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Re: 2010 - Nine Questions with a GMAT Club Member - Apply Now [#permalink]
08 Feb 2010, 12:12
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Q&A: 9 Questions withasimov Matriculating @: Duke Fuqua - Class of 2012
Asimov, is one of the most active forum member of GMATClub in the past few months. After wisely targeting his #1 choice Fuqua, some say that Asimov is the next best thing at Fuqua since aaudette's departure...
Asimov, congrats on your wise decision to enroll at Duke Fuqua. I heard that Matthew McConaughey feels betrayed that you would enroll at Fuqua over the almighty UT Austin. Now why did you decide to make NC your home for next 2 years?
Big Mac, as he prefers to be called, and I are great friends throughout the years. I’ve supported him through all of his cheesy chick flicks, so I’m sure he’ll be supportive of my decision to attend Fuqua.
As far as NC, it was an easy decision. After living up north for two years, I decided trekking through snow or scrapping ice off of my windshield ain’t my thing.
Ahh, Big Mac.... I am a big fan of his movies myself. (*cough* ahem *cough*)
Now that you will be a Blue Devil, what will you do during March Madness if Longhorns must play the Blue Devils?
I don’t foresee my allegiance coming into question during March Madness (in the near future). The Longhorns and the Blue Devils are both great teams, thus I’m sure they’ll both make the respective #1 seed. However, since Longhorns historically have had problems with getting to Sweet Sixteen, and Blue Devils historically have had problems with getting past Elite Eight, they probably will not play each other any time soon. With that said, Hook’em!
What are your goals after bschool and how do you think your engineer background will help or hinder your plans in the future?
My goal is to become a heavily indebted beach bum. I mean, all this expensive schooling is great and all, but who wouldn’t want to just windsurf, chill on the beach, hit on girls in hot bikinis all day? Unfortunately, my mom tells me that I need to help make the world a better place. So I’ll settle with trying to make healthcare systems run more efficiently with better utilization of technology or help market affordable renewable energy to the general population. My engineering background will definitely help me digest the 1337 h4x0r aspects of these endeavors.
Hmm, sounds like you've got a plan. I too have a plan and it involves retiring after YSOM by either winning Mega Million sweepstakes or be a FT stay at home fiance to my Stanford GSB fiancee.....
On another note, I personally had a heart-break last year when I was WL'ed at Tuck, which was my first choice. Were there any programs out there that you applied to this year that you had a similar experience?
Fuqua was my top choice school this year and I applied during the Early Action round, so I don’t have any heartache. My dream school is Stanford, but I failed at it last year. So I plan on having some headaches from my college buddies at Stanford taunting me about not getting in.
You were initially concerned about the length of your WE. Why did you feel that was a disadvantage and how did it affect the choice of schools that you chose to apply to this year?
I was concerned about my WE because I am a job switchers. I had 4 jobs in 3 different industries in less than 4 years. I felt the AdCom will look negatively upon this because I appeared to not have in-depth experience in any particular field. I addressed the issue by talking extensively about my experiences in the healthcare industry and detailed my post-MBA plans in the healthcare industry. I think that resonated well with Fuqua, since it’s a huge healthcare management school.
Apparently, having 4 jobs in 4 years is not a bad thing. Solaris1 too had similar experience on his resume and he was rewarded with his admit to NYU.
As you've mentioned above, you were a reapplicant. Can you discuss what you did differently this year compared to LY?
Last year, I wasn’t too sure if I wanted to go to b-school. So I applied to only the reach schools and a school that didn’t fit my background. If I got in, great, if I didn’t, I wasn’t going to stress over it. This year, I focused on schools that fit my background and tailored my essays toward these schools. I had discussions with my recommenders about the b-school recommendation process. But overall, I was just lucky that Fuqua bought my spiel.
Recently, I've met a volunteer on the street, asking people to give blood for some cash and $5 Starbucks card. Now, would you give blood to win back some of the application fees that you wasted this year? If so, how much will you give? If not, what would they have to offer to entice you?
Ummm... very interesting. You do think outside the box.
You were a huge contributor in the "Venting Thread"…. Would you set up a Twitter account and vent out while you are in bschool for all your current fans?
I have fans? I didn’t know I had a talent at whining. If the fans request it, why not? Now, I just need to figure out how to work this Twitter thing.
Me too. I must be getting old because I don't quite get the Twitter thing either.
Finally, LY at Fuqua admitted student wknd, a really drunk kid got up towards the end of the ceremonies and decided to give a toast to the school and current student with slurred speech and made a fool of himself. Any plans on topping this tradition this year?
Oh that’s child’s play. One time at an after party of a big sailing competition, one inebriated sailor gave a drunken speech butt naked next to the student union. It’s going to be difficult for me to refrain from giving a similar show, since I’m Asian, and everyone knows Asians are very gifted But somehow, I know I can find the strength in myself to overcome that urge.
Re: 2010 - Nine Questions with a GMAT Club Member - Apply Now [#permalink]
11 Feb 2010, 14:00
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Q&A: 9 Questions withDrSatisfaction Matriculating @: Oxford - Class of 2012
DrSatisfaction, is a Canadien Arsenal FC fan and a forum member of GMATClub who is headed over to UK for his MBA degree. He dreams of an awesome career in buyside fund after bschool, and like most Oxford MBA grads, we can be assured that he will most likely achieve this dream soon enough.
DrSatisfaction, congrats on your awesome admissions to Oxford… Now I think it was Buffdaddy who told me that you have to wear a fake wig and a black robe while taking exams at Oxford… Do you think you would look good in a wig and a robe? Why? I think I would look absolutely stunning in a wig and robe outfit. Blonde wigs really bring out my eyes.
Blonde wigs? I thought they were white? Hmm.....
Now you attended a school in Toronto as undergrad. Here are some Canada questions: 1) Are Mapleleafs more popular than maple syrup in general? 2) I am a huge Our Lady Peace fan. Do you think I am too old to be a groupie? 3) How come you didn't apply to any awesome bschools in Canada? 1) Torontonians swear by the Leafs, although I must confess that, as a basketball fan myself, I’ve never been to a Leafs game. 2) To quote some words of wisdom I once heard, "Age ain't nuthin' but a number." Alternatively though, I think you can do VC, make a boatload of money, and make Our Lady Peace your groupie. Ever considered that possibility? 3) I'm pretty disappointed in the Canadian education system overall and wanted more of an adventure overseas. Plus, let’s just say the guys I've met from the Canadian MBA programs weren't all winners.
What are your plans after getting your MBA degree and how do you think getting a MBA degree in UK can help or hinder those plans? Also, if you haven't yet, did you pick a favorite EPL football team to cheer for while you are at Oxford? I'm hoping to get into a buyside fund of some sort post MBA. I know it's incredibly tough and I have set my expectations realistically. I'm working on some networking leads right now, but if nothing works, my plan is to try and snatch up a sales/trading job. In particular, I'm interested in working in Asia in the long run, and the Oxford name is held in very high regard over there. This is one of the main reasons that influenced me to attend Oxford over INSEAD.
Now about football, I've never followed it much, so I'll have to develop a taste for it when I land in the UK. I like Arsenal though. Their team logo looks cool.
The bankers in UK are under a lot of scrunity. In some ways, their compensation is even more restricted now compared to US. How will this affect your option to consider a post MBA job in the UK?
I'll be looking to work mostly in Asia - Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, and Beijing are my personal preferences. I don't expect the compensation to be affected much over there. If I do end up working in London, I'll just have to cross my fingers and hope for the best. The bottom line is, a “bad paying” banking job still pays much better than 95% of the other jobs on the market.
What did you learn about bschool apps this past year? Any regrets or mistakes that you wish you could have avoided? Are there any advice for future applicants? The applications felt like a full time job in itself. I wish I would've started working on the essays earlier. I believe most applicants probably share this sentiment to some degree. Although I was fine with my timing and finished most of my applications before the deadline, I felt like a few more drafts/edits wouldn't have hurt. That being said, I felt pretty ready for my applications mostly because of the valuable experience I've picked up from my law school applications in my previous life. For future applicants, I would suggest to always start early and leave yourself enough time in case of last minute hiccups.
How's your british accent? Do you like drinking tea? My British accent is bad. Just plain, simple bad. I’m not even going to try. I do love tea though. Tea >>> coffee imo. I’m looking forward to afternoon tea parties at Oxford.
Now, you have "Dr" in your GMATclub member name. Are you really a doctor? Also, after I get my MBA, I am gonna ask everyone to address me as a "Master"… Don't you think "Master Nink" is so much more awesome than "Dr Nink"? Yes, in fact I am a love doctor who will satisfy all your body’s natural reactions. No actually I am not a doctor (fortunately, because there’s no way I’d survive med school + residency), although I tried being one for a while by studying neuroscience for a few years during undergrad until I couldn’t stand it anymore and switched over to economics. I think you’re onto something there though with the “Master Nink” thing though. It’s got a nice ring to it. I myself will stick to DrSatisfaction, just because “Master Satisfaction” doesn’t seem to quite work as well. Maybe I can upgrade to “DrSatisfaction, MBA”? Now there’s a thought…
Winter Olympics is almost here. Now why is Curling an Olympic sport? Did this originate in Canada? The real question is, why is curling a sport at all? I thought it originated in Canada, but a quick glance thru Wikipedia proved me wrong. Apparently it originated in Scotland in the mid 1500’s. Damn it. Well at least we’re home to Tim Horton’s.
What are your plans until first day of school from this point and on? I’m working hard trying to land a summer internship right now. It’s tough applying against other 1st yr MBA students, but I’m doing what I can through personal networking and what not. Hopefully something will work out and I can do a May-September type of internship before starting school. Alternatively, I’m prepared for the reality of not landing an internship, in which case I’d probably just work in my current job until May/June and take a few months off to travel before school starts. I think an internship will be very valuable for my career, but secretly, I’m kinda hoping to take a nice long vacation and travel for a bit before school starts. I guess this is the best part of having an offer in hand and knowing my future plans are set come October – internship or vacation, no matter what, I can’t lose.
Re: 2010 - Nine Questions with a GMAT Club Member - Apply Now [#permalink]
14 Feb 2010, 08:50
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Q&A: 9 Questions withxpiano1978 Matriculating @: Cornell AMBA - Class of 2012
xpiano1978, is headed to Ithaca this summer for his AMBAdegree at Cornell. Known for its brutal 3 month summer session for its AMBA program, xpiano1978 is either going to have one heck of a summer, or a brutal one.
xpiano1978, congrats on your admissions to Cornell MBA program. What is your idea of an ideal bschool program and how does Cornell fit into that description? Lots of Fun, Free Beer, Free Food, [Fresh Dating Pool].
In a way, albeit slightly facetious, the bottom line is when you pick where you want to go, you want to make sure you have access to the things that matter to you. Whether that is career, (ie, I want to be an Ibanker), or personal (I like warm places). There’s a lot of things that fall into the “fun” category for me. Mostly, this is about spending time with cool people, and being able to pursue my interests.
I spent some time trying to talk to students AND alumni from the various schools that I was applying to. Suffice to say, some students/alumni were more responsive than others. I found the Cornell alumni to be extremely responsive to the questions I had.
I contacted them back in August, and kept in touch every few weeks. When I visited Sage Hall, I took the time to “wander” around the building on my own, looking slightly lost. (at some points, it wasn’t an act!) and just tried to get a sense of how people were. I had a professor randomly chat with me (Farrahut I think – he taught stats), and multiple students. One student even went over my resume and chatted about how to partially prep for the interview.
I did all this before I went into the interview, so I was pretty psyched going in. Maybe this enthusiasm showed as well… After the interview, (I went on a Thursday), they had a Sage Social event there was some sort of social event involving people bidding for the right to throw pies into people’s faces. Along with this came the free food and free beer…
So yeah, 3 out of 4 aren’t bad. (Honestly, I didn’t spend much time trying to scope out the women… I had other things on my mind before and after the interview – thinking I bombed the interview pretty much dampened my spirits for the Sage Social). What really sold me on Cornell was everyone - faculty, students, and alum seem really invested in the community, and the program. So, between spending time with people I think I’d get along with, along with the various good eats (and drinks) lying around, I think I found a good place to be.
Even with your impressive engineer background, you're slightly older than avg FT bschool applicant. How do you think your age helped or hindered your chances this yr? I pretty much asked every adcom (For the schools I applied to) some variation regarding my being older than the avg. applicant. All of them gave a pretty standard response. “Back in the day when you and my parents were thinking about grad school…” However, looking at various statistics for past years, I feel that yeah, I needed to have taken over the world, or found the Cure for Cancer to have a better chance at a lot of schools at my age. In hindsight, although I think age mattered somewhat, I think in light of other factors, there were definitely some things that mattered more that I could have done better.
If I had to weight how “important” the relevant factors to my getting (or not getting admission, just based on empirical information)
• Luck (25%) • Background (engineering vs. consulting at a Big 3, etc.) – (25%) • Application Strategy (25%) (Did I “manage” or “coordinate”?) • Quality of Essays (20%) (The Table of Contents essay was a big differentiator I think I spent a lot of time mulling that one over and came up with something creative and original) • Quality of Interview (10%) (“Don’t pick your nose, Don’t pick your nose…”) • Age (10%) • GMAT Score (5%)
I guess despite my awesome GMAT score, I can’t add very well…
Back when I used to have a Facebook account (don't ask me why I don't have one anymore), I used to have Raabend and fatb (current Cornell MBA1) as friends. I saw awesome pictures of Ithaca and outdoor activities with Cornell classmates and was little jealous. Have you met any current Cornell students and what is your impression of Cornell in general? Didn’t I just answer this question? What’s with the 3rd degree here!
I think I’ve “met” (albeit not in person) 4 alumni.
I also met and chatted (at least for 5 minutes), 10-15 students. One of the students, one of the alumni had put me in touch with. As it turns out, she had pulled an all-nighter for some conference that she was planning, but she still seemed (relatively) coherent and happy to talk to me.
Another student was running for one of the leadership positions in the student coucnil, and I asked her about her platform (for some reason a lot of students were running on similar platforms), and we started chatting about her background.
All the students seemed extremely down to earth too – which is important for me. The campus is nice, and if you want to get away (a bit) from the hustle/bustle of city life, it’s a good choice. If you want to still be in touch with the city, sure you could go down to NYC every weekend…
You're an AMBA student. There was someone from last yr who ended up at Kellogg 1 Yr program and realized that as soon as he quit his job for bschool, he had to look for another job once the Fall recruiting began.... Why did you choose AMBA? Money! It’s cheaper and less lost salary!
Well, that was definitely a big part of it. I had serious concerns about the program itself since I felt that “networking” was a big part of going to b-school, and it was basically a year’s lost time for networking. Also, you would lose out on the internship experience, and what about all the classes you want to take, like “introduction to culinary arts” and “introduction to wines”!
What changed my mind was a discussion I had with Randall Sawyer when he was in Boston on the MBA tour, and the fact that all 4 alumni I had talked to (who were all AMBA students) were extremely supportive of it being the right decision for them. (They did caveat that if you wanted to go into certain fields – ie Ibanking – which relies on internships as feeders into the industry, you might want to consider a 2 year program). After talking with these alumni about my background and plans, they reiterated that they felt the program would be a good choice for me.
Yeah, you do lose out a little bit, but the AMBA cohort is extremely tight knit as a result of the suffer… errr intense summer experience they experience, and there’s definitely something to be said about the quality of your relationships as well as the quantity. And the point about classes – as my 2nd year interviewer stated – you’re always going to feel like you want to do more….
About the recruiting point – yea. I’m already looking for my next job... b/c I know I won’t have much time before September rolls around.
The AMBA I think is for people who know what they want to do – this was made clear by pretty much adcom as well as students and alumni, but I think I have a pretty firm handle on that. Also, the learning from people of the more experienced type (all AMBA’s tend to be a bit older) was something that the people I talked to was a benefit as well.
One of the most disturbing thing since I joined YSOM is all the campus security emails they send out to every student (required by Fed law) whenever a student is mugged and etc. Would you be disturbed by similar emails at Cornell whenever a student is attacked by a Grizzly bear, honeybee, Bigfoot and other monsters in the wilderness of Ithaca? I’ve pretty much been a city boy (Bronx, then Queens, then Boston area), and you know, if a Grizzly bear got beef…. Bring it on! (How about a Grizzly cow?)
Yeah… I definitely had some concerns about the whole “I’m used to being in a city, and now I won’t be in a big city”. But, this went away when I went and visited Ithaca. I ate at 2 restaurants, and they were GOOD restaurants. I love Chinese food (I’m Chinese), and I wanted authentic Chinese food, and I was definitely able to find it there. So, I was all set on the food front. As for the “well, what am I going to do in my free time.” My first response was “Will I have free time?” and “If I have free time, would I rather sleep or do something else?” As you so pointedly pointed out earlier, I’m “old”, and us “old people” need our beauty sleep… If there were constant grizzly bear maulings, or bee attacks, I’d probably just end up sleeping in Sage Hall, oh wait…
What are your plans after bschool? With your awesome GMAT score, perhaps you can take a shot in MGT consulting? Also, I have no idea why I keep using the word "awesome" in every sentence. Do you think I should be concerned about this "condition"? I had a class (for work) once, and they wanted me to put together a project plan. (It was one of those “program management classes”. I was intent on world domination at the time. Getting into business school was phase 1. Getting out of business school was phase 2. Phase 3 was to achieve world domination. I think I’ll be working on phase 3.
Since I’ll need able henchmen, as well as good planning and strategy, I’m thinking strategy/organizational management – the better to lord over the masses, and command the armies. (Massive armies and bureaucracy don’t just manage themselves…). Outside of that, *maybe* product management, as I need to be able to either sell my wares to the whole world, or come up with some new widgets with which to bend the world to my will (mind control device anyone?)
MGT consulting. Why would I want to help someone else take over the world when that’s my goal? That’s just silly… Hrmm… I think that plan was supposed to remain secret. Well, about MGT consulting, I like my sleep and lifestyle, and I’m not that fond of travel. (There’s dangerous bears on those planes…) . That and as someone pointed out, those probably would require an “internship” (ie 2 year program) to get into… although it’s not completely unknown apparently. So, yeah, I like the “Function” of MGT consulting, and maybe I could do it, but, I don’t think it meets my lifestyle needs.
I feel that strategy, organizational management, or product management is a good complement to product development. It’s not a huge migration from what I was doing previously, and it gives me better advancement opportunities upwards.
If you're trying to take over the world, I don't think you need to worry about any of your "conditions" I can "take care" of that for you...
You have the word "piano" in your Gclub member name. Are you any good on piano? If so, it can definitely come in handy during the cold nights in Ithaca where you can perhaps put on a performance for the ladies? Actually, yeah – I used to play the piano. And I liked the Billy Joel song “Pianoman”. Unfortunately, most times “xpianoman” is actually taken. (How many people out there really play the piano – come on!). I haven’t played in a while. I am musically inclined in other ways though. (You should hear my dog clap for me when I stop…)
I think I’ll probably end up in the Game Theory club at Johnson, in addition to perhaps the golf, tennis clubs as well… Wait, those are outdoor activities that don’t help when it’s cold outside! I guess I’ll have to rely on other “performances” to impress the ladies…
As a soon to be Cornell student, you need to pick out another icy (oops, I meant ivy) school to hate on, for no reason whatsoever. Which ivy will you pick on and why? For my icy school to hate, I pick Wasilla High School located in Wasilla, Alaska. Former Governor Palin went there... (I’m a registered independent in my home state and don’t really care much one way or another about the Former Governor).
Oh wait, you want ivy’s? Yeah, I’m totally gonna hate on Scindapsus aureus - syn Epipremnum aureum, aka Devil’s Ivy, just b/c they’re EVIL
Oh, Ivy school? Harvard, b/c they rejected me in the past for undergrad, and b/c I’m “too old” for them. *shakes fist*
As a soon to be ivy league student, you are required to wear short sleeve Polos (with collars popped up) even when it is snowing outside. Which Polos do you prefer and do you have your own special method to keep the collars up all day long? Ummm… I have maybe 3 polo shirts… I guess I’d better hope it’s really cold all the time if I have to keep the collars popped up. This way, I won’t sweat (and can reuse the shirts), and I can ice the collars so they’ll be fresh looking!
I think I like the free, comfortable, non-starchy types of polos to be honest...