My life, my blog, and B-school somewhere inbetween

A catalog of one reapplicant's journey towards an MBA in 2008

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Catch Up

It's been a while since I've really blogged. That "tag" thing doesn't count. So, let's recap a little.

Kellogg Interview- I had my alumni interview with Kellogg a while back. Overall, I'd say it went ok. Nothing great, but nothing bad. After my Wharton interview experience, I figure that's all I really need. I said the things I wanted to say, but I didn't say them in the best way and I might have sounded a bit disorganized. At the end I didn't feel like I really connected with the guy, but he could just be really good at not giving any indication to his interviewees. What was really good about the interview was hearing what the guy had to say about Kellogg. Obviously he loved it, but more important was that his background is in the area of finance I'd like to go into (not i-banking). He actually works at one of the premier hedge funds on the street and when I heard that I was really impressed. Kellogg has never been considered one of the big finance schools, but man, if the alumni network can place a guy at that shop there's no reason for anyone wanting to go into finance not to consider Kellogg. So, I became somewhat enamoured with Kellogg after the interview :-).

India- I went to India shortly after the interview for about a week and a half.

Chicago Trip- Around the time of the Kellogg interview I decided I needed to go and actually visit the school to "show interest". Graham at Clear Admit told me for the Wharton interview I should do it on campus in order to demonstrate my interest in the school and all, so I figured I should do the same for Kellogg. But, I already had my interview so if I went it would just be for a visit. Fine. At Wharton they had a computer where you registered yourself just for showing up on campus which probably gets noted in your file, so I figured Kellogg would have the same deal. Wrong. The main point of the trip was to demonstrate my interest in Kellogg and desire to go there, but now they have no idea I was ever there because they have you fill out nothing! Just show up, visit a class, go to the info session, tour campus, "no, no, no names here." I guess Kellogg doesn't really care if you visit? The only nugget of useful info I didn't already know was to show up for DAK2 Wednesday night so you can go apartment hunting Thursday because a LOT of places for the fall get taken by then. Sunday is not the best option. The other reason I was going was to hopefully meet a professor who's good friends with my cousin and maybe have him drop a little note to adcom about how great I am ;-). Well, he never even responded to the email my cousin sent him so that "connection" is out the door.

So I was supposed to come back to NY on Sunday, but a little snow storm got in my way so I had to stay another day. Oh but wait, all the flights back on Monday were full by the time I called them so I couldn't get back til Tuesday! Yippie! I was staying with a friend who goes to Chicago GSB (yes, I stayed with a GSBer for the express purpose of going to visit Kellogg. Sorry to say he supported the decision), so he went to campus Monday to study while I stayed at home and did nothing. Ahhh, the joy of doing nothing. I forgot how good it is. Eventually I went a saw a movie after several hours of lounging. Got some dinner, went to bed early. Anyway, so the next day I went to campus with him because we'd have to go straight to the airport. Spent the day in the Hyde Park Center. Definitely way nicer building than Kellogg. It is practically brand new after all. Went to a class in the morning taught by one of those "in demand" professors, and while the class itself was good I realized something. It was really no different than the class I took at Kellogg (also with an "in demand" prof). The prof was an engaging speaker and taught well. The class shared their ideas. What's the difference? And then I realized all schools are like this (except maybe HBS with the whole case method thing). They have a share of "great" teachers, and then a score of average teachers. Big deal. And fame isn't an indicator of "greatness" because the skills necessary to be a genius or a brilliant researcher are not the same as those for being a brilliant teacher. And so then I started to think about what really separates a school from the rest- 1) Share of faculty that are "great" teachers, 2) Variety of classes offered, and 3) depth of knowledge obtained from a class. No one has ever quantified #1, #2 is easily observable, and #3 is semi-observable. I think this is really all the "academics" part of choosing a top b-school boils down to. Good thing I don't really care about academics ;-).

As far as social life is concerned, I didn't really observe enough to draw any conclusions on. Kellogg students seemed more enthused about their school/life than Chicago students. I was surprised to hear that 1st year Kellogg students generally stay in Evanston both residentially and weekend-socially. 2nd years go to the city for the weekends, but still live in Evanston. I can't really blame them though. It's pretty nice up there. And for all those guys out there wondering, I have to say I was a little disappointed by the "talent". Granted, I did not see a large number of girls on campus, but still. Not up to the snuff everyone always talks about. The non-Kellogg peeps did make things interesting though... But what was really surprising was that the GSB actually had a pretty decent offering. Trust me, it was not always this way. Apologies to all the ladies out there who are offended by these comments.

Columbia Update- I also got an interview invite from Columbia. I submitted my app pretty early so don't start freaking out if you haven't gotten one. Like last time, I have three alums to choose from, and like last time I'm going to get my buddy at work who's a CBS alum to get their alumni profiles so I can better choose between them. Since my app to Columbia sucked I really don't care that much about this interview. I think it's going to be a waste of time. But, we'll just have to wait and see...


  • At February 15, 2006 8:52 PM, Blogger Forrest Gump said…

    Good Luck on the Columbia invite - but will you really go there, tripping Chicago on the way....if not, then why not enjoy the joy of doing nothing :)

    Also, it was interesting to see that you wrote a whole para about your visit to a nearby state, but you just wrote a line about your visit to a foreign land - definitely, I sense some sinister motives :)) LOL

    Good Luck once again.

  • At February 15, 2006 11:51 PM, Blogger Marina said…

    YAY CBS! I am biased :)

    YAY for all the interviews

  • At February 16, 2006 11:39 PM, Blogger i_will_make_it said…

    Yes, K is more "warm and fuzzy" and Chi GSB is more, welp - academically driven?? :-)

    Seriously though. I have heard from 4 different K alums (at an info session!) that "At Kellogg it's harder to get a C than an A. To get a C, you really have to not do any work at all. Getting a B is given. A bit more work and you have an A."

    On the other hand, GSB students tell me, "You work your butt off and you're hopeful to get a B. To get an A, you really have to go the extra mile. GSB has a rule that class averages must stay around 3.2." Or so I've heard. Crazy, huh?

  • At February 17, 2006 10:16 AM, Blogger Redwolf056 said…

    That's interesting. I was wondering what it would be like at Kellogg since there's grade disclosure, but I was kind of wary of asking someone about it. I know Chicago is way competitive even with grade non-disclosure. The guy that interviewed me was there the last year of grade disclosure and said it was insanely competitive then.

    But you shouldn't have to worry about any of this. You're so going to Stanford... ;-)


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