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

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

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Let's Get Ready to Rumble!

Studio Host: Hello folks, welcome to Chicago's beautiful Magnificant Mile and boy do we have a fight for you. It has been the talk of the town for weeks now, but tonight will be the night we find out the fate of one of the veteran bloggers of the business school applicant community, Redwolf056. And how fitting it is that the fight will be a grudge match between two of the midwest's fiercest rivals- the University of Chicago GSB and Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. Here's what Kellogg had to say earlier today...

(cut to interview clip)

Kellogg: It's gonna be a great fight tonight, no doubt about it. I have a lot of respect for the GSB. It's got a lot of smart people over there. But, you know, I think this fight is going to come down to the social aspects - having fun and that kind of stuff - and we've got the GSB beat on that front.

Interviewer: So you think you're going to win?

Kellogg: Well, I'm not exactly sure about that yet. I have to consult my team first. Hey, team? Team? What does everyone think about my chances of winning? Can we come to a consensus on this one?

(cut back to studio)

Host: Interesting thoughts. And here's what the GSB had to say earlier...

(cut to interview clip)

GSB: Oh yeah, I'm going to win this fight. No problem. I got the academics and the finance rep. You know, Kellogg is one of the nicest and coolest dudes I know, but it won't be able to hold up in a street fight. I may be from Wall Street, but when you live in the ghetto you're bound to pick up a few things. I ran a spreadsheet model with multifactor monte carlo simulations and calculated my probability of winning at 62%. The numbers don't lie man.

Interviewer: You seem pretty confident, but where's your trainer and the rest of your team?

GSB: Oh, them? Yeah, the last two got shot as we were mugged leaving campus for the fight, but most got taken out during the recruiting season last quarter. One of the career changers couldn't take the competition and went postal. You know how it is.

(cut back to studio)

Host: There you have it folks. Two great contenders vying for the love of one great blogger. Let's take you down street-side for the start of the fight.

(cut to street)

Announcer: Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce our competitors tonight. On the north side of the street, weighing in at 555 students, hailing from the beautiful suburb of Evanston, the pride of every team, the one, the only, Kellogg!!!


Announcer: And on the south side of the street, weighing in at 550 students, hailing from the mean streets of Hyde Park, the master of matlab, the one, the only, Chicago GSB!!!


Referee: Ok boys, I want a nice clean street fight here. After I blow the whistle, I get the hell out of here and you do whatever you want to each other. No rules here. The winner will be chosen by Redwolf056, a business school applicant with a strong quantitative financial research background intending to work in fixed income markets after school. Any questions? No? Ok. When I blow this whistle come out trash talking.

(whistle blows)

to be continued...

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Oh, did I mention I got dinged by Columbia? Yeah, kind of forgot about that. Doesn't really matter, I knew my app sucked, probably wouldn't have gone there anyway. I need to get out of the city for a couple years. It was kind of weird though when I was checking out my status change. Normally there's a sense of nervousness and anticipation. For Columbia, nothing. I guess I really didn't want to go there? Of course, everything's different when you got other schools to choose from... Good luck to those getting decisions in the next couple of weeks!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Things are looking good. A little too good...

Had the old CBS interview. Haven't had a chance to do a writeup til now. But as I sit here and think about how it went, I'm not sure a writeup would even be helpful to my fellow applicants. See, I had a fairly unusual interview. Turns out I used to play with my interviewer's sister when we were like 3 or 4 years old (he's about 5 years older than me). So, the guy was sort of like, "I know your family, this should be a pretty simple interview." And it was. We more or less had a two-sided conversation. Originally we were supposed to do it over a beer, which would have been even more fitting, but meetings and time constraints caused it to be an in-the-office deal. Anyway, the interview started out more like me interviewing him, which was kind of weird. And then I eventually got to start talking about myself, hit every major point, took about an hour all in all, and I gotta say it was actually a pleasure to do the interview. Just because of the completely informal design and the guy kind of lauded me the whole way through (yes, lauded me). I must say also, his style has a bit of genius to it because not only did he manage to make me feel so comfortable that I was able to give a full detailed account of who I am, he also managed to very subtley ask the right questions to get the few specifics he needed which I hadn't discussed. He really knew how to direct the conversation without interupting the flow. Throughout the whole thing he kept reassuring me by interjecting how something I've done is really important to the evaluation because it shows XYZ about me. I was most impressed when he kind of stopped me and was like, "wait a minute, is it normal for someone who does [what I do- quant stuff] to also manage the development of a resulting product from start to finish and deal with clients?" The answer (at my company at least) is "no", but he was the only person I've ever met who appreciated that I was capable of doing those two very different things. I'm generally modest about these things, but once in a while it's really nice to get some appreciation. And of course, at the end when he explicitly says "Columbia needs more people like you", you know Redwolf is feeling pretty good about himself ;-). As we were walking out, he elaborates that he felt he didn't need to ask me a lot of questions because he could "just tell" based on how I spoke on the phone and what was on my resume. So I guess I was destined to succeed? Too bad my actual application sucks. Oh, and it was only when we get to the street corner where we were to part ways that I even said, "so how's your sister anyway?"

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Apparently I Don't Suck

So, just wanted to let you know I got into Kellogg. This is actual confirmation I am b-school worthy. I've always felt like I had this atypical advantage getting into Chicago GSB for reasons I have chosen not to elaborate upon, but getting into Kellogg is confirmation that there actually is something to the ol' Redwolf. Now I'm in the fortunate position of actually having to choose between schools. It hasn't really set in yet because I think I'm still envying myself :-). How the hell did I get so lucky? Anyway, thanks to all of you who've supported me throughout this process.

I still have yet to interview with Columbia and haven't gotten an invite for Stanford (yet), so this "applicant" thing is still not quite over. It's only a matter of time though. I'd also like to give a shout out to BrotherJimmy who has been facing the decision I am now fortunate to be facing of choosing between the GSB and Kellogg. We've been discussing the pros and cons of each given our similar short term career goals, and he's illuminated aspects of both schools I hadn't fully considered. Basically, he's made it harder for me :-). Anyway, I'll be attending DAK II and will hopefully get some straight answers to the questions that remain. I'll let you know how it goes!

Good luck to all still waiting for decisions!