Wednesday, December 17, 2008

INTERVIEW!!!

I never thought I would be this excited about a first round interview, but searching for a job in England from Washington, DC is a bit challenging at times and I actually broke through the barriers to get a first round interview with a large consulting firm. WOO HOO. It's not until the 2nd week in January so I have plenty of time to prepare over the holidays. The tide of rejections has stemmed at least temporarily.
So luckily the person I just spoke to on the phone will not be my interviewer, she's just a scheduler. Because... whenever I get a call from an unknown number 99 times out of 100 it's my fiancé. He is currently hanging out at Heathrow airport waiting to get on a flight to visit so I expected a call at some point! I leap across the apartment and answer the phone with a "helloooo." And was greeted by a very British accent "Um, hello, am I speaking to Jamey?"
My thought: oh crap, there's been an accident, my fiancé is lying in a hospital somewhere and I'm the last phone call he made so they're calling me because Brits would never be able to figure out what "Mom" "Dad" or "Home" are in his native tongue. Huge lump in throat...
Luckily about half a second later I heard the beautiful words "I'm calling from large firm."
HALLELUJAH! The email I received the other day was not a clerical error, I actually DID get an interview!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Starbucks Promotion

I was crossing the street near the Australian Embassy today and a car was parked at the stoplight. I noticed a Starbucks cup on top of the car. It was a little weird because when the car stopped, the cup didn't move. However, I still yelled out to the car and pointed to the cup. The driver leaned out the window and said "Thanks! We're looking for Good Samaritans today. Happy Holidays!" and handed me a $5 gift certificate.
Apparently it was also a Zipcar promotion day, as there was a flier included with my gift certificate.
Yeah for Starbucks!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Where I've Been and What I've Been Doing: Part 1

This module has been a much more interesting one professionally. A few weeks ago I attended a symposium on CSR entitled Corporate Social Responsibility: Law, Operations, and Strategy. I must admit, it was on a Friday and I slept through session 1 (the law bit) but sessions two and three were very interesting. Each was a set of paper presentations with commentary.
The first speaker in the operations panel was Prakash Sethi whose paper/talk was entitled "Creating Effective Alliances Between Corporations and NGOs." The second part of the title was "A Report from the Trenches" which made up the somewhat depressing bulk of the talk. As a comparatively doe-eyed student this left me rather discouraged by the whole business, though the talk was delivered in a very straightforward manner highlighting both the successes and the failures.
The second speaker in the operations group discussed proposed ISO 2600 social responsibility standard. This is an in-development standard for companies to follow. No certification will be given for this standard though, which I thought an interesting characteristic for something that purports to be an "ISO" like standard.
After a deliciously sustainable lunch - well, sort of - the locally raised chicken was scrumptious but I was told that the tofu tasted like cardboard. Anyways, after lunch we had the third panel - strategy. One presentation was on the equator principles the other was on implementing strategic CSR. The implementation of CSR was a very intriguing meta analysis that determined that at the very least a CSR program did no financial harm and in many cases was positively correlated to stock price. I need to delve a bit more into the paper, but I believe the speaker also determined a positive relationship with general financial returns.
There were only two business school students at the symposium and the other one is one of my friends. I suspect this had a great deal to do with it being at the law school and on a Friday.
A much larger contingent of McDonough School of Business students attended the Net Impact conference last weekend. More on that in where I've been and what I've been doing: Part 2.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Procrastination

The day before our M&A paper was due my friend Lauren accurately called that I would be posting on the dear old blog that night.
It's t-minus one hour until my project finance exam. Here I am again! Some (possibly) exciting news on the job front is that the CSR group in a major consultancy firm I am targeting in London is one of the only groups still growing and hiring! (I.e. that they didn't fill with interns.) A small bit of good news today after I missed my bus this morning, didn't get the SGA constitution change I wanted passed and had one of my group members share her terrible week by being a total jerk to me during our 2 hour meeting. TGIW (only one class tomorrow!)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

5/8 done with my MBA

We are in week 3 of Module 2, which technically means that I am more than 5/8 of the way through my MBA. I decided to overload this module - I am taking 5 classes instead of the 4 required. One of my classes is Advanced Marketing Strategy. The fact that I am enrolled in this class at all is one of the surprising twists and turns of my MBA degree. My "focus" is not one at all, I am sticking vaguely to a general management track with a smattering of Net Impact classes. My new found interest in marketing took me by surprise for a number of reasons.
1) I think most professional advertising representatives are full of it.
2) The concept of brand equity in an annual report with a value of millions of dollars is fascinating to me. (In a bad way.)
3) I am fairly confident I was in the bottom quartile of my basic marketing class grade wise.
However, last module I took Consumer Behavior and completed a video ethnography project on greenwashing of organic food that I got an A on! I started taking marketing a bit more seriously. I am now enrolled in one of the more deliverable heavy marketing classes at the MSB. We have a power point due almost every class session and also quantitative based deliverables on CLTV and calculating items such as the total advance fee that should be paid to an author.
Shockingly enough I have found that I LIKE marketing.

I am taking the perfect general management mix this module - besides Advanced Marketing Strategy I am taking Project Finance, Global Strategy, Leading Organizational Change, and Climate Change. I'm big on "change" this mod - changing culture at firms, changing the way businesses deal with the environment and learning how to fund it (Project Finance).

On the job front I continue to plug away at trying to find employment in London. Job prospects in the UK are not much better than in the US, but I will keep trying!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I love my apartment

I can hear the crowds at the White House. :)

I love my country

I did not vote for (president elect) Obama. However, he is an inspiring speaker and with the proper advisers will be an inspiring leader and manager.

I am proud of my country for electing a president from a minority race.
I am proud of my country for turning out in record numbers and embracing the promise of democracy.
I am proud of the millennial generation for embracing the vote.
I am proud of the most eloquent concession speech in a long time.

Thank you Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama. I have always been proud of the United States and proud to be American, but now I am proud of my national government again.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Why I am in Business School

I wish we studied these people a bit more.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ode to My Smithies

I went to Smith College for my bachelor's degree. The longer I spend in business school the more I realize what a blessing it was that I had the opportunity to be surrounded by a such a fantastic group of smart, supportive women for 3+ years. I was reminded of this today when I bumped into the other Smithie in my MBA class at the coffee shop near the Car Barn. We mused about how the Smith name has helped us break through doors or get more attention at Career Fairs. I am lucky enough to have found a great group of very smart women at Georgetown to challenge me as well, but this post is dedicated to my Smithies. :)
Cheers to my 6 best friends from Smith. By the time we're 30 we will have a JD, a Master's in American Studies, a Master's in Nursing, a Ph.D. in biology, 2 MBAs, and a Master's degree in International Relations between us.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I'm melting, melting!!!

Finals for module 1 are in full swing and the mood I'm in is equivalent to the Wicked Witch of the West AFTER Dorothy has thrown a big bucket of water on her. I still have 2 papers and a final to go. My video project which is worth 50% of my grade is going swimmingly so that's a relief. We did a lot of planning before we started editing which REALLY helped us when we started the editing. I am the voiceover voice which is also pretty entertaining. I lower my voice a pitch when I'm reading it. I am having flashbacks to high school marching band when I was drum major and had to make my normally small little voice project across a football field and reach 300 people. Good times.
Anyways, once Mergers and Acquisitions is over tomorrow I can breathe a bit. I will just be happy to pass that class. The final paper is... rough... completely fair and bringing together all the bits we learned throughout the course. I just don't understand half of it. Ah well I'm learning a lot doing the final case!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Mmm crabcakes

For my consumer behavior class my teammates and I drove down to southern Maryland to where my parents have their retirement house. We filmed a group of "aware" consumers on their thoughts on organic food, their shopping habits and what "organic" really means. We got some GREAT footage, which we reviewed today. My favorite has to be a former FDA toxicologist talking about how she doesn't believe any organic labels mean anything and she knows it's not healthier! We learned a LOT about pesticides, fungicides and why you should really be more concerned with genetically modified food. We also learned that coffee has more carcinogens in one cup than you will consume in your entire life from pesticides on fruit and vegetables- at least the ones in the U.S.
The best part of the day was of course the opportunity to eat a crabcake for lunch. One of my teammates is a native of Maryland so we chowed down on well deserved delicious crabcakes from Stoney's after we finished filming. Mmmmm. In Consumer Behavior class we learned this is called "self-rewarding" and is a typically American behavior. I'm OK with that.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Reclaiming your quant skills

I had a comment that is lost somewhere in the archives about what to do about proving that you have good quant skills. The simple answer is that's what the GMAT is for. However, maybe standardized tests aren't your thing. The comment asked about MBA Math. That can be a useful review (or basic first instruction on certain topics) but I think a more genuine way of showing reclaimed quant skills is through taking a statistics or accounting class through a local college. Doing well in a statistics class, for example, will show that you can do well in something that has more applicability to business school and the real world than data sufficiency questions.
The GMAT is important, but if that's a weakness, go back to the real world and see if that will add positively to your application.
Good luck!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Work for a company that does something.

These were the words of advice from our guest speaker Charles Morris, author of Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash in my financial crises class earlier this week. After a talk on the symptoms, signs and root causes of the current crisis one of the questions posed to Mr. Morris was - we are MBAs looking at the current economic turmoil - what job advice do you have?
His advice - work for a company that does something, that makes something real. Too many MBAs head to Wall Street or consulting firms without taking stock of what they are really contributing and what skills they are gaining. He told us to take the time to learn how a business ticks, functions, how to manage real people and real problems with a level of involvement that many on Wall Street just do not understand.
It was a sobering conversation despite that fact that Mr. Morris had us laughing at many points during his talk.

Today in the same class we had MBIA CEO Jay Brown speak to us about his company's experience through the current crisis. Again we received a fair amount of excellent advice from this speaker. One of my favorites: Lots of people will be working twice as hard as you because they want your job. They will also all tell you they like you. Get your assistant to figure out which ones really do like you!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Psychology 101

I realized that my blog still thinks I'm in England. Perhaps I didn't change it because that is actually where I WANT to be right now.
In other more class related news, my Consumer Behavior course is an interesting class in basic psychology. My professor is constantly trying to convince us that marketers do not have enough data to manipulate consumers. I'm not entirely buying it, but I know what to say to get a decent grade. Our main deliverable for this class is a video ethnography project. To start on this project we had to go through a video training session (this is the ON button... here is the VOLUME... etc) and then learn how to use iMovie on a mac. HAHA! Take that business school tech support for mocking my mac. While my classmates spend hours in the windowless editing room in the library I will be editing from the comfort of my own apartment.
Score 1 for Georgetown McDonough School mac users! Our victories are infrequent, I'll take what I can get.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Yea who shall volunteer shall reap the rewards

The Graduate Women in Business Club had our mentor/ mentee wine tasting event yesterday evening. Two of my best friends were running the event so I got there a little early to help set up, then took charge of the clean-up with one of the only male members of GWIB. Thus, I was able to capitalize on the leftovers and scored 1.5 bottles of Pinot Noir.

I'm getting married in May and am trying this new diet called "too busy to eat." I'm teaching a GMAT class 3 days a week and taking one of my classes in the evening as well. Given this schedule I don't have much time for cooking. I solved the problem this week by making a Tex-Mex casserole Sunday night which I am slowly working through. I also have enough carrots and tomatoes floating around my refrigerator to satisfy a family of rapidly reproducing rabbits.

In employment news, many of the Georgetown MBAs are busy preparing for the large career fairs that will be in DC this year. BOTH Black MBA (NBMBAAAA? Can't remember the acronym!) and Reaching Out (The Gay Conference) are in DC. It's a fantastic opportunity for the DC area schools to make an early impression with employers. I went to the Hispanic conference in Houston last year which wasn't a really valuable experience for me. As previously discussed in this blog, I had some amazing barbeque but spending $300 for a plane ticket just for bbq is not a wise investment. Even last year I acknowledged I was likely England-bound and asked employers about international recruiting. None, including McKinsey, were very helpful. So I am starting over, going to a job fair in London and continuing my informational interviews. Luckily my marriage comes with immigration benefits so that will make things a bit smoother. I need to turn my resume into a CV (currently in progress) and send in my paperwork in May, but then I will have my very own EEA family permit- unrestricted work authorization and all. Woo hoo!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Accomplishments

This time last year if you had told me I could do a simple valuation of a merger, finding my own discount rate and actually know what "market risk premium" and "beta" referred to, I would not have believed you. So I HAVE learned something so far. Time for bed.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Back to school

Hello loyal readers. I know you have all been waiting anxiously in the wings for my "back to school" post! (Or not...)

I'm slowly adjusting to life back in DC and at Georgetown. After a summer at a non-profit and bumming around DC (hospitable borderline southerners) and in England (generally friendly to tourists) it was a little shock to be back in the world of professors who think they are God's gift to the business world. Some of my classmates came back humbled from lack of offers and others came back entirely confused as to what direction their career is now headed. And then there are the members of the proud group who have offers and are luxuriously shopping around! I am a little jealous of the security, but am secure in my decision to pick geography (England) over a specialized career focus.

The main reason for my absence from the blogging world has mainly to do with the two events I was running the first two weeks of school. One of the other student government VPs had a fantastic idea which we planned for and implemented the Friday of the first week of school. We had about 200 1st year attendees and 30+ second year speakers. The next week I ran part of a careers days, again for 200+ attendees in conjunction with the Career Management office. This one I ran solo and needed a sizable nap on Friday after it was all over.

Academics are another story. I'm sort of treading water this module. I supposedly have a foundation from last year but goodness, finance was literally six months ago. I barely remember WACC. I'm sure I'll muddle through. My general management course path is proceeding nicely and I think I will have a solid foundation for either consulting or non-profit management.

However, returning to school reminded me of how happy I was working this summer. It is immensely difficult to be here, away from my boyfriend and knowing that I COULD be starting a job right now, had I chosen to go to Cambridge. However, I would also be about $60,000 more in debt. Bleh.

Well back to work. I have an M&A case due Wednesday that I am still quite confused about. And somehow between all this my mother wants me to give a crap about what photographer we have at my wedding reception. I'll try!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I am on VACATION

So I set my alarm for 3:53 am this morning to get up in enough time to load the BBC page to watch Phelps. I jumped up out of bed and stepped down onto the floor and a curious squelching sound accompanied by a wet feeling between a few toes. I leaped back on the bed, sticking my foot out as if I had stepped in dog poo, which was highly unlikely since I was in my bedroom, and then peeked over the side. Being 4 am, I couldn't see anything of course, so I took a large step over the offending area of the rug and turned on my computer. Keeping a wide berth I squatted down and aimed the computer screen light towards the rug.
It revealed an almost decapitated slug.
EW EW EW.
This was only the 2nd most disgusting thing I have stepped on with my bare feet. It is a very distant second to stepping on a dozen cockroaches at 2 am in short lived apartment situation in Boston.
After putting the slug out of its misery (that's the last time I leave the unscreened window open at night) and set up my computer for the final race! I'm surprised I didn't wake up the rest of the house yelling "GO GO GO Phelps! GO JASON! GO!" Jason Lezak kicked some major butt again as he did during the 4 x 100 freestyle relay. It was a clutch performance once again.

As the title of this post says, I am officially on vacation. I am kicking back relaxing, maxin all cool. I actually met this British girl Friday night who could sing the entire Fresh Prince rap...
Anyways I will be going into London Friday and likely staying there before catching my flight on Saturday afternoon. I'm having a lovely visit and a relaxing time here, but it is about time to kick my brain back into gear and start classes. I am very excited to see my friends again, most of whom I barely saw this summer due to travel, both fun (family reunion on the beach, being in the UK) and otherwise (funeral, their work).

These Chinese guys are eating very yummy smelling food which is making me hungry. I think I'll go cook dinner now. I bought some ostrich sausage from the farmers market that should be quite tasty.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Last week of the internship

I'm coasting into the last week of my internship. I never had a hope of receiving an offer and never really had an intention of pursuing an internship where I could get an offer this summer so... that's what happened. It has been a very good learning experience. It started off a bit slowly, but picked up the pace significantly with lots of projects that made me stretch my understanding of microfinance. I have worked on a business plan, with an excel add-on for MFIs, written desk reports and done quite a bit of cold calling to the Canadian aid agency in Quebec! I think I had a valuable experience this summer although I am no longer sure I want to pursue microfinance as a career!
During my lunch with the top 2 people in our Career Management office (I am the student government VP Career Management) we came up with the focuses for fall workshops. I definitely fit into the "I had a good summer but I'm not sure it's what I want to do? What the heck do I do now?" I've been there before though - thus business school - and I know it will all work out in the end, but it will be a bit of a nerve wracking fall!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Go Team USA!

I LOVE the Olympics. Four years ago I was a new resident of Boston and spent every evening and weekend during the two weeks ordering take-out and glued to the TV screen. With a friend, which made it slightly less anti-social. I've already checked out the online streaming coverage on both NBC and the BBC so I can watch Team USA ALL THE TIME! I love that I'm working remotely right now. I'll be watching the opening ceremonies from the Middle Common Room (post grad lounge, complete with leather chairs) at the bf's college tomorrow afternoon.
In my obsessive Olympics coverage stalking I've come across some good stuff from the Washington Post. And some completely silly things as well. Here's a rundown of my favorite Olympic coverage so far:
The Hall of Supreme Harmony Watch this all the way through for an excellent visual on what one staff member thinks of individual rights in China.
Chinese Architecture Did the Olympics really change anything? It's a common theme.
Blinded by the firewall What Chinese THINK the world thinks about Chinese.
Guess these abs Love it.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Things I don't like about England besides the rain

My dress size is 4 numbers larger, and my shoe size (already tiny) is two sizes smaller. Way to make a woman feel good about herself Britain. THANKS.
The exchange rate.
OK, my title is misleading, I'm going to mention the horrible weather again. It just stinks!
Well, that's about it. Not a bad list. I think I'll live.

England. Rain.

How freaking miserable is it outside? Fairly. Rain, cold, and all I have are open toed sandles, heels and my comfortable yet horribly unattractive running shoes. I have been hiding indoors all day hoping that it clears up at some point so I can go for a run along the River Cam. I like to run in the afternoon and evening, which you can do here because unlike DC it's not 90+ degrees from 12-7 pm.
Other subtle differences- I notice that patrons of my new home (Starbucks, Borders, Market Street, Cambridge, United Kingdom) tend towards the most fattening, heavy items on the menu. The number of people I see walking by with whipped cream laden drinks is astounding. That and chocolate muffins, weird gourmet breads and other "lovely" treats as they say here. Of course, I'm not one to judge as I enjoyed a few pints at the local pub last night.
Work is going well. I created a heat map showing the competitive landscape of MFIs in India using a cool tool on MIXMarket.org and am honing in on a market size for microfinance in Delhi. I also worked with the other intern in the public sector group to develop a briefing sheet for Congress- it's lobbying time!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Taking matters into my own hands

So at the beginning of the summer I had to work remotely to deal with a family issue. My boyfriend wisely pointed out that since working remotely then had gone relatively smoothly, why could I not accompany him back to England for the end of my internship?
So here I am!
I've found a comfortable home at the local Borders/ Starbucks (thank you American capitalist imperialism) where I pay $3 for an iced tea and enjoy a very comfortable chair. I am doing pretty well keeping up with work and hope to complete most of my Kaplan background work before school starts as well. It's slow going through all the lessons for the first time but if I get all this background work done now it should make the first two weeks of school a lot easier!
I also took matters into my own hands on several other issues relating to work. Back in June I asked one of the intern coordinators about starting a lunch series. Apparently one was in the works but stalled. I volunteered to help and was shortly handed the entire enterprise to plan and run. Taking something over does have the distinct benefit of being able to schedule things in a manner most beneficial to yourself. Thus, before I departed the U.S. we had a session with the CFO on microfinance careers and the industry's shift, a talk on commercialization by the deputy director, and a talk on transformation by a senior member of the legal team. Each session was a fantastic learning experience and got my valuable face time with the senior leadership. And I of course remembered to pop thank you notes in their mailboxes before I departed the continent!
The bf's house sort of smells like it is a colony for many types of mold, but despite that feature of this ancient British dwelling, I'm here with him, still managing to work and therefore happy.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Google translate = best thing ever

I finally got to play with numbers at my job today. Granted, it wasn't anything mind boggling, but I did get to become acquainted with an excel add-on for MFIs (microfinance institutions) called microfin. Of course it doesn't have a mac version, but that's why I have 2 laptops, the one I love and the one I use for Netflix, Rosetta Stone, and now Microfin. My team is working on finishing a business plan for one of our new affiliates (coming soon to an Asian country near you) so everyone is going a bit loco. Compound that with the fact that my teammates seem to lack higher than an elementary understanding of word and excel and that lands clean up jobs on my plate. While it can sometimes be annoying it also makes me quite popular with very little effort. Like today, when I linked the table of contents to the content of the paper. PRESTO! Everyone was very happy.

Back to my subject: google translate. I'm doing donor research on the French development agency and modern technology has removed any immediate need to learn French. It made life so much easier.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Dead Goats

Part of my department at FINCA just got back from Jordan for a donor massaging/ networking trip. FINCA Jordan is one of our newest offices and we are lucky that Her Majesty, Queen Rania is one of our board members. Queen Rania is known as "HMQ" around here- it's like "POTUS" for "President of the United States." I guess it's a fairly common way to refer to someone very important quickly without losing too much respect! Anyways, out of the trip emerged several stories that illustrate what microfinance organizations are up against.
The microfinance industry in Jordan has great support from donors and influential leaders such as HMQ. However, Jordan's microfinance institutions (MFIs) have apparently been squabbling a lot and the country is therefore struggling to come up with regulations and best practices because people just don't get along. These types of non-profit management problems seem to be somewhat universal! Exhibit A: The DC charter school movement. The major players are surviving and thriving despite not working together on anything, but so much more could be accomplished if they worked together.
Another story was about the very first FINCA Jordan client, who the entourage of VIP potential donors and board members visited during the trip. She used her loan to buy 5 goats. Then where she lived in Jordan had a freak snow storm (is a snow storm anywhere in Jordan a freak occurence??) and 3 goats died. Luckily HMQ heard the story and replaced the dead goats but many MF clients aren't so lucky. The industry is moving to offering more comprehensive financial services now, and some FINCA affiliates offer insurance and savings products. When the client heard that all these dignitaries were going to be visiting her she was about to slaughter a goat in celebration and had to be stopped! So she still has 5 goats.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Back from the Forte Conference

Well I am back into work after a whirlwind trip to NYC for the Forte Conference. I arrived in NYC Thursday afternoon, dropped my luggage off at my friend's apartment, and caught the subway downtown for a Forte dinner. I then met up with some Georgetown MSB friends while they ate dinner and I had a few drinks. Mojitos, yum. Friday morning I went to the "The Hard Truth About Soft Skills" workshop, lunch, a career fair, took a hardcore nap, then went to yoga with my friend. I met up with Georgetown friends at Stanton Social for dinner, then the bf for a drink. (Stanton Social = VERY good.) Saturday morning I had an excellent bagel delivered to W 4th by my friends, then I spoke as part of the "Surviving your first semester" panel.
That's just the outline of my weekend. By Saturday lunch I was exhausted. I bailed from the conference after my panel and went back to my friend's to start my training prep materials for being a Kaplan GMAT instructor! As previously mentioned in my blog, I have been pursuing several employment opportunities for the fall. This was number 1- a success! I auditioned, interviewed and started training in 5 days. Kind of crazy. I also interviewed for a job assisting with the running of a managerial journal. Which I also got woo hoo! However, they lowballed me on the salary so those negotiations are still open.
Now to fill in a few details of the Forte weekend... I was very happy to not only see a few of my 2009 MSB classmates, but a few 2010 and one 2008 grad as well. Go Georgetown! I also met one of my favorite bloggers- July Dream. Out of a room of 200+ women, we sat down at the same table for lunch on Friday! It was really fun to meet one of my fellow bloggers in real life and to recapture some of the excitement I felt right before I started at Georgetown. Sometimes I fall into the jaded zone of existence, but then I remind myself of all the fantastic electives and opportunities of the upcoming year. JulyDream's excitement was a perfect reminder!
Speaking of next year... I will be in the UK for 3+ weeks in August. I decided to work remotely (Dear Bosses, You're great. Best, Hairtwirler) for the close of my internship and stay with the bf. Although August is major vacation time, I hope to set up a few informational interviews to get a head start on my job search for Fall 2009.
Well, time for some GMAT prep... never thought I'd be saying that phrase again!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dear Readers, particularly those I will meet in real life:

In the upcoming months I will be meeting some of my readers. It's an inevitability. Here are a few tips for when this meeting occurs, gleaned from previous awkwardness.

1) Do not start the conversation with something like "I read you like ice cream." Quoting personal facts about me that I mention on my blog is weird, unless you too are an ice cream fanatic. Then mention so.
2) Do mention that you read my blog in the early part of our conversation. It's weird when we've been talking for 30 minutes and THEN you mention you read my blog every week.
3) Do tell me how much you like my blog. Writers like flattery.
4) Do not mention that you read my blog and Business Week forums in the same sentence. Or even the same conversation. I will find that offensive.
5) Do come introduce yourself. I like hearing that people other than my old roommate read my blog. Although I do love that you read my blog Anna, I like that other people read it too. :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

More private sector/ non-profit differences

Working at an office, I often need to write things down. So I looked for a pen. There were no pens at my desk, and neither could I immediately find a supply closet. I wonder if this is a typical non-profit experience. I spoke to friends working for government agencies this summer who had interesting takes on the whole supply issues as well. In sum:

Private sector: Go to the supply closet and get a pen.
Government: Fill out a requisition form and wait six weeks to get a pen.
Non-profit: Pen? What pens? Bring your own pen and jealously guard it in case someone tries to commandeer said pen.

Working remotely

I have stumbled upon one the beauties and the tortures of the 21st century... working remotely. My 3 bosses for my internship all work remotely so when something came up with my family this week I was easily able to work remotely as well. The way high speed internet and free applications like Skpye and googledocs have enabled even non-profit employees to easily work from anywhere is amazing, and restricting. I have a blackberry, but have thus far refrained from attaching my MSB email to it. I'm sure if I move into the corporate world I will not be as lucky as to be able to choose to disconnect.

Next week I will be a participant and a panelist at the Forte Foundation annual conference in New York. It will be nice to see some of my MSB friends who are working in New York and catch up with some non-MSB friends in-between!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Gas prices and travel in the U.S. of A... AND financial modeling text recs?

With gas prices seeming to set up camp at $4.00 a gallon recently, I considered how I would have made it to my friend's wedding if I had actually attempted to get there by public transportation. After about 20 minutes of fairly efficient searching through Amtrak and NJ transit I was given the following answer:

We are sorry, but there is no service available at the destination at the specified date/time.

That, unfortunately, is why most Americans rely on their cars to transport us from point A to point B. However, I didn't give up on my little examination of the current state of transportation affairs. The bride lives outside of Philadelphia, which IS accessible by train and bus. A single trip on Amtrak and the NJ transit trains from Washington, DC to Cherry Hill, NJ would cost me $45.25 at the cheapest. Looking at the buses, I can get from DC to Philly and back for approximately $50. Comparatively speaking, that's not bad, plus in my imaginary scenario I would carpool with someone for the rest of the way and not pay all the tolls. According to my sources (my brother who drives from Baltimore to Philly every weekend) that's about $17 each way.

In short I could save quite a bit of money by taking the bus, but it wouldn't actually get me to where I need to be and there's no public transportation I could utilize during the weekend. And then I wouldn't have the flexibility to drive around the NJ towns we were staying in to pick up such necessities as sparkling wine and fake eyelashes (SO not for me) when required.

I am facing a life of self-induced poverty and not enough alcohol during my second year with my current state of financial affairs. Therefore I am exploring some money-making endeavors. Those may or may not come to fruition in the upcoming weeks. If they do, I'll post about it. If they don't work out, I'll pretend it never happened. One thing I wanted anyways for the fall is a paid internship. As I am starting from ground zero experience wise, I knew I would have to go for anything and everything and see where it took me in the development world. I found this advertisement for a really cool summer position- financial analysis for a non-profit- so I am going to see if they need anyone during the school year.

In other randomness I now have a sketchy gym membership to go along with my sketchy cable. I won't go into too much details, but I'll just say cash may or may not have been involved. Given that the gym has non-sketchy cable TV I have been spending some quality time there since I joined last week. Bend it Like Beckham was on yesterday evening so I spent more time on the elliptical than originally planned. I love that movie. I'm also using Rosetta Stone to try to recover some of my Spanish this summer. These two activities are only keeping me busy to around 7:30 each night as my work, home and gym are in the same 5 blocks. So, in addition, I am going to try to do some work for my other internship and find a book to teach myself financial modeling this summer. Suggestions on texts are welcome and encouraged!

Friday, June 6, 2008

I'm going to Brasil!

I can't believe I haven't posted about this yet. I found out a few weeks ago that I am going to Brazil for my 2nd year Global Experience! During the second year at Georgetown the entire second year class participates in the Global Integrative Experience at the end of the third module. The entire class bids for locations given 10 points. This year the options were Sao Paolo, Brazil; Johannesburg, South Africa; Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam; Dubai, UAE; Madrid, Spain and Prague, Czech Republic. Only one of the two Europe destinations was chosen. If I play my cards right, I can choose classes with final papers or presentations instead of exams for the third module and go to Brazil the week before the integrative. Then I will spend a week in Sao Paolo and the week after is spring break. The bf speak fairly fluent Portuguese which should make being a tourist a lot easier. I think I am going to have some sort of beef with every meal. Brazilian steak is supposed to be amazing. I can't wait to go to my first local churrascaria!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Notes to self

Notes to self.
Working for a non-profit that doesn't pay definitely provides no moral obligation to stay after 5 pm.
Only living two blocks from work doesn't preclude getting soaked during a summer rainstorm without an umbrella.
My apartment is a disaster. Must get it cleaned before birthday party on Friday night.
Crap, I turn 27 tomorrow.

I started with FINCA on Monday. The work is a bit more challenging than the research I was doing for MERC, but MERC has far superior technology. After working on a brand new mac for weeks I am now working on a really old, really slow PC laptop that I want to throw through a window, if I had one. Although I am technically in a windowless office, it's all glass and faces the windows of the office and I immediately in between cubicles so I actually get more sun than 2 people in cubicles closer to the window.

Yes dear readers, it's the little things.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Oh when will it be my turn!

I'm a bridesmaid this weekend. When will it be my turn to walk down the aisle in a big beautiful white fluffy dress with attendants and flowers and hundreds of guests!?! I can't wait!
NOT! I'm far from the big hoopla type but more about that later...

Getting married is like business school.
First comes the application process, otherwise known as dating. You try schools on, they try you, you interview, you visit, you meet the parents (application committee). You get to various stages in the process with different schools. If you're lucky your first choice loves you just as much as you love... it.
The time you're in class is the engagement. Trying out different courses (dresses), career paths, (locations) and fighting with your professors over grades or deadlines (developing a relationship with your in-laws.) That lucrative, fulfilling job is on the horizon but you have to take the time to prepare for it.
Graduation- the wedding day. You've prepped for it for quite some time and it only lasts for a few hours! The ceremony anyways, the big party after graduation could go on for days.
Then there's the honeymoon. For the lucky ones this is an extended period before the real world and the permanent job starts.
But the end goal of business school is to set you up for a fruitful career. As business school and graduation are just the beginning of your career adventures, the wedding is just the stepping stone. One day of a marriage.

Back to my own wedding wishes. Well, that's simple- when the time comes, I'm eloping. This weekend I'm participating in traditional weddingdom- Presbyterian church and all. Luckily the bridesmaid dress looks good on me and matches my eyes. Way to go bride! It ALMOST makes up for the fact that she told me around lunch today that I have to be in New Jersey 2 hours earlier than I thought I had to, thus causing me to rearrange my evening to get my car and forgo work altogether tomorrow to make sure I have enough time to drive up there. Almost. I get to start drinking at 8:30 am the day of the wedding so it will take some effort not to be drunk for the 2 pm ceremony. It's really not fair to give me champagne at 8:30 am and then expect me to go to church.

Next week I start at FINCA!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hello lover

Recently I've been pretty bored out of my mind. The recent addition of what I will deem, ahem, enhanced television service has not done anything to cure the boredom. My research job hasn't done anything to cure the boredom either, since I have been doing very little but reading sustainability/ CSR reports. This week I did start on something interesting- I'm researching and drafting a report on Corporate Councils, which my org is considering creating. It's pretty cool because I'm applying some of the things I learned in my Social Enterprise class about board development.
I love TV by the way. I've rediscovered the beauty of completely checking out from the world for a few hours. Obviously, the news is never part of my television routine. I of course find traveling to a different world via a good book much more gratifying than TV, but sadly I have not yet joined the public library and my current budget does not allow my old purchasing habits to continue. I'm rationing my last few unread books, but they are all non-fiction selections about international development and microfinance.
One of my favorite bloggers wrote about b school regrets. Now that the first year is done, it is a time for reflection on issues and mistakes starting with the choice to come to business school at all.
That was a good decision. I like business school. I love where business school is going to take me and the possibilities that it is opening up for me and the doors it is opening into my self-awareness of my skills and interests.
Was Georgetown a good decision?
I think so... otherwise known as so far, so good. There are some major frustrations, the main of which is that the school is in transition, physically and staffedly (yes, I made up a word there.) This year we brought in new Assistant Deans in Student Services, and daily life. This brings to mind the fact that I don't actually know Jett's title. Jett is the MBA hand of the Dean's office who lives with us in the Car Barn. He is definitely there longer than almost anyone else every day and is a great asset to the program. We also just hired a new head of admissions and a new head of career management. We're in a decrepit building waiting for a new building to be completed and my class may never have class in it although we were told it would be open for us our last semester.
But Georgetown is getting me where I want to be professionally and academically. I have taken a good balance of classes. I was very pleased with the Social Enterprise course this past semester and I have access to a good range of electives (though I would like better depth) next year. I have an internship at my top choice non-profit.
Do I like my classmates?
Statistically speaking, I like as large a percentage of my classmates as I feel I do of the general population. The issue in a b school class of 265 is there is no avoiding the people you do not particularly care for. Also, it was a bit weird coming back south. DC is not THE SOUTH, but it is the gateway and I was not as prepared to come down here as I thought I was. In the last 8 years I have turned into a bonafide northerner. I find it perfectly normal that none of my heterosexual friends in Boston are married and my gay coworker is. I liked being in a city where my college was respected and well known in all circles, not just political ones. Men shook my hand normally and never paid for my drinks up north. But why should they? I have a boyfriend, and they weren't him. Back to the handshaking- some of the men in my class tried to give me the girly handshake- only taking half my hand and shaking it in this weird cross between the beginning of a royal hand kiss and how you'd help your grandmother out of a carriage. It's a southern vestige of some kind. They have been corrected and most of them have taken it well.
Do I regret not going to a higher ranked school?
No, because I want to go into microfinance, and Georgetown's a great name in international development. If my career aims included a top consulting firm, I would probably be regretting my decision a little bit because I would get there but it would be really, really difficult. If they included investment banking or another top finance field, I wouldn't regret Georgetown at all. We rock at finance.
My boredom should be cured in the next few weeks with a trip to Orlando, Florida and a wedding where I am a bridesmaid. Not to mention, the most exciting entertainment of the summer season... the Sex and the City movie. I just love to hate Carrie Bradshaw... hello, lover.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A picture's worth a thousand words.

I am going to take a leaf out of MBAGladiator's book and post some of my favorite photos from the beginnings of spring in DC. Unlike my fellow blogger, I try not to post photos of myself, so yes, these will be scenery based photos around campus and DC. I'll have to get him to teach me how to do those collages!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I am SO ethical

My grades were posted yesterday. I did fine, nothing spectacular. But given my input this term my return on investment was quite high. Spectacularly so in ethics. Or perhaps I'm just naturally ethical. It's quite possible. Either way, thanks for the A professor.

Community service in your application

I am about to rant. As a bit of context, this post may be a bit mean. I've had a rough day/ week. My grandfather died last Friday and I spent most of the week in Florida at the funeral and with family. Today I spent 2 hours on the phone with Verizon. Who are all @$$holes. Never buy any service from them. Ever.

Every once in awhile (ok, maybe a bit more often, something like twice a week) I check the referral page of my blog sitemeter. I was somewhat disturbed to find a referral from the Business Week forums. I think most information on the forum is useless. People talk themselves around in circles. They ask advice from professionals (Clear Admit) and anonymous peers. The advice of the former of course tends to be much more sensible than the latter. My favorite posts go something like this "I'm a white male, 27 years old, 5 years in banking, 760 GMAT and average GPA from a top university. I haven't had time to volunteer but I'm going to quit and spend the next year making myself more interesting, will this help me get into H/S/W? I won't apply anywhere else."

Please. If you haven't contributed anything to the greater welfare of your fellow mankind at this point in your life and you're just now getting around to it, then do poor people/ animals/ orphans a favor and leave them alone. Unless, perhaps, you know something or have a particular skill that is beneficial to a group in need. For example, if puppies think you're the best thing after bacon flavored treats, then maybe you would be well suited to volunteer at an animal shelter. I think Porter's take on companies and CSR provides an apt analogy. Porter argues that many companies have CSR programs for the sake of having CSR programs.
"Broadly speaking, proponents of CSR have used four arguments to make their case: moral obligation, sustainability, license to operate, and reputation... All four schools of thought share the same weakness: They focus on the tension between business and society rather than on their interdependence." (Porter and Kramer. "The Link between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility." Harvard Business Review, December 2006.)
Instead of volunteering for the sake of volunteering, one should explore what extracurricular activities fit one's personal strategy, skills, goals and interests. In doing good for others in an arena that matches one of those areas of your life (strategy, etc.) you are simultaneously building your personal stock.

Now it's time to drink a glass of wine and mellow out.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Best of Blogging

And an even nicer end to my week...
There's this.
Yeah! Best of Blogging. 3rd place gives me a year subscription to The Economist. Obviously I already subscribe, but my current one runs out this summer so it's great timing.

Ahhhh, vacation. (1 year down, 1 to go)

I am done done DONE for the year! I finished my last exam Thursday afternoon, handed my half of my ethics paper to my groupmate with my signature confirming all the work was our own (he hadn't written his half, I trust him!) and proceeded to enjoy margaritas on the roof of the Car Barn. I followed that with drinks on the roof of a friend's apartment overlooking the city. There were some mini-kegs involved.DC doesn't have tall buildings thanks to the Washington Monument. I think I was actually trying to take a photo of my apartment building with my camera (I live 3 blocks from where I was), but then someone distracted me with pizza before I managed to take photos of the rest of the 360 view. I went home early and caught the 5 am train to Boston where I hung out with friends, went to all our favorite haunts (woo hoo BHP!) and generally had a great relaxing weekend. Yesterday I presented at FINCA with my Service Corp consulting team and then enjoyed a great dinner with my small group. I realized I don't have a single photo of the five of us together! Our group really was one of the best in our class. We all got along and worked together incredibly well and I will miss them next year! We all agreed that we will find each other in our electives next year...

Speaking of next year we had preregistration last week. I only got 4 out of 8 of my original class choices for next semester, which when I compared to my friends was TERRIBLY unlucky. Everyone else I know got between 6-8 of the classes they wanted. I really got 5/8 of my classes, as I managed to get into a different section for one of my original choices. I am staying on the waitlist for my 6th and 7th, and the 8th I wasn't wedded to in the first place. A new finance elective that I am interested opened yesterday, which I jumped at, and I also turned in the form for a microfinance elective offered in the school of foreign service I really want to take. So first semester (two modules) I will be taking:
Mergers & Acquisitions
Financial Services Management
Advanced Regression Analysis
International Finance
Advanced Marketing Strategy
Leading Organizational Change
Global Strategy
Microfinance
and something else...

I have a great summer to look forward to- I'm doing a fair bit of work at organizations I believe in, I'm in a wedding and I won't be moving!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I'm feeling the love.

I haven't posted about this yet, but I got an internship with my top choice organization for the summer- FINCA! I am working for another group (previously mentioned) for May and maybe a little into June, then I will start with FINCA. I came to b school to learn about microfinance and therefore am very VERY excited to be working for this org over the summer. Amusingly, since I got the FINCA offer Friday (and basically accepted it) I have received 3 more interview offers. However, I had to make things move quickly in order to secure funding for the summer. It would have been cool to say I had received X number of offers but that's being a little greedy. As it is, I did receive offers from 2 different groups at FINCA, so that is exciting!
The only reason I'm writing is that I am procrastinating studying for my LAST EXAM. SO CLOSE!!! Yet so far away... Friday at 5 am I will be on my way to Boston woo hoo!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Finals are driving me crazy. And my neighbor actually IS crazy.

It's finals week. As many others have felt before me- what the hell?? I'm almost halfway done with my MBA career. I didn't have a final today so it felt like the end of the worst 4 day weekend ever. Friday I conducted interviews for a consulting project I'm working on, then grabbed lunch with the bf, went to an accounting review session and met with the assistant head of career management. Saturday I was in the Car Barn for about 7 hours studying. I did manage to break up the monotony with a few hours studying on the roof with one of my teammates. It was quite nice outside and I enjoyed my brief foray into the outdoors. We finished the evening with a group dinner at Paolo's on Wisconsin Ave and then I went home and pretended to do work. I am starting to go a little stir crazy, but mostly just crazy because I have no idea whether or not I am prepared for this final tomorrow.
Speaking of crazy, my neighbor is kind of a nutter. He's currently having a Monday night party. He alternates between 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s nights. While I enjoy Beatles Thursdays, I wish he would play an entire album. He likes to play A song from each of these decades, on repeat, for about 3 hours on alternating nights. It's not every night so it becomes a mystery which night will produce which song. Besides the Beatles he also LOVES Nirvana.
He had a huge party Thursday and my boyfriend and I were having a hot night of... laundry fun. I go out in the hall and am waiting for the elevator and one of the revelers was sitting on the floor sort of slumped over. Then another party goer runs out into the hall. He was quickly pulled back into the apartment by my neighbor who says "come back in here! My neighbors already think I'm crazy!" Why oh why would he think that? Perhaps because last month we found him crouched next to our door with his laptop completely wasted talking about trying to find the internet?
Ah, city living.
Back to studying- only 3 more days of year one!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Comment spam

I have thus far been pretty lucky in the arena of comment spam, but after 2 hits in one week I've now moved to moderated comments. Stupid spammers.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

MBAs gone wild: fights over the email system

Reply to all is such a dangerous feature...
Here is a lovely little exchange that went across the servers tonight. Mass emails for marketing surveys are fairly common around the school and most people simply delete them. But oh no, not tonight. Finals are looming and pages of papers need to be written, and somewhere out in cyberspace, I think someone cracked.

Email #1
Subject: Please help with your input on store brands!
Hi guys! I'm SO sorry to for all the e-mail bombardment of surveys, but if you could answer this SHORT and sweet survey for our marketing class, we will be forever grateful! Please help your fellow MSB'ers out!! (=
Thank you so so much,
Student #1

Email #2 (From Student #2)
Subject: Do not use mass e-mails for survey solicitation.
Please do not use mass e-mails for survey solicitation.
Professors should ask their students to use other methods of gathering data.

Email #3
Subject: Re: Do not use mass e-mails for survey solicitation.
Student #1-
Sending e-mails to ask for class related survey assistance is an appropriate use of the GroupWise e-mail system. You do not have to answer. If you have any questions regarding e-mail policy please ask me.
-MBA CTO

Email #4
Subject: Re: Do not use mass e-mails for survey solicitation.
I agree with Student #2.
-Student #3

Email #5
Subject: Re: Do not use mass e-mails for survey solicitation.
I also agree with Student #2.
-Student #4

Can you see where this is headed?

Email #6
Subject: Re: Do not use mass e-mails for survey solicitation.
I think some people had bad days. I'd rather not have mass email responses in my inbox than survey solicitations
-Student #5


Email #7
Subject: Re: Do not use mass e-mails for survey solicitation.
if noone wants mass emails...stop responding to this email with "reply to all."

Email #8
Subject: Please do not use mass e-mails for an open forum discussion on mass e-mail surveys
I think this is ridiculous. Those of you who are complaining about cluttering of mailboxes are doing just that. Truly, how difficult is it to click the "delete" button? Appreciate the position of the students-they need large samples of volunteers. The operative word is volunteer-if you choose not to participate that is your decision. Just as I hit the "delete" button for these absurd comments that now clutter my mailbox, you too can click "delete".
-Student #7

Email #9
Subject: Re: Do not use mass e-mails for survey solicitation.
LOUD NOISES

And with that, the email chain was put to rest. For those of you who are not rolling on the floor right now see Anchorman.




Monday, April 14, 2008

Poor Lonely Planet

A bad apple writer...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7346101.stm

I can say that Lonely Planet India prevented me from getting food poison throughout most of India. Whenever I strayed off the LP defined path, I strayed into food poison land. So I will stick with the guides until proven otherwise.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Diversity Day

Last night was one of the best McDonough School of Business events of the year- Diversity Day! An evening of good food, a fashion show and cultural dancing display topped off a heavy social calendar this weekend. Here is some of the deliciousness I indulged in- and a photo of the crowd! I'm in it, but it's like playing Where's Waldo (Where's Wally if you're British, Où est Charlie? for the French, and Wo ist Walter? in Germany.)
Thanks to Sam for the photos!
The Georgetown MBAs, family and friends...
Empanadas! I'm glad they were mini ones because by the time I got to the Americas I was almost stuffed.

Indian food from a few of my favorite classmates.

Taiwan- I realized when I saw this photo I never made it to this table! But the dish on the left got particularly rave reviews.

Texas (There was a bumper sticker about Secession at the end of the table...)

Thursday night was the Annual Report viewing at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse. The hour and a half long show was a compilation of skits mocking life at the Car Barn. It was a great reminder of the fun year behind us and the beginning of the official social end for the second years. There was lots of hugging and a whole lotta laughter. Friday was the spring formal at a beautiful waterfront locale, followed by a slightly less official event- the beer olympics. Complete with teams and prizes (I won't go into details for what) apparently it was much fun had by all. While copious amounts of beer was being drunk by my classmates, I was taking golf lessons with fellow members of the Graduate Women in Business club at the East Potomac Golf Course & Driving Range. It was the first time I had ever touched a real golf club (I don't count mini-golf). I wasn't half as bad as I thought I would be, and definitely enjoyed whacking the crap out of the golf ball. It was an excellent stress reliever, although I discovered muscles I had forgotten about when I woke up this morning. Last night was the aforementioned Diversity Day and this afternoon we had a Cohort 2 BBQ!

I managed to squeeze in a lot of work and date night with the bf this weekend, but tonight I am still faced with quite a bit of preparation for an ethics presentation tomorrow morning! We are presenting on organizational integrity and are only meeting as a group 30 minutes before the presentation. We have done everything else virtually! Ahh, 21st century technology can bring us together, but keeps us apart...

Friday, April 11, 2008

Fellow bloggers- please vote for me!

Best of luck to everyone nominated for this year's Clear Admit BOB!
http://blog.clearadmit.com/

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I GOT AN INTERNSHIP!

Excuse me while I go dance around my apartment for a few minutes...

OK, done for now. The non-profit recruitment process is fraught with frustration, pain and waiting. Waiting for business school results was NOTHING like this. There was a deadline, a light at the end of the tunnel. With non-profit recruiting, there is a lack of resources in general, which causes applications to hang in cyberspace for months. Even then, I felt lucky when someone actually got back to me to say I had not received the internship. At least there was closure!
The major non-profit recruiting "season" does not really start until March. In fact, a plethora of job postings coincided with the beginning of Module 4. Thus, not much work has been accomplished this term as I pound the pavement virtually.
It finally all paid off this week and I received an offer from a fantastic organization that does management education capacity building in Africa. HOW AWESOME IS THAT? It is actually paid, too. Now, I am taking about a 50% salary cut from what I made as a paralegal, but this was to be expected for a non-profit internship. I am starting with them immediately and we are going to revisit whether its working and whether I want to stay for the summer in a few weeks. In the meantime, I have one government consulting a few microfinance applications pending and an interview at a very big name in the field this afternoon.
Lastly, in a little over a month, I'll be here:[Relaxed sigh.]

Monday, April 7, 2008

What I really do at school

Instead of doing schoolwork, I recently involved myself in several consulting projects. I am working on a market research project for a charter school and a best practices project for a microfinance organization. This is what I love about business school and one of the reasons I came back full time- for the extracurriculars that are enriching my academic experience. Learning accounting is important, but being able to help a charter school understand whether or not they are reaching and serving their target population is the better part of my day. Now, pro bono work can be an incredibly frustrating experience (exhibit A the entire lack of public information for the microfinance project) but also rewarding. When I get to that part I'll let you know!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

There are people who do well in jail...

... and MBAs are not among them. Thus spoke my Business & Government professor last week during a discussion of the difference between getting in trouble with the FTC and getting in trouble with the DOJ. He's quite a popular professor at the MSB, despite having to cover what I consider the most boring parts of constitutional law EVER as part of his curriculum.

Module 4 (of 4) is humming along. I am still completely jobless, which explains most of my absence from the blogosphere. Every moment I usually take to write is being spent on cover letters. I have so many thoughts running through my head about my choices and where I want to go and where I was meant to be. A series of events led to retreating into my thoughts this week. My boyfriend is visiting, one of my friends at school is pregnant and with the dollar tumbling I am looking at next year's job search with a bit of trepidation. Should I be in England right now? Monday is the microfinance conference at Georgetown. I know that's why I came to Georgetown and I hope I get to learn a lot... and get a job!

I spent Easter with my parents, and I got a small TV from them I found in the closet. As we were walking out the door, my Dad hands me the "rabbit ears" just in case cable took awhile. I discovered that the U.S. is not getting rid of analog TV until February 2009! That means, free TV for me!

As Clear Admit only likes my postings when I talk about food... I made some delicious buffalo burgers the other night. Now that my kitchen is in order I have been cooking regularly. I made some pretty decent enchiladas, the burgers and corn chowder. The bf looked at the chowder and asked where the animal was. I decided I needed to expand my reach into vegetarian cooking a bit more and had the bf bring back a cookbook partially written by one of my best friends. It's not yet available in the U.S. so I got it directly from the U.K. Check it out: Vegeterranean.

The Cherry Blossoms are in full bloom right now. I walked all around the tidal basin last weekend and took some great photos. This is one of the many reasons why it's great to be in DC- Spring!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Leaping into spring break

The Class of 2009 finished our 2nd integrative- the business planning one, and leaped into spring break on February 29th! The business planning integrative week itself was a good experience, but the class we enrolled in this module was too disorganized for my taste. We heard a lot of interesting talks by real entrepreneurs over the course of the 6 weeks, which was perhaps one of the biggest value adds of the course. I am never going to start a premium tea delivery business (our team's idea)- for starters, there's no hockey stick in our financials. :) However, the class did cause me to explore business planning competitions I WOULD be interested in, such as the global social entrepreneurs competition. There's also a social entrepreneurship competition for Georgetown students only, but I don't have that one great idea yet!

Instead of traveling to an exotic location this year, I decided to stay in town for spring break and rediscover my love of DC. That, and I decided to move out of my parents' dwelling so now I need every cent of those loan checks! Lucky for me, quite a few of my friends decided not to travel this week either, so they were around to help me move! My old roommate from Boston was also in town, so we christened the new apartment by drinking large glasses of wine.

This week I signed up to work on research for a consulting project with an international development firm and am otherwise going to be a tourist. I pre-ordered tickets to visit the Washington monument and am also going to the National Gallery of Art. I am attending an international development conference on Wednesday. I also want to visit the Holocaust museum, but I have thus far been a bit too stressed to appreciate something like that museum. I heard it pretty much drains all happiness out of you.

I wanted to give a quick "shout out" (I don't give shout outs, thus I must put it in quotations) to Nicole's friends, who I am pleased mistook this blog for being written by her, and are therefore my readers. Yes, I twirl my hair as much as Nicole does! I also want to post my jealousy of these guys, who were in Miami instead of having to help me move. I don't hate them too much, because the futon they gave me is now residing in my living room.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Oh happy day!

The happy day will be tomorrow, actually. I have one exam left in this third of four modules. At 3:45 tomorrow I will join my classmates for hours of revelry and alcohol. At least with those who can still bear the sight of alcohol after the Georgetown MBA sponsored U4 Basketball tournament party last weekend! And most importantly, my finance exam is done! While I highly doubt I passed with flying colors, I'm pretty confident I passed. I am now back to working on cover letters for internships. I have 6 in various stages of completion due in the next week. Somehow these are harder than the 8 page paper on negotiation I just finished...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

POMA numbers, Non-Profit Internship Fund & Catholic singles?

An eclectic title for an eclectic mix of news. Many exciting things have been going on with the 09s this module, and I am, as usual, in the thick of some of them.

An interesting academic development this module is the business planning class and forthcoming integrative. We attend meetings twice a week, once meeting with investment coaches and the other listening to lectures from entrepreneurs and faculty on creating a business plan and pitching it to investors. We had a great lecture two weeks ago from one of my favorite professors at MSB, Prof. Dahiya. He is my finance professor, and also provided the lecture on financing for our business planning class. He introduced an interesting concept entitled "POMA numbers" to describe the financial estimates on an imaginary bagel business plan. Straightfaced as always, Prof. Dahiya announces, now what are POMA numbers? Pulled out of my ass! HILARIOUS. Sandeep had another good moment in finance class where we were discussing the consequences of debt and how going into hock was not always a great idea, despite the tax benefits. He looks around the room and goes "who has seen Shakespeare In Love?" WHAT? Some of the guys, mostly with wives, were brave enough to admit they had, and the professor gave a detailed retelling of the some of opening scenes of the movie where the moneylender is burning the shoes of the theatre manager. I don't know where he gets this stuff. Most importantly, I think I will come out of this semester understanding the basics of finance, and better yet, almost be able to explain them to someone else. How well is yet to be determined!

Non-profit Internship Fund Auction
The last few weeks were an exciting race to the finish to put on the fantastic Non-profit Internship Fund Auction! My motives for joining this club were not quite pure, as I hope to receive money from the fund to support myself over the summer when I am, almost inevitably though be design, going to be working for a non-profit. I have applied to only 3 jobs that pay (yeah, consulting!) and have a slim chance of getting 1 or 2 of those. The payment for one of the 3 is $12/hr. I think I could make more than that babysitting.
Anyways, we put on a SMASHING auction off campus this year. The finger food was amazing, and included appetizers such as little bowls of mac and cheese and pieces of bacon. Yes, simply pieces of bacon. Also sliders, chicken quesadillas and steak on sticks. I love meat. There were some lovely veg appetizers too but I got a bit obsessed with the pieces of bacon. There was a lot of organizing to be done, and I must say that the phrase "I just work here" often came out of my mouth during the auction. The 2nd years did a lot of the work and made our lives quite easy. My contributions of an airport ride and mystery boxes did well enough, and I bought finance tutoring from a fellow SGA VP. Unfortunately, we ran out of time to auction off a friend of mine for a date. However, thanks to my initiative he is available to be viewed on catholicsingles.com. In retaliation I was signed up for a different unnamed dating site. It was still worth it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Did you vote?




Today is the primary in Virginia, Maryland and DC. This means that after today I can look forward to a lack of silly political commercials until the general election.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Applications up up up!

Scuttlebutt (sp?) from friends in the admissions office say that applications are up up UP this year and that Georgetown gave out more acceptances first round than it ever has before. This goes along with general figures I have been reading in the b school news. All the more reason to apply early! Again, not that I would ever wish my insanity 8 1st round applications on anyone, but this year that seems like it would have been a very wise move. With the economy tanking I can imagine these numbers will rise next year as well.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

What the ?!?!

The above subject is what goes through my head when I look at the work I still have left to do, and then the time, which is always swiftly approaching or flat out after midnight. Two projects of the evening: Booz Allen Case Competition Analysis and internship application. Today I applied to the Acumen Fund. Most of Acumen's internships specifically require investment analysis experience. I managed to find one in their HR department that I am actually qualified for and am taking the however-I-can-shove-my-foot-in-the-bloody-door, I will do it, approach.
I am also trying to find an apartment so that I can move out of my parents' house. With the bf arriving for a lengthy visit in 6 weeks the clock is ticking...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

FT rankings, auctioning the SGA president, and other McDonough School of Business events

So a fellow blogger out there in blogosphere was lamenting her school's drop in the newly published FT rankings. I thought, oh crap, better check Georgetown! Georgetown basically held our position, which is a respectable 38 in the entire world. I put relatively more stock more in rankings ranges than absolute ranking numbers. Also, I must chuckle that the FT tries to cram every UK b school as high as statistically possible on the rankings test.
I have performed my own slightly less scientific test of Georgetown's reputation while in the UK. This test consisted of me asking whomever I happened to be standing next to at the time if they had heard of Georgetown. Now, granted this test was performed over several alcohol infused nights in Cambridge at one college's events but the results were quite positive. From what I remember approximately 85% of respondents had heard of Georgetown and had a favorable impression. Another 5% had heard of it but couldn't remember why. One offered "Bill Clinton?" My study is likely skewed by the politeness of the grad students, although I did often press people who did not follow up with "in Washington, right?" The test population was also heavily populated by South Africans and Brits, as my boyfriend has a freakish lot of both in his college at Cambridge. Overall I can say that Georgetown is well enough known by educated society in the UK. Or a tiny little corner of it.

Today was the official handover from the old to the new SGA board. It was complete with a key "ceremony" where the new officers were each given a key to the closet of an SGA office. This week I am pushing to get my career in order, meeting with 2nd years, getting names, and passing on my resume to anyone who pauses. Do any of my readers work at USAID?

In completely different news, the non-profit internship fund auction is happening in less than two weeks! Like many other b schools, we at the McDonough School of Business have a club dedicated to helping students who want to work in unpaid (mostly government and non-profit) internships to afford to do so. Yes, that would be me. I am helping with donations, as I clearly hope to benefit from the fund. Our big event of the year is an auction, complete with live and silent bids, drinks and food. I have secured our SGA president, Mat, to auction off "Pizza with the Prez" where he takes people out to a favorite M Street dining establishment- Pizzeria Paradiso. They do a decent gourmet pizza, but more importantly have an excellent selection of beers. I have also convinced the VP of Social to donate Chinese lessons and dinner. Or if an eligible lady just wants dinner... something can be arranged. ;) Yes, I have a boyfriend so I need to meddle in the love life of others. Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match! Find me a find, catch me a catch! As I am quoting Fiddler on the Roof in my blog, I would say it's time to go to sleep. I managed to finish the entire (I hope) finance homework for the first time this module so it will be a deeply satisfying sleep.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Interviews: B school and jobs

I have my first internship interview tomorrow. As this is a non-profit social justice organization I have little idea of what to expect. The reams of electronic files listing potential questions that exist for marketing, finance and consulting are not in play here. The best I can do is study up on the organization, practice my personal pitch, and remember what I wrote on my cover letter (it was lost in my Christmas time hard drive crash.)
Business school interviews were pretty easy for me, as I generally interview well. Most of mine were "walk me through your resume, why b school, why THIS b school." I probably had to spend more time on the why b school question than other applicants as I was employed at a law firm at the time and a J.D. seemed the more logical track. I have perused some of the blogging fare from this year's applicants and I am pleased to see the enthusiasm and details thrown out in our little community keeps increasing!
Many applicants are chronicling their interview experiences, and frankly, some of them are just missing the bloody point of questions. One blogger writes "I heard the fit question is really important at this school" and worked really hard to come up with an answer. Another struggled with the question of 'why' a particular business school. If you can't readily answer why you fit with a school or why you applied to a school, then you shouldn't be applying to those schools, even if it's "H/S/W." Now, of course my blog is less popular because I don't attend "H/S/W" but seriously people, take some time to actually consider your options before you apply.
It is important to fit the pieces of your life and your career goals together in your head, and then a clear path should emerge. Each school is different, and you should be able to explain why. When you get to business school, you will need to be able to understand the differences between the investment banking divisions in the ten companies you apply to and be able to give a response to the question, if you are given an offer would you take it right now and why. Having a good understanding of WHY you apply in the first place is a basic step on your MBA path.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Each new day brings a new way to procrastinate

I managed to write half a cover letter this morning before I got caught up in lamenting the poor choice of movies on my TV with basic cable. I then realized that with my parents' Netflix subscription, PC and newly installed futon in the office, I could choose from a wide variety of movies. That solved, I am back to work. OK, almost, now I'm blogging.
Well, I lost the presidential election but am taking on VP of Career Management so I will continue to serve on the SGA board. Still exciting!
Last night I attended the most recent Virginia happy hour. The Georgetown class is divided between those who live in the city and those who live "across the bridge" i.e. the Key Bridge, i.e. in Virginia. I am one of those people, although no one else really lives as far out as I do! Last semester, a group of 1st years started having Virginia happy hours, to make it a little more convenient for those of us who don't live in DC or Maryland to get home! There was a lot of beer, pool and mexican food involved. So much so that I didn't make it to karaoke night. Ah well. We texted the people at the karaoke night who seemed to having fun!
Back to work, these cover letters don't seem to be writing themselves.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I'm baaaaaaack.

Well folks, I went on vacation! From school, from blogging, from the U.S... but now I'm back in the U.S. and back in class. This module I have the opportunity to take my first elective. Georgetown is a general management program so most of the classes during the first year are chosen for us.  During the second semester we have the opportunity to take two module long electives or one semester long elective.  This semester most of my classmates are taking Marketing Strategy, taught by arguably the best marketing prof on campus (I quote second years on this one...) he's the guy P&G asks you if you've taken a class with him. That sentence had grammar problems, but I'm not going to correct them.

Anyways, my top choice elective, Social Enterprise, is offered in the fourth module, so I needed another elective to fill out module 3. I did not feel comfortable enough to take a finance elective (I'm only halfway through the basic course) and settled on Negotiations. We get graded on how well we argue basically.
Another thing that is consuming my life is SGA elections. I am running for president and have been campaigning like crazy.  I have also been kicking my internship search into high gear, submitting applications and visiting development employers.  This leaves academics a distant fourth in my current list of priorities. (The bf was visiting, so he stole the immediate #1 spot.) I have my first operations case write-up due tomorrow, along with my first macroeconomics case write-up.  I also have a finance case due Thursday! 
What I am really looking forward to is Karaoke night on Friday, hosted by the Japan Club.  We have make up classes on Friday because of Martin Luther King Day Monday the 21st, so a night of drunken singing with my classmates sounds like the ideal end to the week.