Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bad blog pitches- anyone else get these thrilling emails?

I am sure I am not the only one who has been targeted by well meaning MBA spam. I'm talking about the numerous new websites, test prep, case prep, admissions prep, that have popped up on the web and the emails I received asking me to review/advertise them. These are mostly started by enterprising MBAs who clearly skipped the class on communication. Now, I will partially blame business school. We're beaten over the head (metaphorically) until we can produce a perfect business introduction email and a perfect informational interview email, but there is a lack of understanding of social media. It wasn't until I was doing training on social media at work this week that I was able to more clearly elucidate why these unsolicited emails piss me off.
1) You have never before commented on my blog.
2) I DO have my email on the blog, it's just hidden, which means you haven't actually taken the time to read my blog and are just commenting on the first entry. At least the last email I received admitted he just found me on a google search.
3) Assuming that promoting MBA websites was the sort of thing I did (it isn't, see #2 about actually reading my blog) some of the websites SUCK. THEY ARE NOT GOOD. Why would I promote something that is not useful? Actually, an email I received recently was for a very useful service, but one that I consider morally questionable - basically helping people shortcut around case readings.
I give all due credit to my new job for assisting me in properly focusing my anger.
Fellow bloggers what do you think? Are you annoyed? Pleased? Ambivalent about this?

Monday, August 31, 2009

Why on earth are leggings so popular in England? OR My first 2 weeks at work.

As usual, the deafening silence from my blog is related to something I felt unable to discuss while the process was in motion. In this case, the process was... GETTING A JOB! I sprinkled my CSR/sustainability/non-profit applications with a few pure private sector research and consulting positions. Of course the few applications that went forward were private sector - my attempts at sustainability positions beyond my not-really-paid internship were met with deafening silence.

The weather, to quote my favorite BBC Anglia broadcasters has been rather "unsettled" as of late. We don't really have a dress code at the office, which includes people working in pure creative positions as well as people doing a lot of B2B work so on any given day there are lots of jeans and quite a few suits, depending on the department. I have opted for smart business casual as I am simply not stylish enough to compete with the creative types walking around and in my tiny little division I was hired as the most senior person besides the BIG boss so examples must be set. Many of my colleagues around the office deal with the changeable weather by wearing leggings. I have previously discussed how much I despise leggings, but with English I can see the point of integrating them into the wardrobe. Not to say I will, but I can understand the obsession. They are just EVERYWHERE though. I can't escape the leggings. And the main issue in this country as opposed to the US where leggings are totally unnecessary to wear outside the northeast, women in England choose to pair leggings with incredibly short tops and dresses. Leggings are no more flattering and barely more covering than tights and a lot of people just shouldn't wear them.
Rant ended.

I really like the work atmosphere and it is giving me a great dip into a niche consulting area. I have a great MBAish title and all of my peers (who are based in the states) are MBAs as well. I am enjoying my job, starting to receive my own accounts, and starting tomorrow will be supervising interns! London is still a fantastic city. I am starting to get used to the bustle again and I just sit back and blend into the many commuters and wackos on the tube every day. Like the guy who insisted on holding both overhead poles and scrunching up his face in pain randomly throughout the 4 stop journey. Or the woman who brought her dog on the tube during rush hour. Or the woman who saw the dog, screamed, and ran to the other side of the tubecar. Ah, London, I have missed you.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sometimes I get homesick

I am a bit bitter this week because husband is in Boston Massachusetts seeing our old friends and I am stuck in Cambridge ENGLAND working. This bitterness was fueled by remembrance of culinary delights such as Anna's Taqueria and Pomodoro. I went to the grocery store to try to get ingredients for an enchilada-like casserole. I needed some monterey jack cheese, some corn tortillas, chicken, enchilada sauce, jalapenos, salsa.
After a trip to Marks and Spencers I found:
So, that was an epic fail. I went home and had an ostrich burger and salad. I had a think about what else I could do with chicken. (Oh that was such British phrasing...) I decided to attempt a version of my favorite pre-made pasta sauce: Sauces in Love's pink pesto. I probably consumed way more of that stuff than is healthy over the years, evidenced by the little reuseable container collection I had in DC. Minor complaint here - they should be stackable! I decided this would be an equally satisfying homesick cure if I could recreate it. I had my friend in Boston (who was eating a few spoonfuls at the time) IM me the ingredients off the side of the jar and I experimented with some tomato cream bases and voila! Homesickness cured.
Maybe once I move to London the Whole Foods there will carry Sauces in Love. But if not, I've created a solution!

One (14.5 oz) can plum tomatoes with tomato sauce
1-2 tablespoons tomato paste
2-3 tb olive oil (few swirls)
small handful walnuts (or pine nuts)
1/3 cup of thinly grated/shaved pecorino (I use a microshaver)
1/4 - 1/3 cup of grated/shaved parmesan
at least 10 leaves of fresh basil, add more to taste
2 oz cream
dashes of salt
2 gloves of garlic, minced

Chop garlic or food process it, then the nuts, basil and the tomatoes.
Add the olive oil and cheeses next, then the salt to taste, then the
cream last. Then simmer over medium heat until warm. Pour over chicken, pasta, etc. Doesn't beat the original of course, but it comes close enough.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


This is what I think of when I am preparing for an interview.

Do they like me? Do I like them? Should I be playing hard to get? Should I show more interest? Do I have food on my face? I think if I was still dating, instead of being comfortably settled with the same man for more than seven years, I would be a little less nervous about interviewing. I DO really like the company I have been interviewing with this past week, I don't have to pretend there. What a stressful situation interviewing is! I know it's an overused analogy but it totally still works.

I hope the perfect... job is ready for me!

Friday, July 17, 2009

MBA speak

I probably wrote about this before, but my strategy professor had a list of banned words in her classroom. The banned word that has stuck in my mind is "synergy." Many of my classmates and I had just spent a module in "Mergers and Acquisitions" trying to using the word synergy as often as Obama dropped the word "hope" (it WAS the module during the election) before stepping into Corporate Strategy.
Over some burgers the other night before seeing HP6 we ended up discussing swimming trunks somehow which of course led to talk of Speedos. One of my dinner companions mentioned how he enjoyed his speedo swimming trunks as they did a great suit that was a mixture of leisure and performance. Another dinner companion who doesn't like to be mentioned in this blog - let's call him "husband" interjected. He said that Speedo has a negative connotation as a brand, particularly for its... squeezing/ performance properties. I disagreed... and then MBAspeak took over my tongue and I said something about the brand transcended its original meaning to appeal - with still a performance mindset to a much broader audience. Dinner companion 1 (not "husband") turned and said, wow, you can tell you've just received an MBA. I have no doubt that whatever I said was probably meaningless bsing, but at least my degree has at the very least given me the ability to impress PhDs over burgers.
Speedo undoubtedly has a few MBAs scattered in its ranks, likely including the person who wrote this: