MBA Cutie...

Life on the road to Ross School of Business at U of M... GO BLUE!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Fashion in Colors

I almost never post twice in the same day, but I had such a great time at the private tour, sponsored by my company, of the "Fashion in Colors" exhibit at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum (part of the Smithsonian) on 91st and Central Park East. I have never been so close to a Balenciaga dress before in my life. There were also amazing Viktor & Rolf, Dior, Chanel, and Armani designs. The evolution of color through time and in clothing is fascinating and I encourage everyone who can to visit it.

Application Advice

A friend of mine wrote me asking for tips on the B-School application process. I thought I would post my advice/ thoughts for everyone's benefit:

1) Focus on your GMAT… it’s the ONE thing you can do that will really increase your odds at a school. Schools really view high gmat scores favorably, and to be considered “competitive” at a top 10 school, you will want to break 700… otherwise, 680 is ok, but it will be more of an uphill battle. You want to be a GMAT “donor” (schools try very hard to keep their averages above or at 700). Schools will also care about the “split”… you want to aim for at least an 80% on each section. Potential recruiters regularly ask your GMAT score as well, so do the best you possibly can. However, it is only one factor. While a great GMAT score will not guarantee you into a top school, a low one will definitely keep you out.

2) Decide if you want to go full or part time, and start researching programs. Once you have your GMAT score, you will know where you are a competitive applicant. Go to Business Week online to see current school rankings (but don’t rely solely on rankings, look into quality of life, program etc… to make sure you get what you want out of your experience) Some schools like Harvard and Darden are very case based. Some schools, like Stanford, Kellogg, and Michigan are more of a mix between case, lecture, and other methods. Some schools, like Wharton and Chicago have a reputation of being more quantitative. Some schools let you create your curriculum (Chicago) and some schools won’t let you pass out of a single class (Harvard). Almost all schools can get you into any area, but for something like Private Equity, you may have better networks at the top three schools. Talk to current students about their experiences: browse message boards and blogs, network, etc. Find out where the companies and firms you would potentially want to work for recruit.

3) Do some introspection on yourself: what you want to do after your MBA, what you hope to get out of it, are you a career switcher, are you looking at this as a stepping stone. Inventory your interests, your accomplishments, and your dreams. Create a story about yourself, why you have done what you have done so far, what you want to contribute to the school and your class, and where you want to go after school. Now you will know what points you want to hit on your application and essay.

4) Re-do your resume to reflect results and accomplishments. What did you do at your jobs that resulted in cost savings or improved efficiencies? (quantify your results).

5) Select the programs you want to apply to and start writing (and rewriting) your essays, especially the “WHY MBA, WHY NOW?”. Have people that know you well and one person that doesn’t know you well read your essays. Most importantly, are they honest? Do they have voice? Do they really reflect the real you in a GOOD light? Do they answer the question at hand? Decide if you want to use a consultant or writing service. (I didn’t, and I know plenty of people that got into top 10 schools without one. But I know plenty of people that got into top 10 schools and used one.)

6) Contact potential recommenders. Schedule meetings with them, tell them about your goals and direction, and give them at least 4 weeks to complete your recs. Provide them with information such as your GMAT, your essays (you don’t want them to say anything contradictory to what you say), and your position or “story” that you are trying to sell to each school. Tell them of weaknesses in your application that you are aware of and how they can help you mitigate those weaknesses through their recommendation. (ie.. if you have poor quant grades in college, have them rave about your quantitative skill set... or if your verbal GMAT score is low, have them talk about your great communication and presentation skills.).

7) Apply in round one or two! Interview! And when you are done, treat yourself. You have worked hard! Now just wait for the acceptances to roll in….

Good Luck to all future applicants!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Russell Peters

I got to see Russell Peters last night! He came here, to New Brunswick. People, it was FABULOUS! You must see him ... I admit I haven't seen his clips online, but the show was worth every penny. He is hilarious, witty, and the longer you watch him talk, he becomes attractive (although, definitely not my type initially.) Check him out at He's having a repeat performance in New Bru on the 24th, tickets go on sale Monday.

Today was oddly not productive. At all. And now I'm getting ready to take a shower, meet my friend in Hoboken and then head into NYC for two of my friend's 26th birthday parties.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Trip to the Company Store...

Even though my second most least favorite holiday is coming up, I still am excited about the cute gifts (picture will be posted as soon as I get the chance to assemble everything) that I pulled together for some of my friends and my sister! It's great to work for a cosmetics company! And it's even better that this season's "enchantress" style is going to take a strong hold with lilacs, pinks, purples and silverish hues... all perfect for assembling the cutest V-day gifts ever. I only wish I had unlimited funds to that every special girl in my life got something fun and exciting from me for the day.

I finally started reading "The Blushing MBA", recommended to me by fellow blogger Marina, and it is pretty good so far. It's amazing the number of things I have time to do since the MBA application essays craze has passed.

Since I decided to let go, today has been a much happier day for me. I almost feel like my old self. I guess we sometimes cling to things in life because we remember good things in the past and think that if we cling and work hard at it, we can re-create those times/feelings. We dont' realize that if we actually let go and move on, we will always have those memories, but our hearts and minds become free to be happy again.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

False Accusations

I have finally been through it and know what the worst thing a girlfriend can do to you is... and it's not hooking up with your boyfriend, or telling everyone at school about your secret single behavior, or even telling you that you've gained a few pounds (and I've lived through all those too -- different girls, of course). It's accusing you of something you did not do, and not even caring enough about you as a person to talk to you about it. I feel pretty abused. It is as if my thoughts, true actions, or feelings are so invaluable that they are not even worth acknowledgement because whatever the other person is thinking or assuming just must be correct.

I have come to a few conclusions (wow, I feel like Bridget Jones!):

(1) Girls can be extremely manipulative (myself included) and it is very important to learn to watch for manipulative behavior and not succumb to it.

(2) No more people in my life -- guys or girls -- that need constant worship.

(3) The minute I start feeling bad or abused in ANY sort of relationship I'm in, I need to be strong enough to take a step back and not just try to convince myself that things will smooth over. If I get the feeling something is wrong, it probably is.

(4) Real friends talk to you when something is wrong. Real friends don't boss you around, talk down to you, make you feel bad because they are transfering guilt to you, or give you pointed instructions on what you can or cannot do. If and when these things happen, I need to step back and re-evaluate the friendship.

(5) When someone says unfounded, cruel, and hateful things to you in an absolute, self-serving manner, no matter how good a friend you think they are, you don't need them in your life. Every once in a while, we have to do our "spring - cleaning", and as hard as it is to let go of that favorite yellow pastel cardigan, there would be no room for all the beautiful sundresses that are soon to fill your closet if you kept it.

I will not think or talk of this incident again. It's over, and I am letting go and moving on. In my 24 years of existence, I have realized that something is very true: when bad things happen, you have to hang on tight, and have faith... they will eventually pass... and you will be O.K.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


The one thing that I've been so good at doing since I left college is finding girlfriends that like to compete. With me. In every way imaginable. Maybe it's not overt competition, but there always ends up being some form of needing to be one - upped or needing validation. And then it all falls apart and I am supposed to feel bad about it. Well today, I'm saying no, I will not feel bad about it. And I'm going to start being really careful about finding girlfriends that become ultra competitive with me.

Background: I've been having on and off feelings about a friend of mine for a while. At times, I felt backed into a corner, and I felt like she would never respect me for what I am or who I am, etc., and I also felt a lot of pressure to create false closeness. (Not to mention that she was evasive with me regarding many things.) I knew things weren't going well because she'd call a lot, but always at times that were when she was doing something else, like ordering food, or getting on a train car. I felt weird about this friendship for some time, and instead of openly saying something about it, I just let it hide and fester. Definitely a bad move on my part. I just needed space, which I was having a hard time getting until I finally outright asked for it.

Space was a good thing. I come home today to get an accusatory (not to mention nasty) email from her saying that I did somethings that I don't believe I did, but I will never get to say my side of the story. Becuase she is not talking to me ever again. But you know what, I dont' even want to give my side of the story because of the nature with which she presented everything to me... I admit, I was pretty crushed because this person is important to me, and her family is also wonderful. The death of a friendship is hard. However, I suppose I must persevere, and persevere I will. There are too many potential friends in this world and I cannot be upset by the misguided musings of one ex-friend that was causing me strife to begin with. People grow and change, and if we were meant to be, we will be. If we aren't, maybe we didn't have that much in the first place.

It's surprising how much I've grown from my youth. When I was younger, this type of thing would be debilitating. I was due a friendship break - up sooner or later. Two years of an almost wonderful friendship situation was just too much for the planets to balance. I think I've just reached that point in my life where things will happen as they do, and I know that I am a good person and that everything will work out. It has with b-school. Maybe I needed more room in my life for an amazing new friend that is coming my way. Maybe I've just been through enough friendship break-ups to know what to expect and how to handle it. Maybe it's just a normal cycle to have friends come in and out of your life.

On other notes... I scheduled my surgery for Feb 8th. My surgeon seems absolutely wonderful, and very, very competent, so that is the good news. I'm having a VATS right lung biopsy (way fun, huh?) The bad news is I'll be out of work for a week and on narcotics and in pain. Speaking of which, I need to schedule my flight out for my dad.. he's coming to stay with me so I'm not alone during the surgery.

The Ross Alumni Happy Hour is this Thursday in Manhattan. I wish I could make it, but I don't think I'll be able to. :( Maybe I can catch the next one.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Wharton Complete

I got my email today from Wharton... my application has gone "complete". Now the wait for an interview invite.

Great link with some funny descriptions of different b-school personalities on the street:

Sunday, January 22, 2006


I saw Matchpoint this weekend, on Friday night. It is DEFINITELY worth seeing. I don't want to say too much about it because I don't want to give away the totally unexpected ending. Scarlett Johanssen was amazing, as usual. I'm not the biggest fan of her voice, but her acting was phenomenal. And that guy that plays the coach in Bend It Like Beckham was the male lead. He is so gorgeous.

My friend is moving to San Francisco, so last night I headed into NYC for her goodbye party at Kanvas. It was a great venue and a good crowd. Later on that evening, we hopped over to Stitch, on 37th between 7th and 8th. A bit crowded, but I managed to meet up with another friend, and we all hung out. I spent the night with my girlfriend that lives up on the upper east side at 82nd and 3rd, and then made it back home this morning around noon. All in all, a good weekend.

I also managed to log onto the IMpact site for Ross and check out what the other MBA'ers out there are up to. I was pleased to see that Unilever recruits there! All my friends that went to Penn State have told me that they will never talk to me again if they hear me say "Go BLUE". Ha, ha!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Juicy Tubes!

I had to go to an all day seminar today to learn about the Lancome Products that will be in stores this season. It was actually hugely fascinating, because I did not know the selling techniques in use by the beauty advisors, or the wide array of products available. I also had my eyes done by one of them so I looked like "enchantress - a lover's wish".. one of the current looks inspired by "A Midsummer Night's Dream". It was pretty hott.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

No More Stanford

Got the news at 11:00am today... Stanford cannot offer me a spot in their class. I thought I'd be really upset about it, but, oddly enough, I'm not. I think I just wanted to go to Stanford because I wanted to come home to California. I am really happy about Ross, and I like the program there much more than I like the program at Stanford. But then, it is Stanford. Maybe I'll feel bad about it tomorrow? I had to wake up at 5am to come to NYC this morning for work. I think I'm too tired to feel rejected. :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Thoracic Surgery...

I thought that having to be on medication for a year would take care of the random lesions that started appearing in my lungs. :( I guess not. :( I'm scheduled for Thoracic Surgery sometime next week. I meet the Thoracic Surgeon on Tuesday. I should be happy that all of this is happenning before I quit my job and while I still have insurance. I decided to postpone my trip to Germany. Just not a good idea if I had surgery so recently. And if there are complications, I want to be around here. I've never been under general anesthesia before. I guess Germany will have to wait until June or July....

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Can London be any more fabulous? I am so meant to live in London. The trip was absolutely amazing! The first day was rough because of the jet lag and there was a little adventure at the airport. British Airways booked my baggage on someone else's ticket. Isn't that crazy? I thought my bags were lost, but they turned up on a flight that arrived at Heathrow an hour and a half later. I'm just happy they came at all!!!! Our hotel was absolutely perfectly located (Club Quarters, next to the Monument tube stop)… we could walk to Tower of London from there.

The January sales in London are fantastic! I have never seen Harrods so crowded. Although, I must say, that 50% off items that are priced in pounds was really not a "deal", but it was still fun to think I could actually buy a few items in Harrods or Harvey Nichols without totally breaking the bank. We went to Trafalagar Square and saw the Russian Winter Festival. I kept sight seeing to a minimum on this trip, as I had already been to London twice before, and had no need to see most things again. We went to a fun party on Saturday night in Covent Garden. We went out near Pic Circus (Zoo Bar) on Sunday night. I met up with a friend who lives in London, but I had seen the past two years in Ibiza. She gave me a piece of Christmas Cake… very interesting.. And very british! We had coffee in a Pub next to Victoria Station.

I was disappointed in the indian food in central London. I guess for the good stuff you have to make it out to Wembley or South Hall. I'm not exactly sure what this Balti stuff is, or why paneer tikka masala is so sickeningly sweet there. We checked out Brick Lane .. It was a very interesting place as well. We did get a recommendation to a Lebonese restaurant, Maroosh, in Edware Road, but we ended up not making it. Wagamama was as cute as ever.

I cried in Heathrow airport when it was time to leave. Two and a half days in London is just not enough, not even if you just want to hang out.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Goodbye, Kellogg....

Well, I guess Kellogg is not happening for me this year...

Dear MBA Cutie:

The Admissions Committee has completed its review of your application for the Kellogg School of Management and Two-Year Program. Despite your many merits as a candidate, I regret to inform you that we are not able to offer you a place in the entering class. The Admissions Committee carefully evaluated your application in the following areas: work experience, career plans, academic ability and performance, extracurricular and community involvement, leadership and interpersonal skills. Decisions are based upon a thorough evaluation of your individual strengths and weaknesses, as well as your qualifications relative to all others in our applicant pool. This decision is not a reflection of your personal qualities and achievements or your potential for success in management, but merely a reflection of the limited number of places in the class. We certainly wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors, and thank you for your interest in the Kellogg School of Management and Two-Year Program .


Beth Flye

Director of Admissions and Financial Aid

I don't know whether to be totally sad or not. Sure, it was a dream. But I think I'll be really happy at Michigan. And I still have TWO more schools to go!

I'm IN!

I got the call today from Michigan during my lunch hour. I'm in! I'm in with a $5k scholarship each year. (Not that much, but it's nice of them to through a little money my way.) I am so, so happy! I can truly enjoy my trip to London. It will be celebratory and lovely.

No word from Kellogg, but I am not even tripping anymore. I'm going to get to go to a school that I love and that will help me accomplish what I want to do.

Congrats to all of you that have heard, good luck to those waiting decisions, and hang in there! Everything happens for a reason.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


I really wish that Kellogg released all decisions on the same day at the same time. Hearing about other people getting admitted and my state of being "decision-less" is just agony. And the longer I wait, the harder it is to be optimistic. I mean, they already accepted plenty of people who they KNEW they wanted. If they really wanted me, wouldn't they have accepted me instead of making me wait and agonize? It's almost cruel to make people wait just to reject them. There is some humanity in Wharton's approach to notify all individuals on the same day.

Michigan started its acceptance calls this week, but of course, my luck isn't of the type that would get the phone call early (if there is any phone call coming at all). I just really wish I knew if I was going to make it or not, because if I'm not, I want to start making plans on what to do for the rest of the year. And if I am, I'm in agony for no reason.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


I leave for London on Friday! I have a friend that never takes photos, no matter where he goes. When we were in Rome, no pictures of Trevi Fountain or the Spanish steps. Nothing. He claims that if he takes pictures, then he has no motivation to come back. Next time he wants to see St. Peter's, he'll just go there, not look at a picture. Interesting philosophy. I, on the other hand, am way too picture happy.

I cannot believe I am still decision-less. Kristen on the BW forums said that ALL Kellogg round 1 apps have been examined and read. There are still many decisions to release, but many decisions are not finalized. No news from Michigan yet either. Maybe I've just been anticipating this for so long that I'm starting to self-doubt, but I have an awful feeling about the decisions. I'm thinking I should start figuring out what I plan to do with myself in case I don't get into school.

I wish I could move to Europe and chill near the beach in a perfect little flat that backs up to Costa Blanca. Are there any jobs out there that will let me do that?

Monday, January 09, 2006

No news is good news?

Yup, that's right. No news. I don't understand why I haven't heard ANYTHING from any of my first round schools. At least Ross/Michigan was humane enough to tell us the true announcement day. I'm just really freaking out. Every time my phone rings between the hours of 3 and 6pm, I anxiously grab it and hope that there is an "unknown" number on the other end. I am checking my email as often as possible, but I can't check my personal email from work, and that is driving me insane.
So far, nothing.

Well, no news is good news, right?

Sunday, January 08, 2006


I made it to the gym twice this weekend! It feels SO GOOD to have a body that is moving again, instead of spending day and night infront of computers. I am not looking forward to heading back to work tomorrow, but at least things should be no where near as crazy as they were last week. I actually will leave work on Friday at 4:30pm to catch my flight to London.

The weekend was fairly uneventful. I managed to watch the first four episodes from the second season of Felicity and did some random errands.

Now, the nervous wait starts again. I am on pins and needles. I most likely hear from three schools next week: Stanford, Michigan and Kellogg. Stanford, I already know will be a ding, but Michigan and Kellogg, I am definitely keeping my fingers crossed. I don't know how I will get through next week. I think I am happy, good news or bad, the waiting game for at least 3 schools will be over.

Friday, January 06, 2006


I have survived another year end close! We are not completely done, but the ledger is closed. Now the analysis lies ahead of us, but at least that I can handle. I’m not so keen on the adrenaline rush that is close.

Some interesting observations about creating financials in a company that doesn’t comply with GAAP:

(1) Direct write offs are ok.
(2) There is only one accrual account for the entire division. (And yes, it miraculously gets reconciled.)
(3) When you get credits back that your budget groups don’t know about, don’t tell them, so the CFO can drop the monies to the bottom line if they need them later. Or, your team can use the money later to buy IPODs for everyone.
(4) If the reserve gets too high, move some of it to prepaid.
(5) If it doesn’t match the budget, just accrue.
(6) Back-up is for suckers and auditors.

I am most excited to have my life back. I already have a plan for tomorrow:

9:00 Wake up
9:30 – 10:30 Gym
10:30 – 12:30 Library/ Grocery/ Errands
12:30 – 7:00 FREE TIME – clean, write, watch DEVDAS
7:00 – 2:00 Out on the town

I am SUCH a planner.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Have you ever had one of those crazy days at work where you just feel like you got raped? You know, where things just go so fast and you don't even realize what's happening? Before you know it, it's over, and you still have no clue what just happened. I always have a day or two like that during year end. Well last year, I can't say that a day like that really happened. Last year, I was in the world wide consolidations group of a $40 billion+ corporation where I had annual report footnote responsibility, corporate acquisitions accounting (NOT FUN when everything is in Euros or Pounds or Reals, or currencies I hadn't even heard of), and worked on SEC filings. It wasn't over fast… that's all I can say. I spent a LOT of time in the bathroom destressing and hoping I didn't come back to my desk with red eyes. The last thing I needed was sr. management thinking I was freaking out. I have to say, this year is better. At least the major torture will end after this week, and then it should taper off completely by the end of the month. Last year, it lasted through February. This year I am actually allowed to take my President's day holiday.

Speaking of president's day.. I'm not sure yet what to do about it. Continental is having this crazy great deal for $320 from EWR to Amsterdam. I haven't been there in 4 years, so now I am seriously contemplating a re-visit for four days… I was planning on taking a trip to Montreal/Quebec with someone for Carnaval, but I’m not sure that it will work out. Amsterdam doesn't really have a carnaval, but it’s a lovely city, and it's off season, and I may just catch the very beginning of the tulips. I could catch the train, spend a day in Brussels. It's sort of nice to plan a few cute winter trips. The snow out here makes going out virtually impossible during the winter, so It's not even like really spending too much money to go. I can just relax at home the other weekends in February. If not, Amsterdam, Paris maybe? I would love to go to Hamburg (friend there) or Milan (friend there, too), but the tickets are so much more expensive. Paris I haven't properly explored since I was 13. I may still try to push the montreal trip…. I have never been there and would LOVE to go. But Montreal is too platonic to go alone. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

London Dreams

I'm going to London! In less than two weeks, I'm going to London! I am not so excited about taking British Airways, since I'm such a Continental girl, but I think it will be great to spend some time in the UK. I got in touch with this lovely girl I met outside Es Paradis in San Antonio, Ibiza. She grew up in the UK and regularly summers in Ibiza with her boyfriend. (I know, what a life!) We plan to meet up and have a drink. I haven't been to London in years so I am a little overwhelmed about what to do, see, bring, buy... the list goes on and on. Of course, I know I will be spending a good amount of time at Harrods, and possibly, in the West End.... I better start saving.

Wharton application got submitted last night. Oddly enough, I feel really good about it. My last application, and it is by far my best. Practice really does help when it comes to the art of application writing.

Just two and a half more days of year end close left.. and then, I will have my life to myself again! I have missed the gym, the library, and even just walking around the mall... I'm sure my New York City friends will be happy to have me back in action!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Friday the 13th

As I sit here at work, eating greasy chinese food, so many things are running through my mind. First of all, why do I have to be at work eating take out. I don't even like it, but I'm hungry. A nice slice of sourdough bread toast and a crisp salad all chopped up at home would have been so much more appetizing. But I guess I am here eating this anyway. Secondly, Michigan announced that they will release all decisions on Friday the 13th. How fabulous is that. Friday the 13th, of all days. Then that makes me realize that I'm flying to London on Friday the 13th. I really shouldn't be afraid. In 2004, I flew to Sao Paulo on September 11th. That's much worse right?

As decision day nears, I don't know if I even want to know. Up until now, there has been hope. Faint glimmers of hope at Stanford, of course, but still quite a bit of promise at Michigan and Kellogg. After the weekend after next, it will be all over.

I resolve, no matter what happens, to use President's day weekend to my own benefit... I will get away somewhere, even if it is by myself (and it may even be better, if it is by myself), to introspect and figure out what I want to do and where I want my life to take me. Even if I end up not getting into any of my target schools, I think I have learned a lot about myself and what I want from life. Maybe that was a lesson worth the cost of all the application fees.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Interesting Happenings

Second day of the new year has sprung forth and delivered:

- An upgrade to business first on my flight home from San Jose.
- A loaf of sourdough bread slipped into my suitcase by my daddy.
- A three - tiered box of chocolates with no name indicated of the sender.

Now who are these chocolates from? I don't know! I wish I did, but there is no note, no card with signature, nothing! I even called the chocolate company and was told the sender cannot be disclosed.

I have managed to complete and submit my Harvard application. Now it's out there in the "submitted" abyss... so I will not hear of it again until interview invites come out... if I am so lucky. I have started in on the Wharton Application, which I think I will be able to submit out tomorrow.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all my readers! May 2006 bring you happiness, success, and acceptances.

The weather was great last night and I ended up having a fabulous time at Medjool in San Francisco. A few people I knew showed up (including my high school best friend!), and someone I didn't think I'd see in a million years showed up too. One of my girlfriends couldn't make it out with us, but there is always next year.

And now the two weeks of insanity start... in the next two weeks I will hear from Stanford, Kellogg and Michigan. I almost ready to go ahead and submit my Wharton and Harvard applications. Life is very unpredictable right now.

My year in a nutshell:
- Joined a new cosmetics company last March.
- Permanently relocated to the East Coast.
- Underwent two bronchoscopies (yuck, yuck).
- Navigated my way through a few weird relationships.
- Passed the CPA exam
- Spent another summer vacation in Barcelona and Ibiza with one of my bestest friends in the whole world.
- Took and nailed the GMAT.
- Visited Boston (twice), Atlanta, Washintgon D.C., Spain, Los Angeles, Richmond, and San Francisco.
- Applied to MBA school.
- Realized there is no place like California... and really, there is no place like Fremont.

Happy New Years! Happy 2006!