Happy Holidays…

I will be taking a break until January 4th, so have a great holiday season and a happy new year!

Bait & Switch!!!!!!!

Lost in the long post I did yesterday was a little side excursion that occurred on the way home from Ithaca. My fiancée and I were driving home and decided to stop at the Woodbury Commons outlets, which are about 25 minutes outside of NYC. These are high-end outlets and they attract buyers from all over the world. The goal was to find a suit for me for our wedding in April. I figured that Danielle got herself a nice dress that she is only going to wear once, so why shouldn’t I get a nice suit for myself that I could wear every week?

The two best suit places at Woodbury are Armani and Zegna, so naturally this is where I started. Zegna only had 3-button suits in black, which I wasn’t thrilled with, so it was off to Armani. There we met a nice-old salesperson named Bob. I asked to try on a black 2-button and a black 3-button suit. I tried the 3-button on first to make sure that I didn’t want it…I hated it, so it was onto the 2-button. As I am putting the 2-button on, I ask how much. He says that, after the 50% off the suit is $840. That is a lot of money, but hey its my wedding day and I think the 2-button is exactly what I have been looking for. I put it on hold and think about it.

My fiancée and I decide that if this is what I want, I should get it, so I go back and ask the cashier to ring up the suit for me. At that time I get a call on my cell and I am talking to a friend about how happy I am that I am getting this suit. As the cashier rings it up, she says $1,500. Obviously I have either mis-heard her, or she has forgotten to take the 50% off the suit. My fiancée bring this mistake up to her and she checks again, and says $1,500. I stop my phone conversation and ask to see the price tag. $3,000 it says….that nice-old man Bob had allowed me to try on two suits, where one was double the price of the other and then only told me the price of the cheaper one. I got angry and just walked out. Huge disappointment and not a very good experience with Armani.

So if you are going to go shopping in the NY outlet scene, watch out for Bob because he just might be pulling the old bait and switch!

Weekend Rewind (Johnson edition) & Interview Questions!

Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, not gloom of night shall keep me from my appointed interviews! Borrowing that from the USPS, I figured that was a pretty good recap of my weekend. Friday night, Danielle and I had dinner with friends and we didn’t get back until pretty late. We slept in until about 9ish on Saturday, which was a welcome relief from the stresses of the past week. The original plan was to drive up to Ithaca on Sunday and stay at the Statler hotel, which is a hotel on Cornell’s campus that is student run. The only problem was the huge freaking blizzard that was scheduled to hit the northeast on Saturday. I didn’t think much of it at first until I spoke with my mother (who lives near Philly) who informed me that 8 inches of snow had just fallen in the first hour of the storm. It was right about that time that I panicked…

My fiancée and I started running around the apartment packing everything for the weekend. It was about 11:30 and the storm was supposed to hit NYC around 1, so there wasn’t much time to waste. I quickly called and booked a room at the Courtyard Marriott Ithaca, for the night (because I didn’t really want to pay another $250 to stay at the Statler for an additional night). We made great time up to Ithaca and didn’t see a drop of snow. The trip had started very well…

We found a local bar to eat at called “The Rose” and had a pretty good meal, with the locals seeming very friendly. It was pretty cold at night, so we didn’t hang around for very long. We made our way back to hotel and went to bed.

Sunday brought another day. We wanted to explore a little, so we went to an early movie to see Avatar (in 3D). I highly, highly recommend this to anyone who might want to see it. The theater in Ithaca was pretty spectacular. We only paid $11/person for a 3D movie. I am used to paying that for a normal Saturday movie in NYC…pretty good snack choices as well.

We then went to check into the Statler hotel. It is a beautiful hotel and they gave us a room with a view of the valley that is below Cornell. The campus is very much an IVY league campus, with brick and old stone throughout the buildings. We settled in and watched some football. After watching the Jets choke their game away, we went to the hotel restaurant. It was a very nice Italian place with a nice view of campus. After dinner we settled back into our hotel room and I tried to get some sleep before the big day…

It was no use, 10 o’clock turned into 11, into 12…I finally fell asleep around 12:30, only to wake up at 2:30! After some restlessness, I went back to bed around 3:30 and woke up at 7, so not terrible, but not a great night’s sleep either. I got up, ordered some breakfast and got dressed for my interview.

I arrived at around 8:50 for my 9:15 interview and waited in the admissions office until my interviewer arrived. I was supposed to be interviewing with an adcom, but was told that she would be joined by a 2nd year student. I didn’t know if this was good or bad, but I had to just roll with the punches. The 2nd year student arrived (along with the adcom) around 9:20 and after introductions, we made our way to a conference room.

The 2nd year told that this was going to be very conversational and that he would be conducting the interview under the supervision of the adcom. He started by telling me about himself and about his time at Johnson. Then we started the interview. Here are the questions that he asked, I don’t think you are going to find them as helpful because he tailored the interview to my work experience and the flow of our discussion.

Tell me why you chose your college.

Tell me about your internship at Bear Stearns.

Anything you saw that made you not surprised that it went out of business?

Tell me what ICAP (current company) is and what you do.

What 3 changes need to be made to fix the financial system?

Do you like the VaR model?

What is its main drawback?

What other schools are you applying to and why?

What is the main difference between Tuck and Johnson in your eyes?

Tell me how your teammates would describe you as a team member? (work and ex. curricular)

Asked me a long hypothetical question about morals and wanted me to detail my thought process for him.

Any questions for me?

The interview lasted for almost an hour and after that time I was escorted back to the admissions office. After that I met with Randall Sawyer, the assistant dean of admissions. We chatted about life in Ithaca and what having a partner there would mean. It was a really nice talk and it really helped with some of my concerns.The only bad part about the conversation was Randall telling me that I would still have to wait until Feb 15th to hear anything back. I had hoped that it would be rolling instead of a deadline…

With the interview and my interaction with some of the students, Johnson has zoomed past Stern to #1 on my list (of 2). I really loved the scenery of Ithaca and the small town feel. I think it would be the perfect place to spend 2 years and I am really hoping that I get some good news in February!

I hope everyone had a great weekend and that your R2 apps are coming along nicely.

Ding, Ding, Ding…

Am I good or what? I pretty much figured that once I got that Dartmouth e-mail that it was all over for this guy. My decision letter from Dartmouth confirmed those fears. As I posted on Thursday, this isn’t a nail in the coffin for me, but it obviously hurts. Starting off the process with a ding is no way to build confidence.

It is often said that learning from ones mistakes is the key to success (I don’t know if people actually say that, or if I just made it up now), and I fully intend to learn from my Tuck experience. I believe my interviews will be sharper and my questions will have laser focus. There is no time to cry over spilled milk, I would have loved to have been part of Tuck ’12, but thing happen for a reason and maybe I am supposed to end up at Cornell or NYU. Maybe I am not supposed to get into B-School at all…who knows what lies ahead, but win, lose,  or waitlist I will be accepting of what comes my way.

Congrats to all those who were granted admission, I hope it truly is everything that you hope it will be! Thanks to Tuck for considering me, peace out bitches….no blog post on Monday (Cornell interview instead!)

I am totally judging you right now…

Along with my boy XLick, I have been chosen to be a judge for the Beautiful B-School Photo Contest. Pretty flattered about being chosen (you love me, you really love me!!!!!), but also realize that with great power comes great responsibility (yep, it’s from Spiderman). My responsibility is to encourage everyone to submit their photos. So consider this me encouraging you…great, you have been encouraged.

I would also like to say that I will be holding up the esteemed practices of other NJ natives, as I will be openly accepting bribes. If you want to win this contest, just send me a check and if you send the largest…I will ensure a victory. I am of course kidding (unless you were really going to send me a check, then I was serious), and I will do my best to pick the best photo. So bring on your best!

P.S. – I am in total freak out-mode (because the Dartmouth decision day is upon). 7 hours!!!!!!

Crazy Game of Poker…

Apologies to OAR for completely stealing their song title, but I though it the best possible title to my post this morning.

I am hitting a whirlwind time in the application/decision process of applying for my MBA. Riding into work on the train this morning, I couldn’t help but relate my upcoming slate to a game of Texas hold-em. It might be a bit of a stretch, but follow me on this one…My hand has already been dealt. It was dealt long ago, in college (GPA) and with my GMAT score. To be honest it is probably a middling hand, at best. Am I the best candidate ever? No, but I think I am competitive at the schools to which I am applying. So lets say that I am currently holding a Q-10 off-suit. Not the best hand, but not the worst hand ever. It is a hand that is easy to play, but difficult to win with. Some have higher cards than I do, some people at the table are suited up, other lucked out with a pair to start.

Since I applied to only 3 schools I see it breaking down like this.

The Flop: Dartmouth – it doesn’t break my hand if I don’t get in, but it would certainly be a crappy start (I find out Friday at 5:00pm EST). I would need some luck with only two “cards” left to flip. On the other hand, Dartmouth could certainly make my hand if I flipped a set, or even (dream scenario) a full house. An inside straight draw would be the equivalent of the waiting list, as it is good enough of a hand to stick around, but you are going to need a lot of luck to pull that one out.

The Turn: My interview/decision from Cornell (Monday the 21st). This is my best chance at making a hand for myself. If I am still looking at rags after this card, it might be next to impossible to win the hand.

The River: NYU interview invite/decision. The last hope…If I am floating down the river at this point, I sure hope it is with a paddle. People have been known to “suck-out” on the river, but it doesn’t happen very often. When it does happen though, the relief/joy can not be compared to any other joy experienced during the game.

My cards are on the table, how about you? Shuffle up and deal!

Ithaca Plans, Work Plans, & Coffee Talk


Cloudy 29° 21°

Cloudy

There it is….the weather for Ithaca on the day my fiancée and I drive  up there.  The day of my interview is supposed to be 30 degrees and snowing, which should provide me with a nice glimpse of a winter in Ithaca. I recently spoke with a Johnson alumni who mentioned to me that it snows pretty much everyday in the winter and you don’t see the sun for 8 months of the year. I on the other hand want to check it out myself, so I have booked a room at the Statler Hotel, which is a student run hotel, on the Cornell campus. I figured that this was a great way to get to know the people and the community of Cornell. Since the students are not going to be there, I had to come up with a creative way to get to know the personality of the school.Another thing that I have scheduled while I am at Cornell is a coffee with Randall Sawyer, who is the Assistant Dean of Admissions at Johnson. I have spoken with and about him on multiple occasions, and I am looking forward to doing so again. If any of you are going up to Cornell, send Randall an e-mail and he would be more than happy to do the same for you. Super nice guy and very knowledgeable about the program.

Lastly, tonight is my department’s Christmas party. I don’t think raises, or bonuses, are happening this year, so this is our appreciation for a long hard year of work. We are going out in NYC tonight, first to The Lobby Bar at the Bowery Hotel and then we are heading over to DBGB. I have never been to either, but I will be sure to review them tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, I will probably be hung over, so if the blog is a little late (like today), don’t be surprised!

Last Charity Day Post (I promise…)

Just wanted to let everyone know that my company raised almost $19 million during our charity day. Hopefully some of you traded with us, and I just want to say thank you for doing so.

Busy day today, so the blog will get back on track tomorrow (I promise…)

Dartmouth, a looming feeling…

Dear Steven,

Thank you for your interest in the Tuck School of Business. Your admission decision will be available online at 5:00PM EST on December 18. Log on to your Tuck application and then click on the “Your application decision is now available online” link at the bottom of the page.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at tuck.admissions@dartmouth.edu.

Sincerely,
Tuck Admissions Team

I received this from Tuck just now. That is not going to be fun for me, as I think Tuck is a pretty big reach school for me. I think the interview went only ok, so I am not holding out much hope. If any of you have ever seen the show Winney the Pooh, I am pretty much Eeyore, always thinking the worst. So until next Friday I am going to be sitting on the bank of the river alone, prepping for Johnson and awaiting my Tuck decision.

Johnson Interview Request

I just (about 10 minutes ago) received an e-mail from Johnson about scheduling an interview. I would say that this is not exactly a coincidence, as I just e-mailed back and forth with Randall Sawyer this week about coming up to campus, but I would like to think I could attribute some of this to my own merit. Needless to say I am thrilled about this and I am furiously trying to come up with a day that I can interview, while giving myself a chance to prep for the interview. I am really excited about this and I am pretty pumped to see what Ithaca has to offer. Bring on the cold, bring on the snow, I am on the march!!!!!

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