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)


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.

The week that was…

So, you may or may not have noticed, but I took a week off from blogging. The reason behind this were two-fold: 1. I don’t really have much to write about these days and 2. I got a new project at work that takes up A LOT of my time. There were still some interesting things that happened…

1. I dislocated a joint in my jaw! Yowzer, did that guy hurt…In what has to be the most pathetic injury ever, I was sitting at my desk and I yawned. Next thing I know there is a loud pop and an explosion of pain in my jaw, somewhat by my ear. I was lucky because the jaw immediately slipped back into place, but it still hurt like hell. The doctor said there wasn’t that much he could do for me and wrote me a prescription for ibuprofen…thanks doc, couldn’t have just told me to take a shit-ton of Advil. Needless to say, I passed on picking that prescription up. I don’t recommend a dislocated jaw to anyone, not very pleasant!

2. I am becoming more and more frustrated with the Cornell waitlist process. When I received the waitlist letter it said that the school would provide feedback and I would be able to update my admissions manager with developments. Well, its kind of hard to update someone who doesn’t pick up the phone! I understand that these people are busy, but not returning an e-mail from me and not picking up once when I called is a little much…in talking with some other people, it seems that they are having the same problem. Hopefully, once the large R3 group gets interview invites, my admissions manager will be able to answer some of these questions.

3. Saw the movie Crazy Heart, with Jeff Bridges and it was pretty freakin’ fantastic. It is very much in the vein of “The Wrestler,” if anyone has seen that. I highly recommend it…

Hope everyone had a great snow-less weekend!


I will re-count the exploits of the polar bear plunge later, but for now we get to my Cornell decision….It is rather appropriate that my fiancée and I watched the movie “Waiting” this weekend (eh, it was ok, kind of funny if you have ever worked in a restaurant, but not an epic movie to be sure.) because I just got the word: I am waitlisted…(cue the horn, “wah, wah, wah”)I said that a waitlist would be the worst thing ever because I am not exactly a patient person and the though of waiting until August for a possible admit is too much for my little heart to take.

After being waitlisted…its not all that bad. I was reading a waitlisted chat with Randall Sawyer and he stated that Johnson does give feedback about how to strengthen your application. At least it won’t be radio silence for the next few months. I would imagine that I should start looking into signing up for an online course of some quantitative nature. Until that time, “I’ll be sitting, waiting, wishing…” (Yuck, Jack Johnson…I am disgusted with myself for even posting that)