Kellogg is a No-Go!

When an email from Kellogg hit my mailbox, without a prior congratulatory call, I knew the news couldn’t be good. And true to expectations, Kellogg cut me loose. I thought Kellogg was my strongest application, but their decision proves otherwise.

I loved writing essays for them, really enjoyed visiting Evanston and connecting with the students. I was hoping that KSM would come through for me.

Another kick in the pants, but more reason to focus on R2 applications.

Good luck everyone!

Update on Application Volumes

Earlier this year, I had speculated that b-school application volumes will be impacted by external trends and the economic environment (Lower MBA Application Volumes in 2009-2010?) and discussed how I had factored this into my plans while selecting schools for R1 and R2.

My interactions with adcoms at MIT, Stanford and HBS revealed that R1 applications for those schools remained flat or marginally up from last year. UWBadger2005 wrote on BW forums that a Kellogg adcom member had indicated that R1 applications at Kellogg weren’t significantly higher or lower than last year – implying that application numbers remained flat.

Typically, R2 is the largest round in most schools followed by R1 and R3. The statistic of interest is the % increase in application volume in each round. While  % rise or fall in the application volume for R1 isn’t a prediction of how application volumes will turn out in R2, I believe that like last year, R1 will be the most competitive application round for most top schools this year too.  Those folks who  apply in R2 may have a slight advantage over their R1 peers because flat or lower R2 application volumes will compel adcoms to look more favorably on candidates who would under normal circumstances not make the cut.

Time to chew my nails a little and wait for word from Kellogg.

The Party’s Started…

Yes! Kellogg and MIT have begun notifying candidates about admits and interviews respectively. The first few rounds of MIT interview invites went to Boston and NYC candidates while Kellogg released its first admission decisions to a few people in Chicago on Friday, December 4th.

It’s hard to stay upbeat and focused on R2 applications right now. I’m using music as a crutch to stay positive and get my mind off the “what-if” scenarios.

Here’s a video that I play to myself when negativity begins to creep in. Don’t know what it is but something about swimming through an underground tunnel just gets my spirits up. Disclaimer: The lyrics are a bit uncouth.

Would love to hear what your coping strategies are. Just leave a comment!

MBAPodcaster on Stanford GSB

As you may recall, a few weeks ago I accompanied my girlfriend to Palo Alto for her interview at the Stanford GSB. It was a great experience and I loved the school. However, the “save the world” hippiness and naive positivity sometimes got to me. No one can be that nice, can they? But they were.

And that’s the Stanford GSB for you. A b-school for the smart softies who want to change the world. I respect and admire them immensely. However, a school that has a tad bit more personality and panache is better suited for me. That wont keep me from applying to Stanford GSB though, which is my girlfriend’s top pick. To tell you the truth, one of the reasons I am applying there is because my girlfriend is making me. (And you are not allowed to chuckle. We all know that women rule men, and by extension rule the world. The sooner you accept it, the smarter man you are.)

So I was delighted when I came across this video from MBAPodcaster, which not only summarized my own take on Stanford GSB quite well but has a lot of great tips. Watching it will give you great insight into what the GSB wants from a candidate and how you can tee everything up in your application to impress them.

MIT Interview Invite and Windows 7 Woes

MIT sent out it’s first round of invites today. But you’re probably wondering why I’m complaining about Windows 7 suddenly?

Well. It’s a long story. And you’ll enjoy it. I just got a new laptop from work. A ThinkPad T500 with Windows 7. Raj, our resident tech guru, and my go to guy for all questions relating to technology assured me that its the best thing that our hardware budget would allow. I wanted a Macbook Air, but even a company like mine that makes a killing by selling financial products to gullible investors cant afford such luxuries.

Anyways, I am in Los Angeles for work this week. I fired up my computer at a investor conference that I am attending. The speaker wasn’t really keeping my attention, so I logged on to Gmail and hit up my girlfriend on IM.

GF: When are you scheduling your interview?
LB: What are you talking about?
GF: MIT just sent out invites. Check GMATClub
LB (sh*tting melons): lemme check, don’t see it on my iphone
LB: i got nothing… F#$K!
GF: i gotta run. conf call in 5. im sure you’ll get an invite. :*

As you can understand, this was a double whammy. Not only did I not get an invite, but I had to swallow my masculine pride that too while I was IMing my woman. Sexting would have been nice (to soften the blow), but she went cold the moment she realized that I didn’t make the cut.

So what does Windows 7 have to do with this? Aren’t PCs the root of every problem known to humanity. I am a centrist kind of guy, but after today I do agree that Microsoft – no good.

I hadn’t setup my outlook email on the machine and the web client I used all day to check my email was slow. So I called Raj and asked him to walk me through the process. Why so sad? he asked me. I told him about the tragic events that had transpired earlier.

Well, check your junk filter. Your Kellogg invite was sitting there too, he reminded me. What genius I thought… Between the boring seminars, the work that my boss was making me do (despite sending me to a conference) and the melancholy mood I was in, I had overlooked that fact.

I have all my b-schools on the safe list in Outlook – you moved those over to this one didn't you? I asked Raj. He confirmed that he had migrated all my data and settings. Check anyway, he asked.

I looked. And indeed there it was. My golden and shiny interview invite.

So the takeaway for the day is – Windows 7 causes pain, suffering and agony. Any lawyers want to jump in and help me sue them for emotional distress?