Saturday, October 30, 2004

Well the first quarter is done and the second quarter has just begun. You never really get a chance to breathe here.

Finals for the most part were absolute bears. I think I did reasonably well in my econ class, but everything else was a challenge. Final grades don't come out until next week, so we'll see. My first quarter experience has led me to reevaluate the way I manage my time. Last quarter, after the Employer Info Sessions (EISs), I would usually go home - with the intention on working, but I usually ended up being somewhat unproductive. The new rule is that I will stay at Huntsman until at least midnight. I also plan on being more efficient with my time in between classes. We'll see how the new plan works out.

Yesterday, I participated in the Prospective Student Day, a recruiting event for women and people of color. (Shout out to all those who came out!) It was weird - it was like a reverse EIS. After the panels I was on ended, prospective students would come up to the front of the room and line up to speak with me. I wasn't expecting that. People actually wanted my advice - very weird! (And oh, for those at the Interview Panel, here is the accepted.com link) There are a lot of great and interesting people applying to the class of 2007. I wish you all luck!

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

It's finals week here at Wharton. The first quarter has ended. Starting today I have a final every night. That's the bad news. And I think I just BOMBED my marketing Final. That's the worse news. The marketing final was an absolute bear. It was a case study that we didn't see before the test. We had 3 hours to analyze the case and do a complete write up - the whole 5 C's , 4 P's, quant analysis, bla bla blaaa. I didn't finish. I really misjudged my time. Oh well, nothing I can do about it now.

I have accounting tomorrow evening. I'm not looking forward to that one. I have a lot of studying and practicing for that one if I'm going to get a decent grade.

And there's stats on Thursday - not looking forward to that one either. Never in my life have I been so excited for a class to end. Stats was the most confusing class this semester. The only good thing about the test on Thursday is that I never have to read another confusing (yet astonishing) fact about statistics again.

And then I'll finish up the week of fun with a MGEC (econ) exam. MGEC is my only chance to get a good grade. So I'm not too worried about that one. But you can't really not worry about exams here. The means are always super high, and the standard deviations are always super tight. It's really hard to excel here.

But I know this experience isn't just about excelling. I'm just sick of being average all the time.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

On Friday, I went up to NYC for a day on the job (affectionately known as DOJ) at an investment bank. There were three organized DOJs, but I only went to one because I had a conflict. The bank I visited had a Q&A session with IB associates, followed by a cocktail reception. It was interesting to hear what people liked about their jobs and what motivated them to choose the industry/product line that they did. From what I can glean, the bank's culture seems pretty happy. The people were tired, no doubt - that's a given when you work 80-100 hours per week. But they seemed to be really passionate about the work that they do, and they seemed to like one another. I liked that.

I'm beginning what's shaping up to be an all nighter. My learning team has been very efficient about dividing work up, and now my number is up. We have a bear of a stats project due tomorrow, and we have to write six pages about a multiple regression. That's right, SIX single spaced pages. That's a lot of writing about stats. I'm not sure if I will be able to fill 6 pages. And then I have an accounting case that I haven't even started. And I also have a marketing case to prepare for - but from what I hear its an interesting read. It's about Tiffany and Co. (diamonds!) and corporate responsibility. On Monday, Mike Kowalski (the CEO of Tiffany, not the guy from the Monsters Inc) will be holding a video conference call with our Marketing classes to get our take on the facts presented in the case. I think that's pretty damn cool.

So I'm in for a long night - bring on the caffeine and Red Bull (because it gives you wings!!)

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


Finals start in one friggin' week. I can't believe how quickly the first quarter flew by.

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. I sort of rested on my laurels in accounting, and my current grade reflects my effort. The only good thing is that 42% of my grade will be decided in the next week so I can still pull it out.

I've gotten some feedback that I shouldn't worry about my grades, and that my main focus should be job huntin', having fun, *insert your poison here*. But one of my goals when I came to Wharton is to have a good balance. There are basically four areas crying for your attention in business school: academics, professional, extracurricular, social/family. My goal is to have a good balance in the four areas. I know grades aren't the end all be all - but the truth is my accounting grade indicates I didn't master the material. And mastering the material is important to me.

Oh and I hate EISs. They absolutely suck. It's like a meat market. The good thing is that if you eat enough crab cakes from the Inn at Penn, you don't ever have to cook. The bad thing is that it's important to make meaningful connections at the EISs - I just don't know how you do it.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Ever have one of those days where you feel fabulous - like the world is your oyster and nothing could go wrong?

Well today was not one of those days - at least it wasn't for me.

I had an accounting exam last night. I think I did alright. There was an entire section of the test that I struggled with, and it was the section with the highest point value. I'm a little concerned about that class, actually. Hopefully I'll be able to pull out a decentgrade in the end.

After my exam, I had an Employer Info Session (EIS) to attend, and I have to say my performance left a lot to be desired. I didn't really talk to that many people. I was drained, and frankly I didn't feel like fighting for face time. So I didn't. So the result was that I didn't make any impression on an employer that I am very interested in.

And then today, while I was sitting in another EIS, looking across the room at all the company reps, I kept thinking that I was so unlike them. The representatives looked like they were all card carrying members of the old boys club. There was not a woman among them. I just had this feeling of being out of place.

Then I capped off my night with a read of an excerpt of the book, He's Just Not That in to You. Now that was depressing. Basically it says that if a guy isn't chasing you, he's just not that into you. So it's pointless trying to get a guy to notice you - he either notices and pursues, or he doesn't. At least that's what the book says. I tend to like shy guys, so I thought this theory wouldn't apply to them. But according to the authors of the book, even the shy guys pursue if they are REALLY interested. I don't know if this theory is complete hooey or not, but I found it slightly depressing.

So including my Follies ding, all that is making me feel a little down. Luckily the Rainbow Pub/Party is tomorrow, which should be a FANTABULOUS time. Rainbow Party is a party sponsored by Out-4-Biz, and it's supposed to be one of THE parties of the year. After this week I need a bit of party. I plan on having several Apple Martinis and Midori Sours. Mmmm - Yummy! Good Times!!

Monday, October 04, 2004

Well my follies run is done. I didn't make the cut. I'm a little sad. I was really looking forward to being in the cast - it seems like so much fun.

They say that the competition for altos was really tough this year. That there were only 2 or 3 spots this year. That I should try again next year. But the bottom line is I didn't get a spot. I won't be on the Follies stage.

My goal in trying out was to boost my confidence - to act in the face of the fear of rejection. And now that I've been rrejection has come knocking on my door, I will try not to let this get me down or slow down my stride.

But I am disappointed. Right now I feel a little bit of a void. What will take the place of what was to be my Follies commitment? What will I do with the time I thought I would spend singing and rehearsing? How will I feel when Follies hosts their MBA Pub on my birthday? Will I still be sad?

Onward and upward, I suppose. Everything happens for a reason. I'm just not sure what the reason/life lesson is on this one. Maybe I should have bought a pair of shoes....

Saturday, October 02, 2004

One of things I promised myself before beginning school was that I would go outside my comfort zone. I promised myself that I wouldn't let the discouraging voice in my head keep me from doing something new. And that's what trying out for Follies was all about. Ignoring the LOUD voice in my head that said I wasn't talented enough for Follies.

I don't have a lot of performance experience. Hell, the last time I was on stage I was in seventh grade. But I've always looked longingly at the stage, wanting to be up there. I like to sing, I like to make people laugh. But I was always too scared - too afraid to put myself out there. I let the fear of humiliation and rejection keep me from trying.

So in an effort to overcome my fears, I tried out for Follies. There were about 18 people called back for the second round. And not surprisingly, some of those folks are very talented. The auditions were kind of long. Yesterday, we spent a couple of hours learning part of a song from last year's show, performing in quartets, and doing a solo piece. Today we spent the morning learning a couple of dance pieces and the afternoon we did some improv and some scenes.

I had a lot of fun - I definitely humiliated myself. But it was a fun humiliation, which I know is kind of weird. I suck at dancing (and please save the comments about how that's genetically impossible for me to suck at dancing... trust me, it's possible). I'm not too great at improv or acting. But I had fun.

And even if I don't make it, I feel like I've accomplished something just because I tried. I feel more confident about trying new things and putting myself out there. I would love to have the chance to perform - I think that would be life changing. But if I don't make it, I'm okay with it.

We find out on Tuesday. Wish me luck!!

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