Monday, November 28, 2005

I was feeling all nostalgic since I’ve been blogging for two years, so I was looking at my first couple of posts and ran across this:
What do I want to be when I grow up? I would like to continue to work
in the nonprofit world (once you go nonprofit you never go back!). I am
interested in researching how entire industries and fields evolve, and in
organizational leadership. I hope to work at a think tank or a nonprofit
consulting firm.

During my tenure at Wharton, I’ve tried to do EVERYTHING besides what I talked about doing in my essays. I even (unsuccessfully – Thank God) tried to be an investment banker. This year, I applied to a nonprofit consulting firm because I was interested in consulting and I thought the nonprofit twist would be a good fit.

It wasn’t until I interviewed with the consulting firm that I remember my passion for nonprofits. For a year and a half I’ve talked about my work in terms of achievements and responsibilities but anyone who’s ever worked in the nonprofit sector knows those things – the numbers of your job – aren’t why your there. You’re there because you believe in the mission. You’re there because you see your work as contributing more to the world than additional profits. So during my interview with the nonprofit consulting firm I actually got to talk about the mission of work I did and my passion for it, and it reignited my commitment for the field. It reminded me what I wanted to be when I grow up.

After first round interviews with the nonprofit consulting firm, I started to feel like my recruiting journey was sort of like the Wizard of Oz. I had to go on this rocky journey and went through many trials. But in the end, I find out “There’s No Place Like Home.” And after the first round with the nonprofit consulting firm, I decided I was going back to the nonprofit sector.

So what happened, you ask? I got the offer from THE JOB. I’ll be working for the nonprofit consulting firm, Bridgespan in San Francisco. I’m extremely excited about it.

My journey to find my next job has been rocky. But looking back on it, I realize that every single bit of it was necessary. I learned how to network from IB recruiting, and from consulting recruiting, I learned how to do the dreaded case. Both of things were necessary for me to get the job at Bridgespan. Most importantly, I was reminded what I wanted to be when I grew up.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m still pretty bitter about how myopic and narrow-minded people in the for profit sector can be about the work done in the nonprofit sector. And I still intend to talk to Career Management about some of my concerns.

But I’m really happy about where I’m going. All through the recruiting process with Bridgespan I felt this fit, not unlike I felt when applying to Wharton. I knew that’s where I should be. I’m extremely excited that I’ll have the opportunity to do work about which I’m extremely passionate.

Because after all, There’s No Place Like Home.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Got the call. Got the friggin offer for THE JOB!!! OMG. I'm a very HAPPY girl right now.

As I mentioned a few days ago, I had a second round interview last week. This is THE JOB for me the one I want most. I don’t know the timing of the decisions so I find myself checking my caller ID constantly like a high school chick after a first date. I left my phone at school yesterday and was phoneless for 24 hours, which is probably good for my sanity. My anxiety about this phone call is reminiscent of waiting for admissions decisions two years ago.

So, I just got my phone back and checked my message and there was a call back message from THE JOB. Since my experience has been mostly made up of dings (I swear I could write a Christmas Song with all the dings…) this is new territory. I certainly hope I’m not being asked to call back to get a ding. I prefer to get bad news like that over voice mail. That way I can play it back and obsessively analyze the tone of the message and the time called. Then I can replay it for my friends and they can obsess with me… wait that’s if a boy calls. OMG, I AM like a high school chick…

I can’t believe it’s been two years since I started working on my business school applications. It feels much shorter than that. And in some ways it feels much longer than that. I’ve changed a lot over those two years. As much as I’ve been challenged in different areas of my life at b-school, I don’t think I’d ever change my decision to go back to school (as if we’re ever given the choice to hop in a time machine and undo something… but you get the point). It’s been a transforming and amazing experience.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Harry Potter rocked.

There were some very blatant deviations from the book - the kind that had me saying "Wha..." And like the book, the movie took a dramatically darker turn compared to previous movies. I really enjoyed it. HP is showing on IMAX, so I think I need to try to go see it in that format.

Now it's time to go to bed. To those who found out their Wharton application was dinged today - Keep your head up. EVERYTHING happens for a reason. It's frustrating. Sometimes it doesn't seem like all the decisions are fair. I completely understand that (heck take a look at all my whining about the career recruiting stuff!) So take time. Be disappointed. And then pick up the pieces and make the best of things. Good luck with your other apps.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Dean Harker held a lunch forum today for MBA students. During the forum, he said he met with a major investment bank last week and the issue of non-grade disclosure came up. Dean Harker asked the bankers if they saw a résumé from a military person or nonprofit person would they pick their résumé or be interested in them. The banker said no because there was no indication that they knew anything about banking. And THAT is my issue. (and no I’m not talking about grade non-disclosure. In my opinion grade disclosure isn’t the magic bullet. I think if you want to change class room behavior tie consequences and rewards DIRECTLY to classroom behavior. But I digress…)

People – at least some people who have only worked in the for-profit sector, assume when you work for a nonprofit, you don’t know anything. That is SO frustrating. I wish career management would do two things. 1) Do a better job dispelling the myth that nonprofit people are all idiots. And 2) work closer with nontraditional students, similar to they way they work with students with more than 8 years of work experience to help them transition better.

I’m just disappointed that stereotypes are so prolific I just didn’t expect that when I started at Wharton. But it is what it is. And now I understand. I just wish I got it sooner. But c’est la vie.

On a much less depressing note, the fourth Harry Potter comes out in just over a day. One day, one hour, and 58 minutes actually. Yes I have a counter on my computer. And yes I am a dork, I’ve conned a couple of my classmates into going to see the movie tomorrow night at midnight. The fourth book was one of my favorite in the Harry Potter series so I’m looking forward to this one. It’s the simple pleasures that are sometimes the best…

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

For some reason, my encounters with incompetence have increased during the last year. Either my patience is wearing down or customer focus is decreasing.

Yesterday and today, I flew cross country and back for a second round (wish me luck y'all. This is the job I want...). I still have a cam-walker on my foot, so I've now experienced several airline carriers as a "disabled" passenger. Let me say this Continental is FAR SUPERIOR to the other airlines when making accommodations. The process is painless and seamless from the customer prospective. United absolutely SUCKS when making accommodations. Basically they don't make them. Which is total BS. They didn't even offer assistance for me to get around the airport. And on top of that, they lost my luggage. The night before my interview. I basically had to wait until 2 AM to get my luggage when I had a 9 AM interview. THANK YOU UNITED. Y'all suck. I'm not flying them again. Too much went wrong, the agents were not helpful at all. And they didn't offer me a motorized cart when I was limping. Y'all suck.

I have two second-round interviews (finally). Funny thing is they're both in industries in which I've worked. So much for the ease of career switching...

I'm hoping for good news on the interview I had today in the next few days. If I can make it to the shoe store for some good luck shoe shopping I will. Pray, cross your fingers, and wish me luck!!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Long time, no blog.

Let me just say, October SUCKS during the second year. For some reason every aspect of the MBA experience decided that the last week of October was the best week for everything: finals, midterms, the beginning of interviews, key admissions events. Why the time crunches can't be better managed and coordinated among the Program Office and Career Management is beyond me.

The Dedicated Interview Period (DIP) week during the first year is probably one of the most stressful times during the MBA experience. But I have to say, despite the stress, I miss DIP. This year's recruiting is much more spread out. And recruiters have no qualms about demanding that we miss days (yes I do mean plural) of classes to participate in 2nd/final rounds of interviews. It's a little out of control. And the professors aren't big fans of the constant barrage of "I'm going to miss your class - I have an interview." We have Fridays off, presumably to do career related stuff, but for some reason, nobody's told the recruiters.

Recruiting success has evaded me so far. But I'm trying to be in a good place about it. The feedback I've gotten is that I don't have enough big corporate experience. The only big corporation I've worked for was a hotel company. The bulk of my experience was with small businesses. Sad thing is there's nothing I can do about my experience. It's unfortunate that something like that is hindering me. I'm annoyed that there's a "type" of acceptable experience. I'm getting dinged not because of knowledge, skills, or abilities, but rather because of the size of the company I worked for. So I'm annoyed by that.

I have a couple of outstanding interviews, and if those don't work out, I won't pick up the job search again until the Spring. Trying to get a job is A LOT of work, and frankly my academics, like many of my classmates', are suffering. I want to get back to learning and spending time with friends. I'm determined to be able to look back on this year fondly.

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