Monday, January 31, 2005
Jie and I flew out to Denver for the weekend to catch a couple of days of snow skiing while the rest of the family was there. It's hard to turn down free room and food, especially when airline tickets are just $200. We flew there Friday night on AirTran, the 1 stop flight via Atlanta, since it arrived 2 hours before the JetBlue flight. Unfortunately, we wound up spending 5 hours on the runway in Atlanta waiting to be de-iced before we could takeoff. It was painful to say the least, and I was not impressed with the way our AirTran crew handled the whole situation. I don't think I will be flying them again.
Just to make things exciting, we also drove through a snowstorm last night on our way to the Denver airport to get back to Boston. We left 3.5 hours before our flight, and managed to get on the plane about 5 minutes before they closed the cabin door and pushed away from the gate. The 90 minute drive from Winter Park wound up taking about 2.5 hours.
Classes were great fun today, as I struggled to operate on 4 hours sleep. I know that most of my MBA brethren make-do on not much more than that on a regular basis, but I'm a big wimp and don't work well on any less than about 6 hours. My goal is to hit the sack around 7pm tonight and get a solid 12 hours to catch up.
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
All in all, I did about as well as I expected for the closed process. Hopefully during the lottery I'll get an additional interview, and hopefully my alternate spot works out as well. What is frustrating about many positions is that a company may be interviewing 12-24 people for 1 or 2 slots. Most of the companies that come here also go to Wharton, Chicago, Kellogg, etc., and so they are probably interviewing 100 people for 4-6 slots or so. Those odds are worse than getting into HBS in the first place.
Of course, if I wanted to go into sales or general management I would have a significantly easier time of it. I can only blame myself for targeting one of the perennial favorite industries among MBAs.
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Over the last year I've decided on a b-school, worked through a strike, spent a month at the lake, driven 1800 miles in a big-ass truck, started business school, and begun looking for a future career. It's been a good year, and I've very much enjoyed writing about it. I think by now most of my friends here at school are aware of my blogging fetish, and several have expressed how valuable they think this will be to me in the future. I already enjoy reading back through old posts, especially as the critical issues of the day now seem so comical and minor in hindsight. I have no doubt that in the next year or two I will look back on the internship search process and think that I was silly for taking it all so seriously and not enjoying things more. Ah well, such is life.
Speaking of internship search, interview invites have been a rollercoaster affair. The first three of my companies that released decisions all granted me interviews, but then the next five firms shot me down. This morning I got another two invites, and it turns out that one of the firms that I thought didn't want me yesterday actually released invites for a different position, so I still have the opportunity to get an interview with them. All things told I am doing about as well as I thought I would, and it looks like my hell week will be rigorous but not quite hellish.
Monday, January 24, 2005
Last week when Jie and I were booking our trip to Puerto Rico the ticket prices jumped from $330pp to $380pp at the last minute, literally. Those same tickets are now back to $330pp today. Stupid airlines...
I got a summons for jury duty on Friday. I lived in Texas for 26 years and was never summonsed for a jury, 5 months in Boston and it happened already. Worse yet, it is due to the urgent needs of the court, so I may not be able to get out of it just for being a student. To add insult to injury, my date is the Thursday before Hell Week. And just to kick me while I'm down, my court location is out in Dorchester instead of being in Boston or Cambridge. Hopefully the judge will take pity and allow me to delay it until recruiting is over, but recruiting doesn't really end until after March 6th, I don't know if he'll buy a month delay. We'll see...
Sunday, January 23, 2005
Saturday, January 22, 2005
Friday, January 21, 2005
Depending on who you talk to, superficiality can be a big problem at HBS. Personally, the atmosphere is just about right for me, since I prefer a few very good friends to a lot of good friends. I feel comfortable saying that Jie and I have definitely met people that we will stay in touch with for a long time.
It does irk some people that in general there can be a networking feel to the school at large, rather than a true friendly atmosphere. I've never really felt the networking vibe, so I don't know. Part of that may be that your experience is highly section dependent, and the section vibe is usually set by a dominant minority. My section's dominant minority is very inclusive and friendly, and so I don't see the issues that others do. I would also say that in a school of 900, you have many extremely nice and genuine people, and some not-so-nice and not-so-genuine people. Your experience kind of depends on how many of each that are in your section, and how much you let their attitude influence your own experience.
Thursday, January 20, 2005
The HBS person apparently skipped out on the info session but tried to cover it up in her cover letter by complimenting the main speaker on his message. Unfortunately, the main speaker had cancelled at the last minute and had been replaced with someone else. That is a sure-fire way to not get an interview.
The Duke person was actually interviewed and chosen by the interviewer to be brought back for a second round. Unfortunately, HR nixed his choice because that candidate had sent e-mails to people who were supposed to attend an event but weren't able to make it, telling them how much he had enjoyed speaking with them. Again, a good way to lose out on a summer job.
Of course, one could argue that these people wouldn't have had a good chance anyway, given that they skipped events. That's probably true, but as I learned from the Martha Stewart case, it's better to be honest about something that may not be held against you than to cover it up and get busted for lying.
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Just now, and I mean minutes ago, Jie and I finally nailed down our Spring Break plans. During my research I became enamored with Vieques, a small island off of Puerto Rico that used to be the site of Naval weapons testing. That ended several years ago, but the island is still relatively un-touristy and very relaxed. There is only one sizable resort on the island, a Wyndham, along with many small hotels, hostels, and B&B's. Jie and I will be staying 6 nights at a B&B over Spring Break, which sounds incredibly relaxing and the perfect remedy to the Boston winter. This will be a pretty pricey trip, but it's the first real vacation that we've taken on our own since our 4 nights in Hawaii as part of our honeymoon two years ago.
Just as everything was falling into place we hit a bump in the road that has been typical of the vacation planning process. Literally as we went to book the airfare American raised the prices and we ended up paying $100 more than we thought we would. Ah well, I know it will be worth it after two more months of winter. Did I mention it's 19 degrees today in Boston?
Monday, January 17, 2005
Thursday, January 13, 2005
School is kicking my butt right now also. It's hard to get back into old habits, especially since I was on cruise control for the last 3-4 weeks of term 1. I imagine everyone else is in the same boat, which makes this one of those rare instances when the forced curve could actually be useful.
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Grades for Term 1 came out today. I'm happy with my semester grades, but not with most of my finals. If I have time, I'll probably go try and see some of my professors and find out what my big problems were. Hopefully it's something that can be corrected for next time. All in all nothing to worry about, but I want to see if it's something easy that I screwed up so I can avoid the same mistake for Term 2.
Monday, January 10, 2005
The Chinatown bus was pretty cool. It was cheap, clean, and I was able to sleep just about the whole way. Of course, it now looks like I will be woefully underprepared for classes Wednesday, but whatever.
Sunday, January 09, 2005
Saturday, January 08, 2005
On the way home I bought a few scratch-off tickets for the helluva it. I managed to win back the $4 I spent, which is definitely a positive result, but with my streak of luck I was hoping for more. Ah well, it was fun while it lasted. Hopefully that winning streak will flow over into internships!
Friday, January 07, 2005
- The Texas Trek is a lot of fun, particularly with more than one school represented (HBS, Texas, Rice)
- Some companies know how to hold a meeting with students better than others
- The Dell factory floor is something else, I was seriously impressed
- Allergies top the list of things I don't miss about Texas
- Hand-written thank you notes are a huge pain for someone with as bad handwriting as myself (I can't tell you how many times I've been told: Wow, you should have gone to med school)
- It's too bad I don't want to live in Austin, since just about all my college and high school friends live here
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
Monday, January 03, 2005
We spent the first 6 days in Houston with my family, having Christmas with both sets of parents and generally doing the family thing. I also managed to meet with a company that I am interested in there. Then we came up to Austin to spend time with Jie's parents and several of our friends. It's been a really enjoyable time, but behind it all is the ever-present anxiety about my summer internship, and so I haven't been able to 100% enjoy anything.
Starting tomorrow we're going back to Houston for a few days before the Texas Trek on Thursday. I'll be meeting with a couple of companies on my own, then going on the Trek, and then driving to Austin for the Friday portion. After that it's back to Houston on Saturday and back to Boston on Sunday.
It doesn't look like I will be able to blog much at all until perhaps the 14th. Once we get back to Boston we're turning around and heading down to NYC for a few days to meet with a few firms there. That's all still being set up, so if anyone has any suggestions on the best way to get there from Boston or where to stay once there, I'm all ears. I've all but ruled out the Chinatown bus since I will want to get work done both ways, but I'm not sold on the train and airfare is too expensive right now for a one night trip.
Anyway, good luck to all those who are submitting round 2 applications!