Friday, March 28, 2008

A Long Overdue Update...

Well I have been pretty terrible about updating this lately but this whole b-school process never seems to stop. Since my last update I have, attend Day at Kellogg (DAK), completed my taxes way earlier than normal, completed the FAFSA, and submitted my financial aid forms, spent countless hours finding an apartment in Evanston, and sending in my deposit for school this fall.

So first of all DAK was an amazing time, if you are admitted to Kellogg you definitely should go. I met a lot of folks that I had interacted with during the application process who also will be attending Kellogg this fall. Its nice knowing that there will be half a dozen people I already will know in the area. That was one of the best things about Kellogg in my mind, instead of everyone living all over the city like other schools in big city settings, everyone is pretty much concentrated in a small section of downtown Evanston. This is probably part of the reason the school is so tight knit, its definitely nice being able to walk down the hall in your building to a classmates apartment/condo, instead of spending 30 minutes commuting to someone’s place for a group project.

The Mrs. Also enjoyed her time at DAK, I think she realized that not only is it the perfect school for me but also for her. She met a lot of significant others who are going through the same thing as her, and is now really excited about the idea of moving to Evanston. Kellogg has to be the most accepting place for significant others for schools, well tied with Tuck. My wife can go to any classes she wants (no credit), join all the clubs, go on any trips including course related trips, and of course their group for significant others seems to be extremely involved. I

Finding a place that allowed our dog proved to be a challenge. Some apartment buildings would allow dogs but only up to 25 or 40lbs, I don’t think we could put Roxy on a diet and get a 75lb shepherd mix to look like a 40lb dog without killing her. We thought seriously about buying, in some ways it makes the most sense but in the end the stress of selling our house and buying a condo was just too much. In the end it came down to us having to finding a condo owner who would rent their unit to us and allow the dog. Luckily we found someone who was fine with it, of course there is a deposit for her and $25 more a month but considering we spend a couple hundred a month on daycare for the dog so that wan not enough to make us even think twice…dogs are way more expensive than you would think.

We already know one of my fellow gmatclubbers and his soon to be wife will be living in the same building, and it seems like a lot of the units end up in the hands of other Kellogg students. My wife was glad to see one of the people she met at DAK is going to be just one floor up…plus she is a fellow Red Sox fan so bonus points there. We have yet to complete the signing on the unit, the landlord is a K alum and seems to be pretty busy at work these days but I am not too concerned at this point, now its just a matter of the paperwork since our credit and backgrounds have already been run.

On the work front, productivity has come to a screeching halt at times. I wish I had more assignments to do, I get them done and then stare at my screen and think of what else I need to get done. Its not that I am being lazy but it sure is tough to motivate myself to come up with new projects and improvements when I know I wont be around to see my ideas through and most likely they will die as soon as I am gone…sadly I see it as not worth the effort. The Mrs. still hasn’t informed her work that we are leaving, I think she is afraid they will either lay her off (I doubt that) but more realistically I think she is afraid they wont give her anything important to do and she will be bored out of her mind.

A final note, the USNews rankings came out yesterday (well leaked out). It was nice to see Kellogg move up a spot. It went from tied for 5th to tied for 4th. I am not a big fan of generic overall rankings in many ways but this past year I have heard time and time again that Kellogg was slipping in rankings and it was a weakening brand. I was always curious where this opinion came from, if it was an informed on or just internet conjecture by a bunch of people who really don’t have any insight beyond seeing that it dropped in rankings last time so of course it will again. So even just maintaining its spot would have been fine but moving up one completely dispels that notion. Personally I think that the rankings now pretty much accurately portray reality by making it a three way tie between MIT, Kellogg, and Chicago.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

So I booked our trip to Chicago for the Day at Kellogg, which is actually a weekend but that’s not important. I am looking forward to getting away from work and things around here for a at least a weekend. I think at least once a day someone asks me when I am leaving for school, its gotten old already because how can someone who attended college and has kids in college not know school doesn’t begin until the fall. So it will actually be nice to take the next step in the process, sitting around and waiting for this to move forward is getting boring.

The only stressful thing at this point is selling out house, since it is such a bad real estate market. Luckily our house is totally reno vated or soon will be, and is in a town where sales have held pretty strong. We do have a fair amount of equity but at this point its going to be more important to get it sold than to squeeze every last dollar out of it. Ob viously it would be great to make a large profit on the house, it would make trying to live on just one income the next two years much easier to do.

There are so many things that need to get done before we move and just thinking about it is very daunting. I have another 6 mont hs or so at work, and that gets tougher everyday since I know that I am leaving. I was doing the scheduling for our next project (this one will end about the time I graduate) and the initial due dates aren’t even until after I will be gone. I feel bad in a way because I do a lot of work and there is no one here now who understands my systems…they have been very slow about bringing someone else in from a different area too. I guess it shouldn’t bother me since they pretty much will have had a years notice which is far more than the 2-4 weeks most people give when leaving a job.

While it is stressful and rather nerve wracking to think about moving and what school will be like, I am really looking forward to it. Not so much the class work or anything since I have nev er been the most studious person, but just the whole b-school experience. I have met a lot of great people during the application process, both during visits and events, and discussing the process online. I think coming from an undergrad experience that while it is great to reflect back on really was not fun when I went through it, the military aspect of it and the fact no one really stuck around on weekends pretty much eliminated any normal college experience. I am definitely not looking for the experience of a 20 year old college kid but it will be nice not having to march around in a uniform or spend two months sailing the oceans this time around.

Having the good fortune of being admitted extremely early in the process I have been able to watch the results come in without much worry. Yesterday was the final day for Kellogg admissions, it seems like almost everyone was WL…there were a few admits and dings here and there but overall it was a bunch of people getting WL. Its amazing that some people behave the way they do. I know its stressful and its upsetting when you don’t get in, heck I will admit I was disappointed when I didn’t get into Chicago even though I preferred Kellogg. It probably has a lot to do with competitive nature of the highly accomplished people who are applying to the top schools. But seriously if people can’t handle the application process how are they going to handle recruiting, group members relying on them for a vital part of a huge project, or even worse a high pressure work environment post grad. Seriously if someone giving themselves an ulcer during the application season then business school and the corporate world probably aren’t for them.