Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Darden - Complete

Another one done, which means I have finished more applications than I have left to complete. WOW! What a relief. Perhaps now, I will actually have time to contemplate my car dilemma. Both my parents vote for a new car, however, they aren't paying for it. Fact is, I love my car, but as noted, this may be the last chance for me to get a new car for a while. Point taken.

This weekend, I'm go to take a full break and stay off the computer. My right shoulder is killing me. I also plan on getting back into the gym, maybe tonight seeing I have time to spare. :D You have no idea how happy I am! Although I am on cloud nine, the thought of essays lingers in the back of my mind. I do however, remind myself that I have three weeks to complete the next set...walk in the park compared to the last few.

Darden's essays may have been different, but in the end, I thoroughly enjoyed writing them. They were thought provoking of another kind and if that is any indication of how Darden will be, I'd be happy to attend. :) For whatever reason, I am feeling fairly confident right now. It is a fantastic feeling and I just hope that means I end up with an interview. Ready to dance... or something. If only it was Friday.

PS If anyone is curious, my Kellogg application got sorted. It was a mistake on their behalf.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Phew... Michigan Submitted

Wow, I'm a bit excited, a bit nervous, and a bit brain dead. I just submitted my Michigan application, paid in full. Happy to say that it is not noon on Thursday, the November 1st deadline, but I am hoping that I could not have made it better. They say that a stronger Round 2 application is better than a mediocre Round 1 application, but as my dad so kindly reminded me, it is possible to over edit and over think. I feel confident that my essays are concise and thorough. Additionally, I feel that I had enough connection with Michigan alumni to understand the culture and communicate it in those essays. I did attend three separate information sessions after all. Here's hoping!


My heart races as I see a message from the Kellogg School of Management in my inbox. I am not sure if it is an interview extension or worse, denying admittance before they know any more. Instead, it is a message telling me that my application is incomplete and therefore could be pushed to a further round. I know I was not as careful with my submission for Kellogg as I have been with the other schools to which I'm applying, but I thought I had my bases covered. Unfortunately, I may have been wrong.

I signed on to see what I was so haphazardly missing. Sure enough, checked boxes next to each item on the list except "career progress survey". Now this couldn't possibly be anything that I filled out, but nonetheless I checked both Part I and II of the application, but to no avail did I find to what the missing check refers. Process of elimination says that it must be on the recommendations, but both my recommendations were turned in 4 days before D-day and you can't submit them without completing all sections. Needless to say, I shot a quick note back to Kellogg asking for what was missing exactly and advice me on the next step. I hope this was just a system glitch. What a pain.

Word Limit

The word limits on business school essays are quite an interesting concept. They are easy to exceed, but with careful review, they are also easy to meet. But I run into problems when the limit is 500 words and I have 503. Where do you find three unnecessary words to delete? It is not easy, but somehow I managed to oblige. This act of deleting is a paradox. On one hand, it is difficult, but on the other, it makes you check your writing for precision. You must also acknowledge what is important and what is "fluff". As we grow up, we are taught to add a lot of fluff to meet that five page requirement. I wonder how English teachers deal with all the B.S.

On a positive note, 'fat' drained, I think my Michigan essays are COMPLETE. I reviewed the full application yesterday and all that is left to do is double check my section about who at Ross I have had contact with in the last year. This would be a lot easier if I have collected business cards, which I did not think about at the time because I had received business cards from people that I never used. I thought, why waste the paper. Definitely kicking myself a bit now.

One essay left for Darden to touch up and revamp. Wish me luck!

D-day: 3 days!

Monday, October 29, 2007

B-school Freak Out

It seems every few days I'm on the verge of breaking. "What if?" I feel that I have so much weighing on these business school applications. My next year is tentatively planned around me attending business school in a state other than California. I'm putting off moving out because it isn't logical to do it before then. I want to travel Europe for a few months, but I can't plan that unless I find out if I got into any of the schools.

They say in essence you're only competing against yourself. And perhaps that's true, but you can't help but feel that there are 2,000+ other applicants just as qualified as you are. What sets you apart from these qualified applicants? I would hope that my well rounded nature and individuality does, but maybe that's not enough. My GMAT score puts me in contention and my grades hold steady at decent. I am by no means a valedictorian, but I feel I have redeeming qualities. I was not confident about my first interview and felt I was reaching for information at the end. Since then, I feel I have solidified my story more and feel confident about telling it. I have also expanded my research of the different programs and hopefully I can ace the next one. It's had to tell what keeps you in the ballgame and what becomes the deal breaker. I can only hope that I haven't hit the deal breaker.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Vote 2008

The following is an interesting exercise.... You answer a few questions then click the "find your candidate button" and the program selects the candidate who's position on the issues is most like your own... You may be surprised at what you find... Click the link below....


Every So Often

Every so often you have to be grateful for what you have. I received this message today and it brought a smile to my lips. Today, I am grateful for all the people in my life.

It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80's, arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry, as he had an appointment at 9:00 am. I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound. While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer's Disease. As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now. I was surprised, and asked him, "And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?" He smiled as he patted my hand and said, "She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is." I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought, "That is the kind of love I want in my life."

True love is neither physical, nor romantic.
True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.

The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make
the best of everything they have.

"Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain."

"I have wasted thousands and thousands of kisses on you- kisses that I thought were special because of your lips and your smile and all your color and life. But now I know you don't mean any of it. Shame on me for kissing you with my eyes closed so tight." - That Thing You Do

Revamp...I lost count

Thursday night, 11 pm, I may actually get to bed at a "decent" hour tonight. It's amazing how your view on time and sleeping changes as you get less of it.

I just finished another revamp of most my Darden and Michigan essays. I have one more essay in the Darden set to review, however, I don't have the thought process or energy to do it tonight. Definitely tomorrow though. In some ways, I feel that I am close to finishing, but in other ways, I have no idea. It's hard because my reviewers at the moment are people that may be good at writing, but haven't interacted with the b-school adcom. I don't count their comments any differently, but it's been a different process. I send my essays to 5 people hoping at least one if not two returns some quality comments.

Tonight, I shot Stu an email to see if he'd be willing to get together before my soccer game on Saturday. It'd be nice to have a session and have him look over all my essays. I feel that he has a good handle on what is going on with these essays. If that doesn't work, maybe I'll see if Mary is willing to get together. I thought about asking her first, but because I have worked with Stu, I guess I am a bit more comfortable. In retrospect though, that's the exact reason I should have asked Mary. I don't know her well and on some levels, I guess I feel that she is one of "Nate's friends". I know that sounds absurd, but even through everything, I never want to step on toes. He means/meant far too much to me. I think I've written too much... (luckily few people read this but me)

It's strange how I can feel on top of my essays like everything works, but then I can feel so removed from it all. I wonder who this person I write about is and mainly, if she really is me. How can you convey a sense of who you are in 3 essays, with word limits of 500 and 300 words. You do have to cut the BS, but by doing that, are you just adding more? ... Getting too philosophical for me. G'night.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sleep is GOOOD!

I crawled into bed shortly before 8 pm last night. I was down for the count by 30 after and today I feel good. I don't quite have that I've slept forever and feel good feeling, but getting out of bed this morning was more pleasant than it was been in days. :D

Yesterday, I test drove two cars. It's hard to compare when I basically believe I have the best. Besides my "finicky" CD player, my X5 has been very good to me. When I posted here - 3 years ago, that I was getting a new car, many lashed out about what a spoiled brat I am. It's true on some level. I am spoiled, but by no means do I consider myself a brat. Lucky would be my word choice.

Anyhow, the Tribeca was nice and hugged the road. I think it still has some kinks and if Subaru keeps at it, they'll get it. On the other hand the RDX is definitely for the tech savvy. I'm addicted to gizmos and gadgets, which could be the reason I was enthralled with this car. The bluetooth is definitely a nice feature because lately, I feel that I lose my headpiece, but the car also has voice activation for EVERYTHING! You can tell it to play a CD and track number. You can instruct it to find the nearest Mexican restaurant. It is even programmed with Zagat reviews. Talk about nifty. So the downside, it's missing one of my FAVORITE things, parking sensors. I don't understand what is going on with these cars. You can get back up sensors and they install a rear camera, but they don't allow for front sensors. I guess people don't realize how efficient they are for parallel parking, especially in San Francisco.

Now what? The Acura was a nice drive, although definitely not as smooth as my BMW. The sales guy said that Acura drivers like to feel the road. I think they just don't know what it is like to not feel the road. (Personal opinion of course.) There's nothing wrong with feeling the road. I drove a Discovery for 6 years, which definitely drives like a truck. But after three years in luxury, I'm not sure I want to return to that. I have a week to decide and finish 7 essays. OUCH.

"Before you speak, ask yourself, is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve on the silence."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Days Blur

I'm not sure how it is possible that I immediately get out of bed when the alarm to start blaring. I quit hitting snooze months ago which means I not only get a solid 30 minutes of extra sleep, but I also don't have to hear the alarm twice. I'll admit, like with anything, some mornings are easier than others. Lately, I can't say the mornings are difficult, but I feel like I'm in a haze day in and out. I couldn't figure out if it was Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday this morning. Process of elimination says it couldn't be Monday because I do recall going to work yesterday. Unfortunately, it was going the day before that was tough to decipher. Eventually I concluded that it is indeed Wednesday and I desperately need rest. I contemplate blowing off essays tonight and crashing at 8 pm. It would probably be a good idea, but the essays need to get done.

After work I'm going to test drive a Subaru Tribeca. I'll admit that I don't know enough about the car, but I am hoping to learn more today. The feeling is strange, I absolutely LOVE my car, however I was not satisfied when I was told that my CD player isn't working because it is finicky. That answer is unacceptable! Not to mention, it just so happens that I am 3 weeks from the end of my lease, however, I don't exactly have the time to go searching for a new car. Consequently, I'm looking at a price point right now, which is a sticker price comparable to my buyout. As I've told my mom, at some point, I'd like not to have a car payment, but for some reason, I keep looking at leases. I think I may also glance at the Acrua RDX. It's substantially smaller than my BMW, but it doesn't hurt to look.

So Tired

So tired and here I am starting a blog when I should be brushing my teeth and jumping into bed. It's a few minutes sub midnight - officially 2 hours after I was hoping to be in bed. I skipped practice tonight because of my essays. I finally got Michigan reworked and edited, but I'm not sure how I feel about them. I'm hoping my Darden essays come back more "excellent" comments. That'd be nice. My typing keeps getting worse, so I'm signing off. I know I won't be rested tomorrow, but I can at least hope I'm functioning. Maybe I'm just practicing for grad school with all this lack of sleep. ;)

Wed - 4 hours
Thurs - 4 hours
Fri - Decent sleep
Sat - 6 hours
Sun - 5 hours
Mon - ?? hours
Tues - (6 hours if I was sleeping this moment)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I have burned the candle at both ends for the last week. I think I may have gotten some sleep on Friday night, but since then, I have been up late writing and up early for work. I feel a bit hungover or maybe it is simply drunk. Either way, I often wonder if I'd be more productive going to bed early one of these nights, however I do not see that on the horizon. Bummer.

We had prime rib for dinner last night, which was absolutely fabulous. One of my besties joined us and it was good to finally catch up with her face to face. I talk with her everyday and sometimes multiple times a day, but we never seem to connect for quality time. Unfortunately, I had to "kick her out" at 8 pm so that I could return to my Darden essays. Darden shares a deadline with Michigan and thus, I have decided to alternate writing days for the two sets of essays.

The Michigan essays were generally not difficult because I already finished the Kellogg essays and a lot of the questions overlap. The Darden essays on the other hand, although not as difficult as I anticipated, all had to be written from scratch. The general thoughts and principals are similar, but Darden asks less about what you can contribute and more about who you are. It is an interesting paradox. The reception I attended a month or so ago for Darden was all about the people. It was not about how great the school is, but how extensive the network is. In the end, that is what is important anyhow, right? The network. The phrase, it's not what you know, but who you know that matters, is incredibly true in our society.

Specifically with Darden, I approached some of the questions from a non generic direction, in my opinion. It should be interesting to see how my reviewers react and more so how the adcom reacts. Every time I focus on a school profile, I realize how fantastic each program is. I would be happy to attend any one of the schools to which I am applying, but I would also like to be granted the choice. One week plus a few days and these applications will be done. It's a scary thought.

Draft one - DONE! Back to Michigan essays.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Michigan First Draft - DONE!

It's Monday morning and I definitely didn't want to get out of bed. It seems that I have been burning the candle at both ends lately and perhaps the ankle injury from 2 weeks ago was a bit lucky. I can't imagine trying to keep up my strenuous physical routine, essays, and sleep. Granted, I do miss the gym a bit, but thankfully, soccer provides some much needed exhaustion.

It was a gorgeous day in GG park yesterday, but unfortunately, I had to run home and get back to work on my essays. I finished three for Michigan - Ross with almost no difficulty, but the last one proved to be rather difficult. "What is your greatest professional accomplishment?" I understand the purpose of this question. It makes a lot of sense to me, but in my position, it's hard to pick my greatest professional accomplishment. I have improved processes and cut costs, but I don't feel that any one thing I have done is my "greatest" accomplishment. I chose one direction and ran with it. By the end, I'm not sure if it all made sense and more so, I'm not sure that I explained it properly in 500 words. We'll see what the reviewers say.

Tonight, I'm working on UVA - Darden essays. Their questions are a little different than your generic business school essays. At least from what I've seen. Hopefully I can knock these out as quick as the last set, although I have a feeling a little more thought will be involved.

Back to work... although I'm not in the mood. Definitely got a case of the Mondays.

"Grown-ups like numbers. When you tell them about a new friend, they never ask questions about what really matters. They never ask: "What does his voice sound like?" "What games does he like best?" "Does he collect butterflies?". They ask: "How old is he?" "How many brothers does he have?" "How much does he weigh?" "How much money does his father make?" Only then do they think they know him. "

Friday, October 19, 2007

When did Friday arrive?

A typical Friday morning goes something like this: alarm blares and as I roll out of bed my first thought is, TGIF, WOO HOO! Today was a little different. After two nights of about 4 hours of sleep each, I'll admit, I'm running below par. I woke with a calf cramp in my left calf and when I tried to fix it, I cramped my right leg. Fixed the latter and returned to the left, all while the alarm was still blaring. ARGH! I wasn't moving quite as slow as I have over the last two days, but when I realized that today IS Friday, I was a bit puzzled. When did Friday arrive?

At officially some time around 2 am this morning, I hit the submit button on my Kellogg application. I can't begin to explain what a relief that is. I'll admit, I wish I hadn't been so close to the 11 pm Oct. 19th deadline, but at least it has been completed in Round 1. I would have liked a couple more sets of eyes on my essays, but I'll admit, I've moved on. I'm thinking about the next two schools and I have 2 weeks to finish those essays. Luckily, some of the information overlaps. :D

On that note, I'd like to discuss Michigan in depth. I attended another information session for Michigan last night. This brings me to a total of 3 separate interactions with Michigan and its alumni. The presentation last night was fantastic. Not only was the presenter knowledgeable, but she was also clear, concise and descriptive. I finally get it and I finally understand the Ross advantage. It's hard to say, but Ross may now be my number 1 choice.

On that same note, I met a professor's wife during the reception. She was very sweet and outgoing. And she confirmed a perception I have had of Michigan. From the people I've met, the people I've interacted with and my knowledge of a passionate football school in your quintessential college town, I have always thought that Michigan is similar to Boulder. Turns out she could speak to that perception seeing she spent 2 years at Michigan and 2 years at Colorado for her undergrad. There is an instant connection that brings all CU alum together and without even visiting the campus, I know Michigan alum are the same.

There are three things that attract me to Michigan. The first is the people. You will spend 2 years networking and building strong friendships with 800 amazing Ross students, but at the end of the day, if you don't like them, you're not going to get much out of business school.

Next is the mantra - "leading thought through action". After 4 years in college and 3 years on the job, I'd be an advocate of a semester work study program between Sophomore and Junior year in college. I often remember that at some point, I should have learned various techniques for evaluating stocks and such, but I can not remember what they are. Applying them to practical situations may have changed that. Of course, the most highly regarded practice of leading thought through action is MAP. The more I hear about this course, the more excited I get. The opportunity to essentially have two experiences of applied business practice is phenomenal.

And this brings me to number 3, an international experience. Michigan has students from all over the world, who will enrich the classroom environment, but Michigan also provides substantial opportunity for international travel. The first is MTrek - the pre-term trip. The second is MAP. You may select projects that are ONLY outside the United States. There are also multiple study abroad programs including one in Germany that does not coincide with the summer internship and another term. You also have the ability to do your summer internship abroad, not to mention, there are several other opportunities in the realm of service and personal travel. Every time I return from one of these info sessions that go as well as this one, I get this combined feeling of complete excitement, followed by the fear of rejection. Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Unconventional Mon

My mom returned home after a night of wine tasting to find me still chipping away at my essays. I'd probably been sitting in front of the computer since 6 pm, so as the clock rounded 1 am, she harassed me telling me that I should get some sleep. She then proceeded to say, you've got mail. This is the note that sat in my inbox:

"To Whom It May Concern,
PLEASE accept my daughter, Paige, into graduate school. She needs to get out of the house, learn how to party again and not be concerned witn my consumption of ebay. I love her and you would be WAY TOO LUCKY to have her. If my factory in San Francisco was still open, I'd NEVER let her go.


VP, Papercone Crop.
Board Membar, HIP
Treasurer, Peninsula League
Rich's Wife
Paige and Nick's MON "

This is why I love my mom. She sees the world with rose colored glasses and always makes serious situations light-hearted. There's a charisma about her that draws you in and makes you want to know more. Her only flaw is that apparently her typing skills decrease as she drinks. I love you too Mon. ;)

Write, Read, Edit, Repeat

My morning started off with a cookie today. I'm hoping the sugar kicks in and wakes me up, but it is more likely that it drains me more. I'm sure my eyes are bloodshot, however without a mirror, I can't tell. After hours of work, I have completed my third edit. Besides some grammar, I feel that essays one and two are complete. YAY!! Essay three, by far, has been my weakest link. I think it has come a long way, but I'm not sure if it is "there" and unfortunately, I don't have the time to get it "there". I like the stories that I used for essay four. I feel that they show another side of me. One that is a bit more relaxed and here to have fun as well as enjoy the people around me.

I will admit that these essays took longer than anticipated. I also did not realize that I would take so much from my review sessions with my editor and I wish I had planned better to take advantage of other resources I have. I'd say, if I was to do it over again, I would give myself more time for the next schools. Unfortunately, D-day for those applications is Nov. 1st. Looks like it is going to be a busy two weeks with lots of essays - write, read, edit, revise, repeat.

I have found that brainstorming for the essays levels after the first set is almost final. I feel that ideas come to me quicker than when I first started and I have been told that the essays should get easier as you write. We'll see.

My biggest problem with writing is that I get excited about schools as I write and transitioning into the framework of another school is not always easy. Outlining the school may give me good insight and make it easier to focus on the culture of the school. It is this culture that I strive to understand because in the end, all top programs provide solid foundations. You go to a school for the people and the culture. Plus, this understanding helps answer the question WHY. Each school wants to know your motivations for applying to that specific school.

On the same note, I took a piece of paper and wrote 3 words on it. WHY, HOW, and MOTIVATION. If nothing else, these three concepts need to be expressed, blatantly. If these concepts are lost in translation, you become just another applicant in their pool. You have to make sure that every sentence has a purpose.

Back to work.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Review 1

I finished the last of my Kellogg essays on Friday night. I would have preferred the completion date to have been Thursday, but unfortunately, my cold got the best of me and sent me to bed. My body needed the R&R, however, the deadline is approaching too quickly for sick days. I was hoping that my friends weren't like me, but they are. They disconnect from the world on Friday and don't reconnect until Sunday night, hence the lag in reviews. I didn't realize how quickly these dates would come, but sure enough - 3 days until D-day. Stu and I hashed out my essays last night. Sometimes I think I have my A-game and other times, I'm definitely coming off the bench.

It seems my problem is focusing. Why Kellogg? Why NOW? I know the "why now", but perhaps I'm not articulating as I should. To be frank, I'm bored and ready for a new adventure. The learning curve has straightened and I spend more time at work doing 'other things' than actual work. Hence this blog post. On the other hand, the business does not excite me anymore. Where do you go in a company if you are not interested in any of the other positions? You move sideways until you're willing to break out. This will hopefully be my step to break the mundane days I currently lead.

Back to the essays. I feel like all I write about is work, soccer, and Spinsters. There's more to me than that right? And if so, what is it?? Passion, introspective, evaluative - all themes these essays need to convey. Back to the grind.

It's Early

Working on weakness gets you to competence, working on strengths gets you to excellence.
-- Prof. Kim Cameron on why we need to work on both strengths and weaknesses.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Another Tweak

It's another Sunday on the Polo fields with Fear. The game I love so much has been a source of so much frustration and pain, but for no other reason than not being able to play. I went to pass the ball with the outside of my right foot, but hit a pothole, barely got the pass off, and quickly stepped off the field. It's official, my brace was lose and I now have another tweak. It's like notches on the belt - one more is never a good thing. I wish I had some incredible medicine that would heal the ligaments in my ankles, but all I can do is strengthen them and hope I miss that next hole.

It's been 5 days and the ankle is officially feeling better. It it wasn't for Marie and PT, I'm not sure what I'd do. She is truly a savior. I'm going to attempt to warm up in my women's game tomorrow. This is assuming the game happens with all this rainfall. I haven't quite decided if I'd rather the game be canceled or rather attempt to play. Another week would probably be a good idea for this mild sprain, but who said that I listen to good ideas. I've already decided to miss co-ed on Sunday. It's hard because I feel that I'm an important member of the Rip Tide back line. I played stopper last Saturday for the first time in years and I had a SOLID game. To go from feeling solid to injured is just frustrating.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Snail Mail

In the digital age where we are all connected via internet, text messaging, cell phone, or blackberry, snail mail seems to fall by the wayside. People envision this method of contact as still having horseman ride the letters across the country. Granted it's not the most efficient way for a response, but it may be one of the most intimate, in my opinion.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Homecoming 2007

The mountain towers the football stadium and places itself in the bright blue sky. The cheers blaze - "shoulder to shoulder, we will fight, fight, fight fight fight!". It's the true treasure of college football. The big game - CU, an unranked opponent of number 3, OU. The endzone is packed with fans in red. They were all convinced that OU would come out on top. With a 24-7 lead at half, I was almost convinced as well. But not a moment too soon did CU start one of the best offensive/defensive drives I've witnessed from the sideline. It was breathtaking. The boys in black and gold put their heart into this game and came up on top - victorious - in one of the best games since CU trampled Nebraska in 2001.

The city was fully alive. We walked to Pearl to grab pizza at Old Chicago. Everyone was out in full force and celebrating. I'm not sure any of them went home between the game and the evening of debauchery.

It's days like that, that remind me why I fell in love with Boulder. Strangers are never strangers for long and friends are plentiful. It's your quintessential college town nestled at the base of the Flatiron mountains. The perfect weather begs you to walk to your destination instead of drive. I wish I had time to stay longer, but I don't think my body or liver would have liked it.