Thursday, July 24, 2008

Beach, Essays, New Consultant?

This past weekend, I went to my friend's beach house in Maryland (Kent Island) and didn't think about applying for b-school for an entire day and a half. It's amazing how good life feels when you have no worries. Really is. But 36 hours later, reality kicked in but at least I felt slightly rejuvenated. For those super-stressers out there, try taking a break, even for a day. You might be surprised at how happy you can feel in a beach house bubble.

So Columbia's supposed to release their app this week and it's just turned Thursday. In anticipation for this holiest of events, I've taken my essay efforts to another level. I now have topics and rough drafts for the three topics! No small feat. Sometimes I'll try to write and I'll sit there for four hours with only a paragraph of garbage to show for it... and then a minute later, I'll hit a groove where everything out of my fingers looks like Hemingway and I churn out 80% of the essay in twenty minutes. Odd bit, isn't it?

Oh, before I forget, thanks to HappyBunny for showing me the GMATclub website. For those who are bored with the BusinessWeek forums, I'd recommend popping over for a look. There are some really good info there as the posters seem to be a lot more serious and mature about the process. They ask helpful- though slightly OCD (just like me!)- questions. For example, the Columbia thread actually revealed the essay topics for Fall 2009 a few hours before Christina (Columbia adcom) confirmed it on the BW forums... now that's the stuff! A lot fewer spammers too.

For those who haven't been following Soni's blog (shame on you), he recently told us about the Top Five Business Schools Panel coming to a major city near you. I signed up for the one in Washington, DC. It's free! And apparently only H, S, W, Chicago, and Kellogg will be in attendance. For those curious, they're the only schools to ever be ranked as #1 by BusinessWeek or U.S. News since 2003. I bet Sloan and Columbia are seething. Anyway, pop over to Soni's blog (on left hand toolbar) to register if you're interested (and you should be). I'm just too lazy to post the link myself.

And in a juicy turn of events, I'm really starting to hate my admissions consultant. No, I won't reveal who he is (at least not publicly...) but he's really taking the "deposit client's money and run" method to the extreme now. I understand he's immensely popular and probably has 300 other clients already, but he's not even pretending to help me at this point. I recently revamped my first draft of Essay #3 (Team Failure) and the only comment he had was "good, and done." That's it! Jerk. Maybe I should open an admissions consulting company so I can type 3 words and charge mucho dinero. Bleh.

So here's the tasty gossip. I may be on the verge of hiring someone else and kicking him to the curb. I know this is stupid because I have eaten the cost of his services already but at least someone will actually help me if I hire a reputable editor. I've gotten an initial consultation already and was floored by the amount of edits and suggestions provided so I'm doing a bit more research before shelling out more money. I'm leaning towards it though. Will make a decision in a couple days.

In the meantime, I need to figure out which college and post-collegiate activities I want to include in Columbia's "activity resume." Apparently they want organization names, office held, hours spent, etc. So I guess that means I can't list something like personal investing? Probably a good thing though since I have terrible returns. I'm probably down 15% overall but not entirely my fault... my timing was off. I started investing last year!

P.S. Let's give a clappity clap clap for the equity markets these past few days. Go Financials! :)


OMGparishilton said...

dont tell me you actually like the financial rally in the market !! that would really be quite absurd

Starwalker said...

by the way, have you thought about naming and shming the admission consultant? That would be one demonstration of the power of a blogger

and thanks for the gmatclub intro, its good

Anonymous said...

I know I sound totally clued out - but what exactly is an activities resume? Literally a one page resume full of extracurricular activities or what? Very curious, as I am considering applying to Columbia, but I am apparently not as informed as I should be! Thanks and keep up the good work Veggie.

TienyChesney said...

Hi Starwalker,
I have indeed considered naming and shaming my terrible consultant but just can't do it right now. The reason is cuz he might stumble across this blog and he'll know exactly who I am and give me even less help/advice (ha! like it's even possible) that he's giving now. I know that's a dumb consideration but in a couple of weeks i'll be ready and all will be warned of his unscrupulous business machinations! Likewise, if my new consultant is as good as he seems thus far, I'll laud him in public. Fair is fair right?

The activities resume is unique to the Columbia app (and perhaps a few other schools). Columbia basically asks you to list your major activities in order of importance to you. There are separate lists for College and Post-Collegiate activities.

1) I love your handle.
2) But not as much as I love rrrrrallies! Maybe my misunderstanding of market fundamentals is the reason i'm such a horrid individual investor :(

Soni said...

Hi Tien, nice to see I have at least 1 fan :)

FYI, Chicago isn't on the Panel, MIT is. chi GSB and CBS were the two M7 schools left off the panel.

As for your admission consultant, I'm considering using one as well. I think I know which yours is, and that's too bad. The one I'm considering don't post on forums but they're quite good from what I've heard from others who have used them.

As for GMATclub, I'm there all the time now. I rarely post on BW anymore because the only posts now seem to be "Evaluate my profile", "You are all idiots, HBS is the only school worth attending", and spam. GMATclub on the other hand is much more engaging and informative.

Starwalker said...

fair enough, tienychesney.... will be waiting for bothe the bouquets and the brickbats

TienyChesney said...

Hey Soni,

You're spot on about GMATclub forums versus BW forums. I think I may be making the jump soon too. Seems like you're always ahead of the game eh? I've seen some of your posts there already so 1) congrats on slaughtering the gmat, and 2) Cleveland Cavs?? I'm a Hornets die-hard but cannot wait to get the Brooklyn Nets!

You're right about MIT (not Chicago) being the 5th school. Oops. And I'm 99% sure that you can guess who my terrible consultant is, but if you want specific insight or my experiences with others (including the new consultant I'm probably going to hire), then feel free to email me.
I'm here for you, bro!

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Parag said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Parag said...

Hey Veggie,

Could you send me your email address.
I have a question for you.

Keep up the good work and Break a Leg with applications!