Wednesday, January 31, 2007

UCLA and money

I sent an email to UCLA today requesting info about merit based aid. I received a nice form email in response:

For fellowships (i.e. scholarships), please note that we make awards on a rolling basis throughout the admissions season, depending on who else has been admitted and who accepts our offers. We will let you know directly if you get selected for a fellowship at any point.
We generally offer merit fellowships to the top 20% or so of the incoming class, based on the overall strength of the applications in terms of academics, leadership, career achievements, expected contribution to the school, etc. Last year, for example, fellowship winners had an average GMAT of 730 [check] and their previous management experience usually spanned several years. [almost] Such students come here and enhance the experience of us all.
Other sources of funding do exist, and there are loan programs even for people without a U.S. co-signer. The team in the Financial Aid office has more details, and you can learn more from them after visiting their website at: http://www.anderson.ucla.edu/x2938.xml
Also, second-year fellowships are awarded based on contributions in and out of the classroom during the first year. There are some research- and teaching-assistantships which second-year students often use to supplement their funding too. These positions are filled by the professors after they have the chance to get to know the first-year students on campus.
Please let us know in MBA Admissions if there is anything else we can do to help.
UCLA Anderson MBA Admissions
mba.admissions@anderson.ucla.edu
You may request a fellowship in writing and send via fax: 310-825-8582 or mba.admissions@anderson.ucla.edu. Your application will be evaluated.


I enjoyed how they tacked on a random "You may request a fellowship in writing and send via fax..." at the end of the email. Should I send a one page fax stating "Please give me a fellowship. Thanks, Jamey"?? I am still in the Georgetown camp for now, but I want all the information in front of me before I send in my forms and pay my deposit.

oh, Boston

The media truly enjoys stirring things up. Do major news organizations not have interns to fact check stories? Police mistakenly thought adult swim ads were bombs and the local news faithfully freaked out. Meanwhile bloggers quickly caught on to what the little LED machines actually were. Yes, little adult swim characters flipping you the bird. One lesson I did learn today was that if an actual terrorist attack occurs, I will be so buried in work that I probably will not notice. Evidence: today.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Saying no is so hard to do.

I officially declined IESE and Notre Dame last week. Although I was offered a full tuition scholarship to Notre Dame, I decided that I need to live in a city for my MBA. Also, I do not ultimately want to end up in the Midwest, where many of Notre Dame's career opportunities are. As fabulous as IESE would be, they are offering me no money, and the name recognition in the United States is not to an LBS level.

I also re-visited Yale with my visiting boyfriend. This visit cemented my lack of positive sentiment for "the Have" aka New Haven. The b school is in a beautiful part of campus with modern, comprehensive facilities. However, I still prefer the offerings and international focus of the Georgetown program. Yale does a nice international field trip during your first year. Georgetown has all second years participate in an international consulting project and present the results to the company as part of a trip abroad.

Shutting doors is a bit painful, but after Friday I have pretty much come to my final decision. The final count:
IESE: Accepted, no money
Notre Dame: Accepted, full tuition
University of Maryland: Accepted, money decision pending
UCLA: Accepted, money decision pending
Yale: Accepted, no money

On Friday I went to a Women in Business Forum at Georgetown. The event featured a student fair, talks by the Dean, the head of student affairs, the head of career services, the head of admissions, tours and lunch with a talk by an alumna. The day allowed me to talk to quite a few students and spend time viewing the facilities and campus. The b school is currently located in the Car Barn between M and Prospect streets, but will move to a new facility in the center of campus for the 2008-9 school year. The car barn happens to be located next to the Exorcist stairs, for a bit of historical entertainment.

When I returned to my parents' in northern Virginia after the event on Friday I had an email from Georgetown waiting for me. I got in and I got a full ride! I refuse to fully believe it until I receive my official package, but the email was quite clear in its terms. Given this turn of events I have decided to attend Georgetown. It has always been my favorite program stateside as far as academic offerings, extra-curricular opportunities and location. It feels weird but SO GOOD to be done with everything and have a decision!!!
So I'll add this to my list:
Georgetown: Accepted, full tuition

Monday, January 15, 2007

Interviews

My first two b school interviews were voluntary, so I will somewhat lump them together for the sake of brevity.

I signed up for an interview with an admissions rep from Georgetown when she visited for the Forte Foundation's event in Boston. We met at a hotel lobby, which I read and found to be standard operating procedure. The particular hotel was unfortunate in that it had a rather small sitting area in the way of hotel people traffic coming in and out of the hotel. The actual interview was formal but relaxed. As I was interviewing before I applied the conversation was mostly based on my work experience and a discussion of my resume, managerial experience, and the usual questions on challenges at my job and how I handled them. As Georgetown focuses on international management and applicants with a global perspective, a unique question was if you could travel anywhere in the world where would it be. We moved naturally into this topic as we had already been speaking of my previous travels and work experience abroad. The conversation lasted approximately a half hour.

My interview with the University of Maryland was with an admission representative. He was serving as the representative at the September 2006 World MBA fair and did an interview at a hotel lobby. As with the Georgetown interview, I replied immediately and received my preferred interview time slot. I had a bit of luck in that the admissions rep had conducted an info session on campus that I attended in April 06. The interview took about a half hour and took place immediately before the MBA fair began, so we had a bit more time after we finished the official part of the interview to chat about Boston (he had previously worked at Harvard) and the University of Maryland in general. One of the questions was if you could have dinner with one great leader, who would it be. We also did a type of case study. With the luck that seemed to follow me through the entire interview, the case study question dealt with Starbucks. That fine institution has been the recipient of too much of my money in exchange for caffeine, my drug of choice. I was asked to describe strengths of the business model and any challenges I could identify.

When the bf visits I will take him to Yale for the day and see if it is reasonable for us to live in New Haven. At least there is a Five Guys a few miles away!