The Life and Times of a Simon MBA Student

Friday, April 30, 2004

OUTSOURCING!

Today I will talk a little about the new age epidemic, outsourcing; and I will be summing up my work background. I guess I am writing this weblog to motivate myself. I am thinking of writing an article about the importance of a clear mind / game plan before entering your program, be it Harvard or Howard. I am going through a yearly audit at work, and the auditors are turning each leaf trying to find something. Thank goodness, it will be over by the end of the week. Maybe on Saturday I’ll throw something together for the MBA Advice Blog. For now some thoughts on my Past Present Future:

Original Plan: I switched into accounting because all the offers I was getting after losing my position as a Migration consultant, were of a junior programmer status. The plan was to get some accounting / Finance exposure, get an MBA, and get back into IT consulting as a project manager (WOW FOOL PROOF HUH!). I was planning on working at either IBM or Accenture (what’s going to happen after the Atlanta project finishes?) for a couple of years, and then starting my own firm. Well last couple of months have been a shocker. Although the market has picked up dramatically and there were some 308,000 jobs added to the economy in April ’04, I am very cautious about going back towards IT.
Outsourcing is bound to happen; America has a surplus in the service area (Export > Import) and if we say that we do not want our work going to India or china, tomorrow Italy or Spain will stop buying services from us.
I still believe there are some jobs that cannot be outsourced at any cost, which company will want their security being run out of India? Security, support, and management positions are always going to stay in America. But will getting back into the IT world be throwing myself into cut through competition, where the risks (getting laid off) is far greater than the rewards (compensation). I could get into security management, but my resume will be compared to a Unix guru with 10 years of experience who is going from 250K to a 100K. In such a situation what are my realistic chances? The chances of a salary increase? The chances of a promotion? Is there a real future for me in this field.

Backup Plan: Although I would hate to admit it, but the situation at hand, does not permit me to rejoin the IT world. I am currently working as an Assistant Controller and am dissatisfied with the job. The good thing that I have gotten out of the last two years is basics about how a business runs. What gets on the balance sheet and why something is put on an income statement. Now I do not greatly enjoy accounting, but I am thinking on the lines of banking, Equity research, I-Banking, M&A or something along those lines. Another option would be getting back in consulting, but going from IT into general. I understand that I am not going to HBS or Wharton and getting into those professions will be hard. Now what are the realistic chances of this happening?
I have given myself a deadline of deciding by mid July. I will start to network, in the chosen field, before actually going to college.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

The Acceptances

Since I started my Blog rather late in the process, today I will discuss the colleges I applied to and how I arrived at my final decision.

NYU (Stern): I worked day and night, got my essays ready, and applied in R1. I got an email back mid Feb that I was not accepted. I guess that could also be a good thing since I live 30 minutes from NYC, now I get to go and explore new corners of the east cost. I plan on calling the admissions department in mid August to check what was lacking in my application. I am not bitter toward NYU, I understand that Stern has high standards and maybe I was not the perfect fit.

U of Rochester (Simon): This is the college, where I will be spending the next 2 years. A private school with about 200 FT MBA students divided in large groups (co-hearts) and sub divided into groups of 5 students. I had my interview with Simon in January with Rebekah (a lovely lady) at the Simon NYC weekend (a big recruiting event). This was the first time the new Dean Mark Zupman was in NYC, so there was a big Alumni turnout. The Alumnus I talked to had nothing but praise for the program, which was very encouraging.
When I got accepted to the program I received a call from Dean Zupman himself congratulating me on my acceptance. I also received a decent financial package from the college. I went to the accepted student welcoming weekend at Rochester and this is when I realized that Rochester would be perfect. The cost of living is low in Rochester. The only downside to the place was, Rochester is not a party city. THIS IS AN UPSIDE FOR ME. I mailed in my security deposit check in mid May and now I will be officially joining Simon in FALL of this year.

U.S.C (Marshall): I had my interview with U.S.C in N.Y.C; I read somewhere that around the range of 80% of the students interviewed, are accepted to the program. Hence, when I got the interview call I was happy about the situation. I thought to myself “even I can’t mess this one up”. Well the interviewer was originally from NJ and a nice lady. Although she was a bit conceited about USC, as I recall her, telling me “Well we are USC”. I am thinking well I want to go to NYU.
USC is a good school, the only reason I did not end up going there was because I did not receive any scholarships from them. I also did not want to live in LA, I have had an exhaustive social life for the past few years, and now I want to get on track by really concentrating on my future. The cost of living is also very high in LA. NYU was my premier choice but I gave USC preference over Maryland because it was a private school and I had had enough of public Universities.

Maryland (Smith):
After Simon (Rochester) I think admissions people at Maryland were the nicest of the bunch. I was treated with respect (unlike Georgetown), and the students actually seemed like they were happy with the program. I took the tour with the ViBe program and everything worked out very well. The only bad thing is, this is again a state university, and the state of Maryland is not doing that well last I herd. I had concerns about the funding being cut for Maryland U as a whole and then that having an effect of Smith?

GEORGETOWN (McDonough): YUCK! Is the only word that comes to mind when I think of my experience with this prestigious university. I went for an early interview in the beginning of November, where a student interviewed me. Now I do not know why these colleges do this but I am against student interviewing. Right of the back I was told that she was having a “hectic” day. The decision was about 3 weeks late, I was put on hold for half an hour once, and the admissions department was cold. I had gotten 2 acceptances before I got the rejection letter and laughed when I got the email. I emailed back inquiring about the reason and have not herd from them so far (4 months running). This was the worst $125 I have ever spent.

Rice (Jones): I had a pleasant experience with Rice U. as well. Everything went according to plan. I applied got a phone interview call within 2 days; the interview was this nice international student from Africa. I am against student interviews, how can a student substitute someone from the admissions committee with years of experience? It also feels as if I am not worth the attention of an admissions committee member.
I chose to apply to rice as my second Tier school, although I have never been there, I hear the place is nice and when I was applying (December weather in NJ) going to Houston made a lot of sense. I was offered a decent package from Rice nothing ravishing. Rice is somewhat my type of a school, the program is rather small, and everyone I talked to said that you would get more than enough attention from the faculty and staff members. I would definitely recommend the college.


Rutgers:
This is a great University; the admission process was rather painless. I was not required to go to any interviews. I went to an open house and met Ms Rita Gallen (Dean of Admissions) on the New Brunswick campus. Ms Gallen was very helpful and I am very thankful for all the guidance that she gave me. I applied to the college in December of 2003 and got my acceptance letter mid Feb ’04. I was rather disappointed, as the letter did not accompany any scholarship letters.
Although I did not go to Rutgers B-school myself, I am a strong supporter of the college and believe that the only other local college that is able to compete with Rutgers B-School is Fordham (great alumni network). Rutgers is better than Seaton Hall, NJIT, Fairleigh Dickinson, Drexel, and most other non-recognized programs available in NJ, NYC, or PA. (Obviously, schools like Columbia, Wharton, and NYU do not fall in this mix).

Monday, April 26, 2004

GMAT

I took a class at PR, and studied for about 3 weeks and got a 720 on the GMATS.

History

I graduated from College May ’01 with a degree in Computer Science. I had landed great internships and was on my way to the top of the world. After graduating I landed a job with a small consulting firm and started on my “destined route”. After a year of working at 2 major assignments the company lost most of its clients and I was out of a job.
After looking around for a while, I wanted to switch careers and looked for help towards a CPA friend of mine. My friend suggested brushing up on my accounting skills and getting in that field. In January of 2003 I landed a cost accountant position at a manufacturing plant and am currently working as an assistant controller.