Friday, August 1, 2008

My Secondary Schools

For some reason, I've been thinking about my secondary schools. I don't like thinking negatively but I'm a realistic guy. I'd probably say I have a 80% chance of getting in Columbia at this point... just my opinion. I reserve the right to slide that percentage up and down in the coming weeks as my essays take further shape. If they start resembling turds, you can bet it'll plummet.

Anyone else self-conscious about using the optional essay? I have to use it to address two points. It's not really subjective because there are two points in my candidacy that Columbia has explicitly stated should be addressed if it was pertinent. I won't say what it is. I'm also thinking of addressing a third point which is specific to me: the fact that i've had many jobs. But I'm such an over-analyzer that maybe it isn't a big deal and I'd be better off not mentioning it. No need to call undue attention to it right? But I don't want to risk not mentioning it in case the adcom views it as a red flag. But then again, I don't like the idea of ending my essays with a "weakness" (or at the very least, not a strong point). Oi vey.

Also, I'm stressing about how much to write in the Work History's duties section. Should I write them matter-of-factly? Or should I write them with flowery prose that illuminates my candidacy in a bright light? If I choose the latter, it may be viewed as unprofessional. If I do the former, I may be missing out on a chance to showcase myself. Arrrgh.

Oh yeah, I was talking about my secondary schools. You know what, I just read on Samantha's blog that HBS re-did their website so I checked it out. And man, it is sweet. It certainly looks befitting of the best school in the world (in some minds that is). I particularly like the 3D map showcasing the different buildings and facilities. The photos and descriptions are great. Truly impressive. It's funny how marketing and propoganda can affect applicants so much but now I'm thinking I'll add HBS to my secondary list. I know I've been anti-HBS in the past, what with their snooty alumni (in my experience), but the best is the best right? No matter that I have like a 5% chance of accceptance there. I'm still holding fast with Wharton, Yale, and Stern. I guess Chicago will have to go even though I like the city so much but the combination of weather, socially awkward students (stereotype some say but not in my limited experience), and my comical inability to create decent slides for their essay kinda seals the deal. I'm still on the fence about Berkeley. There's just so much to write for them and I want to live in NY the rest of my life so my network wouldn't be as strong as it could be. I'm also kinda worried about their longitudinal prestige/ranking. Berkeley's hot now but it's one of those schools that I could imagine dropping in five or ten years. I think Yale's here to stay and there's no questioning H and W. People are going to crucify Columbia for their ranking but I don't really see them falling out of the top10 soon. Their nadir may be 11 or so. Stern I could see falling to top15 status though. Ah, who cares. Pure speculation and unfounded opinions on my part.

But I guess that makes my list, in order: Columbia, Harvard, Wharton, Yale, Stern.

For now :P I guess once I finish my CBS app by September, I can start looking at the pretty websites and materials of the other schools. Fun stuff. And perhaps all for nothing cuz I'm hoping for CBS first and foremost.

And I gotta say I'm sorry but alot of people have emailed me asking for the name of my consultants. I revealed them to the first bunch of people who emailed me but I think I'm going to stop. I just feel kinda weird about it. Sorry :(

Just a dozen days until the review period begins... ay carumba.


Soni said...

Don't talk about multiple jobs in the optional essay. Just do a good job of explaining why you left each position in the Employment History section. Just my 2 cents.

I don't see NYU dropping below 12 for a long long time. Plus, if you want to stay in NYC, NYU will always have a super strong network there.

Did you see the increase in Yale's avg GMAT this year? It was around 12 pts, wow.

HappyBunny said...

yeah I agree with soni on the optional essay.

Stern is on my list too. :) wow 80% chance to columbia. jealous... :P

V2B-School said...

Tien - you've done your hard work & research on Columbia - you will get in :-) Don't use the optional essay unless you have extended breaks in employment or a low GPA.

Have you decided on taking your time and applying in Sept, not hurrying to get the app. in on day 1? I think your list with Yale in it is brilliant esp. since Yale just hides behind it's social responsibility image when its more a "finance" school - just my thoughts!

Soni - Yale's ave. GMAT up 18 points to 718 actually! No wonder they were in a hurry to publish their Class of 2010 student profile!

I won't be surprised with bigger increases in other schools (doubt Tepper, LBS, Cornell, Darden etc. remain in the late 600s much longer).

TienyChesney said...

Hey Guys,

Ya'll are right... I'm not going to talk about my employment history... I'll just have good "reason for leaving" answers in the Work History. Thanks!

I think Yale's rise (in general ranking/prestige) is amazing. I think ppl give them the benefit of the doubt (associating them with their top 3 undergrad, law school) but I really like their curriculum and yes, they're underlying finance strength hehe. Plus, it seems like an amazing community to spend 2 years- I reckon that they have the best quality of life of any top b-school. Just a hunch. They'll be a mainstay in the Top 9 to 12 range for the next 5 years at least. The GMAT thing doesn't really impress me though. Especially since they cut the class size from like 212 to 178 or something similarly drastic... they cited the space crunch during construction as the reason but methinks they're trying to pump their stats. Funny how Yale and Columbia know how to inflate their numbers in a legal manner (as true finance titans should) j/k!

Samantha said...

If you want to stay in NYC, NYU is definitely a great school to consider. I don't know if they have a good real estate program, but with so many top developers in NYC, how could you not get a solid job?

I too am influenced by the Harvard propaganda! Other schools should realize that the more current profiles they post, the more we'll identify with the students and the school will feel more alive with energy. A couple people on there had great comments about their career paths that really resonated with me.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tien,

1. I think you should not mention about too many negative points. If you consider something as negative, they might start considering it as negative too. I view your working in too many companies is a very strong point. That way, you got to work in a variety of cultures and might have learnt a lot.

2. I agree with you about not disclosing your consultant name to everyone.

3. Did not understand why Harvard is your safety school. Is not getting into harvard far more difficult that getting into Columbia?

4. You can certainly apply to stern. You might already know this but being in NY for the last 5 years, I can say that while the location is great and the people are very down to earth there, Stern is not considered as a very reputed school here. I am not saying that getting into Stern is a piece of cake. Ofcourse that's competitive too even though not as much competitive as columbia and wharton are. Secondly, from some of my friends who are currently studying at Stern did not find their experience very good. They just did not love it. On the ther hand, even though yale has a relatively new program, heard from two of my colleagues who did their MBAs from yale that they loved their exeperiences there.


TienyChesney said...

Hey LoveCBS,

Harvard isn't my safety school... in fact, i don't have any safety schools. I meant it is one of my secondary choices along with W, Yale, and Stern. That's really in terms of personal preference, not in terms of selectivity or my ability to get in.

I know what you mean about Stern. I visited and to be honest, was less than impressed. I don't want to bash the school but it doesn't offer many of the things I'm seeking... two of which are a real estate program (though i could prob find a job still) or an actual gated campus. I agree that Yale would probably be the most fun MBA program to spend 2 years at! Plus I think a Yale MBA is a rising commodity in the future hehe.

BTW, My name's TienyChesney or Tieny if you must... never had anyone call me Tien before (has a decent ring to it tho)!

Anonymous said...


sorry about it..Guess that was a typo :)
- LoveCBS

V2B-School said...
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