Archive for October, 2007

weekend recap.

October 30th, 2007 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

I know I’ve written before that I play on the University of Maryland’s women’s club volleyball team. It’s me and 10 undergrads. We had a tournament on Saturday – an all-day tournament – which we actually won. It was great for me to get back into the sport that I love, since I haven’t played very competitively since early in undergrad (well, on a consistent basis). And most of the time, it’s great to get out of the MBA bubble. Don’t get me wrong, I really like my classmates. But playing sports gives me the chance to forget about schoolwork, tests, and projects. I’m not sure how many of my classmates have gotten involved outside of Smith. Of course, like everyone else, I joined a few MBA clubs here and there. But I was definitely happy to join the club volleyball team here.

My classmate had a Halloween party on Saturday, and then I did homework on Sunday. I also dropped by the zoo to see a friend who was visiting. That’s it…not the most exciting weekend ever, but not bad. 🙂

 Now if only I had more free time, I could do Habitat for Humanity…oh well. I’ll see what else I can fit in.


elevator pitch galore.

October 29th, 2007 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

I’m now a three-time career fair veteran. Career Quest, National Society of Hispanic MBAs, Logistics, Transportation, and Supply Chain Society Industry Day 2007 all done. And you know what? Career fairs still make me uncomfortable.

My last career fair of the semester will be the National Association of Women MBAs conference at Smith in November. I’m helping out with the fair. It should be a good time. But I digress. It’s the all-important elevator pitch. No one tells you that at career fairs and random encounterings, you have approximately 30 to 60 awkward life-defining seconds to convince someone that you are eager to contribute to their amazing (but not too sickeningly amazing) company, and that you will be of vital importance to them at some time down the road.

Yes, I exaggerate…but you get the point. Leverage your strengths, experiences, and interests and convince a recruiter or high-level executive that you are worthy.

 Woo hoo!


back in business.

October 25th, 2007 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

New classes…check.

Well, I made it back from the interview (and hopefully I’ll emerge victorious). I flew out on Tuesday evening, attending Track 1’s Lele class, and missing finance. I’m not happy about missing finance, but I’ll just have to work double-time to make it all up. Need to work on that class a lot.

This week has been pretty decent in terms of workload. Tomorrow is an all-day event (supposedly for career development of some kind, I think it’s an entrepreneurship workshop). I’m volunteering at the a supply chain career fair tomorrow, so I probably won’t attend much of the workshop. We’ll see, though.

The only bad part about leaving school for an interview (although I’m really, really happy to have the opportunity) is that I come back feeling as if I’m unprepared. I had to message a classmate on our trusty Blackberrys (journalism training teaches me it should be Blackberries, but somehow I’m certain the Blackberry people won’t like that notation) to see if anything was due.

Thank goodness for le Blackberry.


first grades of the semester.

October 23rd, 2007 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

I’ve officially survived financial accounting. Actually, I made off like a bank robber with a payload. Well, it seemed like a payload to me. Not that I’ve ever robbed a bank, or even thought about it, for that matter.

Now I just have to wait until my economics grade comes out. The final was horrible, an experience I don’t care to remember. I’m just hoping for a decent grade. An acceptable grade. Oh dear.

Tonight I fly out of Baltimore for my first-ever MBA second-round interview. I am ready – a little nervous, but generally fine. Presence of mind – check. Sanity – check. Slight nervousness – check. Clean socks? Hmm…I’d better check when I get back to my car.

I had a great weekend — my boyfriend was in town and I had my first chance to relax in a long time. One of my old friends is visiting, and I took the time to catch up. I’m glad I did — I’m ready to take on the next seven weeks now (I think). It’s funny that one weekend gives me the strength to face the rest of the semester.


what time is it? game time.

October 17th, 2007 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

At volleyball practice last night someone asked “What time is it?” The standard response for jocks is usually some version of: “Game time! HUH!” (That’s a grunt. I don’t know how to spell a grunt).

 I guess today is game time. It’s our managerial economics final. Our classes on the quarter system have come to an end. Economics today, accounting on Friday. New classes start next week – marketing management and creativity for business leaders (something like that). The creativity class is one of our “entrepreneurship” selectives. Smith’s core principles are: Globalization, Entrepreneurship, and Technology. We’ll be taking one selective from each category in our time here.

Game time! HUH!


first brush with rejection.

October 16th, 2007 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

A day in the life of a first-year full-time MBA student
8 a.m.: Wake up
9 – 12ish: Graduate assistantship
12ish-5ish: Class
5ish-1 a.m.: Group work, study groups, homework, club volleyball practice (I play on the “A” team with undergrads), e-mail, career research, talking on the phone (I have a long-distance boyfriend), dinner with family (I live at home with my parents and brothers), exercise (if it’s not volleyball practice, it’s at the Campus Recreation Center (CRC) when I don’t have to study), or errands.

Quick bio, since I’ve missed it somehow: grew up in the DC metropolitan area, graduated from Wootton High School in Rockville, MD, went to The University of Texas at Austin and left with a degree in journalism, lived in Houston and worked at NASA Johnson Space Center for a year and some change, moved back to Maryland for graduate school.

I digress: my first brush with rejection. I interviewed with several companies at NSHMBA 2007 and I got rejected from the first company yesterday. It’s a very nice, very awkwardly painful e-mail:

“We have reviewed your qualifications against our current staffing needs. Based on our review, we will not be pursuing your candidacy at this time.”

Basically, you don’t have the qualifications for us (now or at any time). 🙂 Okay, maybe it’s not that extreme. It’s not like I haven’t been rejected from a position before. And I was kind of expecting it (but hoping differently, as always).

Ah, the eternal optimist — the glass is always half-full…


the finest steel.

October 9th, 2007 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

You know, it’s funny to me that I have a blog to track my MBA experience. I used to start blogs here and there and always lost interest very quickly. I think this is different, because I used to read other students’ first-year blogs to learn more about the schools I was interested in. Now I’m on the other side and I can really appreciate what a prospective student can get out of this blog.

This quote popped up on my gmail this morning and I felt inspired to post.

“The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire.”
-Some guy named John N. Mitchell

It seems fitting, right? Trial by fire? Baptism by fire? Isn’t that what your first semester as an MBA student serves as? I can’t believe I’ve survived nearly half the first semester. I’m not going to go as far as to say that I’m unscathed. 🙂

After all the talk about school and life, I guess I left something big out. I work as a graduate assistant in the Office of Marketing Communications at Smith. It was a huge break to secure a spot as a GA. I’ve been able to meet alumni, students, and administrators. Since I have a bachelor’s in journalism, it helps a little with the job, too. I spend my time these days interviewing people and writing profiles or stories on events. It’s a good way to learn more about Smith.

I’m also a Smith Ambassador, and volunteer a little time here and there to give prospective students tours of the schools, host visitor program events, and to respond to questions. It just seems like a good way to give back to a school that’s given me a lot.

Ah, yes, random tangent – I mentioned before that I went to the NSHMBA career expo this past weekend. I didn’t sleep much, but I had a blast, and I met a lot of great people. I’m afraid to write about my opportunities, as if I might jinx myself, so I’ll have to update you later. I can’t say that I’m definitely going to get an internship out of it, but it was well worth the experience.

Anyway, back to my baptism by fire. Let’s hope I can become some of this “finest steel.”


done and done.

October 8th, 2007 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.


  • Managerial econ ready-to-eat cereal industry case analysis
  • Finance midterm 
  • Finance titanium dioxide market case analysis


  • Econ midterm
  • Lele midterm
  • Accounting midterm

I think the skill that’s proved the most useful so far in the Smith MBA curriculum is my degree in journalism. It worked well in group case analyses because we could sit down, throw out our ideas, and have one person condense everyone’s thoughts. I once did a group paper where we split up sections and put them together. It was a disaster. As the resident journalism degree-holder (is there ever any other one?), I put the paper together. And I spent six hours the night/early morning before it was due rewriting the paper, re-researching group members’ topics, and editing the paper for length, content, and accuracy.

I’m so unspeakably glad we didn’t have to do it this time. Even if the content of our analyses wasn’t right on target every time, the writing style flowed, and the paper transitioned well from beginning to end. You know, because that’s what really matters when you’re turning in a paper that’s 10 to 20 percent of four to five peoples’ grades. Ha!


one month down, three to go…

October 2nd, 2007 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

I came into Smith with no idea what I want to do (except for what I don’t want to do). I think for now, I’ve settled on marketing, human resources, and supply chain management (in that order). My career coach’s advice is to cast a wide net and eliminate what I can with what experience I can gain. Seems good. It’s not like I have any better ideas. 🙂

Today is our very first finance exam. I don’t think finance is my subject. It’s smart to learn about, I guess, but it still doesn’t seem like the real world to me. I realize how absurd that sounds, since the world I live in is based on the economy. Finance is important. And yet I don’t get it. Our professor gave us two practice exams. It’s interesting what happens when I try to decipher the questions.

I’m headed off to Houston this Thursday to attend the National Society of Hispanic MBAs conference. The career fair should be a good experience. And I get to stop in and see my friends in Houston. Should be fun. Except that I have to wear a suit all weekend long and try to convince employers that they should hire me. Yeah, I could probably do without that part. 🙂