Random Thoughts and Lots of Caffeine

I must say… I truly underestimated the chaos applying to business schools brings into your life. This time last year I was doing my last bit of prancing around the pool in my bikini and gearing up for my favorite time of year: football season, state fair season, boot and scarf season, and Fall tv show season. But now.. apparently it’s also Application Season. Oh how things change..

The GMAT is still my number one focus right now, but as soon as it’s over, I know I’ll need to quickly shift gears into the next steps of the app process to catch up with most of you. With my first GMAT exam ocurring so late in the season, I’m really happy I decided to apply to schools in Round 2. I’d probably be a nervous wreck right now if I had to do such a quick turn around. And that’s if I was satisfied with my first time score. Without all the added pressure of trying to make Round 1 deadlines, I have a clear mind to study GMAT prep and then can take a month or two to attend networking events, visit campuses and really get to learn all about the schools I hope to attend next year and experience all they have to offer.

I was finally able to find some time to read over one of Clear Admit’s School Guides. I got a Fuqua guide for my trial run and I will admit, I actually found it quite helpful. Maybe it’s because my job requires me to stare at a computer screen for 500 million hours a day, so I absolutely hate having to read anything on my laptop. I know its the 21st century (or the 22nd? I was never good at that) but I’m old school with some things and it was just extremely convienient to have this one comprehensive packet that I could just print out, read in bed, and scribble notes all over. One stop shop. Now I’m sure most information in the guide is somewhere on the school website, but a) i’m lazy and like things handed to me on a silver platter b) when it comes to researching multiple schools looking for ways to compare and contrast, it’s nice to have all the most important information right there in front of you so you’re guaranteed not to miss anything. It lays a really good foundation of organized info on which you can build upon by allowing you to spend more time researching the details that are most relevant to you. It features 9 chapters that include information about Academics, Special Programs (such as the HSM program, consulting, and study abroad), Career Services, the Admissions Process, and even essay analysis and Q&As with the admissions and career services directors. I actually learned alot about Fuqua that I hadn’t even thought to research or look into. The guide was long enough to give you your money’s worth and offer a good depth of information but wasn’t too long to bore you to death or overwhelm you with unnecessary facts. So for those of you who like me, may be feeling overwhelmed with organizing school specific info or maybe just learning all there is to know, I would highly suggest getting a copy, especially on the schools you are least familiar with.

I also downloaded the Clear Admit MBA Planner (it’s free)! It has all the application requirements and deadlines for all the top schools in checklist format and you add the schools you’re applying to, to your list. It also lets you jot down notes for each school’s essays. Very handy since I’m sure every single person on the planet has their phone with them at all times. I especially find this useful for the essays such as Duke’s “25 Random Things”. I tend to forget the so-called interesting things I’ve experienced in my 24 years of life when put on the spot to actually list them, so I like the fact that when I randomly think of something, I can just whip out my phone and make a note. I’m sure when the time comes for me to actually write my list, many of the things I wrote, may not get used, but it never hurts to have a few things already brainstormed.



As you can see, I’ve obviously gotten realllllllllll far on my applications.

That’s all the randomness I have for now. I’ll be in Atlanta all this week for work so I’ll probably gain like 500 pounds since all my meals are per diem and I’m always too tired to go to the crappy hotel gym. Goodbye hot bod.. we had a good run.


Posted on August 11, 2014, in My Journey and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Hey there, best of luck with your application to Fuqua (and elsewhere of course). Thanks for linking my site – I’ve noticed some traffic from this blog for awhile now and was wondering what that was! You’re off to a great start with the preparation that you’re doing this early in the process. Feel free to reach out if you have any Fuqua-specific questions.

    • Hi Steven!!

      Yes I absolutely love reading your blog, especially because you’re on the HSM track which is what I plan to study as well. Alot of my followers are Fuqua hopefuls as well so I’m glad to see you’re getting some traffic. Once I finish this treacherous GMAT studying (hopefully next Saturday) I will definitely be picking your brain quite often if you dont mind 🙂

      Keep up the great posts!! It’s really made me fall in love with Duke even more so than before

  2. Yes, yes, yes. Get the GMAT out of the way first. It can be a real mental mind block, I had a hard time focusing on anything else until I got that done. You have a LONG time left since you’re applying in R1, so don’t worry about it.

    As topdogMBA said, talking to current students/alumni and going to networking events is the fun part! You learn a lot about the school by meeting these people and this should make writing your essays easier. I have school deadlines in around 36 days (WTF, Fuqua EA) and I’m nowhere close to done with my essays. I’m going to be under pressure for this one, but that’s when I work best so c’est la vie.

    The hot bod thing ahhhh, I can totally relate! Not that I had a very hot bod to begin with 😛 but with the amount of work I have on my plate at the moment, exercise has become a thing of the distant past/future. I keep telling myself that getting into business school will be motivation enough to start working out again, but we shall see.

    • Omg 36 days!! That’s like super soon. Ahh. So you’re applying to Duke EA not R1?? Nice! Way to be proactive!! Working under pressure is definitely when the best results come out i think so you’ll be fine! Good luck!!

      Yes! Hopefully the GMAT is a one time thing so I can move on to the fun part with no immediate worries. I have a hard time focusing on more than one thing too so I’ll be glad when studying is over.

  3. I keep a constant list of to-do items and have them ranked by importance and by when they need to be done…. PRIORITIZING work is absolutely key! Keep on going!

  4. Hey, I think you are going good with the strategy, but I believe taking the GMAT must be the first priority as whole lot of things depends on that, our essays too. I forgot to use clear admit app, as i have downloaded it long before. Thanks for reminding me again!!
    And don’t you think these guides are quite too expensive? Well, you can get a clear idea from the current students or by the university brochure (Though you will see a world class university in each one of them).
    Btw.. Happy holidays to Atlanta, I hope you will gain some Quant and Verbal along with 500 pounds. 😀

    • Glad I could be a reminder for ya!

      Yes I definitely agree that with all the other expenses applying to b school brings into your life, the guides for sure seem like an unworthy one to add to the pile. To each his own really though. I probably wouldn’t buy one for every school I’m applying, maybe just for the ones I have researched the least, wouldn’t be able to visit, or haven’t gotten as much feedback from alums/students about

      And hahaha hopefully so! I definitely need to gain some quant and verbal knowledge for sure. Gotta keep it balanced, it’s only fair right? lol

  5. Hi there. Your strategy to focus on the GMAT first is sound. The application season will soon take over your life and, if you find it difficult to prioritise, getting the GMAT done first makes total sense. No doubt you’ll still have the fun of falling behind with your applications in Round 2 anyway! 🙂

    Personally, I found that immersing myself in research and speaking with alums, admissions people and anyone else who knows the schools is the most productive (and fun!) time. When it comes to actually writing essays, I’m quite last minute but find it best to work under this pressure. If you don’t want that pressure then set a deadline by which you must have your first draft essays done and work backwards from there (i.e. set dates to be done with your research, deciding your goals, story etc.).

    And all this talk of hot bods is pretty funny too! The diet and exercise regime is always hard to keep up during times of stress. I was planning to lose a few pounds before I got to school and now I’m re-applying and trying to do both. Not fun!

    Keep your chin up texaswannabecali – I got a feeling you’re going to come up trumps!

    • Thanks topdogmba!! I”m definitely excited to start visiting schools and talking with everyone. That’s what its all about right? All this other stuff is just extra haha

      I think I do best under pressure too. Especially with writing, but I’m gonna try and make sure I stick to a pretty good schedule to keep myself from getting too overwhelmed with everything.

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