Long time no blog! I’ve been incredibly busy the past couple weeks and there’s a lot to mention so I’ll aim for brevity.
Of most interest is probably CBS’ Open House II on April 17-18. I already posted about the first Open House (which I loved) and had some reservations about taking a 4+ hour bus ride from DC to NY for more of the same ole same ole. However, rumors were flying about the Bloomingdale’s reception (CEO is an alum) and potential goody bags. The choice was easy after hearing that! I was originally going to Australia for vacation but postponed my trip by a week for the Open House… I know that sounds like an insane decision to some but it was an easy one for me.
I am incredibly happy I went. It was a blast. It was a lot more relaxed and fun the second time. Not that the first time was stuffy or anything (because it wasn’t), but the second time seemed so much easier and familiar. There were tons of familiar faces which was good! Acquaintances became friends… and friends became lovers (j/k about the second one). Some of the panels were different but CBS did a great job of trying to mix it up a bit. Highlights included a great welcome speech by the CEO of Coach as well as some great informal (aka student-organized) post-event happy hours. Sadly, the financial crisis made an appearance and no goody bags were given out at the Bloomies reception. This was a disappointment to most admits as news of the goody bags (received by previous incoming classes) had circulated pretty well. Can’t complain too much though. BTW, I hope the student happy hours are even half as good as the ones that have been informally organized by my future classmates. The thing about living in DC (well, one of the many things I guess) is that I can’t attend most of the events in NY. That really eats me up because that’s all I really want to do these days is go out with my classmates. NY already had another cocktail hour a week ago and on May 15, sixty (yes, 60) are doing a CBS-alum-owned steakhouse & bar hopping. Jealousy.
Also interesting is that CBS and Stern planned their open house schedules together. CBS started Friday morning and ended at Saturday 3pm. Stern started on Saturday 3pm and went until Sunday evening. Nice teamwork, guys!
The day after Open House, I took a 23 hour flight (and that’s direct too!) to Australia. I left NY on Sunday evening and arrived in Oz on Tuesday morning! Crikey. It was an amazing time though. The first 5 days I actually flew again (ugh) to New Zealand’s South Island and did a quick tour of the major spots (Christchurch, Queenstown, etc.). Queenstown in particular is suh-weet though most of it was a little too scenic if you know what I mean (read: boring). The week I was actually in Sydney was the exact opposite. I spent 2 days doing the tourist stuff like Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, the Rocks, Darling Harbour, Chinatown, etc. I even re-visited my old university where I studied abroad, University of New South Wales, and my old apartment/neighborhood, Bondi Beach. The rest of the time I partied my face off. On 2 of the nights I went out with 2 friends who I knew from my study abroad days (5 years ago! thank goodness for facebook). The other nights I was on my own but I was determined to meet people. Living in a hostel made it easy especially if it’s a great one like YHA. I met tons of backpackers and had a particularly fun 2 nights in the Sydney suburb of Newtown. It used to be a blue-collar area but now it’s becoming indie, alternative, and cool. Downtown Sydney was also fun and even tried Oxford Street (no jokes from those in the know please).
The best part of it was that I felt so independent. It’s an empowering feeling to know that you can go somewhere by yourself and make friends spontaneously and have ridiculous fun for a week straight. Backpackers are my new favorite people! Sorry, hipsters. As one of the few people left on this continent who has not visited Western Europe, I’m heavily considering doing a mini tour for 3 weeks this summer on my own if I can’t find anyone else. They have to be backpacker-friendly places though- preliminary agenda to include London, Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin… ? Or maybe I should actually do some research first.
Also, if you can see the graphic on the right side of the page, then you know I’ve won Clear Admit’s Best of Blogging award for the best applicant blog of the season. I actually found out when I got a text message from a future classmate while I was at a punk dive bar with backpackers in Newtown! It’s a bit crazy to think that my blog was originally spawned as a way to keep me focused (a bit too focused some would say) on my goal. I know that the graphics suck and that my posts are too long but I’m really happy if this has helped some people in any way. I try not to mention specific consulting companies in my posts (don’t want to seem like an advertising tool) but I really do appreciate Clear Admit’s generosity.
That said, this blog has run its course and will likely be fazed out in the coming weeks. I’ll still keep it online but updates will eventually trickle into nothingness. Not sure if I’m up for posting a student blog next year yet (due to the time constraints) but in the meantime, feel free to send any and all questions before I become defunct. Maybe I can do a “mailbag” post soon!