James Joyce doesn’t teach time management, but fate is the great equalizer

I should honestly be working for a marketing company. I mean in the last 5 days since I took the GMAT I have gotten more e-mails about what I got and why am I keeping people waiting…the hype was building. It finally reached a crescendo last night when someone broke into my apartment to find out what I got on the GMAT. (That last one isn’t true, but I did get a lot of e-mails and I want to thank those who cared enough to drop me a line). So why you ask did I wait this long to deliver this tidbit of news? Well something has been happening behind the scenes here at the blog. An exciting thing, a somewhat disappointing thing, and things that will have a huge impact on my life. But before we get to that, here is rundown of what happened on my GMAT.

I arrived at the testing center at around 7:25 for my 8:00am test. Why, because I am neurotic about being early. As I am looking for a way into the locked building, a woman asks me if I am here to take a test. I told her I was and she told me to follow her and that she was running late, she was sick, and the other guy who was supposed to be here today has a pregnant wife, so he might be a little late, or just not show up at all. This woman is talking a mile a minute and is pretty much giving me a verbal rendition of her autobiography. I pretend to intently listen, while inside a fire was burning. One that would fuel me to achieve greatness on this test (at least I hoped it was that and not just gas…). Too make a long and frustrating story shorter, lets just say that the guy whose wife was going to have the baby, forgot to come into work because he though it was Columbus Day weekend and the center was closed. I didn’t start my test until about 8:20, so I was just hanging out with 14 other people for about an hour. One hour, to think about the test…my strategy, the score I needed. I think I freaked myself out a bit during that time because when I went in to take the test, I wasn’t as confident as I was when that fire was burning inside me (it turned out to just be gas…).

The test began well enough, answering questions left (or wrong) and right. Swatting all comers away with confidence that I was getting them right. I was on question 20, when I realized that I hadn’t looked at the clock yet. This isn’t unusual, as timing has never been my problem. When I looked at the clock, it was a moment of sheer terror. If it was portrayed in a movie, the camera would have zoomed in on my horrifying expression, while some eerie music plays in the background. I don’t remember the exact numbers in play here, but needless to say, I was pretty much screwed. I think I had 20 questions left for 30 minutes, or something insane like that! I immediately hit the panic button (there wasn’t an actual panic button, but a metaphorical panic button instead)! I start whizzing through problems by just narrowing down answer choices to 2 and then picking one. I don’t think that was one of the strategies that Manhattan GMAT recommends…I finally catch-up to where I am supposed to be and there are about 5 questions left. I answer those to the best of my knowledge, but the damage was done. Time management had ruined my Quant section for sure. After this emotional and physical beating I still had verbal to contend with…

I don’t know if it is the GMAT in general, or I have just been really lucky, but every official GMAT I have taken has started the verbal section off with a sentence correction question (my least favorite of the verbal questions). Despite that I make my way through this section without much fuss, but with a constant eye on the clock. I finish it off and I feel pretty good about verbal, but I just know that my quant score it going to tank my overall score. I click through the questions about my background and I get to the section that asks if I want to cancel my score. I seriously think about doing this, but I was always told to never, ever cancel your score, unless there is something ridiculous that happens, like a lion breaks into the testing facility and bites your leg off. So I don’t cancel my score. Out of nowhere someone breaks through the door into the testing center with a trombone and plays WA-WA-WAaaaaaaaaaa. I see my score up on screen….640. Just as I suspected my quant had destroyed a good test. My breakdown was a 40 for quant (8 points lower than last time) and a 38 for verbal (2 points higher than time). So what did I learn? Well first, James Joyce seemed to help me, but not as much as I would have liked. Secondly, and probably the most obvious…even it has never been a problem for you before ALWAYS CHECK THE CLOCK! Time management ruined my GMAT and my day…but all was not lost.

On Thursday of the week prior to the GMAT I was supposed to have a call with Randall Sawyer of the Johnson School to discuss what I could do as a re-applicant to better my profile. The call didn’t happen because he wasn’t in the office. I don’t know if he had something happen, or the admin did not block that time out on his calendar, but they get a pass…once is a mistake and I can handle that. I was bummed out, but not totally destroyed.

Also on Thursday of that week, I had a 2nd interview at a bank in the city (this bank may or may not sponsor Liverpool F.C.). After 2.5 hours of interviews I emerged confident that I would be receiving an offer, but then I was told that because of funding reasons, the position would be put on hold until January. I was thrilled about that because I knew that I would find out about Cornell, Columbia, BU, and ND before January, so if I got in somewhere I could politely decline an offer, or if I didn’t get in…the new gig would have been a nice fall back option.

So what ended up happening? Well, the new bank was so impressed with me, that they ended up putting through an exception to make me an offer, which was incredibly generous, like 25% higher than what I make now generous! The offer came on Monday, which is incidentally the day that I was going to hit the submit button on my Cornell app. After talking it over with my wife, my family, my extended family, random people on the street, and a homeless guy who was trying to catch a unicorn….I decided that I am not going to be applying to B-School this year and I am accepting this new position. The past few days have been a whirlwind, but I finally got the official offer letter last night and I gave my two weeks notice this morning.

I am saddened to leave my current job, as the people around here really make the company what it is. Although I will miss the people I work with, I know that this is in my best interest now and for my future. Once I made the decision I decided that I should call Randall Sawyer to let him know that I wouldn’t be applying. I thought that he deserved to know why I wasn’t applying because he had been so helpful to me throughout the process. I have too much respect for him to just leave him guessing. I called Randall and while he was disappointed that I wasn’t reapplying, he said that getting an offer in this job market is something I should be proud of. I thanked him for his help, he thanked me for the call and we said goodbye, but not before he added that B-School would always be there for me in a couple of years if I still want it.

So now what? Well the blog dies….I don’t really know why I would keep it around if I am not planning on applying to B-school for at least 2 years. I had a great time blogging and sharing my successes (I don’t know how many there were but there had to be some, right, right????) and failures (multiple, soul crushing failures). I believe that all things happen for a reason. I was meant to take this job and to not go to B-School. Why? I have not idea…but it is going to be really fun to find out!

Before putting a knife in this guy, I just want to thank everyone who read,  commented, was a fan of, casually glanced at, or even hated my blog. Hopefully I have helped you in some small way, and if not, hopefully you had fun reading about my life. I want to thank my wife and my family for supporting me throughout the process. This experience took time away that I could have spent with them, but they always understood and they never let it become a problem. They were my biggest supporters and my best friends.  Love you guys!

I want to thank Clear Admit for featuring me in the Friday From the Frontlines. I want to thank anyone who has ever done a guest post for me and lightened the burden of having to come up with a brilliant post everyday. Lastly, I want to thank John Byrne from Poets and Quants for featuring my blog on his website, his stuff is cutting edge and he isn’t afraid to give you his opinion on things. Plus, he is a Jersey guy, so we have that bond going already. Go to his site people…you won’t be disappointed.

If you ever have a question about applying or want to mock me for coming this far only to stop about 1/4 of an inch from the finish line, I can be reached at sgargiulomba at gmail.com. So I bid all of you adieu and like Ryan Seacrest, I’M OUT! (cue curtain and applause)

To be or not 2B….

See what I did there…do you ever just stop and thank God when he hands you something as beautifully constructed as the title of this post? I mean really, it doesn’t get any better than that. The reason that the title is so apropos is because I wanted to tell everyone about a new site called Poets and Quants…it just works so perfectly. The site is packed with great information, a new MBA ranking, and head to head school comparisons. It doesn’t hurt that John Byrne is a friend of the blog, but seriously his site is fantastic. I suggest that everyone take a gander at what he is dishing out because it is some great stuff. You can get there by clicking on the Hyperlink in my Blogroll, or if you are too lazy to scroll to the top of the screen, just click here.

Roll Call!

Since this is a new application season I figured a little spring/late summer cleaning was in order. I have cleared out my Blog Roll of almost all the applicant blogs on it last year because I have no idea who is still blogging about applying to B-School. So if you want the fame and notoriety that come along with being on my Blog Roll…drop me a line and if I deem you worthy, you can hang with the true immortals of the applicant universe.

I suck, I’m an idot, and I’d like to thank the academy…

Soooo, this is awkward. It seems that I haven’t blogged at all since I left for my honeymoon. The reasons are many, but it really boils down to 2 things:

1. I wanted to take a break from everything after the wedding

2. I have a new boss that is just ever so slightly more demanding of my time (read extra sarcasm here!)

But, my many fans (my mother and the family dog) requested, nay demanded, that I start this machine back up again. I can’t promise that I will post as frequently as i did prior, and the posts probably won’t be as long, but I am really going to try to get back into this. Before doing so, there are a few apologies that I must make first.

1. I want to apologize to Accepted.com for not voting in the Beautiful B-School Contest. I told them I would and I completely forgot. That is totally my fault and for that, I am a moron.

2. I want to take the time to thank Clear Admit and my fellow bloggers that voted me as the most entertaining applicant blog and the 7th best applicant blog overall. I never took the time to properly tell everyone else how much I enjoyed their blogs, and for that…I am an idiot.

So to update everyone as to what has been happening in my life over the past 3 months:

1. I love being married! Danielle and I are really happy (at least I know I am…hope she is) and are just loving being newly weds. Plus, having this ring on my finger has really helped me out with letting the ladies know I am taken. Before I had the ring I had to carry around a stick that Danielle gave to me to beat them off of me as they approached, but now I just flash the ring, and it is like garlic to a vampire.

2. I STILL HAVEN”T HEARD ANYTHING FROM CORNELL!!!!!!!!! I e-mailed Randall a couple of times and he indicated that I would should be receiving a letter within the next week or so…never happened, so here I wait. I am just hoping that some poor soul can’t attend Johnson this year and I get a call on the 1st day of Orientation.

3. I finished my online course from the UCLA Extension program. For those that don’t remember, I took an online calculus course to boost my quant profile and to show Johnson that I could hack it academically (my college grades were not very good, 2.9). Obviously i got an A because I am a freaking genius (the first time I typed this word I completely misspelled it, some genius I am)!

4. I have begun studying for the GMAT again…in anticipation of not getting in to Johnson. My method of choice for this go around is Manhattan GMAT’s self study program. I figure that I know the test enough that I don’t need a course, just the discipline to study as much as is required. I took the intro test on Thursday of last week and scored a 630, which wasn’t terrible considering that I hadn’t looked at any of this stuff in one years time. My breakdown was 43 Q and 34 V. My actual test day breakdown was 48Q and 36V, so I am not that far away in either category. I am really going to try and break over 700 this time. I figure that a 710 would have gotten me into Johnson this go around, so hopefully it will do the trick if I apply for next year.

I am (hopefully not – if I get into Johnson next week) starting an all new admission’s cycle, with all new bloggers. I hope to read everything that you guys write and hopefully you do the same with my stuff. May all your scores be 800s and may all your essays write themselves. I’m back bitches!

P.S. I changed the name of the blog because I will no longer be a 2012 applicant. I figure it fits my content better anyhow.

I don’t suck at blogging…

and I have a nomination to prove it!

Somehow, someway (cash bribes) I am a nominee for Clear Admit’s Best of Blogging. I have no idea why they would nominate me, as I don’t think my blog is particularly helpful when it comes to MBA stuff. Maybe it was when I was applying, but its been so long since I wrote something of substance. I pretty much just drone on about how great I am and how I am getting married…not very interesting stuff. But, I am grateful none the less. I realize that there were a lot of blogs to choose from and choosing mine really means a lot to me. Maybe instead of going to get my MBA, I can just blog about wanting to get it, or trying to get it. It seems I am better at that, than actually getting in…

The next step is voting for the winners. I am not opposed to paying people in large unmarked bills to try to rig this thing, so if anyone is in need of some money to help finance their MBA, come see this guy. Because I am going to need all the help I can get. If this was the NCAA tournament, I would be in the play-in game (ex. ranked 20 out of 20, for those not familiar with the tournament). I am going to keep my ballot a secret and then when the winners are announced (cough***cough****vote for me***cough***cough) I will tell you who I voted for. Thanks again to Clear Admit and have a great weekend.

P.S. It might or might not be my birthday on Monday…I might be posting some pictures from my childhood to reminisce as to where my life has gone.

MBA Charts and the abyss…

Came across this site on another blog and though it was pretty cool. Register and input your info and you can compare yourself to other applicants. While this isn’t exact I think it give you a nice snapshot of where you are in the applicant pool. This is the type of website that the more people who join, the more valuable it is, so join!

I avoided posting yesterday because I am somewhat confused as to where this goes from here…if I am no longer preparing to apply, or actually applying, what do I write about? I thought I hated the application process, but now that it is gone I am most certainly missing it. Post-applicant depression is sinking in here people….what am I supposed to do? I suppose most of you are going to have to listen to boring stories about my life, until my first decision comes in December (almost 1 month exactly!!!!!!!!). I cannot wait any longer, I am making myself bonkers over this. It is times like these that I wish I could cryogenically freeze myself, wake up and eat a  Thanksgiving meal, re-freeze myself and wake up on decision day. I make it a little easier on myself, as I don’t really go onto any forums to see if people are getting decisions yet.

I suppose that the conclusion of my application cycle should prompt a: what did I learn about myself post, but that is going to have to wait because there are some C-suite meetings that I have to prepare for this week and that is dominating my life. If I find time I will do it, but if not I will certainly do it next week.

Must Read

Illuminati has a great post up today. Everyone should read it. It has an interview with a Haas admit and covers topics from the interview, to school selection, to a budding business venture. Very original, very informative, and very interesting. The themes are applicable across all schools, so read it even if you are not applying to Haas.

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