This was the story of a couple from Texas, Mark and Jie (pronounced 'J'), who started the MBA application process in August, 2003. Mark applied to five schools and decided to attend Harvard. This blog begins after his acceptances and documents the process from that point forward. It concludes shortly after graduation.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
HBS Happy Hour
I met up with a couple of guys from HBS the other night for a happy hour. We went to Little Woodrow's, which is a great Houston hangout, and had a few beers. We did a little bit of reminiscing about school as well as comparing war stories on our summer internships. I certainly got the award for earliest hours, though one guy who supports energy traders definitely has the hairiest math to do as part of his job. All in all it appears we are all happy with our jobs, but ready to escape back into the world of academia, at least for another year.
I was on a roll yesterday, repeatedly saying things I didn't mean or shouldn't say. This is a common problem for me, but yesterday it was just time after time after time. I'm certainly one of those people who verbalizes thoughts rather than carefully weighing them before I say anything, and it gets me in trouble fairly regularly. It's been a while, though, since I said as many dumb things as I did yesterday.
Work has been going well, though I should probably sit down with my boss again this week and see how I am living up to expectations. I also need to get started on networking while I'm in Houston in case this doesn't turn into a full-time gig, but I just can't seem to get any traction on that front.
Robert Horry has been one of my heroes since he helped the Rockets to consecutive NBA titles back in the mid-90's. Tonight he once again proved why, scoring 18 points, including four three pointers, including the game winner, in the 4th quarter and OT. An unobtrusive team player who makes clutch plays, not headlines, he's the type of guy that you want your kids to emulate. Now hopefully the Spurs can seal the deal in the two remaining home games.
Today after work I went to work out at Bally's, my new gym. So far I've worked out three times and so my average cost is down to a low price of $50. I think when I get down to $5 I'll have gotten my money's worth. Anyway, I got there today and they had a sign on the front door stating that there would be no air conditioning on Monday or Tuesday. Now, this place has been at least 75 degrees every day I've been there, but it had to be well over 85 today. It was so hot that after 2 miles on a treadmill, directly below a ceiling fan, I had to take a break and drink a lot of water before I could do the last mile. Oh yeah, and half the TV's weren't working either. They were running this stupid message that said something about an invalid cable card.
So I get home, and after a while realize that my cell phone won't make incoming or outgoing calls. I call the Cingular help line and get a message saying that their help desk is only open 7a-9p M-F in my local time zone. Wait a minute, it was 7:30pm! WTF? So I call their after hours help desk and get a message saying it is "unavailable." Anyway, I called back later and finally got through. After a 20 minute hold time I'm now talking to a live person, who apparently has the problem solving savvy to call my number and tell me that it went straight to voicemail. Brilliant.
As for the good news, I got the balance of my term two grades today. After scoring below average on just about every final exam I finally did well on a few. Ok, gotta go!
This is one of those times when self-censorship is probably the better part of valor. I have interesting things to say about my summer internship, but I would immediately give away who I work for if I talk about the cool stuff I’ve been doing. I don’t want to do that, so instead I don’t have anything to talk about aside from the ridiculously early hours and the bizarrely warm gym that I have stumbled into joining. I don’t imagine anyone wants to hear about that all summer, so if I am to keep posting I guess I’ll have to think of something to talk about. … … … Perhaps I’ll sleep on it.
Joining a gym has to be one of the most uncomfortable things to do this side of buying a car or going to the dentist. The pricing plans are opaque, the people are usually sleezy, and the after-sales support is almost always non-existent. There are exceptions, I'm sure, but my experiences have been uniformly bad. Anyway, I got the unpleasantness over with today. I needed to join somewhere, as I get off work too early to go running and live too far from a good park. It's hard to run in Houston before 7pm, and I can't stay at work that long when I get there at 6. My choices were Bally's, 24HR Fitness, and the Houston City Club, which is basically located in my building. Bally's and 24hr were the same price and convenience, and so I prefer Bally's because it's slightly less of a meat market. The City Club would have been great except they wanted $75/month (I would have paid it), $100 upfront (for a 3 month membership!?!), and $20/month for a locker. $150 at Bally's or $400 at City Club? Not a hard decision.
It's funny how I spent my 3 year working career waiting to go back to school, and then spent much of my first year at HBS wishing that I was pulling a paycheck. Now that I am back in the working world, I remember all the reasons why it can be better to be in school.
Work is going well, and I think I will learn a lot this summer. It's a little rough getting up at 5 to be in the office by 6, as is the norm in my group, but I think I'm starting to adapt. It looks like I will spend around 70% of my time working on projects that will form their basis for judging my performance over the summer, and the other 30% of the time will be set aside for me to learn about the business and the firm in order to decide if this is for me.
While all this is going on, I also need to spend some time working on the Career Teams program for next year, as we have to recruit 50 team leaders by September. Sometime in mid-summer we'll get course selection information back in order to be able to re-calibrate our preferences depending on course demand and our summer internship experience.
Today I've got a mountain of errands to run. I'm heading up to Fry's Electronics way in North Houston to scope out the various TV's my parents are looking to buy, as well as picking up a $60 wireless router for $15 for myself. I also just sold my PS2 on ebay, since it didn't work well with the new TV, so I've got to ship that off. I got $110 for it, which I think is pretty good for a three year old unit. Alright, time to get up and get a few things accomplished.