My MBA Dream is greater than….

Football.

nofootballtonight

(This is actually very hard to admit.)

Yes, some of you may not care about football.

I kind of understand. 🙂

But on a more serious note, football is not ending anytime soon. Just like many other things that are sacrificed not only during the application process of an MBA but when you are actually attending a program.

When I tried to watch football this Sunday while working on my essay my attempts failed horribly. And Thursday and Monday Night football are off because it is GMAT study time.

I see this as a temporary state. I will get to watch football again.

Also, if I get into Ross, I already know the social club I want to join: The Bus Crew. The group in charge of the tailgating and the bus on game day. Just saying.  #MBAGoal

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Another Book in my “To Read” Pile: Triggers

I don’t know about any one else out there but my book pile seems to never decrease. What is with all these excellent books out there?!?!

Well, I just recently read an article on Poets & Quants about a new book out by Marshall Goldsmith, a Tuck School of Business Professor of executive education. Triggers discusses the extra-personal environmental and psychological triggers that can derail us at work and in life. Talk about addressing potential weaknesses head on.

triggers

I don’t want to give away the milk without buying the cow, so links below for those that are interested. Also, Goldsmith is conducting a study on Triggers and lists an email address, in the P&Q article, to reach him at to participate in the study.

Here is the P&Q Article.

Here is the book on Amazon.

Sentence Correction: Logic and Grammar in one!

dany-gameofthrones

Let’s be honest here… colloquialisms across regions and the glorious ridiculousness of such things as #onfleek makes even the grammar nazis of yore have some difficulties.

But that isn’t what the GMAT is testing; however, that would be the most special GMAT question of all time!

As I am working on my SC strategies, I have come to realize previously taught approaches are ineffective. As my strategy has changed, I am getting a much higher rate of return on the time spent on each question, and getting more right.  #success

Some tips that have helped me:

  1. The concept that the GMAT wants you to sacrifice the best answer for just the better option. This absolutely kills me at times. I want the best option!
  2. Modifiers. Just be watching for misplaced modifiers. This will help out a lot if you don’t really know were to start and the choice between have been/had been is slowly killing you. (This is where I missed a lot of questions the first time around)
  3. In my retake of my prep class, my instructor pointed something out about the answer choices that isn’t something that you take into consideration most times. You are not the person that gets to decide what is right. That is not your decision to make. You decision is to find the answer that has already been chosen by the GMAC decision maker. This is somewhat of an abstract concept, but it has helped me tremendously, particularly with Verbal Reasoning.
  4. Two things Sentence Correction wants you to consider: grammar and logic. There may be a sentence that is grammatically correct but completely illogical. The answer choice could also be logical but missing accurate grammar.

That is all for now! I hope sharing this is helpful to someone out there.

 

Round 1 is coming!

If you are in the middle of this process, you may have already submitted a Round 1 application! Congratulations to you, and for your success in completing this hurdle I give you Fat Amy from Pitch Perfect:

Crushed IT

I find it strange when I think about this whole process for myself. In regards to the MBA application process, I am halfway through.

The B-School Timeline

August 2014: Made the Decision to apply to B-school. I attended MBA fairs and started my research on schools and GMAT prep.

December 2014: I applied and gained admittance into the MBA Launch program (if you are a woman I highly suggest the standard format).

January 2015: Personal issues side tracked a lot of my studying and research until about April.

April 2015: Studying for the GMAT

June 2015: GMAT day of Doom (or, I bombed the GMAT)

July 2015: Reflection period and also when I was crazy busy with work that MBA was not even possible to think about

August 2015: MBA fairs again. Asking recommenders to write me awesome recommendations. Studying to for GMAT Version 2. Writing application essays.

Sept 2015: If it wasn’t hot in here yet, the temperature just got pushed to 100 degrees.

The way forward:

dogsontreadmiss

September 2015: GMAT and applications!!!

October 2015: Turn in applications for Round 1 consideration and attend Women’s conferences.

October and November 2015: Potential interviews.

December 2015: Time to find out if I made the cut.

January 2015 – August 2015:  Making the Matriculation Decision. I really can’t even look that far into the future right now. It is something that I can’t control, at least not yet. But I am looking at finishing the applying to b-school mountain climb and chart the path to actually attending school.

Until then though… All I have to motivate me are some funny quotes, gifs, images, and of course, the support of my family, friends, and colleagues. I never thought this path way easy, but who ever wanted something that was easy?

 

 

 

Want to test your Quant Skills?

Target Test Prep (https://gmat.targettestprep.com) solely focuses on the quantitative section of the GMAT and has some great study guides and homework to work through. I was originally exposed to this company through Forte Foundation’s MBA Launch program. MBA Launch is a program for any woman looking to gain camaraderie through the MBA application process. For a small amount of money you gain insight from top admissions consultants and also support from GMAT experts as well.

Something that Target Test Prep does every week is a Tuesday hour long session on Math concepts. This exposes you to higher level questions you would see on the GMAT related to the topic of the week, such as Roots and Exponents. While I don’t know how to solve every question they present to me, I am able to practice my GMAT quantitative skills and supplement my other study guides and preparation.

Hopefully this last GMAT will be my lucky charm and I will knock it out of the park.

My Biggest Obstacle: The GMAT

Like many MBA students, I have put in the hours for the GMAT. I have taken practice tests, reviewed all the answers to ensure I am approaching questions that right way, memorized basic concepts that I just need to know for the Verbal and Quant section…. and the list goes on.

study_community

But here is the kicker. On June 27, 2015, I took the GMAT and did not score anywhere near what my practice tests had me trending towards.

This GIF captures how I was feeling after that test….

epic-fail-gifs-weightlifting-fail

As you can imagine this was disheartening. A 100 hours into my studying and I did better on my diagnostic practice test than I did on test day. It made me reconsider not just taking the test cold.

Now, it is getting close to the finish line for my application and I have to retake the GMAT so it is even remotely competitive. I want to mitigate this weakness by just doing better, doing what I expect myself to do, yet somehow that was not possible earlier this year.

I know I am not the only one in this boat. And, I would do anything not to be here. I actually worked very hard not to be here, but alas, this is my burden. But I am determined to study, retain, and not let the GMAT take advantage of me this time. Never has a test done this to me before and the GMAT won’t keep me down for long.

For all of those people with me….

may-the-odds-poster-2-16x202

School Fit and How I Decided to Apply to Programs

If you had recently seen my about page the following schools were listed as my schools of choice after some research and school visits over Fall 2014 and early 2015:

  • Northwestern – Kellogg
  • Yale – SOM
  • Dartmouth – Tuck
  • MIT – Sloan
  • Chicago – Booth
  • Georgetown – McDonough
  • American – Kogod

My naiveté, at least to me, is very apparent in this list. All MBA programs are absolutely great for the person that fits into the specific culture and program. The more I researched, the more I found some schools on the list holding their place and others just drift off it, not for any reason other than my evaluation of where I want to be for two years and where I want to go in my career after that.

With that said, here is my new list:

  • Dartmouth – Tuck
  • Georgetown – McDonough
  • Michigan – Ross
  • UVA – Darden
  • American University – Kogod (Part Time)

I am at peace with my decision to change course and be more selective in my school choice. Every one of these programs highlight aspects that I want to embody by the end of the this journey. Not every school is the same, and I am okay with that. In weighing the options, I would be ecstatic to attend any MBA program I apply to because I have done the due diligence to know that it is a school I would be proud to attend and they would (hopefully) be proud of me as a student and alum.