Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I Love eBay!

Since we are downsizing our space considerably when we move, we've been trying to attack the clutter in our house and get rid of as much as possible. At the same time, I really want a shiny new iPhone for school. So I've been trying to make some money off of some of our old treasures. So far I've sold about $30 worth of stuff on eBay. Not bad, not bad. But it's about to get a lot better because I listed an old piece of electronic equipment that I never use this week and guess what! It is currently bid up to $132!! I'm almost half-way to that iPhone!!

The other service I've been taking advantage of is my selling account on Amazon. It's great if you have books you no longer want, because you just list it and when it sells, Amazon takes care of the payment and you just package it up and send it away! Amazon deposits all your revenue into your bank account. Lately some of my favorite authors have released new books in hard cover. I don't really like to keep hard covers unless I really love the book, so I buy them, read them, and then sell them to get a good chunk of my money back.

Lastly, my mother-in-law got us a table at a local flea market this weekend. Hopefully we'll be able to free ourselves from the rest of our junk then and see it all go to nice homes! Anything left over is going to get donated.

I can't wait!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Here we go!

Dear readers, I must apologize for the lack of posts lately. I've been under the weather for the past week, but I'm now starting to get back into the swing of things.

Unfortunately, my posts are likely to continue to be few and far between for the next several weeks because .... drum roll ... we have (nearly) rented our house! I say nearly because we don't technically have a lease or a deposit yet, but have been assured that they are forthcoming. The catch is, they want to move in May 15! So today we began packing and pricing items for our moving sale. Luckily, there is an apartment available now in our building of choice in Center City, so this just might work out. It's going to be a logistical nightmare, since we have a lot of junk and various pieces of furniture to get rid of or store between now and then, not to mention figuring out how we're going to move the few items that are making the cut for our new high rise lifestyle.

Sooo ... while all this is going on, I will try to post. No promises though. The plus side of the situation is I will be nice and settled in to my new digs well before Preterm starts, so I should have plenty of time to blog then. Wish me luck, and I'll see you on the other side!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What Should I Blog About?

I've reached a point in my blogging where I'm not really sure what to write about. Just waiting for school to start creates a bit of a lull in interesting stuff to share. I've got a few topics in my back pocket, but I thought I would pose the question to my readers. What would you like me to blog about? Any advice you are looking for?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

It's An Honor Just to Be Nominated

Thanks Clearadmit! I have been nominated for a Clearadmit Best of Blogging award! Really, it's an honor just to be nominated. I'm not even thinking about winning. Well, maybe just a little. Actually, I'm pretty excited. I wasn't really sure if this blog was going to go anywhere when I started. Good luck to all the nominees!

Funny story, the email address to request a ballot is So I started out my email "Hi Bob," .... and then I realized. Oh. It's BOB for Best of Blogging. Ha.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Hooray! The weather for Welcome Weekend is supposed to be fabulous! Looking forward to seeing my future classmates and NOT carrying an umbrella around on the tour. I think the campus looks a lot better in the sun :)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Ode to Philadelphia Series – Philly is the New Hollywood

It may come as a surprise to many readers, but Philadelphia is actually becoming a popular place to shoot movies. In fact, several full production studios are being built in right here in the Philly area to attract the best movies and TV shows.

Sampling of major movies that have recently filmed here or will be filming soon:
The Lovely Bones (Peter Jackson) – Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz
The Happening (M. Night Shyamalan) – Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, John Leguizamo
Our Lady of Victory – Carla Gugino, David Boreanaz
Transformers Sequel
The Dream of the Romans – Jeff Daniels, Lauren Graham
Tenure – Luke Wilson, Gretchen Mol
Major TV Shows Shot Here:
“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”
“Cold Case”

So what does this mean to you? Celebrity Sightings! I mean, how cool would it be to have a beer at Roosevelts with Mark Wahlberg, who always seems to be shooting movies here. Also, movies always need extras so you could have a chance to be in a movie! I heard you even get paid!

Also, if you would like to get a good flavor for the city through cinema, there are plenty of ways to do so. I’m sure everyone knows about Rocky and Philadelphia, but there are many other great ones that can give you a good feel for the culture and scenery. I personally recommend:
Invincible – the neighborhood is South Philly, don’t worry you won’t be living there. But the portrayal of Eagles fans is dead on !
National Treasure – Featuring many landmarks of Philly
The Sixth Sense

Finally, “The Colbert Report” is in Philly (at Penn actually) filming all week. Tune in if you can!
For everything you ever wanted to know about the Philadelphia film industry, plus job postings (get your headshot ready!), visit the Greater Philadelphia Film Office at

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Is the Weekend Over Already?

It's getting tougher to blog these days. Since I'm now blocked from doing so at work, I need to find the time to do it at home. And I just haven't been there all that much lately! Plus I think of so many more topics at work (since I'm so painfully bored, but that's a blog topic for another day). I should write some posts in a Word doc or something and upload when I get home.

This week I was busy with something every night. Charity meeting Monday, had my brother over for dinner and later met a friend from my old consulting job on Tuesday, did volunteer work on Wednesday, and traveled into the city for a Philly admit happy hour on Thursday. Friday I crashed. The weekend was filled with projects to prepare for the move and cleaning the house in an attempt to impress potential renters. Exhausting!

Speaking of meeting the friend from my old job ...
One of the perks of a consulting career, especially with a big firm, is that you will meet people from all over the country and potentially the world. You will probably make more friends than you would at any other job because you will be working closely with people for longer hours. And since you are all on the road, probably socializing with them after work too. The unfortunate drawback of this is that all your friends are from all over, and they will go back to those places when the project is done. I got to meet one of my best friends from my consulting days for drinks on Tuesday since he happens to be in town for a project. It was so great to see him and catch up. It makes me sad that I so rarely get to see him or any of my old buddies anymore. I have a feeling that business school is going to be similar. We'll all make a lot of great friends from all over the world, and then everyone is going to spread out again after the two years are over. I know it's naive to hope that many of my new friends will stay in Philly after graduation, but I do hope many head for NYC since it's just a little train ride away. And I guess having far-flung friends can be nice when you want to travel to visit them!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Big Brother Strikes Again!

My employer is pretty tight with restrictions on our computer systems. Besides the fact that we are woefully behind in technology (I have a 6-year-old laptop with Windows 2000 and Office 97. Yes 97! It's 11 years old!!), we are also severely restricted in the things that we can do on our computers. We pretty much can't install anything ourselves; it has to be requested from IT. No IM software is allowed whatsoever. They even block Google Talk!

And every social networking site you can think of is blocked. Myspace, Facebook, LinkedIn. Youtube is blocked of course. And now as of today, the final straw - blogging sites are blocked!! I was so sad when I tried to log on today :( The reason the evil blocking page gives is the website may have "dangerous software." BOOO!!!

Yeah yeah, I probably shouldn't be blogging at work anyway, but this is ridiculous! I feel like I'm going to regress technologically and be lost when my classmates start talking about twittering or something (yes, twitter is also blocked).

A Note on Scholarships

I got a few questions in the comments so I wanted to just address them quickly.

Unfortunately, I didn't really save the info for any scholarships I found that I didn't qualify for. Sorry! But, to answer another question, I didn't have any inside info on places to look. I really just googled as many phrases as I could think of, like "scholarships for MBA," "MBA scholarships for women," "grad school fellowships," etc, etc etc. So if there is something out there for you, I don't think you should have a problem finding it either through a) googling b) using the information your schools send you and c) googling some more! Definitely go through the hassle of registering for the websites that allow you to search. I think they all have a somewhat different selection of scholarships in their databases.

Good luck!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Scholarship Search - Disappointing!

Other than my grant from Wharton, I have been completely unsuccessful in my scholarship search. You would think that there might be a lot of money out there for women pursuing an MBA, but I have not found anything to even apply to. Yes, there is the Forte Foundation fellowship, but your school nominates (or doesn't, in my case) you for that. There were a few others that I saw which had deadlines in December. Who knew you had to be applying for scholarships before you even knew if you got in (2008 applicants, take note!!).

It seems like there is a lot of money out there if you have critical financial need and/or are a minority demographic or international student, which should be good news for many of you. Just doesn't seem like there is much out there for my particular profile. Oh well. I wanted to have a smaller debt load, but I can handle it. Maybe in Year 2 I will find something!

P.S. If anyone knows of any scholarships I may have overlooked, please drop me a line!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I've Received a Grant from Wharton!

It is so small (I mean tiny) that I started to wonder if it's something everyone gets. I must admit that I was hoping for more, but hey, it's something right? The letter is short on details so I'm not sure who or what sponsors the grant, but I suppose I will find out soon enough!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Are Women MBAs Doomed to Divorce?

I am a fan of the Naked MBA blog, which bills itself as "the bare truth about what to expect from business school." Today I saw a post title that made my stomach drop: "For women, MBA = Divorce." I quickly clicked on the feed link to see what the heck this was about. The first sentence reads "The numbers are in and they don’t look good. " "Oh crap," I think. Then comes the obligatory next thought, "Well my marriage is strong. Business school and a good career aren't going to change that." I continued to read, cautiously. Ok, here's the main fact driving the title of the post: "Women MBAs are twice as likely to get divorced than the men with whom they graduate." Yikes. That is not good.

Hold on, here's the actual statistic: "12% of women MBAs reported having divorced or separated as compared to 5% of male MBAs." Um - 12%? Yeah it's a lot bigger than the male number, but still, 12%?? Maybe I'm crazy but that's still a small number to me. I'm not fearing for my marriage over 12%. The article goes to discuss that women think they can have it all but it's just a myth, etc etc. To an extent I agree with that, but don't you think we're jumping a bit to far to say that MBA = Divorce?

I clicked through to the WSJ article the post is referencing. More similar discussion.
"For women, a professional degree is often hazardous to marital health."
"'Unlike men,' she says, 'women can't have it all because there is a social stigma to having or being a stay-at-home spouse.'"
And then this statistic: "Women with M.B.A.s described themselves as divorced or separated more often than women with only bachelor's degrees (12% of female M.B.A.s compared with 11% of women with only bachelor's degrees) "

I stopped there. A 1% increase with an MBA is hardly anything to fret over. Sure, the difference between the statistics for women vs. men should be explored, but why do we have to jump to panic mode and imply that women are sabotaging their personal lives by pursuing advanced degrees?

Wharton Penn Key

I got my letter to set up my Penn Key yesterday. The Penn Key is basically your login authentication for Penn systems and is also your email ID. So I go to the site and input my setup code. The system gives me a list of letter combinations that I can choose for my key. Nice, except my name is apparently really common because my choices were all horrible!

I'll give you a hypothetical example. Say your name is Sarah O. Johnson. Your choices for your prestigious Wharton email ID would probably look like the following:
And that's it! You can't even try to make up one that maybe makes more sense. Seriously, who's going to remember that Sarah Johnson's email address is joso@wharton??

Ugh. I picked the best of the list but I still hate it. Consider yourself lucky if you have a unique name.

UPDATE: So, it seems the Penn key is NOT your Wharton email address. I stand corrected. Remains to be seen if choices for Wharton email address are better than Penn Key. Fingers crossed.

UPDATE: I was right! Your Penn Key user ID is also your Wharton email ID. Hopefully we'll have the ability to create an alias or something, but I'm not holding my breath!

Ode to Philadelphia Series: Philly is Good for You!

Back in 2000, Men's Fitness Magazine declared Philadelphia the fattest city in America. Oh no! Perhaps it was all the cheesesteaks and soft pretzels? But don't worry. We got to work and turned it around. Now Men's Fitness says we're good! (Guess who's still bad: New York and Chicago! Haha, take that!). Also, Cooking Light apparently thinks we're great because they said we're the #9 Healthiest City in their April issue last year. Yay!

You might not have known it if you attended the Saturday night Winter Welcome party where people were smoking, but Philadelphia has indeed banned smoking at *most* restaurants and bars. Unfortunately it's not a complete ban because places that derive at least 90% of revenue from drinks (i.e. don't serve food) are exempt, which I guess includes the club where the party took place. Hey, at least we got most of the way there. And if you are a smoker then you know where to go!

Also, we weren't gonna let New Yorkers be the only health nuts so we decided to ban trans fats too! Yeah, there aren't really any penalties set up and there are exceptions for places that make wedding cakes and stuff (apparently wedding cakes are artery-clogging death on a china plate but you can't make them without trans fats). But again, it's something!

And finally, lest you think a trip to the ballpark must mean as many dollar dogs as you can eat, you should know that last August PETA said Citizens Bank Park was the #1 vegetarian-friendly ballpark! Don't worry meat eaters, there are still plenty of Dollar Dog Nights. Just be careful when Dollar Dog Night intersects with College Night. It's a perfect storm.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ode to Philadelphia

I'm sure there are many of you out there that may be considering Wharton but aren't sure if you want to live in Philly for 2 years. Others may be wondering whether to apply for the same reason. I'm a believer in fit being one of your biggest reasons for choosing a business school, and certainly location is a factor in fit. You probably know that Philly is a short drive or train ride from New York and DC, and Boston's not to far away either. I guess people tell you that in case you're thinking you'll want to leave every weekend to go somewhere cool. Well you can, but I happen to believe Philly is pretty cool, and if you go to school here you may just want to stick around most weekends. So I would like to take this time to tell you why I think Philly is a great city, and why I believe you'd not only survive for two years here, but you might just love it too.

I have lived in Philadelphia for most of my life. Scratch that, I've lived around Philly, but never actually in the city limits (until July that is!). I did work and stay in hotels there for about 6 months. So this probably doesn't make me quite an expert, but I believe I'm qualified to give you my opinion on the city. Now I have a lot to say, so I think this is going to end up being a series of posts. I'll try to give you a good picture of life in the City of Brotherly Love: the good, the bad, the ugly, the quirky, and anything else I can think of.

If all you know about Philly is Rocky and that Eagles fans are crazy and eat too many cheesesteaks, well you have a lot to learn my friend. Back in October 2005, National Geographic Traveler declared Philadelphia the Next Great City (Next Great City: Philly, Really). Many people probably thought that was strange, but Philadelphians have been noticing for awhile that the city is becoming cool again. People are moving back into the city, big beautiful condo complexes are going up, retail is moving in, fringe neighborhoods are up-and-coming cool, and the restaurant scene is getting really good. And we got Live 8, how awesome is that? (I went, it was incredible). Read the article, it will tell you more.

Here are some things you might not know about Philly:
-Philly is relatively cheap. Wharton students mostly live in Center City near Rittenhouse Square. Guess what, this is the nicest part of the city. How many other urban business schools can you attend where you can actually afford to live in the nicest part of the city?
-Because of PA's arcane liquor laws, it is difficult for restuarants to get liquor licenses. Therefore many of them are BYOB. So you can bring your own bottle of wine to many nice places, and it really reduces the cost of a night out.
-Philly has Fairmount Park, which is one of the largest urban parks in the country. It's great for running, especially along Kelly Drive near Boathouse Row.
-Jon Bon Jovi is a part-owner of the Philadelphia Soul, the arena football team. Richie Sambora is too and just bought a sweet pad in Philly. Imagine that! Potential star sightings in Philly!
-Compared to other schools not in the South or in California, the weather here is actually pretty good. It's typically about 5-10 degrees warmer here than Chicago or Boston (people from those cities will tell you that's not true, but I've lived in all three. Trust me, they are colder. Or don't, check the statistics yourself!). Philly also doesn't get as much snow. What we do get are a lot of wintry mix storms where are not fun, but it's a lot easier to get to class in than snow.
-You probably aren't going to bring your car to Philly, which is fine because you won't need it and parking is a nightmare anyway. But maybe you want to take a trip to Ikea or to visit someone in the burbs? You can rent a car for cheap from Philly Car Share or Zipcar!
-And finally, Philly just recently declared itself the nation's best beer drinking city. Maybe you disagree? Well it will be fun to find out for sure won't it?