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Posts Tagged ‘Foster’

Full Speed Ahead

Class instruction hasn’t officially started, but the MBA program is definitely in full swing. I have a feeling this short block style is gonna be the norm for my posts now as I don’t have the time to dig deeper into each topic. Instead of my regular stream of consciousness style now it will be a flash of consciousness.

Career Services did a session on social media. I don’t like censoring myself and giving people half-realities. I think what I’ll do from now on is focus on the Dale Carnegie principles, especially the ones on not criticizing, condemning and complaining.

I’m really happy to move past the stage with some classmates of asking “where are you from?” “what did you do before the program” kind of questions and get to know to the person better.

Even if it’s not right, I do view having an undergrad degree in business as an advantage. I’m also very paranoid about losing that edge. I worry that I’ll become disengaged in class when it repeats too much of the same topics we covered before. I don’t consider myself smarter than everybody else. It’s only a timing issue. I just learned it earlier than other people, that’s all. I do bite my lips a lot lest I come across as cocky or arrogant when it comes to marketing, some of the basic quant classes, and career development. Hopefully there’s a way to leverage my experience.

This two years is going to be like an economics experiment. I do find myself looking at different aspects of life as a game sometimes. You can treat the whole MBA experience as a game of Settlers of Catan or some other game where you have limited resources. Obviously your biggest resources is time. You have to evenly distribute it to: sleep, academics, career, organizations, and personal (work out, friends, family, significant other, etc).

Just the other day when I was signing up for MBA clubs it was painful to narrow it down to only 5. I told myself that I want to focus on quality instead of quantity in this phase of my life. I literally feel my stomach turn as I only sign up for 3 clubs. Who knows what it is w/ us overachieving kids. We never learn. We always want to suck on the marrow of life and choke on the bone as well.

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Back to school

Well, the day is here… officially starting the program at Foster now. You know it was coming. For months I felt the vibration on the rail track, the jet of air shooting out of the tunnel along w/ blinding headlights and deafening horns. Yet, I still felt like I got steamrolled into a pancake as I walked into the auditorium this morning.

Somehow, I feel like I’m exactly where I’m suppose to be. All the pieces are falling into place, like a well played game of Tetris. Part of me still wants to yell out to the conductor: “stop this train! I wish to get off!!”

(That concludes the train metaphors for this post)

I’d like to thank my alma mater McCombs for preparing me for this.

The lack of good Mexican food is killing me. And chips and salsa should be complimentary, not extra $2.

It’s really funny people in Seattle complaining how hot it is when it’s barely 80 degrees… Texas is so hot it’s on fire, literally (prayer goes out to Timmy and his family that evacuated from Bastrop, and everybody else that were affected)

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My Accepted

Well, I got into Foster!  At least we know that in the fall I have at least A school to attend.  I was out with a friend when the Admissions Director called me otherwise I would’ve answered.  Funny enough we were talking about formulating a plan for him to go back to school and switch jobs.

It’s a huge weight off my shoulders now that I have been accepted at least somewhere and the applications for other schools have been turned in.  I also got invited to interview w/ UNC Kenan-Flagler, so at least everything is going smoothly so far.  Hopefully I get invited to interview at Fuqua, Anderson and Kellogg as well.  Now I can focus more on the family business and maybe take some time off before summer.

Our Q1 is pretty booked right now.  Our family business can be an indicator for general economy sometimes.  I think most people are upbeat about 2011 and our orders reflect that.  I have a lot I want to get done before I return to school.  We have couple of accounts we’re working on and I’m optimistic we can make some good progress.

Look for a some change in direction and focus for the blog.  I’d like refine what I write about and provide resources for like-minded others.

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My Foster

Of the five schools I visited on the west coast I would rank them in the following order:

  1. Stanford GSB
  2. Anderson
  3. Haas
  4. Foster
  5. Marshall

This has nothing to do w/ other publication’s rankings like Financial, Business Week or U.S. News.  It’s strictly based on my impression and experience while I was on campus, sitting in on a class, and interaction with students and admissions.  It’s my take on the schools.  If all you really care about is the rankings, well, you know where to find them.

I find it a little hard to differentiate MBA programs sometimes. Even if you spend a significant amount of time reading through the syllabi, I think that still doesn’t give you an exact picture what the curriculum is like. A lot of the first year courses are similar and material I had already learned in undergrad.  B/c of that I’m looking for curriculum that I can customize more and allows me to take more electives.  I’m going to comment on the stuff that’s important to me w/ each school and try to keep all the comments positive.

Since I like Seattle so much, I’m going to start w/ Foster School of Business first.  Just strictly looking at the numbers first, all the stats are a little lower than other top tier b-schools.  Each entering class is smaller, the GMAT, GPA, and avg salary are all a little lower as well.  I know schools like Stanford and Haas both intentionally keep their class size small at about 350 and 250, respectively and Foster only has a little over 100.  You can find the detailed break down here.

From the info session, the Assistant Dean was saying that only about 1/3 of the students actually end up working for major corporations.  In my experience, Seattle is a little bit different and that was my general impression of the school as well.  Not everybody is there so they can go into consulting or investment banking to make the big bucks.  And if I understand the typical ranking methodologies correctly, a lot is weighted on recruiter survey, job placement, and starting salary.  However, if the most of the students’ top priority isn’t to get the top dollar jobs, maybe that’s why Foster isn’t ranked as high as other schools.

The Preview Weekend was cool.  The official agenda was a presentation/info session by the Assistant Dean, followed by an application workshop for the first day.  The second day was presentations, student and alumni panels, and some opportunities to mingle with current 1st years.  I only end up going to the first info session and went sit in a class, which wasn’t part of the official agenda and as far as I know I was the only one that went to sit in a class while someone from Admissions talk about the different certification program Foster has.  I think I made a good decision on that.

Environment: A
Love, and I mean absolutely loooooove Seattle.  It’s so green and outdoorsy.  The air just smells different up here.  People say that Seattle rains all the time, well, it’s not rain as you traditionally would think.  In Texas when it rains, it’s pouring and visibility declines dramatically.  If you go outside you’re just gonna be drenched.  The rain in Seattle is really more like a mist, almost insignificant.  The precipitation is like when they turn on the sprinklers in the produce section at the grocery stores. Tons of live music in Seattle as well.

Job prospect: A
Seattle has quite a few companies that I would be interested in working for like Microsoft, Amazon.com, Costco, Boeing and Starbucks. That said, you don’t HAVE to go to Foster to get a job placement with these companies.

School: B
UW’s campus is really pretty. Parts of it, like the football stadium, is right on the water. Foster, the b-school by itself though, is more on the old side.  You also share it w/ the undergrads so it’s a little cramped, at least that’s how I felt. They do make it up for it slightly by having a lounge specifically for the MBA students.  Plus they’re building a new building named after PACCAR that will be ready in 2010.

Curriculum: B
First year required courses… yeah, blah.  They look the same almost everywhere. As far as electives go, there are quite a bit of management, finance, and entrepreneurship. I personally would like to see a little more in operations, but I imagine supply chain isn’t that exciting of a topic.

I sat in a Strategic Management class while I visited Foster. From what my student host told me, the professor, Charles Hill, used to (or maybe still do) serve as consultant to companies like Boeing and what made the class interesting to me was his input from all kinds of industries which made the lectures really engaging, instead of just bunch of models or graphs on PowerPoint.

Students: B
MBA admissions look for diverse student body partially b/c they believe part of what you learn in the classroom is from your classmates and I agree w/ that.  I can’t say I was super impressed by the students I’ve met there, but they were extremely willing to go out of their way to help me w/ my objective, which is to gain a better understanding of the school.  Teamwork is another thing like diversity a lot of schools use or preach.  While I didn’t necessarily felt that at some schools, *cough* Marshall, this behavior surprised me.

I mentioned to my student host that a lot of the classes I’ve visited is 1st yr classes and they’re pretty much all alike and it’s hard to see what’s “special” about the school.  The student host and his roommate immediately jumped in and asked me what would help, to which I responded that I would like to sit in on a 2nd yr class if I could.  Unfortunately I was there on a Friday so there wasn’t any classes available, but they introduced me to some actual 2nd yr students and tried to see if they could get me to go on this field trip to Nucor that was happening the day I was there.  They extended invitation as well to an happy hour event and their tailgate at the UW football the next day.

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