Sorebrek's Musings and Ramblings

In search of the holy grail of an MBA (class of 2008 hopeful), this space will hopefully chronicle the search and my other quixotic pursuits.

Monday, January 30, 2006


Some of you probably know that I had opted for the off-campus Kellogg interview. Here is a brief rundown of what happened. Maybe the whole purpose of my life is to serve as an example to others of what not to do for a b-school interview.

Relentless, Hard Training
I have been told that a great interview hinges on communication, on body language actually. I shot off an e-mail to a current student asking what should be my first step towards preparation. Answer: "Get a mirror, practise in front off it." Mirror, definitely. After intense googling for "mirror" several days at work, by the end of the week, it became apparent that no ordinary mirror would do for the task at hand. You see, it had to be a mirror that brought out the inner me, not the Bed, Bath & Beyond ones that brought out my zits. So off I go shopping, scrounging San Francisco's Jackson Square antiques district for the mirror. While floating from shop to shop, it did bother me that I had not felt the need for a full-length mirror before. Was I losing the touch? Was I getting any less narcissistic?! Heck no, these days I even blow a kiss at myself before I leave the house - I'm good. Anyway, I finally settle on a nice Belgian number that smelled of stale makeup. I bring her home and prop her up against the love-seat and proceed to uncork a bottle to celebrate my recent conquest. Then the preparations begin in earnest. Day after day for the next two weeks I practise hard - uncork a fresh bottle, get nicely hammered, make faces at myself in the mirror until my jaws hurt, pass out, repeat. Thus chillaxed, I was ready to take on whatever Kellogg had planned for me.

Night Before Launch
I judiciously avoid any wine and stick to cheap beer. Anyway, I turn in at 11, big day tomorrow right? I drift off for all of five minutes before a soul-raking whining noise pierces through the silence of the night! My barefooted, bead-wearing, whale-hugging, left-of-ACLU neighbors upstairs have decided to shaft OPEC and drill for their own oil! In a pleasant conversation involving bad things that could befall their beloved terrier, I silence the Greenpeas. I go back to bed in hope of catching my 40 z's. Smug are we? Not so fast. A new accoustic phenomena is taking shape right below outside my window - something that sounds very soulful. Thinking it is one of my hottie neighbor's suitors performing some new-age serenade oustide her window, I look out. I see no spanish guitar or sombrero, but it is definitely gut-wrenching. Three skate-boarding teenagers have triangulated the sidewalk right outside my window as the only spot in this whole wide world to throw up their night's excesses. I gently persuade them to take their regurgitations elsewhere; you see, I had my own tomorrow. It is 2 AM and I have had enough excitement for the night - I pop some melatonin and toss and turn and finally drift off into sleep. Unhuh, not so fast champ. In a symphonic coda, a new fast paced rhythmic noise punctuated with oedipal lyrics and disconnected references to a female dog, assault my ear drums. I wait for it to go away thinking it must be a passing car at the stop sign. Fuck me hard, this thing gets louder by the minute. I storm out of my bed. In PJs, bail money in hand, I go hunting for the source of this art form, fully committed to performing the vile acts suggested by the lyrics. Turns out a few kids are undergoing a rite of passage involving drinking beer from a bong. Sensing the sanctity of the occassion, I settle for calling the cops. By 3 AM silence has finally fallen over my digs; spent, I pass out.

Morning After Pill
You guessed it right - a six pack and four hours of sleep is typically the stuff that 'A' interviews are made of. Making a quick mental note that I didn't have to face the skirt vs. suit dilemma that had kept up many female MBA bloggers, I stuff my face with a fistful of morning-after-pills, jump in the shower and take off for my Kellogg rendezvous. Enroute I fortify myself with two double (friple?) espressos.

My three golden rules for an interview are the same as my three golden rules for well, dating:
  • Go local - the long-distance thing, nah never works

  • Go with someone of the opposite sex - unless ...

  • Go with someone who understands your background - any girl who understands why I hate b-week forums can eat samosas in my bed anytime
I lucked out on all three counts! My interviewer worked in the marketing division of a valley outfit. The interview itself was such an anti-climax - I guess I was running low on adrenaline after last night. I just remember that my interviewer had beautiful eyebrows, absolutely smashing eyebrows, eyebrows to have children for and pass them along to posterity. When I said something ridiculously stupid, they like twin gazelles springing away from a marauding lion, leapt and descended. I was like, whoa!! Needless to say that was a repeat act for most of the morning. Why Kellogg, Why MBA, Why now and goals short and long term just flew by to the graceful leaps of gazelle brows.

In the end, I think the pills kicked in or something. I couldn't stop at the handshake, I had to hug her good-bye - you see I had to.

Now in trepidation I wait for Wharton and Chicago!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Giving Birth

No, this is no freak of nature. Please, your's truly is not a doting mother. But the point I'm trying to make is that applying to business school is pretty much like giving birth. There is the initial trepidation. Is this really for me? Can I handle it? Is it worth it? Is it overrated? Is it as rewarding as they say? Then there is the long gestation period reading parenting and applicant online forums, the agonizing doctor and GMAT appointments, deep breaths at lamaze classes and when recommenders don't come through. And in the end, the excruciating pain! Having submitted five applications in four days, I think I have a pretty decent idea of what it is to give birth to quintuplets.

It is done - the apps are out and I will never be the same again. I think Stanford essay A has left me a little too much in touch with with my own emotions - I am beginning to doubt if I will continue losing the 'dare-to-kiss-a-guy' drinking game. HBS, Stanford, Wharton, Kellogg and Chicago - they're all out - like the aliens Sigourney Weaver flushed out into space. I've had my adrenaline rush and now I feel spent. I always submit with around 15 minutes to spare - no, it is not just procastination, yes that too, but this is more than that, this is a more primal neurotic need for cheap thrills. Many thanks to Chicago and Wharton for keeping it exciting; for Chicago, the site froze with 15 minutes to go. The same with W, but then they got one up on me by sending out that deadline extension e-mail which I didn't see until after I submitted.

They're over: the nights of walking around in the cold, trying to clear my head, listening to Ludwig and furiously conducting with both hands and startling middle-aged couples walking their dogs. Nights of driving 20 miles to the nearest Krispy Kreme, top down at 3 AM to satisfy the inner donut slut in me. Christmas was spent polishing the K essays. New Year's was drowned in Stanford's soul searcher. I asked for this: 5 apps in 1.5 months. I was vicariously celebrating by reading all of your holiday posts. Oh and btw, before the year is out, might as well wish you readers the best for the new year - may your admits outnumber your dings; and wannabe MBA girls, may you earn dual degrees - MBA and Mrs (thanks for that insight M).

The best part about the last couple of weeks was the rain. The sometimes powdery, the sometimes torrential rain that fell over the bay area. It complemented my mood in many ways than I could imagine. It brought back my favorite rain poem by Verlain:

Il pleure dans mon coeur
Comme il pleut sur la ville;
Quelle est cette langueur
Qui pénètre mon coeur?

My french is rusty, but it crudely translates into

It rains in my heart
Like it rains on the city;
What is this langour
That pierces my heart.

Only the french can come up with a word like 'languor'. It made me drive up to Sausalito to my own secret little vista point and watch the rain fall over the city. But mostly I've been watching it from my kitchen window while typing my essays. The rain is such a reflective thing. It left me thinking about the fleeting, but beautiful things in life, about loss and yearning.

Kramer: Do you ever yearn?
George: Yearn? Do I yearn?
Kramer: I yearn.
George: You yearn?
Kramer: Oh, yes. Yes, I yearn. Often I sit...and yearn. Have you yearned?
George: Well not recently. I craved.

How many fortuities does it take before I can tell her? Should I even?
Anyway, onwards to the next b-school phase: my K hub interview is scheduled 3 weeks from now. But there are more immediate plans - I'm out to get plastered tonight. Catch me if I fall!

Oops, forgot to post this last night - here goes.