Today I tutored one of my co-workers who is taking the GMAT in October. He is actually more than a co-worker, I would definitely consider him a friend. He sought out my help a couple months ago when he learned of my b-school ambitions. The tricky thing is that he doesn't have a strong academic background. He is a good writer (though I don't know if that will translate to proficiency at Verbal) but he has a lot of problems with math fundamentals. As we know, the GMAT tests those fundamentals hardcore. Things like fractions, integers, decimals need a lot of freshening up. Anyway, I've helped him several times at work but today I actually went to his place. Almost three hours of work today and I'm happy to say he's definitely learning a lot. I can see the improvement and comprehension. Unfortunately he makes a lot of careless mistakes and needs to stop giving up those free points. He has one thing going for him tho. He is applying for extended time (up to 100% more time aka up to 8 hours!) because he has an eye impairment that keeps him from focusing and can induce dizziness. No word yet on whether his request will be approved.
I met one of his roommates and the guy is cool. He's a Dartmouth alum currently working at the Carlyle Group as an analyst in domestic real estate. Sounds like he has my ideal job! He is really into it and considering an MBA too (realllly early in his though process). He simply wants one but doesn't need one because he loves his job (as he should). I really advised him to hold off until he finds a real need for the degree. He seemed to agree.
It's funny cuz I didn't realize Carlyle had its headquarters in DC. Weird! Anyway, he definitely has the best job of anyone I know in the DC area. By far. I asked him if Carlyle would hire anyone for just one year (hehe like me) and he said he didn't think so. Duh.
Oh yeah, and before you guys think I'm a d-bag, I'm not charging my co-worker for the tutoring. I let him buy me Panera for lunch but that was it... it just doesn't feel right to take money from a friend for something that doesn't cost me anything but time. But it'd be cool if we could do the majority of the tutoring at work hehe.
Also, I've learned from a Columbia ambassador on the GMATclub forum that most CBS students opt to live on the Upper West Side (UWS). This disconcerts me. I already know that I won't get on-campus housing due to the space crunch and my current proximity to NY. But I really had my hopes on living around Morningside Heights so I could be as close and involved with the Columbia community as possible. I wanted to be able to walk to campus without hopping on the train. I had even talked myself into loving the indie, artsy, somewhat rustic feel of the neighborhood. But I guess I can see why students would favor the UWS. After all, it's still close (only a few subway stops away) and safer, nicer. Unfortunately, it seems like they usually stay around the upper 80's to upper 90's which is the blandest, yuckiest area of the UWS. It isn't as nice as the 70's aka it's lower-income. That's because of its proximity to Morningside Heights, but unlike Morningside Heights, it doesn't have that artsy culture. In fact, it's rather sterile. Like DC. Morningside Heights gets its feel becuz it's dominated by Columbia. The upper Upper West Side is just sucky.
If I was going to take the subway to class, then I would just as soon live in the West Village which is euro-cool. The train ride would be about 20 minutes as opposed to 10 minutes so might as well right? But I guess the difference would be more pronounced in the late hours that I would keep as a busy b-school stud... ent. It would all be mitigated if my apartment was close to the subway stop though (aka 1 block instead of 3 or 4). In the end though, I think it would be more important to live with a cool Columbia roommate regardless of location. It would be sweet to find a super cool Morningside Heights apartment super close to campus, maybe right off Broadway. In the absence of that, then I guess I might as well be in the 70's or lower 80's if I have to be in the UWS. No 90's please, pretty please!
And for those of you who think I'm getting ahead of myself by thinking of apartments (actually, I've searched for such apartments many many times online already), you would be correct. In fact, I've also completely plotted my two-year class schedule on a spreadsheet. I was going to post it but I can't find an "attachment" option or icon on blogger :( If anyone knows how to do this, let me know.