Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The unprofessionalism of Chicago Booth MBA part-time admissions

I try my best to refrain from critiquing individual business schools since I don't want to be too negative in this blog.  However, a recent experience has compelled me to set aside that rule for now.  It deeply saddens me to write this post since it is regarding one of my favorite business schools in the world.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Biggest lie MBA adcom will tell you

I've gone to a lot of mba info sessions and campus visits and have had a chance to talk to senior admissions officers on various topics.  These public events are mostly a dog-and-pony show, designed to give off a certain marketing image to prospective applicants.  I've learned to take their answers with a grain of salt since they are mostly generic statements intended to not offend or scare off potential applicants. 

There is one thing that adcom says that irks me to no end.  Whenever I hear it (and I hear it at every info session) it takes the utmost self-control to not pull off a Joe Wilson and scream "You lie!" 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Exploring the Part-time MBA at Booth

Although a top full-time MBA has and still is my goal, I'm seriously exploring the part-time MBA at Booth.  There are obviously pros and cons.  Let's go through them.  

Friday, August 16, 2013

When is it too late to rebrand yourself?

As my friends already know, I recently quit my trading job after a very short stint.  I'm not going to delve into the details here, but suffice it to say, I'm now utterly convinced that trading is not the right industry for me and that it's time to move on.  This brings me to the topic of rebranding and MBA admissions.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Why I LOVE Chicago Booth

Although there are many top business schools that I like, in terms of cultural and social fit, I do not think there is a better school for me than Chicago Booth.  A recent experience only confirmed my viewpoint.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Sin of Omission

Do you know what's WAY worse than getting rejected at your dream b-school?  Getting accepted at your dream school and then getting your admission revoked out of nowhere.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mission Impossible

Your mission, shall you choose to accept, is a Herculean task, one that will require incredible skill, perfect execution, and lady luck. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Just made a big decision

Earlier today I made a critical professional decision, one that I did not think I would make just a short time ago.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Scary how quickly time flies

On Friday night, I met up with one of my best friends for a farewell dinner.  He is just wrapping up his MBA at a top 5 program and will be moving to NYC with his girlfriend (whom he met during the pre-orientation trip abroad!).  

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Top 15 MBA better than No MBA?

It's only June, but the application cycle will start soon as most schools will release their essay questions next month.  As I contemplate my school list, I have been asking myself the question that a lot of applicants have asked (or should ask if they haven't done so already):  how "low" down the rankings am I willing to go?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The trap of the short-term career goal

In my last post I discussed the pitfalls applicants face when discussing long-term goals.  In this post I will be focusing on the short-term goal.

I recently had drinks with a former co-worker.  She wanted to discuss MBA applications since she will be applying this coming year.  She is someone who has the credentials and background to get into a great school, but like many others new to the process, she does not yet have a clear idea of what she wants to do right after an MBA.  Although she knows what she wants to do long-term, the notion of figuring out the job she wants post-MBA is still foreign to her.  I suspect many are in the same shoes, so I want to lay forth some general guidelines when tackling this in the essays and interviews. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

The trap of the long-term career goal

Pretty much every school asks some variation of this standard MBA question:  "What are your short and long-term career goals and how will school "X" help you achieve it?"  I think a lot of applicants, myself included, make the mistake of taking the question quite too literally, especially as it pertains to addressing the long-term goal.  Let me explain what I mean.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Compensation Problem

There is perhaps no question on the MBA application I hate answering more than telling schools my precise base salary+bonus.  At a basic level, I feel like my privacy is being undermined.  But there is also a far deeper concern as it relates to admissions.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Exploring Yale SOM

I had previously ruled out Yale SOM from my list of schools, but I'm now seriously taking a look at it.  Although one of the youngest b-schools in the country, Yale has some serious things going for it. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Choosing an admissions consultant

I am generally quite skeptical of admissions consultants and the entire business as a whole.  My reasons for this are many, and I'm not going to get into that here.  I used a consultant the first time I applied to b-schools, and it was an utter debacle. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The potential risks of working for a startup

As anyone can imagine, working for a startup has huge risks:  big upside but also big downside.  Due to its very nature, no one can know for sure how successful a startup will be; much of it depends on a combination of quality of the product, execution, market forces, and luck.  There is also risks as it pertains to MBA admissions.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Why a b-school's prestige matters so much

When I got rejected from the top programs this year, a bunch of people told me that I should apply to lower ranked schools as well and expand my target list.  Although they certainly mean well, this is something I thought about extensively and decided against doing.  This upcoming year I will probably add 2 schools that are slightly lower, but aside from that I am committed to my core target programs.  Why am I doing this?  Some think I'm being downright stubborn or that my ego won't let me go anywhere else.  That is certainly not the case.  In this post, I want to outline the reasons why a b-school's prestige matters so much to me.  Although certain specifics of my reasons may not apply to others, I do think the general principles outlined here could apply to all MBA applicants.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Further clarification on the masters program

Since getting admitted to the finance masters program, I have been doing tons of research and talking to alums about the program.  It's pretty interesting how much more access I have as an admit as opposed to a prospective. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Accepted at a top finance masters program

I was recently accepted at a top finance masters program.  The admissions director called to congratulate me; however, I felt nothing.  I had to fake being excited, and the conversation was rather awkward.  I had applied to the program as a "hedge" in case nothing else worked out, hence my feeling of apathy.  If I had gotten into a top MBA program, there is no doubt that I would have gone nuts during the phone call with admissions, and I would have wept tears of joy.  Alas, that was not to be this year, but the fight goes on!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The question of timing

When is the right time to apply to b-schools?  The correct answer, more or less, is that you should apply when you are ready and can put together the strongest application possible.  For me, however, the issue is a bit more complex. 

The Case for Traders

I am writing this post to clarify my previous post.  A few of my friends e-mailed me about it because they mistakenly assumed that the post encapsulated my beliefs on the value that traders add to b-schools.  Hardly.  I was merely stating what I think are the potential minefalls that traders face in the MBA application process.  As a matter of fact, I personally believe that traders can bring a lot to the table.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Curse of the Trader

In my opinion, traders have a VERY tough time getting into top b-schools, moreso than almost any white-collar job out there (ok, a bit of a hyperbole but you get my point).  Multiple people who have also noticed this have asked me why this is the case. I think there are several key reasons.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Feedback from Tuck

I have nothing but good things to say about Dartmouth Tuck School of Business.  First, the school is super friendly with a tight community and arguably the most alumni b-school network in the world.  Second, the interview with the second-year student was laid back and casual, and I felt like I was chatting with a friend over coffee.  Third, they are one of the very few schools that offer actual feedback from an admissions officer!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Applying to masters programs that you don't really want to attend

There is a fundamental difference between masters programs and degrees such as bachelors, Phd, JD, MD. In today's world, going to college is a MUST (Peter Thiel, I'm talking to you!). As for the advanced degrees, you cannot practice the field, whether medicine, academia, or law, without the degree.

Another MBA journey begins

So per the advice of a great MBA blogger, MBAover30, I have decided to start my own blog to chronicle my MBA application journey. As my post indicates, i have been down this path before: several times actually. After yet another unsuccessful application cycle this year, I have been doing a lot of introspection and talking to good friends who were unafriad to tell me uncomfortable truths. That's what friends are for.

Some brief introductions are in order. I worked as a trader before making a big transition into another area. I will be honestly discussing my thoughts, trials, and hopefully victories, in the coming months as well as dissing out advice to fellow sojourners in this long arduous MBA journey. Comments will be greatly appreciated going forward.

I look forward to writing this blog.