Sunday, August 31, 2008

Guest Post: Three's a Crowd?

Just call me BadDancer - Tiny Dancer's 'partner'

Nine months ago, when Wifey got into Wharton, I had a bunch of comments thrown my way by friends and family that gave me pause:

From my brother - "Ohhhh, now you'll have a Sugar Momma"
My friends - "You going to be a stay at home Dad?"
My grandmother - "What about grandkids? I'm not going to be around forever"
My parents - "How are you going to pay for this???"

While TinyD's post-Wharton salary would certainly surpass mine, I was totally cool not being the breadwinner. I also liked the thought of stay at home Husband, raising TinyDancer, Jr., with days full of watching SportsCenter, teaching TinyDancer, Jr. the minutia of a curve ball and learning to cook. (Just replace Sports Center with Oprah and I figured that's what stay at home Mom's do).

But as the start of pre-term at Wharton drew near and I learned more about our next 2 years of B-School, I got a little nervous. Move from our 2,000 sq ft house into an 850 sq ft apartment in Center City, full days of classes, hours and hours of group work and studying, tons of extracurricular clubs, interviewing for internships and full-time jobs, guest speakers, learning team retreat, winter break global treks, etc. etc, etc.

Holy crap. When again was I supposed to see my wife? Would she ever be home for dinner? How many frozen burritos could I possibly take? Would I be included in any of this stuff or would I want to be involved? How in the hell would we be able to afford $150G's in just two years??? It was a little scary.

I was beginning to think that three's a crowd. Wifey and I had a great life together and Wharton was going to be the third wheel. Yeah, long term benefits aside...the next two years might really suck and we'd be in major debt to boot. Then after graduation, Wifey would get some crazy cool job and we'd be up and moving again to a far away place and I'd just be along for the ride. Maybe I'd be the third wheel since she'd be spending most of her time with Wharton.

Now don't get me wrong, TinyD and I talked about this quite a bit. She told me it wasn't going to be that bad, she'd try and come home and make dinner, I could be involved in some of the fun stuff and she wanted to stay near Philly after graduation. I also was told about the Wharton Partner's Club and I could make friends with some of the other 'partners' (that word gives me chills, probably the subject of a future guest post if TinyD lets me write again). But going into pre-term, I wasn't convinced.

Well, I can say, Wharton passed the 1st test. I know pre-term is much less of a time commitment than the 1st Semester, but I had an absolute blast. TinyD worked really hard, but we went out and partied with her classmates ALOT, met some great people, did some really fun activities and loved living in the city. Honestly, I haven't drank this much or stayed up this late since College...and overall, it was great. It actually got to the point where I needed Friday or Saturday night to recover from parties from Tuesday through Thursday.

I'm sure my opinion would be different if I was a partner moving to Philly from far away or internationally, but not all that much.

To all potential future Wharton husbands - don't spend too much time feeling bad for yourselves that your wives are smarter, going to be more successful, etc. Enjoy the next two years for all that they are...and try and meet a really smart Wharton grad to hook you up with a sweet job and maybe Philadelphia Eagles club box seats.

Sidenote - I do need to start going to the gym. I'm going to get a major beer gut unless I start working off the extra liquid carbs.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hello, My Name Is

One of the best things about Wharton so far is the large number of name tags for different events I've accumulated. I haven't yet found a use for them, but I'm sure I'll come up with one soon. Ideas are welcome. Here's the list:

Explore Wharton: Diversity in Action (This is my favorite one because I wasn't sure if it was going to be the only time I had my name on something that said Wharton. Aw.)
Wharton Winter Welcome
Wharton Welcome Weekend
Wharton Health Care Conference
Wharton Pre-Term
Wharton Learning Team Retreat
And my fav ...
My shiny new professional Wharton name tag that make me look like I work in a hotel.

EDIT: Yes I know that I just identified two as my favorite. I can have two favorites if I want! It's my blog!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Calling All Bloggers!

I just heard about a great idea called Blog Action Day. On October 15, thousands of bloggers around the world (including me) will speak out about poverty. Options are wide open, all you have to do is blog that day and make the topic poverty. I hope a lot of B-school bloggers will participate. I'd really like to read all of your thoughts.

Click on the graphic on the right to sign up!

Friday, August 15, 2008

My Body is Rejecting Wharton

Too much bar food + too much beer + too many shots + not enough sleep + stress * (falling behind on homework in every class + "did I pass the math test?" + complete confusion over Stat waiver class ) = unhappy body

Let unhappy body = x
Let feeling of excitement and fulfillment in choice of MBA = f(x)
As x increases, y increases. But as value of x gets large, y is subject to diminishing returns. Recommendation: student should take night off, watch Olympics, and get extra sleep!

Yes, I passed the math test.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Busy Busy

Wow.  I can't believe how quickly everything got so busy.  I mean, I was expecting it, but I still feel a little surprised.  I guess I knew that I'd be going out almost every night, but I glossed over in my mind that we'd have real life classes during Pre-Term.  Sure, there are no grades.  But you still need to know the material because you can get tested on it in the Fall.  Or, if you're trying to waive, the stakes are high because you need to pass that waiver exam.  
Today I bought my first text books since undergrad.  Actually, when I was in undergrad, I benefited from a sweet deal that got me free books each Fall.  I was in the band, and a group of us performed in front of the downtown store on Friday nights before football games.  In exchange - free books!  I wish I could work out something similar here, but something tells me there will be no occasion to play my clarinet outside of the bookstore.  At least, none that would inspire the owner to give me free textbooks ;)
Anyway, I'm already behind in my Math Camp homework (thankfully it does not get collected).  I tried to read from my Managerial Economics book today, but I couldn't get through the chapter.  My mind kept wandering.  I used to be able to tear through this stuff once upon a time.  I don't know why I'm struggling so much to turn myself back into a student.  Sigh.  I'm sure I'll get there eventually.  

Saturday, August 2, 2008

What are Wharton People Like?

I feel like now that I've been here for a week+, I should comment on some of the things I've read about Wharton in the past.  I guess every school has a reputation for what it's like, based on truth or perhaps not.  I think a lot of what is said about a school can be true to some extent, but there's always more to it when you look closer.  For instance, Wharton is known for being a Finance school.  For sure, it is excellent in that area.  But I feel like people decide not to apply there because they are not interested in Finance, and I think that's a shame.  Wharton is so good at so many things, it's just that Finance tends to overshadow the rest and people don't hear about it.   But I think "the rest" is actually still worthy of the Top 3 designation.   I have zero interest in Finance, other than the necessity of learning what I need to know to be a good businessperson, yet I feel that there is no better school for me than Wharton.  
Another thing that perplexes me is the tendency for people to say that Wharton people are a certain way.  We are supposedly all "quant jocks"  ... that is news to me judging by how many of us seem to be thoroughly confused by logarithms in our basic math class, but I digress.  Also many of us are supposed to be super-competitive ... I'm also scratching my head on that one since the vast majority of students favor grade nondisclosure because they don't want to be competing with their classmates for grades.  Oh, and many of us are a-holes.  Seriously, I must be at the wrong Wharton.  Yeah, anywhere you go, there will be some crappy people.  But I am just not feeling an a-hole vibe here AT ALL.  Everyone I've met is incredibly nice, rather humble, and eager to learn about their classmates.  I have never felt that anyone was "sizing me up," as I read on a BW post.  More often people are too busy commenting that they don't know how they got in with all the incredible students here.  
I'm not trying to be a cheerleader for Wharton in this post.  I just feel that I need to counter some of the stuff out there that might discourage some people from applying.  If you have heard any of the above things about Wharton and you were turned off, I encourage you to take another look.  Come visit us.  See what our culture and students are really like.  Do the same for other schools.  I think there is much more to all of them than what you might expect.