Monday, August 29, 2011

Network, Network, Network....August updates

As I mentioned a while ago, August has been a month of intense networking for me.  I had the chance to visit Stanford (BEAUTIFUL CAMPUS), attend a few coffee chats/happy hours and an MBA fair.  Although it sounds cheesy, it was really fun just to talk about myself and practice telling my story.  I also had the chance to connect with some Admissions Officers, and I’m *hoping* I didn’t come off as “THAT GIRL”.  You know the one that’s like super annoying and just way too over zealous?  Since I talk about my MBA w/friends and family and also write about it..a lot…I just hope I’m just not over the top.
Stanford GSB Campus
Fortunately, I feel like I was not like that (I hope lol).  During this time  in August.  I’ve also just chatted with friends w/MBAs or in programs at schools that I want to go to and it brought me right back down to earth…thank goodness.
I feel like the best prep for the month of August has been my frequent convos with students and friends about the MBA.  So when I got to speak with AO’s (AO = Admission’s Officers) in person…it came easy and natural…almost.  There were some questions that the AO’s asked me that threw me off, but mostly it was a natural easy-going conversation and it really humanized this process for me.
Also in other news, I finally had conversations with four of my recommenders and they were happy to write my recs.  Now time set up my last conversation.  Thank you for the encouraging words and advice :-)
Now time to followup with the people I met in August...and calm my nerves as I go into September.  Officially my essay 'season' has begun :-/


Thursday, August 11, 2011

How can I ask for a rec?

During a long layover, I decided to look at some recommender questions to determine how to best prep my recommenders.   

As I read over some questions at the schools on my list, my stomach sank to the floor.  I realized that perhaps one of my recommenders would not be the best person to answer these questions.  I looked at some questions that asked the recommender to describe the applicant’s peer group and another school asked about advice that the recommender gave to the applicant. 

After looking at those questions, I realized that I did not have the best people identified.  So contrary to a previous post.  I decided that…::drum roll:: 

I’m going to ask my current manager.

I’m not 100% sure how I am going to tackle this and right now I am a nervous mess. In order to move forward, I’m first meeting with my two recommenders ask them about it, and then, I will strategize with my mentor about positioning the question right and hopefully being successful.

How are you handling your recommenders?  Anyone else as nervous as me?


Monday, August 8, 2011

Time to Get Organized

I wish I could but I can't work in clutter or disorganization. I always need a checklist and detail plan on how to get to my final goal. Just to give you all a glipse of how much organization I like, here is a small snap shot of my study schedule when I was studying for the gmat

(side note: I didn't always follow the times but you get the point.)  A little out of control I know but it worked for me.  I'm starting to feel so disorganized now!!!  I have a list of school with different deadlines and plenty of essays. I NEED a detailed plan of how I'm going to execute.  I may need to break out Micrsoft Project and get the planning lol. Hopefully this week I'll find some time create my plan using MS Project or excel.

Also, I have been eyeing this website Apply in the Sky which may help me keep all my documents and deadlines organized but I still need to google this site/company a bit more. If I decide to use the website that would take care of  a few of my organizational needs but I still need a detailed calendar of deadlines and daily/weekly/monthly goals.  Anyone have any good tools or websites that you are using to stay organized? 

Ms. HR


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Did I do the Math Right?


 So I narrowed down my school list from 10 schools to 7 schools.  I ideally want to apply to 5 schools but it’s getting harder to narrow down my choices strategically.  I decided after speaking to a few admissions consultants and friends, I should spread myself across a good number of SAFETY, FIT and REACH schools.  I have 2 SAFETY schools on my list (schools where I am well within the 80% GMAT Range and GPA range), I have 3 “FIT” schools (schools where I am near the beginning range of the 80% GMAT range and may not be in the GPA range) and I have 2 REACH schools (either the schools are really selective or I am not in the GMAT/GPA ranges).  

The issue for me isn’t that I could not see myself at any of these schools (I like them all), the real issue is do I have time to finish these essays? 
Lets break this down:
5 of the schools have 3-4 essays each.  So to be conservative let’s say (5*4), 20 essays
2 of the schools are Consortium, which is 2, plus 2 more assuming there is just one school specific essay per school (2 + 2), 4 essays
Therefore I have around 20+4 = 24 essays to prepare.
If I take 3 days to write each essay, that is 3*24 = 72 days.  Or rather 2 months and 12 days.
Did I do the math right? lol
How are you handling the time crunch?



Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Raising my Internet Profile

August marks the month of extreme networking…at least in my book.  In August I’ll be visiting two – three schools and also attending a few MBA fairs.  I’m REALLY excited, but at the same time slightly nervous as well.  Although I don’t think every person I meet will GoogleMe....

….I do want to have a presence on the Internet.  In preparation, I’ve decided to make-over my LinkedIN profile.  Not that I have/had anything crazy on there, but I do want my interests to come across more clearly. 

Currently, I just have some positions I held..but  I haven’t filled in any  descriptions.  Therefore I’ve been Googling tips on how to put my best foot forward.  So several weeks ago, while I was at a conference for work, I asked my friend with a GREAT camera (DSLR for the photogeeks) to take a few professional headshots of me.  It may sound slightly vain, but I wanted to have a sleek photo for recruiters/Admission Officers/MBA Students.  I contemplated scheduling a professional photo…but these photos came out great…and were free :-)

As a sidebar (based on some convo's I've had) – once you get into school and possibly receive fellowships/awards, a headshot is usually needed.  So its nice to be ahead of the game. 

My next step this week is to develop a bio, and provide a short description of my previous roles and general interests….all before August 4 (ideally).  Anyways here are a few tips that I picked up along the way…and a few resources to help:

•    Fully complete your Linked-In profile with a bio and descriptions of your currently held positions
•    Provide a professional headshot in your profile
•    If you decide to share your email address, it should be professional (not reminescent of favorite songs/artists etc).  Also, ask yourself do I want LinkedIN emails going to work? (i.e maybe you shouldn’t use your work email)
•    UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE your profile…don’t let it get too stagnant (like mine….)

Additional info:
LinkedIN Tips



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