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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Orientation Day 1: Accidentally Kellogg-Famous?

Yesterday was the first day of orientation (CIM — Complete Immersion in Management) at Kellogg. There is already so much I want to write about my experience at Kellogg so far, from their Social Impact Days event to the people to the KWEST trip I just went on to Peru (more on that soon).

But I am just so jazzed about this first day of orientation that I need to write about it RIGHT NOW. We were assigned our sections for fall quarter (go Big Dogs!) and listened to some speeches, including one by Dean Sally Blount, undoubtedly the most badass woman in the MBA dean game. We also did a choose-your-own-adventure leadership simulation based on a climb up Mt. Everest.

For me though, the very best part of all was during Kellogg’s MBA-famous “One of You” speech, delivered by Kate Smith, Assistant Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid. In this speech, she highlights the diversity of the incoming class by listing off some of our classmates’ accomplishments. There were so many impressive achievements, from starting non-profits benefiting underprivileged children, to convincing Melinda Gates to invest $100M in a development project, to Ironman triathletes and professional musicians.

Then… “One of you interviewed cast and designed challenges as a producer on shows like The Biggest Loser and Joe Schmo 3.You guys…THAT’S ME! And I’m so excited to tell you about this because it goes to show that we non-traditional people really are unusual and valuable and totally brag-worthy. (For real though, I’m even in the Kellogg news feature about the speech.)

So if you’re a non-traditional candidate working on your applications or looking into applying, keep your head in the game. It’s a lot of hard work, and we have more to prove than traditional candidates, but there are programs out there that want you and students out there who will be so excited to have you as one of them.

And now, a lovely PSA from our CIM Week execs on ways to celebrate life. Why not, right?

Image courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

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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MBA Intel Sessions: What I Learned

My last post was about setting up informational interviews with students and/or alumni from your target schools. I did a bunch of these intel sessions as I was applying, and I got great information not just about each school, but also about how to package myself as an applicant.

During my informational interview phase, I spoke to four students at UCLA Anderson, one Kellogg student, two Kellogg alums, a student at Indiana Kelley, a student at NYU Stern, and a student at Stanford GSB. Here is what I learned from them!

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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.

Application Deadline Lists

Quick post to share a few lists of application deadlines:

I applied to all my schools in round two but still wish that I’d been able to get my applications together in time for round one (it’s hard waiting until spring for decisions!). Whichever round you apply in, wishing you awesome awesome luck!

Image courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures.

Where Oh Where to Apply?

A really great Stacy Blackman e-mail popped into my inbox earlier this week. (Maybe it popped into yours too?) It was about figuring out where to apply — is it more important for you want an MBA from one particular school (Stanford or bust!), or just to get the MBA?

I decided to post highlights from that e-mail then figured, why not also share how I picked schools? That’s what MBA blogs are all about, right?

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Kellogg Graduation (Not Mine, Obvs)

Today is Kellogg graduation day! To commemorate, Kellogg Dean Betsy Ziegler wrote this awesome post with advice for the Class of 2015. A few highlights:

“You will have moments of sheer panic – that you were a hiring mistake; that you made an unforgivable error on an analysis; that you are overwhelmed by the workload/responsibility. […] Resist the urge to go underground and hide. Instead, ask for help. […] It is a sign of strength to say you don’t know but are willing to do everything you can to figure it out. […] You will be great, but you can’t be great totally on your own”

“Every six months I was at McKinsey, I asked myself – Am I still learning? Am I still making an impact? Am I still having fun? […] At year 11, I started to feel differently, so wrote out a 40×40 list (things I wanted to do by the time I was 40) and started executing. My world totally opened up. I was a seat filler at the Primetime Emmys, travelled around the globe, attended the Aspen Ideas Festival…and I made choices that got me to Kellogg. 

I firmly believe that you have to plan to live a full and happy life. […] Figure out what is important to you over time (not necessarily what others think is important), and make intentional choices that bring you the greatest personal happiness. […] Make the brave choice and take it.”

Everything about that post makes me so fired up to be going to Kellogg this fall. I hope it gets you equally excited about applying to b school!!

My Application Stats: Things Are Not Always As They Appear

If I were in your shoes, I’d want to know what kind of stats got a reality TV producer into business school. What does it take for a non-traditional applicant to compete? Do you need crazy scores? To start a non-profit saving orphaned penguins in Antarctica?

So in the interest of transparency and context, this is a post about my stats. But here’s the thing. When I was applying, I didn’t always find stats lists like this helpful. Of course the guy from Stanford with a 760 GMAT got into his dream school, you know?

I was so anxious about my applications and so concerned about my candidacy that I wanted to know what people saw as their big liabilities and how they dealt with them. I wanted the story behind the stats. So keep scrolling after my stats for the story behind mine! And remember, things are not always as they appear.

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