Wednesday, April 25, 2007


An article in my Onion weekly dispatch gave me a flashback to my interview with the Cambridge dean. :-)

In other news, I am currently working on obtaining travel insurance and a visa for my India trip. My fellow bloggers, many of whom are from India, have started writing about their visa process. I hope to publish soon on that topic as well as a bit on what happens after you graduate. Poking through the business week forum yesterday (yeah, yeah, I know I swore I never go on that thing but a link to info on Georgetown hooked me) I noticed a LOT of confusion about H-1B visas. I am holding firm to my personal policy of not posting on the forum, but I will post what I hope to be helpful immigration advice here, where I can moderate comments!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Clear Admit Best of Blogging

Woo hoo! I earned a respectable 7th place in this year's BOB contest. Congrats to my fellow bloggers and thanks to those who voted for me. I must say, I was a bit bemused when I saw that Graeme Harper of LBS was one of the guest judges. Mr. Harper who stated at a Boston event "we reject plenty of people with 740 on the GMAT." Yes, that turned out to be me. I'm having a bit of trouble with the HTML- trying to turn the BOB icon into a link. I can't seem to access the full HMTL for the blog. Help?

Monday, April 23, 2007

post-Georgetown admitted students weekend

It can be said that I am officially at the alpha stage of my b school experience. I took this photo during the campus tour portion of Georgetown's admitted students weekend. [Side note- Georgetown, being a Jesuit institution is full of Catholic and Christian symbols. I'm comfortable with this but outside influences on your chosen school are definitely something to research, whether it's Catholicism or state government budget cuts.] My Team 3 (which included another Boston area admit!) took the prize of Georgetown hats for the most creative collection of photos. I credit my contribution to the team to being a camp counselor for three summers. That can be categorized under "things I took off my resume but become useful in random situations." Friday included a welcome speech, a faculty panel, a mock class, a campus tour, lunch with faculty, current students and staff, a careers talk, a student presentation (oh I wish there were you tube clips of that hilarity,) dinner with a group of fellow prospectives and current students, then a social at a private club on M Street. It was exhausting. I think I semi-randomly ended up spending most of my time with the few international students that made it to the open house. At one point I was talking to my Icelandic classmate about paintball in Iceland while my bf was advising a Japanese couple on the Chinatown bus services along the east coast. I met a lot of really cool and interesting people and had a few inevitable encounters where the conversation died after 45 seconds. Overall I'm excited about my classmates and how their experiences will contribute to a positive classroom experience.

In related news I have had the sitemeter on my blog for about a month now. A "Georgetown and bars and MBA" google search is officially my favorite referral to my site.

I skipped the Saturday activities in favor of sleeping in and relaxing. The rest of my weekend was filled with family, sun, daiquiris and good food such as the delicious Maryland crab cake I had for lunch yesterday.
I am begrudgingly back at work today. It is 85 degrees and sunny outside. As 5:30 tolls I will be sprinting out the door!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Georgetown admitted students weekend

I am attending the Georgetown admitted students weekend (well, admits day really) down in DC. It looks to be a loooong day, starting at 8:30 am and going straight through until whenever I catch the metro back to Virginia. Too bad the metro stops running so early! Or maybe that's a good thing... Either way it should be fun.

However, this morning I was surprised to find a case study for the mock class sitting in my inbox! Ack! I haven't done homework in years. I haven't done finance ever. This should be interesting.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech

I don't have much to say except it all keeps hitting way too close to home. I grew up in northern Virginia. There was the sniper a few years ago that was taking out people all over the DC area. Virginia Tech was the college of choice for many high school friends and classmates, luckily all of whom graduated at least several years ago. But then there are the younger siblings, the cousins, the family friends. The best we can hope for in NOVA is that a death is three or four degrees removed instead of one or two. My thoughts, my prayers, are focused on home right now.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Let's start at the very beginning, A very good place to start

Last year I applied for master's degree programs in development studies. It was year two of my job and time to decide whether I was going to stay or try something different. I was pretty confident I wanted to work in international development or for a non-profit but I was unclear on how to get there. I half-heartedly applied to master's degree programs, was rejected, and when offered a promotion at work I decided to stay on another year. During this time I first examined the possibility of an MBA. I was lucky to have a colleague who had also whole-heartedly rejected law school and was studying for the GMAT. At a law firm professional advice regarding business school is scare, but I am lucky enough to have a few relatives who served as good resources. I familiarized myself with the GMAT, and formed a preliminary list of schools based on internet research. Then I made a spreadsheet. This spreadsheet evolved over the months, was put on google docs and shared so that my bosses, family and bf could access it, and included a lot of info including: location, deadline, application fee, interview date, tuition, average GMAT score, average GPA, years experience, class size, number of applicants, average age, % female, and % international.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

So it goes.

I was lucky enough to be at my college when Kurt Vonnegut spent a year there as a visiting writer/ lecturer. Vonnegut himself marveled at how long he lived given his chain smoking habit. He used to sit on the library stairs smoking cigarettes at 7 am. He gave a lecture and ended it by instructing everyone to ask a question of the person sitting behind you, and then walked off the stage. He was a fascinating human being and the American cultural landscape will suffer for the loss. So it goes.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Dear Boston:

Are you kidding me with this weather?? It's time to get warm!

Recently seems to be sponsored by golf. The sport in general. This reminds me of my recurring impulse to learn a corporate sport. I've decided on tennis, but have neither the equipment nor the club membership to make this a reasonable goal at the moment. I will wait until I have access to free courts in my parents' neighborhood this summer and see where it goes.

Since my younger brother has a sports event on Saturday April 21st, I am going to forgo the "extras" during the admitted students weekend for Georgetown. Friday should be interesting and I am looking forward to going out in Georgetown. Hopefully the weather in DC will be a bit better and the bars will open up. I have become accustomed and quite enjoy coming home from clubs and bars in NY and Boston without smelling like an ashtray. I haven't been to DC since the new smoking ban took effect. It should be a refreshing change!

Georgetown admits dinner

Last week I attended a dinner for the Boston area admitted students. Most of us had not sent in our checks yet but the forecast for ultimate attendance was positive. One of the common denominators was a love of travel and several people at the dinner started to plan a South America ski trip! Overall it was a great group of people and I am very excited to meet more classmates in April. I heard something about a photo scavenger hunt during the open house...

I met up with an old friend from London today who is now at the Kennedy School. We had an interesting conversation about HBS and the type of individual that program attracts. She said the atmosphere was very similar to the university in London we both attended where an elbowing your way up, hiding books, shallow mentality prevailed. There seems to be a lot of expensive partying and showmanship, at least among the set that my friend is acquainted with. I do not actually know anyone at HBS, but many individuals I know from the college and other grad schools at Harvard seem to have the same opinion of the b school students.

We also touched on the related subject of what I like to refer to as the "H bomb." My friend experienced a marked negative shift in attitude from friends and acquaintances of her youth by dropping the H bomb (Harvard) in her small hometown in a large European country. Internationally there is one school and only one school that is recognized by almost anyone. If someone can name a U.S. school, it's Harvard. That level of brand is arguable unmatched by any other ivy league university in the country.

That's all for now. Only 30 (ish) more days of work!

Friday, April 6, 2007


The check is in the mail.

I'm going to Georgetown!

Sorry, boys.

Georgetown posted some great info on summer exploratory opportunities in NYC for matriculating women MBA students. I will be out of the country of course, but hopefully some of you will take advantage of these programs!


The Credit Suisse MBA Explorer Program is a two-day educational outreach initiative for women who are entering business school in the fall of 2007. The program provides a unique opportunity for students who may not have investment banking or financial services experience to learn first-hand about the exciting world of Wall Street.

  • For women matriculating in Business School in the fall of 2007
  • 2 days in New York — expenses covered up to $250 by Credit Suisse
  • Program provides inside view of financial services including Investment Banking and Sales and Trading
  • Applications must be RECEIVED by Friday, May 11, 2007

You will get to meet new people and have a little fun. Please e-mail for an application.

For more information:

MBA FORUM FOR WOMEN -- June 20-22, 2007

The MBA Forum for Women is a 3-day event presented by CDG Perspectives in partnership with top financial services companies, business schools and non-profit organizations. The Forum will bring together women enrolling in top business schools across the country, leaders from the financial services sector, and experts from non-profit organizations for an intimate introduction to and candid conversation about how women can think about launching and developing a successful career in the financial services arena. The Forum will offer:

  • A non-competitive, educational environment
  • Two days of educational and informative events
  • A "Day on Wall Street" offering exposure to firms and individuals working in the financial services industry

What to expect:

  • Case studies in consumer banking, sales and trading, investment/wealth management, investment banking
  • Panel discussions
  • Keynote addresses by leading executives
  • Opportunities to network with a cadre of peers entering the nation's top schools

For more information:

Clear Admit nomination woo hoo!

I am officially a best of blogging applicant nominee on the Clear Admit site. I really appreciate this site as a resource as it cuts through the crap, dispenses advice with a grain of salt, and provides pointed, clear information on everything from essays to the GMAT. Cheers to my fellow nominees!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

MBA raps

I am going to stick with my amusing theme this week started by April Fool's Day. I have come across more than one amateur video effort by MBA students. Most involve some sort of rapping/ music. Along with other important details such as food served at events, I definitely think students' ability to produce funny videos for YouTube should be included in everyone's b school decision matrix.


This one is a fake promo for a Korean soap. This commentary makes it even better.


Tuesday, April 3, 2007

And they're gone (H-1Bs)

It appears that the fiscal year 2008 H-1B cap was reached on the 1st day. Geez... I posted an excerpt from the press release below.


WASHINGTON - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has received enough H-1B petitions to meet the congressionally mandated cap for fiscal year 2008 (FY 2008). USCIS will use a random selection process (described below) for all cap-subject filings received on April 2, 2007 and April 3, 2007. USCIS will reject and return along with filing fee(s) all petitions received on those days that are not randomly selected.

Cap Procedures: In keeping with USCIS regulations, USCIS will use the following process to handle

H-1B petitions subject to the FY 2008 cap:

· USCIS has determined that as of April 2, 2007, it had received enough H-1B petitions to reach the FY 2008 H-1B cap and has set the "final receipt date" as April 2, 2007. [But the final receipt date is actually April 3rd. Thus the quotation marks. Why say April 2nd when you mean April 3rd?]

· In keeping with its regulations, USCIS will subject H-1B petitions received on the "final receipt date" and the following day to a computer-generated random selection process. [Again with the quotation marks. I get it. The CIS "totally" knows what its doing.]

· USCIS will reject all cap-subject H-1B petitions for FY 2008 received on or after Wednesday, April 4, 2007.

· USCIS will reject and return along with the filing fee(s) all cap-subject H-1B petitions that are not randomly selected. [Our clients will probably blame us if their cases are not randomly selected because that's what they seem to do.]

· Petitioners may re-submit petitions on April 1, 2008 when H-1B visas become available for FY 2009. This is the earliest date for which an employer may file a petition requesting FY 2009 H-1B employment with a start date of October 1, 2008. [Oh, how generous and forward looking of the government.]

As of late Monday afternoon (April 2), USCIS had received approximately 150,000 cap-subject H-1B petitions. [Holy crap!] USCIS must perform initial data entry for all filings received on April 2 and April 3 prior to conducting the random selection process. In light of the high volume of filings, USCIS will not be able to conduct the random selection for several weeks.

In order to fully utilize its data entry and initial processing capacity, USCIS may choose to distribute filings received at one service center to other service centers for data entry. In the event that USCIS exercises this option, petitioners may receive receipt notices or other correspondence from a service center other than the one to which the H-1B submission was sent. USCIS advices employers that there is no need for concern should that occur and that there is no need to contact USCIS. [Don't call us, we'll call you.]

The key to success...

Is a great handshake. Also an interesting release from Kellogg.

Along those same lines, yesterday I came into the office for about an hour and a half for the sole purpose of mixing it up a little for April Fool's Day. There is one particular attorney with whom I share a wall... well, words cannot fully capture him, but I will certainly try.

Our office dress can loosely be described as business casual. This means I always wear "slacks" of some kind, but often with a sweater, and we get away with a wide variety of skirts and attire that is otherwise generally outside the realm of business casual during the summer. Luckily neither of the partners (men in their 50s) have female children and it makes them uncomfortable to discuss women's clothing. They do not even attempt to regulate, bless them.

Anyways, back to my buddy next door. This individual takes business casual to mean he can wear corduroys that are so tight they distinctly ride up his rear. He wears polo shirts all year round, sometimes with rolled sleeves (this individual was possibly cool in the 80s) but almost always frayed and grimy, with clogs. Black clogs. Usually with white socks. He has the Where's Waldo shirt. When he dresses up he wears a bowtie. He wears aviator sunglasses. No matter how many times he insists they are "back in" his were clearly manufactured in the 80s and are blue tinted. He has a hairdo that can only be described as a mullet-in-training.

My neighbor subsists mostly on a diet of fruits and berries with a bit of salmon for lunch. He flosses in his office and often changes pants there too. He closes the door and turns the lights out, but given the fact that the rest of the office is lighted and there is a floor to ceiling window into his office that is three times the size of the door, one too many of my coworkers have been left with horrible memories.

On top of all his personal weirdness he is the most poorly organized attorney in the office. His favorite pastime is to buzz legal assistants (i.e. use the intercom) and say "So... that case... the one you need to work on" or "Can you believe this guy? I mean what an ugly wife he has!" or (at 3:45 when files have to be to the secretaries by 4) "I noticed this filing has to be done today. Where are we with that?" His big thing is to use the phrase "we." He takes zero personal responsibility for anything in the office and refuses to recognize what a pain in the butt his constant buzzing is.

Yesterday I came into the office with a screwdriver and the intent of disassembling his phone and removing the offending intercom button. Unfortunately, I would've had to take a knife to the phone, as half the phone pad was manufactured into one piece. Instead I had to content myself with removing the button cover and writing the words "DO NOT USE" in tiny little letter on the button. I turned down all the different volumes on his phone and also hid his clogs in our boss' office.

Once I got started I had to mess with the rest of the office. Mostly I just moved everyone's stuff around ever so slightly so when they sat down at their desk they would be uncomfortable but not really understand what was going on. I flipped one desk, switching everything to the opposite side. I did the classic move of turning diplomas and calendars upside down. I set one attorney's clock ten minutes fast so she was staring at it all morning thinking she was running late. I switched everyone's kid photos around, and included the photos of the attorney who treats his pet parrots like children. I raised and lowered seat chairs, switched bulletins boards and shifted everything on one of the partner's desks six inches to the left to see if it would mess him up for the day.

I was smoked out by the clock attorney, who is a good friend and appreciated the sick sense of humor behind switching photos of people's children to see if they'd notice.

The attorney next door politely requested his intercom button back on several occasions today. I told him we'd have to see how his use of the button declined. I really have no intention of giving it back to him before I quit and in fact do not even have it in my possession. This attorney's office is such a disaster that I could have hid it in a thousand places and he never would have found it. I chose to tape it at eye level to the back side of this palm tree he has growing in his office (yes, he has a palm tree in his office, along with four other tree-like plants.) I told the office manager where it was in case she decides she decides to tell him after I leave.

I hope I gave enough context so the readers out there can grasp how truly funny this was. I think the carefully printed "DO NOT USE" at least stunned him into temporary silence this morning. Totally worth it.