< Chunky Pitbull's MBA Applicant Procrasteron

Chunky Pitbull's MBA Applicant Procrasteron

My MBA applicant blog, submitted at the last minute.

Friday, April 30, 2004

UCLA Essay #1

Please provide us with a summary of your personal and family background. Include information about your parents and siblings, where you grew up, and perhaps a highlight or special memory of your youth. (Limit to 2 pages.)

Long Island has a strange geography. On a map, one can clearly see that it is indeed an island, and that it has four counties: Suffolk, Nassau, Brooklyn and Queens. However, a person would be hard pressed to find one individual from Brooklyn or Queens who would admit to being from “Long Island”. This claim is strictly to be made by suburbanite children, such as myself. I can . remember, on a trip to the city at a young age, commenting to my mother how horrible it was that the only playgrounds given to children were the walls they put up for them to write on. These are not the words of a child of the city. Thirty-five miles away from the Manhattan, I safely rode my bicycle on the quiet streets of Greenlawn.
My family’s history began on this island. All of my grandparents were immigrants, and arrived in America without a cent to their names. What they did bring was a set of old-world values that I believe comprise the core of the value system my family now holds dear. The experiences and hardships of their lives were instrumental in creating a deep respect for hard work and education, and a reverence for family. On my father’s side, my grandfather, who shared my name, worked his way up from a soldier in Hungary’s army to a Senator in its House of Parliament. He shuffled his young family onto one of the last trains leaving Budapest as bombs fell on the capital. He started from scratch upon his arrival in Brooklyn. He depended on friends and family, on hard work, and on his education to rebuild and create a life for his family in America. On my mother’s side, my grandfather, came from Germany on borrowed money. He was thirteen years old and arrived alone, without a mother or father in his life. A true entrepreneur, he built himself a successful business. Some of his favored words of wisdom to me were “Education is always a wise investment, because nobody can ever take it away from you.”
It is not surprising then that my mother and my father became teachers, my mother in English, and my father in French. Nor is it striking that together they developed in my sisters and me a strong sense of character, taught us to hold honesty in high regard, and instilled within us a powerful belief in the bonds of family. My mother and father taught through action. My mother is the most loving, dedicated, and giving person I know. She is also an incredibly hard worker, and fair in all her actions. My father is a
true man of the old school, a man of character, with a firm handshake and a word as strong as oak.
There is a children’s game called telephone, where one starts with a phrase and whispers it to the next in line, and so forth until it has gotten to the last, who says it aloud. The phrase is usually unrecognizable. Such an occurrence is not rare when passing information from person to person. However, I do not feel this is the case in my family. I feel that the core values my grandparents held close to their hearts are alive in my sisters and me today, in near original form. I am the youngest in my family; my sisters are seven and five years older. My older sister, was always a serious student. After finishing third in high school she continued on to Princeton and then Harvard Law. She has always amazed me as the smartest, kindest, and most down to earth person I know. Today she is a partner in her law firm (she found out just this year!) and a wonderful mother of two sons. My sister L took a less intense approach to her studies, although she achieved high marks regardless, and found great success as an athlete. She has a lovely, caring spirit and always awes me with her positive outlook and thoughtful treatment of people. A poet with her Masters in English, she is now a high school English teacher, and the caring mother of a three-year-old daughter.
I understand that I was a bit of a terror as a child. I am told I showed an early penchant for screaming, and came home from the hospital hoarse. I liked to go my own way. At the age of five, I very nearly convinced my mother that the church we attended had instructed me to tell her to follow the angel costume plans exactly but to use black fabric instead, as I was one of the “black angels” in the Christmas Pageant. Truth be told, I just didn’t want to be a white angel like everybody else.
I went through high school without much stress about my studies. I excelled in English courses, but I felt I had to: my mother was an English teacher in my school (although I, of course, was never her student). I was a dedicated member of varsity football and wrestling, and although I went through the
trouble of getting a lifeguard certification, I decided to keep the job I already had in my local pizzeria. I loved working in a business, and at the age of sixteen was already a manager, opening and closing the store and managing staff.
In 1995 I left Long Island for UNIVERSITY. After a misguided and mangled freshman year, I returned home for the summer in distress, about to make a decision that would change my life. I
decided that I wanted to start my own business one day and if that was ever to happen, it was time for me to get serious about my future and my grades. Long-term success is based on repeated short-term dedication and achievements. I set an initial goal for myself to graduate cum laude…no small task considering my dismal GPA at the time. I returned to school a changed man, dedicated and serious about my career, and it has never left me. After graduating cum laude, I returned home. Kind of. Now a proud Brooklynite, you would be hard pressed to get me to admit that I still live on Long Island.
Monday, April 26, 2004

Out to Pasture

I thought I would be blogging less and less, but man, I have so little to do at work I have to find something to pass the time. I am considering being so brash as to slap Don Quixote right down on my desk. This combination of audit, merger and having everyone know I am out of here is a little more stagnating than I thought. I guess I might have tried to play this a little differently if I had known just how slow things could get. I think if I was in a smaller company, I'd be busy, as that's been my experience when I've given notice in the past. An entrepreneur will want to milk you for every last bit of wokr they can get. Here, in the land of corporate giants, they put me out in the field, allowing me to graz on my salary for a reasonable period of time until I leave. The only problem is it's really boring out here. Plus it is raining in New Jersey again.

My weekend kind of sucked, but only because I had such high hopes. I had tickets for a concert Friday night - this band called Elf Power. I had heard a bunch of their stuff and they sounded kind of unique, kind of 60's-ish with a lot of horns in the band and stuff. Unfortunately, they played their new stuff, which sounded like they were attempting to sell out but failed miserably with a completely homogenized set of crap. We left early. Then Saturday I went to the Yanks-Bosox game. Enough said. Sunday was my big run day. Which was fine, I did 10 miles, but I swear the moment I stepped outside the first windy-cold raindrop fell, and it didn't stop until I was finished.

The closer I get to moving, the more I think I might back out of my get a roomate idea. I really do like living alone, and it looks like the cost difference may be minute. Man, I just can't wait to get going!

Thursday, April 22, 2004

G-g-g-g-g-g-g G-Mail & Update on Life

This probably happened to quite a few bloggers today, but when I logged on to post I had an offer to test out a gmail account. 1 GIG. As a marketer I don't mind them checking out my subject lines at all... I'm actually very interested to see if it targets accurately.

I have been blogging quite a bit less lately, as I've barely anything MBA related to say. My mind is elsewhere, almost totally in personal hobbies. If I were to tell you that work is just a nine to five thing for me, I would be a liar. 10ish to 4:30ish with a lunch? Awful. I know. But seriously, a lot of what I normally do is launch new campaigns, and because I am leaving, and because we are being internally audited, that has stopped. In the meantime, I just make sure my current stuff runs smoothly, and prepare for audit, which really does not take that much time.

I read somewhere that LSU is the top program in the country for internal corporate auditing, and that their grads are heavily recruited. No offense to anyone, but I cannot begin to imagine making a career out of that shit on purpose. They have me locking my workstation if it's "out of my field of view" and locking my drawers if I go to the bathroom. I am suprised I don't have to show documentation for that particular endeavor, as I do for just about everything else. They love asking you "how do you know", leaving no room for inference of anything. If I had to apply this to my real life, I would need to be able to provide a verbal description of how digital video technology works, then provide suppporting documentation prior to attempting to press the play button on my DVD player.

Wow. What a terrific segue into a discussion of all of the movies I have been watching lately. As you may know, I saw Kill Bill 1& 2 last week, which had me all into the samurai thing, so I rented Yojimbo, directed by Akira Kurosawa. Looking into him more, he seems to be one of the most influential directors around, and in fact, A fist full of dollars, starring Clint Eastwood, is a remake of Yojimbo. The movie itself was fantastic, visually pleasing even in b&w, the story was compelling and I totally dug this Mifune guy who played the main samurai. So I added some more Kurosawa flicks to my que. Also trying to get my hands on a bunch of the films Tarantino uses as a basis for his films, like Shogun Assassin. If you see KB2, it's the flock bb watches before she goes to bed, and, you may recognize the dialigue of the Liquid Swords album. So if Tarantino, the RZA AND the GZA all agree on a film, I think I should see it, even if its story line sounds this awful: "a masterless samurai killing his way through life while pushing his infant son in a booby trapped baby carriage". But alas, netflix failed me, but I was able to grab "Return of the Street Fighter", which Christian Slater goes to see in "True Romance". Anyway, other than that I've seen a few other awesome flicks, including Bottle Rocket, Pi, Capturing the Friedmans, and Harold and Maude.

So what else have I been doing? Reading some. Howard Zinn's People's Hostory is an awesome book. I feel like it is really picking apart the truth to the way things happen, and separating propaganda from the core reasons that things happen. It seems that it always comes down to men in power getting what they want by selling it the populace in some other fashion. Media is a powerful weapon and always has been, and the more things chagne the more they really, really stay the same. I still in the American Revolution at the moment, but can't wait to get to the world wars.

And, I have been planning for the remainder of my time before school. I can really see the end now, it's right there on the calendar. I'll only be working until June 18th, and 8 of those days will be spent in Taiwan and Japan, a luxury my boss was kind enough to afford me. I can't believe I am going... I am so psyched I'm a little floored by it. I've always wanted to go, and to be able to experience with folks who not only now the area and speak the language but are some of my best friends in the world... its really gonna be quite awesome.

Besides that I've been running a lot... doing a 15 K in May, walking my pooch quite a bit, and cooking almost every night. This weekend I am going to Yanks/Sox. Can't beat that, unless they lose of course. Wow, this is way longer than most would read... I know I would have fallen of by now. So I better end it.
Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Fuqua #3
Most of my Fuqua essays were rehashed elsewhere (there were only three) so I'll probably only post this one. I also used it as an optional on my UCLA app.

Outside of your professional persona, who are you? Please note this essay is intended to get a sense of your personality and potential contribution to the Fuqua culture. (Limit response to 750 words, double spaced)

Without discernable reason, this really seemed to be a glum event. The group, comprised of roughly fifteen retirees and myself, was sitting around a large conference table in total silence, admiring the walls and ceiling when our host arrived to begin the orientation.

"Good Evening," she began, as her first PowerPoint slide hit the wall, "I am very happy to welcome you all to NY Hospital's Volunteer Program. To begin, I would like each of you to go through the items on the slide for the group." The slide read, in bulleted points: your name, what you do, your hobbies, where in the hospital you will volunteer, and why you are volunteering. One by one, the neophyte volunteers told their stories and soon it was my turn. I faced the group. "My name is John, I work in internet marketing and one of my favorite hobbies is cooking. I am volunteering in the child life department to work with the children. Oh, and I am volunteering as part of my parole requirement."

Of course, there was no parole requirement. After an awkward moment,the laughter started, as I explained my love of working with children. This story is not only the introduction to why volunteering with children is a priority in my life,but also alludes to why I believe I get along with them so well. I like to think that I
approach life with passion, as a gift to be consumed with pleasure, a sentiment I share with most of the children in my life.
I decided to start volunteering shortly after my niece and nephew were born. After playing with them one afternoon, I realized that my time with them caused me to step outside of myself, drop everything, and just enjoy. At the same time a good friend of mine had just become a Big Brother, and our conversations on the topic inspired me to do something to help children in need. I decided to seek out an opportunity where I could spend time with children who might need a little laughter in their lives, which I found at NY Hospital. It was the beginning of what will be a lifelong commitment.

For the past few years, I have spent an evening each week in the hospital playroom, playing with children ranging in age from 7 weeks to 17 years infants to young adults. I still cannot fathom the bravery required to keep their spirits up while stuck sick in a hospital, especially those whose parents seldom visit. I plunged into the opportunity, and became one of the most active volunteers, forging deep relationships with several of the children. While most volunteers would close the room at eight o’clock, I would wait until the children were ready to go to bed. I put in the extra effort to make them feel special, with events such
as "movie night" when I would bring in my company's portable projector. As a result, I was one of the volunteers asked to help bring new volunteers up to speed by supervising them on their first few evenings.
Volunteering for children has now become a part of who I am. Recently, I have shifted my efforts towards helping a firm that bisects my personal and professional interests. XXXXXXXX is a start-up not-for-profit that promotes child abuse prevention programs. I have come on board with the company to lead internet marketing and onlie donation efforts. Currently, I am leading projects to revamp the online donation process, begin an online newsletter program, and promote current and future initiatives and events online.
Ultimately, we will build an online donation base, which is a vital revenue stream for the company moving forward.

I feel the time I have spent in my personal life volunteering has afforded me a unique perspective. In my professional life, it has made me more aware of and strengthened my ideals for corporate social responsibility; in my personal life, it has helped me become a more compassionate person. The bravery I have seen in these children under dire circumstances has given me hope and strength when I look at my own life. It has furthered my passion for life as a gift, and inspires me to continue my pursuit of happiness through action. I believe this spirit, when coupled with my professional persona, offers a powerful combination to the people in my life, which, I hope, will include the Duke community in the
near future.
Monday, April 19, 2004

Asian Influences

What a fantastic weekend I just had. Lately, I've been feeling like I have been emerging from a life shrouded by b-school applications and getting back to personal interests, and finally the weather caught up! Had a great time at my nephew's first b-day party Saturday (save the why-are-you-moving-3000-miles-away guilt). Sunday knocked down an eight mile run, and saw Kill Bill Vol 2., which was absolutely awesome. The Netfliz que had to get shifted again, with some Kurosawa films taking a leap. And, speaking of Japan, it looks like I might be joing the crew of folks who do some travelling before they go to b-school. My good friends Sonya & Jackson (mooci.blogs.com) are doing an Asia trip and have invited me along, and it is just too damned tempting to say no.

So it looks like I will be hitting Taipei, Kyoto & Tokyo before May is over! I think I might have to cut my days at haas trip so I can minimize additional days off from work plus money. On that note, I have decided my last day will be June 18th, and I'll be out of my apartment by July 1. Things are coming together.
Friday, April 16, 2004

THe Whole Chi-Town Shebang

Here are my very nearly sucessful Chicago essays. As they only problem they had with my app was a lacking recommendation, I think they can be taken as something the adcom viewed favorably. Enjoy.

Why are you seeking an MBA? What are your plans and goals after you receive your degree?

"There is no security on this earth. Only opportunity." - Douglas MacArthur

I see a great deal of opportunity in the current business landscape, as large companies consolidate to ensure secure holds on their industries, and innovation is left as a secondary goal. The major drivers of consolidation, such as competitive advantage, synergy, economies-of-scale - do not always translate into increased customer benefit, which leaves the door open for new entrants. Smaller, nimbler, more innovative companies focused on customer benefits have a distinct opportunity to compete.

My long-term career expectation is to be a successful entrepreneur, to seize the opportunities that this new environment will provide. In time, I hope to be the initiator and leader of a series of successful start-up businesses in the online publishing and internet marketing industry. As I write this I can hear the voices of a thousand nay-sayers screaming that the bubble has burst and that the time has passed for that opportunity. However, I believe the industry is largely the victim of the "pendulum effect"- when times were good, the pendulum swung too far to the side of unlimited promise, and now that times are bad, it has swung too far to the side of despair. Ultimately, I see the pendulum returning to the center, with realistic expectations and tangible growth prospects.

My career has afforded me with experience aligned with my goals. I have helped launch two new companies in the publishing industry, both of which used an innovative approach and enhanced technology to compete with century- old giants. I have seen many of the management challenges affecting new ventures, most notably cash flow and burn rate issues. Additionally, I have honed my internet marketing skills, a discipline in which I am now considered a subject matter expert.

As I contemplate my next steps, I realize that I need to take the pivotal leap towards initiating a business venture. I recognize that I will have a greater probability of success if I can address some critical development needs:

*General Management: While I have had a variety of strong business experiences, it is clear to me that I would benefit by strengthening my general management skills, to understand the ways that seasoned managers think about and manage their businesses.
*Entrepreneurial Finance: I seek to broaden my understanding of the means to raise funding and ways to structure a business, and learn associated valuation techniques.
*Networking: The success of a new venture is directly proportional to the quality of its management team and for this reason, I believe it is critical for me to improve both the scope and the quality of my networking contacts.

I believe that participating in a top-flight MBA program is the optimal way to address these development needs over the near-term. Such a program would not only position me for new opportunities and open doors that would before have been closed, but would provide me with the tools to be successful once I walk through them.

You find yourself on an elevator with the Dean of Chicago GSB. Please tell him why this is the right school for you, and what you hope to contribute if admitted.

Dean Synder, allow me to introduce myself. My name is John and I am a prospective MBA student very interested in the GSB. I hope you won't mind my elevator pitch for admission. What's that? No, no need to hit the emergency button, I will get this across quickly, in 500 words or less.

I am seeking an MBA to work towards my goal of becoming a successful entrepreneur in the online publishing and internet marketing industry. Over the past few years I have helped launch two new companies in the electronic publishing industry, and an internet marketing department at one of the nation's leading lenders. My start-up experience has given me an understanding of the issues facing small businesses, while my time with Big Ass Bank allowed me to hone my marketing skills with the benefit of a large budget.

From an MBA experience, I hope to gain a stronger general management perspective, further my understanding of entrepreneurial finance, and expand my network of contacts. I am attracted to the University of Chicago due to its world-renowned status as a leading business school, the high quality of its quickly evolving curriculum, the breadth and scope of its alumni network, and the freedom afforded to students to chart their own courses. The last attribute is a truly unique and distinguishing mark of the Chicago GSB program and as I feel I have a strong idea of what I want to gain from my education, it is a major selling point.

I have worked for both start-ups and multi-national Fortune 500 company, and I have moonlighted for a not-for-profit. I am an expert in internet marketing and usability, a powerful set of tools in the world of the web, and most likely, a unique set of attributes among your students. I would gather that as arguably the nation's top school for economics, finance and accounting, many applicants hold those disciplines as their strengths and are naturally attracted to your program. I am the opposite, as I recognize your traditional strengths to be my development needs, and therefore seek the strongest program to best meet my needs. My strengths are complementary and lay elsewhere, in the spoken and written word, marketing and creativity, the areas upon which I have polished the sharpest edge.

I like to think I attack life with a passion, both personally and professionally. I look forward to contributing to the GSB community via extracurricular clubs that fit my interests, such as entrepreneurship, volunteering, running and triathlon. I was a little disappointed not to see a blues club on the list. As a blues fan, I've always relished trips to Chicago. There is no city in the world with better blues clubs, and I'd bet a start-up blues club would quickly gather steam.

Well, here we are. Thank you sir. I hope to see you next year as well.

If you could be present at any event in time, what would it be and why?

Given my interest in entrepreneurship, I would like to be present during the great immigration boom that fueled the first wave of business entrepreneurship in America. That story has many chapters, millions, in fact. I have a favorite - it has all the aspects of the true entrepreneur - ambition, hard work, adversity, triumph...

In 1915 at age of 13 William borrowed the enormous sum of $1000, which he used for his passage from the north German town of Osnabruck, to Long Island, New York. He left behind not only his aunt, the only mother figure he had ever known, but also all his friends and family. He arrived penniless, his speech foreign, and was left in the care of a distant relation who was neither caring nor supportive. In fact, after working for years to pay back his debt, he learned that he had not yet repaid even a dollar. He had envisioned that after hi money shifted from his callused hand to his caretaker's plump fingers, it had been quickly shuffled into an envelope to travel across the sea, finally landing in Germany, slowly repaying his aunt's loan. In reality, his money never left New York, spent by his caretaker on household luxuries. He started over. He paid his debt. He continued to save. From nothing, he started his own business. Then the economy turned. He lost everything and took a job working for someone else. Eventually, he started his business again, and worked with pride for himself until the day he died. He was a survivor. He was a true entrepreneur. He was my grandfather.

Thomas Jefferson, one of America's truly great entrepreneurs, once said "I'm a great believer in luck, and find the harder I work, the more I have of it." He helped found a country, my grandfather only a fur exporting business, but I believe they would share this sentiment. With this in mind, I would like to be present the day my grandfather lost his business. His largest debtor went bankrupt and it was more than his firm could bear. Indeed, such an occurrence would break the spirit of many a man. Instead of breaking, he decided to rebuild. In my vision, calling it a "decision" is somewhat of a misnomer, as his belief that hard work is the solution to adversity would not have allowed him even a thought of giving up.

This is the experience I want to carry with me, to be there and witness him unbroken in the face of adversity. All of the previous injustice in his life must have seemed a mere appetizer, but he remained strong, regrouped, and made the loss only a story to tell. I believe he was as proud and strong that day as any other, such is the spirit that inspires me so deeply in my daily life. To witness it would serve as true inspiration for my future.

You've been given $1 million to set up a philanthropic organization. What would it support and why.

I have never been in a hospital bed. Not since the doctor passed me to my mother, anyway. I imagine, now, as an adult, if a doctor were to inform me that I had an ailment so serious as to require a packed bag and a toothbrush, it would unnerve me greatly.

I have seen many children handle this very situation with bravery and spirit, as while I have not spent a night in a hospital, I have spent many an evening. Over the past two years, I have volunteered in the playroom at a NY Hospital. In this position, I open a room designated as a play area, recruit children to come and play, and spend time with them.

I have found that the children with whom I interact most do not have their parents around. There are many more children in this situation that I would have ever imagined, and they need more than the volunteer network can give. Most volunteers are in high school, fulfilling a community service requirement. They may or may not be legitimately interested, leave the hospital after a few months, and don't stay past six o'clock. The children with parents around don't care. The others are lonely and desperately in need of a companion. My volunteer nights usually last until ten or later, as these children do not want to be alone. I don't blame them.

My organization will be dedicated to rectifying this situation by providing caring individuals to stay with children otherwise alone in the hospital. The firm will rely on a network of qualified, trained and screened employees and volunteers. Nurses will identify a child in need, call for a caretaker, and the organization will supply one from the network who will take the responsibility for the emotional support of that child.

The organization's ultimate success will rely on three key elements: The quality and training of its caretakers, the strength of its relationships with area hospitals, and its ability to raise funds to create a sustainable venture.

Caretakers are individuals who have received training in child psychology and music and art therapy techniques, and who care deeply about the welfare of children. The caretaker's responsibility ends at emotional support, and does not include medical training.

My organization will need to develop strong relationships with hospitals in the area. The key personnel are the nurses. Nurses always know which children on the ward are alone, and I believe will be more than willing to actively report the need for a volunteer.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Natural Rehab

I't been a little longer than usual for me not to post. To be honest, I haven't had much worry to post about. I am settled into and excited about attending Haas. I paid my deposit, sent myself a "you made it" email from my new snazzy Haas address, and am trying to pick up some tix to see the Bears take on the Trojans down in LA next October. I've also been reading less blogs, and BW forums are a hell of a lot less interesting to me all of a sudden. It's weird how I use to really have to try not to go visit that site constantly and in the end it's jsut a natural progression towards loss of interest. It's pretty nice.

So, I have started focusing more attention on personal endeavors. Watching a lot of flicks. Going out. Taking up running in earnest again. Reading (not as fast as Mark!). And feeling good. So, in the order above. Just saw Kill Bill and it was one of the sickest flicks I have seen in a while. By 'sick' I mean it kicked ass, truly. It was like a live action comic book/video game/old cheesy action movie. I really, really loved it. Last night my 10 bucks went much farther than usual, because BAM was kicking it's Bill Mirray festival off with a live "conversation with Bill Murray" and that's all it cost to get in. They had a bunch of directors/producers involved also, including Jim Jarmusch (big time indie filmaker) and Tom Schiller(SNL writer who made one flick, "Nothing Lasts Forever" in '84). Both peaked my interest so I added a few more flicks to my netflix que. But anyway, I got back from that at about 11:30 at put Kill Bill on, just to check out real quick before bed. Bed ended up happening at 2 am.

Oh, and if anyone cares, I am slowly tackling Don Quixote and A People's History of The United States by Zinn, both of which are fantastic reads, although I feel like I can read either forever and never really make any progress. And they don't fit in my pocket either, dammit, which I highly prefer.

Lastly, I have to say I really can't stand work. I basically have two months left here, due to a sincere need for money. It's not so bad, I guess, I just am ready to move on and am resentful that I not only have to keep working, but that I have to spend so much time driving back and forth to do it. I am thinking about taking off one day a week here on in.

Yogi, Trip continued wishes of good luck and deserved recognition. Hang in there.
Friday, April 09, 2004


First off, thanks to Trip I finally figured out my MBA advice password thing and posted an article on there just. I would highly appreciate any feedback.

So this has been a pretty good week as I have had two of five days off. Tuesday I helped one of my recommenders move down in the city of Philly. My sense of direction sucks, so the drive took me about four hours. I'll blame one of those hours on an overturned asphalt truck, another on the fact that the only clue that registered "you are going the wrong way" in my mind was the Welcome to Delaware sign. Yesterday was the Yanks home opener, which they won, and was sweet. In between those two events of disproportionate enjoyment, I attended a Haas mixer for new admits in Manhattan.

Manhattan. I have a little bit of trouble with fancy bar type of places. The trouble is that I hate them. I love a dive. Make it dark, put it in a basement, serve PBR on tap, leave a marker in the can so people can tag the walls. If you can order an $12 appletini without so much as a clarification to the bartender as to wtf an appletini is, I am really not so interested in going.

So the Haas mixer was at a fancy joint, which is to be expected. There were a lot more alumni than admits there when I arrived. It started with my interviewer, who I felt I had connected with not remembering who I was. She recognized my face but asked if I was an admit or a graduate. The alumni were very hard to talk to. They were a definite well-to-do Manhattan set. Once they heard that I was decided on going, I think they felt they had little to talk to me or sell me on, so conversations were kind of awkward. One of them bragged to another about how well his business and position was doing in front of me. On the whole, the ones I managed a conversation with seemed rather fancy and full of themselves. I was rather dissappointed.

But things started getting better the moment I found another admit. She was deciding between Kellogg and Haas, and then an alumni came up to us who had originally been interested in Haas for non-profit and she was really nice. Then antoher admit found the group, this dude who I had emailed with a bit. He was incredibly cool... a bankrupcy consultant obviously making loads of cash but saying that he felt unfullfilled and was thinking about non-profit or start up work, which is why he was going to Haas. I felt very comfortable with this guy - the kind of person I could really see being friends with. Two more admits found the group, and we started by discussing the trouble we were all having talking to the alumni.

These guys were all very chill and put me totally at ease about the type of people I'll find at Haas. Two of us were decided, one deciding between Michigan/Haas and the other Duke/Haas. Where within the first 15 minutes I had started planning my escape, after meeting these folks I was one of the last ones to leave. It ended up being a very positive experience, and has me even more psyched about Days at Haas and the move out there this summer. One piece of advice I did take away from the alumni was that they all thought I should take some time off. I am not sure my funds will allow that, but I am going to take it into a bit more consideration.
Wednesday, April 07, 2004


So I volunteered for an innovation group a couple weeks ago. I've been going and being probably too vocal for everybody. The group is hosted by a mucky-muck here - he's a guy I personally like quite a bit so I was happy to have some interaction time with him. Well today he kind of surprised me pulling me aside after the meeting to talk about projects I am working on. I wasn't sure if he knew I was off to b-school or not, but after we were done talking shop, he asked if there was anything else I would like to tell him, so I figured he knew and was letting me tell him. Last week my boss told his boss and she announced it the whole group. So I guess word is out I just wouldn't think anyone this high up would care.

So, I told him I was going to Cal, but still kind of considering Chicago. He talked to me for another half hour about it, and in his view, he thinks the two are very comparable in reputation on the east coast. It was a great conversation about how the program fit into my goals, etc, etc. It had me feeling so good I went ahead and pulled my Fuqua application... and important first step for me finally ending my relationship with my apps.

I am having an issue with my password, but I'll be posting a mini article on mba advice later today. Let me know if anyone has any comments or suggestions.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Check Please

Well, as time goes on, I am getting more and more settled into and happy about my Haas decision. If Days at Haas is as good as I believe it will be, I think I'll finally be ready to pull all my apps. I thought pulling them would be easy but it's not. Rationally, there really is not much reason to keep them active, but I feel some kind of connection to them, the work I put into the process, and it's sad to see them die, no less, kill them myself. I probably sound like a psycho.

Today my Haas admit binder arrives, an event I have been impatiently awaiting. Especially the financial aid part... I have no frickin clue what I am in for. Talked to the ex and she made it sound like I will absolutely have to build some credit card debt while I am in school. Man, I really do not want to do that. I got rented out of my first apartment and had serious trouble finding another a few years back. I ended up putting $4K on the credit card to pay a broker fee plus deposit on the day I needed to get out. I have carried that $4k since... it grew up to be $13K. It is now at $2K, and I really have hopes of getting it to zero before school. The thought of starting right up again is not so appealing.

I've been looking into apartment/room options around Berkeley and it doesn't look like it will be too bad. If I do my motorcycle plan I should be able to get a room on the outskirts for $500-$700, or if I stick close to campus like $900. It's striking how nice the people posting rooms seem. I can dig that.

Good luck to Harry and Poweryogi with the Sloan decision today.
Friday, April 02, 2004

Hi folks. I realize most visitors to this page probably could not give a crap, but I'll take any audience I can grab to try to explain why pit bulls are not evil.

Owning one, I can understand why people are scared of them. They can be a little frightening to look at. They are usually all beefcaked, and usually have heads that are probably as big as yours, except most of their's is teeth and muscle. Some of them look like the devil. And there are loads of stories on the news about pitbulls attacking kids, and you probably think no one except for gangsters and shady dudes training the dog for fighting should own one.

Listen. I'll be honest. A pitbull is not like a normal dog, and a lot of them have trouble with dog-on-dog aggression. Pitbulls were bred for two things: fighting other dogs (and bull baiting) and NOT biting their owners. That's right, they were bred NOT to attack people. So pitbulls are in fact:
*Extremely loyal to their people.
*Awesome with children.
*Crappy, crappy guard dogs.

There are four dog breeds that qualify as a "pitbull". The Staffordshire Terrier(looks like a pitbull), Staffordshire Bull Terrier(looks like a little pitbull), American Pitbull Terrier (looks like a pitbull), and Bull Terrier (looks like Spud Mackenzie). Of those, the Staffordshire Bull, (which mine is a mix of) is the best with the kids. It's a British dog, and is also known as "The Nanny Dog" because it is so damn good with the kiddies. My dog is no exception. She adores people and kids. She never, ever bites, even in play, which is more than can be said for a lot of dogs. In fact, when the breed is tempermant tested, it is one of the highest scoring... it passes the test about the same as a golden retriever.

So why don't you see articles about Air Bud attacking children? The difference is responsible owners. Really, nobody looks at the retriever and decides they should abuse it and train it to attack people. Frankly, if that's your bag, you probably want to grab a dog that could do some serious damage, and, unfortunately, a pitbull is extremely powerful. There jaws don't lock, that's a rumor, however, PBs are extremely strong and obedient, and will grab and hold if that's what they are taught to do. Their loyalty can be used against them, as they'll do anything to please their owner. So, if you rough them up their whole lives to fight other dogs, you could have a problem on your hands. That would be true of most dogs.

The real bad part of owning a pitbull is that a lot of them do want to attack other pooches. Not to say a great deal of them are perfectly happy not doing that, but you do have to keep your dog socialized if you want them to be chill. And the thing to note is, that really is the bad part. Worrying about your pitbull attacking people, if you've raised it responsibly, is really not an issue. And you have to exercise them. It's not a dog you just have a let out, you have to be an active owner. Which is not what everybody wants. The trade off of having a dog that hangs on everything you do, is that you kind of have to reciprocate. BUt for me, it's been incredibly enriching and worth it.

Anyway, this site explains everything way better than I do if anyone has actually read this far and has further interest in this topic: Bad Rap


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