January 15, 2008

Johnson Means Business weekend at Cornell University

I promised to add a debriefing of my weekend at the Johnson School at Cornell University, and here it is.

I went to Johnson for the Johnson Means Business program. This is a recruitment weekend hosted by the Office for Diversity and Inclusion. I must say, for a small office, they put on quite a weekend. Things started Thursday, November 1 at around noon. After registration, I had my “Individual Consultation” with a member of the staff. This wasn’t what you’d call an interview. Instead, it was an opportunity for me to ask questions to a knowledgeable source. The woman who spoke to me was very nice and helpful. I wish I had scheduled my Consultation for the end of the weekend so I could have asked more directed questions.

I skipped on the campus tour since I graduated from Cornell as an undergrad fairly recently and decided instead to visit one of my recommenders. Next up was the ‘Sage Social.” This was a GREAT opportunity to meet some faculty and current students in the beautiful atrium of Sage Hall. You really have to see it to understand how great it looks. The free food didn’t hurt either; the RBG favorite was the egg rolls.

After that, we went to Joe’s Restaurant for a ton of Italian food and an address from Dean Joe Thomas. He actually sat at my table so I had a chance to speak to him at length. He’s pretty funny and he loves to play basketball, plus 2 points for him.

Saturday was INSANE. The day started at 8am with breakfast. Next up was a class simulation. We watched a “Management & Leadership of Organizations” class. Very informative and gave me a good feeling about the atmosphere at Johnson. Next, we took part in a Career Panel Discussion with a member of the CMC (Career Management Center) staff. Afterwards, we ate lunch with members of the faculty and some corporate sponsors. I enjoyed this a lot. I really liked the accessibility of the faculty and their willingness to provide frank answers about the school.

Afterwards was my favorite program. Randall Sawyer, the Director of Admissions, spoke to us about applying to business school. He’s a passionate speaker and his words stuck with me. I had already turned in my application to Cornell before this weekend, but if I was on the fence that would have made my mind up, lol.

Next up was a financial aid seminar given by a nice woman from that office. She put the room at ease about finding money for business school. The tuition seems astronomical, but the way she explained it, things seemed a lot more manageable.

By this time, the sun was setting, and we moved on to a reception sponsored by Lehman Brothers. I can’t say I’m interested in I-Banking, but the recruiter was cool, and the food was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. I have never had hours’ devours that good…seriously.

Our dinner that night was really creative I thought. Several current students hosted dinner in their homes. We were able to ask questions in a comfortable setting, and of course…the food was great.

Saturday wasn’t as long, but it was still packed. This time we had breakfast with more current students. They gave us a feel for the clubs/organizations at Johnson. They, like most schools, have it all, but I already know that I’ll have plenty to occupy my time when I’m in school.

Afterwards was a really long teambuilding exercise. It involved one the Myers-Briggs personality indicator. The good part was that the generic description of my type was the best one. I’m a “natural born leader” or something, hooray for me.

The day ended for me with a historical tour of the campus. I decided to go on this one because we stopped at every point on campus that involved significant moments for minorities in Cornell history. I went there for 4 years and learned a lot.

Well that’s it, I tried to keep it short, but as you can see, we did a lot of stuff. Again, if there’s anything you want me to explain, hit up the comments section.

-The RBG

January 12, 2008

It's a celebration!!

Today is the RBG’s 24th birthday. Please, please, stop applauding your screen. I will keep this post short since I have some more celebrating to do.

First up is a marathon of Season 2 of Martin, one of the greatest shows ever. My girl bought me the DVD, so I’m subjecting her to the whole season today. So far we have seen Bruhman (upstairs, 5th flo’), Shanene, and my favorite, Dragonfly Jones.

After that is some PLAYOFF FOOTBALL. I got Seattle and the Patriots today.

Then, I was promised some ribs today so I’ll be getting into those later.

I’ll leave you with some of the comedic stylings of Martin Lawrence, lol. WHAZUUUUUUUUUUUP!!

-The RBG

January 10, 2008

FREE TUITION MBA's for minority applicants?

I mentioned the Consortium in a previous post (see here), and I promised I would explain what it is. Well, according to the website (here) “The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management is the country’s preeminent organization for promoting diversity and inclusion in American business.” Obviously that doesn’t really say anything, so let me explain what the Consortium is and how it works.

Basically, the Consortium is a collection of 13 schools that are committed to diversity. Their commitment is shown through membership in the Consortium and FULL TUITION FELLOWSHIPS.

I’ll give you a minute to take that in, lol.

As a member of the Consortium, you have access to the “Orientation Program” in June. During this program, the new Consortium members meet each other for the first time AND meet several of the Consortium corporate sponsors in a series of programs and workshops. A few Consortium fellows I met at Indiana University had internship offers before the semester even began. That would take a ton of pressure off the first year.

According to the Consortium fellows I have spoken to, there are also several “Consortium exclusive” events during the year geared toward professional development, recruiting, and some just for fun.

Obviously, the full-tuition fellowship is the main draw of the Consortium to many applicants (*raises hand*). The application process is somewhat convoluted, so I’ll try to explain it clearly.

Prospective students can apply to up to six of the 13 Consortium schools. After ranking your school in order of preference, there is a common application to fill out with basic information (personal info, work background, extracurriculars…), and a few generic essays that every school you pick will receive. These questions are mainly the ‘Why an MBA? Why now?” questions that every school asks.

In addition, applicants have to answer 1-3 school specific essays for each school s/he picks. Don’t worry; school specific essays only go to that individual school. So when you have to answer “Why is Dartmouth the school for you?” AND “Why do you want to go to USC?” No one will know if you copy and paste the same answer, haha.

After your application is complete, it goes to each ranked school for review. Pay attention to the way your rank your chosen schools because they represent the order in which ranked schools can offer an applicant a fellowship. You can only receive one fellowship offer. So if your #1 school offers you a fellowship and you don’t want to go, you are out of luck. Of course that’s relative, you do have a full tuition fellowship for your MBA.

All the schools you apply to can still accept you and offer their own financial aid package. A Consortium fellowship offer is just that, an offer, so you can turn it down if you get a comparable offer from another school.

That’s the Consortium process in a nutshell. If you have any questions or clarification, please post it in the comments section. Thanks for reading!

-The RBG

4 Songs I like that I think you'll like

Alicia Keys - Reckless Love

You have to love Alicia. She's beautiful, can actually play her music, and she's really, REALLY good at it. I'm convinced that you can't frown while listening to this song. It's impossible. Even if you are frowning, once you hear the hook I'm sure you will come around.

Kanye West - Homecoming

I'm not even from Chicago and I love this song. This is another song with an infectious hook. Try sining it. You'll swear you are John Legend, lol. Want proof this song is good? I just heard it on Mike and Mike in the Morning as their intro music.

Kenna feat. Nas - The Deafest 1's

This song has that late 90's Neptunes feel. That was the best time for that duo, and being from Va. Beach, I think I'm more than qualified to make that statement. Truthfully, I can't tell you half of Kenna's lyrics, but it sounds so good.

Wale feat. Lil Wayne - Nike Boots (Remix)

This song has a really smooth beat. Wale, who I've never heard of either, comes off well on this track, and Lil Wayne has another good feature. If you're counting that makes 45934570394587348 appearances for him over the last 12 months. Not all of them have been this good, so let's be glad he didn't ruin this beat.

If you like or hate these songs, let me know about it in the comments section. I'll give you a few songs that I like every few weeks. By the way, I owe you another post since I was slacking yesterday (thanks B.Lee for point that out).

-The RBG

January 8, 2008

Kelley In Focus weekend at Indiana University

This is a recap of my experience at Kelley In Focus, the recruiting event directed toward perspective minority applicants.

My Kelley In Focus experience started on Friday, October 12th at 10am with an interview. Definitely a nerve-racking way to start my weekend! I decided to make this my official Consortium (I’ll talk more about this in another post) interview, so I was especially anxious. My interviewer put me at ease, though, and I think the interview went well. It was a blind interview (I hadn’t even applied yet) but he did have my resume. The rest of the day included a tour, and a Career Leader session. By the way, Career Leader is an assessment tool used to help individuals find the career that suits them best. Apparently I’m supposed to be a marketer.

The first day concluded with a nice reception and the start of the free food, lol. This was also my first chance to meet some of the faculty and student body. Most of these interactions were positive; actually the conversation I had that stuck out the most was with a professor who kept asking, “What more can I tell you?” Her openness gave me a good feeling about the rest of the weekend.

Saturday began with a mentor breakfast. Our mentors were student volunteers who answered our questions from a student perspective. Mine was great and we actually kept in touch after In Focus.

Next up was “The Kelley Advantage”. The Chair of the MBA Program told us all about the program. There was a lot of ‘internet stuff’ discussed, but I definitely learned about the program. Besides that, the Chair is an interesting guy so that made it enjoyable.

The next event was “The Kelley Classroom Experience”. The Dean of the program walked us through the (apparently) famous chicken contact lens case. This was the highlight of the weekend for me. Dean Smith is a GREAT teacher, and he made me really excited about Kelley and business school in general. Case-based learning is new to me but I think it will really help me learn because it’s contextual. I’m sure I won’t be asking myself “When will I ever use this crap?” as I sleep through class, lol.

After lunch, we headed to the “Graduate Career Service Roundtables”. This event was split into a talk by members of the career service office and a miniature version of a similar event that the school puts on for their full time students. We spoke with representatives, all Kelley grads, from Proctor & Gamble, Delloitte, and Sears. The reps told us about their jobs, how Kelley prepared them for their careers, and about their experience at the school. I learned a lot and I got free stuff…. that’s a win/win.

After a talk with Financial Aid, we had our closing dinner. I continued my conversations with some of the faculty, and I was impressed that many remembered me and even brought some literature for me to keep. Plus, Dean Smith gave one of the best speeches I’ve heard in a while.

Overall, I had a great time (if you couldn’t tell). At one point I even asked a student to tell me something he didn’t like about the school. He struggled with an answer. Please use the comments to ask any questions you may have. Because I’m sure I left something out. Thanks for reading, and I’ll keep you updated with my MBA progress!

January 7, 2008

Not every RBG can dunk...

but I could once, lol. This is actually the only dunk I've ever done that counted for two points in an actual game. I'm just glad this was actually caught on film. That's my uncle talking in the background by the way.

They used to call me 'Young MJ' in high school*.

*No they didn't

January 6, 2008

Mr. 700 - How I studied for the GMAT

So I thought it might be helpful to tell you all how I studied for the GMAT. Before I get started, you should be aware of www.beatthegmat.com and www.gmatclub.com. Both of these sites gave me A LOT of help for the GMAT, and I’m sure they could help you as well. Both of those are forums with a ton of members who share insights on all three sections of the test and business school in general.

Besides the sites mentioned above, I also used the Cracking the GMAT by the Princeton Review and the Official Guide to GMAT Review. The Princeton Review book is written in a very understandable way, and they only focus on what’s important. The second book has a ton of info, but it’s written for scientists I think so I really didn’t find it helpful. The second book is made by the people who made the test, though, so you know the practice questions are just like the ones on the test.

The test has five sections: math is broken into Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency questions, and verbal has Critical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, and Sentence Correction. Examples of all the problems are located on the sites I mentioned above. I did a few of each question to find out which ones I had the most trouble with. In the end it turned out that my list from hardest to easiest looked like this:

• Critical Reasoning
• Data Sufficiency
• Reading Comprehension
• Problem Solving
• Sentence Correction

I studied the first two sections for two weeks each, and the rest for only one week. “Studying” included reading the entire section in the Princeton Review book and completing 15-20 questions from either book or a set of questions I downloaded from beatthegmat. I would look at the ones I got wrong and study the type of question that was asked. The test has a lot of recurring elements, so understanding what is being asked is key. The Princeton Review book did a good job identifying each type of question that the test throws at you.

Before beginning each day I would do about 10 review questions from the previous section. By the end, I had done about a million of the questions that I thought were the hardest. Truthfully, I spent about an hour on the writing part of the test, and got a 4.5. Pretty average score I guess. Overall, I scored a 700 on the test. I scored a 43 on the math section and a 42 on the verbal.

So that’s how I prepared for the test. Use the comments link below to share your stories or ask questions. I’ll be checking back regularly and hopefully I can clarify any questions you have to help you out. Good luck!

-The RBG

The First Post...

First of all, thanks for visiting the RBG Road to an MBA. I’m Joe, the RBG. What is the RBG you are asking yourself? That’s the Regular Black Guy. I started this blog because as I researched the GMAT and business school in general, I found that a Black perspective on the MBA process is severely lacking. Of course this site is for anyone who is/was considering an MBA in the future, however, I think a lot of the blogs that exist are those ‘super applicant’ nerds that most people can’t relate to. I like to think I’m pretty cool, and I will try to entertain you and give you a realistic picture of what it’s like to get an MBA.

I’ve already taken the GMAT and applied to my schools so future posts will detail those processes in detail. For now, let’s just pretend that I’m about to start this process with you.

You can expect a lot of posts on the MBA application process (obviously) and business school life (once I get there). But, there certainly won’t be any interesting developments everyday so I’ll fill that time with things I fine entertaining or funny. The first of which will be the New Hampshire presidential debate that took place today. In case you couldn’t tell, I’m Black, and as such I want Barack Obama to win. I think he’s as qualified as any other candidate, and I’m intrigued by his message of change and promise to make the government more ‘see-through’ and accountable. Plus…he’s Black, lol.

I think he did well enough today to keep his momentum going, but he didn’t come off as engaging as I hoped he would be. I think Hillary helped herself out today, and Edwards looked really energetic. He also seemed like he wanted to be Obama’s VP (anyone notice him tag team with Obama against Clinton?).

Ultimately, my man Barry (as my friend calls him) will come out on top because I think his ‘breath of fresh air’ approach is coming at the perfect time. I think it’s safe to say that EVERYONE hates George Bush, so the further we get from him the better…what’s further than a young, engaging, Black guy? Thought so.

I want to hear what you think though, so use the comments to agree, disagree, throw out new questions or whatever.

Welcome to my blog and please come back. I’ll keep the updates coming and give you some good information about the Master’s of Business Administration.

-The RBG

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