Hey, buddies. Just got back from the MBA Tour in DC. Registration started at 8:30 am (I pre-registered online though) and the Fair doesn't end til 5:00 pm. Long day huh? I actually left at 3:45 pm. It was held at the Grand Hyatt which is a really nice hotel. I was surprised that only about 180-200 people showed up for 29 schools. A good showing of maybe 40-45% of the prospectives were women. Seven top-15ish programs were there though few of the tip-top tier. Funny enough, Georgetown's MBA program had the most prospectives clamoring at the booth. From 9:00 to 9:45 am, there was a panel discussion on the factors that go into the admissions process. After that, there were six sessions of individual school presentations that you could attend. I was only interested in Yale but attended other presentations as well.
The panel was useless to me. Been there, done that. The first presentation I attended was Yale SOM. Shelley Clifford, Deputy Director of Admissions, was in attendance and talked alot about the new curriculum and also some about career services and student life. It was actually quite informative though I knew most of the info. There was also an alum from '91 in attendance (I may have the wrong year) who dressed like a schlep but was pretty enthusiastic and a bit eccentric. He made a couple really good points but looked like such a wreck. Anyway, I need to get over my fear of public speaking quickly!
Then came Cornell's presentation which was really good. The adcom (didn't bother to get his name) sounded really down-to-earth and gave amazing statistics. For instance, everybody got an internship last year and out of approx 100 students he spoke to, all of them got a full-time offer after their internship prior to the start of the 2nd year! That's ridiculously amazing. I think he said everyone who wanted an Investment Banking internship got one too. Some crazy stats. He was a cool dude.
I didn't pay attention at all for the Duke Fuqua presentation. I basically thought of questions to ask the Shelley from Yale. I had asked her a quick question after her presentation but the cat still had my tongue so I decided to visit her again at the actual "Fair" portion after the presentations finished at 3pm. At this point, however, I went to get Potbelly's for lunch.
When I came back, I attended Berkeley's presentation which had Diana Fiji (whom I met last year). I sat in the back and must've nodded off about five or six times. Afterward, I took a break to wake myself up and skipped the next presentation. For the last presentation I saw Chicago. Interesting that it was about 90% men in that presentation though there were 40-45% women at the event! The adcom was helpful but talked at us much more than the other schools. Also, they are trying really hard to dispel the perception that Chicago is 1) competitive, and 2) quantitative. He railed against those misconceptions at least 3 times.
Then the actual MBA Fair portion started with all the boothes set up. I lined up for Yale and snagged a sweet SOM pen! I also talked to Shelley again and she said "I alread talkedy to you" (in a good way) and I asked her some stuff about real estate and finance. It went really well and I told her I'd see her tomorrow since Monday is the Yale Diversity Reception. I know I don't need to attend but I want them to know how much I love them (as my second or third choice hehe). She did reveal that Yale's word limits are strict, hard caps aka no 10% overage rule! I also filled out a card to show that I was in attendance. Apparently Yale has another Admissions Reception on Oct. 2nd with one of their professors too which I am going to register for on their website now.
After that, I walked around the room and saw no other school that I cared to line up for and left. It should be noted that I did learn of the Toigo Foundation that gives fellowships for minorities who work 3+ years in finance after earning a top MBA. They give small a small grant and also alot of mentoring and job placement help. Looked cool and Kia, the representative, was really helpful and cool. I actually may apply (deadline's not until February thank goodness). I also received from her a huge pen. This is the largest pen I've ever had. It's bigger than the Dr. Grip by Pilot! The reason is because you can unscrew the pen and it becomes a 1 gig USB drive! Sweet, I've never had one until now :)
I did bump into a girl who used to go to Georgetown's gym religiously at the MBA fair whom I always thought was attractive but never talked to. I said hello and I think it kinda alarmed her. It was awkward and made even moreso when her friend walked by and started talking to her about something else. Bummer.
I may wait to report on Yale and Harvard's admissions receptions together. But in the meantime, thanks to all the blogger buddies out there that have shown such great support to me in my MBA quest. Ya'll are tight. And ya'll are right when you say my app strategy is super risky. I agree that waiting until I hear more from Columbia before even starting other Round 1 apps is a bad idea. BUTTTTTT here's why it isn't that risky. I'm only applying to 3 other schools. I probably won't get into Wharton if I can't get into Columbia ED so I'm debating even submitting a Wharton app (after all, I may not even have time to visit). Yale's deadline is not until Oct. 22 so I'll still have a month which is plenty of time. And NYU Stern's deadline is not until Nov. 15 which is plenty of time too. Thus I'm only screwed for Wharton which probably wouldn't have mattered anyway. That's the way I rationalize my laziness :P