Thursday, April 28, 2011

BoB Nominee

Wow! We have been nominated to receive a Best of Blogging for 2011 by ClearAdmit, a leader in MBA admissions consulting. What an honor, especially for our new blog! Click and vote for us on facebook!!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

[Deciding] My Path to an MBA

In September 2010, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, law school, business school, joining the Peace Corps….. I had no direction. ..and in many (but fewer) ways I still have no direction.  I’ve just accepted the fate that I’ll always be figuring out the answer to the question “What do you want to do with your life?” for the rest of my life. 
Thankfully, I narrowed down my goals to a few industries/functions I know I don’t want to pursue and careers that I will explore more:
·       Banking & Finance  Although its crossed out I do want to learn more about micro-finance
·       Marketing  -- It’s my backup plan…. In case things fall through
·       Social Enterprise  -- To reach my Long Term goal of revitalizing Detroit
·       General Management -- to learn to manage a non-profits and understand org behavior
·       Consulting   (Note: It’s only half crossed out b/c I think the concept of being a Consultant is cool..but I would have to find the right nonprofit/govt firm  that will have a good work/life balance)
·       Entrepreneurship  I like the idea but just not sure if I’m a risk taker; I will, however, take part in some start-up competitions at school since I have a few ideas up my sleeve bwahahahahaha.
Okay so I have A LOT more research to do….like ALOT
The Ross School of Business at University of Michigan helped me learn more about industries and functions here.
I’m still working on a plan to narrow it down……which I need to finish ASAP!!!
I also plan on tapping into my network just to ask people “What do YOU do?”
I hope that helps.
How did you narrow your selections down?



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

G.M.A.T - Got Me Anxious Totally

Monday April 18th, 2011 at 5:00 P.M. was my first day back to my GMAT grind.  To give you a brief history, I took a Kaplan online GMAT course (which was great) and for MLT had to take the test in January 2011 for final admission.  I took it, I’m glad I did…I wasn’t 100% ready though.   I know there is room for improvement.  So now I’m taking another course and re-studying...hopefully for the LAST time.

I don’t remember feeling this anxious before.

On one hand, I am relaxed because I have a score I’m slightly okay with using to apply, however the thought of going back into a Pearson testing center has me stressed.

In order to really get serious, I’m selecting a date and going to register ASAP in order to get my tail in gear and really grind.

What is in my arsenal?

Although I did make an investment in some items, a lot of my items were passed down from friends via mail.  So my biggest takeaway is USE your network so you can at least save a *little* on books and materials….to take away a tiny bit of the GMAT stress away.

Any other words of wisdom before I dive head first into my GMAT?  How do you handle the stress?

P.S Yes...I know... my acronym for the GMAT is corny lol
P.S.S Please note that I was not paid/encouraged to endorse any of these products...this comes from my own use
P.S.S.S Fortune800MBA is nominated by ClearAdmit for a Best of Blogging award!  Keep your fingers crossed that we win!!!



Thursday, April 14, 2011

Starting School Research

So I have been doing a lot lately. I’ve got a new graphic design class in typography and since I had no idea what it was before the course its pretty time consuming doing the projects. When I did carve out a little time to do something other than design projects and studying for the GMAT, I decided to look up some possible schools.

First off, I have a tendency to be a bit overzealous…so I haven’t narrowed down which schools I’m going to apply to or anything, but one thing I do know is that I will be applying to some schools through the Consortium. The main things that stand out to me about applying through the Consortium is that you can apply up to 6 schools for only $300, but if you are granted membership to the Consortium you could possibly get a Consortium Fellowship = $$$ :ching ching: I’m down for anything that could possibly pay for my whole tuition to business school.  Luckily I have a great resource at my dispose to ask lots of questions about the Consortium because my daughters godfather is a Michigan Ross School of Business and Consortium Fellowship Alumni.

So the Consortium has 17 member schools, all great schools, and I can only pick 6!!! I applied to 10 schools for undergrad…so best believe I will be applying to more than this 6 because I have a fear of not getting into school. Anyways, I started my research just by looking at all 17 schools and seeing what their different concentrations are. I am not 100% sure of what I want my concentration to be, but I am looking at Marketing, Product Management, e-commerce, Entertainment, Media and Technology, Information and Operations Management, Brand Management…just to name a few. I think the main being some kind of marketing.

In my first round of review, the schools I want to look more into UCLA Anderson School of Management (Silicon Valley here I come), Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business, Cornell University Johnson Graduate School of Management, Indiana University Kelley School of Business, University of Michigan Ross School of Business (:woop woop:), NYU Stern School of Business, University of Rochester Simon Graduate School of Business, U of Texas McCombs School of Business,  and University of Virginia Darden School of Business.

Now this is just a quick list of schools that stood out to me solely on concentration options. It could definitely change next week; I still have a little bit of time to narrow down my 6 by November. After these schools I still have to research my non-consortium schools! So much to do, so little time!

-mads mom


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Recap of Fuqua Visit

Honestly this was a tough entry to write.

Not because of the visit itself, but moreso on how to make it NOT sound like a book report lol.

Anyways, the main takeaway from Ms. HR and I’s visit to Fuqua is this: GO VISIT SCHOOLS

I know that sounds trite.  But until last weekend, I held school visits at an arm’s length.  I would love to have the money and time to visit alllll the schools I am interested in, yet I never really mapped out that plan nor narrowed down my list of schools I’m dying to visit.  An Alum said it best.  He said, “Your business school education roughly costs 150 to 200K which is the cost of a house.  Would you buy a house without seeing it?”

Nuff said.

There’s nothing like being on a school campus.  It totally outweighs any interviews, website visits or Facebook stalking.
::steps off soapbox::

Lets get to the visit.

First thing, the Fuqua students and Alums were really open and honest about their experiences. which was great for all of us prospective students.  Luckily, it was a small group of us, so we got to really interact closely with the admissions directors and alums…which was AMAZING.

Furthermore, we attended a conference intended for MBA students but honestly, it was extremely engaging and interesting regardless.  It really made me realize that in a year, that will be us.  Yes….ALL OF US.
Thus, another takeaway I had was to start to think NOW about what I want out of business school.  Yet another somewhat obvious takeaway.  Tons of questions were going through my head throughout the weekend.  What organizations do I want to be in?  How can I be a leader amongst leaders in Bschool? Where will my internship be? Are there any other experiences I should be having NOW before I go back to school? What alums should I connect with? Etc…etc…etc…

Also last takeaway, Business school is tough.  Yes, another duh moment.  But between listening to speakers, networking,  panels, bar nights, etc.  I was literally exhausted by Sunday and looked forward to going home to just sleep….and that’s how it will be once WE…yes all of us….Go to business school.

So get used to it.

Has anyone else visited schools and learned anything surprising?  How did it influence your goals and ideas?  Ms. HR…anything you would like to add? Anything I missed?


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Forget School Tuition, Applying for an MBA is Expensive!

Everyone always talks about the cost of tuition in bschool but what about applying?!?!? Before I began this whole process I made an estimated budget for the cost of applying to bschool. Well, its time to re-evaluate my budget. I  have yet to fill out one application but the grand total spent on this applying process is $2,139.85. While budget planning, I took into account school application fees, gmat fees, gmat prep, and  school visits cost but I realized I forgot a few things.  Below is the breakdown of what is in version 1 of my budget.  

  • Gmat- I budgeted for $250 but spent $500. I lost in the first round of GMAT vs Ms.HR but I've stepped up my training so I WILL be the winner of round 2. 
  • Manhattan Gmat: $1,290.
  • Application Fees- $1,000. I made the assumptions that I will apply to 5 school @ $200 for each application.  Some school waive the application fees if you attend certain events, I'm hoping I can do some of those events to lower the application costs.
  • School Visits/Diversity Weekend/Interviews- $1750. $350 for a plane ticket and hotel for each school, assuming I go to one of the events. 
The above brings my estimated budget to a total to : $4,540.

This is what I planned for but this weekend I realized that I forgot to budget in a few things.  The most important thing being a suit! The last time I wore a suit was 3.5 years ago. I can't attend bschool events without being properly dressed. At my current job the my dress code  is casual/business causal emphasis on the causal.  I'm going to need to start investing in business professional clothes. Anyway I'm planning on working on version 2 of my budget this weekend, below are a few more things I need to add to it.

Suit + a few business professional outfits
Extra gmat grep books  
Application books ( books on how to craft a winning application)

Anything else I didn't account for? Also any tips for bringing down the cost of applying? 

-Ms. HR


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Why I'm Choosing an MBA

Deciding to go back to school is a big decision for anyone. Grad school is not only a time investment but also a huge financial investment. Not to mention going to school full-time means I will be kissing my salary goodbye. There will be no more trips ( I love to travel), no more shopping and no more impulse buys on cool techie gadgets.

My undergraduate degree is in Electrical Engineering so the big question is why switch from engineering to an MBA(w/ HR concentrations)? While working, I had the chance to partner with HR on a few projects. Out of all my projects the HR ones were my favorite. Last September I began reaching out to different contacts in HR to have informational interviews. Every single of the those informational interviews made me want to pack up and move to HR right away. From compensation, to recruiting to just general leadership opportunities, it was hard for me to narrow down which path I wanted to take. In the mist of my decision process, I found out about a Human Resource Leadership Program ( HRLP)  within my company. HRLP's are rotational programs that allow you to rotate through different roles in HR. A lot of the major companies have their own HRLPs which can last anywhere from 1.5 years to 3 years. More than half of these programs require a Masters in Human Resource Management or an MBA.

I personally think an MBA will give me more flexibility down the road than a Masters in HR will. Also an MBA will provided me with a chance to learn the business side of things. If I plan on being an executive in HR, I will need to know HR as well as how to run a business. My Electrical Engineering degree has taught me a lot, but it has not taught me how to run a business.

Now that I know my end goal, I'm picking the MBA path to get there!

- Ms.HR


Monday, April 4, 2011

To Tell or Not to Tell....

Ever since I started my GMAT, I always struggled with the notion to tell my employer my intentions.  It was really tough because I’m pretty open with my coworkers and manager but to be that brutally honest during a recession? And when jobs are being cut?  
I just wasn’t so sure.

So luckily, I’m pretty close with my previous managers and I have an AWESOME mentor, all who I trust to write (positive) recommendations.  After a super long talk with my mentor, we decided it was best to keep this on the low.   So I started to worry less about telling my current team and managers and more about how to construct the optional essay about why I did not tell my company.  Which I’m sure I will write about later.

In my experience, in order to decide if you will tell your company is a personal decision.  I would recommend taking these steps:
  • Obtain a few mentors and confidantes at work.  People older than you and in higher positions than you probably have way way way more insight into proper protocol
  • Weigh the pros and cons of informing your employer.  Are you prepared for the worst-case scenario?
  • Ask admissions/current students/alums at schools you would like to apply to, to determine how recommendations are perceived and evaluated
If you are blessed to be able to tell your job, use that to your advantage!
Does anyone else have advice?  How did you tell your manager?  Why did/didn’t you?



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