Tis the Season… to Finally Start Getting my $#*! Together

November already… Is this real life? Sigh…

It’s been awhile since I’ve made a “Goals” post so now that it’s crunch time, I thought it’d be rather appropriate.

1. GET INTO THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT. I was way too preoccupied with work and b school biz that Halloween pretty much came and went and I didn’t even do any Halloweenie type things besides go out in a cute costume. I’m pretty annoyed with my lack of festiveness (is that a word) lately so I am holding myself accountable and will be doing the absolute most to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m talking holiday bows in my hair (got lots of compliments last year), pumpkin spice lattes and UGGs, adopting an Angel for Christmas, Black Friday shopping, caroling (okay maybe not that one), putting up decorations, watching all the classic Christmas movies that you’ve seen a million times but watch anyways because it’s a tradition… the whole nine yards. I love this time of year despite the weather so I really want to make sure I enjoy it no matter how busy I am.

2. SCHEDULE MY GMAT. Most likely going to schedule my retake for Saturday, December 13th which gives me a little over a month to prepare. My main focus is improving Critical Reasoning which I’ve been reading PowerScore for and just practicing Quant like crazy. Also any advice on improving in Reading Comp? My accuracy is so hit or miss with that section and I can’t even pinpoint it to it being a certain subject (business, social sciences, or science), it’s just sometimes I comprehend what I’m reading and sometimes I just really don’t. Maybe I just need more practice or maybe I need a miracle.

3. UPDATE MY RESUME.  First of all, so excited that I’ve now been officially promoted. As a young applicant, you’re pretty much looking for any way to show the adcom you’re ready to make this transition and that you have the skills and leadership qualities necessary to succeed in business school, so I’m hoping this is exactly the boost my profile needed even if it is for just 2 months by the time I apply. I also know that I really need to make sure I take the time to craft a great resume, one that makes the adcom want to read the rest of my profile. With most of my focus being consumed with writing essays and GMAT prep, I know that “updating my resume” will be put on the backburner until the ninth hour and that would just be a disaster. I did an overhaul of my resume this summer and while my title has changed, my responsibilities really haven’t, so I at least have a good starting point, but I honestly have no idea if the description of my job is anything close to what an adcom will be looking to read about. How do you make tax sound interesting guys!?!?

4. START ON MY MCCOMBS APP. I am specifically highlighting this program because I almost dropped McCombs from consideration. As y’all may remember I attended their Women’s Weekend a little while ago, and I must say I absolutely loved it. Exactly the culture and program I’m looking for and all the current students and applicants I met, I could see us being great friends. I just met so many amazing girls, a group of us from the Dallas area even stuck together the whole weekend and have made plans to do happy hours and keep in touch, my roommate included, who I LOVE by the way. We instantly connected as soon as I walked into the hotel room and I don’t think we stopped talking and laughing until the event was over. We’re even GMAT study buddies. Texas is a still a distance 3rd choice, maybe 4th, I haven’t decided, and while the healthcare opportunities are not as ideal as some programs offer, I don’t want to eliminate a school I love so much solely because of that when I could very well end up finding my passion in another industry once school starts. I’d rather apply now and make the decision that’s best for me when the time comes. 

5. FIND AN ESSAY REVIEWER(S). I currently have 11 essays to write (Anderson, Haas, Duke, McCombs, and the Consortium) and I’ve only started 4 (all 3 of Duke’s and Anderson’s) and only 2 of the Duke essays are just about ready for Review Round 1. Sad.. I know. I’m going to hate myself come December. This I already know and have accepted. I still haven’t decided on the whole admission consultant thing and I’m not sure the a la carte essay reviewing is a better route either so I’m in quite the dilemma. I have plenty of friends I could have read over it, but I know they would all just be super positive and like “omg don’t change a thing!” and just waste my time. How lame is it that I’m actually considering letting my parents be my reviewers unless I can magically think of someone else in the meantime? They’re both pretty cutthroat… my stepdad is an investment banker so I know especially from the business side of things about aligning my goals and highlighting certain facets of a program, his opinion will be extremely useful, and then my mom.. well she’s just Black and will tell me like it is, it’s in her DNA. Either way, I think they might be my initial reviewers because I can bother them to read them whenever I feel like it, and then maybe turn to a consultant for a la carte services once it’s closer to being ready. Idk we’ll see. I need to finish the damn things first. 

6. LOCK MYSELF IN THE LIBRARY UNTIL I FIGURE OUT WHAT TO TELL ANDERSON. As previously mentioned, Anderson’s essay is one of the few that I’ve started on.. for obvious reasons. I tend to just type away until I get tired and then leave the document for dead for while so once I come back to it, I can bring out some fresh ideas. Well I just re-read what I wrote and OMG guys.. I absolutely hate it. I don’t know what it is about this essay topic or maybe I’m just trying so hard that I can’t be my naturally charming self, but this essay was so terrible and embarrassing. I’m having a pretty difficult time trying to actually answer the question, but also making sure it doesn’t sound like something other applicants will have written. And then tying in your defining principles, to Anderson’s, to your goals, to their specific program and what you like about it and why…are we sure this can be done in 750 words? So much to say, not enough room, but honestly thank God for word limits because if I had continued that rambling fest I call my first draft, it would’ve put the adcom to sleep for sure. Time for a do-over.

Loving all the posts lately. I get so excited to read everyone’s updates, it’s like I’m living vicariously through y’all. Keep it up everyone and have a healthy week!!!!

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Posted on November 5, 2014, in My Journey and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Hey texaswannabecali, I know the application deadline is tomorrow, but if you are still feeling unsure about your Anderson essay, let me know, I am happy to help you out! My email is mbareapplicant84@gmail.com. Good luck!

  2. My Life of Bliss

    1) Yes, less than 2 months to all our deadlines!!! 🙂 November is here! Its so great to have holiday festivities during this stressful time. I love the festive season but hardly get to celebrate it here in India. November-December is the “peak season” at work and the pressure is going to simply increase! I think I may need one of these lists to organize my thoughts!

    2) I’ve gotta schedule my GMAT too. I’m mostly going for an end of December date. And I’m starting my prep tomorrow. I’m yet to figure out what exactly is my problem with Verbal. And I’ve heard the only way you can imporve on RC is do constantly do 1-2 every day. I hate to say this – but I don’t think miracles happen in GMAT. I waited for one foolishly! You’d be better off knowing where you are weak and try to strengthen those areas.

    3) Aaa the Resume!! I just spent a whole day writing my resume – only to be told that I’m gonna have to start from scratch again! But you know what – tax is an amaaaaazing topic to write about!!! DO you majorly work on corporate tax? If yes, I’d be so interested in all the fancy structures you come up with to help your clients! (Think in terms of how much you ended up saving for your client and take it from there). I for one absolutely love tax (but maybe I’m biased since people come to me for tax-saving tips 😉 )

    4) I’m going over McCombs this week too. I’m really impressed by the culture and can totally see myself going there. I’ve been reading a lot of student profiles this week. Did you by any chance happen to find out if technology companies hire here (Google, Facebook and startups)? I’m not very sure of the statistics put up on their website. While we’re in Texas, have you considered Jones? I’m really impressed by their program too!

    5) I’m going to let my parents and brother go over the essay – but only to make them feel important. 🙂 I don’t expect any contructive feedback from them. I think a reviewer needs more than just “experience in business” or a “great English” to understand your POV. I’m talking to a few consultants too. But I haven’t found anyone whom I really connect with. I don’t want a stardard, mass produced essay. And unfortunately, I don’t know anyone who is currently pursuing an MBA. Like Vandana mentioned, I’m probably going to bug her to review my essays (once her interviews are done 😛 ).

    6) Anderson. ❤ I love it so much that it hurts! 😛 The essay is very tricky though. I have still not figured out HOW I am going to write the essay. Maybe we could read each other's essay for a fresh perspective? My plan is to be ready with the 3rd draft of all essays in 1 month. And then go over the same again and again until I have an essay that I really love and am proud of!

    • I like your idea about 1-2 RC per day, I’m gonna try that!!

      Yes I work in corporate tax advisory so yeah that’s kind of how my current resume is structured. I plan on doing alot of edits in the coming weeks, but it’s at a decent start for now.

      Yes McCombs has an amazing culture. Absolutely loved my time there. I actually don’t know about how strong their tech recruiting is there but from my perspective, I feel like the MBA class is so diverse with career objectives that there really isn’t a dominate industry outside of energy so you’ll have alot of opportunities to explore your options. FB/Google/Apple all recruit at top 20 schools, and Dallas and Houston are actually bigger in Tech than most people might think so the opportunities are definitely there.

      When I first started out I did look at Rice, but outside of McCombs, I’m really trying to get out of Texas and explore new places.

      The essay reviewing decision is definitely a tough choice. Still not sure I want to go the consultant route as I’ve spent enough money, so I might consider a la carte services. My parents are surprisingly are pretty straightforward which I’m realizing isn’t the norm for most people so I’m really not worried about them not being objective enough. I’m going to be reaching out to several people to take a look at them no matter what

      Yes please. Email me and we’ll bounce some ideas off one another. texaswannabecali@gmail.com

  3. Good luck w/ GMAT #2. I’m sure you’ll kill it! Definitely get your parents to take a look, and use friends currently in b-school as a resource.
    Just curious- why aren’t you sure about a la carte essay services? I would think that they’d be a great resource. I used Essay Snark for my resume (highly recommended!) and qualified friends for my essays.

    • I think I was just a little skeptical on how it really works because most of the ones I’ve seen are on an hourly basis but I’ll definitely take a look at it!

      How’s everything going with school, the GMAT, and your apps?

  4. Wow. Big update. So GMAT reading comp. Best advice take notes when you read the passage. Watch for he said, she said and why. takes a bit longer but then allows you answer the several questions quicker. For the CV focus on achievements, outcomes, and roles responsibilities. I bet you will hardly need to use the word tax. If your friends are accountants or auditors they are going to find it easy to pull apart your essay, being critical is apart fo the job role. I asked three of work friends to pull apart my essays. when an essay was particular bad I gave them express permission to be really critical as I needed it. My essays improved in leaps due to their feedback. Other option is ask for assistance from a senior manager on one or two essays to get the ball rolling. I think for Anderson, just pick your three/four top principles and tie them into relevant Anderson principles. Should give the essay a bit more focus.

  5. How do you make tax sound interesting guys!?!? – write a unique tax job)) Everybody likes the word ‘unique’ in mba application))

  6. If you have any friends who are currently in business school, ask them to do a review! I’ve heard they tell you like it is and give you pointers to improve since they’ve recently been through the process. You can also hit up one of us random R1 bloggers! 😀 I’ve found family to be the worst at reviewing bschool essays/apps. They’re either too critical or too supportive and either approach sucks.

    As for the GMAT, I’ve found that RC is all about being in the zone and focused. I had the same issue too and couldn’t quite figure out where I was going wrong until I realized that for most passages where I was getting questions wrong, it was because while I read the passage I didn’t really pay attention and kinda drifted off – I was reading the words but nothing really stuck! Maybe that’s the problem for you as well. I made it a point to be mindful and pay attention while quickly skimming through the RC passage to understand the gist of it.

    As for Anderson’s essay – I hear ya. I did about 2 absolutely crappy drafts that were completely unusable. I really had trouble structuring my thoughts and putting them down in a way that actually addressed everything they want us to in the essay! Being over-caffeinated helped me do multiple drafts back to back…slashing stuff in each revision. Let me know what works for you and how it finally shapes up! 🙂 Good luck!

    • I guess because I’m so young I don’t have any friends currently in b school so you R1 bloggers will have to be my go-to’s 🙂 haha

      And OMG yes!! You’re so right about RC. That’s exactly what happens to me because I really can’t pinpoint a specific problem that I need to work on content wise, it’s just my focus is lacking. Obvi your approach worked out with that amazing GMAT score so duly noted

      Lots of caffeine for Anderson essay. Got it! haha.. Thanks Vandana!! can’t wait to hear how those interviews go!!

  7. I like how getting into the holiday spirit is on top of your goals list hahaha! You already know what I think about number 2, but hey, whatever works best for you. Yay, super glad McCombs is back in the mix for you, I have a strong feeling about your chances here. Also, whoa. It’s impressive that you connected so well with so many people just over a weekend. Really goes to show fit!

    You made me laugh with number 5. Like mbablackgirl said, my parents would just fawn all over my essay instead of giving me actual feedback. Glad yours are better! You’ll get Anderson down for sure. I know it 😀

  8. I love this Goals post I might do one myself to keep track.
    Good luck with the GMAT! I hope you smash the 700 bar 🙂
    Also loving the fact that your parents reviewing your essays is the “sad choice” to you. Lol especially because I couldn’t even imagine mine saying anything substantial about my essays aside from its good! Real helpful

    • Thank you and same to you!!

      Hahaha yeahhh my parents aren’t that kind. I guess it really depends on the situation though. My mom will probably be alot nicer than I think about it, but my stepdad won’t hold back which is a good thing. He makes me think outside of the box and challenges my first, second and sometimes even third answer… which is usually extremely annoying and frustrating… but at the same time, is exactly what the adcom will do so might as well get in the practice now.

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