Friday, August 24, 2007

Work in progress...both my essays and house.

I am working on my essays for round 1 applications right now. I am almost done with the first two for one school and well on my way on a third essay for the school. Its taking a lot longer than I originally thought, thankfully for once in my life I am not procrastinating. The toughest part so far hasn't been coming up with material its been fitting all that I want to in the short length allowed. I am actually looking forward to the 1500 word essay at this point because then I wont have to cut out a lot of material that I feel is valuable to my application.

Considering how many hours I have already invested and I haven't even finished one set of essays I am glad I started this pretty much right when applications came out. I had notebooks filled with ideas based on last years questions which was very helpful since it saved a lot of time brainstorming and allowed me to focus in on the specific questions. Basically my advice to anyone who ever plans on applying is to get as early a start on essays as possible.

The next week is going to be very stressful, we are reroofing and residing part of our house so that is taking up tons of time. In addition to a lot of other projects I have that are half done. I don't even have the heat installed in the downstairs and that is going to have to be done by October. I wish I wasn't doing major renovation on part of our house at the same time as applying to B-school...that or I really should hire someone to do some work. My plans to build the deck may wait till next spring or I may bite the bullet and pay someone to do something I am very capable of doing, which really bugs me.

Rereading the essay questions for my target schools kinda ruined my evening. The questions are horrible, nothing like any other schools. They are very specific, ask for tons of details, and have a 500 word limit...definitely the application I am dreading most.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The latest on the process and the worst part so far...

I talked to my bosses last week about leaving...the toughest part of the process so far. I like all the people I work with and what I do but now I feel like I am letting them down since it takes so long to learn all the stuff we need to do and its hard to replace people due to the clearance and qualifications required. Also we just have been assigned a ton of additional work and we are already stretched pretty thin so this is really going to put a lot on a few different people next year when I leave...which sucks but it is not going to stop me. I think the older guys understand but the younger ones don't get it since they are all happy there and no one else is looking to leave.

My immediate supervisor was obviously not excited to hear I will be applying to schools. I think he understands and I know I will get a solid recommendation from him. He did say he would give me an excellent one but I think his initial thought was now what am I going to do? My division head was amazingly supportive and said he wish he had gone back and gotten his when he was my age. Both his brothers have their MBAs and now run companies and are extremely successful, so he knows what it can do for someone's career. He said he would give me a great rec. and how much appreciates a lot of notice so now he can try and fill my job from within soon and then I can train my own replacement up instead of just throwing it on someone in two weeks. He was extremely excited about the whole thing and wants to get to work on the recommendations...basically that whole talk really made me feel better about leaving since my supervisor looked like I slapped him when I told him.

In other news I bought a new suit for the interviews I hope to get this fall. I still need to pick up a new pair of shoes to go with it but I have everything else set up. I have to go to the tailor to have it fitted.

In admission event news:
I attended a big info session in Boston that wasn't very helpful. There were hundreds of people and the big schools HBS, Wharton, Stanford, MIT, and Kellogg had reps that gave presentations...which provided nothing new. If I had to do it over again I would have save the gas and toll money and taken the wife out to dinner instead.

A much more helpful event was a Chicago GSB event put on by current students and recent grads. The people I talked to all seemed great and everyone loved the school, it was organized by the school but still you can sense they love it. A lot of the people were from or had gone to college in Boston so I got a lot of info on comparing the two cities. Most of the guys were married too so it was interesting to get their take on being married during grad school. Overall it was a great time and I got a lot of useful info out of that. I would love for more schools to put on events like that since you really get a sense of what the school and people are like in a setting off campus and out of the academic year.