Monday, September 10, 2012

Wharton Pre-Term

On Sunday, August 12th Wharton Pre-Term began.  Usually when I say that I get 2 questions, 1 – how can school start on a Sunday? And 2 – What is pre-term?  So let me debrief.

First thing, I’m realizing that once you sign up for bschool, anywhere, you basically sign your life away.  It’s not that they will take away alllll my weekends…but theres A LOT to do in SUCH little time.  On the first day on Pre-term, a Sunday, we just spent it meeting people in our Cluster* and then off to a reception…and by reception that means food and alcohol..which was really fun.  It was great meeting allll these new people from all over the world….I keep learning all these random new fun facts…like how weapons (outside of authorities) are NOT allowed in Singapore…or how I can get free dinner (and of course recruiting advice) from my peers at Wharton returning back to their consulting gigs. 

Breakfast on the plaza at Huntsman Hall

MBA Convocation...can you see me? I'm near the front :-P

The last few days have been a whirlwind.  You really can get caught up in FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).  These last few days have been filled with a Calc Class (everyone at Wharton has a to take a math exam..something I'm just finding out),  Cluster meetings for orientation information (like how to register for class), Community Building (planning for the Cluster Olympics) and I’m personally taking an “Intro to Accounting Class”…with a professor that is so hilarious.  He actually has made accounting interesting...I’m still shocked.  Overall it’s been really fun…and busy (in a good way) and even at this moment I’m sitting here FOMO’ing about what I’m missing out on as I write this blog.  Finally, this upcoming weekend there is a leadership retreat (yes…we have mandatory events on a Saturday and Sunday)….so we can meet our learning team*.  This is ALSO a surprise (that is all anyone knows…I don't even know where we are going)..and that's pretty much all I can say about that.  After that…my obligations will be Mon-Fri until Pre-term is over…and then once class REALLY starts..Mon-Thurs…did I ever mention that Wharton doesn’t have class on Fridays? :-D

*Cluster - Wharton is basically 840 there are 4 clusters of ~210 students.  And then within Clusters you are split into Cohorts of about ~60-70 students.

*Learning Team - group you work with with through Core Classes



Thursday, September 6, 2012

It was all good four weeks ago.....

I can't believe I've been in school for 4 weeks now.   Since I just finished my last midterm I'll give yall a quick update. I know your thinking midterms already... yes, our mods run for about 7 weeks so this week was test/quiz time! There is so much that has happened I'm not sure where to begin so here are few highlights.  I'll also try to get better at writing more posts after I get through the first round of classes.

  • When I was applying to school everyone would talk about how busy their first year was well busy is an understatement! I'm not sure what you would call it but I'm loving every minute of it.
  • I find myself applying the things I learned in class to every day life. For example, had to stop myself from performing a test hypothesis(stats) on a guy who was smoking every 20 minutes. Another classmate of mine mentioned how she cannot watch a presentation without critiquing it.... life of an MBA student  lol.
  • Marc P. Cosentino, author of case in point came on campus to provide case interviewing prep.  I'm still on the fence about pursuing human capital consulting but the case prep will definitely be useful for a lot of other things.
  • This week companies have started their information session on campus so on top of study and student clubs I've been trying to get my life in order for recruiting season. ( HR-MBA  students start the recruiting process a little early). 
Well back to work I go.....



Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Transitioning to Philly...and then Wharton

As of the time I'm writing this...I’ve been in Philly for about 2 weeks now….learning the lay of the land and getting my apt ready for me to probably never be as organized as I am than right now.  

Anyhow, Philly has been great.  Most Wharton MBA students live in/near Rittenhouse Square or at least in Center City.  Philly is a foodie’s paradise (I’ve already had some awesome food) and everything is basically in walking distance…including Wharton.  Also, the public transportation system is great too.  I have several diff buses I can take on my same block or even when it gets cold…I can take a subway/trolley. My mother also traveled here with me to help me move in.  So we had the chance..and a little bit of visit landmarks (like liberty bell) and had some world famous cheesesteaks.

Image of Rittenhouse Square

Anyhow, before school began I had the opportunity to attend a retreat for minority Wharton Students.  I was taken back by the commitment that Alums had for this event.  So many alums (both recent and dated) came back to give us advice…traveling from far away. Also, current 2nd years and even administration gave us the lowdown on Wharton and brought us up to speed on life in Philly.  I found out where I could get my hair done, go to church and find a delicious, cheap bite to eat.  The best thing, was meeting my future classmates.  We really got to know each other well and ended the weekend in a challenging leadership activity (that's all I can say…its all a surprise for future classes).

Anyways…once that was over…I had a week in Philly to hang out with classmates already in town.  The best part of that was celebrating my birthday.  My (future) classmates were so awesome supporting the celebration and EVEN getting Brown Betty Cupcakes (in addition to libations…) Anyways, I’m really excited to start school and really get into life about Philly! Hope anyone else moving (or even starting the application process) is having a great transition too!



Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Essay Writing Tip: Be Specific


So now as the next round of apps begins, I've started reviewing a few essays for friends and I've noticed a common theme in a few essays and it's lack of SPECIFICITY!

For example, instead of saying:
"I am excited to join one of the many student treks"

That statement is really generic and not memorable...try saying:
"I am excited to join the Asia Club's Japan Trek because I am interested in Asian markets and would love to work on my Japanese language skills"

That statement tells me several things.  It shows me that you have done your research, it tells me another interesting thing about you and it tells me that you have global interests.

If you know you love a school, it should be easy to come up with reasons why you want to go, that detailed and relevant to your life goals.  You want the committee/AO's reviewing your essays to not question your desire to go there.  Also, if you find yourself just not interested in anything the school has, or you aren't excited to write about it...maybe that particular school isn't for you.

One thing that is really helpful is to dive deep into the school's website and your notes from conversations with students/alums.  These activities will help you decipher what qualities are important to the school.  Is it collaboration? is it academics? is it culture? Once you figure that out, determining what specifics you would like to highlight should become clear.

Good Luck with essay writing!!

Check out the transcripts from the Beat the GMAT writing series for more help or sign up for the ones that are still available!

Beat The GMAT's 2012 Write Like an Expert Series - Free Webinar Series

How would an admissions expert answer this year's top business school essays?

Beat The GMAT is back with their annual Write Like an Expert series! In this 14-part webinar series, the world's leading admissions experts break down this year's top business school essays.  From HBS to Haas, experts analyze each essay 2012-2013 essay requirement so that you can craft your own story.

You can sign up for each of the sessions through this link.

"Write Like an Expert" Series Calendar
  • Harvard - July 31 at 5pm PDT
  • Stanford - Aug 2 at 5pm PDT 
  • Wharton - Aug 7 at 5pm PDT
  • Columbia - Aug 8 at 10am PDT 
  • INSEAD - Aug 9 at 5pm PDT
  • Yale - Aug 14 at 5pm PDT 
  • Kellogg - Aug 15 at 10am PDT 
  • Booth - Aug 16 at 5pm PDT 
  • Haas - Aug 21 at 5pm PDT 
  • MIT Sloan - Aug 22 at 10am PDT 
  • Cornell - Aug 23 at 5pm PDT 
  • NYU Stern - Aug 28 at 5pm PDT 
  • Fuqua - Aug 29 at 10am PDT  
  • Tuck - Aug 30 at 5pm PDT 



Monday, August 20, 2012

Recap of Summer Goals


Yesterday at MBA convocation, one of the speakers was AMAZING and spoke about the importance of setting a goal and PHYSICALLY writing it down. Apparently there is research in how people that write down goals tend to not only meet them but exceed them.

 I thought back to this summer, I actually wrote a few goals down in a Word doc….I didn’t necessarily meet all of them (some were way too ambitious), but at LEAST I feel like my summer was productive. When my summer began (in late May), I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish…with what I actually accomplished in parentheses. This list was:

• Read at least 3 books (I read 2.5)
• Obtain Pre-MBA Opportunity (Got that..see previous post)
• Work out at least 4x a week (I did about 3 on average)
• Determine budget for school year (still working on that)
• Expand Network (I was able to through MLT/Jumpstart MBA/pre-MBA experience)

I also had about 3-4 personal goals as well. So lets just say I had A LOT on my place. I wish I spent a bit more time relaxing…but that's just me…I find it really hard to sit still. Anyhow, I plan to do this again, to make a few goals for my first year and overall MBA experience. I will write more on that at a later date. I hope everyone else accomplished their goals over the summer, no matter what you are doing with you life. How have you been spending your summer? What are YOUR goals for the next few months?



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

So it Begins...

I can't believe it's TIME!!!  It feels like just yesterday I was studying, writing essays, and stressing over the GMAT. Now all my hard work has paid off and I officially started my bschool journey yesterday. By "officially" I mean my first day of class was yesterday. Before I get into how that went, let me update you on what's been going on since moving to Nashville.

Scenic view of Nashville's Midtown area
I arrived in Nashville around the end of July and its been nonstop fun since then! I absolutely love Nashville. I know your thinking "she just moved there" but its such a cute city and has AMAZING food. I'll start taking more pictures so I can share. When I arrived I had about a week to get settled and explore before orientation started. That weeks was spent getting to know my classmates. I hung out with my classmates almost every night leading up to orientation. The events ranged from roof top pool parties to baseball games to catching happy hour at Sam's.

After that week, I started a 2 day math camp with the funniest teacher of all times . When she thought students were getting tired she should make us all stand up and answer a question. One of my favorite questions was " what was the first concert you went to". After math camp our week long orientation started. I could go on and on about orientation but I'll save it for another post. 

The last 2 weeks has been beyond GREAT!  I love Owen's Class of 2014 and I'm sure I will love the 2nd years as I begin to meet them. Without a doubt I made the right choice coming to Vandy!!!

-Ms. HR


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Asking for Feedback

I always think of Janet Jackson - Feedback when I think of..well...Feedback

I remember requesting some feedback on my Kellogg essays from someone I really respected. Well turned out, in a few days there were tons of red lines and comments all over my essay. She thought they sucked. Big Time. She completely trashed my essays. Checking my email, I sunk my head and shame. Then, lifted myself back up to do some HEAVY rewrites. In retrospect, I learned asking for RIGOUROUS feedback helped.

 So fast-forward to the last few months. I steadily applied to pre-MBA opportunities and never heard back from one in particular that I was really excited about. I knew people around me who got the opportunity, and other people who were officially rejected. Yet I heard nothing. What do I do? Well, I decided to ask for feedback from the recruiter on my cover letter and resume just to see what went wrong. Eventually I got a reply from someone in recruiting…and apparently my application never went through the online system properly. So the recruiter immediately replied that a Wharton recruiter would be in touch with me. Lesson Learned: ASK FOR FEEDBACK.

 Although my resume and cover letter may very well have been crap, I learned the value in asking for feedback. Not only did asking for feedback help strengthen my application essays but also its giving me a second chance at this company, since my first chance fell through the cracks. Look at asking for feedback as a way to help yourself and be the best you can be! Yes, that's corny….but hey it works ☺



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