why hello there

it’s been a really long time since i’ve posted anything substantial. for the last 5 months or so, if i’ve posted, it’s been about sample sales or what not.

i had been meaning to at the very least write a post after each semester and the summer but clearly i haven’t.

to be honest, i have very little desire to write anything but i guess i should for consistency. it’s going to be super short.

spring semester:

  • consulted for the council of fashion designers of america
  • interned at mandarin oriental hotel group
  • took some elective classes, like luxury marketing and luxury branding
  • survived aswath damodaran’s “corporate finance” course, thanks to my awesome study group
  • went to south africa

summer:

  • spent in seattle
  • interned at nordstrom hq doing product management for e-commerce
  • apparently able to find more of my kinda music in seattle
  • went to portland and vancouver for the first time
  • weddings and bachelorette parties

this fall semester:

  • not doing the cfda
  • interning at chanel
  • planning a trek to san francisco for our luxury & retail club

i am recruiting again for a full-time job after i graduate but the industry usually does as-needed, just-in-time hiring so totally expecting not to have an offer until way later. which is making it hard for me to decide whether i should actually study abroad next semester.

i really would like to go but the job situation and fomo are making it difficult.

and speaking of sample sales, there are a bunch coming up that i want to go to. and i’m too lazy to post about them, so find out on your own.

cfda x stern

cfda, bond street, scc, stern consulting corp

as we wrapped up our stern consulting corp projects for the cfda, the cfda wanted to do a photo shoot and interview with us for their blog.  we had the photo shoot at the intersection of bond street & lafayette, which is a very cool area that has a cobblestones.

the above photo is now being featured on the stern website as “grow possible” and it links back to the interviews and more photos on the cfda blog, parts 1 and 2.

my partner and i were originally assigned reece hudson and m.patmos as our cfda designers to work on comprehensive financial documents and a business plan for investors, respectively.  due to some complications, we only worked on reece hudson and the project brief evolved into an ecommerce growth strategy for the next 24 months.  my partner and i were much happier with the way the project evolved since we’re both interested in ecommerce and will be doing that for our summer internships.

on top of getting to work with the cfda and these really talented designers, we were also paired with some awesome mentors.  ours for reece hudson was the former ceo of oscar de la renta!

the experience was a lot of work, time, and pretty stressful…but amazing.  i’m still deciding whether to do it again this next semester.

safari disco club

so a lot of my posts are kinda depressing generally i think.  well, i recently got back from spring break.  i was so excited to finally travel somewhere…which i thought the mba was all about.  i didn’t get to travel before school and it’s been a few years since i’ve traveled internationally so i was happy to spend my spring break trek in two continents that were new to me–africa (south africa) and europe (netherlands).

our trek went to johannesburg and cape town in south africa, with a layover in amsterdam on our return flight back for a few hours.

we went on a couple safaris and saw a lot of animals:

zebras, south africa, mabula, game reserve

zebras on the mabula game reserve

giraffes, mabula game reserve, south africa

giraffes

impala, mabula game reserve, south africa

impala

rhinos, baby rhino, south africa, mabula game reserve

a lot of baby animals (!), including this playful baby rhino with mama

lions, lioness, mabula game reserve, south africa

lions

lion, mabula game reserve, south africa

king of the jungle

bush, mabula game reserve, south africa

…er, the bush

hippos, mabula game reserve, south africa

hippos

much better weather than i’ve returned to in nyc…with beaches and…

yacht, cape town, south africa

a yacht

cape town, south africa, beach, human pyramid

human pyramids

cape of good hope, light house, cape town, south africa

lighthouses

victoria & albert waterfront, v&a waterfront, harbor, cape town, south africa

waterfronts

table mountain, cape town, south africa

mountains + clouds

table mountain, south africa, cape town

cable cars

penguins, boulders, boulder beach, cape town, south africa

even penguins!

vincent van gogh, string doll, amsterdam, netherlands, holland

and of course, vincent…with a special appearance in his motherland

and lots of jumping, cartwheels, flips, ACTION shots…

and of course a lottttt of drinking, dancing, and getting turnt up…

recruiting

yes, what the image says.  i signed my summer internship offer letter yesterday and i’m thrilled to be done recruiting.  it’s been a real pain in the ass and tiring.  after applying to at least 50 (no exaggeration) places and interviewing for over a month for both spring and summer, i’m finally DONE.

i’ll actually be taking my first offer, from nordstrom, for the summer, although i did get offers from johnson & johnson and sears (this was hard to turn down, they pay very well).  i also interviewed with coty (withdrawn), amazon, co:collective, estee lauder, gilt (pending), the jones group (pending), kurt salmon, pepsi, quidsi, unilever, sony, and urbn/urban outfitters.

and for the spring, i’ll be doing consumer marketing for mandarin oriental hotel group.  i didn’t get any other offers for spring, but talked to tory burch and louis vuitton (pending).

so let’s see the breakdown…like 47 applications, 15 multi-round interviews, and 3 offers for the summer.  3 applications, 3 interviews, and 1 offer for the spring.  although some stuff is withdrawn or still pending decisions…that’s a pretty terrible yield.  let me tell you kids, it’s no easy thing to get an internship/job in bschool.  sure, they guarantee everyone will get something that pays 6 figures but they lie.  first of all, only banking/consulting really pays 6 figures…and sears apparently.  the minority of your class are done recruiting on campus in january (so odds are that you won’t be done, but don’t sweat it).  and yea everyone will get something, but it’s always been a question of whether i’d get something i actually want…which is much tougher.  fortunately i am doing something i want but that could’ve easily not happened.  there are plenty of people still recruiting and it definitely sucks.

i honestly felt like i’m going to die this semester with the combo of classes, projects, the cfda consulting project, recruiting, and competitions.  thankfully recruiting and the macy’s challenge are done but now my spring internship will commence and i’ll probably still die this semester.  on a bright note, south africa in a few weeks!!

first offer!

school just started up again less than 2 weeks ago, so what have i been doing this entire time since i came back to nyc right after the new year? well, i’ve been going through the painful process of recruiting–preparing for and actually interviewing. so although we were technically on break, it wasn’t much of a break. i am certainly glad we didn’t have classes at the same time though. that’s what i’m currently doing and it’s been torture with classes, extracurriculars, and recruiting for both summer and spring. the recruiting that takes place upfront that early is mostly for more traditional mba career choices like banking, consulting, cpg marketing, etc. i haven’t done well with that stuff and i’ll make a post later on with more details after i accept an offer.

it’s been pretty discouraging since i did reasonably well with interview invites but haven’t had any offers. just further reinforces my theory that i don’t interview well. but it’s also because there are so many qualified candidates, many of whom do interview well.

but onto the good news! i got my first offer and i’m super happy because it’s definitely something i wanted (not that there weren’t times i didn’t get stuff i wanted, but let’s not get down again). my first offer is for nordstrom! since i want to do luxury fashion/retail, this works out quite well. i got the call today and am waiting for the written offer but i’m so relieved to have an option and know i won’t be unemployed this summer.

after i got the call, i realized how similar my feelings were to when i was accepted to ross. ross was the first business school i was accepted to after a few rejections, so it’s a similar scenario. i find a lot of things similar now to when i was applying to business school but more on that later.

so yes, in short: i have an offer for a summer internship at nordstrom and i’m happy and want to go crazy!

25%

so i’m now done with my first semester of bschool…i can’t believe i’m 25% done.  i always thought 2 years seemed short.  to be honest, i don’t quite feel like i’m in a place i would’ve liked to have been by now.

as i’ve mentioned in previous posts, finance and accounting were quite challenging for me.  i guess it’s true that you can’t really fail in bschool because i didn’t and i also don’t need to fear losing my scholarship…at least for now.

next semester i’ll be able to take more electives and there are so many classes that i either find interesting or would just be good for my own development that it’ll definitely be difficult selecting which ones i’ll actually be taking in my remaining time here.  some classes i registered for next semester were advanced marketing planning strategy (which is supposed to be good for brand management), corporate finance (yea, another finance class…what am i thinking. but it’s supposed to be good and it’s taught by renowned professor damodaran), and luxury branding/luxury marketing (two 1.5 unit, half-semester classes).  i was also accepted into a stern consulting corp project where teams of 2 mbas will help designers in the cfda.

i had also registered for dbi hungary (budapest) but dropped it.  although i’ll definitely be doing dbi italy (milan) next year, i’m torn about how i feel about dbis.  the main reason i want to do them is to be in a foreign country…but since it’s a class, it’s not like you’ll be able to explore or enjoy much.  so why not just actually travel.

speaking of travel.  during spring break, a lot of students will be going on different treks and i’ll be going to south africa.  our returning flight has a long layover in amsterdam.  i’m really excited…i’ll be going to 2 continents i’ve never been to before (africa and europe).  and it’s been so long since i’ve been out of the country or traveled.  i didn’t really get to do that prior to stern like many other mbas since i was working.  it would’ve been nice to have gotten my scuba diving certification by this time but i doubt it’ll happen within 2 months.  sigh, am i ever going to get certified…

stern’s on break right now; we don’t have classes until the first week of february.  although we have a ton of time and it’s opportune travel time, like many of my classmates, i came back to nyc to prepare for interviews and do on-campus recruiting/interviews so we don’t really get to enjoy it too much.  i am grateful we aren’t interviewing while we have classes though.  i can’t wait for next year when i’ll just be traveling during this time like the other mba2s.

besides interview stuff, i’ve been drinking a lot less than i had been before (no beer blasts since there’s no school) and more cultural stuff.  just this past week i went to 2 art museums (i don’t expect this to continue though).  yesterday was pretty great luxury-wise since i had an interview with estee lauder, followed by a meeting at louis vuitton, then shortly found out who my cfda partner is and which brands i’ll be working on (m.patmos and reece hudson).  there was one team who will be working on loeffler randall…that’ll be really exciting.  i really do like the experiential aspect of the program at stern.

since i want to work in luxury goods, a lot of the internships/jobs i’m interested in won’t be through our office of career development.  but i wanted something more structured for my summer internship and applied to a bunch of stuff on-campus.  i think i may have gotten a little too carried away and applied to too many, too different things; should’ve focused more.  this past week i interviewed with pepsico, unilever, quidsi, and estee lauder.  this coming week i’ll be interviewing with amazon and kurt salmon.  i need to apply to like a billion more off-campus internships though…should probably do that now.

this past week also felt insanely long…probably because there are no classes and i wasn’t coming to school to do mock interviews.  it also was like a roller coaster of emotions where i felt really miserable being in nyc, but ended on a high note as the week concluded with estee lauder/lv/cfda and i had a good time with my classmates last night.

ok, time to be somewhat productive.

behind

things are so busy for us mba1s right now.  with corporate presentations, a ton of class/group work, conferences, club things, social activities, talking to mba2s for advice, and networking/conducting informational interviews it’s pretty hectic.  even though we don’t have class on fridays and i don’t have class until 1:30 pm on monday/wednesday, i find myself not getting to sleep in like i love to do–usually doing something career/school related.

school’s kinda kicking my butt…i’ve never liked numbers and i’ve never taken a business class so, as i expected, i’m struggling.  i have no clue what’s going on in finance or accounting.  i really hate accounting because that class is definitely the most work out of all my classes; our weekly homework assignments take even the people who know what they’re doing like 3 hours so you can only imagine how painful it is for a newb like me.  and we have diagnostic tests like every other week and group cases every few weeks.  midterms are coming up pretty soon too.

i feel so behind in like every single aspect of my life.  i should be working on my cover letter, or reaching out to my network for internship/job opportunities.

i feel bad since i’ve been telling people to visit me and i have a really good friend coming this week but i won’t be able to spend as much time with her as i was hoping to.

i’ve been trying to be good about cooking and started bringing lunch to food and it’s made a noticeable impact on my spending, which is great.  i don’t eat very healthy, but when have i ever.  i recently got a bike and while i’m pretty out of shape, i do enjoy riding it–although it’s pretty scary.  the second time i took it out, i was almost hit by a cab.  i probably won’t be able to ride it too much since it’s getting pretty cold (for me, anyways) and it rains too.

i’m thinking about what classes to take next term and all the marketing classes seem the most interesting; i guess i really am meant to stay in marketing.  now just need to beef up my analytical/big data skills.  i need to take an excel workshop too because i don’t really know how to use it.  sometimes i really wonder what i’m doing at business school and how i even managed to fool the adcom into letting me in.

i was at a “speakeasy” bar last week that was pretty cool and ran into this guy who was doing a corporate presentation like the day before so that was pretty funny.  and on thursday night i went to this lounge for macaulay culkin’s ipod–it’s literally macaulay culkin playing music off his ipod.  seth green was there too.  i should’ve talked to and/or gotten a photo with him/them.  i’m sure he could care less but i love the home alone movies (only the ones with him count) and actually sorta recently watched them again.

there’s a group case project due for marketing this week and i don’t have a good feeling about it…

but anyways, here are some pretty cool animated gifs of banksy work:

this one makes me think of home

there are couple more at high snobiety.  i still need to check out the fireflies over the water exhibit at the whitney museum…i should see when it’s leaving.

time to get ready for dinner with my block/cohort and the weekly birthday thang.

here and now

it’s been nearly 2 months since i moved to nyc.  i’m still slowly settling in and adjusting to life here.

today’s the last day of my internship.  i think i’ll try to continue interning here part-time during the academic year after i figure out what my availability will be like.

monday is the beginning of launch, stern’s nearly 2-week long orientation.  it looks pretty good and i’m getting more excited.  pretty much all of my class is now here in the city and i’ve met up a couple times with my future classmates and will be having my first block meeting this sunday.

the launch schedule was just released yesterday and i was previously told that all the scheduled activities would be done by 5 pm but looks like that’s not the case.  i’ve been taking a brand strategy marketing class at the general assembly tuesday/thursday evenings for the past couple weeks so it looks like i’ll have to miss a few classes for launch; hopefully the instructor will understand…she seems cool.  and i’ll be missing stern’s thursday beer blasts for the first month, which is a pretty big bummer since i’m sure a lot of people will be bonding during then.

in my last post i mentioned how i’d be flying home for a friends’ wedding…and now it’s been a few weeks since that happened.  granted, this is the first wedding i’ve been in and the first time a really good friend has gotten married but it was just such a happy time.  the bride and groom are both some of my best friends and they and the rest of the wedding party have known each other for 10-14 years.  it was a ton of fun and i’m so happy for them…there were quite a few tears shed by many.  it was a very short trip for me but filled with joy.  here are some of my favorites photos from what’s available so far:

another couple i’m super happy for, taken by the very talented nicky ferng

i love this photo of the groom after the ceremony

some of the fancy-footed groomsmen

by our powers combined, we are the bridesmaids!

the wedding party’s prom pose, party style…probably the closest thing you’ll get of my face

until i get a better photo of the bride’s gorgeous gown

what did i do

it’s been a long time since i’ve last blogged…sorry about that.

i’m actually moving to nyc this saturday and although i should be excited, i feel like everyone else is more excited for me than i am.  now that it feels real, all i feel is a sense of “what did i do?”.  i feel stressed about how expensive it will all be and how difficult it’s been for me to find an apartment and thinking about how to move my stuff, then how to fit into a tiny room.  but most of all, i feel really sad for the people i’ll be leaving and missing.

today, i’m selling my car.  it’s not the first car i’ve owned but i’ve had it for over 3 years and although it gets dinged and scratched easily, i really enjoyed it.

my life will be changing completely-i’ll no longer have a car and be taking the subway or maybe even biking, i’ll be unemployed (but being broke seems to be a constant), i’ll be moving out from my parents’ house (YAY!) and living by myself or with roommate(s), on the complete other side of the us, and even my relationship status will be changed.

my school actually doesn’t start until mid-august for orientation but i’m moving out earlier to start working full-time as an intern for two months at a digital branding consultancy for prestige brands.  i sacrificed a free summer that i would’ve loved to use to travel in the hopes it would help my next summer internship search and eventually my career…i hope it was worth it.

just like i hope the mba will be worth the expense and everything i’m sacrificing here…

i’m sure i’ll be really busy once i start school so i started this blog as a way to stay in touch with people so they know what’s going on with me.  looks like its finally going to be used for that purpose…

i feel blue…

the decision

well, it’s been over a month since i last posted with all my business school admission results and i’ve finally decided where i’ll be matriculating this fall.  it’s been a tough decision, and even now, sometimes i question if i made the right choice.  i was fortunate to not only get some generous scholarships, but also to get into all the schools that i really liked.  it’s been a good problem to have, but still a problem nonetheless.  i’ve solicited advice from many people…even posting polls in the gmat club; the results were pretty consistent in what people were recommending.  and even to me, the choice should’ve been obvious…so why was it so hard for me?

i’d like to do marketing/brand management, or even strategic planning, at a luxury goods/retail company.  given this, stern is like a no brainer since i was given a full ride. but it’s not that easy because as i’ve been doing research into the industry, i’ve been getting a lot of comments about how hard it is: breaking in, having challenging mba-level work, and the pay.  unfortunately, i’m primarily interested in the “sexy” jobs (fashion, entertainment) that get a lot of interest so they don’t need to compensate that well.  in this industry, i’ll very likely be working in nyc which is ridiculously expensive to live in.  even though a full-ride would give me the freedom to pursue a job i really want, vs. something just to pay off the debt, i would like to be able to live somewhat comfortably in such an expensive city.  so i’ve been thinking it may be better to go the cpg or management consulting route first before switching over at a higher level later.  i know that’s likely what I’d have to do if I went to ross or booth…and while i think i could pursue those at stern, ross and booth are just so much stronger in those areas.  and i’m also afraid that i’ll regret stern if I change my mind to a different career path (like cpg, consulting) while in school.

i’m not sure how easy it is to switch over although i know it can be done…and i know cpg, but especially, consulting are the most competitive for mba’s.

stern: full ride, only program with a luxury marketing specialization so i’m excited about a lot of the classes, particularly doing business in italy, and it’s in nyc (so i can do internships during the year too, not just during the summer).

booth: my original dream bschool.  when I first started looking into the mba, this was the school i wanted to go to and i really enjoyed my visit there.  the building is beautiful, the people are nice, the administration is extremely well-run, and chicago is my favorite american city…have kind of always wanted to live there.  some might question the fit for me before because it’s such a quantitative program but i think that’ll be good for me since i want to be really well-rounded.

ross: was extremely impressed during super saturday.  the building is probably one of the newest and most beautiful, and the people are just fantastic–can’t be beat.  i initially wanted an urban campus because i wanted to be in a city, but after visitng, i can see how nice a college town can be.  the administration also seems really good…i liked how transparent the process was and how friendly the adcom was.  i think map is also amazing and wish it was part of every school’s curriculum.  ross went from being my “safety” school to quite possibly one of my favorites.  and i also have a significant scholarship.

ucla also ended up giving me some money after i completed my fafsa…but it’s such a tiny amount (compared to my other scholarships and the cost of an mba) that it didn’t make a difference and isn’t even worth updating the chart in my other post.

and this may sound silly but i’m really tempted by the pre-mba student-led trips at ross and booth (m-trek, random walks).  i’m really sad stern doesn’t have anything similar…i know i can just travel on my own, or organize a trip myself…but i don’t feel like it’s really the same.  feels like a really great way to bond with the 2nd years and your future classmates.

and i know a lot of people will be quick to say that prestige/ranking’s more important and that i can make up my loss at a higher ranked school since i should have a higher salary when i graduate.  but let me preface this by saying, if i do go into luxury goods/retail…it’s one of the lowest paid industries for mbas.  and i currently don’t make much money and have pretty much nothing saved for business school and am financing everything through loans after i sell off my car.

since stern and ross’ admit weekends were at the same time (i think a lot of the top schools have their admit weekends the same 2 weekends, which sucks), i chose to go to stern’s’…and i also decided to attend booth’s.  it was a really tiring 2 weeks as i flew across the country twice and they keep you really busy during the time you’re there.  even though i really like ross, i had pretty much decided it was between stern and booth.

admit weekends at both were really great…and i doubt anyone would have a bad experience at any that they go to because the school’s trying to impress you, unless maybe your future classmates are all douches.   generally speaking, booth’s was more informative…i thought the budgeting for your mba panel and housing tours were really helpful for the incoming class.  one of my biggest concerns was whether i’d be able to get the kind of nontraditional job i wanted at booth.  after talking to current students, alumni, and career services, i was finally convinced last weekend that i could.  i think booth’s career services center is among the best in the world.  and as much as i liked booth, i didn’t think i could give up another great opportunity at stern when such a large amount of money was being thrown my way…i definitely would take stern over no money at booth.  i decided that i wouldn’t go to booth for anything less than half tuition.

on the day of stern’s deposit deadline, i heard from booth…they were offering me money!  but it was less than half…so i was really conflicted; as if i wasn’t confused enough, right?  after almost missing my stern deposit deadline, i’ve finally decided where i’m going…

in this fall, this is very tough, in this fall i’m going to take my talents to new york city and join the STERN CLASS OF 2014!!!