Sunday, February 29, 2004
This is all preliminary, but if I don't change my mind tomorrow I think we will spend the third day exploring SF and the surrounding area rather than go to the class visit or other planned events. Well, I probably won't do that, but right now I want to.
Your mileage may vary, but so far this has been a deadend.
Saturday, February 28, 2004
Friday, February 27, 2004
One big unknown coming up is a potential strike by the Union where I work. If that happens, I will have to start working 12 hour days, 7 days a week until the strike is over, which could be several months. The latest rumors going around the office are that negotiations are not going well and the strike may well happen. We will know a lot more in the next week or so, since the Union has agreed to notify the company 30 days in advance of a strike (in exchange for health benefits during the strike). On the one hand I could use the potential extra cash that a strike would bring. On the other hand, I really don't want to work that much. It sure would make those month before b-school pass quickly, though...
Thursday, February 26, 2004
I have been thinking about adding titles to my entries like many people already do. I haven't decided if I really want to or not, but I have been thinking about it.
Today we had lunch with one of my step-dad's coworkers. He went to engineering grad school at Stanford about 15 years ago. His recollection of the campus was impressive, and his description of the laid-back yet exciting aura of the campus was pretty enticing. What really got me interested was his discussion of all the great things to do around and on campus. I am really excited about the visit, only 34 hours until takeoff!
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
Hello everyone! I’m so excited to share my 2+ adventurous years as a proud MBA “Partner” with you (friends, family, strangers). This is my very first post on the blog. I know some of you have been waiting anxiously for my remarks about everything that’s happening, sorry for the delay…but here I begin…
My thoughts on Harvard admit weekend
As you all know already, Mark and I visited Harvard over the past weekend. I was very impressed with everything, the people, the facilities, the resources, absolutely everything. From a partner’s stand point, this was a successful trip. They did a really great job selling me. I’m really starting to LOVE Harvard. The most important thing I wanted to get out of the admit weekend is to see how welcoming is the school towards the partners, and they were, they made me feel very much like a part of the HBS community. Just like the admits, we had a custom made schedule just for us. Even though they had separate activities planned for the partners, we were still welcome to attend any of the admit activities, including the class visit, which was what I was most looking forward to. I thoroughly enjoyed the class visit; it was very energetic and stimulating.
There was one annoying thing about the weekend: at the beginning of every function there were standing ovations for the admits along with a congratulatory speech reassuring the admits that they are the smartest people in the world. By the end of the 1st day, it was getting really old. Maybe I was just feeling jealous and insecure…
Selfish reasons why I want my husband to go to Harvard
The brand: How great is it for me to tell all my family and friends that my husband goes to Harvard Business School, especially since the majority of my family are in China. Everyone in China knows Harvard, even my almost 90 years-old grandma.
Boston: I have always wanted to live in the Northeast for a short period, and here is my chance.
Ok, I have to start cooking dinner now….later
Anyway, the order of the day is FAFSA. I have been dreading it and procrastinating. I told myself I would do it this week, though, so I guess I better get started.
Oh, and I have a case to read for Stanford this weekend. They are doing an 'immersion experience' exercise where they put admits in a classroom and we will discuss a case. I was assigned 7-11 Japan. I'll let you know how it goes...
Monday, February 23, 2004
Most impressive features:
Least impressive features:
Overall I was very impressed with HBS. Unless Stanford completely blows me away this weekend I think I will wind up in Boston...
Sunday, February 22, 2004
The flight home was pretty turbulent, at one point the flight attendants told anyone with drinks to just set them in the aisle and let them spill, cause it was too difficult to hold them. Luckily, that stretch only lasted a few minutes. Once we were on the ground we had to deal with a torrential downpour, including 2 inches of standing water around our car. The cold temperatures in Boston looked pretty appealing right then.
I will try to summarize the trip, including most and least impressive aspects of HBS, sometime this week. I better do it before Friday, cause we leave for California on Saturday morning and after that it will never get done...
Saturday, February 21, 2004
Friday, February 20, 2004
Anyway, we are going to go to dinner at 7:15 and then a "Red Party" at 9 something, so I have to go now.
Thursday, February 19, 2004
Anyway, then we walked around a bit more, saw how horribly overpriced the Harvard CO-OP is, and finally met up with some current students and admits at a few bars (John Hancock and another I can't remember). It was pretty cool. Finally, we called it a night early so we can be well rested for the marathon of a day we have tomorrow.
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
On the Stanford front, they are really starting to suck Jie in. She got an e-mail from the partners club yesterday, they make a big effort to make her feel welcome. Also, the weather and the proximity to China make Stanford a really intriguing choice.
We are taking the new digital camera and Jie's laptop to Boston so we can publish photos each night. So, stay tuned for Thursday night to get an update of the afternoon's activites and a full set of photos on smugmug.
Sunday, February 15, 2004
Saturday, February 14, 2004
Friday, February 13, 2004
I have been looking into MBA prep books. There are several out there: Business School Confidential, Ten Day MBA, and many others. I also would like to find a book on preparing for the case study method. I had a little exposure to the case study method in undergrad in one of the few business classes I took, but I really didn't get into it and I certainly didn't enjoy the cases themselves. However, I did enjoy the actual classroom discussion.
Anyway, I have to work tomorrow (Saturday), because we will have technicians in on OT. In order to get it over with early I am going in at 6am. Ugh. Good night.
Thursday, February 12, 2004
Not a day goes by that someone doesn't ask me where I am going to go. Today it was my old mentor at work. I still have no answer.
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
As already discussed, I hate that suggestion. I do not want to flip a coin to decide... I know that no one is seriously suggesting that, but it irritates me that it is as good a solution as any. In any event, tonight did not change the status quo: I am leaning towards HBS, I will be surprised if I don't go there.
Tuesday, February 10, 2004
Monday, February 09, 2004
This is kind of no man's land as far as b-school goes. 10 days until we head up to Boston, and nothing really to do. I should be getting my first big packet from HBS in the mail soon, so that would be cool. Other than that, not much going on.
Oh yeah, last night I spoke with another HBS/GSB admit. Chris lives in Oregon and works for Nike. He has a pretty bad ass job, he works closely with LeBron James on the Nike/LeBron marketing effort. Anyway, he has kind of the opposite feeling about HBS & GSB as I do. Everyone he has talked to from HBS have kind of turned him off to the school and all the GSB people make him really feel good about that program... So, I think it will all come down to personal fit. I will be very surprised if we don't wind up at Harvard.
Sunday, February 08, 2004
We had a good time this weekend. We went out in Austin with some work people from around the state as well as our friend Melanie, who lives in Austin. We also picked up Jie's parents from the airport, they were arriving back from three weeks in China. Their vote for b-school was for Harvard, they didn't even hesitate... ;)
Saturday, February 07, 2004
Anyway, I am not an unbelievable applicant. Here is my relevant info: 740 GMAT, 3.8 UGPA in engineering at a very good state school, 3 years w.e. in operations as a manager, and very average extra-curricular activities. The things that really worked for me are things that anyone can do. I had very strong recommendations, but from very normal people. None had been to business school or even any grad school. I also passed the CFA level one examination, and I worked pretty hard on my essays.
These are the main reasons I think I was accepted:
- My operations and management work experience differentiates me from other candidates.
- I had strong essays and did a very good job of explaining why I need an MBA now – I want to transition into finance and I need an MBA to supplement my engineering education. Also, my essays were tailored to each school, i.e. my Stanford essays were very personal and my HBS essays were all business.
- I was able to show that I was already doing things to move towards my goals. I think taking and passing the CFA exam showed a level of commitment and understanding and really reinforced what I said in my essays.
My advice to anyone who is thinking about applying to b-school or reapplying is to start by reading How to Get Into the Top MBA Programs by Richard Montauk. It is the bible of B-school applications, and it was the number 1 reason I put together such strong applications. From there, you will know what you need to do to put together a really good application. Let me know if you have any questions.
Thursday, February 05, 2004
Wednesday, February 04, 2004
Monday, February 02, 2004
HBS - Students use laptops pretty much all day every day. Not a whole lot of processing power is needed, 95% of the time you will be using internet explorer or Microsoft Office. Also, HBS publishes two levels of requirements, minimum and recommended, and apparently the minimum are sufficient for almost all applications.
Stanford - Students rarely use laptops in class, and aside from the benefit of the campus-wide wireless network, you don't really need one. There are plenty of computer labs on campus and in Schwab, so even bringing a desktop PC for home would likely be sufficient.
So, if I wind up at HBS I think I will go with a 5 lbs thin and light laptop, probably an IBM. If I go to Stanford I may just stick with my current PC.
Sunday, February 01, 2004
Anyway, I think I have narrowed down my laptops considerations to Dell (doubtful), IBM (most likely), and Fujitsu (the dark horse). I don't like the Dells so much because they tend to be bigger and bulkier and they run really hot. I like the offerings from IBM, but for some reason I don't want to own one (my techs at work have IBM and Dell desktops, and the IBMs are just flimsier, that could be where my hesitation comes from). Fujitsu is relatively unknown in consumer electronics, but their equipment forms the backbone of the SBC fiber network (and most fiber networks worldwide). They are known for their reliable products and top-notch customer service in the telecom field. So, if I am a big fan of Fujitsu when it comes to fiber muxes, why not laptops?
The other consideration is size. I know I don't want a desktop replacement, but do I want a 5 lbs, thin and light model or a 7 lbs tweener? Basically the difference is screen size, keyboard room, and battery life vs. weight. Hmmm... I imagine I will go with a 5 lbs model in the end, but we'll see. Another mark in IBM's favor is that they have competitive models in both categories, whereas Fujitsu and Dell seem to only each do one well.
I'll let you know how it goes... (Oh, and I am having fun with HTML, in case you couldn't tell... ;)