real" job brought tears to my eyes, I was laughing so hard. The sad thing is I have actually considered one of the things on the list - eggs anyone?

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Well, it's official. I'm headed to Wharton. I mailed my deposit today. I was surprised how happy putting a $1,000 check in the mail made me. I feel ecstatic. I can't wait to begin the new adventure. Woo-hoo!

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

I've been thinking a bit about the Apprentice and Kwame's loss. Last Thursday night after the finale, they interviewed The Donald about his decision. He said Omarosa did Kwame in. So I've been thinking about Kwame's selection of Omarosa and about how he managed her.

Because Kwame picked second, he was doomed to be stuck with Omarosa. But Kwame picked her second - which implies choice. Some have questioned the wisdom of this. I think it was a wise move. Kwame knew Omarosa was crazy and would probably be a complete bitch if she was the last kid chosen on the playground. To mollify her, he made her feel valuable by selecting her second. I think it was pretty smart given the circumstances.

Kwame did fail in his management of Omarosa, which is easy to say in hindsight as a Tuesday Morning Quarterback. But I think what we all fail to remember is that Omarosa is NUTS. Certifiably crazy. A total LOON. Have you ever managed a crazy person? Under the best circumstances, you fire the crazy person. But usually it's not that easy. I think Kwame was stuck between a rock and hard place. He had limited time and limited manpower to get the job done. If he had fired Omarosa, it would have been major DRA-MA. Which would have affected the morale of those left in the wake. And the team would have to pick up the slack of the lost team member. We'll never know if they could have pulled it together and performed better without her. But at the very least, Kwame should have moved Omarosa off of high profile tasks, or at the very least asked Troy to babysit her. Having Troy work with Heidi instead of Omarosa was a mistake.

I actually wrote about a similar situation in one of my Wharton essays. I was on a team where I was responsible for recruiting volunteers and morale (I was the HR person). One of the team members was ABSOLUTELY CRAZY. She threw a hammer at someone. That's right. A friggin' HAMMER. At his head. She missed. But I didn't fire her because of the morale thing. At the time, I thought the member had to stay to keep the team cohesive. In hindsight, I realize I was totally wrong. I sooooo should have fired her ass. So I guess that's what should have happened to Omarosa.

Oh, here's a humorous dialog between E-online and FauxMarosa. Or even better, here's a place where you can give the lovely Omarosa a smack. And please save your comments on misogyny. I think this is pretty damn funny.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Getting into business school does not mean everything is rosy. Two years ago when I told my boyfriend that I wanted to go to business school, his response was "Well, what happens to me?" He was convinced our relationship couldn't survive my further education.

In the last two years, we've fought a lot. There have been many stony silences. About six months ago, we decided we should go our separate ways. But nothing was real until I actually got into business school.

Now my boyfriend has started to pack his things. Our apartment is full of boxes. We starting to divide the stuff that was ours into piles of yours and mine. The ironic thing is, I'm not leaving Philadelphia. We could have easily made this work.

But I guess everything happens for the best. It's probably best that I not stay with a person who doesn't fully support me and my endeavors. And he doesn't. I wanted to reach for the stars and he was intimidated by that. And that sucks. It sucks that by trying to achieve my dreams, I ended up losing someone I love very much.

I believe I've made the best decision. But it's scary. I've been with my boyfriend for almost seven years - which is most of my adult life. I don't really know what it is to be single anymore. I don't know what it means to be without another person who knows everything about me. I don't remember what it's like to not be part of a "we."

So getting into business school has been bittersweet. I'm excited to start a new stage of my life, but I'm sad that I'm starting it alone.

Monday, April 19, 2004

The rest of Welcome Weekend rocked. It was energizing to be on campus. Everyone I met was so laid back and SMART. I was surprised by the number of people there that did not come from traditional MBA feeder industries. I only met a couple of investment bankers. Also, not everyone was pursuing an MBA to go into IB, consulting, or private equity - and that was refreshing. I didn't meet anyone who was overtly greedy or obnoxious.

On Saturday, I attended Wharton Live, which was a series of live performances mixed in with speeches from students, administration, and alumni. Two of the segments really made me think. The first was the Wharton Follies segment. Wharton Follies in a nutshell is a musical put on by students with special appearances from administration (and a surprise Apprentice-like segment from the Donald). When I was researching Wharton and first learned about the Follies, I thought it was like a talent show. And since I can sing (no really, I can) I thought, "hey it would be neat to get involved with Follies if I attend Wharton." And then I saw a clip of the performance, and realized some of the folks were probably former Broadway actors (Seriously. Rose, the director of admissions, is an opera singer). And I got cold feet and feared I was out of my league. When I saw the Follies segment at Wharton Live,I thought about how cool it would be to be involved with the production. But then the voice that tells you that you can't do something because you are cool, pretty, talented, smart enough to do something came on, and I started to make excuses why I couldn't get involved.

The next segment was a speech from a 2002 alum, who opened his speech with, "All I keep thinking as I watch that is, 'I should've done that. I should've done that.'" The alum's speech focused on how it's important to get involved. It's about choices - and realizing that half of the Wharton experience is outside of the classroom. His speech really hit home.

I realize that the next two years offer an opportunity to exist outside the comfort zone. Business school is one of the last times you can look at the categories and boxes you've put yourself in, and decide to totally ignore those boundaries. It's a time when you can ignore that voice that tells you that you can't do something. It's a time when you can try anything, you can be anyone. And so I've made a commitment to myself to ignore the voice. I will go out for Follies. I will learn how to salsa. I will ask that cute boy out on a date. I will crawl in the mud at Quantico - no wait. No way I'm doing that. I'm sorry but, even if I ignore the voice, that experience is still COMPLETELY unappealing to me.

I'm extremely excited to start school. I'm hoping the next three months fly by. I'm not stressed about the academic challenge. I have full confidence in my abilities. I feel optimistic about the next two years. It's gonna be pretty damn awesome.

I was going to post a detailed review of the goings on, but I defer to Hella's awesome series of posts. I will note that my Saturday started with the financial aid forum. Talking about financial aid at 9 AM on a Saturday is not a good thing. I was totally freaked out by that discussion. In fact I plan to call the financial aid office today to see if I can talk to someone about some of my concerns.

Oh and after a series of all-nighters, I got two fellowship applications in. We'll see what happens. I expect good things.

Friday, April 16, 2004

My first day at Wharton's Welcome Weekend was absolutely awesome. Everyone I met was so nice and laid back about their accomplishments. One guy said he published a paper once. Follow up with him and it turns out the publication was about brain function! I'm really enjoying meeting potential classmates. And I've met some of the MBA Bloggers and the S2S regulars. I also ran into half a dozen people that I knew from school, work, etc. That was cool. It seemed every room I walked into had a familiar face.

What I've seen so far has made me want to be at Wharton more. Except the Leadership Venture to Quantico. As part of Wharton's Leadership Development programs, students can go on these experiential learning trips. One of the ventures is to the Marines' Officers Candidate Training in Quantico. They showed us this clip from CNN to explain what the Leadership Venture is (and I think to get us excited by the idea of go on the Venture), and the clip featured students crawling around in the mud going through an obstacle course a la Private Benjamin. Now I'm sorry, but that clip totally turned me off. I have ABSOLUTELY NO DESIRE to crawl around in the mud for any purpose. I certainly wouldn't pay money to do it. I don't think I'll be going on any Leadership Ventures. Unless the develop a Leadership Venture where you go to Europe and tour museums or something.

But despite that I had a blast. I'm tired now, so I'll write more later. But I'm so ready for preterm to start NOW.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Well, congratulations are in order to Bill from The Apprentice. I was really pulling for Kwame, but I think his laid back nature (and unwillingness to tell the evil Omarosa off) did him in. I guess traditional reality TV rules did not apply.

But the thing that really makes me mad is that I missed the chance to get discovered! Apparently, Mark Burnett was at Wharton today during The Apprentice finale to tape Wharton reactions (thanks for the link, Bob). If I wasn't working on applications and other stuff, I would have been there. I missed the chance to say something wacky on camera! I could have been discovered! It could have been the beginning of a my famousness. Oh the humanity!!!

Wharton Welcome Weekend officially starts today. I'd like to extend a warm welcome to all those who are making their way to the Philadelphia area today. It seems the sun has stopped its week-long hibernation just in time for the start of WWW.

I actually drafted my scholarship essays last night. I hate throwing something together but this scholarship application is a true Hail Mary bid for more money. I'm applying for a program that I'm sort of eligible for. I'm hoping the nonprofit thing will give me a bit of an edge. We'll see.

I had a weird dream last night. I dreamt that I was at a bus stop with all these MBA applicants. A school bus pulled up, and a couple of adcoms from Wharton got off the bus. They called out names (including mine) and handed out nametags. I got on the bus and sat next to a tall (and cute) guy named Paul. The bus proceeded to Cornell's campus (I guess that's my subconscious symbol for school) and we got off and started WWW. Nothing bad happened, it was just weird that the dream included a yellow school bus.

I had a hard time sleeping. I felt kind of like I did when I was a kid before the first day of school. You know, anxious about making friends, about fitting in, about my abilities, about what outfit I should wear. I'm pretty excited to meet potential classmates.

One thing I'm disappointed about is the possibility that I will miss MBA Pub at Wharton tonight. Wharton hosts a Pub night every Thursday, and because of the scholarship deadline tomorrow, and a major work deadline, I'm afraid I will have to skip the festivities. I'll be there in spirit though.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Hey 3app - Ich hatte Deutsches auch vergessen. Ich erinnere nur mich Zahlen und Buchstaben und die an Tage der Woche... möglicherweise. Mais! Je parle français. Je me rappelle le français!! Je puis avoir de petites conversations en français. But no antartican... I wasn't aware that antartican was a language. Learn something new every day!

The past two weeks have been absolutely CRAZY. I've had the cold from hell that won't go away, and it has seriously hindered my productivity. Which would be all well and good, if I didn't have scholarship essays to write. Two scholarships are due this week, and all I have written is the outline. I've had a serious case of writers block, and now I'm stressing about the deadline. Add to that two major deadlines at work and the upcoming Wharton Welcome Weekend, and I feel like the world is crashing in on my head.

And I'm starting to have buyer's remors, not that I've bought anything yet. I'm leaving a paying job to go to school - what if I can't find an internship, or worse what if I can't find a job? And what if I can't survive on the grad school budget? What if all I can afford is a loaf a bread and some butter? What if I'm making the wrong decision?

It's totally irrational, I know - but stress causes my anxiety level to go through the roof. The good news is I have so much to do, that I have little time to spend thinking about my various anxieties.

And then there's always the distraction of The Apprentice. There was an article in the Morning News about the "reality" of reality TV that focused on the apartment rental show on The Apprentice. It was an excellent and entertaining read, I recommend it.

Anyway, Thursday night is the big finale on The Apprentice, and it's coming down to Kwame and Bill. I think the winner will be Kwame. I know, I know. Kwame has been doing miserably compared to Bill. But as anyone who watches reality TV knows, the guy that looks like the winner, always comes out the loser (see The Bachelor or Average Joe for examples). It seems Kwame is the underdog on the betting circuit - maybe I'll place a bet. Hey that could be a strategy to raise money for school!

Monday, April 12, 2004

Someone with too much damn time on their hands has hijacked our beloved BW Forums. Almost every single thread has to do with the supposed M7.

Now I don't care if the M7 exists or not. And I don't care if Columbia's dean secretly meet with other deans. What I do care about is the ability of the MBA applicant community to waste time during the day. How are we to talk about total inane topics if it's all M7 all the damn time?

I say we the people rise up! I say we revolt! Fight the power!! Take back the BW Forum! The people united shall never be M-numbered!!

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

Thursday, April 08, 2004

The BW has been buzzing the last couple days because of various events related to the US News business school ranking (check out here for the full ranking and here for the specialty ranking). Duke students are up in arms because they fell from 7 to 11 (which I don't get - it's four friggin spots on a stinkin ranking). There's a Fordham student who is clearly off his or her meds screaming about Fordham's ranking (among a lot of other things). And people are all a tizzy about Harvard and Wharton's decision to stop supplying student and alumni email to Business Week for its ranking.

All the hoopla in last couple of days has got me wondering. Why do people care so much about the rankings? In my school research, I used the rankings to provide hard data (like average GMATs, GPAs, salary, etc) to see if I was within the ranges of current students. I also used the ranking as a proxy for recruitability. But you have to recognize that it's not an exact science. Who's to say that an individual would be better off at a #12 school than a #17 school? It seems silly to me to put too much weight on the rankings. The rankings are really just an approximation of the strength of schools among their stakeholders. I guess I don't get the people who use the rankings alone to decide which schools to apply to or which school to attend. The rankings shouldn't replace solid independent research.

In the postings about Harvard and Wharton, there was the following quote: "Wharton, Harvard and many other business schools are actively working with the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) to develop a service that will provide objective, comparative and audited data to prospective students, recruiters and the media. The project's primary goal is to enable individuals to examine and analyze information of interest to them personally, from which they can draw their own conclusions."

I think that sounds kind of promising. That way stakeholders can evaluate schools on measures that matter most to them. And it's more equitable. We wouldn't have to pay for "premium" information or wait to bum a copy of the latest publication. If this project takes off, I think it will be a BIG improvement on the current system.

And then maybe people will find something more meaningful to focus on...

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Have you checked out the League of MBA Bloggers lately? Applicant Blogs are reproducing like bunnies! I was shocked by the sheer number - there's even a dentist who's applying. I think it's awesome that so many applicants are blogging. Oh and a special shout out to the Brit Chick. Brit Chick, is a class of 2007 applicant interested in nonprofits. A new chick added to the fold, I love it!!

And Clear Admit had a shout out for the advice blog. Now y'all we've got to step it up and actually post. I did a post about applying on a budget a couple a weeks back, but with all the Wharton celebration (woo hoo - still pretty damn excited!) I forgot to mention it. It would be a shame if we don't keep up the blog. I plan to do posts on the consortium, and scholarship searches. Also once I've mastered the financial aid monster, I'll probably write about that. Funny most of my ideas have to do with money. Does that say something Freudian about me?

I am kind of stressed about financial aid and all the scholarships I'm trying to apply for. I have to fill out so many forms in the next week it's driving me nuts. I'm sorry to whine. I guess that goes to show you should be careful what you wish for; you might just get it. But I am totally overwhelmed. One more month of craziness... right?

Monday, April 05, 2004

Is it just me or are financial aid instructions incredibly confusing. I feel incredibly stupid after I read them. Every school's process is different. After reading the instructions, I find myself thinking, "Wait... now what I am supposed to fill out next?" I'm not sure if the instructions are really confusing or if I'm having a mental block because of the huge amount of debt I'm about to sign on to.

Michigan sent me a write up of my financial aid package this weekend, and the numbers didn't make me want to choke. I realized that I haven't filled out all the paper work for Wharton in order to compare. Once I fill out their forms, Wharton will send a preliminary financial aid write up. I don't know how quickly they turn it around, but I hope that they turn it around quickly so I can see the numbers before I send in my deposit.

I wish all of this wasn't so confusing. In college, my father handled all of my financial aid stuff. I know it's immature, but I wish I had someone to handle this stuff for me. It gives me a massive headache.

Friday, April 02, 2004

It's looking like I'll spend the next two years at Wharton. Even though I haven't sent my deposit, I'm pretty much decided. As I think about my choice, I find myself arguing for Wharton more often than not. I seem to find any way to make Wharton the winner, and I think that's saying something. The fit is there with Wharton. I think it would be the best choice for me.

I'm sad about missing some things at Michigan. 1) The money - a full fellowship. That's tough to walk away from. 2) The chance to learn from and work with Professor C.K. Prahalad. Professor Prahalad works to show how businesses can create an economic revolution for the bottom rung. This is the stuff I live for. Seriously, this is the type of work I'm most interested in. Last spring, a group of students worked with Professor Prahalad on the Bottom of the Pyramid Project for their MAP (it's like a residency program for business students). This sounds like a phenomenal opportunity. 3) Living in Ann Arbor. I've lived in the Philadelphia area ever since leaving college. It would be nice to live in a new town, especially one as quaint as Ann Arbor. 4)As far as mascots go, the Wolverines are WAY cooler than the Quakers. (Quakers? Aren't they peace-loving and non-violent? How can you have a peace-loving, non-violent mascot? Aren't mascots supposed to be able to rip the opponent to shreds? But I digress...)

But I'm excited about Wharton. 1)I feel a connection with the Whartonites that I didn't feel anywhere else. 2) Wharton has SO MANY extracurricular activities, I know I will have an avenue to contribute. 3) I believe there are more opportunities for someone interested nonprofit consulting 4)If I'm to be confined to the northern half of the country, I'd prefer it to be a place where it doesn't snow all the damn time - so Philly it is!

On a more pressing note, did y'all see The Apprentice last night?! OMG!!! This was the first episode where the outcome actually surprised me. (See here for a short recap or here for a long - like blow by blow- one .) Literally, my mouth fell open at the end of the show. All I have to say is Kwame needs to thank the Lord for His good grace, because he sure didn't deserve to stay. But I may be overly influenced by editing. But as dmbrat said, I have two words for you, "Oma" and "Rosa." She's ba-ack! Hopefully it will be a good show next week.

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