Monday, March 31, 2008

Admit Weekend(s) Travels

April 9th is approaching fast. I can't wait to hop on the plane to San Francisco and experience Days at Haas. I will continue to Ann Arbor on the 14th and check out Ross. Unfortunately, classes will be almost over, so I hope to be able to get a good impression of the school despite that. Then it will be onwards to the Tuck Admit Weekend and then back home on the 20th. Quite a ride in store for me, I guess.

I really hope that I know where I will want to end up when I sit down on that window seat and have a few hours to think about it all. The Haas' decision will have to be made right the next day.

If someone is at any of the admit weekends, let me know, I will get in touch with you!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Financial crisis & MBA job lookout 2009/10

So, the financial system is in a deep mess. I am not saying I understand it all, but if someone asked me to summarize the gist of the problem I'd say it's this - please correct me if I am completely wrong:

We, or rather US creditors in the first place, gave loans to people (American consumers) for everything from houses to cars to other consumer goods, no matter what their creditworthiness. Consumers happily spent away, America basically paid for the worldwide economic upturn over the last few years. But they paid for it with money they didnt have. Eventually, the first people were unable to pay back their loans, interest rates climbed and even more people had trouble making their payments. That's how foreclosures started. House prices began to sink, thus making it harder for people to finance their other debt and the downward credit spiral began. That's why now people default on their consumer credits as well. And the rest of the world is financially also in trouble because all those debts can be purchased by other parties using a complicated system of derivatives that apparently not even those that should know understood.

To make a long story a little shorter: Things suck at the moment. Jobs, especially in finance, will become scarcer. Which will lead to more competition in other job areas, such as consulting. From what I gathered this has already happened in the hunt for MBA internships in 2008. It's not going to get any better any time soon.

Now: Should us MBAs of 2010 be worried?
I mean people are talking about the next great depression already. I cant tell you if you should be worried. I definitely cannot say I am not. On the other hand, we might just spend a great deal of the recession time at school and then get out of school by the time things start to get better AND we will have an MBA under our belts. But obtaining that dream summer internship in 2009 might be quite brutal.

I also wonder if this should have implications for my school choice? Should I go for the school where I have to pay the least to get out of school with as little debt as possible? Probably the wrong approach. I guess it is better to go where you think you will have the best job chances post-MBA. Because there is not point in having no debt if you cant get the job you want out of business school. (Although all my choices will get me into consulting)

These are interesting times, I am trying to observe and learn as much as I can. We can still worry when there is reason to.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Michigan makes my decision murderous

Notice the alliteration? Yeah, you can tell, it's a Friday.

Anyhow, Michigan upped their scholarship offer. I mean seriously upped it. Now they are back in my decision making game. Why cant this be easy?

I really appreciate your responses to my little poll on the right hand side. The funny thing is: Right now, Tuck and Haas are completely tied. I didnt manipulate this, did you?

I deliberately asked the question without any additional info. I am considering putting up another poll that comes closer to my situation: Would you go to Tuck over Haas if Tuck offered you a significant scholarship?

Again, all I can do right now is research the schools closer and talk to actual students. Speaking to some Tuck students removed some of my doubts concerning the Tuck placement record on the West Coast. It seems that especially in consulting there are good opportunities there, albeit requiring a somewhat higher effort. But I am willing to make that.

I gave notice this Monday. Finally this is out in the open and everybody in the office knows I will be leaving. It is a big relief. However it does feel weird that so few people can really judge what an MBA means from schools like the ones I can go to now. Most people go something like: "Yeah, cool, MBA, my cousin did that at [school anyone can get into in my home country]." And they dont realize what amount of planning, and hard work it took to get into the schools that I got into. Sigh. Oh well.

Can't wait to fly over to the States in 4 weeks from now. The admit weekends will be a great way to finally decide this. I really hope that I know for sure where I wanna go on the plane back home.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Are you kidding me?

Seriously HKUST...whatever that stands for. Bad enough that you found my email address on some GMAC list or what not, but spaming me with unprofessional stuff like this is not going to make me hold you in higher esteem.

HKUST is seriously the last place I was about to cry over for not making the application deadline. I don't mean to sound arrogant, but what were they smoking?!