Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What A Weekend

Sorry it's been over a week since I last posted. Not a whole lot on the MBA front. I studied my budget pretty hard core and decided that getting rid of my current car is probably a good idea. There's not a whole lot of room for large car payments in an MBA budget! I also started filling out my Master Promissory Note from my chosen lender. Exciting stuff, eh?

Memorial Day weekend was a blast! As I have too much vacation/personal time left, I took off Thursday for Charlotte. What followed was a crazy weekend of too much golf, too much drinking, Lebron James hitting a miracle three-pointer, an Indians come-back win over the Reds, a piggyback ride gone horribly wrong, an escaped Pomapoo, and a near death experience on the West Virginia turnpike. Needless to say, I needed more recovery time than I gave myself.

Next up on the MBA front is to finish my Master Promissory Note so that I actually get money from the government, finally take care of the living arragements, and begin to go through what I have, what I'll bring, and what I'll need to buy.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Why I Decided On An MBA

This is a post I've wanted to make for a long time, but I think it took me actually going through the process to gain a better understanding of what I meant. It allowed me to more clearly articulate how I arrived at the decision to get my MBA. Essentially, I'm answering the Why MBA question, after the fact and without the limits of a normal essay.

My undergraduate experience was different than most students. I spent two years at one school then transferred into another; however, while I received time credit for what I did at School A, I didn't receive course credit. That meant I would need to retake English, foreign language, math, etc. And I was paying for it myself. I didn't have four more years to restart college! So, I doubled up my course loads, did full summer sessions and managed to finish School B in two and a half years. That's good, but I missed out on a lot of stuff. I never got to go abroad, never took spring break or summer trips, or had the opportunity to take a class for FUN! I missed that.

Cue to that first job, that first paycheck and a sense that college paid off. Cue to a worried feeling of being typecast into a certain job function. Cue to panic over the sense that, despite a degree in business management with a focus in marketing, you find yourself writing SAS/SQL code for eight hours a day with little responsibility or management potential. Cue the fear of being stuck.

In late 2007, that fear grew into a desire to change myself, to step out of the rut I found myself in and do something about it. I spoke with family, friends, work associates, crazy drunks at the bar. Over time, the thought of going back to school and getting my MBA crept into my head. I started looking into it more, reading up on the GMAT, selecting a wide range of schools that interested me, narrowing down that list once I realized they were pipe dreams. By January of 2008, I knew the MBA was the right path. Each little nugget I read, each website I scoured, the lights would flash in my head: MBA!

I felt an MBA would serve two purposes. First, it would allow me to have a real college experience, albeit one a bit more structured. I would start on the same level as everyone else, striving to the same goal at the same time. I'd have the opportunity to go to China or Japan or wherever, visit companies and learn about things I was actually interested in! I'd meet people with common interests yet diverse in their backgrounds. The social and cultural implications fascinated me; I couldn't get enough of reading about the experiences of people already in school and how much I wanted to be a part of that.

Second, an MBA would help solve my career crisis. I could spend two years refining what it is I'm meant to do. Should I be a brand manager? Is corporate strategy more interesting? Does the nomadic lifestyle of a management consultant strike my fancy? Can I actually handle quant-based courses? I'd leave with my masters, with a new set of skills and the knowledge that would allow me to succeed in whatever venture I so chose.

All of these things piled up on me and kept me focused throughout the application process. An MBA almost made too much sense, it solved all my problems in one fell swoop. I couldn't NOT go. I couldn't suppress that desire. I HAD to make it happen. And happening it is.

So, that's my MBA story. The time is right, the desire is there, and I'm ready to get started.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The More Things Change

Not much really going on the past week, hence no updates. 49 more days until I'm done with work, which is awesome. I got a chance to play some golf over the weekend, and I find myself wanting to play more and more. I know golf is an effective business tool and I'm definitely looking to improve my game. In light of that, I'm heading to Charlotte over Memorial Day weekend to visit my brother and play a few holes. I realized I still have six personal days I need to take from work before I'm done, can't let those go to waste!

The look of the blog has changed a bit. First, I changed some colors to be closer in line with the black and gold of Wake Forest. Second, I removed the Hit List of my schools, replacing it with a calendar of upcoming dates. There you will see what trips I have planned coming up. I'll have more updates soon.

One thing I did want to bring up: if you have been admitted to a school and know 100% that you will not be matriculating, PLEASE let that school know in a timely manner. There are thousands of people in Waitlist Purgatory who die a little more each day, waiting for an update. If you know you're not going, help out the waitlisted kids and withdraw.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Welcome to May

The calendar has turned to May. What does this mean for MBA applicants? It's pretty much the end of the line for Class of 2011 hopefuls. May is the final round for decisions, so if good news was headed your way, it'd be there by now. Myself? Well, I got an interesting status update at UNC today. I had previously been waitlisted in January and March. At that point, I decided Wake Forest was the choice for me. However, I forgot to actually let UNC know, even though they requested a decision from me several times. So, I get the email, log in to my account, and see that they have selected me for the "Final Waitlist." They mentioned they are oversold for this year, which makes you wonder why they'd continue to ask people to stay on the WL.

I'm committed to Wake Forest. I've paid my deposit, visited twice since getting admitted, met some very cool people and am excited about starting my life once again in Winston-Salem. MBA admissions are never easy. There's no roadmap, no Excel spreadsheet about why or how decisions are made. Why would Carolina, after telling me too many kids sent in deposits, ask me to continue to hold out on the waitlist? Even after I ignored their emails about notifying them about a decision? I don't get it.

Other than that wrinkle, I picked my final work date and let both my current boss and my soon-to-be-new-boss-from-the-new-company know. There wasn't much of a surprise. June 30th, a mere 57 days from right now! It's going to be hard to finish, I can already tell. My work will continue to slow until there's nothing left to do. How will I deal with the boredom?