Thursday, January 31, 2008

Waiting... waiting

My heart is racing and I'm antsy. I returned home to a message on my phone from Wendy Huber of Darden. All it said was, please call me back. Hmmm... I can only anticipate that this is a good sign as I don't think schools call people unless they are being admitted, however, I have to wait a few more hours to find out for certain. I almost had tears run down my cheeks as I told my mom that I THINK I got into Darden. Can't I fast forward time a bit...?

Thoughts are running through my mind - travels, the wedding I'm in, work, quitting, etc... I guess I need to be patient. Maybe a cocktail will help.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Someone's New Blog

As I'm sure most of you do, I often browse the blogosphere in hopes of finding something that will entertain and fill up a few moments of my day. Today, I found so much more. A current Stanford student linked to his friend's new blog and what I found on the most recent post was a story I understand far too well. And moreover, one that I think plays on the strings of the average business school applicant. It's a bit lengthy at first glance, but I promise it's worth the time. :)

Saturday, January 26, 2008


I must have checked my email over a dozen times yesterday, I checked again this morning, and nothing. I started to wonder why schools have deadlines if they don't stick to them. Thus, I signed on to the Georgetown website looking for a sign - of any sort. When I scrolled ALL THE WAY to the end of the homepage, I saw, your decision is available. Did I actually miss this when I checked yesterday?? I'm not sure, but maybe it doesn't matter. I opened the letter looking for the final words, but found that instead, I'm being offered a place on their WAITING LIST. I suppose it's better than an outright ding and maybe my essays made up for what I feel was my worst interview. Though honestly, I'm a bit perplexed and am not sure how I feel at this moment. My mood is almost that of a person who shrugs their shoulders and takes a step forward. This is not timely considering my job would like more definite answers, however, I can't provide them. Crossing my fingers that the last one works out. Cheers.

Friday, January 25, 2008


My review went well today. Bonus - Check. Raise - Check. Positive comments - check, check. But then we started discussing what's on the horizon. Indeed, my bosses would love for me to stay, however, they also support me in my decisions. I was asked if I would consider staying if business school doesn't work out this year, and in turn, they would help frame my position in a manner to make me a stronger candidate next year. The offer is great, though, I don't want to be in operations anymore. I mentioned I needed to find my true passion.

I have always loved numbers, but shied away from being an accountant. I like puzzles and putting the pieces together - or finding the missing piece. Perhaps this is the reason consulting interests me. Corporate finance is another realm I haven't discounted, but I'm not exactly sure how to break into corporate finance without starting from the bottom again. ...I like my salary a little more than that. I've contemplated taking the next year and applying to a few consulting firms if things with school don't work out, but then that may postpone school for too long. It may be bad to say, but I am a woman and as much as I want a high profile career, it'd be nice to have a family as well. This is something I'd like to do before the family.

Can you tell I'm avoiding work today?

What are you passionate about?


I'm not sure what made me think that I'd awake with a status update in my inbox. Perhaps, it is because today is decision day and logically I thought, they'd update the system at 12:01 am. But no, it ain't so. The weird dreams woke me sometime between 12 am and 6 am. I realize that's a wide window, but I forced myself back to sleep without looking at the clock. The dreams were pleasant and I'm hoping that's some indication of the route for my day.

Additionally, I have my semi-annual review today. It was postponed from yesterday as the morning got away from us. I'm not exactly sure what to say. Part of me would like to say I'd leave this joint with or without an admit, but I'm too loyal and too committed. I'd have to find something that truly interests me to leave as much as I'm ready. A client called today and through the grape vine had heard of my aspirations, he said he was happy for me, but that he and the firm would be sad when I leave. It's nice to hear the appreciation, but doesn't make hard decisions easy.

I slipped on my way out to dinner last night. Apparently our front stairs are incredibly slick when wet, ouch! I didn't fall, but caught myself mid-slide and ever since, my knee has bothered me. This doesn't bode well for the 4 scheduled soccer games this weekend. We'll see how tonight goes. Not to mention, I'm still wrestling with hip injuries. Argh, just can't win there. Current considerations are investing in pilates or a chiropractor. Maybe even both!

I browsed the BW Forum for the first time today. I know, scary. Ok, maybe not the first first, but the first time I've actually gone searching for word from schools. Some have heard good news, which is pleasant, but it doesn't make the clock move any faster. Tick...tock.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Breast Cancer

The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on their site daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman. It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on 'donating a mammogram' for free (pink window in the middle).

This doesn't cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors /advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate mammogram in exchange for advertising.

Here's the web site! Pass it along to people you know.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Mid-day Funeral

If I were to say it hasn't been a roller coaster day, I would definitely be lying. Though I had the day off on Monday, it was confirmed, I lost the battle against the cold I had been fighting all weekend. Tuesday was like any other Tuesday that feels like Monday - work, home, meeting, and home again. Even if I tried, I wouldn't have made it to bed by 10 pm as I arrived home only moments before that hour. Given my health status, I still proceeded to attend work at 7 am this morning, which had me a bit perplexed as I read earnings reports from two of my holdings which gave me the most substantial profits of last year. There they go. I still wonder if I should sell, but remind myself that I am a longterm investor.

I was supposed to leave at 8 am sharp, but walked out the door at 20 past, starved. Things were apparently hectic at home because everyone was supposed to be ready for our 8:30 am departure. Luckily, I live close to work so my delay did not delay the family. I walked in the door of the house to walk right back out. And we were off... to the funeral.

I thought I could hold it together this time seeing the last time I had visited this specific church was 6 years for another funeral, my grandmother's. I said my hellos to each family member, signed the book, and quickly turned my head away from the pictures scattered on the front table. I knew I would lose it if I gazed at them any longer. Yes, today my grandfather is in a better place, I know that. I just hope he and my grandmother have reunited as she was his sole true love, even after 55 years they parted too soon.

The day was more emotional than I anticipated, which is probably a combination of the sadness of the day and my unstable health. BLAH! I think my father did better during this ceremony than the last one we all attended. Everyone always says to remember their life and I do. My grandfather lived a full one, WW II vet, financial advisor, father of 4 children, happy, giving, and overall a complete gentleman. I am blessed to have known him. And blessed to have caring people in my life. But it doesn't mean I omit tears from today.

...Not much else on other fronts. I hadn't seen a lot of my family in quite a long time, so it was good to share stories with them, but I'm at a loss when it comes to the b-school front. I should hear back in the next two weeks, however I hate explaining with such uncertainty that I intend on going to b-school, and don't know if it will be this year. I have my semi annual review tomorrow and was talking with my mom's friend, I need to tell my bosses that whether or not I go to b-school this year, I will be leaving soon. I can't take another year of my job. Although it's been good experience and I adore my bosses, it's time to find something new, find my passion. The friend suggested I work on campaign of someone she knows. It's something to consider.

Last thought, I need to come up with an outfit for MASTER OF THE FUNK. R.O.C.K. is an organization in San Francisco that helps inner-city kids. I am going to be a member of their host committee for their Third Annual Funk Out with R.O.C.K. in April. We are creating a You Tube type promotional video titled “Who will be crowned the Master of the Funk”. The video will feature about 5 seconds of each of us dressed in our funkiest attire and giving our best pose, dance, strut, Blue Steel look or whatever. So any ideas would be appreciated. :)

Thursday, January 17, 2008


It's another busy day in the investment world. I've stopped looking at my portfolio as I believe if I continue to look at it, I may cry. It's seriously sad. Should have sold everything on December 31st. ha! If only I had the foresight.

I wouldn't say that I am proactive about following the stock market. It's more a perk of the job, I suppose. Indeed, we don't work in cubicles here. The atmosphere is very open with constant dialog flowing from all corners of the room and if it's not a staff member, it's CNBC speculating on the market woes.

There have been comments from CNBC about a recession. I'm not sure I'm quite convinced, but you can't ignore the comments as we have lost over 6 percent on the S&P since the beginning of 2008, which was only 2 weeks ago, and I know some of our more concentrated portfolios are down over 10 percent. I try not to look at the performance of my portfolio as I'm in the market for the long haul, but it's hard to ignore. Dad always says that you want to preserve capital, which I agree, however, taxes on some of those gains may hurt more than sitting in the market through this rubbish.

On another note: Today my banana sticker says, "Guilt-Free Snacking". Perhaps it thought I was worried. ;) Thanks Chiquita.

New Quote: "The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on trying to be perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself." - Anna Quindlen (writer)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Tribute

It's not quite Michigan Blue, but seeing today is the end all for R1 Michigan applicants I thought it was appropriate. Today is the 50th Birthday of the SMURFS! :) Thanks to a dear friend who somehow between email fights and a backed up pipeline, still managed to email me this.

I'll admit I smiled a little when I heard it was their birthday! :D

Congrats to all the admits today!

Friday, January 11, 2008


I woke in a good mood this morning, but for no particular reason. There again, it is F-R-I-D-A-Y! After a month of short weeks, it's hard to imagine being in the office for the full five days next week. Luckily, next weekend is a long one. I love all the market closures at the beginning of the year - typically one a month through May.

Back on track... there's a sticker on my banana today, "Place Sticker on Forehead. Smile. Chiquita". I don't know about you, but I couldn't help but chuckle to myself. Absolutely brilliant! What a way to start a FRIDAY! I'm also hopefully going to see BT spin tonight at Skye, we'll see if the hip flexor holds up for footy tomorrow after a night of dancing.

Hope everyone has a ROCKIN' weekend!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

And the Stress Mounts

Warning: A Bit Scatterbrained

Another day and another moment to worry about what if... What do I do if I don't get in? I'm ready to move away from my job, but if I don't get in and I choose to start this process again come fall, there's no reason to find a new job for 9 mos. Right? Granted, I could attempt to get this consulting career off the ground and start today, but then, do I postpone business school for another year. Indeed it may make sense, but I'll admit, I'm female and worry about, if I don't do it now, will I never do it? Questions, n-o answers.

At this point in the process, I don't exactly enjoy talking about business school anymore. I don't know if I'm definitely attending this Fall and I don't want too many people involved if it doesn't work out as planned. My mom's friend and I were talking at dinner tonight and she mentioned that I should ask for feedback from the schools to which I don't get accepted. Any thoughts? For a school like Kellogg, I can tell in some ways why I didn't get in, so is it worth the energy, on top of which, would they take the time to respond? I thought I heard once, that they USED to give feedback, but have since changed their policy. Indeed, this could simply be telephoned hearsay.

Unfortunately, about 20 minutes ago, I found out that my Grandfather passed. I'm not quite sure how to process this information yet. I know that sounds strange to most, but I believe my grandfather died when my grandmother passed over 4 years ago. They were married for over 50 years and she was his sole true love. He has been on the verge for years now. Modern medicine may be wonderful, but perhaps it's only for the living. What I mean is, he has been brought back, twice. The last time was a year ago and it's probably been that long since I have seen him. Although, I don't want to remember him as I do the last time I saw him. He asked the same question multiple times and every time we responded, it was as if our words didn't register. Sometimes, I wish I had been closer with him. He was in WWII as well as an investment professional, but I don't remember stories from either of those days.

R.I.P. Grandpa (no condolences needed...just take a moment to tell the ones around you that you love them)

I am very lucky to have the people that are in my life. I <3 You!

Downloaded a new song: Andain - Beautiful Things (Gabriel and Dresden Remix)

Back Home with the Big Kids

Home sweet home! You have no idea how great it felt to sleep in my own bed and have my own space after living out of a suitcase for 4 days. However, when I return to work, I always wonder if the break is worth the mound of paperwork on my desk and list of tasks I have to redo because someone didn't take the time to do them right. ARGH!

Anyhow...I know everyone is wondering... the interview. I'm happy I waited until today to write this post because I think I would have written a different story yesterday. The interview at Darden is indeed on one hand as lax as everyone says. It's a "conversation" in which the applicant does the majority of the talking and dictates the direction. You have one question to answer, tell me about yourself and what has driven you to make the decisions you have made. They want the WHY!

I started at the beginning which in retrospect may have been the right place, but seeing I didn't practice as I probably should have, I left out some important things about what I do and who I am today. There are things I mentioned, but I guess wanted to mention and move on, however, my interviewer was interested in why I did or did not do something, which all in all simply ate up time.

I took too long explaining how the company has changed and the small hand I have had in that instead of how I have changed processes and shaped a once undefined position in my company. Besides mentioning the name, I failed to mention anything else about my women's philanthropic group and how I essentially coordinate 60+ volunteers. Just silly on my part. She had trouble wrapping her head around the WHY MBA question. She suggested I go into operations somewhere else, which of course, I don't exactly want to do for the rest of my life - 4 years is enough. On one hand maybe she was challenging me as Darden is completely case based, of course on the other, perhaps she just didn't get it. Honestly it's hard to say.

I mentioned something about wanting a consulting job with an international twist. She asked why and I brought up globalization and my thoughts on China, which apparently didn't suffice as she mentioned I could have read that in the journal. Needless to say, she pushed a bit more and I kept coming back with new thoughts and insights.

Finally, we talked about WHY DARDEN. This was probably the easiest question there is and I NAILED it. At the end she mentioned how some of my comments about Colorado and my undergrad reminded her of Virginia and the Darden community. Hopefully this is a good sign.

I walked out of the room and was grabbed to attend another faculty lunch. I was happy that this time I sat at a table with a finance professor, but my mind was running 10,000 miles a minute and I'll admit, I was fried. I forewent food and listened to the conversation before me. At the time, I had no clear thought process and was out of questions to ask as I had probably used my last on my interviewer. I've spoken with and met so many friendly people at Darden that I don't know what else to ask anymore.

The rest of my day was spent trying to get home. I didn't even look at my itinerary to see what time I was supposed to be home, but someone did mention we were two hours late. Oh well. Over the course of the day, I was in contact with some delightful people and some not so delightful. As I boarded my last flight in Zone 2, I noticed a guy inching to the front of the line and he was Zone 1, so I told him he could go ahead. I was being courteous and figured he was going to ask somewhere along the line anyhow, he looked at me, told me he didn't need my permission, he was in Zone 1. I HATE when people feel entitlement.

Now the hurry up and wait process begins... February 1st is D-Day.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Crazy Coincidences

It's been a pleasant day in Charlottesville, VA. You can't beat the 70 degree weather we've had today! I arrived on campus around 10:30 am. I'm definitely glad I planned a day to get acquainted with C'ville and Darden. I asked admissions for a self guided tour packet and needless to say, I ended up on a student led tour, the first one Michael had ever given. It was splendid in a crash course type of way. Furthermore, Darden has the prettiest parking garage I have ever laid eyes on, it could be and probably has been mistaken for a Darden classroom building. The group I joined was compiled of fellow applicants and they are just as brilliant as the rest of the Dardenites I met today. After our tour, we congregated in Abbott hall for lunch with a few faculty members. Unfortunately, there were not enough to go around, so Sara Nehler (director of admissions) sat at my table, she too was delightful. I get an incredible warm fuzzy feeling as I think about my interaction with everyone today. But here is where it starts to get weird. (In a good way)

I'm walking to the dessert table and Nikki walks up to me and goes... aren't you the girl to whom I sold my GMAT books? Yes, yes indeed I am. I bought 7 GMAT books back in March before I embarked on this crazy journey. The Brit gave me 10 min of her time, which proved to be very rewarding, but as I was almost late for soccer, I had to bid her adieu and moved on quickly. So here we are, months later, both at Darden, both interviewing, and both without local friends or accomplices. I walked with her through another tour as I had time to kill before meeting Elizabeth at 3 pm in the PepsiCo Forum. Nikki said she'd ring later and we could make plans. As I sat in the rotunda of the PepsiCo Forum, through the doorway I watched some sort of skit. Five guys, each carrying one shoe, singing something about their boot, moving about their table... as you can imagine, it was quite comical and it made me feel right at home.

Elizabeth arrived at a few after 3 o'clock and because her classes had gotten a little jumbled, she was unable to stay long. Elizabeth has been my one-to-one correspondent at Darden since September. We've emailed and she's been a great source of advice like most the Darden staff. I left her and drove around town a little more until Nikki called. We agreed to meet at her hotel at 6 pm and head downtown.

Though I purchased books from Nikki, I didn't know much about her, but we talked like old college buddies that hadn't seen each other in years. Somehow, we started discussing our ages. She asked my birth month, same as hers, birth day, same as hers, and of course, SAME YEAR! Ok, you must admit that's freaky. Additionally, I have always believed that Cancers have this instant connection, yep, she brought that up and we discussed the astrological side for a few moments. After dinner we decided on ice cream for dessert, ordered the same one, Mint Chip. Just a bit strange at this point.

Next she and I met two Darden alums for drinks as she has a good friend who attended Darden about 4 years ago. One of them informed me of three buzz words to use in the Darden interview, Case Method, the Network, and something I have failed to remember at the moment. There again, if you truly know Darden, those words shouldn't be hard to recall. On that note, I'm signing off as the big day is tomorrow. I've been told the interview is simply a conversation and I don't doubt that. Darden simply wants to know more about you and what makes YOU tick. I'm looking forward to it!!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Road to Charlottesville

My flight was scheduled to fly out on Friday at 3:30 pm, but due to our insane weather system that I'm sure most of you know more about than I, I was delayed 2.5 hours. I'll admit, the delay was not particularly welcomed as I had worked my tooshie off the first 3 days of the new year in order to complete quarterly statements/bills, update my firm's financials and forecast out the next year. However, I had a chance to talk with a few very interesting people during my delay. I spoke at length with both pilots, a family from Baltimore, another lady that has bi-coastal residences, and a guy who is a consultant teaching communications. As I spoke about the purpose of my trip to the east coast I felt more prepared for my interview. It may sound silly, but in a way, each of these conversations was it's own interview and because I have heard about the relaxed environment of Darden's interview, I got a little giddy.

Mack picked me up from the airport around 2 am east coast time and we headed back to her house for a catch up session. Saturday was lax and we definitely prolonged getting out of bed until we were both so hungry, we couldn't stand it. After our late lunch, we went shopping in Georgetown - GREAT sales. I bought a new suit, although after careful consideration I've decided to stick with the suit I brought for my interview. Saturday night we went to Ballroom in Arlington where a live cover band was playing. Excellent!! The lead singer had an unbelievable voice and sang both female and male songs. I also had the pleasure of meeting Les and her friend Gab. Les and I went to college together at Boulder and unfortunately, I haven't seen her much over the last 4 years. It was a perfect night out with the girls followed by some late night eats.

Today, I picked up my rental and headed here, to Charlottesville. Virginia is beautiful! And I actually like the sight of barren trees and the dried look of the grass. I know I will return home and notice how green it is, which is what I always did in college, but I do miss the change of the seasons. I drove through the UVA campus on my way to the hotel and it is breathtaking. I chose to stay downtown, but seeing I'm only here for two nights, I don't think it really matters. I walked the downtown pedestrian mall, which reminds me of Pearl Street in Boulder though shorter and a little more closed down. Of course, that could be because I presume most students haven't returned yet. I did grab ice cream after dinner and it was to DIE FOR! I have a bad sweet tooth... and this definitely hit the spot. HOMEMADE!

Tomorrow I will explore more and visit Darden. There are a lot of OPTIONAL things to do while I'm here including lunch with the faculty. I also plan on meeting with Elizabeth, my one to one correspondent. She has class tomorrow, so I think we're meeting in the PepsiCenter at 3 pm. I did email the alumni coordinator who I met in SF during the Darden reception, but I haven't heard back. We'll see... I'm definitely excited to be here. But most importantly, I need to find somewhere with good pancakes tomorrow morning. ;)

Thursday, January 03, 2008


As I cruised the blogosphere and posted my comments today, I noticed a few comments from "Anonymous". Anonymous posting is an interesting paradox in the blogosphere. On one hand, this person wants their thoughts to be read and interpreted, but not enough to claim them as their own. I suppose I could empathize with anonymous comments on a severely controversial blog which may cause problems in one's personal life, but given that many applicant blogs are simply about each of our experiences, both successes and woes, I guess I don't understand the true controversy that warrants an anonymous post. Or is it these commentators are simply too lazy to fill in their personal information? We don't ask for your social security number and birth date in order to steal your identity, but we do ask for a name. And as most people in the blogosphere use one, we'll settle for an alias.

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Great Moments of 2007

Here is a list of 25 great moments of 2007. (You get 25 because of my 25 years of experience.)

In no order:
1. NYE 2007 - shared with great friends and special people
2. GMAT - July 16th, the beginning of a whole new world
3. Darden interview invite - my first true invite
4. Surprise Birthday Party - after canceling a running birthday tradition, Cry planned a night on the town
5. Maid of Honor in Cry's wedding - I had the best seat in the house
6. Michelle flying in for my birthday surprise (for only 24 hours) - Best Sunday in the world, touch football, soccer, deep dish pizza, and Cold Stone ice cream
7. Scoring a left footed goal from 30 yards out as a defender in my women's make or break game for the season (last game of the season as well)
8. Christmas dinner with family, friends, and a 20 pound turkey. (I ate turkey all week!)
9. Trip to St Thomas to visit friends
10. NYC girls trip
11. CU Homecoming: Colorado vs. Oklahoma Football Game - 27-24 Colorado WIN!
12. Mendocino - Labor Day Soccer tournament
13. Santa Cruz soccer tournament - studying for the GMAT between games
14. Kiss and Tell Spinsters' Party
15. Snow Patrol Concert
16. My first Kentucky Derby!
17. Bay to Breakers in SF
18. Giants' Tailgate Party
19. Spinsters' Spanish Nights
20. Jay's Birthday @ Aura
21. Paris w/ Mom and G-ma
22. Sports4Good River Rafting Day Trip ...rallying to go out that night
23. Lobster Party
24. Saddle Rack for Nat/JS's birthday bash
25. Dave's house party - can't beat acting like 12 year olds in the hallway