Wednesday, December 22, 2004

I'm SOOO DONE! I finished my last final and I am officially done with my first semester at Wharton. This has been the fastest and slowest 4 months of my life. At times I felt like time was dragging by but at other times, time raced at break-neck speeds. I am happy to have a break though.

Congrats to all those who heard good news from Wharton yesterday. The day I got into Wharton will remain one of my strongest memories. That was a good day! For those who didn't receive good news - hang in there. Remember it's not you that was evaluated; it was an application package. But it sucks getting bad news. It just plain sucks.

Lots of things surprised me about Wharton. I didn't realize I wouldn't automatically excel. I had no idea that recruiting would take up so much time (and money). I didn't think I would have an end of semester money crunch. I had no clue how awesome most of my classmates would be. And I didn't know how much I'd love this crazy place.

But now I need a break. I plan to do a whole lotta sleepin' and a whole lotta watchin' cable. I can't wait to get my Trading Spaces and Real World fixes. Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

One down, four to go. My accounting exam was today, and something tells me that the test was deceivingly simple. If I screwed up that test, I have no one to blame but myself since I really didn't hunker down until the wee hours of this morning.

I have an ethics paper due (that's worth 50% of my grade) in less than 24 hours that I haven't started. It's only 1500 words, so I think I should be able to pull together some form of regurgitation that will allow me to pass the class.

And on Friday I have a final in Competitive Strategy, which is a case final. My challenge with written finals is making sure I manage my time well during the test.

Next week I have OPIM and Managing People at Work exams, but that's next - no need to worry about now ;) All I know is I am SO glad I pushed finance and I am SO glad I kept up with the reading this quarter. I think it makes my study period much less stressful. I've actually seen Oprah a couple times. And that's what really matters - being home in time to see Oprah.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

No more pencils! No more books! No more teachers' dirty looks!

Classes are OVER for the semester. We have finals but they are spread out really well, so it's manageable. My last organized recruiting event for the semester was yesterday, so I can't help but smile. I feel like I have all this time on my hands. I am actually in my apartment before dark, which is a beautiful thing let me tell you.

I can't wait to go home for the holidays. I completely forgot to include recruiting expense in my budget, so I'm almost broke. Yesterday, instead of pouring over my books like a good student, I went into my old office to do some consulting and to re-train people on stuff I trained them on in August. I'm not complaining. Anything that helps me pay my rent in January is a good thing... well, almost anything ;)

I suppose I should get back to studying - I am the queen of procrastination!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Thank GOODNESS the workload is letting up. We have finals, yes, but many of them are written, and I'm less worried about them. AND unlike the first quarter, finals are spread out over more than a week and there's reading days. So less pressure there.

MUCH pressure on the job front, though. Resume drops need to be done by Thursday at midnight. To apply for summer internships, we post resumes and cover letters to specific positions in December. For the vast majority of Investment Banking jobs, to get an interview, you need to get on the "close" list. What that means, is that the Bank will decide by mid January which students will be interviewed. For many of the banks, if you don't make the close list, you don't interview during the Dedicated Interview Period (DIP week). And, pre-selection choices aren't made on the strength of your resume alone. Many of the banks want to see that you tried to get to know them and that you "fit." So getting an interview depends on how well you schmooze in many instances, which I guess makes sense since it IS a small part of the job. (Notice the rationalization of cognitive dissonance working here...)

Someone asked what the pros and cons are in Investment Banking. Since I haven't actually worked in IB, I can't fully answer that question. I'm interested in IB because I really enjoy working with companies and organizations on their capital structures, and working with capital structures to make it possible for them to do new things. I also like an intense work environment, where I get a chance to think on my feet and learn new things quickly. I hear the pay ain't too shabby either - but I don't know if I believe it - you know how that Wharton rumor mill is.... Some challenges would be the hours - who in their right mind WANTS to work 100 hours a week, with no weekends off? Nobody, that's who. But I think if you like what your doing and you like the people you're with at 2:30 AM trying to perfect a pitch book, I think its tolerable. And the crappy hours get better the more senior, experienced, and efficient you become. It's really just 2-3 years of crappy, crappy hours. I would also think that if you lose sight of the meaning of the menial parts of your work, then you may find the job extra challenging.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

This past week has been fun. Coupled with next week, these weeks are the hell weeks of Q2. There is a major project due in EVERY class this Monday and Tuesday. Add on top of that IB Days on the Job, recruiting events, and extracurricular activities, and it means 2 weeks of no sleep.

Despite that, Whartonites still take time out to have fun. Last night was the Winter Ball, Wharton's version of prom that supports the activities of the Wharton International Volunteer Program. The ball was held in 30th Street Station, Philly's Railroad Depot, and featured a live jazz band, and, probably more importantly, an open bar. Since it was black tie, everyone was looking pretty snazzy. Once again I had a few too many Apple Martinis - it was a pretty fun time.

Next week, formal recruiting events come to an end. I can't say I'm sad to see them go. Investment Banking recruiting is INTENSE. I had no idea how much of a time commitment it was. There were weeks when I spent 30 hours trying to get a job. Looking for a job IS a job. I just wish I'd understood that commitment before I signed up for other stuff. But it's almost over. On Thursday, I'll submit my resume and cover letter to about 8 banks. Then if I'm lucky, I'll be pre-selected to interview in February during the Dedicated Interview Period (DIP week). We'll see - I just want to have a job for the summer. Is that too much too ask?

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