Featured on Accepted.com!

I’ve been kind of a shy bird about this for some reason, but I figure it’s time to just own it: I was featured on Accepted.com’s blog! They asked me to answer some questions about my MBA application experience, and I did. I answered a LOT, you guys. So verbose.

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Click through to read the whole interview, if you’re interested. I do some talking about things I’ve mentioned on the blog so far but haven’t gone into a ton of detail about, like building story and some reflections about life at Kellogg so far.

Hope you enjoy it!

Image courtesy of Universal Pictures.

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Netflix Knows When You’re Hooked

Oh man, you guys. This is wonderful. Netflix has released the results of a study it did of when people get hooked on TV shows. They defined the “hooked episode” as the episode after which 70% of viewers went on to complete the first season of that show.

The big news from the study (which isn’t really all that surprising, intuitively):

“In our research of more than 20 shows across 16 markets, we found that no one was ever hooked on the pilot. This gives us confidence that giving our members all episodes at once is more aligned with how fans are made.” –Ted Sarandos (emphasis mine)

So, why does this matter?

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Three Weeks In: Just Too Much to Keep Track Of

I’m three weeks in to my Kellogg experience, and a LOT has already happened. I became a little b school famous, survived orientation, finished two pre-term classes (including finals last weekend), had my last first day of school on Monday, and have already interviewed for extracurricular leadership positions.

People were not kidding when they said that starting an MBA program is like trying to drink from a fire hose, and I’m working on some posts about my first experiences at Kellogg to give you a sense of what that’s been like. Stay tuned for those!

In the meantime, I’ve got a couple of articles to share with you! The first is a fun article from Kaplan Prep: “4 Unlikely TV Shows MBA Students Can Learn From.” The second is a truly fantastic Forté blog post, “Be Willing to Take the Hits,” about a current Forté MBALauncher’s experience with the application process.

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8 Reasons Women Should Consider Business School

Excited to say that through the Forté Foundation, I was interviewed for this piece on Levo League about why women should consider going to business school!

Some highlights:

4. Because business school isn’t just for “business people.”

At the University of Michigan, 25 percent of first year b-school students had liberal arts majors as undergrads. “Women should have confidence knowing that what we’re looking for is a diversity of thought,” said Diana Economy. “The most common misconception is that business school is only for people who want to go into what they feel is ‘traditional business’: investment banking, consulting, and operations roles. The MBA offers incredible diversity in terms of post-MBA options. I have friends who are in leadership roles within school districts, they are consulting for non-profits, they are creating sustainable supply chains in emerging markets. I think an MBA program is a place where you can marry your passion with your profession.”

8. Because you’ll broaden your horizons, sharpen your skills, and get better at what you’re best at.

“I’m surprised at how much I’m interested in venturing outside of my comfort zone to meet different types of people and learn different types of subjects than what I’m typically used to,” said Sonie Guseh, 27, a second year MBA candidate at Columbia Business School. “I’m learning so much about myself and the world around me through school, and that’s an incredible part of the experience.”

Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

NYMag’s “She’s the Boss” Series

A little late to the game here, but I just stumbled upon NYMag‘s “She’s the Boss” series, which is full of great articles about being a lady in the business world. A couple of my favorite pieces were “25 Famous Women on Being in Charge” and “Everything I Learned Leading a Fortune 500 Company,” an interview with Lynn Good, the first female CEO of Duke Energy.

Some highlights:

Lynn Good
“Always play to your strengths, whether your strengths are gender-based or just natural aptitude. You’re well-spoken, or you’re very analytical, or you’re a great team-builder, or you’re great with relationships … Playing to your strengths is always something good to build on, because you’re trying to develop a foundation to keep growing, as a professional and as a leader. [… T]his issue of stereotypes, behavior that’s consistent with gender, I think every woman needs to evaluate how those things help your effectiveness, because ultimately what you’re trying to do is be the most effective leader, the most effective professional, and you want to add to your foundational strengths, and not detract from them.”

Jenna Lyons
“Managing creative people — not so easy. A lot of emotion, a lot of stroking. Some people need tough love. Some people need a lot of love. There’s no right or wrong answer. When someone creates something and puts it in front of you, that thing came from inside of them, and if you make them feel bad, it’s going to be hard to fix, because you’ve actually crushed them.” —Fast Company, April 2013

Mindy Kaling
“Well, [being a boss] was the thing I was kind of most excited about. You know, I came into the new show thinking, oh, let me have this democratic way of doing the show because I remember what it was like being a staff writer … At the beginning, I started at the show being a little bit too democratic … I just didn’t want to, like, overcorrect and become, like, the Saddam Hussein of the new job … [I]t was a really interesting learning experience, deciding that I have to just be very decisive and not take everyone’s opinion.’” —NPR, September 2012

Marissa Mayer
“I realized in all the cases where I was happy with the decision I made, there were two common threads: Surround myself with the smartest people who challenge you to think about things in new ways, and do something you are not ready to do so you can learn the most.” —Los Angeles Times, January 2011

Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

Corporette’s Tips for Full-Time MBA Students

A friend of mine (and fellow Northwestern alum) is friends with Kat Griffin, the founder / brilliant mind behind Corporette, a fashion and lifestyle blog for women lawyers, bankers, MBAs, consultants, and otherwise overachieving chicks who need to look professional but want to look fashionable. It’s an awesome resource, especially for those of us who dressed super casually for work pre-MBA.

Earlier this week, Kat put together a post full of great advice and resources for women who are starting MBA programs. I was thrilled to get a shout-out in the post (thanks Kat!) and want to share a few highlights and takeaways with you!

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Advice for a Great First Year of B School

I want to share a recent Kellogg blog post by Rohan Rajiv, “Making the Most of Your First Year in an MBA Program.” I haven’t met Rohan yet, but I’m super excited to — he’s one of the students planning Kellogg’s CIM orientation week, so he’ll definitely be around. His posts are great because they’re thoughtful, detailed (read: long, in a great way!), and comprehensive. This latest post is about what he learned from his first year at Kellogg — everything from daily routine to how he decided what social activities to attend.

If you like that blog post, Rohan also blogs daily (yes, DAILY) at A Learning A Day. I recommend checking it out!

And if you’re looking for new b school blogs to follow, I also totally recommend the Kellogg blog. Most schools have their own admissions blogs and student blogs. Kellogg has a mix of students, adcom members, alumni, and faculty as bloggers, which is pretty awesome. When I was applying, I also loved the UT McCombs student blog and think it’s a great way to virtually get to know a really warm and friendly student body.

Image courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

The Economics of Suspense

Fascinated by this New York Times article by Jeffrey Ely (Northwestern), Alexander Frankel and Emir Kamenica (Chicago Booth) about using economic theory to optimize entertainment:

“Once these concepts are formalized in this way, the question of how to maximize entertainment — that is, how to generate the most suspense or the most surprise — becomes a mathematical problem.”

Some lessons:

  • Information revealed over time generates drama through suspense (experienced before the fact) and surprise (experienced after the fact).
  • To be thrilling, you must occasionally be boring.
  • Mystery novels should have no more than three major plot twists on average, but the exact number of plot twists should be unpredictable.
  • Five- or seven- series games are optimal in sports, because it allows uncertainty about the eventual winner and allows for large swings in the likely outcome with each passing game.

“Academic analysis of the determinants of entertainment is in its infancy. Future work […] should help us better understand why we are moved by certain sports, novels and games. This might help us design better entertainment. More important, it will lead us to better understand the human psyche.”

I would love to read about these professors’ takes on how the results of their research can pair most effectively with experienced entertainment professionals’ intuition, but I guess that’s a question for another day!

Image courtesy of CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

Happy Independence Day!

It’s not every day that Will Smith saves us from aliens, y’all, so I hope you’re celebrating appropriately!

I’m working on making 50+ pounds of ribs for a ridiculous barbecue, so I’m gonna get back to that and leave you with some inspiration from the one and only President Bill Pullman:

Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

UnREAL: A Reality TV Producer’s Two Cents

This is how doctors must feel about Grey’s Anatomy.

I’ve been fielding questions about UnREAL, Lifetime’s new scripted series about a reality TV show, ever since its premiere. How realistic is it? Holy crap, is that what I do for a living? Do I love the show, or do I LOVE it?

For the uninitiated, UnREAL is about the behind-the-scenes machinations of Everlasting, a Bachelor-esque reality show. The protagonist Rachel is a producer who is amazing at the job she hates, which is essentially to manipulate the cast members into causing camera-worthy drama.

So, what exactly do I think about UnREAL? And what does it get right and wrong?

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