Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Somewhere in between

I haven't posted much this month. What happened? Hum, it seems that time just flied by when you don't have all the business school applications worries. Although I did receive a rejection sometime in between, but after all these months, I have developed high immunity for rejections, so I smiled and moved on. Also, sometime in the past month, I bought my ticket to go home, submitted my letter of resignation, and had a panic reaction about all the stuff I need to sell and pack-up before quitting and heading home in June. I can't believe my So-Cal life is coming to an end in two months.

Yet I look forward to this summer. Dealing with visa stuff will not be fun, but having my boyfriend coming to visit for the first time will surely be an exciting experience. Plus, I will be helping my mom develop and expand her business. This woman is the inspiration of my life. She courageously started a totally unrelated second career after she retired and she is the most energetic 60 year old lady I've ever seen. After spending less than 3 months total at home for the past 8 years. I am glad I will have full two months with my parents before my new chapter in life.

So here I am, somewhere in between my soon-ending chapter in So-Cal and my new exciting 2 year bschool adventure, with so much to do yet so much to expect and dream about.

Dare I say that I am still waiting for R2 results...this extremely long journey is finally coming to the end...one more week to go till I can tell people "yes, this is where I be going for sure!". :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

don't let bschool application define/defeat you

As R2 results slowly rolled out for various schools, the blogsphere/online forums became active again. For some, it was a triumphant finish. For others, it was the land of nowhere.

This post is dedicated to those who unfortunately did not make it this application season, especially those who I've personally interacted with.

It was heart-breaking even for a bystander to see these individuals pouring their heart and soul into bschool applications, as well as two years of precious time, and ended up with nothing but disappointing emails from their dream schools. As a fellow applicant, it was also my worst nightmare that I had once imaging myself going through. It's definitely a low point in life.

Then again, among the large pool of applicants this year, there were those resilient re-applicants, who got up where they fell and charged forward with such determination that one can only admire. Many of those re-applicants succeeded in their 2nd or 3rd try because their applications got better, or simply, because they persisted.

I have always believed that the key to success is about having the right attitude, which includes an unshakable confidence and a real humble heart. I fully understand that rejections from our dream schools can be so crushing, that we feel desperate, insignificant and incompetent. But the truth is, there is so much to you than four essays and a simple five page application! So friends, please don't let bschool application define or defeat you. The future is still bright, as long as you are up for it!

I feel like I have a lot more to say but don't know exactly how to say it. So I am just here, to show my support, as a fellow applicant.

I hope five years down the road, you can look back at this episode of your life with a big smile.

Friday, March 5, 2010

DAK Recap Series #2 - The Admits

The Admits

Another purpose of admits weekend is to meet the other admits and basically see if you connect with your future classmates. However, I don't think DAK was designed well for that. It might be different for those who were able to attend some of the Thursday night social events, but for the majority of people who attended only Friday and Saturday full day events, the schedule was extremely packed with talks after talks. We had a little scavenger hunt activity on Saturday but it was cut short due to my section's never ending Q&A with the section leaders (which was not at all bad~). From my conversation with several admits who also went to other schools' admits weekend, it seemed that certain schools have more free time for socializing or just admits bonding activities. I am not sure if everyone wants more time to bond with other admits (some of whom will not be your classmates anyway...), but I certainly can appreciate some more time to do that. Our scavenger hunt was surely fun! Here is a picture of how we spelled out Kellogg in the atrium :)

Our Scavenger hunt team

The bustling hallway

Admits listening to presentations

One thing I want to emphasize is that you do have plenty of time outside of the regular day-time activities to interact with people. We had a dinner, a closing reception, as well as pub time and club time. Unfortunately my energy level deteriorated with the lack of sleep and the fully packed day time activity. I was barely functioning during pub time on Friday and didn't even make it to the club on Saturday. So ya, can't comment too much on that I suppose :)

TG = "Thank God it's Friday"
@ the Keg
a dive bar which apparently is Kellogg students' hang out hot spot

So overall, I think I was able to talk to some 20-30 admits and really built a connection with about 6-8 of them? Which was not too bad. After-all, I am more into building meaningful connections than meeting as many people as possible. My overall impression of the admits is in line with the students, maybe a little shy and more low-key, but then again, I didn't make it to the club.

P.S It seems that half of the admits were set on Kellogg and half were still comparing schools. The most admits I encountered were deciding between Kellogg and Wharton or Kellogg and Berkeley. Also there were quite a few international folks who made all the way from Europe, Latin America and Asia to Evanston for the weekend. Kudos to them!

Next post: DAK - the MBA program

DAK Recap Series #1 - The Kellogg Culture

I finally completed my HBS interview, which turned out to be more conversational than a grilling one. Now as I wait for the final result which is entirely out of my control (and any last minute interview invites from Haas or Stanford), I can finally sit down and write this long over-due post on my DAK experience, which happened almost one month ago.

I don't want to recall every single event happened at DAK so I will just make a simple list at the end of this series of posts showcasing what DAK offers. I will focus my post on some key takeaways and my overall impression of Kellogg through the experience. I am also dividing it into several posts so it's not in a super long post. :)

The Kellogg Culture

I think the best part of any admit weekend is that you really get a sense of what the students are like and have a taste of the culture. Although at DAK, you don't have that much socializing time due to the packed schedule, you do get a sense of what Kellogg is about. Two things stood out to me: the student-run culture and the down-to-earth students.

DAK is a entirely student-run event, and I have to give a thumbs up for the DAK team's organization and execution. Given the 300 something students and significant others, there were definitely possibilities for some chaotic moment, but I didn't really experience any. Every time I stepped out of room, there were always some students in the hallway with the DAK shirts, directing people where to go. From KPW to DAK, everyone I met at Kellogg was easy-going and genuine. Sure, there were a few that I probably wouldn't become close friends with due to certain personality differences, but I have yet to meet an arrogant or bad-attitude Kellogg student, which says a lot in the MBA world.

What I really loved about DAK was my section leaders. The admitted students were divided into sections named in a similar way as the real Kellogg sections. Mine was called "Jugheads" which was the junior name for "Bucketheads", go figure. Each section had 5-6 section leaders who were current students, both 1st and 2nd years and they pretty much ran the break out sessions and answered any questions we had. My section leaders were a group of really down-to-earth, fun-loving folks who were very honest in answering our endless questions and went out of their ways to help us. I felt very comfortable around these folks and could see really see myself being apart of the community.

My Awesome Section Leaders

The very pretty Kellogg glass

The not so impressive DAK sign outside of Jacobs :P
Next Post: DAK - the Admits