NYU Stern’s Open House Event

I just wanted to write a short post (this ended up being longer than I thought), commenting on NYU Stern’s Full-time MBA Admissions Open House event. The event was held on a Saturday morning, and even though my R2 application to Stern isn’t guaranteed, what else would I be doing at 10AM on a Saturday? Sign me up.

In short, if you’re within the general vicinity of NYC or can somehow arrange to attend a future Open House event, I highly encourage it. Although the majority of the event was your standard run-of-the-mill information session complete with student speakers and PowerPoint presentation slides, the admissions committee capped the event with a very interesting, unique approach that I’ll touch on later.

The four student speakers NYU Stern elected to speak at the event were a diverse panel of speakers (a former Googler who spent his past summer at Sony working on strategy for a Harry Potter product, an investment banker, an intern at Bayer Consumer Care, etc.) I felt that Stern touched more upon the diversity and strength and influence of its faculty more than most other schools. (Obviously  being located in the heart of Manhattan has a lot to do with the strength of its professors.) Highlights they touched upon included the renowned Corporate Finance class taught by Professor Aswath Damodaran or the connections another professor has with the Cannes Film Festival which allows him to bring 25 students each year, often meeting with executives of various film companies or conglomerates.

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A trip to the Greater Chicago Area

Quick update on things!

First things first, I received an invitation to interview at Yale SOM!!!

To say that I had lost hope would be putting things lightly. I read waves of posts on GMATClub.com’s forums of fellow applicants receiving the good news and being invited to interview at New Haven. Sure, I was very happy for them – but seeing my empty inbox with each passing week  made me want to curl up into a ball or kick a pebble down the street muttering, “Phooey.” I don’t know what it is about Yale SOM that resonated so much with me, but I do know that it sits within my top 2 choices (SOM & Kellogg). My interview is scheduled around the end of this month. One thing I know for certain is that should the interviewer ask, “Why SOM?”, I will probably have to be cut off before I answer the next question because I’ll just keep spewing out words. So anyways, hurray! So close, yet so far!

The e-mail invite came when I was least expecting it. The wheels to the airplane I was on had just touched down in O’Hare and I had just turned on my phone. It definitely amused me to have received the news when all I had been doing for the last several hours is mentally prep myself and focus in on a completely different school: Northwestern Kellogg School of Management!

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Carolina blue skies

“Carolina blue skies,” my cousin calls it. I continued staring up at the expansive, blue skies that stretched as far as I could see. North Carolina, as far as I could tell, was very flat and very green. It was sunny, had friendly highways (and I do mean friendly – I saw drivers backed up for half a mile on a 2-lane exit because they didn’t want to skip and merge ahead), and an interesting trifecta of cities known as Research Triangle Park: Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Durham. I liked it.

Well, I officially have my first business school interview out of the way! In retrospect, I should have probably prepped a bit more, because I am not a natural bullshitter. Though it can be much easier to become conversational when speaking about something from the heart or a specific personal hobby, the admissions team doesn’t want to hear about how much I want to be admitted. They want to know why, and what I will contribute, etc. (The want… is a given.) Answering those questions, well, for me personally, take some planning, writing, and preparation to really nail.

“Just be yourself.”
“Don’t worry about it.”
“Oh, it’s nothing. It’s so conversational.”
(grinning) “I’m not worried about it at all. I’m just gonna go and talk.”

These are just several reactions I received over the day from various admissions staff and fellow prospective students. Everyone handles their interviews differently, I suggest you find your own way as well!

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blueberry pudding

I’m sitting here in the Atticus bookstore on the borders of the Yale University campus to pick up a fresh serving of banana bread pudding for my friend back in New York City. The only thing is, they don’t have banana bread today. I quickly send my friend a series of TXTs.

Me: Oh wow there are lots
Me: No banana today. Blueberry, chocolate chunk, carrot cluster..
Me: Chocolate!!
Her: Blueberry
Her: !!
Me: Blueberry or Blueberry Oatmeal?
Me: Went with plain bb
Her: Wahoo! Plain it is
Her: Plain bb yay!!!!

The other recommendation my friend (a former master’s student at Yale) offered was the mashed-potatos-and-bacon pizza at Bar. That sounds like a heart killer if I’ve ever heard one. I had to try it. Alas, when I arrived, their kitchen hadn’t opened yet.

Well, I’m in New Haven today for a campus visit to Yale SOM. For the entire week leading up to today, the weather in New York couldn’t have been more perfect. Mild, sunny, slight breeze, mid 70’s just the way I like it. Yet today marked the first cloudy day with a forecast of rain in weeks and I woke up to my alarm at 5:40AM expecting the worst – strong and powerful winds, gloomy atmosphere on campus, and walking around in soaked dress pants and shoes. As I prepared to leave my apartment and head to Grand Central Terminal this morning, I was very tempted to throw on my Lowa hiking boots (fitted with Gore-Tex, my absolute favorite pair of shoes to wear during inclement weather). Alas, I opted for the more traditionally accepted pair of dress shoes.

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