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
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!