Archive for October, 2010

NSHMBA Part 1: "Anticipation, it's keeping me waiting, making me wait."

October 25th, 2010 by under Education, Everything!. 2 Comments.

NSHMBA Part 1

Chicago Here we come! Over 2,000 stuents attended the 2010 NSHMBA Conference looking to solidify there future. Would I be one of the lucky ones?

Once you’re an MBA student, you have the opportunity to attend several career conferences, whether it is the National Black MBA conference, the National Society of Hispanic MBA conference, or others sponsored by the National Association of Woman MBAS and the Jewish Association of MBAS to name a few. But unfortunately and much to surprise…I’m not black….or Hispanic, Jewish, or a female. I know right? It’s tough being a white guy from the burbs. But that being said, while these conferences are sponsored by different demographics they are open to everybody and are great opportunities to network, interview for jobs and internships and hopefully lock down your future. So the following four blog posts are the play-by-play analysis of my weekend at NSHMBA in Chicago at the McCormick Center.

Thursday 4:30 pm: I land in Chi-City. Bright eyed and bushy-tailed I anxiously meet up with my running mate for the weekend Ananda and head to our hotel, the Allerton, located right on the Magnificent Mile in Downtown Chicago.

Thursday 5:30 pm: We’re still in the damn cab…

Thursday 6:12pm: We finally arrive at the Allerton, a gorgeous boutique hotel with a jet setting crowd dressed to the nine’s.  Excited to check-in, we immediately run into a problem. There are few things the that two single men in their mid twenties never want to hear when staying at a gorgeous hotel in the middle of a happening city with not a care in the world. While they don’t pay me the big bucks here at Maryland to speculate on the other dreaded scenarios, the one we faced was a doozy, so as the concierge at check-in spoke, our hearts sank into a state of utter depression. “Sorry sir, it looks like your reservation is for one full size bed.”

NOOOOOOOO!!!! While usually this is an easy situation to handle, just throw a cot on the floor and decide sleeping arrangements by guy code (Those with company choose first, otherwise it’s a best of 3 series of Rocks, Papers, Scissors and may the best man win). But a cot was not an option to fit in our room, which was too chic to have space for another bed, and an upgrade to a suite would have been quite costly. Time slowed down greatly in our minds as sweat began to bead down the foreheads of both Ananda and I. Were we destined for uncomfortable nights of attempting to sleep on opposite sides of a single full mattress, making pillow fortresses down the middle of our bed, and sleeping in fear of a mid-sleep accidental man spoon? (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) Much to our content, we escaped unscathed as a room was found, that at only $20 more a night had a queen size bed and just enough room for a cot. Awkwardness averted.

Thursday 7:30pm: We grab a quick bite at Fridays. Yes, Fridays. Not Geno’s or another fabulous deep-dish pizza joint, just Fridays. I had the Jack Daniels trio platter. And it was delicious.

Dinner of champions.

Thursday 8:54am: It was preparation time. Ananda and I realized that tomorrow we had to have our game faces on, for our offensive on the best firms America has to offer. We started with a spreadsheet of all of our target companies. We sifted through SWOT analyses, P and L statements, company missions, job descriptions and company cultures for hours, honing in on key buzzwords and facts to show the firms that we were invested in their ideology, corporate structure and day-to-day operations. We researched recent articles and news, so as to be up to date on the current state of affairs in each industry, focusing not only our target firms but their competitors too. We also focused heavily on our PAR stories- Problem, Action, Results- and in the process learning a lot about each other while also preparing for a grueling day of “first dates” lying ahead.

Friday 1:09am: We both hit the sac with wonderful visions of internships dancing in our heads and recruiters giving us praise on how amazing we are. We sleep comfortably, me in the cot due to a tough sweep in RPS, a loss I must learn from- who throws scissors twice anyway?

Stayed tuned for Part 2 of 4 of The NSHMBA Series Coming Soon!

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Pitches and Beer

October 17th, 2010 by under Everything!. No Comments.

“You too could own this for only $5!” was the tagline of the night for Pitches and Beer. The event, held by the Professional Communications Club, was a fierce competition of wit, sales ability, and laughter. The tone was set first by few great pitches about green foam hats, the human gopher and of course a wonderful pitch about High Life Entertainment (who would’ve done that?) Yet at the end of the day, it wasn’t the pitches about beer, trips overseas or Professor Lele’s Data Decision Models class that stole the show. Instead it was Danny’s motherly pitch about a pink heart shaped coaster that turned the tide and moved the crowd to roar with laughter and shed a tear. After a round of applause, half of the room excused themselves for a brief break just to call their mom’s and tell them “I Love You.” Danny’s second place speech may have tugged on the heartstrings, but the first place finish went to the enthusiastic, unparalleled pitch by Katsuke aka Kat.

“You get a call, and you don’t want to talk to your friend, and they know that you’d be ignoring them if you didn’t pick up. What do you do? 800Excuse has your back!” Yes, 800Excuse was the winning pitch, an idea Kat confidently explained would simulate traffic noises, party noises and much more anytime you need to bail out of that good friend’s upcoming phone conversation.

The PCC club achieved it’s goal, bringing the best out of several MBA’ers and helping build confidence for all in speaking in public forums…and in giving us the best pizza in town, Ledo’s (are you hearing me all other clubs?!? LEDO’S- not Jason’s deli, Dominos, or that god awful quiche dish the Smith school pedals as food- LEDO’S, or Panda Café is the way to go…just saying.) For anyone who has trouble with public speaking, or is interested in bettering their pitch to possible employers, their pitch for entrepreneurial ideas, or their pitch to their professors about changing their grades, the PCC club and their events are a must.

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Stress Relieved

October 10th, 2010 by under Education. 8 Comments.

After an intense week of exams most people would go home, eat a nice meal and catch up on some sleep. Some may rethink their decisions to go to business school (the most common self-imposed questioning being along the lines of  “I gave up a life and a paycheck every two weeks to get bullied by an exam? Really? I may need a shrink, not an MBA.”), but not us.

Earlier in my blog I mentioned my burgeoning wolf pack. Well, in the official wolf pack bylaws, not the fantasy land ones on True Blood or Twighlight for you teeny boppers out there, it says and I quote: “After one is destroyed, violated or made to cry by a core course examination, one must immediately drop all responsibilities and proceed to the case rooms. Once there, all bags, laptops and school items must be discarded, unless it is being used to facilitate the viewing of the Jersey Shore. Alcoholic beverages must be consumed before, during and after a feast of all of College Park’s finest delicacies before finally heading to the Maryland-UConn soccer game. Any violators of this pact will have babysitting duty for Joe McDonald for 5 straight nights in DC and be forced to sit next to Stinky for a week.” (I know, specific right? Don’t kill the messenger, I didn’t make the rules, I just blindly follow them.)

Maryland Soccer was victorious over UConn 1-0 in a heck of a distraction... err, I mean game.

So, as per the bylaws, a family style feast ensued immediately after our last exam in the study rooms with an array of delicacies from Papa Johns and Polo Loco. All social barriers were left far behind when the feast began, whether you were a foreign student, finance major, married, or an alien, the overarching feeling of relief was common ground. Mindless conversation was exactly what the doctor prescribed for all 150 members of our Smith 1st Year Family, lubricated by some Miller High Life and Snookie/J-Woww brawls.

After the camaraderie became to boisterous, we headed to the soccer field, where the Terps were successful in defeating the number two soccer team in the country UConn in what was a surreal environment of trash talking, ribbing and lively debate. The theme staying consistent throughout though, utter relief. We knew that we still had mountains of homework left to complete, career searching to delve into, and club commitments to fulfill. But for a night we all prescribed to one assignment above all else and like all other team assignments the mission was successful and stress was relieved.

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