Mid-December Advice for Round 2 Applicants

Holy crap it’s December!! I just narrowly survived finals (YAY!), and you are in the final stretch into submitting R2 applications. Hopefully at this point you’ve taken a crack at your essays and resume, you’ve taken the GMAT at least once, and your recommenders know that they’re going to be writing recs for you.

This time of year was really stressful for me, so I’ve got a few pieces of advice for you at this stage of the process, as well as a collection of some resources to help you prep!

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Stranded in Oakland = Finally, Time to Write!

Oh hey there! Greetings from a lovely Oakland airport hotel, where I’m spending the night before heading to LA for the start of Thanksgiving break. For those of you who aren’t traveling or who don’t live in the Midwest, we had our first snowstorm of the year yesterday, after a long fall of temperatures in the 50s. Winter is here, y’all. And it doesn’t give a crap about our travel plans.

On the upside, I met a very nice Kellogg grad (class of ’82) who is also stranded at this airport hotel, and the staff here is very nice, even though I look (and feel) a little (a lot) crazy.

Also on the upside, having a little break from my plans is giving me some time to write! I’ve been dying to tell you about so many things, but this MBA thing really is as hectic as people say it is, and it’s been very hard to find time to reflect and write. But that changes tonight!

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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.

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.

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.

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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15-Minute Admish Tip: Set Up Intel Sessions

At last year’s Forté conference, I was waiting for lunch next to an Anderson student who couldn’t decide what sandwich she wanted. I offered to get a second kind and share with her, so we ate lunch together. After the event, she connected me with another Anderson student, who then introduced me to another, and another…you get the idea.

When I was standing in that line, I didn’t see the sandwich swap as my way into a series of awesome informational interviews with MBA students — it was my way, as a semi-shy person, to connect with one student at one of my target schools. But I got lucky; the informational interviews I got from this chain of referrals were invaluable, and I think you should do the same!

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It Begins: Pre-MBA Conference Season

I’ve gotten a bunch of e-mails over the past couple of weeks about upcoming MBA diversity conferences, which are fantastic opportunities to hear from current MBA students, mingle with adcoms from your target schools, and get jazzed about applying.

These conferences are a really valuable resource, and I don’t know that I would have found out about them if not for getting involved with the Forté Foundation and joining a bunch of lists. So here’s some quick information about these conferences for you, in case you are (like I was) not familiar!

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