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.