Getting Ready for Columbia Business School, Running, et cetera

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Playing with the To-Do list

After a decidedly pedestrian evening watching NOVA, I took my usual tour of Columbia sites. Nothing too interesting on the yahoo board, except some info on the to-do list. So I went there, spent a few minutes figuring out how to bring some of the tasks back, as I seem to have a stupid default view. Anyway, I put together my Kroll info ($83! the bleeding continues...), and I'll send that out tomorrow. I can't do my photo yet. I don't want to be sloppy, as employers will be able to see it, someday. But I did start looking at the exemption examinations. I am conflicted about these, as I do want to develop great relationships with my cluster-mates. But reading about the "Capital markets and investments" class got my blood flowing. I think that I would enjoy spending a few weeks making sure that I could rock that exam. I'll have to ask some current students what they think about trying to exempt out of classes, and see whether I can get past exams (as long as that isn't somehow unethical).

I've got a columbia admits happy hour on friday, finally. We put the thing together, well, last year. Next Thursday I will be in new york to hound a current student and bury them in questions. I don't have plans for the Friday yet, but I think that financial aid will get a visit, and adcom a thank you.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Yale Winter Break Social

I managed to close out the SOM social tonight. This isn't an extraordinary feat, as it only went from 6:30 to 9:15 or so. I had a great time. SOM bought us each a drink, which I didn't expect, and of course I got to meet some great people. I met another admit, a waitlist, and some folks who were planning to apply next year or later (three years from now!?!). I did manage to infect some of the future applicants with knowledge of the BW forums and blogs.

I have to say that the SOM people and applicants are great. I really like Business school applicants (and students) in general. What's not to like? They're ambitious, driven, intelligent, thoughtful, and generally a lot of fun. And when you get to meet them at a happy hour, at a good bar... solid. I have also firmly convinced myself that for most of the top schools, the decision comes down to culture. You're going to have similar opportunities (ok, HSW will give you more in Private Equity, Venture Capital, and perhaps some other fields) regardless of the school, so the rest is up to you. The thing to focus on is where you most like the people and culture. The Columbia vs. Wharton, or Chicago debates on the BW forums seem to miss the point, by assuming that there is one ranking for everyone.

Whatever, I've had one free beer, and several that weren't. I have to be at work early tomorrow, so...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

2006 Begins

Back from Christmas in the snow-covered northland. It was actually pleasant to be at work. I had been scared of going back. I applied for a promotion in November, and got it at the beginning of December. I thought that this was awesome, for the money, yes, but mostly so that I could tell Columbia that, look, seriously, I have professional promise, everyone says so. I was too lazy to tell Yale. What I didn't think about was the change in responsibilities. To make a long story short, I have gone from being very good at, and understanding all aspects of my job, to getting buried in something that I still can't my head all the way around. This is at the exact moment when my thinking has begun to shift to: when will I leave my job and what do I want to do this summer? Opportunity certainly does come dressed in overalls, looking a lot like work.

Tomorrow night is the Yale SOM Winter Break Social. 1) I want to see how these things work, because I plan to be involved with Hermes next year. 2) I hope to see some of the folks who I met again and again at Business School receptions in the Fall. 3) The applicants who I've met so far have generally been cool people, and cool people are fun to hang out with. 4) I like beer.

re: my complaints about the silence from CBS. I have now been contacted by three CBS students, asking if I have questions. I was a bit hard on CBS before, for not sending me a t-shirt, etc. I now realize that Adcom is busy, and the students were in the middle of finals last month. I have gotten all of the attention that I want, and I even managed to get a
"Columbia Means Business" t-shirt.