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)


Leaving on a Jet Plane…

Unfortunately, I do know when I will be coming back…next Monday, the 10th. The blog will be a  cold, vacant,  and dormant place. I am going to miss the BoB winners, so congratulations to them in advance!I have 3 more hours at work, and then it is all sun (hopefully), sand, and a lot of another thing that you do on your honeymoon in the Caribbean that begins with an “S”. Snorkeling of course…don’t let your mind wander into the gutter like that! In all seriousness, i hope everyone has a great weekend and you all win BoB!

Now here is your moment of Zen…and something to make you insanely jealous.

The beach my hotel is on...but don't worry because you know, the office is nice too

I did what?

This is the picture on the t-shit that my mother bought me to wear the day after the wedding. It was a pretty big hit…wedding = fantastic. I will have more tomorrow. So tired, I can’t even think straight today.

High Times & Wedding FREAK OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I smoke two joints in the morning
I smoke two joint at night
I smoke two joint in the afternoon
It makes me feel all right

I smoke two joints in time of peace
And two in time of war
I smoke two joints before I smoke two joints,
And then I smoke two more

– Sublime

I always loved this song…not because I was a huge pot-head, but because the rhythm is infectious. I figured that leading off today with the Sublime song was appropriate, because today is 4/20, which mean that it is time for the red-eyed, the unemployed, and college students everywhere to smoke a joint at 4:20 (or all day) to celebrate marijuana.

Normally I really wouldn’t pay much attention to this “holiday,” but CNBC had a pretty interesting article about the legalization of marijuana and what type of tax revenues it could generate for states that badly need the money. I think I also have an interest in this because right about now my fiancée and I could both use a hit or two to calm us down about the wedding on Saturday (holy shit, its only 4 days away!). To put it in applicant terms, it is like trying to put finishing touches on your dream B-School essay, with only 30 minutes left before you have to click the submit button.

It’s not that we are nervous about the commitment to one another, but it’s just when you have a year and a half to plan something it tends to sneak up on you. We have everything done already, but some things were done so long that find ourselves obsessively checking and re-checking that they were actually done. It seems like it has been forever that we have been engaged, but at the same time, I can’t believe the wedding is here already. Crazy….

The only good news was that the weather forecast has improved and it is now supposed to be 70 and partly cloudy. For the past couple of days it kept fluctuating between sunny and raining…needless to say, but my fiancée was on suicide watch on the days that it said rain. I wasn’t too far behind her!

I had a great weekend…Red Bulls won 2-1, didn’t deserve to win at all. Philly up next, on the day of the wedding. I will be checking the score on my iPhone periodically (shhh…don’t tell Danielle).

P.S. Remember kids, weed is bad…don’t smoke pot! The renowned scholar and motivational speaker, Matt Foley, put it best when he said, “Brian, from what I’ve heard, you’re using your paper, not for writing, but for rolling doobies!! You’re gonna be doing a lot of doobie-rolling when you’re living in a van down by the river!”

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.

Bachelor Party Rewind

As stated in my previous post, this will be short, it will be general, and it will be bland. I think the best way to do this is to give my key take-aways from the weekend, and then you can just extrapolate from there…

1. Riding a mechanical bull is a lot harder than it looks

2. When you almost vomit from the smell of Jameson, its probably time to stop drinking it

3. Losing money on the first night is never a good way to start a trip, but waking up to your friend winning $600 by taking the seat you vacated, makes it that much worse.

4. When you meet a 70 year-old man at 3a.m. who keeps $500 tucked away in his left sock, dresses like the captain of a sea-faring vessel, and makes outrageous, inappropriate comments to woman half his age, it’s a good idea to lose him ASAP.

5. Waking up with a sweet, dry mouth means that you drank too many Jager-bombs

6. Bally’s is not exactly the Bellagio (spell check told me this word was spelled wrong and told me to change it to fellatio…just thought it was worth adding to the post)

7. The Wild-Wild West is a great way to end every night in AC

8. 5 hours of sleep during a bachelor party is something that you should cherish because its the most your are going to see all weekend

9. Dinner at The Palm, which is in the Tropicana, is a must

10. Racking up an $1,800 bill at The Palm is not advisable, though

11. It was a goddamn monsoon this weekend in the Northeast

12. Drinking a 40, of Miller Lite, with your dad, when he hasn’t been to a bar since the ’80s is a great experience

13. Losing money  the second night is not a good feeling, and then watching the same person win another $600 just makes you hate yourself.

14. Realizing your friend has a gambling problem when he takes a cash advance on his credit card to fund his gambling is not funny, unless its 4am and then it’s fucking hilarious.

15. I don’t know if I can accurately describe the feeling of leaving a strip club at 6am and watching the sun come up…it feels a lot like shame though

Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend, and stayed dry and safe throughout. The first rule about a bachelor party is that YOU DON”T TALK ABOUT THE BACHELOR PARTY!

A rite of passage…is upon me

In every man’s life there are a few moments that stand out from the rest. I would say the first time you kiss a girl, the first time you have sex, graduating college, getting your first paycheck, getting engaged, getting married, having your first child (because we all know that it doesn’t get any better than your first), and seeing your first grandchild are the moments that I remember/are looking forward to in my life. But one moment stands out from all the rest. It is an ancient ritual to be sure, which was probably handed down from the Romans, the Greeks, or maybe even the Etruscans. I speak of course about a bachelor party…..mine just so happens to be this weekend. I cannot adequately express my excitement.

The travishamockery is taking place in Atlantic City, NJ (a place just slightly less classy than Las Vegas) and should include a lot of drinking, a lot of gambling, and if we are lucky…maybe even some tomfoolery (I have no idea what that actually means, but I needed a 3rd thing that wasn’t a stripper, as my fiancée is surely going to read this)! So as of 5pm this afternoon, I , like Jack Bauer, will be “going dark.” That means don’t try to reach me on my cell phone, don’t try e-mailing me, and don’t try to find me because I won’t have any of it. This is a weekend for me and my friends to celebrate like we were back in college again. I don’t know if it will be as epic as The Hangover, but we can dream, can’t we? This is the one weekend in my life time that I could kill a man and just tell the police officer that it is my bachelor party and he would surely give me a pardon and tell me that he would, “clean this mess up for me,” and to “enjoy the rest of my weekend.”

Don’t expect pictures of the party, there won’t be any….this is not a bachelorette party, there are man rules to follow and one of them is you do not take pictures. There can be no evidence of anything that went on, because you need complete deniability if anything ever comes up. When it comes to bachelor parties, men are like the US Army. You aren’t getting any information out of them, except their name, rank, and serial number. I shan’t be sharing any details of the events that are about to unfold, except the blandest of the bland. I will see you all on the flip side…

p.s. If you are in AC this weekend and see a group of young men embarrassing themselves and the names of their families, it is probably us…