Saturday, March 12, 2011

I'm Still Alive!

Hello dear readers. Are you still out there? I recently decided to check up on my blog and I've found that I have not posted since the end of first year! So disappointing. So much has obviously happened since then that I can't attempt to summarize it all. So how about just an update on where I am now?

I am still living in Philly. My post-MBA job will have me bouncing around a bit location-wise, but my first stop is right here in the city of brotherly love. Hubby and I moved out of the Wharton dorm we were living in (not really a dorm, just a popular Wharton building) and headed to another part of the city where Wharton students only occasionally trek for a restaurant or bar. Works for us - it's hard to remain in the city where we spent two fabulous years now that the majority of my Wharton friends have fanned themselves out all over the world. It would be much harder if I still had to see the students everywhere, dressed in whatever crazy costumes they've devised for the 80's Party, Walnut Walk, or Wharton 54. And know that I'm no longer one of them. Now I have to work on Fridays and weeknight drinking just makes me feel old when I try to get up in the morning.

We've upgraded to a two bedroom apartment. Such a luxury! I have to admit that getting that paycheck every two weeks still hasn't gotten old. During school it felt like we were hemorrhaging money. Which I guess we were. Now that I am paying back my loans I am constantly reminded of how much money we went through during those two years. I wouldn't trade it for the world, but it is nice to have a bit more normal cash flow situation these days.

We got a dog! We adopted him from a rescue and he is adorable and fun. He is such a joy to have in our lives. I don't want to get on a soapbox, but if you are ever thinking of getting a pet, please consider adoption. You'd be surprised how many wonderful dogs and cats of all ages are out there, many already trained, many still puppies if that's what you want, even purebreds. Every time you adopt, you save the life of your new best friend AND another pet who you make room for in the shelter. Ok I'm done preaching.

I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up. Yes I do have a job and it's what I wanted and I'm learning a lot. But I was also exposed to so many other things in school, I am constantly scheming what I might do next, or 10 years from now. If you are a fellow MBA grad you know what I mean. Those of you in the middle of your b-school journey or just starting your research, you should know- the journey doesn't end when you sign that full time job offer. It's really just the beginning. But now you have those fancy letters to add to your business card- M.B.A. Has a nice ring to it!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Quarter Four Insanity

I just got done one of my craziest weeks ever at Wharton. So many things converged at once that I literally couldn't find an extra half hour for a meeting. Quarter four classes are definitely a big work load. There is a ton of reading every week, and professors seem to be a little more intent on doing little things to make sure we read everything before class. And this quarter we have sabre, which is a marketing simulation. Sabre has been really fun. It feels similar, at least theoretically, to what brand management will be like. You have your product portfolio, market segments, market research, and forecasts. And you have to make decisions wisely to try to increase your company's profits in the face of changing tastes, competitors' actions, uncertainty, and a limited budget. Reminiscent of first quarter Marketing cases, my team spent about 14 hours on sabre this week. Supposedly it will get easier in subsequent weeks since we won't have to get ramped up again .. I hope that's the case! At least, as opposed to case write-ups, working on sabre is actually fun :)

Oh yeah, and last night was Wharton 54. Totally insane.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

This and That

Man I haven't posted in a while! So, update on recruiting. I ended up with 2 offers, and declined several 2nd round invitations. So DIP was very good to me. In hindsight, I would not have applied to so many places. But I was scared - it's hard to know how successful you will be before you really go do all the interviewing. Most of my friends now have gotten offers. There are some still looking. I'm trying to help them where I can. I think everyone will have something in the end.

In other news, I've started listening to podcasts on my walk to and from school. My favorite is This American Life. Last week's episode (which I didn't listen to until yesterday) was particularly good. It gave a very easy-to-understand explanation for the financial crisis. For me, the discussion of why or why not to have the government take over the banks was really interesting. Check it out here, the title is Bad Bank. Warning - the explanations are pretty basic, so I don't recommend it if you think you already have a pretty good handle on it.

Finally, I'm heading to Japan on Saturday for spring break! So excited.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

B-School Checklist

Over the course of the year, I've come to rely on some essential items that help me get through business school with my sanity intact. If you are headed for b-school this fall, you may want to pick up these highly recommended items:

Smart Phone
I love my iPhone. Not only because it is cool, but because it really helps me navigate my crazy business school schedule. I can check my email, manage my calendar, and even sign up for interview slots while I'm on the go (or, er, in class ...). A few times, I was meeting a person I had never met, and I could easily look them up on Facebook to see what they looked like. If you are blackberry person, I recommend going for one that can get the real internet. It is truly life changing to have internet at your finger tips!

Wireless Headphones
If you are planning to live with a spouse or roommate, these will make your life a lot easier. We waited to long to get these, but once we did they were key! Now my husband can watch the game, while I still get a quiet apartment to work in.
Sennheiser RS120 926 MHz Wireless RF Headphones with Charging Cradle

Zip Fizz
Lack of sleep is par for the course in bschool. I found a great alternative to coffee called Zip Fizz. It's a powder combo of caffeine and vitamins that you mix with water. This stuff has a small but devoted following at Wharton. You can buy it cheaply at Amazon or Costco.
Zipfizz-Healthy Energy Drink Mix, 30 Tubes Variety Pack

I have this on my iPhone, and it has been a lifesaver at times when I've been trying to finish a paper or study for an exam in a distracting spot. All I need is a good station to drown out the noise and I can focus.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Take a DIP in the Self-Doubt Pool

We've just completed the dedicated interview period (DIP), which is a two-week period when all core courses are cancelled to give first-years the chance to "dedicate" themselves to interviewing for internships. Most companies therefore come to campus for first rounds during these two weeks. To say that we have been dedicated to interviewing is a gross understatement. I swear my life has transformed into one long interview. I answer all questions in the STAR format, my wardrobe has consisted of nothing but 2 interview suits and 3 dress shirts, and I have memorized the artwork on the walls of every waiting area the McNeil interview dungeon.

For months we've been building to this point. We've been feeling good about ourselves for so long. We are here at Wharton, one of the most elite schools in the world, and we are proud. We are leaders, strategic thinkers, highly desired by recruiters from every industry and function. Despite the economic disaster that is palpable all around us, we were confident that our hard work, preparation, and passion would get us fabulous summer internships, which would lead to full-time offers.

Two weeks later, what a difference. We've all experienced rejection - whether it was a "you have not been invited to interview" or a "we will unfortunately not be able to move forward with you in the second round process, but we hope you will keep in touch with us" or a "while your qualifications and experience are certainly impressive, we regret that we are not able to offer you a position." Even though we knew it would happen, its still pretty tough to know that the company you've been building a relationship with over the last 4 months is just not that into you. It's a harsh switch - for months the companies have been inviting us to get to know them better, feeding us, inviting us to their offices, and generally wining and dining us. Then suddenly in that little interview room it is now us trying to prove ourselves to them. And they are interviewing 17 people for 2 spots. One single 45 minute conversation decides your fate.

There is definitely some good news to go around, but there has been a lot more disappointment. A whole lot of people are not going to be working in their first choice industry over the summer, let alone their first choice company. It's been quite a reality check. I am exhausted, but I am one of the lucky ones. I got an offer, one I really wanted! But so many of my friends didn't.