Happy Holidays!

25 12 2007

Happy Holidays to everyone out there! I’m taking a bit of a break, but will be back to posting in January.


…and it’s over

19 12 2007

Dear Mike,

Thank you for your interest in Chicago GSB…Unfortunately we are not able to offer you admission into the Class of 2010…etc etc etc.

The deadline is near…

19 12 2007

Well I was not one of the lucky ones to get a call from Chicago Adcom yesterday, so I got to have one last fitful night waiting to learn my fate. I’m not giving up hope yet, since they were only making calls for about 4 hours yesterday, but my anxiety is pretty high now as the minutes tick away to the 9am CST decision release. I’ll be sure to let you all know how this turns out…

Holy flame war, Batman!

17 12 2007

Things are getting a little testy over at the BusinessWeek forums. See the flame war that has erupted on the HBS thread. People need to just chill out. Sure, none of us enjoy the anxiety that goes along with waiting, or the fear and disappointment that comes along with not yet having received interview invites. But this is just a little bit childish (and if the people involved were truly interviewed by HBS, perhaps I’m better off not having them as classmates).

Good luck to everyone waiting for a decision from Chicago. Rumors are swirling that calls may start today for admitted students, even though Rose said in her chat last week that calls are only likely to start tomorrow, and even then that some admitted students may not get called until after the Wednesday morning decision release.

Is that large woman starting to sing?

14 12 2007

Throughout the application process, I have tried to remain optimistic. Maybe because of my auditing background (the virtue of skepticism was indoctrinated into us from Day 1) it hasn’t always been easy. But now, I am starting to seriously think that my chances at HBS are just about nil. The HBS Admissions Blog says that they’re just about done sending interview invites for R1, with “maybe a handful” left. I have not received one. Likewise I haven’t heard from Stanford yet and with the new year rapidly approaching I’m starting to think my chances there are pretty slim. All of this makes me even more nervous about the Chicago decision next week, since it looks to be the only school I have a shot at in R1. I’m still pretty confident about my chances – I re-read my application last night and it made me feel good. But nervous because a ding from Chicago would almost certainly mean complete lack of success in R1, with no other applications in the pipeline, and therefore lack of success for fall 2008 admission.

Speaking to my boss the other day, I mentioned how nervous I was about the upcoming decision and he said he had learned in life to worry about the things you can control, and to let the things you can’t control roll off like water down a duck’s back. He quickly added it’s easier said than done. It is certainly good advice, but I’m having trouble putting the decision out of my mind.

Thank God it’s only 5 days until the decision – I’m very glad I won’t have to live with the uncertainty through the holidays.

Leadership qualities (non-MBA post)

10 12 2007

In the NY Times this morning, there is an Op-Ed piece discussing the decision by CBS News to ask US presidential candidates questions that go beyond policy questions to get more at what their core beliefs are – questions like “who’s the most impressive person you’ve met?” and “what’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made?”. While those questions seem pretty normal to anyone who’s preparing for MBA interviews, they are a bit unique in the political arena where questions tend to focus on what policy positions a candidate may take. CBS News says that they are asking these questions in response to voter polls that say a president must have high integrity and character. What was a bit frightening to me was that the opinion piece took the exact opposite position, saying “integrity…is probably not a qualification for navigating the treacherous and ever-shifting waters of domestic and international diplomacy” and “The decorums of political contest demand the rhetoric of integrity and sincerity. The performance of political duties, especially at the highest level, requires something quite different.”

It seems to me that the business world learned its lesson a few years ago with all the corporate scandals that the performance at all costs, personal integrity doesn’t matter, style of leadership eventually leads to trouble. I think that certainly if you ask any of the top MBA programs whether integrity is important to leadership they would answer absolutely yes. So that begs the question – is integrity important to business leaders but not political leaders? I do not dispute the Op-Ed’s assertion that the world of international affairs and diplomacy is not black and white, and often does not offer clear choices between good and bad options. The world is complex and nuanced. However, I would propose that this is precisely why a political leader needs to have strong personal integrity, in order to find their way through the ambiguity. I don’t think that having integrity means being stubborn and insisting on simple right-or-wrong positions, but I think it does make it easier to navigate the grey areas. I also think there are things that are just plain wrong and should not be done, regardless of politics. A leader without integrity leads down a slippery slope to a place where anything goes, the end justify the means. In the end, leadership is leadership whether leading a multinational organization or a country. And in the end, I think recent history has shown that we’d be better off if our political leaders from all parties put integrity and character above politics.

Chicago accelerates R1 notifications

5 12 2007

I got an email this morning (actually it was sent yesterday afternoon but with timezones I didn’t pick it up until this morning) from Chicago GSB announcing that the final decisions for R1 candidates will be released on December 19. Yes, as in 2 WEEKS from today. So after a moment of panic as I thought that I had an all day meeting that day, at which I would be worthless as I thought about what decision lay in wait in my inbox, I checked my calendar to see that other than a conference call that should end by 8am EST, I have nothing scheduled that morning. So I will be free to sit and stare at my inbox waiting for the email from Chicago admissions. The funny thing about this is that just a few days ago, I was having drinks with another prospective Chicago student, and she mentioned that a first year told her that during R1 last year, Chicago released decisions a month before the official R1 notification date. So while I won’t hear a full month early, I do still appreciate having my waiting time reduced by a few weeks. Here’s hoping for an early Christmas present from Chicago GSB!