My Business School Journey

Join me in my journal through business school in addition to other useful educational and insprirational resources.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

My decisiveness is coming back

Since my last post, I’ve made significant strides in my decisiveness. A few quick updates:

 I decided that spending $1500 to retrieve the lost data on my hard drive was not in my budget and therefore was not worth the lost files. So I have a new computer and have been able to manage just fine. Now I can’t believe that I was about to pay that much. This is partly a reflection of my need to hold on to the past, even though it’s clear that I will be just fine moving forward. It’s weird…not only has b-school made me analyze business situations; it’s made me analyze my life as well.

 So I’ve made my decision about my summer internship. I will be working in Brand Management at Kraft outside of Chicago. I started the year pursuing an internship in Brand Management and have been fortunately enough to receive offers from some of the top brand companies including Johnson & Johnson, Nestle, Frito-Lay, McNeil Pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly. I received most of my offers from the National Black MBA Conference, which I attended in October. Attending this conference was key in securing an internship in Brand Management because most of the brand companies do not recruit at Stanford. I realize how important it is to get the word out about the conference to other classmates who are considering Brand Management because now those interested are forced to choose from a small group of companies through On-Campus Recruiting (OCR).

Also, it is so important to stay focused on your interests and not let the “herd mentality” of Consulting and Investment Banking get to you. I came to school very focused on Brand Management and have to admit that I got caught up in the excitement as well. I found myself very close to interviewing with Consulting firms, but decided against it after a few conversations with some classmates. It was pretty silly since I have a consulting background, but hey, that's what happens when you lose focus.

 I also decided on my Spring Break plans. I applied for the Brazil Service Learning trip and was selected to attend the week long journey with 15 other 1st and 2nd years. This is the pilot program of which other Service trips will be developed for next year. The idea of the program came from a GSB alum who provided the funding for it. The purpose of the trip is to meet with social entrepreneurs who are using business skills to help the underprivileged. We will be visiting three entrepreneurs:
1. Rodrigo Baggio (CDI) http://www.cdi.org.br/
2. Fabio Rosa (IDEAAS) http://www.ideaas.org.br/index_eng.htm
3. Ismael Ferreira (APAEB) www.apaeb.com.br
who each are helping their community in different ways. We will be traveling to Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo & Bahia. I’m heading down a day early to relax on the beach and get some sun before we get down to business. This trip fulfills a few goals of mine…getting to know a new group of people, understanding social entrepreneurship in practice, and traveling to Brazil. I can’t wait!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Look up “indecisive” in the dictionary and you will find my picture.


I’m at a cross road in my life. Things have never been so uncertain and the lack of certainty is causing a fear of commitment. I can’t seem to make a decision about anything…big or small. Everything from what internship to take to what I should eat for dinner causes a ridiculous amount of anxiety and apathy. Sometimes I don’t know whether I am coming or going. I realize that people would kill to have my “problems”, but just let me have my time to sulk. Here are a few of my many decisions:
• My hard drive crashed a few weeks ago and I lost everything. I sent the hard drive off to a data recovery service to see if they could retrieve any of the data. It turns out they can, but at the hefty price of $1500. Are the lost files worth $1500?
• Internship…my head hurts from the thought of making a decision…long story short: Where should I spend my all important summer slaving away? I need more time to be indecisive. More details to come.
• I need to figure out what to do over Spring Break. There is a Career View program that allows students to apply for a one-week “shadowing/internship” with an alum. The submissions range from traditional consulting and marketing jobs to non-profit and entrepreneurship. I’m thinking about applying for a non-profit position. I figure this will give me a chance to see if I really like this area without committing to an entire summer in non-profit. There is also a service trip to Brazil that would be interesting. And of course, the option most people choose…go on a trip. It sounds like our class is planning a trip to either Mexico or Dominican Republic. Do I apply for the Career View program, go on the Service trip to Brazil, or take a vacation?

1/6 of the way there…

Happy New Year! Winter quarter starts on Tuesday and I am in for another challenging quarter academically. The core classes are Marketing, Operations, Finance and Strategy. I am also taking an elective, Marketing Research, which I thought would be a good preparation course for my summer internship in brand management/marketing. I must be crazy taking five classes this quarter, but I figured it would be manageable since I won’t have to do much On-Campus Recruiting this quarter.

I’m trying not to spread myself to thin, but at the same time get involved in everything I want to. In addition to classes, I’m going to be working on a marketing project for a media company starting in February. I’m also on the Admit Weekend Committee and will be working hard to plan a nice weekend for the Round 1 and 2 Admits.

I also signed up to take a Rumba/Cha Cha class once a week. I originally planned to take it last quarter, but I was so worn out the first week, I never made it to the first class. I realize that I am taking on a lot, but I will have to stay focused and organized and do more work on the weekends.

Good luck to all of the Round 1 admits who will be awaiting the call from Derrick!

Congrats to the new mom



Congratulations to my friend Domonique who just had a baby boy, Dillon Christopher. He is a cutie if I do say so myself (and I’ve been known to be hard on newborns). He's got a lot of personality for a two week old.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

It's been a little over a month and needless to say, I've been swamped...no time to blog. I promise post a few updates soon.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Grind Begins...

This quick post is the result of the start of the craziness that we call business school. I can see already that I will be sacrificing my much needed 8 hours of sleep in order to stay afloat socially and academically. So here's the quick and dirty from the last few days.

Thursday and Friday was Cardinal Cards, a business simulation that placed the students in the various roles in a fictitious Greeting Cards company. I have to admit that going into it I was not thrilled. I couldn't imagine what we could be doing for two days from 7 am to 6 pm that would keep my interest, but I must admit that I really enjoyed myself and got to know my team really well.

Yesterday was somewhat of a free day, so I decided to decorate my room in Schwab. I spent most of the day at IKEA. I thought I loved that store until I was introduced to there return line (picture this: Everyone must take a number to be waited on. I pulled 83. They are currently on 17). Needless to say I was pissed and had to return to the store this morning.

Today we had our Section Olympics which was fun and entertaining. My section came in second to last place. I guess we have to make up for that in the classroom. Now I'm online ordering books for Autumn Quarter(which are way too expensive), preparing a case for Pre-Term and working on my resume to meet a deadline for the NBMBAA Conference next month. In addition, I have to wash clothes and pack for my trip on Wednesday. Shout out to my sister who will be a married in less than a week.

I'm off to finish preparing my case and meet up with the girls from QPEP for dinner and tv.

Next up for the week: Pre-Term and My sister's wedding

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Long Distance Relationships...Bad news or Good for the soul?

I pose the question and welcome opinions about whether or not a long distance relationship can work? I've heard the horror stories about long distance relationships and I've heard about "Black Monday"...the Monday after Thanksgiving or Christmas (not sure which one) when people who had significant others at the start of school, return single. Just recently I spoke with one of my classmates about his long distance relationship and that conversation restored my faith in the possibility of it.

So what do you think?...Is it a good idea or a foolish concept for dreamers?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Best B-School on Earth

I've come to the conclusion that Stanford is the best b-school on earth and here's why. Just my two cents...hater's need not respond.

10. There are five Jamba Juice's within a five mile radius of campus, including one on campus. I could survive off of those things for days.

9. There are tons of great restaurants in the areas that I can't wait to try. Shout out to Fuki Sushi which has had two to three visits from me in the last week.

8. I have a view of Palm trees and mountains from my room.

7. I wake up everyday to bright, clear sunny skies. I don't know about you, but that makes a hell of a difference after taking a three hour exam. I've been waking up at 6:45am every morning and going running. Those people that say that weather doesn't matter are the ones living in the cold. Believe me, I used to be one of them.

5. The university offers golf, tennis, sailing and gymnastics class for less than $100.

4. There are tons of travel destinations including weekend excursions (San Fran, Napa/Sonoma, Lake Tahoe) and quick flights (Vegas, Vancouver, Southern Cal, Hawaii).

3.The Schwab Residential Center is the best thing since slice bread. Free printing, laundry, coffee & tea, on-site technical support, a work out room, tons of study rooms, a grill and 200 of my classmates. (Disclaimer: "free" means not paying for it at the time of use, but you best believe it will show up on the tuition bill).

2. The GSB's size. After being in QPEP with 60 other students, I realize how much effort it was going to take for me to meet 300 other students. The GSB's size is perfect with just enough students for everyone not to know everyone's business, but not too many where you never meet a classmate.

1. The fact that I'm here. Stanford University is a beautiful university with amazing resources, and the GSB has an unbelievable culture that is beyond compare. It can't be described, only experienced.

View from my room Posted by Picasa

A Moment to Breathe

This weekend was a welcomed break from the hustle and bustle of Math Camp. I am finally settled into my room and my surroundings. We have today and tomorrow off (except for those taking exemption exams)and then Pre-Term starts tomorrow evening with a dinner. The week will conclude with a two-day team-based simulation called Cardinal Cards.

Today I took the exemption exam for Modeling which was pretty straight forward based on the practice problems that they gave us. I think I did okay, but I'm not sure if it was good enough to pass. I'll find out my results Thursday evening. If I pass, this will allow me to take an elective course. This would hopefully give me a slight break from the quantitive heavy first quarter which consists of Economics, Financial Accounting, Statistics, Modeling and Organizational Behavior. If I can make it through this quarter, the rest will be a walk in the park.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Hurricane Katrina

My late post about the devastation of Hurricane Katrina speaks to the somewhat sheltered life I am living in school. I've been pretty busy and just recently had my cable installed, therefore I had not watched TV until a few days ago. I knew about the hurricane, but had no idea of the aftermath. It blew me away when I saw pictures of New Orleans. And I am more dissapointed at the slow response by the government. The devastation from this hurricane is worse than that of any other hurricane in the past few years, but it seems like nothing is being none. If this were Florida, assistance and resources would have been deployed immediately. I guess it helps to have family in high places.

It hurts my heart to see how this situation is getting progressively worse. The pictures look like they are from a third world country, not the richest country in the world. I wonder if the lack of action is a result of us being unequipped to handle such emergencies or that the government does not care. If it's the former, then how will the government respond to future terrorist attacks?

Although I have not been directly been impacted, I pray for those that have. This situation only makes me even more appreciative of the opportunity I have here at school.