Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Marina's post got me thinking: Why did I start this blog? Is it because I wanted to be a Top Ten BoB alongside amazing bloggers like MBA Jackass? (Thanks again to Clear Admit and all you voters out there! I really appreciate your constant support.) Or is it so I could connect with other bay area bloggers for a fabulous night out?

Looking back, I decided to start this on-line journey in hopes that posting my experience could aid other applicants towards our shared goal of an MBA.


"I want an MBA. I need the degree to do great things - to be someone great one day!" I declared 5 years ago. And thus, I began to plan.

1) Finish college
2) Work 2 years
3) MBA (2 years)
4) Graduate and get married
5) Pop out the kiddies
6) Be like Elastigirl - Super Career Woman, Super Wife, & Super Mom

One by one, I worked to execute my plan. Now as I prepare myself for step #3 (the MBA) the 19-yr-old me and the soon-to-be-24-yr-old me still have the same desire: "I want my MBA." But the 19-yr-old me didn't quite understand the true value of the MBA. It wasn't until this long process began when I finally understood what I was getting myself into.

Why Do I Want An MBA?

This is the most important question you need to ask yourself.

The 19-year-old me declared, "Because I want to go into management!"

"What type of management?" you'd ask her.

"Umm... there are different types? I thought you just managed people and processes and things... and everything would be all fine and dandy," she would reply, scratching her head.

(College Seniors: This is one reason why work experience really helps. Not just in the experience you bring, but in helping you focus on what really interests you career-wise and having a real-world understanding of how businesses operate from experience. If you're intent on going to b-school straight from undergrad, even a summer internship will help. My 2 cents.)

As Forrest had also pondered: But do we need an MBA to reach our final goals? Answer: No.

So "Why B-school?" Everyone needs to discover this for oneself, because our answers will probably be different. For myself, I believe the following:
  1. Academics: To learn finance and accounting - to be able to speak the language of business. To gain an understanding of the "big picture" through operations, HR, marketing, org behavior, etc.
  2. Career: To add more value to my company through marketing. To step beyond my engineering mind and utilize my creativity with the challenge of product/brand management.
  3. People: To increase my network with my classmates and alumni. To build lifelong friendships and partnerships.
  4. New Opportunities: To open more doors with recruiters for greater job opportunities and growth. To explore new areas that may bring out other interests or lead me down another job path - who knows?
  5. Self Confidence: To train myself how to interact with a diverse pool of individuals and how to interview (and market myself) effectively under pressure.
  6. Giving Back: To continue my social responsibility of giving back to my community - through student clubs, as an alumni, etc.
  7. Respect: To gain respect through the higher reputation and status that having an MBA brings. Just being honest here. :-) At a conference in 2002, a Marshall alum began his speech humorously:

    "The reason I went to business school was because I thought it would be really cool to have my name read 'Jerry Lin*, M.B.A.' on my business card. It wasn't until after I graduated that I found out we don't put 'M.B.A.' after our names, like the J.D.'s and M.D.'s do. I felt gyped!"

* - Name has been changed.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

No Decision Yet

It's difficult planning without a decision. And it's difficult making a decision when there are so many factors involved.
  1. Johnson sweetens the deal saying the $20K is for both years. Very tempting, but...
  2. UCLA impressively moved it's way to #10 in the US News rankings. Comparing career stats, more tech companies recruit there than my other admits (and this LA-born chicka has been dying to return to Westwood with its glorious weather), but...
  3. Chicago is stronger than the 2 in reputation, analytical focus, and data-driven marketing. Traveling there numerous times within the past year, I've grown to love the people, the facilities, the academics, and the culture, but...
  4. If Stanford gives me a sign of hope next month, hands-down its program is the best fit for my personality and my career goals.
In my comparison of Chicago and Stanford's 2005 employment records, I surprisingly discovered that:
  • At Chicago, 82.7% of accepted positions were "school facilitated." At Stanford, it was only 56%.
  • However, at Stanford, 13% of accepted positions were from alumni and 15% from family/friends. At Chicago, only 2.7% was from alumni and 4.3% from family/friends.
This shows how strong a "networking school" the Stanford GSB is.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Mailing Lists, Mentors, and E-vites

We put so much energy into this entire process.
- GMAT (check)
- Essays (check)
- Recommendations (check)
- Interviews (check)

Which hopefully leads to an admit. (Check)

*You let your breath out.* With the congratulatory letter in your hand, all of a sudden you're wondering, "Is my work really over now? Has all the fun ended? Could all this work become just this single piece of paper??"

No. It's only the beginning.

Before, I would find myself staring at an empty inbox, furiously clicking the "Refresh" button in hopes of school application updates. Now - I've never seen so much mail in my life.

"Hello! My name is AAA. I'm so excited!! -AAA"

"Hi, I look forward to meeting everyone at school ZZZ!! -BBB"

"Sending hugs and kisses to all of you, my new buddies!! -CCC"

If this were a popularity contest, the e-mails do a good job in making you feel special. "(squeeks) You want to be best friends with little ol' me from the bay?? No way! Wow."

The student & alumni mentors have been great with answering questions.

"Dear IWMI,

I will be your mentor. I’ve attached a picture of me and my wife (and my baby, my dog, my mother, my lover, my...).

If you have any questions about the school (or the attached picture), please feel free to contact me.


And let's not forget all the parties.

"Get drunk with Dean EEE when she visits your town! Available one night only!"

"Come join school YYY at Admit Weekend where you can start building relationships and make love (not war) with your future business partners!"

Choices, choices... hmm...
On a serious note: It's been a difficult ride, yet fun. :-)

P.S. Thanks to Clear Admit for the BoB nomination. Really appreciate your organization going out of your way to hold contests for us - who are blogging, when we really should be working. :-P Just don't tell my manager. *wink*