A Visit to Yale SOM

While driving up to Evans Hall, Yale Schol of Management’s new multi million dollar state of the art, futuristic building, I must say I was impressed. 

  

Upon entering the building, I was given instructions to walk to the MBA Admissions ‘Welcome’ area. 

  

After checking in, a few more prospective students arrived and we began to chat. It was a small, diverse and friendly group of ten of us. Some had already applied to Yale but were waitlisted like myself. Others were undergraduates or professionals with plans to apply sometime during the next two years. 

One of the best parts of the entire tour occurred before it even started. A 1st year student happily walked by, spotted us and began to smile. We said hi to him and the long conversation between us began. I remember he was cool as ever as he openly shared many b-school tips with us: best classes and professors, life as a 1st year student, the best parties and trips, recruiting advice, and examples of Yales ‘Pay-It-Forward’ culture. Once the Yale SOM tour officially started, our new friend handed out his business card to each of us and bid farewell. 

The visit consisted of: 

  • Class (core or elective)
  • Evans Hall tour
  • Lunch with current students
  • Tour of Yale University campus
  • Q&A with Yale SOM’s AdCom

I’ll share my perspective of each component of the visit below:


Class

We had the opportunity to attend one class from a list of twelve core and elective classes. The classes covered many topics including decision making, economics, the executive and finance. I chose a class called ‘The Innovator’ as I thought it would be the most interesting dialogue between students and the professor about entrepreneurship. However, our new friend warned us earlier that it was the first session of the quarter and because students have not cover d much of the course material yet, it may not be that interesting. He was right. 


Evans Hall Tour

This was an OK tour. 

The group was split in half. We pretty much chose our group based on our tour guides’ introductions. They were current students.

We walked around the first and second floors of Evans Hall while our tour guides pointed out libraries, classrooms, study rooms and key offices and school departments. I liked that aspect of the tour. 

But once the walking tour turned into a long Q&A session, I completely lost interest. Many of the answers could be found on the Yale SOM website.
Lunch With Current Students

Wow! Who knew a basic cole slaw salad and veggie sandwich could taste so good! It’s all in the marinade, all in the marinade… Yale SOM sure knows how to cater a delicious, filling meal. I was very satisfied. 

The additional Q&A session was led you one of my tour guides. It was ok. Honestly, I don’t remember this portion of the visit. I was busy savoring the taste of my meal. #ImportantThings


Tour of Yale University Campus

This tour was led by an undergraduate student of Yale College. He was quite an impressive young man. He knew the history of Yale and every statue, building and square inch of the campus like the back of his hand. I was never bored during this walking tour and recommend it.

   
  

   
Q&A With Yale SOM’s AdCom

This was more so a welcome speech from the member of the AdCom. He wanted to know more about us so we introduced ourselves to him. Afterwards, a current first year student, who gained admissions directly out of undergrad, hosted another Q&A session. 

I stepped outside with the AdCom member. He was aware that that I was waitlisted by Yale and he said he’d tell the AdCom that I visited. But, I had no plans to work hard to get off of Yale’s waitlist. So, I told him that I’d decided to attend a top four b-school. He genuinely congratulated me for getting in to such a well-respected school. 

I left after our conversation. It was a high point of the visit and a good note to leave on. 

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You Can’t Sit With Us…

Upon gaining entry to a few business schools, I decided to email current MBA students for advice. One thing about MBA students is that they are a thoughtful, supportive and wise group of people. More prospective MBA students should reach out to them prior to starting business school. 

Anyway, the response rate was superb! I purposely emailed more than a few students. That is because the first MBA student I ever contacted pretty much played me by email in a very PC manner.

  

Maybe she was busy recruiting and couldn’t devote the time. Who knows.

Unfortunately, that led me to believe most MBA students were the same way.

I was totally wrong. The ‘Pay It Forward’ culture is very real on business school campuses. I can’t tell you how many times my contacts have shared their b-school experience with me and then agree to forward my email to a buddy who has the same career goals or is interning at my dream firm. And they follow up on it! I look forward to the time when I can share my MBA experience with prospective and newly admitted students.

  

MBA Laptops: PC or Mac?

At my office, there are two distinct camps: PC fans…and Mac lovers. A friendly debate has transpired over the years and it is legendary. 

PC fans tout the laptops’ simplicity and compatibility with nearly every software used at the office. Mac lovers enjoy mentioning the Mac doesn’t succumb to viruses as often as PCs do. Unfortunately, I don’t remember anything else Mac lovers talk about. I’m a PC fan, of course!

  Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon



My work laptop is a Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon, which I love using and carrying. I can literally pick it up with one hand…just my five fingertips! It is one of the lightest laptops on the market. But, don’t get it twisted. It’s still a powerful little machine. 

The X1 Carbon boasts a bright QHD display monitor, has excellent battery life and can withstand wear and tear. Though, I must mention the X1 Carbon’s touchpad was super sensitive at first. After installing a new touchpad driver, it was much less sensitive. Also, you will need to purchase and use two separate Ethernet and VGA dongles to connect to LAN cords and VGA Monitor cords respectively.

   
 

After owning the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon for over one year, I can proudly recommend this laptop to fellow MBA students. In fact, I will purchase one before starting business school in Autumn 2016. I also recommend the Lenovo Thinkpad T-series, specifically the T460 laptop.

   

Some of my fellow MBA peers are Mac lovers, and I respect that preference. I recommend visiting Laptopmag.com for advice on buying a MacBook vs. Air vs. Pro.

  

MacBook Air Laptop


When it come time to purchasing a laptop for business school, remember the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon or Lenovo Thinkpad T-series (T460).

Happy Shopping!

MBA Book Bag Options

Remember when we were middle school and high school students and those darn ‘Back-to-school’ commercials would begin airing ahead of schedule…like in July and August? Ugh, way too early. I surely didn’t need reminders of cool new school supplies and colorful Disney lunch boxes flashing on the TV during my two months of total bliss.

Well guys, after all of these years, the tide has changed. I’m totally excited about the prospect of becoming a full-time student again. Business school doesn’t start for another five or six months and I have been daydreaming about bookbag styles and laptops.

Below you’ll find several bookbags that combine design and function very well. Many have laptop compartments, which is a plus for future business school students.

 

This Briggs and Riley Ballistic Nylon backpack has every pocket imaginable and it is made of quality, sturdy materials. Well-cushioned laptop compartment is available too.

 

The Sympatico SP160-4 back pack is pretty minimalist with very clean lines, which appeals to me.

 

The Tumi Alpha Bravo Canon Medium backpack looks great and is comfortable to carry. It’s a departure from the normal black backpack.

The Eastpak Classic leather backpack looks like it would hold up in rainy weather quite well. Hello New England rain showers! I’m ready for ya.

Frye-Logan_backpack

The FRYE Men’s Logan Antique Pull Up backpack is another stylish, classic bookbag.

herschel-supply-co-corduroy-little-america-backpack-product-1-12703301-994941715

I have my eye on you Herschel Corduroy Little America backpack. This is a wonderful option to carry during the spring and autumn seasons. And the straps are wide and well-cushioned.

The Herschel Retreat backpack is a smaller version of the Little America backpack above. It’s pretty sweet too!

Wow, hasn’t Jansport come a long way? I’d definitely consider buying this Skip Yowell or Pleasanton for my brother or little cousin.

We can’t forget good ole’ canvas backpacks. Seen on college campuses around the world for decades, this style of backpack is here to stay!

Loving the Rainier Leather Rucksack and the Lennon Rucksack by Will Leather Goods!

Aren’t these M.R.K.T Kendrick Industrial Felt backpacks pretty cool? The design is so futuristic. Seems like a breath of fresh air in the land of backpacks. The colors are so vibrant. Loving the boxy shape too.

The M.R.K.T Evan Industrial Felt backpacks

mz

The M.Z. Wallace Metro Quilted Oxford Nylon backpack is perfect if you’re in search of a lightweight, nylon backpack…and also if you’re into quilted fabrics. Not my thing though. Use to be…

The Rag & Bone Derby backpack

Jessica Alba’s ‘The Honest Co.‘ gets it right with this Faux Leather Diaper backpack design. Hey, it can be used for books too. A bag is a bag is a bag is a bag!

Upon first glance, you would never know the Ju-Ju-Be Legacy ‘Be Right Back’ backpack is actually a diaper bag. And neither would the gal sitting next you in class. So, get it! These designs are too fun to pass up.

Matt & Nate’s Fabi Vegan Leather Laptop and Brave Vegan Leather backpack is a sleek, stylish bag design. When I see vegan non-food items, I immediately think ‘environmentally conscious’. Extra points for you!

My pick? I personally love love love the Kroyer backpack from Skagen!

#TBT: My GMAT/GRE Study Locations

You know what makes studying for the GMAT/GRE more challenging than usual? Not having a quiet study space. From September 2015 – January 2016, I would work from the morning until 5:00pm-6:00pm and then l’d study until 9:30pm-11:00pm nearly every week day. By the time I’d get home, it’d be 10:30pm-12:45am. Super late!

To honor the locations that served as my beloved study spots for months, I have pulled together an extraordinary list of cool study spots in New York City. It’s ok, you can use [some of] them too.

Whole Foods Market – Upper East Side, Manhattan

 

Whole Foods Market – Union Square, Manhattan 

 

Whole Foods Market – Midtown East, Manhattan

 

The Library at Weill Cornell Medical College in the Upper East Side of Manhattan

 

Starbucks – Too many locations to name 

 

That pizzeria in Kew Gardens, Queens, New York

 

Caffe Bene in Kew Gardens, Queens, New York

 

Red Pipe Cafe in Forest Hills, Queens, New York

 

Panorama Cafe in Jamaica, Queens, New York

 

Odradeks Coffee House in Kew Gardens, Queens, New York

 

Sip This Cafe in Valley Stream, New York (I studied there during their open mic nights, trivia nights, poetry nights, and plain ol’ regular nights)

 

Ground Central Cafe in Midtown Manhattan



Queens Public Library – Central branch in Jamaica Queens, NY (Quiet Room, to be exact)



And last, but not least because it was my favorite…drumroll please!    

Korean Study Room in downtown Manhattan. Eight times out of ten, I’d have this entire study room all to myself into the wee hours of the night. I got a lot of studying done here. Oh, the memories…

Yes, readers. Every single location listed above was my study/resume tweak/essay writing/application prep spot. That adds up to a lot of hours, dollars and calories. But, who’s counting?!?

In the words of world-renowned pop artist Beyonce Knowles [UC Haas School of Business essay Q/A]:

“…I dream it, I work hard, I grind til I own it…I go hard…get what’s mine…I’m a star”

We all should.

HBX | Harvard Business School


I’m a student. In order to give myself a head start on business school courses, I’ve enrolled in HBX Harvard Business School for 5 months taking courses like Economics for Managers, Financial Accounting and Business Analytics. Just investing in myself, you know.

The content from those courses are considered the “language of business” so it was in my best interest to become fluent in that language. Although I did study Economics and Accounting in college, it’s been a while. Also, I’m pretty sure my MBA classmates will include investment bankers, accountants and other financial experts. And I’ll need to keep up with them in class and during study sessions. So, HBX HBS here I come!

It’s About That Time!

It’s mid-March 2016! Anyone who’s tuned into the MBA application process knows it’s that time when round 2 acceptances, waitlists and dings are rolling in by the boat load [Clear Admit Live Wire, anyone?]. Everyone is asking, “So, which school did you get into”. What they don’t realize is how touchy the subject is as they haven’t thought about the fact that some may not have gotten into their top choice MBA program or any program at all.

But enough with the doom and gloom! Let’s celebrate business school acceptances…and maybe waitlists (if there’s a good chance they turn into admits by the April 5th deposit deadline of our second choice school).

This is a time to be joyful…and relieved. You’ve just done what many give up on or find outright impossible. You’ve shelled out a crap load of $$$ and devoted countless hours getting to this point. Let’s not even talk about the emotional high and low points and soul searching you encountered during GMAT/GRE practice tests and essay draft #4. We won’t even go there. Uh uh.

For me, this process started in June 2016 when I decided to go to business school. I made it official by registering to attend a GMAT prep course offered by Veritas Prep.  Excellent course, well worth the $$$ in my opinion. I knew very little about business school and the MBA application process. So in August, I began attending information sessions hosted by schools like Tuck, Harvard, Columbia and Stanford.  At MBA fairs I met representatives from Chicago Booth, Ross, Haas, Darden, Emory and UNC. I  jumped at the opportunity to attend full-day and weekend Diversity events at Wharton, Tuck, Harvard, Kellogg and NYU. Lots if $$$, which I did not factor in at the beginning of this journey. But, it was well worth the effort and opportunity of speaking directly with the Admissions Committees, current students and alumni.

After all of the face time and online research, I could seriously write a book about the MBA admissions process. I’m glad it’s over (in a good way). I look forward to the next phase of this experience: preparing to enroll!

Overall, I’m proud of myself and I’m also proud of my fellow prospective MBA students. Kudos to us. We rock!