Saturday, November 19, 2005

Kellogg Interview: Engineer to Engineer

So yesterday morning I woke up and prepared myself for my Kellogg interview. My outfit had unleashed an entire debate - skirt or pants? I remember when I interviewed for Microsoft. They had explicitly sent me an e-mail saying not to even bother wearing business casual. Of course, I still showed up in a suit...

I settled on a black suit for Kellogg - with pants.

I arrived 30 minutes early at the alumni's company. Sat in my car and just reaffirmed the points I wanted to get across. Then I proceeded inside where I chatted w/ my interviewer for 1 hour in a meeting room.

We started w/ why the MBA and why Kellogg. He had definitely read my resume beforehand, and proceeded to go down my resume one point at a time. "What did you do on this project? Who was involved? How did you deal with guy X?" Being a younger applicant compared to his 7 years of engineering experience prior to Kellogg, I think he also wanted to reinforce my tech knowledge and asked, "What specific engineering skill did guy X bring to the project that you didn't have?" I actually expected this since we had similar backgrounds and his current position is what I want to do post-MBA. :-)

Some other interesting q's:
- How did you carry the University of Washington brand through college and beyond? Tie this in with how you'd do the same at Kellogg.
- You seem to have a lot going for you now. Why do you want to give it all up?
- What other schools are you applying to? What would you do if you didn't get into any of these schools? Would you give up?

He also primarily focused on:
- Teamwork experience and how I deal with different types of people.
- The Kellogg alumni network. My interviewer was a Kellogg graduate of '02.
- What I would gain from Kellogg and what Kellogg would gain from me.

When I asked for feedback, he flat-out said, "Sorry, but I'm not allowed to give that information. Kellogg has a strict policy that this is a blind interview, and I was explicitly told not to give any feedback. I'm supposed to not care about your GMAT, gpa, or anything you put on the rest of your app. My role is to give Kellogg a candid view." Turns out he use to sit on the Students Admission Committee so he was strict in upholding Kellogg's rules.

I can only hope for the best now.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Hyde Park Center

The first time I stood in the Rothman Gardens at Chicago GSB’s HPC, staring up through the brilliant skylight I was suddenly transported back to the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science & Engineering where I would sit enjoying my daily muffin in the Microsoft Atrium.

Though very different in space as HPC covers 415,000 sq ft at $125 mil while the Allen Center at the University of Washington only covers 85,000 sq ft at $72 mil, both look 6-stories up and are similar in effect with the glass ceilings.

Heading down into the basement of Allen, the computer lab became my second home. Many all-nighters were spent there with fellow CSE-ers rushing projects at the very last second. "It's due in 10 seconds! Hit Submit! HIT IT NOW!!"

And when breaks were needed, we scampered into the lounge for a Halo battle on our Microsoft-donated Xboxes. For a breath of fresh air, we rode the elevator up to the 6th floor, headed through the Bill & Melinda Gates Commons, and enjoyed the Lake Washington view from the Alberg Terrace.

I can only imagine what the view is like from the top of the HPC. If it's overlooking Lake Michigan, it has to be amazing.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

In the library...

at San Jose State working on my essays. For Stanford - they say the average written is 3-7 pages per essay (10 pages max). I'm finding it difficult to focus my main points without rambling. If I were taking the sobriety test from a police officer for my Stanford essays, I would fail miserably and my feet would stumble off that straight line.

Sloan questions. Oh me oh my. "Describe in detail what you thought, felt, said, and did." Every question seems similar in wanting to know an impact created or some difficulty you have overcome. My trouble is trying to figure out which experiences in my life - professional, comm service, personal - should be used to create my entire "package." So far I am drawing from work for the Cover Letter and #3, extracurricular for #1, personal for #4, and #2...??

"Please tell us about a time when you went beyond what was defined, expected, established, or popular.

"I went beyond what was 'popular' the day I got rebellious and pierced my belly back in 1998 (The idea was still so new, Britney Spears didn't even have hers done yet!) at the Shilin night market in Taiwan, a very unsanitary place where cockroaches roam. It was very unexpected because my parents never knew about it - and still don't. Then I hit up the clubs in Taipei city and scared all the conservative Taiwanese with my halter tops (I just had to show of the new, glittering belly!) and pants slit all the way up to the thigh. I decided to liven up the party by dancing with some visiting European chicks on table tops. Wanting to be the new fashion queen, I dressed up my school wardrobe by wearing skirts over pants and by sewing flowery patterns on the seams of all my jeans. Thus, I went beyond what was defined in my fashion style... or lack thereof."

I don't think that will go over very well with the Sloan adcom. :-)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Need My Daily Caffeine

That is the last time I'll be at the Starbucks on Capital Ave. on a workday morning.

Wait in line: 10 minutes.
Order time: 10 seconds.
Wait for the drink: 20 minutes.

Total: 30 minutes (and 10 secs) of standing in my 3 1/2-inch boots - a girl cannot live without her boots! - while enduring the high-pitched voice of the lady behind me yap about how amazing it is to get a quick job through

The Starbucks in Fremont - Mission & AutoMall Pkwy - are way less crowded, and I can be in and out w/ my steaming tall non-fat peppermint mocha (no whip please) in 2 min tops. Staying up until 3 AM everyday pounding out these apps, morning caffeine is becoming my daily dietary need (and alternative to red bull) to keep my drowsy eyes awake and alert throughout 3-hour design meetings.

There is a God.

On the MBA front, Kellogg interview is next Friday. Meeting the alum at his office. If you haven't checked it out yet, go to's Interview Database.

One Stanford recommendation is in! Two more to go. C, you are AWESOME. Need to get her a gift! Less than 2 months to go for RD2! Good luck, y'all!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Pamper Yourself

Seriously. It's so good to take time outside for YOU just to pamper YOU and feel good about YOU.

I just finished from a loonnngg soak in the tub. Feel so relaxed and pampered. Ladies, you know what I'm talking about. *grins* Totally. If I were a man, I think the ladies would love me because I'd know how to romance them in all the right ways... Uhh... ok. Inflating my own ego here. Hah! (Or maybe it's from too much testosterone in the workplace. Calling all females - need more female engineers!!)


Lying there reflecting, while enjoying the feel of the lukewarm water against my skin, I drafted an entire Chicago essay in my head. Woo-hoo! Now it's time to get it all down on paper - I mean, Microsoft Word.