Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Case Method Lives

A week ago Monday, I found myself sitting on a 7:15a flight to Chicago. I had arrived late the night before and expected to sleep for the hour. Instead, I overheard a seatmate say that he was headed to San Francisco and the guy next to him, Los Angeles. Next thing I knew, I was conversing with the guy sitting in front of me who was returning to China, where he is getting his PhD. In comparison to their travels, my hour flight felt like nothing.

The conversation with the guy in front of me ensued. We talked about what each of us respectively do. Then came the conversation of MBA. I don't recall where he attended, but our traveler to San Francisco quickly joined as we reminisced about the case method. It was an interesting conversation as Mr. Going to SF said that he thought the case method was worthless and cases were simply too easy to solve. It made me question what types of cases he studied as most cases don't have a correct answer.

As I've noted before, I believe the case method is about thinking. It's learning to state your assumptions and ask questions to make a final decision or recommendation. SF-Bound seemed to think it was simply about getting the right or optimal answer. I noted that while some cases may have an optimal answer, I thought a subject like strategy doesn't necessarily. Sometimes an expansion in one direction will succeed, though you'll never be able to say what would have happened if a company expanded in a different direction or not at all. He strongly disagreed because he was a strategy guy that always found the optimal solution given the facts at hand. I commend him on his confidence, but must resume that there's not always a right answer. And in my opinion, the case method is far better than a professor lecturing on a book I can sufficiently read on my own. You can't teach everyone's individual experiences from a textbook. That's what makes a case classroom so rich. I may never serve my country, yet through the eyes of my classmates, I understand what it means to do so.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

If I Had a Business

In the digital age, we all search online to find what we need (I presume that's how you ended up here). Given that I'm still fairly new to downtown Louisville, I'm constantly using Google Maps to "search nearby." It floors me how many addresses aren't necessarily correct. I'm even more surprised by the number of service retailers that don't have websites. I suppose not everyone needs a website, but I find myself shying away from retailers without one.

If I opened a business tomorrow, top items on my list would include simple logistics, such as:

1. Correct address and location on all the map sites
2. Make a website - it can be simple, but must look good. First impressions count.
3. Put myself on the local and national review sites, starting with Yelp.
4. Post hours of operation
5. Post prices to my services, it answers a lot of questions that you or your receptionist doesn't have to

Friday, January 07, 2011

The Bridge

What is it about crossing a bridge that seems to put negative images in my head?

It may be a result of the cold weather as I've been on a HUGE soup kick lately. I made homemade Chicken Noodle Soup two nights ago and had leftovers for two meals yesterday. It was amazing! Right now, I'm craving some sort of seafood soup, though I haven't pinpointed exactly what I want.

I've never made seafood soup and it sounds slightly more complicated than the old fashion chicken noodle. After browsing recipes, I thought I'd glance at local eateries as what better night to go out than Friday. Living right on the edge of the Ohio River, I always have the choice to stay in Louisville or venture to Indiana, which in some respects may be closer at times. More often than not, I find myself avoiding the bridge.

I can't quite figure out why. It could be the preconceived notion that it always takes longer to get over the bridge. This stems from the fact that some of the worst traffic in and around San Francisco is due to the Bay and Golden Gate Bridges. I know the junction coming from Indiana can be backed up at times, but nothing compared to California. Just a random thought during the lunch break as I look out on the Ohio River and its trusty bridge.

One month left in Louisville...

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


It was a blur. The last two weeks had me in four different cities with two stints in Chicago. Every time I'm in Chicago, I set up the house just a little more. However, not being part of a divorced family, I'm starting to sympathize with those who have had their stuff in two places. I managed to remember I needed a black dress for a bachelorette party in mid-January. Forgetting that with any good black dress and night out in Miami, I should have a pair of cute, likely open-toed, shoes. Ooops. Either I'm going shopping or wearing flats.

It's funny how I return to Louisville and feel less and less like this is home. I'm sick of having a hotel key in my wallet. I returned, thinking I'd have a stack of mail including at least 3 bills. Instead, I had one lonely letter in my mailbox. I panicked as one of my bills was due in 7 days. Thoughts of "what if it never shows up" closed my mind. The next day, I received the rest of my mail, including two packages. USPS holiday backup or Galt House fail? Hmmm.

Two friends visited for New Year's in Chicago. Besides a little rain, NYE was a cloudy 50 degrees. I promised snow, they received warmth in Chicago terms. Maybe they brought it from Houston. My night concluded with me picking up the place and taking this photo:

Incredible view if I do say so myself! This will be the first thing I see every morning, assuming it's not dark outside. I can't wait. It's possible that I'm counting down the days until my move... 34.

Great Moments of 2010

Every year has its ups and downs. I suppose it's just a part of the rollar coaster we call life. While the downs remind us that we're human, it's the ups that make us feel the downs are worth it. The last three years, I've compiled a great moments list. It's incredible to see what I've done and remember that each year has many moments I'd like to remember. Here are my great moments from 2010 (in no particular order):

1. Graduated with my MBA from Darden
2. Received an award for Academic Excellence (Top 10%) on the day of Darden's graduation
3. My amazing day in Stockholm, Sweden including the best blueberries I've ever had and mouth-watering dark hot chocolate
4. Visiting Swedish Lappland
5. Leadership and Theater J Week
6. London
7. Paris
8. Buying my first adult couch (to be delivered Feb 2011)
9. Receiving my Darden 10-K (Yearbook)...very nostalgic
10. Paramore in Cville
11. Duke's MBA Games - specifically the business suit swimming relay race and dizzy bat
12. Bahamas (crashing my friend's honeymoon!)
13. Receiving and accepting a full time job offer
14. Permanent placement = CHICAGO
15. Sushi Mondays!
16. Birthday in Louisville with Mack and Lauren
17. 2nd Annual May Vegas Trip with Schnepp and the man
18. San Francisco Giants win WORLD SERIES!
19. Passing my Life and Health Insurance exam with flying colors
20. Night out in SF with my soccer peeps
21. Weekend of girl time with my mom in Chicago
22. Junior League of Louisville's Second Sunday event (I was in charge of Hula Hooping)
23. Darden dinner and night out in Chicago (Oct 2010)
24. My first Ohio State football game
25. Shooting clays at the Greenbrier (Thanksgiving)
26. Follies - Darden Dancing
27. Becoming an Illinois resident (my first license after California, which I had for 12 years)
28. NYE w/ BVB, Jackie and her man @ The Drake Hotel in Chicago

Monday, January 03, 2011

New Credit Card

I'm going to regret being up this late on a work night, but it's worth it. I've been contemplating a new credit card lately. While I'm not a proponent of changing cards frequently, sometimes the good "rewards" vanish as credit card companies update their programs. I pay off my credit card monthly and thus, I'm not concerned about APRs, but more about what I get for the money I spend. I'm an AmEx lover. However, not everywhere takes AmEx, so I needed a backup card. There are credit card sites galore that all basically have the same information, which hasn't been very helpful. I wanted to share one site I found that seemed better than the rest, check it out.