Thursday, April 16, 2009

A special gift

My sister came over today and surprised me with a little token of her elation on my MBA news. So, what does she get for me? Hmm...the gift was flat, so I think it's a book. I'm not sure I mentioned this in my other posts, but I LOVE books. I think there's a name for people who have this passion (NO, it's not DORK), but it slips me mind at this time. Ever since I graduated college, I've really made an effort to read at least one book each month and believe it or not, I've gone back and started seeking out more children's literature, especially my own childhood favorites. I recently finished Mildred D. Taylor's award-winning books including my all-time favorite: Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry along with other books from her series. It's an inspirational, heartfelt and politically & socially charged piece of historical fiction that chronicles the racial and social injustices faced by an African American family in the rural south of the 1930s. It's amazing that as I was reading the book, this country also elected its first colored president--it all seems so surreal.

Anyhow, back to the initial reason for this post. After meticulously disassembling her lovely wrapping, I gave her a fat hug when I saw this: Fancy Nancy!

I'm such a sucker for colorful illustrations and smart little girls. It's so ironic (and silly) that I get into an MBA program and my sister gives me a children's book (maybe it's because she teaches 3rd graders for a living). Hahaha, but I love it and she knows me so well. I think we all need to smile and relive the inner child in us; it makes for a much happier me and I'll take that any day!

Monday, April 13, 2009

"Just not that into me" paves way for new beginnings

After a restful weekend in Hawaii basking under the golden sun and soaking up the Aloha attitude, I think I'm ready to reveal the final decision for my MBA journey. So, Stanfuuurd, Harvard and NYU were "just not that into me" and I am totally fine with that. Sometimes, things just don't work out and although I was wooed, unfortunately, I was never courted. But every new beginning is some other beginning's end (hmm..I think those were the lyrics to some song).

Even without a decision from Columbia, I am excited that the next 3 years of my life will be at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management with their working professional program (I've already started brainstorming all the opportunities that I want to become a part of (Net Impact, Consulting Corps, Int'l Study Practicum...) After much heartfelt conversations with my hubby and my close friends, Davis really makes me happy. I know I hadn't blogged about it before, but I did attend it's annual Peer to Pier networking event in San Francisco last month and by far, the students & alumni at the GSM are solid, intelligent and extremely down to earth. My ideal post-MBA location to work is the bay area and the GSM boosts its largest alumni contingency in this local, so for me, this is a win-win situation. Besides that, my initial foray into my MBA dreams began with Davis about a year ago after realizing that I needed much more from my current profession. I longed for professional development opportunities, enhanced career prospects and an intense desire to work in teams (something that I considerably thrive under and strive for), all of which, I've found at the GSM.

So, as my run for an MBA nears an end in its initial chapter, I wanted to offer a piece of advice for my readers who are merely at the beginning of their own journeys.
I noticed on the blogosphere that many folks are blogging about other top-ranked b-schools, and I have to admit that made me a bit intimidated at first. But then I realized, how many of us are simply choosing schools based on rankings? I've met so many successful people in my lifetime who have accomplished significant things, but who didn't all attend the top 10 programs in the country. I hope my journey encourages others who are thinking about b-schools to also open their minds and realize that attending a top b-school is not an automatic guarantor for success. Ultimately, it's up to YOU and YOU alone to ensure that success happens. Take the douchebags of Enron and GM Motors who graduated from HBS only to make a complete financial fiasco. The rhetoric and oratory skills of our former president also didn't improve with a polished ivy-league b-school degree. With this in mind, I hope that others will see that an MBA is not an end in and of itself, but actually, a means to an end. Whichever means you choose, I hope you choose wisely and are ultimately happy with your decision. Good luck to all of those who are embarking on your MBA dreams, but before I go, I'll leave you with some cool facts I stumbled upon regarding the UC Davis GSM:

1. Lam Research CEO (HBS alumnus) Gives $1.5 Million to Foster New Business Leaders:
Underscoring the importance of leadership in business education at the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Davis, Stephen G. Newberry and his wife, Shelley, have pledged $1 million to endow a faculty chair in leadership, as well as $500,000 to create a fellowship that will support MBA students who have great potential as business leaders.

2. The Brass Tacks among the 10 Most Innovative MBA Teams in the World: A team of four UC Davis MBA students advanced to the final round of the 2008 Innovation Challenge, the world’s largest academic competition of its kind produced by consulting firm Idea Crossing and hosted by The Batten Institute at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business.

3. Net Impact Trailblazers: In 2008, UC Davis' Net Impact won 'Gold' designation, the highest awarded given to a Net Impact chapter. In 2007, the Davis chapter received the Trailblazer Chapter of the Year and the 2006 Small School Chapter of the Year award. Davis Net Impact is ranked among the top 30 MBA programs in the world for integrating issues of social and environmental stewardship into curricula and research by The Aspen Institute's Center for Business Education.

4. Among others, the GSM is also pioneering programs on green technology and will be offering a concentration in public health to prepare MBA students to lead hospitals, government agencies and other organizations.

BTW: I just found out I was nominated for Clear Admit's Best of Blogging for beans! Thanks Clear guys are clearly awesome! I am quite flattered..I hope this blog has been helpful for you as it has (and will continue to be) for me.