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 ☺



Monday, July 9, 2012

Finding a Pre-MBA Internship

As soon as I heard the phrase “Pre-MBA” Internship…I knew I wanted one. Especially as a career switcher I thought it was important. It seemed even when I spoke to company representatives about my interests, they would try to steer me towards their more technical career paths (since I’m an engineer) or something in supply chain (my former work experience) because I fit the mold. So for me it was crucial I get experience in what I THINK I want to do, just in case I didn’t like it. I’ve noticed now when I speak to consulting representatives and mention my DEMONSTRATED interest in economic development they steer me to their public sector branches, internships etc. Bottom line - the conversations have drastically changed. Which made me a happy camper.

This is my life right now.....

 Anyways below are some tips of getting a pre-MBA internship (at least tips that worked for me):

• Make a relationship map
 I thought about everyone I knew, met through this process and if they would help me. Also, it keeps the lines of communication open.

Research companies and apply
Sounds simple right?   I applied to so many non-profits and governments, did a few informationals (I wish I did more) and just put my name out there.

Keep in mind that non-profits don’t function like traditional corporations. YOU HAVE TO BE PERSISTENT and PROACTIVE. If you aren’t into a very unstructured experience consider large corporate-esque nonprofits (example: American Red Cross), instead of smaller, stretched non-profits.

Pitch your ideas
When I spoke to people, I pitched ideas on what I thought the organization needed. I did this to prove that I’m not going to be wasting either of our time and to show my passion.

Read the NEWS 

I know I’m beating a dead-horse. But if you are thinking about being in the non-profit/public sector knowing the headliners (no matter where you stand politically) is so important. For example, now that I’m working for the government, I NEED to know who are the leaders in surrounding cities, the state and the counties....I’ll be honest…this is NOT information I knew off the top of my head. Also, I needed to know about grant money for projects…so I needed to know what is going on in Washington too.


I ended up getting my internship when I was just talking to one of my VERY good lawyer friends in NYC. She connected me to someone who lead the internship program. Even though I did all this legwork, its funny how opportunities can just line themselves up.

So what am I doing?
I’m working for the community and economic development manager for a city that is battling urban blight (aka lots of crime, arson, foreclosures, dilapidated businesses). So basically there’s tons of land that needs to be sold and where others see negativity…well that also means there’s tons of opportunity for long-term investments. Anyhow, so long story short, I’m assessing the city’s current holdings and developing a marketing plan to get real estate and business developers to buy our land! Sounds easier than it is…but I’m excited for the challenge and would LOVE to make this city some money!!



Tuesday, July 3, 2012

May/June Updates

It’s been a while since we all wrote...hey its the summer..what can I say.  Anyhow, here is a high-level recap of the last two months:

After deciding to go to Wharton (and paying my deposit...)  I left to meet up my Kellogg ’14 friend in India.  I spent around 2 weeks there checking out a few touristy sites, doing a little of charity (I wish I had time to do more) and chilling.   Once I got back I quit my job and 
then started to finally plan my summer.

Pic I took at the Taj Mahal

The beginning of June was the final MLT conference :-( It was bittersweet but also really informative.  Each day was sponsored by several companies  and we were released to go our separate ways to attend thier all-day sessions in NYC.  I learned a lot about some of the areas I’m really interested in: social enterprise and consulting.  But also I learned about finance and CPG companies as well.  Anyways, if you have seen the MLT special on CNN this is the conference that was featured.  If you haven’t, check it out here.  

So anyways, it braced me for this summer, which I’ll talk about in future posts. 
In other news, I GOT AN INTERNSHIP…after being discouraged about my options for the last few months…I’m glad I found a job that I’m really excited about.  I’m working in economic development and I’ll talk more about that in other post.  I’m also tutoring some of my family friend’s in math as my side hustle.

Anyhow, lastly as far as Wharton.  I’ve gotten a slew of emails about tidbits of things I need to do like immunization forms, applying to leadership opportunities and prepping for a calc test that we all have to take.  I hope everyone is enjoying his or her* summer! 

*When I wrote “I hope everyone is enjoying their summer”, I got a green squiggly grammar line from Word….guess I never learned that grammar rule from the GMAT :-/


Friday, May 25, 2012

Book Review: MBA Admission for Smarties

We all had the chance to review  MBA Admission for Smarties book. Instead of us all writing a different post we decided to do a joint post. Enjoy!

Ms.HR: Overall this book had some helpful tips. Since I found this book late in my MBA process I didn't have time to read to the book cover to cover so the " bottomline"  at the end of each chapter helped me focus in on chapters of interest. After everything was submitted, I revisited this book while packing up my apartment and I wish I would have had the time to take a close look at the book during the MBA process. There was one chapter "Choosing the right school for you " that just spoke to me. When I started looking programs I was really caught up in the ranking and only looked at certain schools but then came to my senses and picked a program that was right for me. It would have been nice to read that chapter to cut down the time I wasted choosing schools because of their rankings.

Another  section of the book I  really enjoyed was a chapter that gave you ideas of things you could do after you submitted the application.  After I hit submit I did nothing but relax and a little interview prep. There were things I could have done to be more productive with my time like "plan the logistics of life in bschool".

Mads Mom: Although I too found this book later in the application process, there was definitely some helpful information. I mainly used the book to focus on the interview process. Honestly I think I am pretty good at coming up with some information on the spot, so at first I wasn't too nervous about the interviews, but after helping Ms.HR prep for one of her interviews I realized that I was going about this all wrong. After reading the chapter on interviews I definitely had to reevaluate how I was going to go about preparing for my interviews. Since I wasn't the ideal candidate, the interview process was the one way I knew I could win over the admissions people, and after I reviewed and followed the steps noted in the chapter, I blew a couple of interviews out of the water (or park, whatever that saying is)! Overall I would recommend this book for those of you who area just starting your application process, and even for those who have already submitted their applications and are getting ready for interviews.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Beginning Your School Research? Here's a tip

When I started out researching schools I spent hours and hours on different school websites. Most schools had a great user interface for their website while others...not so much. Earlier this week I took a look at the School Shapshots provided by Clear Admit. This is something I wish I knew about when I was building my school list.

The snapshots are a good resource to find the basic information about different schools. The snapshots can also give you ideas of different things to look for ( if you don't already know) when building your school list.  The guides I looked at had sections that provided information about 
  • Post MBA stats
  • Financial cost 
  • Admission and class profile information
  • Campus life
  • Majors
If you know you want an MBA but not sure which school, use these snapshots to begin the research for building your school list.

-Ms. HR


Friday, May 4, 2012

My Decision

I will be joining the Class of 2014 at:

There were several factors that were important to me in this decision…I first went back to this post from LONG LONG ago.....But there were a few things that I KNEW I wanted but never fully here we go: 

  • Urban Environment – I wanted to live in a CITY.  I want to feel like school and my life were separate but not.  Does that make sense?  Well the great thing about Philadelphia is that there are many I'm surrounded by tons of things that are collegiate.  Also, since a lot of the student body is not from Philly and since most students  live in a particular area in Philly…its like the best of both worlds. The student body REALLY gets to know each other and an urban environment.  I'm so happy that I get my campus experience on Penns Campus…and I also get to live my urban lifestyle that I’ve been dreaming about  ever since I was little.  Also, I want the opportunity to volunteer in an urban environment...something Philly and Wharton have to offer through Community Consultants and some other orgs.  Not to mention the SHOPPING is EXCELLENT.  Each time I left Wharton (interview and welcome weekend) I left with a whole new outfit lol.
  • Makeup of Student Body  - I want to be challenged and pushed by my peers.  One of the things that attracted me to Wharton is the international feel…which is something I didn't realize I wanted until I went to the Wharton Welcome Weekend (WWW). I felt at home when after WWW people I met were emailing/texting/FBing me.  It felt so right! Also, each time someone told me their background/career story I was literally BLOWN AWAY.
  • Culture/Fit – Now as I mentioned earlier…I was NOT in touch with my feelings through the process…I was very execution driven.  So in these last 3 weeks I was assessing who I really was.  When I boiled down to it…I felt like I fit right on in.  People understood my dry humor and sarcasm with ease. Not to mention the greatness of the Dean of "Happiness" Kembrel Jones
  • Academics – Academics weren’t really a focus for me ::gasp:: I’m much more an extracurricular person and generally let that come first.  One thing I was looking for was the ability to take classes across campus.  I know this is something I wanted to take advantage of.  I know for sure I will be taking a Business French Class and also I learned about this class at UPenn where you basically turnaround a house and sell it....I will DEF be in that class.  Also, I feel like it will be a good way to network with non-Bschool people and get myself out of the bubble.  As for traditional academics -  I like the new curriculum and also the learning teams at Wharton.  I like that they pair us in ways that they know will build us to be leaders.  During this process I had a student say that what lasts with you down the road isn't the random elective courses, its the experiences and the leadership opportunities.  That is a sentiment I totally agree with and Wharton has tons of leadership opptys and also Wharton has grade non-disclosure and no classes on Fridays!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Career – Once again, career services wasn’t a huge focus for me.  For most of my internship opportunities in Undergrad I did most of my own off-campus recruiting.  So I’m very comfortable doing that again.  I know that I’m going to probably recruit for Consulting and maybe SOMETHING ELSE (still not decided…Marketing? Tech? General Management? Retail and Luxury Goods?).   Also to be reallllllly transparent,  my fulltime job search MAY be a bit more organic/freeflowing depending on how Summer 2013 goes.

And now I leave you (my favorite) Wharton “Folly”……

Well I know others are deciding…I know its hard…but seriously you can’t go wrong, you will NOT regret your choice and it feels GREAT once you pay that deposit!!!



Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How I decided.....

CONGRATS MS. HR ON YOUR DECISION!!! I know that you are going to LOVE Vanderbilt and I totally will be visiting there!!!

Well like Ms. HR I had a really hard time deciding between schools.  I somehow narrowed it down to two and really did some deep reflection about how I am as a person.  Where do I thrive? What kind of experience do I want? 

It’s weird because going into this process… I was not all.  Maybe through this blog I fooled you into thinking that I was deeply thinking about this whole process and knew myself SO well...but in reality I was not J    I was focused on my GMAT score, focused on writing the best essays and also trying to be a beast at work.  
I wasn’t really “in touch” with my feelings….AT ALL.

So now I had about 3 weeks to deal with this issue.  I was somewhat miffed.  I had around a year to apply but only 3 weeks so decide on this MASSIVE investment.  Anyhow so like the true engineer I am…I narrowed it down to two schools and made a decision matrix.

Then,  I took an AWESOME friends advices.  One day I pretended that I accepted school X..and then the next day I pretended to accept school Y.  I took note of how I felt.  I pretended to plan my summer, my first semester of classes and what my next two years would be like.  

THEN I called SOOOO MANY people on my board of directions.  I spoke to TONS of people.  People at work, people at school X and school Y. My friends, coworkers anyone who would hear me rant about this champagne problem.

And then magically…it came to me.  I spoke to one of the most realest people I met through this process….and it dawned on me who I REALLY was….and I paid my deposit J
To be continued…..


Monday, April 30, 2012

If Only I Knew....

Thank God the bschool application process is over and all the hard work paid off. I'm ready to begin the fun!! For those who are just starting out with their bschool process  here are some things I wish I knew before beginning this process and/or things that helped me throughout the process.

  • Add EXTRA money to whatever bschool budget you create. During my process so many other expenses came up I wish I would have put more away. I had to dip into my summer travel fund :/
  • Books- there are a lot of great books out there to help you with this process
    • Take a look at this post and comments.
    • MBA for Smarties- I found this book late in the game but the information & the tips it provided were great! Also, I enjoyed "the bottom line" at the end of each chapter. 
  • Apply to MLT. I wasn't in MLT but seeing some of the benefits Motown had access to, I wish had some of those opportunities. If you don't apply to MLT at least find a someone who is in MLT and latch on lol (that's what I did to Motown). 
  • School visits - If you have the means, visit each school before submitting your application. In almost all cases my visit allowed me to create a more impactful essay or  helped me knock a school off my list. 
    • Keep those relationships you make. Even though you may not end up at the same school, you meet some really ambitious and smart people during the application process. Keep them in your network, you never know when you all will cross paths again.
    • Get to know the admission officers.
    • Take students up on their offer(s) to read your essay!!!!! 
  • Essays- Find friends and people who have been through this process to help give you feedback.
    • Now not everyone's advice should be used. I had people read my essays but chose to not to use their recommendations because it wasn't me or I just didn't agree with what they said. 
    • START EARLY on the essays. With all the edits you may have to do, you will wish you  had more time.
  • GMAT- Do your best but it isn't the end all be all.  Now that a lot of schools are accepting the GRE take stab at the GRE if the GMAT isn't your friend. Make sure you tell a compelling story with every other piece of your application.
  • Have fun! It's a stressful process but you may learn something new about yourself ( I know I did).
Those who have completed this process , what advice do you have for those who are just beginning this process?

-Ms. HR


Thursday, April 26, 2012

It's Official ....

After A LOT of thought,  it's official I will be joining the class of 2014 at .......

This whole decision process was hard for me.  After all my spreadsheets of pros/cons and talking with my parents, friends, current students, and alumni I finally made my decision! I don't think there is a formula on how to pick which grad school to attend just make sure you make the decision for YOU. It's your investment and you will be spending your time there.

So you all probably wondering how I made my decision. Well here are the details......  This post mentioned some of the things I was thinking about. Here are some more details around them and also a few new ones.
  • Cost - This was a BIG thing for me. In the beginning I thought I didn't care about the price but seeing the real price tag, I realized that my debt tolerance isn't as high as I thought it was. 
  • My End Goals- Post MBA, I know I would like to participate in a HR rotational program and  eventually focus on talent management. I looked at which school would set me up to achieve that goal.
  • Network. Alumni are a piece of the network but what about my classmates I would be spending my time with.  Could  I see myself hanging with them in and out of the classroom. 
  • Fit and learning style. I'm taking two years to become the "broke college student". If I'm losing my income I want to be able to enjoy the faculty and my peers as well learn as much as I can. 
Throughout this whole process there was one school neck and neck and I had to go with my gut. Yes, I know some of you thinking what!?! You made this important decision based on a gut feeling ... and the answer is YES.  My gut has not let me down so far.  Quick mini story

Picking an undergraduate institution I went with my gut and LOVED every minute of the University of Michigan.  Fast forward to graduation time I had to make a decision on where I was going to work. Again I went with my gut, my current company was my lowest offer and they weren't negotiating  but something felt right about the company. I took it and haven't look back. So again when it is time to make this decision something felt right about it.
Now that my decision has been made its time to plan my exit out of the corporate world and gear up for school.  Good luck to those who are still making their decision!

-Ms. HR


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Vote for Us!!

We have been nominated  for Best of Blogging 2011- 2012 by ClearAdmit, a leader in MBA admissions consulting. This year we are going for the win so if you enjoy reading our blog vote for us here.

-Fortune800mba Team


Monday, April 23, 2012

Beat the GMAT (BTG) Scholarship Annoucement!!


All -
Below are details about a a SCHOLARSHIP available to help YOU Beat the GMAT!! I wish I knew about this opportunity last year!! 
Good Luck!!!

Beat The GMAT (BTG), the world’s largest social network for MBA applicants, is now accepting applications for its seventh annual Beat The GMAT Scholarship Competition. This year, BTG will award scholarship packages for six winners, valued at more than $11,000. Each of the winners will receive one GMAT prep course, an admissions consulting package and a $250 GMAT voucher. BTG will accept applications until Monday night, April 23rd, and winners will be announced on April 30th.

“Giving back to the community is an important part of our mission,” says Eric Bahn, Founder of Beat The GMAT.  “We believe that our annual scholarship is an important initiative to help talented individuals achieve their dreams of going to an amazing business school.” 

Since 2006, Beat The GMAT has been able to distribute $193,000 in scholarships to MBA applicants.

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Response to "The Truth: The Consortium"

A few days ago I stumbled across this blog and post.

Anyone that REALLY knows me, knows that I cannot keep my mouth shut (maybe thats why I wanted to be a lawyer... a few years ago) and after debating with myself for 5 min, I responded.  For those of you who want the brief summary - these bloggers had some strong opinions on the Consortium (CGSM) and Underrepresented Minorities (URMs) that I strongly disagreed with.  Below is my response...feel free to make this a (healthy) debate

I understand some of the points that you are making but wanted to address a few of your points.  For some transparency I am also a URM, I applied to one Consortium school and the rest of my applications were non-Consortium.

To address your comment that“URM’s expect everything on a silver platter with the Consortium”, I recognize that both you and I probably know several URMs not only with the Consortium fellowship but other fellowships as well.  On the flipside, I know several URMS, one in particular from an ivy and another few from Top 25 UG’s who were rejected/waitlisted from CGSM schools.  I don’t think that most URM’s consider the fellowship as something OWED to them.  Rather it is treated as an HONOR.  This is why 2nd year CGSM’s mentor first years, they are leaders in their respective schools and why companies go after them. 

I like to think that the Consortium provides an opportunity.  If we look at the schools that are a part of the membership, bottomline they want to increase their diversity. Therefore, they provide a means to apply at a reduced cost and take on the ‘risk’ of joining the CGSM and evaluating the entire package. These schools see the upside of adding diversity to their class.  But by no means are they lowering their standards for admission.  Although people like you and I may be go-getters, I’ve encountered MANY URM’s stating that they would not dream of applying to top MBA programs and self-select themselves out of the process with sentiments like “I’m totally not going to get in” or “Applying would be a waste of money”….so in many ways I see the CGSM as an opportunity to take the gamble and (hopefully) increase odds.  Also, if you have encountered arrogant URMs what’s the problem?  I think this confidence/arrogance is the same across the board in every community.   I remember sitting at info sessions and waiting for interviews with very pompous people (maybe I was one of them? Lolol).  Sorry to break it to you…but that’s what Top Bschools attract!!!

Furthermore, I’m not naive, I’m sure all MBA programs (not just CGSM schools) are comparing URMS to other URMS rather than our white/Asian counterparts but please believe they are taking the crème de la crème of the URMS.  I have also spoken to a girl with a 630 GMAT getting the Consortium fellowship, but once again, that’s ALL I knew about that person.  I have no idea what her recommenders said, her essays, her interview style etc. and although most applicants are skeptical…we are ALL more than a number. 

In addition, applying to CSGM schools is also an option for EVERYONE (I’ve met both Asian and white CGSM fellows).  This past weekend at an admit weekend, the financial aid session was PACKED with all races/creeds/nationalities so EVERYONE cares equally about the cost of getting an MBA.  Perhaps URMS are more risk averse and decide to apply only to CGSM schools?  Perhaps our other counterparts are more prepared financially?  That is up for debate.  However, the CGSM mission is one I support regardless of what school I end up matriculating at and I’m happy for anyone that decides to go that route URM or non-URM.

Finally, to address a comment I read.  MLT and the CGSM provide a network and although its easy to compare them, they are two completely different organizations (which is another debate we can have at another time…this post is getting long).  Nonetheless  I wouldn’t say that either is a legup but just another means to navigate this process. They both present opportunities to meet other ambitious URMS that frankly I probably would never meet otherwise.   Coming from an area with few URM’s and a professional background where no one goes to b-school, every time I went to an MLT conference I felt energized and realized I wasn’t alone in the process.  Maybe this is different for people in major cities but for me that was one of best things about MLT.

Okay thanks for reading.  ::drops mic::

Let the debates begin.

P.S These are JUST my views and do not reflect other writers on this blog


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Best of Blogging Nomination

We have been nominated  for Best of Blogging 2011- 2012 by ClearAdmit, a leader in MBA admissions consulting. This year we are going for the win so if you enjoy reading our blog vote for us here.

-Fortune800 MBA Team


Monday, April 16, 2012

Decisions Decisions

I'm writing this post knowing that I should be packing. I have a 6 AM flight and its 10 PM but choosing where to attend bschool is constantly on mind. I go to sleep weighing the pros and cons, I wake up thinking about them. I keep on thinking what really matters to me?

I have been fortunate enough to work for a company that allowed to me explore and try different project throughout my career.  After working on a few projects I knew that HR was the direction I wanted to go in. That's my main purpose for going back to school, getting the knowledge I need to be successful in managing HR. Learning is #1 in my book.  So how do I learn? Which school caters more toward my learning style? 

A job post MBA. My target companies recruit at both schools. Job placement stats are also good.

Fit. I have the type of personality that I would enjoy any place I went. So when looking at fit its hard for me to say because I truly believe I would have a fabulous time at either place.

Network. Isn't this the reason why schools are picked? The network that you build and the alumni base. I think the only way I could see how strong the alumni network was reaching out to different alumni.

Now onto the bschool debt. I remember doing an interview earlier on in my bschool process with The question was "Does cost play a factor in where you’re applying?" My answer was "Cost is a factor but at the same time it’s not really. If I get into my top choice school I doubt I would turn it down due to cost." I'm at that point where I'm really analyzing the debt I'm going to go into. I've heard some people say "oh its school debt so do worry about it" but are you going to be paying back my loans? Probably not, so therefore I have to worry about it. Bschool is an investment, I just want to make sure I look at everything.I thought about the debt before I applied and I honestly thought I would be okay taking out whatever the cost. Looking at the loan repayment calculators and my financial award letters has me really thinking.When I graduate I want to be able to take a job because its a perfect fit and not because they were the highest bidder. ( after negotiations of course lol )

Decision day is quickly approaching for me! Time to pray, think, and pay a deposit.

-Ms. HR


Friday, April 13, 2012

Stay Motivated


A little less than a year ago, I decided to do a few free consulting reviews to evaluate my profile. I had a few nice conversations (I didn’t end up using any of these consultants) and then I had a particularly interesting conversation with one MBA consultant. Pretty much the conversation was like this:

Consultant: Whats your GPA and GMAT?
Me: X.XX and XXX
Consultant: Did you get any C’s?
Me: Yes
Consultant: Ohhhh okay wow what schools do you want to apply to?
Me: blah blah blah
Consultant: Well just be prepared to not get into any schools next year with that GMAT score and GPA.

I abruptly ended the conversation and was absolutely devastated. I wasn’t sure what to do. Do I expand the list of schools I’m applying to? Do I take the GMAT for the third time? What will I do if I get rejected from everywhere?

Well after thinking about…I took a step back. Needless to say I ended up not using this consultant. Instead I relied on my network to review my essays, students/MLT to give me advice, (an organization that reviews essays ethically and donates to charity) and on a few books I read. Now, I’m not saying that MBA Admissions Consultants are not helpful and they definitely have way more success stories than any other resource, but just make sure you pick ones that are not discouraging. And with that said I just let that consultant be my motivator.


P.S I'm joking with that picture :-)


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

March Updates Part 2

Like Motown mentioned March did move quickly!  In fact since I submitted my applications who knows where the time went. Also, who knew deciding on what school to attend would also be a challenge. I'll save that story for another post.

CONGRATS MOTOWN on some AMAZING school choices!! I'm interested in what school you pick! Expect a visit from me wherever you go. Here are the details of the schools that I applied to.

Johnson/MILR (Cornell) - Accepted
Owen (Vanderbilt)- Accepted
Broad (MSU)- Accepted
Ross (Michigan)- Waitlisted
McCombs (UT- Austin)- Denied

Congrats to everyone! No matter what the results are this bschool process is no joke so congrats on going through it.



Tuesday, April 10, 2012

March Updates


So as expected, March was a month that moved SO FAST. I can’t believe how quickly the time passed from March 15th and onward. Admittedly, I was torn sharing how everything ended up, but I figure that's what readers want to know huh? Also, for people applying next year maybe I can provide some advice??   So just for the record, this is here was my rundown:

Ross – Admitted
Fuqua – Admitted
Kellogg – Admitted
Wharton – Admitted
HBS - Waitlisted

I’m so blessed to get through this process with great schools as options.  Thank you God!  I’m still torn and wish I could divide myself in many pieces to go to all my schools. I’ll be attending two admitted student weekends and ultimately deciding at the end of the month.

Congrats to all the admits!! Good luck to all the waitlisters! And to those that were not admitted keep trying!

P.S I LOVE the Tiger Woods fist pump...not to mention the Masters just started (when I wrote this post)


Friday, April 6, 2012

Checking In


I realize that we haven’t written in a while but we are STILL HERE. We have been busy doing exciting things like going/planning to go to admitted student weekends and deciding between schools. You will soon hear more from us but just be sure that if WE can do it…you can DEFINETLY get through this process too.

Enjoy your weekend!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Articles I'm Reading

As I mentioned a few months ago....I'd like to share a few MBA related articles. Here are a two interesting articles I read:

Top 10 Things Women in Business Should Know --> I can def relate to some of the issues of being a woman in the workplace

Understanding the Background Check --> An interesting article about the background checks on your bschool application. Always remember to have integrity!

Happy Reading!



Tuesday, March 6, 2012

February Updates

There really isn’t much to say about February. In Feb I had 3 interviews and travelled a bit to complete them. In all its been fun but really tiring. I spent the first half of the month waiting in anticipation to hear from schools and then the other half was spent prepping for interviews….so I didn’t have time to really plan my summer. That's on pause for the moment. As excited as I am to find out what school I’ll be attending….I realize that after March everything is going to happen really fast. I’m starting to get a little nostalgic about moving away and leaving my job. But at the same time I’m really excited for the unknown.

Good luck with final interviews!!



Thursday, March 1, 2012


Well I know a few of my friends have heard from schools (CONGRATS MISS HR!!!!)....but the schools I applied to won't begin to notify applicants till mid-March.  Although I still have one more interview...I'm still trying to contemplate how to make this time pass by as fast as possible.  Some possible ideas are:
  • Weekend Road Trips
  • Tennis Lessons
  • Throw a party
  • Find more errands to run
  • Try cooking new exotic dishes
  • Plan my summer
  •  Catch up on all the tv i missed throughout this process
  • Catch up on all the movies I missed throughout this process
  • Call old friends
  • Read a book or two
  • Re-read all my applications (just kidding!!!)
As you can see, I'm going bat-crazy waiting.  I can't wait until I know where I'm going!! Good luck if you are still waiting.  How are you passing the time?!



Monday, February 27, 2012

My First Admit!

Well my first admission decision came through last week and I was ACCEPTED to Johnson (Cornell)!!!!! I can finally breathe. I received the called at 11:56 am and was on a high all week long.... Part 1 of Cornell down but since I applied to a dual degree I'm still waiting on the ILR school.  Even though I'm still waiting, it's a great feeling to know that I could be attending Cornell this fall. Good luck to those who are wrapping up their interviews and awaiting their admission decision.



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ross Interview

Last week I went back to Michigan for Ross's Consortium Interview Day and  BBSA Conference. Attending these events made me fall in love all over again.  I love my alma mater and knew that going there but after spending the two days at Ross, it was that butterfly type of love feeling( corny I know but it happened). Here's what went down.

I arrived for the consortium interview day and networked with some of the prospective students while we waited for the events to begin. It's interesting to see folks that I saw at school XYZ at Michigan.  It's such a small world. When the program started Jon Fuller and Soojin Kwon Koh opened up with their remarks and they both were really funny. I  feel like being funny and having a personality is the #1 criteria to be apart of the Ross community. I've never laughed so much during a school's interview events. After the opening remarks was the interview. All the bschool forums were right, the interview was like a conversation. One interview question I really like was " Looking ahead 2 years from now what would make you say I'm glad I went to Ross?"

After the interview we had the building tour, current student panel, and career services discussion. After the career services chat the consortium interview day was done and the Alfred L. Edwards 36th Annual BBSA Conference began later on that night then continue on Saturday. The BBSA conference was GREAT! Amazing speakers and panel sessions. I'll highlight a few things that I enjoyed during the conference.

  1. The Multicultural marketing panel. The panel participants were so passionate and engaged that it was an unforgettable panel.  The moderator, Professor Christie Nordhielm came with it. She asked such thought provoking question and really shaped the discussion.  After this panel I almost* wanted to switch to marketing.
  2. Ralph Gilles & Ralph Johnson. Both keynote speakers gave a wonderful look back on how they got to where they are today and also provided great advice.
  3. Reuniting with a current Ross student who taught me how to program during my freshman year of undergrad. (small world)
Overall I had a great weekend at Ross. Now I have to sit back and wait on the decision.



    Monday, February 6, 2012

    Motown - January Updates

    The Waiting Game....


    January was a huge waiting period. I spent most of the month relaxing, getting back to my "real life" as I waited to hopefully hear back from schools that wanted to interview me. Every time a school I applied to emailed me...I was so jumpy!! In my downtime, I did begin to plan my summer and also slowly prepped for interviews. This mostly meant reading/skimming some books, the news and watching a few movies that relate to my long term goals and interests. I’ve also got to focus on some of my personal/social life too…which got muted in the midst of this application process.

    As far as MLT, a new professional development side is about to start. In December I got a new coach and it will focus on tips and strategies to obtain an internship/fulltime position. I'm still not 100% sure what I'm going to do this summer, outside of travel. I know I want to work...I just need to determine if I want a traditional pre-MBA internship or volunteer. I'm leaning towards volunteering at a few non-profits.

    Lastly, I got two interview invites so far!!!! I'm excited but really it makes this process just seem so real! Anyhow, my relaxation period is officially over....back to work!

    Hope everyone else had time to relax!


    Tuesday, January 17, 2012

    And the award goes to.....

    After writing so many essays we decide to give mock awards for some these essays. Enjoy!

    Hardest Essay:
    Mads Mom: Consortium Mission Essay A) What have you done pre-MBA in your business, academic or personal life to demonstrate commitment to this mission? What will you do while enrolled in your MBA program to demonstrate your commitment to the mission? What will you do post-MBA with respect to community service and leadership involvement to demonstrate your continued commitment to The Consortium’s mission of diversity and inclusion? I wasn't involved in much community service in college because I played sports, so it was difficult to figure out something that I could relate to but in the end my sport actually turned into a great essay and goal for the essay.

    Motown: Wharton - Discuss a time when you have been innovative in your personal or professional life. (600 words). This was difficult b/c I was torn between a project I did in the community and a project I did at work. I ended up writing two separate essays for it...and then going with my original idea of writing about something I did at work...Even though I ended up going back to my original idea, I still heavily revamped the story.

    Ms.HR: Johnson - What legacy would you hope to leave as a Johnson graduate?
    Legacy is a strong word and after reading all the essays analysis on this question there were so many ways I could approach this essay.With only 200 words and endless possibility it took me awhile to decide on a legacy that I was happy with.

    Enjoyed writing the most:
    Mads Mom: Ross - Introduce yourself to your future Ross classmates in 100 words or less. I think my introduction will stand out and would be something my classmates would find informative.

    Motown: Kellogg - Assume you are evaluating your application from the perspective of a student member of the Kellogg Admissions Committee. Why would you and your peers select you for admission, and what impact would you make as a member of the Kellogg community? (600 word limit) This one was pretty hard for me...and took me several weeks to get it just write. To be more transparent, Kellogg was my FIRST essay deck I ever wrote. I ended up coming up with 7 versions of Kellogg Essay the time I submitted. I think this one essay evolved the most b/c I changed the angle a few times as I edited it. Once I was done with it, I really felt that I had a unique but interesting story...and I liked how it was written.

    Ms.HR: Johnson - You are the author for the book of Your Life Story. Please write the table of contents for the book. Note: Approach this essay with your unique style. We value creativity and authenticity. (400 words). A chance for me to be creative and tell my story in a unique way.  I really enjoyed coming up with chapter names.

    Caused the most self- reflection:  
    Mads Mom: Ross - Describe a personal challenge or obstacle and why you view it as such. How have you dealt with it? What have you learned from it?…There are many to it was hard to pick one and actually say that I learned something.

    Motown: Ross - What are you most passionate about? (300 words max)
    This one was fun for me and probably was the quickest essay I wrote...not b/c I rushed it...but because it was really genuine. This was also one of the last essays I wrote so it was quite reflective and felt like a good way to end my MBA journey

    Ms. HR: Ross - What are you most passionate about?
    I know my passion and why I love it but the "so what" was the hard part. Trying to convey my passion and explain why it matters  took some self reflection. I really had to sit and think on this essay.

    Shortest word limit
    Mads Mom: Ross - Introduction to classmates…only 100 words!

    Motown - My shortest Word limit was also the Ross Introduction to classmates (100 words). But also, I struggled with the Wharton essay: What are your professional objectives? (300 words). By the time I wrote my Wharton Essay, I had my ST/LT goals down, put it into 300 words was pretty dificult. I had to edit, edit, edit to get it down to the word limit w/o losing my message.

    Ms. HR: Ross- Introduction to classmates. 100 words is barely nothing... luckily Soojin Kwon Koh gave a few pointers on the introduction.

    Most rewrites:
    Mads Mom: ST/LT Goals information for all schools…you gotta make sure that is solid.

    Motown - HBS Tell us about three of your accomplishments. (600 words). Essentially I had 200 words per accomplishment. Not only did I have to become a master at wordsmithing, I also had to come up with 3 accomplishments and 3 setbacks (the 2nd question)....I kept changing a which 3 accomplishments that I wanted to share. I was super confident about this one project I did in the community, but the other 2 evolved for a while.

    Ms.HR - In what ways would you impact Owen as a student and as an alumnus/alumna? How would you create change within the Owen community?(500 words maximum). A whole essay on what I bring to the table. I had plenty to say but not enough words. I think I had to rewrite this essay so many times because I had to keep on editing. Every time I would cut down a few words I would think of some other way I could impact Owen.

    Readers Favorite ( The one essay that your feedback person enjoyed reading the most ) : 
    Mads Mom: Consortium

    Motown: When I asked for feedback on my essays from students/peers etc. usually most people really liked my Kellogg essay for the question: Assume you are evaluating your application from the perspective of a student member of the Kellogg Admissions Committee. Why would you and your peers select you for admission, and what impact would you make as a member of the Kellogg community? (600 word limit)

    Ms.HR:  Johnson - the book of Your Life Story.


    Friday, January 13, 2012

    Guest Post: Journey to Kellogg

    As mentioned previously in Motown's updates...MktgBadger...a future Kellogg Student is going to recap her journey into Kellogg below.  Enjoy!

    Thanks Motown for such a heartfelt shout out! I cannot express to all of you how ecstatic I am to be attending Kellogg in the fall and hope that some of you will be joining me!
    Since many readers are Rd 2 applicants, I’m going to focus more on the interview, but please as a disclaimer: feel free to reach out to me if/when you have questions about post-admit process which I am fully submersed in now!

    As you know, Kellogg attempts to interview 100% of its applicants. In my opinion, this says a lot about who they are as a school. It means to me that they recognize we are more than just what we can cram into 4 essays and that we deserve a chance to show that. Kudos to Kellogg for this policy – I am a huge fan of it.

    My interview was on campus with an admissions director and lasted ~40 minutes. It was nice that I had actually (briefly) met him before so I was able to start the interview with some small talk (where I was from, what I have done since I last saw him, etc). He then briefly told me the format of the interview and got started.

    1. Resume walkthrough: I would say we spent the most time here … this was a guided by questions conversation about everything on my resume. Starting with college, going through internships, my current job, and even my extracurriculars. Extremely thorough, with a few curveball questions (i.e. what’s a common misconception about you?). HUGE focus on leadership here. Make sure you explain with stories you are a LEADER in whatever you did.

    2. Goals: This was about a 4 minute conversation…briefly asked me short/long term goals and since I was a career switcher, why … I had a pretty solid answer here, so no follow up questions – but I would definitely BE ready for the why questions. Kellogg is very keen on knowing your career aspirations.

    3. Why Kellogg: Another large portion of the time was spent on why Kellogg. Questions spanning from how I will interact w/ classmates to what groups I wanted to join. Lesson here: KNOW YOUR FACTS about Kellogg. I cannot stress enough that it’s a good idea to research. The last thing you want is not to know even one name of a club you want to join.

    4. Add’l information: we had about 10 minutes to spare so he asked me if he had missed anything. I focused this part of the conversation to tell him what had happened since I applied (I had just gotten nominated to a new board position of an extracurricular) so we talked a bit about that. Whatever you use this time for … make sure you’ve thought about it.

    As we walked out, we had a bit more small talk about the Chicago area social atmosphere. Remember that the interview begins from the minute you enter the building to the minute you leave. Have a mature and professional presence … and make sure to SMILE!!

    Good luck to all the Round 2 applicants and beyond out there. I’m currently prepping to tell my employer the news that I will leaving (EEK!) and my trip out to Kellogg for their admitted student weekend. Happy that the application portion of the journey is over, wishing you all nothing but good luck with your paths to b-school!!



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