DINGED at Cal!

With the final decision in via email this morning, I close out my application season with a .500 hit rate (and 100% interview rate…not bad!).

I had a pretty good hunch I wasn’t going to get the admit from Cal during my interview. My interviewer asked me some pretty tough questions that I didn’t really have good answers for. Perhaps if I had prepared at all (I pretty much just relied on my previous preparation…two months prior) I could have done better. However, with a Kellogg admit in my pocket, my heart wasn’t really into Cal. While I know Cal would have made academic and financial sense, I am really in this not just for the education, but for the experience.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that my phone beeped TWICE during my interview. I had it on silent, so it shouldn’t have beeped (yeah, I’d forgotten about the Wharton debacle already and forgot to turn my phone off), so that was another omen of the impending DING.

What have I learned? If my heart isn’t into something, I am fairly obvious…even if I try not to be. Wharton read my dislike of Philly and Cal probably read my “been there, done that…and I’ve got an admit already” attitude. I never claimed to be good at poker.

There’s a scholarship letter on its way to me via USPS from Duke. However, I doubt it will be enough to sway me.

Evanston here I come!


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Spirit of the Marathon

Last night, my bf & I caught the one night showing of Spirit of the Marathon, a documentary that follows several runners (some elite, some average) through their training leading up to the 2005 Chicago Marathon. If you are a runner, I highly recommend this movie. After my IT band setback while training for the 2007 Marine Corps Marathon, I put another marathon out of my mind. However, watching this movie has inspired me for another marathon: Chicago or New York 2010. Why not sooner? I have my whole life to run marathons. I’m not hampering my business school experience with the discipline required for 20-mile training runs. This morning, we made plans to run a marathon in three years…TOGETHER.

Watching the runners train and race around Chicago made me super excited for my impending move to the (suburbs of) the Windy City. I kept grabbing my bf and telling him, “I know exactly where that is! I’ll take you there when you come out and visit me!” and “We’ll run the Lakeshore too!”

While I don’t plan on running the Chicago Marathon in 2008, maybe I can volunteer at an aid station. At the very least, I’ll be a spectator. I couldn’t help but tear up when the runners crossed the finish (yes, my bf made fun of me for that). I remembered my own feelings when I crossed the finish line of my first (and only) marathon…the sense of accomplishment and the knowledge that with some effort and discipline, one can knock off something as seemingly impossible as running 26.2 miles…or getting into a top 10 business school.

Oh, and the truth is, I didn’t just cry when I crossed the finish line. I may have cried the last four miles. My legs were shot.

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Super Saturday

I didn’t fall in love at Super Saturday. While I really liked all the students and prospectives I met, I realized the Berkeley experience is something I’ve already done. Time for something new. The dual-degree program, age range, and cost of Haas may suit me better. However, Kellogg is a new experience. At the end of the day, they’re both great MBA programs and I already have the Berkeley brand on my resume.

I’ll just have to add some purple to my wardrobe next year. And watch Cal football from afar. And get a super thick warm coat. BRRRRR…

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Admitted to Duke!

Got the news via email this morning. Got a phonecall from my student interviewer shortly after. However, they want me to take Calculus. You all know how I feel about Calculus…*blech*

Gotta review my application for Haas’ Super Saturday today. No doubt they would also make me take Calculus…and maybe economics.

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Packing the bags…

I’ve got some exciting (and not so exciting) travels both for work and pleasure scheduled for 2008…now that I kind of know where I’m headed next fall:

Jan: A week in Orlando (yuck) for my company’s national sales meeting.
Feb: Chicago for DAK. Another week in Orlando (yuck, again) for work.
Mar: Hawaii (couldn’t resist since tickets on Hawaiian are ~$300). Chicago for work.
Apr: Costa Rica & Belize (celebrating the year of 30 with my girlfriends)
May: Seattle for work…maybe Miami.
Jun/Jul: LA, East Africa (will probably skip Kenya since there presently is election turmoil), Eastern Europe, and maybe Southeast Asia.
Aug: drive my car out to Chicago (assuming I’m going to Kellogg), get settled in, KWEST trip.

I’m pretty settled on the idea of going to Kellogg, but I’m still going to the Super Saturday interview to keep my options open. Yay! I’m excited for the months ahead.

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Winter Storm

The severe storm caused a blackout at the office today so everyone went home. The email server was down so there wasn’t much I could do. I work from home on Fridays so I didn’t witness the worst of the storm, but when I did emerge from my apartment to go to the gym and get a pedicure, there were trees down EVERYWHERE. Big huge ones on top of cars and blocking streets. Traffic lights out. Streets flooded. My entire block and a few blocks surrounding are completely blacked out–except my building! Yes, we are weather weenies when you compare it to the kind of stuff places like Chicago see fairly frequently.

In (late) 2008, I turn the ripe old age of 30. I have always been the youngest in the workplace…but when I start business school, I’ll be on the older end. Two years older than average. Bummer!! Hopefully I can keep up with the brilliant 24-year-olds. If I had applied at 24, there’s no way I would have gotten into business school. My most valuable career experiences happened between 24-28: start-up, IPO, acquisition, working for a multi-national company, managing acquisition integrations, managing disparate multi-national teams, etc.


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Happy New Year!

As I prepare for my Super Saturday interview, I’m reminded of why I applied to Haas in the first place. When I visited campus, I felt a true fit: academically, culturally, personally. I did not feel this glove-like fit when I visited Duke or Kellogg (I never visited Wharton. Can’t stand Philly).

However, I’m in love with the prospect of living in Chicago and experiencing something completely new. I went to UC Berkeley for my undergrad (1 hour from home), currently live thirty minutes from where I grew up, and work less than five minutes from my parents’ house. I know more Kellogg alumni than I do alumni from any other school and admire all of them (except one). I’m a little bit intimidated by the young, party school image. While I like the sauce (I’m in sales/marketing–we drink a lot), I am no longer young enough to go three nights in a row and still be functional the next day.

Ten days ago, I had pretty much decided I was moving to Evanston in August. I made an opportunity cost spreadsheet. Factoring in lost income, I don’t save any money by going to Haas. In fact, I lose $30k by staying in school an extra semester. If I consider my biological clock (which isn’t ticking, btw) and the boy I am committed to, this is my only chance to ever experience life outside of California. If I’m going to be a mother in my mid-/late-30s, does it even matter if I have an MBA/MPH vs. MBA or do I gain more with an extra 6 months of work experience? How much does motherhood set me back?

I’d never considered having children until my bf asked me to lay out a five-year plan for our relationship. While I’m still not entirely sold on children, I’m completely sold on grandchildren. I guess you have to pass through Point B to get to Point C.

Having grown up poor, I’ve always made financially prudent decisions as an adult. I make more than most of my peers but live a significantly more frugal lifestyle. I try to always live below my means so that I will never be in a position of need. Perhaps it is time to splurge on myself and make a decision based on want rather than need. Is this my last hurrah?

We’ll see how things play out. Maybe I’ll hate DAK and fall in love at Super Saturday. Maybe the opposite happens. Maybe Haas doesn’t accept me and the decision is made. Who knows. In either case, I fully comprehend that I’m in a great position and whichever way I go, I’ll be on a great path.

Perfect fit vs. almost fit? Blue & Gold vs. Purple & White? Bears vs. Wildcats? Berkeley vs. Evanston? old vs. new? status quo vs. total change?

If I choose Kellogg, I don’t have to finish my calculus class (which I still haven’t started). If Haas chooses me…blech, calculus. AND possibly microeconomics.

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