Saturday, March 29, 2008

GMAT Practice Test Round 2

I took my second Manhattan GMAT practice test this afternoon. For those that don't remember, the first time I scored a 580 (39Q/31V). This time, I scored a 600 (40Q/33V). A small improvement, and I wonder if I actually did any better, or if it was just some lucky guesses. I had hoped to perform better, maybe 620-650, but hey, any improvement is good.

It seems I'm making lots of errors on sentence correction, so that's something I will definitely focus on. Does anyone have any tips? Books to study? Any help is always appreciated from the community!

In other news, I'm preparing for my trip to visit USC. I figure visiting will light the fire under me to buckle down and study hard. I got my haircut today, and I need to find my camera to take lots of pictures. Until next time...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I'm Going, Going, Back, Back, To Cali, Cali...

I finally booked my trip. After emailing both UCLA and USC, I got word from USC that I could participate in their Ambassador program on April 7th. It includes an information session and a class visit. I looked for a travel partner (the GF and the family are too busy), but came up short. I said, "what the heck! Let's go anyway." So I found a good deal, and I'll be in Los Angeles from Saturday the 4th until Tuesday the 8th. Not sure what I'll do on my off days...if anyone has any suggestions (I've really never been to LA), I'm all ears.

Studying has been a bit more focused when I have the time. Focusing on CR and a few parts of quant, because I noticed I had missed some questions there. The plan is to take another practice test Saturday, so hopefully I'll show some improvement.

Congrats to all those who got good news this past week, and for those that didn't, keep your heads up!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Not Dead Yet...

This is a message for all those still sweating a decision or an interview invite. No matter how close to the deadline (or even after it), you're not dead until you're dead. Check out this article on Yahoo!. Apparently a man was declared dead, his family was paying their last respects before his organs were to be harvested, when he suddenly moved his leg. He is now recovering at home, and is expected to be fine.

In the words of the Godfather, "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!" Don't lose hope until there's no hope left, folks

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Humbling Experience

I took a practice GMAT from Manhattan GMAT.  I used the real timing guidelines and tried to minimize distractions.  After it was all said and done, the score popped up: 580 (39Q/31V).  Wow.  I knew I had a lot of work to do, but I had no idea it was going to be this bad!  I had hoped to start in the 650 range, and work on my weaknesses to get to my 700 goal.  Now, I'm not so sure where to begin!  Luckily, Manhattan GMAT provides decent analysis, telling you exactly which question types and areas you got wrong.  I guess I'll take those suggestions and go back and improve my performance.  Time wasn't an issue; I finished all sections with plenty of time to spare.  Then again, maybe that is my problem.  Maybe I'm going to fast - it's a problem I've had in many areas before.

For verbal, it looks like sentence correction is my biggest weakness, with CR and RC being about equal.  For the quant section, I need help in about every area.  I've already purchased the Manhattan GMAT (wow, I'm starting to sound like a spokesman!) area-specific books, so I'll go back through them and study harder.

Hopefully I'll be able to put in a few hours each day and take another test next Saturday.  I should show some improvement in all areas.

In other news, I heard back from the AdCom at USC-Marshall, and they stated the last day to participate in the Ambassador program would be April 9th.  Needless to say, this moves up my trip plans!  Now I'm not sure I'll be able to make it.  It'll cost $500+ just to fly and stay there a night or two.  Any advice?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Bit Of An Intro

Sorry this has taken so long to get to...let's just say a certain bank that has been performing poorly has kept me busy!  Anyways...I'm 26, I live in Ohio, and I'm ready for a change in my life.  I graduated from a top-20 undergrad business school in 2004, and since then I've been doing direct marketing for one of the largest banks in the US.  The past year or so, I've come to realize that I want more out of my career, and that doing what I'm doing, I'll never be happy.  I'm looking to change careers, start fresh, and be challenged on a level I haven't been.

My journey thus far has got me beginning preparations for the GMAT.  I bought the Kaplan 2007 book last year, and as soon as I hit the quant section, I realized just how much work I needed to do.  I had done well in the "soft" business classes, but the quant ones challenged me.  I ended up buying a book that goes back to the basics, then the Manhattan GMAT books for each quant subject.  I will soon begin taking actual practice tests to gauge my score, and see where else I need to improve.  Like most people, I'm striving for a 700.  With my GPA (just under 3.0), I'll need all the help I can get.

As far as my school choices, I see two paths I'd be happy going down.  First, entertainment or sports industry.  The schools I'd look into are USC-Marshall, UCLA-Anderson, NYU-Stern, or Arizona State.  The other path would be to get into investment banking, and I'd look at UNC-Kenan Flagler, Duke-Fuqua, Wake Forest-Babcock, or UVA-Darden.  Are these reaches?  Yup.  But I believe in shooting for the highest possible school.  I'm realistic to know that Harvard/Stanford/Wharton are out of the question.

Anyways, I'll be sure to update this as I continue my journey towards my MBA.  I'm striving to apply in the fall, to begin my studies in the fall of 2009.  I've got time on my side, which is a good thing.  Any advice anyone has, I'm all ears!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

In The Beginning...

Well, here we go again.  Another stab at this blogging thing.  I've tried it a few times, but life always seems to get in the way.  This time, however, will be different!

The primary purpose of this blog is to document my application process to an MBA program.  Which one?  I'm still deciding that.  I've begun researching schools and studying for the GMAT, but I'm looking to apply for entry into the Class of 2011.  A little early, sure, but I think I could use all that time.

More information will follow in the coming posts.