Monday, March 30, 2009

Mini Updates

I've always wanted to do updates using a bullets-only format but I know I'll never be pithy enough. So screw it. The big news is that there's a DC happy hour for CBS admits this thursday. I'm really looking forward to this one. I've already met some of these people a few times now so I feel comfortable enough drinking in front of them. I'm not looking to get super duper drunk but I do plan on it being a fun night!

Since it's tax season, I've been dealing with a ton of personal finances recently and it's been giving me quite a headache. I'm really hoping CBS steps up and gives me even the smallest of merit-based scholarships. They don't even announce them until May and I'm sure my Early Decision status doesn't make me the highest probability recipient for an award but I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Every little bit helps.

On the career front, I'm starting to veer away from Trading again. I think I want it for the wrong reasons which is materialistic in nature. I'm heavily considering real estate again. It remains (along with luxury retail) one of the few areas that interest me on an innate level. If I keep coming back to it, then it must have some legs right? Then the entrepreneurial bar idea can still be in my long-term vision. What would I do in real estate though? Development? That would be great but not likely. Analyst for a REIT or real estate focused fund? Sure, that sounds good. Geez, suggestions welcome!

Lastly, let's send out some good vibes to all our friends on the waitlist. I'm sure they'd really appreciate some.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Open House - Day 2

About time I posted Day 2 of CBS’ February Open House for Admits huh? But before we get to that, let’s have a big round of applause for Samantha as the only other person (aside from Maxwriter) to get an admit from Columbia. Kudos indeed! Now she has the tough decision of choosing between Kellogg, CBS, and Tuck… I’ll try not to sway her too much with this post ;)

9:00-9:45 am – Registration and Breakfast. I intentionally arrived late at around 9:30 because I wanted to sleep in a little extra. I didn’t bring the schedule with me and merely assumed the breakfast would be in Uris again but I was wrong. I arrived in Warren (a nicer, newer shared building with the Law School) and most people were already there. I met a few familiar faces and then we were ushered into our respective panels. I got some orange juice but didn’t get a chance to eat anything.

10:00-12:15 pm – Panels on Chazen Institute’s “Globalize your MBA”, Financial Aid, and Housing/Student Life. We were then assigned to 2 of 3 panels. I got the Housing/Student Life one first. It was the same ole info that I knew before. Then I had the Chazen Institute panel which is about international/study abroad experiences. CBS really has a plethora of them. I can’t even begin to think about them though. My energy level is really down and I don’t recognize a lot of the people there. I wasn’t assigned to the Financial Aid panel which seems like a bad omen. I am praying that I get something!

12:30-1:30 pm – Affinity Group Lunches. We then had boxed lunches (decent) with current students. We were broken up by interest which mostly meant ethnic/racial background. Instead of choosing one of those, I chose the only other option which was Student Life. Coincidentally the student we sat with was into Sales & Trading and I got some good info from him. Despite all the terrible recruiting news coming out on message boards and forums, it appears that everyone who has wanted a S&T internship has been able to find one. I’ve thus far been very impressed by Columbia’s placements. I met a couple cool admits too including the product manager for the video game, Guitar Hero.

1:45-2:30 pm – Career Management Panels. We all walked back to Uris and heard from the career management office. Details are fuzzy (I knew I should’ve posted this a week ago).

3:00-5:00 pm – Reception at Lincoln Center Penthouse. The final official event was drinks and finger food at Lincoln Center. Nice touch. The admissions offices gave everyone subway passes to commute there which felt like a cutesy little field trip. I got my energy back up during the reception, meeting a few new people and a bunch of the people I had met on Friday or even in the weeks leading up to the weekend. It was a lot of fun. I realize that I need to definitely be standing and doing active things instead of sitting in lectures/panels if I want to stay engaged/awake. Not a good sign for classes! The group of admits from DC continues to grow (we have identified at least 15+ now) and my buddy and I are going to start organizing happy hours. Highlight of the reception is at 5:30 pm when I was about to leave. I said a casual “thank you and goodbye” to one of the senior admissions officers and he/she said “I hope you had a good time. Write about it in your blog.” Of course I was flabbergasted. He/she revealed that I was found via the ClearAdmit blog links. Apparently they (including Linda) liked my post about the December Reception too! Funny stuff. Embarrassing stuff too. I don’t know if they found out about the blog before or after I was accepted but it doesn’t matter now hopefully!

A lot of admits exchanged numbers and then went their separate ways. Several of us (around 15) wound up a couple blocks away at the rooftop bar of a fancy hotel. Then I went with two others to a little get-together “pre-game” for the Pre-MBA World Tour which was fun. At around 10:00 pm, a bunch of us (maybe 15) met up at a pub downtown to cap off the night. I didn’t leave until the early AM hours.

All in all, twas great fun! But also incredibly exhausting after only 2 days. I can only imagine what Orientation week will be like. There’s another open house on April 17-18 that I’ll definitely be attending. Rumor has it that there is a Bloomingdale’s reception with goody bags! At least that’s historically been the tradition. I was going to Sydney that weekend but have since altered my trip to depart one day after the Open House. Yup, it’s that important :P I'm completely serious too.

In sadder news, I missed a recent CBS Alumni Club of DC happy hour here this past week due to my intramural basketball team competing in the finals. Don’t worry, we won. I’ll also be in San Francisco this weekend for the first time in my life so send me good/fun vibes!!