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Berkeley Interview Invite

They want to talk! See you @ Super Saturday.

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Kellogg interview – complete!

Kellogg’s interview today was even more conversational than the previous two. I didn’t get asked very many hard questions (or I’m getting used to the questions). Mainly, she was interested in what I do now (I think its an exciting industry too!) and what I want to do moving forward. We talked a lot about my work with ethnic minorities in college, my current role with my company, the goals of my current company, and my future goals. All in all, a very nice conversation where I think I was able to get my point across and still convey both my personality and my enthusiasm for the school.

To do once I get back from Chicago:

  • await decisions from Duke, Kellogg, and Wharton
  • wait for interview invite from Haas
  • get started on Columbia and Boston applications
  • lots and lots of laundry
  • watch the Big Game–Go Bears!!

One thing that struck me about Kellogg’s facilities today: the ceilings are freakishly low in the hallways.

Kellogg decisions have just started going out…

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Duh

I just remembered that during my Wharton interview, my phone buzzed REALLY loudly. I had my phone on silent, but the vibration was still a little distracting. I apologized and sent the call straight to voicemail. I probably should have turned the phone completely off at that point, but then I would have had to spend a few extra keystrokes unlocking my phone and then shutting it down.

So, lesson learned. Silent phone isn’t exactly silent. Turn it off for the interview.

Now that I’ve had some time to digest the Wharton interview, the only things I wished I could have done better:

  • He asked some very specific questions about my short-term goal (consultant). I really don’t know that much about consulting aside from my work with the folks at BCG…maybe I should learn more?
  • Turned off my effin’ phone.
  • Talked a little bit more about the merits of Wharton’s healthcare program vs. Haas’ MBA/MPH. Could have made a few better arguments to show that Wharton really has the best program out there for ME.
  • He asked me two questions in one. After I finished answering the first one, I’d already forgotten the second one, so I had to ask him again.
  • Didn’t get a chance to talk about some of my community involvement (although it was on my resume and as a runner, I think he understood what the job entailed)

Oh well, I still think I did well. We’ll know December 20th whether the Wharton coin toss is in my favor. At this point, I really do feel like I have 50/50 odds here.

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Wharton Interview – done!

I had my interviews (I’m applying as an HCM, so I have two interviews) with Wharton yesterday. They both went exactly as expected. For those who haven’t yet interviewed, just study the reports from accepted.com and clearadmit.com and there shouldn’t be any surprises.

I think I was able to relate well to my interviewer. We had some common interests (my boyfriend’s interests came in handy too, since I was knowledgeable about some things that most girls don’t care about) which helped keep the conversation comfortable. One thing that surprised me is that he was impressed by the size of my operating budget. Just goes to show that things that seem common to me may seem more extraordinary to others.

Now, I have to prepare for my Kellogg interview and prepare myself for a long wait. I still haven’t started writing my Columbia or BU essays…its kind of hard to when I feel so positive about both Wharton and Haas. But, I need to prepare for the worst. I feel positive, but this process does seem really random. Good luck to everyone else who is interviewing!

I didn’t get asked the leader question, but I did finally decide on an answer. I recently read Leaving Microsoft to Change the World by John Wood (Kellogg alum) and really admire his mission. He left an executive position at Microsoft to start a non-profit which builds libraries & schools and educates young girls in Asia & Africa. It has a very unique business model that gives donors a manageable fundraising goasl and tangible results.

My numbers may be off (remembering statistics is one of my weaknesses) but $12k builds a school in Nepal/Vietnam/etc.. $250 provides a multi-year scholarship for young girls in India/Africa/etc. who otherwise could not afford an education.

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Tell me about a leader you admire

I’m preparing for my Wharton interviews on Thursday and have compiled a list of questions from accepted.com, clearadmit.com, and random blogs. While most of the questions are pretty straightforward, I’m stumped by the question in the title.

Tell me about a leader you admire.

My answer (Oprah Winfrey) is cliche, and I would like to avoid cliche. However, I truly do admire Oprah Winfrey. She came from nothing and overcame sexual abuse, racism, and sexism to become one of the most influential people in the world. When Oprah speaks, people listen. She exposes the masses to otherwise ignored atrocities around the world (Darfur + George Clooney = attention), educates girls in Africa, and commits large sums of her own money to causes she believes in. What’s not to admire?

Help me find a better answer, blogosphere!

I admire Bill & Melinda Gates’ commitment to education reform and the eradication of curable diseases in the third world. However, I’m not sure I admire his business practices (as evidenced on the Simpsons).

I admire Queen Noor for breaking down barriers for women in the Middle East and for her commitment to educating the West about Middle Eastern culture.

I admire John Coltrane for his pursuit of innovation. But he was a heroin junkie.

HELP!

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LinkedIn

Wharton’s database spits out up to nine alumni interview options. Make sure you view all nine. I’d mistakenly thought you could only view three at a time. You don’t get much information aside from name, email address, and graduation year. Most of my potential interviewers used their Wharton email addresses, which reveals nothing regarding current industry.

LinkedIn has been invaluable in my alumni interview selection process. Most people have a profile here. Through LinkedIn, I have been able to track down someone who works in my industry, graduated fairly recently, and is closer to me in age. It will be MUCH easier for me to relate to him than to an investment banker in his mid-40s or a private-equity guy also in his mid-40s.

My interviews are in two weeks.

I’ll spend this weekend fine-tuning my Haas application and the next week or so studying for my Wharton interview. Once Wharton is done, I have a few days to review for Kellogg and then I’m off to Chicago for two weeks (for work). I haven’t celebrated Thanksgiving with my family since I started working in this field.

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Fuqua interview debrief

I arrived on campus yesterday (thank you GPS!), parked, and checked in with the Admissions Office. Our student host took me and three other prospectives to an 8am Marketing Management course. Half of the class was on some sort of trip so many of the seats were empty. I’m not sure if it was because of the professor, the lack of students, or the fact that it was 8am, but some of the students led the conversation, others listened, and a few had blank stares in their eyes. They didn’t seem as actively engaged as the students at Haas.

After the class, we sat down in the prospective students lounge where 1st and 2nd years stopped by to say hi. Everyone was incredibly friendly and willing to answer any questions we had. When time for my interview rolled around, I went to a private room with a 2nd year.

Most of the questions were pretty standard:

  • Walk me through your resume
  • Why MBA, why now, why Fuqua
  • What clubs would you join
  • What do you do outside of work
  • Talk about a leadership experience
  • Talk about a teamwork experience
  • How do you deal with a difficult team member
  • How do you work with management or people who have more experience
  • Two things your friends would say are your weaknesses
  • What are you most proud of?
  • How do you feel about moving from California to North Carolina?
  • Any questions for me?

The interview lasted 40-45 minutes and was much more conversational than I had anticipated. Overall, I think it went pretty well. I think I came off as knowledgeable about the school, my goals, and my career path. However, I did ramble sometimes (and then I forget the original question), I could have answered some questions a little better (better examples), and I used a few words that weren’t actually words (I corrected myself). However, I was prepared for every single question that came my way.

I was a bit surprised that there was some concern about my moving to NC from CA. I wouldn’t be applying to the school if I wasn’t willing to move there! Overall, Fuqua is a great school and I would be super happy to be there next year.

The flight home was a different story…

random note: the interview confirmation specifies business casual. However, out of 10 or so prospectives I met, everyone wore a suit besides me and another girl. If I could have done it again, I still would have worn what I did (suit pants, loose non-tucked blouse). It’s too muggy in NC for a suit. And if anyone saw me that day, my hair isn’t normally that frizzy.

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