Saturday, October 11, 2008

Preparing for B-School

Wow, that was exhilirating. Thank you to everyone who expressed their support throughout this journey and congratulated me recently. I'm still taken aback by the high level of community support and encouragement I've gotten from the blogosphere. The fact that my last post (my shortest one ever) got the most amount of comments is really telling. Ya'll have been wonderful and I'm really glad to share the rest of my adventure. Even if my applicant life is finished (kinda), a new one begins. I'll be sure to keep bloggin though I might change the name of this at some point.

I figured I'd recount what happened on Thursday, Oct. 9th. The "status change" email was sent at 11:41 am EST but I didn't check my email until 11:50 am. I had been checking it obsessively (nearly every ten minutes) that morning becuz I had a feeling that it'd be the day. To be honest, I had felt every day was going to be the day for the past week hehe ;) When I saw the email in my inbox, my heart jumped. I sat back in my chair and accessed the all-too-familiar CBS website to click through the jungle of links that one must navigate before accessing the applicant status page (couldn't they make this more streamlined? hehe). While clicking, I breathed heavily and kept telling myself "NYU is a great program and you'll love going there for 2 years. Are you ready to apply to NYU Stern?" I said that to myself a couple times to brace myself for disappointment if it were the case. Then I clicked onto the final page and the first word was "Congratulations..." and the rest of the line read "on behalf of Dean. Glenn Hubbard and the rest of the Columbia..." and the end of the sentence read "... to offer you a place in the class..." !!! That was it, I stopped reading. I couldn't even read the rest of the three paragraphs that talked about the deposit and next steps. I started shaking my hands in flustered disbelief, grabbed my phone, and walked out of my office building with a ridiculous grin on my face. I probably scared everyone who walked by me. Then I made the obligatory calls to family and a couple friends before I realized that I'd be spending way too much time on the phone (and i'm actually working on a proposal effort right now) so I went back to my desk and emailed some others and updated my blog. Then I went back to work (kinda).

And that's it. That's how it happened. I did go out for just a little bit that thursday night. I'm still not sure which is the greater feeling: 1) being in the Columbia MBA class of 2011, 2) being done and happy with the certainty of my future for the next 10 months, or 3) not having to do any more applications which would be such a huge investment of both time, money, and energy. Oh who am I kidding- I guess number one trumps them all. Yesterday I mailed in my check for the infamous $6,000 deposit. CBS allows 2 weeks for you to mail or wire it. I don't think I've ever been so happy to write such a large check. Later that day, I updated the GMATclub and was delighted to find that some had already known about it from my blog... same with the BW forums. I also went on the CBS online bookstore to pick out t-shirts and sweatpants. Yes, I am that much a tool.

So what do I do now for the next 10 months? Aside from the mountain of virtual forms and to-do-list that CBS gives its admitted students (well over a dozen tasks ranging from health forms, to transcripts, to submitting a deposit, to filling out career development surveys, to housing forms, etc.) and the overwhelming wealth of info on the Admitted Students Page, I want to prepare for b-school. I want to position myself to take advantage of everything. So here's my personal plan in no particular order:

1) Transfer to the economic analysis unit within my company to learn more quantitative work.

2) Beef up my excel skills. This will go hand-in-hand with number one.

3) Learn spanish via Rosetta Stone discs. Seriously. I really like the little spanish I know and CBS has such a large contingent of Latin American speakers that this will prove very worthwhile for me.

4) Take an intro accounting course or corp finance course. Or at least buy and read a textbook gradually. Maybe I can place out of one of the Core courses (just one cuz I'd like to have the other courses with my cluster-mates) and take an elective instead.

5) Learn more about investment management careers, jobs, recruiting, etc. I think I want to go into this (tough I know).

6) Stay abreast of current economic news. Seriously. I don't do a good enough job of this. I need to make CNBC my homepage.

7) Keep checking out the housing market in the UWS and Morningside Heights for ideas/possibilities.

8) Consider taking an unpaid internship at a local investment management firm. It might be worth it because I'm not in dire need of salary right now but the experience could help me a land a good internship which in turn will help me land a good full-time job post-MBA. I might need the leg up as a career switcher if the economy's not rebounding by then.

9) Purchase much Columbia gear (Columbia gear in general, not CBS gear because I hate the branded logo- so ugly!)

10) Help fellow blogger community join Maxwriter and I as classmates. I'm looking at you Soni, HappyBuns, Samantha, and everyone else. For those of you who are Regular Decision, I will persuade you to matriculate upon your acceptance.

Obviously I'll try to attend all the admitted student events. There's one on December 3rd that is still not finalized but I'll definitely make a one-day trip up to NY for that. I can't wait to get involved. I wonder if I should update my facebook to show the Columbia network? But then again, I don't want certain co-workers to know... Okay, it's actually my alma mater's homecoming weekend so I will be getting blasted tonight but maybe I'll play with my resume a lil right now to see how it might look in the future :)

I attended a Wharton presentation on Tuesday but I won't be blogging about it. I'll still finish up my HBS Visit post at some point though. And I'm going to post my own personal guide to combatting (and hopefully conquering) each stage of the admissions process. Maybe it'll prove helpful to a few who are still in the earlier stages. Again, feel free to reach out if I can help in any way.


praz said...

i'm envious that you're already planning for the next stage :-)
did u strictly adhere to word limits for essays? my final drafts are about 10% more from the limit. :-(

TienyChesney said...

Hey Praz,
Actually i had started planning the next stage months ago! I'm overzealous. My essays were all over the word limit... one was over by 4 words, and the other two essays were over by 8% and 13%. The general rule is not more than 10% but my 13% one read so well/fluidly and was so important (it was my goals essay and i had an atypical career path) that I felt it was okay. But definitely check with the school's stance on this first! CBS said they don't have strict cutoffs and won't stop reading after a certain point. Some other schools might so ask. Just call them anonymously :)

praz said...

Great, your reply warms the cockles of my heart :)
I truly enjoyed and learned a great deal from your blog as well as some others up on Hella. At times I think I did the world a great favor by not putting up my own there. You all do such a neat job!