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)


Art of Applying – so hot right now

So one of the main reasons that I started blogging again was because someone e-mailed me out of the blue and offered me a chance to write for/about them. I looked it over and I just couldn’t pass the opportunity up…Keneisha Grayson is bat shit crazy and I love her! She knows her shit people, so I urge you, ney I implore you to sign-up for the webinar event (August 26th) that she is putting on called, ““School Choice, Quick-Start Essays, and Killer Recommendations.”

Sign-up here: http://theartofapplying.com/bdo/join

If you want to see some of the work that she does, take a visit to: http://bschoolodds.com/free-webinar

Banker & Analyst

One of the finest videos I have ever seen regarding the i-banking industry. Absolutely classic phrases in this video that you should appreciate even if you aren’t a banker. I know I did.

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Who is this imposter?

So I received a picture a few years ago. It is of some sort of performer. I got this picture from a friend who just happened to find it randomly. It really freaked me out though because the person in the picture looks exactly like me. I mean exactly like me…I don’t know if it just the make-up cover his other facial features, but we have the exact same head shape. I will let you decide for yourselves. Here is a picture of me…

and here is the picture of my clone…

If I was some sort of flying performer…this would be me. I have no idea who he is, but he has my face. A brother from another mother perhaps?

Ponder that while I “enjoy” my last day of work before the wedding. I promise pictures and such when I return.

Ithaca Plans, Work Plans, & Coffee Talk

Cloudy 29° 21°


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!

Very Weird

I log onto my site today and my weekend plans post has been deleted somehow, not sure how or why….back to recap later.

Philly vs NY (Daily Show Style)

This is a great look at Philly vs. NY fans. Having lived and experienced both fans I can say that NY fans are *typically* (and I say typically because these people on the video are the exception) classier than Philly fans are. I went to an Eagles vs. Redskins game at The Linc (the new Eagles stadium) and was just abused from moment 1. I did have a jersey on, all I had on was a hat. I expected this from the Philly fans, but even I was surprised at how bad it got. NY fans will certainly “give you the business” too, but they usually do it in a more witty way than just spewing curses and terrible things about my mother. With all of that said, this video is NOT safe for work unless you have it pretty low. It is completely worth the risk though, so go a head and play it!

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