< Chunky Pitbull's MBA Applicant Procrasteron

Chunky Pitbull's MBA Applicant Procrasteron

My MBA applicant blog, submitted at the last minute.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Three Shall be the Number of Counting

Five is right out. Ok, so the waitlist streak ends at three with Stanford finally getting around to ringing my bell this afternoon. Which is fine, as I believe I am now supposed to officially hate them. Something about an axe, and a big game, and a big play with a band, and well, I guess I just hate those bastards now. Go Bears!
Tuesday, March 30, 2004


A large part of this blog has been me whining about not knowing where I am going to go next year, and talking about how much I love Haas. So, with the Haas decision in and my mind 98% made up, I think it's lost a bit of the suspense it used to have. Usually, the credits are rolling right about now, and you're wondering if you really have to go fishing under the seat for the popcorn bag to throw it out, or if you can just leave it there. Then you see the guy with the broom and swivel dust collector, feel guilty, and pick it up. But this isn't a movie, and I am going to keep writing, so if you leave, feel free to leave whatever filth has collected right where it is, I don't mind.

Ok. So I get it. Nobody gives a crap about what my pitbull looks like. She is seriously ugly-cute though, and has lost a lot of weight. She's like the Anna Nicole of the pitbull world, except smarter, and her reality show totally sucked. All she does is sleep, and apparently, that makes for bad tv.

So, as I said I am 98% sure I am heading to Haas, and adjusting into this new mindset where I do not have to br freaked about admissions decisions. I think I will stay on the Chicago waitlist, and might visit the school just to make sure, but if my reasons for applying all prove true, Haas is it. Stanford will come through with a ding Wednesday, and I have to withdraw my Fuqua application by April 15th. For some reason I want to wait to the last minute to do it... yesterday I had the email all written, and then I thought, what if someone in my family got ill or something and staying closer to home became a necessity? Then I couldn't bring myself to send the damn email. I am ridiculous. I am also leaving the UCLA app in, on the off chance I could get some money from them, or, to see if I can stake a claim to four waitlist decisions in one year.

So, things on my mind now are:

I have to get rid of most of my crap. I don't want to move it. By combining the powers of craigslist, ebay, and curbside trash pick-up, I shouldn't have to.

Buying a laptop. I get up to 15% off on HP & compaq. However, it seems everybody gets 6-7% off. So I really get like 6% off, plus 5% off dell. I really don't know what to do. M chip, no M chip, hard drive, brand, wait, buy now. I dunno. I have no money, so that helps with my decision.

Work. Actually trying to do some of it regardless of the fact that I am leaving.

Paying for school/budgeting. I don't even know how to get started on the worry for this one. As far as things to stress about go, five figures of debt is up there. Myah! Manifique.
Friday, March 26, 2004


Just talked to the Chicago waitlist guy. Said I had a "very strong application" and that it was a "very hard decision" to waitlist me. All they want is an additional rec. It doesn't surprise me as my second rec was non-traditional... it came from a friend/vendor. (My boy Jackson of the Mooci Blog... he did a great job on short short notice, but alas, he was never my boss.) They want another supervisor. All the "very strong" talk did surprise me, and it was quite a nice little pick me up! So I will do what they want, providing a rec from my original recommender, plus a little note of any updates and explanation of my continued interest. It's worth it to me to check it out. Call has me feeling good too.

Having a poker game tonight. I suck and will probably lose. I always invite a bunch of people and half cancel. This time, not so much... got 11 showing up! Damn. I hope you can play poker with that many. Will have the tournament on in the background, plus, I know I can lose my money quick and bow out if someone needs a seat.


The Real Chunky Pitbull

Well here she is folks, the pitbull of my obsession.

Also, I had a few brews with my buddy Jackson yesterday, and he mentioned he had a blog and that nobody read it. So go for a visit. Sure, it has nothing to do with an MBA, but there is an awesome link on there for real life "Lost in Translation" Japanese commercials featuring US celebrities. So visit the Mooci blogand leave him a comment.
Thursday, March 25, 2004

Air Fair

I have a ridulous habit of needing to cancel reservations I make online within 24 hours. I decided I definitely wanted to go to Days at Haas, so was looking into the two options. It was either, April 15-17 or May 6-8. Well I was planning on the May 6-8 thing but thought it was the ex's graduation. I called here and it's the weekend after, so I thought that was the one, until I went to mark it on my calendar and saw that the 9th was Mother's day. So April had to be it, and since yesterday was just barely three weeks out, I thought I should book it now. I don't know why, but somewhere in the back of my head I thought three weeks = fare hike. So, I got the tickets and a car rental (at www.cheapfares.com - great site usually BEATS priceline). I get home late, at almost nine, and there is a card from my sister. An invitation to my nephew's birthday party. On April 16th. Luckily, I already know the cancellation policy from when I tried to cancel last time. Sadly, it's gonna cost me $120 jsut to change the ticket. I don't know about the car.

So I still haven't gotten my call back from Chicago, and now realized my primary phone number is the number that is now disconnected with no forwarding message. They have my work numebr too, but, well, today is their deadline to call me and they haven't. Ach. Well. Maybe it's for the best anyway. I really am very psyched about Haas.

So, obviously, a congrats is due to FMG, who got into the big W. Nice. Poweryogi, Trip, our bloggers still waiting for decisions, hang in there.

So I am going to post some pics and more essays and stuff soon. I tried to post the pitbull the other night, but somehow it got all fucacta, so I took it off.
Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Thanks and stuff

Thanks for your very nice and insightful words yesterday all. I am feeling much better today. I also had a long talk with my sister about things and just going back and talking about why Haas was so important to me in the first place really clears things up quite a bit. The only thing I am worried about is their East Coast presence, as I do want to return to Brooklyn after school. She also thought that I should leave the Chicago application active, until I am absolutley 100% sure, as opposed to the 98% sure I am now. So I think I am going to do that. I will definitely pull Duke though and I am wrestling with pulling the UCLA app. I guess I should really pull it, but personal curiosity is really driving me to leave it in. Maybe I will come up with a date to pull it, and do it then. I don't think Stanford is going to present me with any problem of this sort.

Other than that... it is very very hard to concentrate at work this week!! I can't keep up this level of inactivity for too long, it will drive me nuts. Although maybe I could get fired. I could go for the old office space trick and just stop coming in. Really, there have been some layoffs recently, and if I could get lumped into the next round of that it would be sweee-eeeet! I doubt it though, as my boss was one of my recommenders, and I have kept him, and others at work, completely in the loop as far as my application statuses has gone. I wish the plural of status was statusi. That would be better. Anyway, so everyone knows I am out of here between June and July, and probably knows I'm not working.

Also, I am really really getting pissed of at the weather here. Spring my ass. It was 30 firkin degrees when I walked the dog last night. Luckily, she has fur and I have a peacoat, but still.

Monday, March 22, 2004


Man, I thought I was finished with worry. For some reason, I'm not. I had to sign up for a new wireless plan today, and you can only change your number when you change your plan, so I changed my number to a 510 area code. Suddenly this is all very real and I'm a little freaked out!

Also wondering if I shouldn't keep trying for/visit Chicago so at least I give it a fair shake. I might be regretful if I don't make an "informed" decision. I dunno. The whole rankings/fit thing is a bitch.
Sunday, March 21, 2004

Plans, Plans, and more Plans

Last year, when my girlfriend was moving out here, we took a cross country trip to get her car to NY. Two weeks before we left I had a binder, all based on a spread sheet, showing mileage from stop to stop, with directions from each place to place, including site seeing destinations, a preselection of restaurants serving vegetarian food in each town we were staying in, plus for lunches along the way. I had estimates for costs, gas usage, and arrival/departure times. This is how I like to plan things. This is why the indecision and unclear future has been driving me insane. All that is over now.

So, my plan is to get the official admit packet, accept, and only then remove myself from Waitlists and withdraw the UCLA application. I have had a small Haas vs. Chicago debate going on in my head. Chicago is technically the better school, I suppose, but Haas fits me perfectly, which is really what is important and is what is going to win the battle. I don't want to go into I-Banking. And I'm sick of snow. And I love that school.

So, I am starting to plan things out. Last day of work will be either 15th or 30th of June. I will take off for CA July 1. Driving cross-country with the ex. Not an enviable position. I think we'll also split a moving truck. Until then, I'll be throwing out/selling my crap on the regular. Looks like I am going to need about $1200 for a decent laptop. My company gets me a 14% discount with HP/Compaq... anyone have any recommendations towards those two? Opinions? Anyway, when I get to CA, I will be staying with my buddy in Vallejo. During this time I will be taking a motorcycle licensing class, looking for a room in Berkeley that will allow me to have Tupelo (my pooch, of course, named after Elvis's birthplace) part time, and then buying a cheap, old bike I'll use to drive locally. Then I think I may pop back to NY to go on a vacation with the family towards the end of July, then back to CA, starting school the 7th for a quant workshop. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAhhhhh. That feels so much better. A plan, I've got an actual plan and schedule.

As part of my previously made plan to share my essays, here's another of my H essays, this one concerning, well, planning, and how I can sometimes leave holes in my spreadsheet making. In answer to "If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?"

My whole trip is planned, impeccably as I see it. It's our first time travelling together, so I've spent a little more time and money than usual, and taken a great deal more care in our itinerary. Our bed & breakfast sounds wonderful, and it should be, it had such great reviews, and I made sure they knew my girlfriend was a vegetarian. Tonight will be fondue, her favorite, and tomorrow, cross-country skiing. Ben & Jerry's factory is on the way back from the mountain, so I plan to stop off there. Our bags are packed and in the trunk. The spark hits and the engine roars, and we are on our way to Vermont, about 600 miles. I think. I forgot to get directions and have no idea where I am going, save north.

If I could change one thing about myself, I would be reborn with an eye towards detail rivaling that of a Swiss watchmaker. I am constantly striving to improve my attention to the small and infinite items of any project, as it has become apparent that it is not part of my natural inclination. I tend to focus on the big picture and the items that I view as vitally important, but sometimes the details can ruin things in the end. As I grow older, I am becoming a greater user of things such as checklists, notes-to-myself and spreadsheets to keep myself in check. In my professional life, I feel I now have things firmly under control, as I make it a point to be extra thorough. But, sometimes, relaxed and in pursuit of personal leisure, I can still end up relying on star driven navigation.
Friday, March 19, 2004

Love that joker

Woah. I woke up in a whole new world today, and I can't get the smile off of my face. I decided to take a celebratory day off, just me hanging with my pooch and some NCAA action. I feel like a new person, just so happy I could cry. Allright fine. I cried. Happy now? But damn I just feel so relieved, and most of all happy to be able to start planning things. That's the worst thing about waiting, not knowing where you are going to be. And now the Berkeley life I've been repressing in my head has burst into color. And I can't wait to start it.

This week was kind of crazy. My work was at it's best, the program I started has been kicking ass, and our whole team was out in Arizona meeting with the call center leadership. Things were busy, and we all felt great, because together, we have been making some changes that are getting noticed. All the while I am also going through internet information deficit, picking up tidbits here and there... after I saw my Haas application go to under review on Wednesday, I was a stressed out wreck. Wednesday night, I spent out at some Tempe bars with work folks, trying to forget about my cell phone. With no call, I woke up Thursday at 6am, and couldn't fall back asleep. I drove to a internet coffee house and hung around until 8 45(MT) . No email from Haas. The Duke decision was delayed, and I had to leave for breakfast with my co workers. Go to the airport and realized I forgot my jacket. Spent 45 minutes waiting for the van to dop it off. I thought they said wait "outside" not "Southside" and I never noticed the "Northside" sign they had where I was waiting. Found an internet kiosk. Broken. Found another. After 10 minutes on the dial up, I got the Fuqua waitlist decision. Which I didn't really care so much about, because I just did not have a fit with Duke. Got on the plane, 5 hours. Pick up the cell phone. I know if I have a message it will vibrate within a minute after I turn it on. I hit the button, and hold the phone and my head in my hands as I lean forward. About to give up and it starts to buzz. My heart starts to run. Call my voicemail. You have two new messages. Two chances. First message. Woman's voice. Dissappointment starts seeping in. I am waiting on Jett Pihakis to call... a dude last time I checked. "John, hi, this is Sharon from the Berkeley..." recognition hits, and I swear I started to cry, right there on the plane. I couldn't control it. Months and months of stress gets lifted off your shoulders all at once, and you really feel it.

So after calling a few folks I gave her a ring back in the car back to my apartment. Sharon was the adcomm member that showed up in my information session when I visited the school. Shen mentions that my interviewer realyl enjoyed her time with me, but that my effort to visit the school really put me over the top. The rest is a blur. She started saying some "sell the school" to me kind of stuff and I sort of cut her off - no need to sell me on Haas anymore - I'm already like an evangelist.

So. Thank you thank you thank you. To all you fine folks reading and commenting on the blog and going through all of this with me. To my now ex girlfriend who caught the brunt of me being a stress case. And to her, my sisters, brother in law and mom for reading and editing a crapload of essays. And my recommenders. To my friends all over who let me stay with them during visits, and to my pitbull for lbeing able to tell when I'm stressed and licking my face.

Think I am starting to get cheesy? I have barely begun.

My grandfather was an entrepreneur, and is my inspiration for seeking an MBA and trying to start my own business someday. So, this is all dedicated to him. With that being said, I'm gonna post my first essay, one of the H short answers:

If you could have dinner with one individual, past or present, who would it be? Why?

To the casual observer it may appear that I find my fork infinitely interesting. I sit and stare at it as my mind races in a nervous circle. Anticipation. I've been awaiting this conversation for a very long time. The spoon, plate and napkin each then receive equal attention as my eyes slowly move across the table, finally reaching toward the ceiling as I catch a glimpse of him walking into the room. My hands move nervously, pointlessly wandering. Recognition is instant, his image identical to that I'd seen in print and in the depth of my mind. He beams with the pride of a self made man, with eyes deep and kind and a swagger that reveals the hint of the mischief that saturates every story I've heard of his life. I stand, walk and extend my hand into the firm, proud grasp of my grandfather.

I didn't have to finish reading this question before my answer was decided. Although he died when I was very young, I feel an overwhelming connection and love for my grandfather. My memories of him, although brief, fill me with warmth and pride. And every time I hear a story about him, it makes me more proud of who he was, and more connected. We had the same sense of humor. My mother often tells me that when I am making jokes with family. It seems that we share the same easy going style, remembering the most important things in life and valuing character and fairness above all things. He was a self-made man, a true entrepreneur, a person who understood happiness and kindness, and is someone I hope to live up to in my lifetime.

That's it for now. Next time I'll post an essay with a lesser cheese factor.
Thursday, March 18, 2004


IN AT HAAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Getting Ridiculous

Not a whole lot of time to talk, sitting on my suitcase at the Phoenix airport, but I just got waitlisted at Duke. Congratulations to Potter for getting the knod.

Berkeley application went "Under Review" yesterday, and it sounds like the first WL'er got in last night, although they wer an international. Expecting word soon. Going a little crazy again.
Monday, March 15, 2004

All Quiet on the Western Front

Is an old movie or a book or something. Well, definitely a movie because I think I had to watch it in high school. I probably slept... academic motivation didn't strike until a little later in life for me. Anyway I can't remember right now and don't want to look it up. The point is, Haas Round 2 decisions appear to have been released, and I got no emails, status updates or word from Berkeley. Still in the game. C'mon cell phone, ring baby ring.


One summer I took a job as a camp counselour, spending my days monitoring rich little hellions as they learned the fat-walleted sports of tennis and sailing at their parent's country club. Part of the sailing gig was learning to tie knots, the most difficult of which was the bowline, a loop knot. I think I've managed to put my stomach in one all weekend. Which is great, cause it means I finally have mastered it. I think they owe me a badge or a pin or something.

So this morning no news is good news. In a few hours, Haas will release its Round 2 decisions. If the waitlist was lumped into that group, I will get an email shortly after noon containing either a Ding or a "Wait some more." So let's hope I get no email at all.

Trip, Yogi, hang in there and power through, you folks are almost to the promised land of sitting around and waiting for decisions, with no power to effect any change. Woo!

This week is a big one, with a probable Haas decision and a definite Duke decision coming. I'll be travelling for most of it thankfully, a welcome distraction. Also, it's supposed to be like 90 in Tempe, where I'll be spending the bulk of the week including the day we all pay homage to drinking Guiness.
Friday, March 12, 2004


Man, what a lame day. Potter dinged at Michigan, and Poweryogi at Tuck. That sucks guys, especially the process of waiting while others get calls, then sitting around for the ding vs. wl email. Totally sucks.

On top of that Haas calls seemed to almost stop, save the part timers. This means that I'll be as cool, calm and collected as Farrah Fawcett on the Letterman Show come Monday morning. (I know this reference joke is somewhat dated, but I'm on little sleep and it's all I can come up with. No wait. How bout, I'll be as composed as a... naw, that really was all I got. Oh well.)

Well, sorry it's not a celebratory weekend for a few of us folks. Hopefully, our time will come.
Thursday, March 11, 2004

Haas has starting calling R2 admits. I am a mess. Got a note back from the guy who took me to his class, asked if there was anything he could do to help me get my foot in the door. What a nice guy. I asked him mention my extreme interest to the adcom if he could, and since I realized that my haas interviewer is in the part o the business exactly in line with his job hunt, I gave him her contact info. Can't hurt I guess. I really dig Haas people.

On a huge high note, CONGRATULATIONS to Future MBA Girl, the sweetheart of our blogging community, who not only got some nice shoes today, but also just got into Michigan. Awesome work.


hee hee ho ho ha ha hee hee

The sound of my insane laughter fills the cube today. In Round 1, Berkeley admit calls started going out the Thurs before the deadline. Nothing yet today on the forums. My big problem is that I don't know what the hell to expect this time. Are the waitlist candidates reviewed before, after or right along with the other R2 candidates? So, if I don't get a call this weekend, do I assume the worst for Monday, or, might I hear nothing at all on Monday? Anyone know of a 3.5 day sleeping pill with no side effects, where the only way to wake up is a call from the 510 area code?
Wednesday, March 10, 2004

A Dream Deferred

Allright, so I am starting to get freaked out again. Haas is driving me a bit mad. I don't know exactly when I am going to hear from them, btu I am pretty sure phone call is good, email is bad, so checking my email has now become a source of anxiety. Which is bad, as I do that a lot. And who knows, UCLA may email me something good. SO I have to check it. After two wailists, a phone call from an admission director is jsut starting to seem unlikely. I really do like the way Duke does it. Now reason to worry. You get to interview, and no matter what happens you'll find out via email, 10 am, March 18. Start worrying then. So I am not at all worried about that. It would be funny if it's a WL decision. I can then start my own consulting firm, "Clear Waitlist". Everything is looking good, but I think we need to bring the quant score down just a touch, and go ahead and cancel your visit to the school. Those may put you over the top. There. Perfect. I'll call you in June to find out how it went.

So this MBA advice blog is a great idea. I think I'll get on it once I see if I am licensed to give advice to anyone or not. For right now, I really do feel like I could hold my breath until I hear from Haas.

On the upside, I am feeling good about UCLA. My interview, in retrospect, went really well. The interviewer even asked me at the "So, are you coming to A-days? You should come, it is really a great time." Yeah, so that's the admitted student weekend. I think it was a bit of momentary confusion rather than insight on his part, but I'll take it. And again, very psyched with how great my chi-town interviewer's attitude towards helping me. So Chicago has already brought me one good contact. And, he was telling me about living in Chicago, and how UC is surrounded by south side Chicago, and that many of the students live there. That would be perfect. I would definitely buy a hoodie that said that on it to match my Brooklyn one. Then I'd move to Compton but nobody would mess with me, as I'd be claiming two bad ass neighborhoods. Probably get my grill done in gold while I am at it, after receiving some post MBA salary action. A flowered Berkeley shirt would not have the same effect, so I guess I couldn't move to Compton then. A dream deferred.

I am trying really really hard not to plan out my life in California, but damn, it is really in my nature and makes me feel so much better like I know what the hell will be happening to me so I find it hard not to, say, look at pitbull friendly rooms in Berkeley that are $500. The first one a check is across the street from and mentions by name the cafe my best friend may be buying... A while back I had listed the Berkeley "perk" as getting to live with my girlfriend. Well that ain't happening folks. So I've gone ahead and doubled up my UCLA perk, which was getting a motorcycle, like a sweet old Honda 450. So I go and look that up, plus motorcycle classes, which are run in Vallejo out of a used motorcycle shop that turns out to be down the street from my buddy's house, where I'd be hanging out for a month if I were to get in. Coincidences folks? God damn I hope nope.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

And back to Grey

Ahhhh... New Jersey! Back to grey sky, yellow grass, cold temperatures and road salt. After catching up with some work stuff, I just spent a nice chunk of time with some old fashioned ass-kissing - sending thank you's to basically every Haas and Anderson person who crossed my path over the last few days.

The other day I also sent a note to my Chicago interviewer, who told me to let him know how things went. He offered to help me with some WL advice, turns out he was a waitlister himself, and a 2nd year who worked in the admissions office. Found out one very interesting piece of information. Chicago assigns you a "feedback advisor" to go over possible problems with your application. I knew that. But, I didn't know that this advisor is the only one who will make a recommendation on your app. They send it directly to the admissions director, Don Martin, who makes the ultimate call. They are supposed to give me a call back within 14 business days (3 weeks). I can also request an in-person appointment during a visit, which I probably will. Just added another $500 or so to my application cost. Finally, in late may, after all R3 decisions are made, they review the r2 waitlist.

So anyway, back to Haas. I had a very very enjoyable visit. These folks are smart, they are active, they are balanced. I would say that about everyone I met while at the school. During the info session, I had an interesting takeaway I had not heard before - every year the incoming class votes if they would like to disclose their grades to employers or not, and every year, without fail they choose not. Why? To foster collaboration, and to ensure students do not concentrate only on grades, and partake in all Haas has to offer. I loved hearing that. And they do have a lot to offer. Service is big, which I am very much into. Entrepreneurism is big, and the crossroads of those two, social entrepreneurism is huge. Haas has two bschool plan competitions, a regular and a social. The regular is a much bigger deal, however, the guy I had lunch with said he had the feeling that the social entrepreneurism competition had greater overall participation.

The campus itself is gorgeous, decked out in earth tones of beiges, browns and greens, with a weathered look to it, as if it were a hunting lodge up in the mountains, except with lots of old time street lamps around. It rained a little Friday and I heard one student say, exasperated "Why is it raining?!!" , as if it were a real oddity. The weather is obviously gorgeous here. On Monday I arrived at 9 am, and I was the sole person in the courtyard. I went up to the admissions office at 9:20 to meet my class escort, and when we returned at 9:25, the place was swarming with students. It was kind of weird how quickly they descended on the place. There are a lot of students around btw... true, the FT class of 480 is small, but there are alos part-timers around AND about 700 undergrads. I didn't see enough bathrooms to accomodate them all, but besides that, the campus is sweet. Wireless access, bay weather. Woo!

Snoop Dog had asked me to go into detail on my class visit a while back, so I'll try to be as in depth as possible without going into the course material. It was me and one other dude from NY on the visit, and we were assigned to one student. The blue and yellow Haas button I received totally kicked the Fuqua nametag's ass. The class I singed up for was an elective, Information and Technology Based Marketing (basically database marketing). It was an hour and a half long. The class room was small, probably would accomodate 45-50, there were about 30-35 in the class. A little old, but nice, lots of wood around and the chair was comfy. The material was thick, and moved at a pace much faster than the Anderson class I had seen, although of course the subject matter was entirely different. These students were far more serious. No one playing online poker here, I assure you. I think most found ( I certainly did!) that you had to focus to keep up with the professor. He was a good prof however, with a clean and clear teaching style, and definitely fostering an environment where questions and comments were welcome. His questions were as I thought b-school questions would be - they were deliberate, difficult, poignant,and important to the lesson. I think they assigned us the ringer because he answered 2 of 4 asked correctly. The class basically centered around formulas for constructing "neural networks" which use customer data, buying patterns and past offers to predict future purchase likelyhood ond response to offers and products. It took me a while to understand, as he started with the end of the last lesson, which was totally into the formula part without any of the basis. Once he started the current, I could put things together. This is not easy stuff though. The class was totally lectured based, and the students were assigned cases for homework, which sometimes they did discuss in class. At one point, the students were having a little trouble grasping the material, and he offered to write an quantitative case himself for them, if they would like. They wanted so he agreed to put it together in a few days.

Overall I would say that the Haas class was serious, collaborative and very intellectual. At the same time, it was not at all tense. After a student gave an off answer, the prof actually apologized, because he said his questions was not focused enough, and said it would have been hard to discern the answer he was looking for from the question he asked. Nobody seemed to have trouble speaking out, although instances and words were definitely chosen with care. I was impressed by both the students, material and the level of the instruction.

Now let me in.
Saturday, March 06, 2004

Mood Indigo gone Sunny Sunny Yellow

Thanks to everyone for your comments. You are all right, a waitlist isn't so bad, and I was a little too whiny about. Jetlag + drunk + unexpected waitlist decision had me feeling blue, but I am allright now. Sleep, perspective and California weather have turned things around.

First things first - UCLA.
I had some time Friday between my interview and class visit, and I had a conference call. Sitting on a bench on the UCLA campus, not a single cloud in the sky, the temperature a perfect 75, a squirrel came up and sat on one side of me and a little bird landed on the other. I felt like snow white, minus the dress and stuff. Thinking back to my office in New Jersey, the only color that came to mind was grey, and I kept picturing the office for Being John Malkevich. So I told them I am never coming back, and if I end up at UCLA, it might just be true.

The campus is seriously out of control gorgeous. Anderson specifically is brand spanking new. It is on the top of a hill, the four building are arranged in a cirle, and are connected along the top floo in the shape of the circle, creating a circular court yard. That's the most times I have used circle in a sentence. Anyway, the courtyard is the main area for the students to hang out, and there is a cafe up there as well. Also, they have there own library in a building off to the side. Everything is red brick and spotless.

My interview was with the student body president. I was in a suit, he in a t-shirt, shorts and sandels. His outfit was pretty indicative of the student body attitude. Relaxed but smart. Interview was easy. He did ask me directly about my quant aptitude, but said I explained it well. Also told me at the end that I had done well - its great to actually get some immediate feedback. I thought I had done well, we had a good rapport, and I liked the guy and all of the things he was saying about the Anderson program. Entrepreneurship really is a big deal there. I loved that.

The student body is totally not competitive. I wonder if maybe a little too much so, as in class I saw a bunch of people playing online poker and chess and stuff. They also seem a little cooler and better looking than other mba students. I swear I think they may scan candidates for these attributes. But anyway, so after the interview, I hung out for a while with the squirrels and stuff, then met the dude that was takling me to his finance class. He was very nice, introduced me to a bunhc of stundents and the professor. I kind of stepped into a new persona for the class... the student asked me where I worked jsut before we met the professor, I told him. He introduced me as a "banker". The professor pointed at me a few times during the class identifying me as one of the class members who probably already knew about the subjects he ws talking about.

The class was great, and has me so psyched about attending school next year. It was managerial finance, and he went over futures and options trading. Fun stuff! I also talked to one of the students about a venture fellows program they have... six students get to do a VC internship during the summer. Only 35 applied this year, and the selection is largely based on grades. That would be sweet.

Ok, so in the end, I left loving UCLA, and would be totally happy to go there.

And I still would be happy to go there. Just. Well, after visiting Haas - god damn. I really want to go there. Everyone I met seemed so smart. So concientious. Service and profit minded. Incredibly active. Totally collaborative, but not snobby. Haas campus is a little older, but charming,a nd has character. The spirit here is socially responsible innovation. I love it. LOVE IT.

Went to lunch with a current student with two other applicants who I gathered did not realize just how competitive the application process is. The dude who took us to lunch was a little dorky, but smart as hell. The students in the info session were awesome. People that just wow you with the fact that they are obviously genius-y, but also genuinely nice people. An admissions person came in at the end. This is what I got out of her - overall WL admission is 45% & I should here on or around March 15th. Get this though. The session ends, I say goodbye to everyone. I go to the building across the street. The info session chick waited for everyone else to leave, then ran after me, caught up with me on the second floor of the other building and out of breath told me that she was on the waitlist last year, and that a lot of the students here also were, and in here info session she had asked an admission person and received more supportive informationand she jsut wanted to tell me that. Hell yeah! Go Haas. Class visit Monday am... I am totally psysched. ONly problem I can see is the broken heart a ding will bring.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Make a fucking decision please

Waitlisted at Chicago.

Was gonna make a post about how awesome UCLA was, but will wait on that, as I am too pissed off at the moment.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

It has begun.

According to the BW forum, Don Martin has made his first call. Add check portal daily at 12:01 am, glue cell phone to hip to my to-do list.

Hittin the Road

So tonight I leave for LA and have done just about 0 interview prep. Figuring I will print off about a million pages and do it all on the plane. Yes, I may have to forgo some tv watching on Jetblue, which is big for me as I do not get cable. At the moment, I am not nervous at all and don't think I will be. I got nervous for Duke, but UCLA is easy to sell for me - their program really seems to fit my experience and goals.

So I was off reading FMG's Blog, and she is driving herself nuts on the BW forums. I am right there with you, driving myself absolutely insane checking that damn thing, and all of our blogs, fairly constantly. I am not going to even pretend to give it up though. I figure until all the decisions are in, or, at least one admit is in, my life pretty much sucks, as thinking about applications has become akin to breathing. My snacking has also increased considerably. I have increased my running as a result, so I don't get all chunked out like my pitbull. Maybe I could have her glean the useful info off of he BW forums, per Mark's suggestion, because unfortunately I think she would be the only one willing to do so. BTW FMG, you had me worried with your post yesterday. I kinda depend on your site for optimistic thought and discussion of fate working things out. Luckily, you are back on track today discussing how much fun a root canal will be. Hope that goes ok btw.

Naveen, congrats on USC and I dig your Johnny Cash comment below. And your post on the onion. As an aside, my all time favorite onion article. Also, it doesn't look like our schedules are going to work out while I am in LA, but it would have been pretty cool to grab a beer. On that note - techie - you have my official buy-in on the get together, if you get it together.

Back to my trip. Tonight leave at 8, in at 11:30. Cab to UCLA hotel. Interview at 10:30, class visit at 12:45. Friend picking me up on campus, taking me somewhere. Flying out of the OC at 8 am, cab to Berkeley, lunch with a student at 12, info session at 1. Friend picks me up, hanging out in SF/Vallejo for the weekend. Monday, 9:30 am, class visit, fly out at 3, in NY 11:30. Oh, and somewhere in there Jett Pihakis pulls me aside to let me know I am admitted.

I guess I will actually be taking a forum break now that I think about it.
Tuesday, March 02, 2004


Do I love Brooklyn? Hell yeah. I even have two shirts that say so. Well, they don't say "I Love Brooklyn" but the do say Brooklyn, and why else would I wear that? That being said I have a sincere request of the residents of the County of Kings, specifically of the most northwest neighborhood: Please stop stealing my stereo. I can understand why you would want to steal my stereos. Even though the one you took last night had the detachable face detached, and you didn't find it. And I do appreciate the fact that you slim-jimmed instead of smashed, and the fact that you twice left my wiring harness was noted. However, in the future, please refrain from taking my stereo out the now 100% stock honda civic I drive to work everyday. Would you like listening to a shower radio balanced in the gaping hole that is your dashboard? No. It doesn't sound very nice does it. If you want the shower radio, I will leave the door unlocked for the next few days so you may take it. Please bring back my Johnny Cash cd though. If you can get it out of the stereo, which you probably can't, as I have the face. Also, I would like to mention that you suck, heartily.
Monday, March 01, 2004

Email Analysis

I am fairly psyched about the news that came out of Berkeley today. As I have mentioned before, I am a total BWeek forum freak. As is such, I have read the Berkeley Waitlist stuff from the past two years. This email update thing with a review BEFORE R2 applicants find out is entirely new. I already know that apps are down about 21% on the whole. This leads me to believe that Haas is realizing that there are more spots than usual available this year for waitlisted peoples such as myself. In any case, next week is big. My best shot to get in for sure. Getting waitlisted before your interview seems to be a very different animal than getting wailisted after. If I get WL'ed again, all I have left to give them is an additional rec and a letter about my visit. The interview + additional rec + personal statement I just sent is far stronger information than I will be able to provide later. So get to retain my little fantasy that they will tell me about my admit in person on Monday for now. Wouldn't that be nice?

Some word from Berkeley...

"Please note that we plan to re-evaluate the applications of Round One waitlisted candidates during the week of March 8. At that time, we will make offers of admission to some, and we will notify others that we are unable to offer them admission. Furthermore, we will be unable to make a final decision on some applications at that time, which will prolong this process a bit more for some applicants. All Round One waitlisted applicants, however, will receive a final decision from us no later than May 3, 2004."

Damn. This will be a big month.


March is here. Took its sweet ass time for sure, but I won't hold a grudge. Strange that the weather seemed to understand the change in month - today in NY you do not need a coat, jacket, scarf or hat. I feel like time is finally starting to move. Now I am just waiting for the ides baby. Or a couple days after the ides anyway. Unfortunately, March 18th and 19th don't have any cool Roman name attached to them as far as I know.

So tomorrow is officially the first day I could possibly hear from Berkeley, as February 2nd their WL letter said I "could hear from them as soon as a month from now". I am not expecting any word 'til the end of the month though. BWeek forums light the way. And Don Martin should start making calls as soon as Saturday! Yeah! I could be a normal person again in as soon as a few days! Woo. In any case, as of Wednesday I am off to Cali for some sunshine, and by the time I get back my wait will be down to a week for two more schools. I may have a trip to Tempe to further distract me from my application obsession.

Some news this morning. FMG - sorry bout the UT ding. I really think you are Wharton bound though. Reading Mark's description of dinging Stanford was NICE. Skipping out on activities? That's the equivalent of not giving them an interview invitation. Nice work. Luvshack may be Yale bound after all, and Naveen is the best claw player I have ever seen.

This weekend I saw American Wedding, which was tripe, and Matchstick Men, which I whole-heartedly recommend. Also went to the Nets-Lakers game and decided if I do end up in LA I am rooting for the Clippers. The Lakers are just too damned talented, and I am already a yankees and cowboys fan.

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