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 :-/


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