What’s in a name? What’s in a degree?

I can’t believe it’s already March! I’ve had a little over two weeks to digest my acceptance at the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University but it feels so much longer than that!

By the way, I still quite haven’t nailed how I plan to address the school name. Is it Johnson? The Johnson School? S.C. Johnson? Johnson Cornell University? JGSM? Cornell MBA? Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University? My God, that’s a mouthful.

A part of me cannot help but to be lured by the simplicity of the “(blank) Business School” naming convention. As someone exploring the possibility of a career in brand management, it’s only natural for me to consider what goes in a name. I’ve connected with a few of the Johnson students on LinkedIn and here’s a sampling of the headlines under the PEOPLE ALSO VIEWED section:

“MBA Candidate 2013 at Cornell University – S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management”
“MBA 2013 Candidate, Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University”
“MBA Candidate and Roy H. Park Leadership Fellow at Cornell”
“MBA Candidate at the Johnson School of Business at Cornell”
“MBA at Cornell University-Johnson Business School”
“MBA Candidate at Johnson at Cornell University”
“Class of 2013 MBA Candidate, Johnson at Cornell”

So… it appears as if I am not alone in the indecisive naming capacity of Cornell’s business school. One student uses the preposition “at” twice (i.e. “at Johnson at Cornell” which sounds redundant… most students use a comma to address this). Another forgoes the name “Johnson” completely and opts to simply go with the Cornell brand. A few others decide to say the hell with it and rename it as they see fit. Few students appear to use the initials S.C.

Anywaaaayyyys, haha, sorry for the random rant. I reckon I’ll just use whatever damn wording comes to mind when I’m typing!

Moving on…

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Accepted! :D

I’ve spent so much time in the past year imagining this – the anticipation, the phone call, the acceptance offer, the moment when I could stop dreaming and actually plan for the months ahead – but I never imagined that when the moment finally arrived that I would just stand there quietly in awe.

Even as I write this blog post, I’m struggling to some degree as to what to write. Feeling jubilant, relieved, appreciative, thrilled. I feel as if my brain has been wired for months, at the helm, ready to learn business fundamentals, network, and charge ahead. The switch has finally been flipped.

Here’s how it went down for me:

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Another interview & application complete.

For the second time in a row, Mother Nature reared its ugly head when I put on my Sunday’s best and trotted up to New Haven, CT., this time for my admissions interview with Yale. Mother Nature decided to turn on the faucets and let through a mixture of rain and snow on the one day I scheduled my interview (which was sandwiched by several days of clear, blue skies). If I was fond of New Haven on an overcast day, I wonder what my feedback would’ve been like on a sunny day!

As I had already opted for the campus tour + class visits during my last visit, I decided to forgo those options this time so that I could take my time preparing and arriving on campus for my afternoon interview. The train ride up from Grand Central Terminal (and that’s Grand Central Terminal, not Station, to be technically correct) actually took 2 hours flat. For some strange reason, I thought the train ride was quicker than that, or maybe it just felt quicker last time in September because I was still out of it at 6:30AM? Or maybe I hopped on an express ride last time? Regardless, a school with a 2-hour public ride to one of the greatest cities in the world is a pretty handy option to have.

As I mentioned on the GMATClub forums, my interview started off fairly formulaic but towards the end things were a bit more loose and relaxed (probably a common wavelength for many MBA interviews). The interviewer was super friendly, and none of the questions were really anything you shouldn’t otherwise be already prepared for. He did emphasize though that the interview was only one component of the entire application picture; basically, a weak interview won’t necessarily ding you but acing the interview still doesn’t mean you’re going to get that acceptance letter! (The latter of which is kind of a bummer, since a great interview can create a lot of real positive momentum, all of which can be deflated in an instant with a ding). And yes, I am feeling somewhat of a positive wave of hopefulness. I should probably do my best to clean forget about it entirely however, as its entirely out of my hands now. No point in getting ahead and setting myself up for failure.

In other school news, I finalized my Cornell Johnson applications/essays to officially submit application #3! I am really impressed with the momentum that Cornell has had recently (the strong uptick in the BusinessWeek Business School rankings certainly didn’t hurt) and I really enjoyed their essay prompts. I’m hoping that my creativity in the Table of Contents for My Life Story shines through to the admissions committee.

Once upon a time (sometime in 2002 or 2003) I actually had visited Ithaca as part of a mini-campus tour roadtrip with my folks when I was researching undergraduate colleges. I didn’t take any pictures at that time but I simply remember snow… and that I had really enjoyed the food in the dining hall. I am, however, relatively easy to please when it comes to food (I just want large portions) so I pretty much have no recollection of the campus whatsoever. Perhaps I’ll find time to visit (or better yet, interview) in the near future.