Archive for September, 2007

Gunshy

I think that was also a title for a Liz Phair song.

I’ve finalized my Wharton essays and gone through the application to check for typos. One recommender has submitted. The other will do so next week. But…I still can’t bring myself to hit submit. It is just so…final. Once I hit submit, it is completely beyond my control.

I’ll do a final readthrough of the Wharton essays on the plane tomorrow and then submit from the hotel in Boston.

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1st recommendation submitted!

Recommender #1 submitted for Wharton! Hooray!

I just met with Recommender #2 (my current boss) and he’s promised to work on everything on the plane on Monday (we’re both flying to the East Coast) so that we can go over everything when we land. We should be able to submit sometime next week (crossing my fingers–he gets a lot of emergencies).

Eek. CEO just walked by and asked me how my applications are going.  I also found out this morning that my manager announced to all of his other direct reports that I was not on a conference call (yesterday) because I was interviewing at business schools. That surprised a few…oh well. I didn’t ask him not to tell anyone. It just puts more pressure on me not to be a reject. AAAAACK.

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Recommendation strategies

I lied to my recommenders. As a project manager, I’ve learned that unforeseen circumstances inevitably arise (software bugs, email outages, illness, etc.) and it helps to have a few extra days built in in case deadlines slip. Of course, I never tell anyone this. If everything happens according to plan, we finish the project early. If something comes up, we finish on time. To mitigate the risk of having my applications slip into round 2, I’ve employed the same tactic with my recommenders. They think the recommendations are due 2-7 days before the final deadline. This gives me some time to chase them down and put the pressure on if anything happens. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that and I can breathe a sigh of relief a few days BEFORE each application deadline and move on to the next task.

I visited Haas today…aaah my old stomping grounds…it was awesome! The class I visited was really interesting and the students were highly engaged. I spoke with one of the student club leaders and it became really evident to me during the course of our conversation that Haas offers exactly what I need to get me where I want to go. The students are all really accomplished, yet totally accessible. Competitive and driven, yet still collaborative. I wrote my “Why Berkeley?” essay as soon as I got home so that I could capture the spirit and enthusiasm of the day. Easiest essay I’ve written thus far. Hmmm…should I refer to it as Haas or Berkeley? I’ve always referred to it as Haas but the essay questions say Berkeley. Gotta go check the web site.

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Progress Report

Almost 1 week until my Fuqua interview. Two weeks until Wharton is due, three weeks until Kellogg is due, four weeks until my marathon.

I’ve scoured the web for Fuqua interview reports and have a pretty good gauge on what they’ll ask me. I know what super power that I would want (it is something I’ve wanted since I was a kid). I know why MBA, why Fuqua, what clubs I would join, etc.

Wharton essay is pretty buttoned up. Just waiting for my brother to copyedit.

Kellogg essay is going through final proofreading with a friend.

Recommender #1 (previous manager) says he’s written all the essays and just needs to input everything into the forms. Great! I haven’t seen anything, but I’ve sent him a pretty in-depth package and I trust him to do what I’ve asked. Recommender #2 (current manager) is predictably last minute. I was supposed to meet with him all week but various issues have popped up (all-day meetings for me on Tuesday, email meltdown all week, etc) and continually pushed our meetings back. We’re scheduled to be at the same meeting next week in Boston, so hopefully I can corner him then if I can’t catch up with him on Friday. I know he’s last minute (he’s got an industry-wide reputation for being a down-to-the-wire kind of guy) and it mostly concerns me because I am the exact opposite type of person. I have to trust that he’ll get things done for me on time. In the meantime, I have all of the recommendation forms for R1 in a folder and will start answering questions for him one by one. If anything, all he has to do is put things into his own words. It is too bad they can’t just do phone interviews since he’s such an articulate and compelling speaker.

My IT band is getting better (my cousin/roommate has some massage therapy experience), but maybe not good enough for a run this weekend. I’m still hoping to heal in time for the marathon, although I have to readjust my goals from beating five hours (I’m slow!) to just finishing (some people walk faster).

Visiting Haas tomorrow. Lifted weights on Tuesday so my arms are jiggly and burning. Does not help the muscle stress from so much typing throughout the day.

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Setbacks

Well, its too bad I already wrote and finalized Wharton’s setback essay because I’m currently experiencing the worst setback of my running career. Yesterday, I was scheduled for a twenty mile training run in preparation for the Marine Corps Marathon in five weeks (my 2nd marathon). I made it about 6.5 miles before a long descent irritated my IT band, which is a new injury for me. However, I’m familiar enough with running injuries that I knew exactly what it was. Of course, I was far from my car, so I walked the 4 miles back to my car for a total of 10.5 miles for the day (half of what I’d planned). I’m currently resting, icing, stretching, and taking anti-inflammatories.

Hopefully this doesn’t knock me out of running the Marine Corps. In any event, I will have to readjust my goals since I was originally running for time. With all this training lost, if I can run at all, my goal will just be to finish. I’ve missed out on running for the last two weeks trying to heal my IT band and had hoped that it would have been ok in time for Saturday’s run.

Lessons learned? I am a person of routine. I like to follow schedules. I’m stubborn. Physical setbacks force me to adjust this mindset. I can’t control my body.

Running is also my relaxation time. I need running during stressful times in my life, such as the two months ahead. I need to be able to run SOON!

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%tile update

I called the GMAT (I think they offshore) and had to ask the guy my question four different ways before he understood my question. He kept insisting that my score does not change, which I understand. I’m asking about the change in PERCENTILES! So, here’s the answer:

Percentiles are calculated over a 3 year period so they are constantly being adjusted. I forgot to ask when this three year period starts or ends.

Schools may have received my higher percentile score IF they request score reports sent via paper. If they have their system set up where they just log in to verify scores, then they will see my lower percentile.

Not a huge deal, but again, very annoying.

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2nd official score report: Lower %

Grr! Last week, I asked the test administrators to send an official score report to Wharton, since it wasn’t one of my original five. Today, I received a copy of the report and all of my percentages are lower!! I guess this means I (unintentionally) reported errant scores to Kellogg (Part 1) and I’ll have to go back to all my applications and revise the percentiles.

Granted, verbal, quant, and the total only went down by -1% but analytical writing went down by -12%! AND this puts my quant score at 81%…just 1% above the “acceptable” range.

My first “Official” score report was sent 3 days after I took my test (I double-checked and the first copy said official copy on it). This second “Official” score report was sent four months later. If I had not asked for an additional copy sent to Wharton, I would have unintentionally reported errant scores to all my schools. Also, did all my schools receive the original batch of percentiles? Has this happened to anyone else?

I remember reading that the unofficial score report could differ on percentiles from the official score report. But variance from official report to official report? Very annoying, though not the end of the world.

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