Saturday, November 27, 2004

Ugh I was so unproductive during the break.

And I had plans. Big big plans. I was going to do all my class work, write all my cover letters, AND do some consulting work so I can pay my rent next month. I was going to do all this PLUS shopping PLUS relaxing PLUS visiting friends.

Well, I managed to do the shopping and relaxing and visiting part but nothing else. So unproductive...

But you know what, I don't feel that bad about it actually.

All during November, I felt this disconnect - like my life was falling apart. And maybe it is. Maybe I am going to horribly in my classes. Maybe I won't get a job. But you know what? I feel OK about it. Maybe I've gotten used to my life being in a constant state of disarray. Or maybe I've accepted that I've dropped several balls this month and that's OK. Or maybe its the tryptophan talking.

Maybe business school is really supposed to teach you how to thrive among the chaos.

I've got the chaos part down pat - now if I could only get a hang of that thriving part...

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

During the learning team retreat, one of our leadership fellows told us about how one learning team held people accountable. If a team member messed up, he or she had to where a t-shirt, a la The Scarlet Letter declaring, "I let my learning team down." I think I deserve one of those t-shirts.

When people talk about drama on their learning teams, they often blame others in the group for the drama. Well this time the problem is my fault. I am a little overextended (I COMPLETELY underestimated the intensity (insanity??) of IB recruiting) and I have to admit that learning team stuff was not always my top priority. What I didn't realize was how that made the team feel. I guess it never feels good when you think you don't matter to someone. I never meant to send that message. But I'm glad I got that feedback. I learned I need to be more conscious of how my actions and attitudes affect others.

Things are still crazy, but I'm less stressed about it. Stressing does absolutely nothing but cause grey hairs! I'm beginning to come to terms with the chance that I may not always be completely prepared for cold calls. And you know what? If I get called on and I don't know the answer, life will go on. I'm also learning that JIT delivery of class assignments is a good thing.

I still feel behind in my recruiting efforts. Some people seem to have themselves so together on all fronts (professional, personal, social, academic). I don't know how they do it. Maybe they have a twin and they switch back and forth? Or maybe they sold their souls to the devil? I just don't know how they do it. I'm telling you, there's money to be made on that human Xerox machine. All you engineers should get on that.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Despite assurances from second years, I think the second quarter is more hectic than the first. Maybe it's because all of the activities I volunteered for last quarter are picking up, or maybe its because recruiting has gotten more intense. All I know is I barely have time to do anything. My apartment looks like a hurricane went through it. I have piles of laundry to do. My refrigerator is getting bare.

So basically I'm a little overwhelmed. I feel like I'm trying to do everything, and in doing that, everything isn't done completely. It's like I'm juggling a dozen eggs - and I keep dropping them.

What I need is an assistant - someone to clean up my apartment, cook for me, do my laundry, and write my thank you notes. Or a Xerox copy of myself. Ya that would work, too.

The 31st annual Whitney M Young conference was this weekend. Since I was involved with the conference planning, it was a pretty intense weekend. It's a 2.5 day conference, which is longer than the typical Wharton conference. Many of the AAMBAA alums come back and participate on panels. It was a fun but extremely tiring weekend. One of the highlights of the weekend was a speech by the Rev. Al Sharpton. No matter what your political leanings may be, I have to tell you he's a phenomenal speaker.

But now it's back to work. I already dropped the ball on one of my assignments due on Friday, so I need to get on it - or at least look into that assistant!

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The second quarter is moving full steam ahead. We were expect to hit the ground running, with reading assignments expected by the first class. This quarter's professors also seem more willing to cold call students, which is a small source of anxiety.

This quarter, I'm taking managerial (cost) accounting, operations management (OPIM), managing people at work, competitive strategy, and ethics. My OPIM and accounting classes are surprisingly aligned. Every class, the profs mention some theory or concept that we covered in the other class. Accounting in general draws upon the concepts we learned in other classes, which is pretty cool.

I'm struggling with OPIM. Our operations management is basically fancy optimization problems in excel - so how can you maximize (minimize) profit, output, whatever given your resources and constraints. I am an excel queen so I love that part. The optimization/algebra part is a bit tricky. I'm going to need lots of practice to get this class.

Recruiting is somewhat less hectic that it was first quarter. Close lists are being formed, and people are narrowing down the field. I also think most of the people who were attending events because they didn't want to miss anything (you know, the "I'm not interested in I-banking but I might as well go to the Info Session" people) are started to become focused. Which is good for everybody. I think I've narrowed down my list to a few banks. Now I plan to do hard core research and talking to second years. I'm a little bit behind, I know. Many of my class mates were researching and talking over the summer. But I guess I have to do things my way if I'm to maintain my sanity.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Today was the first time I voted in Philadelphia. Philadelphia's voting processes has to be one of the most inefficient and asinine on the planet. I headed to the polls around 8 AM, thinking to myself that they (whoever "they" are) always suggest that you go early to vote. Well the line was out the door.

No big whoop, right? Wrong.

It's turns out the 100-150 people in line were in for a 1-2 hour wait. Why? Because they system to sign in to vote is ass backwards. First when you approach the sign in table, they ask for your name. They look in an index card box for a card with your name and address. Once the card is found and you verify that the name on the card is you, the card looker-upper passes the card to the next person, who writes your name down on another card. They then pass this new card to another person who writes down your name in a log (after taking a minute or two to inspect the index card... for what I don't know). Then you sign your name in the voter log. They write down your friggin name TWICE. Why??? That's absolutely stupid and the process completely slows down voting. Ass backwards, I tell you. Ass backwards.

It will be an interesting night as the networks try their best not to have embarrasing calls cum the fiasco that was the 2000 election. In Philly, it seems voter turnout may set some records. It's amazing how a little thing like the electoral college deciding the president instead of the popular vote can make people finally realize that every vote matters. In Florida, it came down to 537 votes the last time.

Last time I checked, MSNBC had the Bushinator winning the popular vote, but Kerry was ahead in the electoral college allocation. I can't wait to find out what the verdict is tomorrow morning.

Oh and for your entertainment, once again the gentleman at jibjab.com deliver the funnies with "It's Good to be in DC."

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