Thursday, August 25, 2011

Let's Rock, Tarheels

Somewhere along the way between pre-teen New Kids On The Block groupie and full-on indie rock nerd, I landed the best job ever: I do freelance work as a music photographer. This involves going to music events and snapping away for various newspapers, magazines and websites. It's not a full time gig for me, but I do love to take on assignments when I have extra time to take off from my desk job. I have gotten pretty lucky recently and have established relationships with some major publications, one of which is going to pay off in two weeks when they fly me to North Carolina to photograph a music festival.

The bad news for my MBA plans is this means about 5 days when I'm going to be completely distracted from GMAT studying. The good news, however, is it means that I'm actually going to have the opportunity to visit Kenan-Flagler and Fuqua in person! I have no idea how to pronounce either of those names, so if any reader wants to clue me in, I would greatly appreciate it.

I've made preliminary contact with both schools, and looks like it may be to early to sit-in on classes, hopefully I'll be able to attend info sessions and also walk around campus a bit and check things out. I'm also thinking I should try to make contact with a current student at each, but I'm finding that oddly intimidating. But I guess now is as good a time as any to get over my fear of cold calls and networking.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

All Hail The Smart Phone

I'm typing this on my iPhone, which I suppose is appropriate given Steve Jobs' resignation earlier today. I had to drop off my MacBook Pro at the Apple Store this evening because the case is cracking and it needs to be sent back to the factory to have a part replaced. So for the meantime (or until I get desperate and find my 9 year old Dell laptop hidden in the back of my office closet) I'm officially computerless. (NB: My iPhone just autocorrected "computerless" to "computerized," because apparently the concept of being without a computer does not exist in Steve Job's world view.)

After dropping off the MacBook Pro, on my way back to my car, I may have gotten slighly distracted while passing through new foodcourt of our Japanese department store, Shirokiya. The $2 Kirin and edamame were excellent, but I can now confirm with certainty that a beergarden is really not the ideal location to bang out practice problems from Manhattan GMAT Book 1.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It's Prime Time

Since my meltdown on Saturday afternoon post-GMAT flub, I've been pulling myself back together. I've cracked open Manhattan GMAT's Guide 1 (Numbers Properties) and am slowly making my way through. Although I feel like at this speed I'll never finish, so I probably need to push myself a bit harder to get to the stuff that is actually going to be helpful. The first few chapters on factoring, odd/even numbers, and prime numbers have been less than productive.

I have also been feeling extremely nostalgic for the gorgeous, wood-paneled, collegiate gothic-arched libraries of my undergrad Alma Mater. Somehow, studying in a coffee shop just doesn't compare. So I e-mailed a local contact who also happens to be a professor of Library Studies at a local university, and I'm hoping he will have some suggestions of places I can go and feel appropriately scholarly to get me in the mood. Although I know I'm not going to find climbing ivy on brick walls in Hawaii, maybe I can at least find somewhere relatively quiet so that I can do better at concentrating at my GMAT practice problems.

Monday, August 22, 2011

If At First You Don't Succeed, Go Get Drunk In A Corner

The problem with us perfectionists is that sometimes the pressure of doing something absolutely exactly right leaves us reticent to start the endeavor in the first place. That was certainly the case for the GMAT, which I had originally planned to take a year ago. I created immense, elaborate study plans. I talked a big game. But I kept putting it off taking the test. And I kept putting off even cracking my study materials. Life stuff got in the way. Family stuff. Work stuff. So I scheduled the test for some arbitrary date in the future. And then I rescheduled it for later. And then rescheduled it again. Long story short, I ended up somehow sitting in my padded cubicle in the very austere, very quiet Pearson-Vue testing center on Saturday morning clicking buttons frantically without having really studied at all.

When my score popped up on the screen, it was 640. What's worse was my split: 89th percentile for verbal and 50th percentile for quantitative. Although the verbal score is just fine, the quantitative leaves a lot to be desired. I'll need study (for real this time) and then retake the test. It's a disappointment, but it's mostly just frustrating because I know it is entirely my fault.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

This is Not Good

I got a 640 on the GMAT. Fuck.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hello From the Abyss

Sometimes, life just happens. A family member gets sick, a coworker leaves the team, or maybe even a fantastic opportunity presents itself that's just too good to pass up, and you have to go drop everything and do it. Unfortunately, far too much of that life seems to happen to me, and seems to get in the way of my business school goals. Or rather, I let it get in the way.

Which is a long way of explanation and apology, to say, I'M BACK.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Newsflash: Business School Applicants Do Not Own Macs, According To The GMAC

This weekend, I received my official enrollment materials in the mail for the GMAT, including their Information Bulletin and the GMATPrep CD. It feels... official! Unfortunately, the CD is not compatible with my MacBook Pro, and likewise for the online software download, so I'm going to have to have to either dig my old Dell laptop out of the back of my closet, or bring home my work laptop.

I've also been doing a bit of reading on GMAT prep, which is having me re-think my preliminary study ideas. On Stacy Blackman Consulting, two hours of studying is recommended for each desired score point increase. Beat The GMAT has a 60-day study plan which entails two to four hours per day for two months straight. Over at GMAT Club, the basic study plan for novices includes two to five hours per day, for three months!

So, how much is really enough?