< Chunky Pitbull's MBA Applicant Procrasteron

Chunky Pitbull's MBA Applicant Procrasteron

My MBA applicant blog, submitted at the last minute.

Friday, January 30, 2004

Procrastination Break.

My sister is a psychic. Allow me to test my abilities today, as I move from procrastinator to prognosticator for a quick moment before the first decision comes back.

Berkeley - 100% Ding, no interview,waitlist, phone call or pat on the ass.
Stanford - I don't even expect to get the "Under Review" email.
Chicago - Waitlist. I provide additional rec, and admit.
Duke - Dinged
UCLA - I am going to go out on a limb and say admit. No Ding. Coin flip says: In.

Now, if I get everything totally correct I will be faced with another difficult decision: b-school, which b-school for that matter, or, should I try to be like John Edward?

Scheduled my trip to LA. March 3rd, I fly in, cab it to a cheap hotel ($56!). Thursday morning, interview at 10:30. Flight out at 3 o'clock. I'm not spending much time there. Is it because I have to go to work? Maybe. Or it could be that my girlfriend has forced me to watch the entire first season of The OC and I can't take anymore CA? Seth Cohen, your indeciveness has ruined LA for me in the short term.

Not really. I just have to work. It's like 9 frickin degrees here. I can't wait to add 70 degrees to that for a day. But seriously, I still hate the OC. But still, I have to wonder who Seth is going to bed with from last week's teaser. Not that I really care. I just think the boy should make a decision already. I'm going to go watch PBS now.

Congrats to Luvshack on the Yale SOM admission.
Thursday, January 29, 2004

Onto rejection.

I have been thinking about the upcoming Berkeley decision date, and truly, I believe their decision system is kind of crap.

Things I do not like:

1. If you are neurotic, like me, and then you go and sign up for the berkeley forum/message board where you can talk to the adcom, they send you a confirmation email to say you have signed up. The email comes from the Haas address... the subject line? "Welcome to the Haas School of Business!" That is crap.

2. Berkeley inteviewed 16% and accepted 13% of applicants last year. They sent this stupid "update" email to all applicants (providing yet another heartbeat-skip to the 84% waiting for an interview invite).

3. In the email it had this "admissions process explained" blurp. You follow the link and it describes the admissions process. It says it starts with tow reviewers reading your application. Then "If they both concur the application is uncompetitive, the admissions process ends there." Fine. But you know what they should add? "... although you won't know it has ended for another 2-3 months, during which time we will send you 2 newsletters". What the hell is the point of not telling non-competitive applicants? Anyone? I'd really like to know.

A couple years back I was really into this girl. So I started hanging out with her all the time. You know that scene in Austin Powers 2 where Fat Bastard uses the needle to steal Austin's mojo while he is in ice? Well, I believe a doctor might have taken mine by accident while attempting an amniotic fluid test on my mom back in the day. Hence, I never really made a move, and when I did, I made the brilliant choice of pouring my heart out in a letter. So I sent the letter and waited. The first few days I wondered if she got it yet. After four days I convinced myself she definitely got it. After a week I decided she definitely read it. Somewhere around two weeks I started wondering why she was taking so long. After three I knew her answer would be no, and finally, a month later, she met up with me and told me so. I was basically a total stressy-mess for that onth. This is exactly what Berkeley, Stanford, Wharton, Harvard do to their rejected applicants. Their is no real decision date for you. Somewhere in early January I started realizing I wasn't getting an interview invitation. It was a slow, painful realization to come to. That pain was totally uneccessary. It's like watching a football game on tape. I can't really get into it, the decision ahs already been made. Luckily, I can go to ESPN and see what the score was. However, when I go to the Berkeley website, the score says "Application Under Review, Please check back on or near your decision date." I think it's crap.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

I guess I am getting better.

Techically, it is Thursday the 29th, but I am going to go ahead and pretend it's not. Therefore, I got my application in a whole day early. Wooo. I got spooked by a BW post and decided to schedule an interview, so it looks like I am going to LA.

My chicago interview went swimmingly afer I pulled a same day cross-country round trip, so I am going to to it again for Anderson. March 4, I am in lala land. For a couple hours.

Going to bed now. Also want to say thank to Trip Enel for the nice comment on my post yesterday, and to Luvshack for posting my comment. I read and enjoy both of your blogs on the regular. I am sure anyone reading this knows about you already, so I'll skip the link to your sites. But seriously I started this thing so my girlfriend would have some partial relief from hearing me bitch about my b school apps. Knowing that folks are out there reading my thoughts and commiserating is very comforting. So thanks to anyone reading this.

Good night. I doubt I'll get another snow day so unfortunately, I'll have to go to work tomorrow.

Snow day!

It's times like this that I am caused to believe that there is a god, and he has no problem with me not going to church since confirmation.

I thought my procrastination was inproving with the DUke app. y stuff was ready a full day ahead of time. But here I am with the UCLA app due tomorrow, and I have one essay not even started. And what did I do last night? Completely screwed around and got 0 work done. I also have some stuff to do for a volunteer project. Wish I could say I worked on that instead.

I have to interrupt myself. I just checked my Chicago application for the 187th time and my status has finally changed to "Completed: Your application is being reviewed by the admissions committee. You will receive a decision by March 19, 2004." Cool. I can stop worrying about being in Round 2 now. Just have to worry about being admitted in Round 2. Whatever. That's less worrying.

You know what I am oddly not to worried about? Stanford. Not in a I-will-get-in way, but in a no-chance-in-hell-way. When they were announcing the OScar nominations yesterday, I was not nervous at all. I wasn't in the running. If I had been nominated, I'd frankly be very shocked, as the notion hadn't really crossed m mind. Such is my Stanford application.

Here is a list of non-career related bonuses I will get for each school should I go there:
Stanford or Berkeley: Will live with girlfriend
UCLA: Will be forced to buy motorcycle.
Duke: Will be forced to buy shitty car.
Chicago: Will be forced into small, shitty apartment.
No where: Will be forced into depression.

Ok. Now I will actually go get to work on theis fricking essay.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Just want to mention that I just bought an Atari 2600 to fill my time once this last app is due.

I was inspired by this site:


Particularly awesome... Pitfall!


Last night I rented the Shining. I think ignoring that I have to write an essay due Thursday was probably the scariest part about the whole thing, except for those two little girls. They totally freak me out. I am completely scared of ghosts. I admit it. If I lived alone, I probably would have had trouble going to sleep. Luckily, my girlfriend and dog were around, although my dog was totally freaked out by the movie also. I think the music go to her.

So it is supposed to snow a hell of a lot today. I am considering taking tomorrow off to finish up the essay. Also hoping to get feedback on my other two essays from my sister and brother in law. I heard through my mother that they are both very busy this week though.

While I am sharing my worries, let me also point out that my recommenders, who share my sincere affinity for procrastination, have yet to log in to the UCLA website. I sent another reminder, pleading with them to do the rec by tomorrow, because UCLA sent an email out which pretty much said their site will crash on Thursday, so don't plan on getting your app in that day.

I am also busy planning my trip to Duke for my interview. I have a friend in NC and a friend in VA, so I think I am going to pay them both a visit. Looks like I will be going alone though, as it is looking like it wouldn't be too much fun for the girlfriend and the pooch.

Chicago - no change in status. Berkeley - No change in status. Stanford - No change in status. Duke - no change in status. God damn it. I just want to hear something from anybody at this point. Almost looking forward to the Berkeley ding. At least its feedback.

Oh well.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Not entirely feeling it.

I did not spend as much time on these essays as I should have this weekend. I now have 2/3 of the UCLA's near finished - just have to get edits back, clean up and they are good. However, essay #1, "Describe you personal history" , I have neither words on paper or an ingenious angle to take. It will probably be crap. Need an essay by tomorrow to get edits in time.

Really, I am sick of writing essays. Sick of thinking about decisions. Sick of wondering if I am moving next year or not, and if so where, and if I have to go on any more interviews and when I'll find out and if I am a clear deny , did my GMAT quant 42 screw me, who will tak ethe dog, my girlfriend or I, did I apply to the right schools, what the hell am I gonna do if I get dinged everywhere, how the hell am I going to possibly make it through the next 2 months without some kind of an ulcer. CRAPPPPPP.

Current worries:
1. Did Chicago get my 2nd transcript with their special form, and am I in round 2.
2. Did Stanford get my late recommendation, and if so, my application be used as toilet paper.
3. UCLA essay #1
4. UCLA recs
5. Duke interview.
6. General Chicago rejection.

1. Girlfriend situation.
2. Pitbull situation.
Friday, January 23, 2004


I got my bonus today. This is the first time I have really been struck by the whole salary-deferred idea concerning the true cost of business school. This is my first large corporation job, and my first large-corporation bonus. I was seriously a little shocked. It's not exactly like winning the lottery I guess, but close enough for me. I am referring more to a scratch off kind of lottery win, btw. It is the most money I have ever gotten all at once, even after they take half of it to help rebuild Iraq. I guess it will make it a little brighter if I get quinti-dinged. Yet, a little harder if I get in. I am really not too concerned about depression if I get in thoguh, I must admit.

On a kind-of-downer note, all this money will actually do is help me nearly pay off my credit card. Which makes me happy. Not, go out and but a plasma TV for the superbowl happy, but happy, nonetheless.

No progress on any application.
Thursday, January 22, 2004

It looks like UCLA essays will have to be created in the same set of environmental conditions which gave rise to the rest: Saturday morning in a coffee house in Brooklyn. I wanted to get started at work but it jsut is not happening. NOt nervous though. Strange. 1 essay to tweak. 1 to put down on paper. And 1 to craft. Somehow I just feel that they will be kick ass. If I go to LA, I am getting a motorcycle. That's my little deal with myself.

I am driving myself crazy otherwise. Can I possibly look at the BW forums 20 times a day for the next two and a half months? I don't think so. It's kind of neat to see people post who just got into Stanford. Can you imagine. Damn... a call from Derrick Bolton sounds better than a call from Jesus. Or the Beatles for that matter. Myself, I have pretty much assumed a Stanford no-interview ding. I could have bought a playstation with that money. Weird... I go to Vegas and don't care to gamble, but here I throw the $200 down on this app that likely has about as much chance of being read approvingly as Howard Dean's Iowa speech.

I want to throw down some advice now which I think most who have gone through this process would agree with. Do not apply to your favored schools first. It's a bitch, but you are going to waste an application or two just getting your shit together. So don't make it the school you really really want.

I hate waiting.
Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Heyy heyyyyy!

Just submitted the Fuqua application, with 45 minutes to spare. Got my rec, the rest was done and SUBMIT!

THat moment is always so stressful. My apps have gone through with typos before. It sucks. After you hit that button, its over, no more changes, just forget it. I refuse to look at the printout anymore... if I see a typo or mispelling I'll get nauseous.

So, onto UCLA, which is due next Thursday. Have no creative direction yet for Essay #1, Essay #2 written in my head, and #3 needs a tweak. Submitting one of my Fuqua essays as a #4 for UCLA, it talks about my volunteering, and I have a feeling that will play nicely with them. Plus it is creatively written, which they seem to like.

So, after that I will have 5 completed, best I can present apps, an accomplishment in itself. My fear, as is the fear of most applicants, is that I will get dinged EVERYWHERE. That would suck, truly, as I really do not want to go through this app process again. As a hobby, it truly sucks donkeys. Plus, I feel I have reached such a clarity in my answer to why MBA?, why now? that I deserve to fulfill my mission. No bullshit either, I really believe in my reasons, the skills I desire contacts and the like. That belied will make it that much worse if I get dinged 5x.

On that note, I may scrap the Harvard app due to the slim chance I have of making a successful bid. Stanford,Berkeley got apps against my better judgement because I want to live in SF to be with my girlfriend. I expect a rejection though. I was able to build a true belief in my chances when I wrote my essays, and I believe they are confident, however, I am not. 7.9%! WTF. I really wonder how so many people can think they measure up. I wonder that, but I am one of the 92 people in the room sent home. If I get an interview, there is a god, and he loves pitbulls.

I am alos holding onto the hope that I will get waitlisted at Berkeley. I really don't think I am getting in, but, a WL would give me some confidence towards some of my other apps. So far, I think Chicago is still my strongest application... the essays really came together for that one, and my interview was excellent. Wondering if my quant is really a problem? GOt an A in calc, but that was on repeat forgiveness, and only a 42 on the GMAT, 66%. Please, just make me take some classes.
Sunday, January 18, 2004

I really feel like I am hitting my stride with this. Not that I have gotten in anywhere, nor am I totally conifent that I will. But that I feel like I am churning out quality essays now. They represent my best, be it good enough for a Top 20, 10 or 5 school.

Fuqua essays are in really good shape. Strange, I sent them off for edits and was most worried about #3, "Who are you" as it was all new material. Nobody touched it. Everyone liked it. Btw, I have to point out that my girlfriend is also an excellent literary editor, and I had not given her recognition for that in my prior post. Number 1... a recap of my career, came back loaded with edits, which sucks, as it was submitted as is for Berkeley. Damn I hope I can get my foot in the door on the waitlist there. I feel like an interview would really help.

But anyway, Fuqua. Sent the essays out Thursday for edits, and got word back last night. Spent this morning at the coffee house working on them, and, with the help of aforementioned girlfriend, I think they are ready togo. All are a few words over, but close. Fedex goes out tomorrow with my transcript (got it!), boss gives rec on Tuesday, I submit, et fini. Disco. I might be off to the South again. I am visiting for an interview in early February, so I will see how I feel after that. I ave seen the campus, it really looks like Princeton.

Should I try to put in a Harvard app for the third round?

Friday, January 16, 2004

I just want to say, after have communicated with adcom staff from both Stanford and Chicago re application issues, Chicago people are 10x nicer. I thought Californians were supposed to be friendly?

I am kind of a freak. I hope that after I get DUke and UCLA apps in I stop obsessing so much. Last night my application disappeared for the Chicago portal for like an hour, while it was changing status to "processing". Why do I know this? Because I check it incessantly. I have to stop.

Duke. My transcript with Duke's form sealed in the envelope did not come yesterday. CRAP! My school said that they sent Duke & Chicago on the same day, and I got CHicago Monday. Why can't anything just go to frickin plan??? So I emailed Duke to see if they really NEED that, or if a sealed transcript would be ok. I hope it is. For Chicago too, as since I just got it, Chicago didn't.

Got my Duke essays in much better shape, and sent them out to family for comments. Paralyzed until I get them back. I am extremely lucky to have a supportive, wonderful family. They have put in a lot of time helping me out with my essays... I feel like I have a team of professionals working with me. My brother-in-law helps me focus on key topics - he's a Harvard MBA. My sister, a Harvard educated lawyer combine with my other sister and my mom, English teachers, to help with style, flow, and grammar. It's weird. I scored 98% on the verbal GMAT, but I could give a crap to apply the rules to my writing when I get going.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Arg. I am pretty much in a constant state of anxiety. Yesterday, I attempted to get this last damned Fuqua essay done, with limited results. There are three essays. For #1, which is supposed to be 500 words (a complete recap of my career!) I have 750. For the last one, the wide open "Who are you?", I have decided on an angle that has so far peppered the paper with 500 words. Quality? I have not got to proofreading yet. Bleh.

Chic GSB site still says my app has not been processed. Freaking out a bit because I did not get their transcript request for in the sealed envelope, it is paper clipped to it. Oh well. I deserve what I get.

I snowed in NY last night. It was beautiful. The night was very cold, so the snow was rela fluff - the kind that sparkles on the ground. Not so lovely after an eighteen wheeler splashes it on your windshield, but , whatever, it goes with the season.

I wish I had gotten in more R1 apps. As it stands, I do not know how the hell I will make it to mid-march without a decision. I am a total stress case. I hope perhaps after Fuqua and UCLA are in (Tuesday, and the 29th, respectively) I will be able to relax. Still debating with myself over the prospect of a Harvard application. If I get dinged every else though, god will I be hopeless.
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

In more atypical Blog style, I'd like to recap my quest for the MBA.


I decided I wanted to go the MBA route in 2000, but thought 2004 would be the time. However, I really didn't want GMAT pressure side-by-side with essay pressure, so I decided to get it out of the way. Saved some cash, and signed up for the Princeton Review without ever attempting the test.

The course basically motivated me not to lose my $1000. So I did all the homework, which is massive, and my score went up. First test was a 590. In the end I got a 700. 5.0 AWA

Problem wiht the score is that I got a 44 Verbal - 98%, and a 42 quant.... da da da, 69% . I guess we'll see how that fares.

Does anybody else have scores like this? Ug, and yay, but... ug.

So far I have Berkeley R1, Stanford, Chicago R2, and just about done with Duke R3 (Jan 20) and UCLA R3 (Jan 29). Harvard is a maybe depending on my sanity, and if I want to give up my new hobbies: aggrovated essay writing and a bad attitude.

Further Background on my current angina.

My girlfriend is from San Francisco. She moved to NY to go to school. She applied because of me. She moved because of me. She finishes up in May... it was a one year program. She desperately wants to go back home, she hates NYC. Whereever I go, she is going there come June. I have told her I will give SF a chance, at least for the time she put into NY. But really if I end up with her SF isn't for a year, the girl won't live in NY. While that may say something about our relationship, I really don't want to get into that. So, I applied to the impossible bay area schools. Berkeley has all but dinged me, and there's a 92% chance Stanford will do the same. So, I am freaking out. I don't want to be without her or my dog, but it looks like that is an inevitability. So, now I just want to know where the fuck I am going to be. And if I get in no where, how the hell do I find an internet marketing job in SF that will increase my chances of b-school next year AND pay me 70K? Not very likely. Crap. Such is my dilemma.
Tuesday, January 13, 2004


As I started this blog at the last minute, this will of course lack some of the spontanaety of a typical blog. However, the lack of 800 complaint posts is probably ok. So. Chicago.

Chicago was due the same week Stanford. However, for Chicago, I had to send in paper recommendations. I was a little worried because my recommender had missed my Stanfrod deadline, however, she has been reliable in the past and said to me on Monday that "She will get it there, no problem, that's what friends are for." It was supposed to arrive fedex on Thursday, and I was going to overnight it for Friday.

Tuesday. Essays are near done, but will need a night of work. I then find out I have to go to Tempe Thursday. ACK. (I am in NYC). I have the Chicago alumini interview scheduled Friday at 3. I have 0 recommendations. I have a dog at home and my girlfriend is out of town. So, I :

Set up a fedex envelope and leave instructions for my friend at work. He is to: Get rec#1 from our mutual boss, put it in, then get the fedex from my ex boss, open it, put rec #2 in, and send it off.

Get a flight leaving 7 am from Newark, and a return flight for 1145 arriving 6 am. I live in Brooklyn an hour away.

Get the dogwalker to come three times and convince my downstairs neighbor to take my pooch overnight.

Everything goes to plan, except, I have no 2nd recommendation. I am near tears. I break out of a meeting and call Chicago. (BTW, I should mention my frantic calls and emails to my recommender are ignored.) They say that the supplemental materials only need be postmarked, not received. I think by some miracle, maybe she thought this is what I meant, and that the recommendation would arrive Friday. I feel relieved.

We have 2 fedex deliveries at work. Most stuff comes in the morning. I get home at 7 am, go to bed, wake at 11. Call work. No fedex. I don't even feel like going to the interview. I think 3rd round at Chicago is impossible.. not sure but. I feel defeated. Get ready for the interview. My friend is on the IM, so I begin to whine and bitch. She recommends her husband write me a rec. I say I need someone who I have worked with. She reminds me that in a freelance capacity, I have worked with her husband (a creative director at a hotshot nyc firm) in every position I've had. Not only that, but his office is virtually next to my interview. I call him, he agrees.

I nailed the interview. It really couldnot have gone better, as the alumni was practically a mirror of my experience (start-up marketing guy with an entrepreneurial focus now working in financial services). We hit it off.

Anyway, I pick up the recommendation, get in the car, and head for my job in Jersey, put it in the envelope and send it off fedex, 20 minutes before the fedex pick up. Now that's procrastination.

The call with my recommender to come...


I just got off the phone with my registrar. They did receive my transcript request and mailed it yesterday... so I should actually have it on time for the Tuesday Duke deadline. Now if I can just get an idea for Essay #3. "Outside of your professional persona, who are you?" Good god this is an unimaginitive question. This totally would not fly on a date... you'd be like "What do you mean?" or "What do you want to know?". I fear this answer will not fly here, as it would not qualify as an essay, even though it is technically less than 750 words. Mother-Fuqua.
Monday, January 12, 2004

Stanford- Timefor a break in the timeline, sort of, to say thank jeebus, I got my last Stanford recommendation tonight. I submitted the app on Tuesday, as is my way, but I was missing one rec. Ugh. This has beentying my stomachs in knots all week. Let me begin at the beginning. As the acceptance rate is very low, I tried to give myself ample time to put this one together. 8% ... sounds like a week.

The essays. "Based on your comments on the Stanford essays, I think I need to scrap the app, at least for the second round. I am goign to focus on Chicago for Friday." - Me, to my brother-in-law, Saturday night before essays are do.

SO, I did focus on the Chicago essays. But I felt that my first one was coming together... so I thought I'd give the Stanford one,whihc was a similar "Why and mba, whyxx school" a go. It flowed. A couple hours, and I had both essays in pretty good shape. So I decided to go for it.

Monday morning. Look, I am a serious procrastinator. I asked my two of my recommenders ahead of time, but didn't send out the Stanford rec invite until 1 week before it was due. THen I realized I needed three. I sent out the last invite on Thurs, the app was due Tuesday. One - my current boss. Two - My ex boss from 2 jobs ago. 3 - My buddy from my last job who I've freelanced with. I send out a reminder. My boss calls - he guarantees he will have it in. My ex boss calls. She never received the Chicago fax or the stanford ivite and will be travelling. She asks me to refax and resend, I do, she promises to get it to me.

Tuesday morning. Essays are ready. Application is ready* (that is with two mispellings and a missing "accomplishment" for my current job, which I'd realize later). (If you are an applicant, my fuck up should make you feel good. Hope it does.) Recommendations: None.

Noon: None
One: None
Phone calls and emails, not answered.
4: My boss gets his in.
5: App due in 3 hours.
6:30: My friend,who was watching lord of the rings finally calls. Does the rec.
7:00 2 recs in, now word from the other
7:19 Screw it. I submit. Why? This bit of language. "It is important to get your recommendations in by the deadline or they MAY not be reviewed with your application." MAY not. Nice. I have a chance.

Skip ahead to now, Monday, a heart attack or two later, and finally I get it. I will whine more about this in reference to the Chicago rec she was supposed to do later, but for now, just rejoice for me.


MY Rankings.

I compiled the top ten rankings from every conceivable source - Bweek, usnews, economist, wsj, eiu, financial times - and cross-referenced. Awarded 10 points for a "1" and 1 point for a "10". Using this system, the consensus top 10 schools are:

1. Chicago
2. Kellogg
3. Harvard
4. Wharton
5. Stanford
6. Tuck
7. Columbia
8. Fuqua
9. Sloan
10. Michigan

Berkeley Round 1

Berkeley round 1 deadline was Halloween. So I submitted on Halloween. At this point, I am almost 100% dure I will not be getting an interview invite. I can see a lot wrong with this app now - mainly, I think I did not clearly lay out why and MBA, why Haas, or show my serious business side in my essay. The application advice is to be honest, to "sit down with a glass of wine ad craft your essays". So, I am thinking, Berkeley, liberal school, wine suggested by the admissions office - this app will be different, softer - a schmooze. And the nature of the essay questions, such as "If you could have dinner with any one person, who would it be and why?" seemed to add to that mood. And so I wrote,got creative with my style -nice easy relaxed essays--- they were funny I think even. My personality came through in spades, but that was pretty much all. A serious business man with clear goals, development needs and right to be in the upper 13% of applicants was not to be found. And so I think I will get the eventual ding which is already sitting on an email server, waiting for the groundhog to set it free (decision deadline is Feb 2).

Other musings on this application - it was honestly very fun. I also liked that it seemed to be a Berkeley creation, not hosted by one of those standard application web servers. No other essay questions were so creative. I knew it was you Haas, and you broke my heart.

Welcome to the MBA procrasteron, started at the last minute, just like most of my MBA applications. So where do I stand now? I'll start by posting app by app.

free hit counter


  • Current
  • June - Loans
  • May - random retrospection, plans for summer/school
  • April - Retrospective, posting of essays, etc
  • March - Trip to California, Decisions, decisions decisions!
  • February - Initial Berkeley Waitlist, Worrying, worrying, worrying
  • January - Recap of Berkeley application, Chicago & Stanford application Process, Fuqua app, UCLA app,Worries about Berkeley Decision

  • Site Feed address


    Email Me