Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Waitlisted at.....

NYU Stern..

So let me analyze how I feel right now : grateful mixed with a little surprise

Wow.. This is one of my re-application attempts. Last year, my application was not stellar ( bad essays, so so gmat, no working experience ). I was actually expecting a reject because all I could do to reapply was to submit ONE 500 words essay describing what is my long term/short term goals and how NYU can help me achieve it. 500 words!!! okay.. well I went over the limit... way over :) I submitted a 750 essay... hahaha

And I also created another art/collage work for the essay to describe myself to the classmates.

So yeah, pretty surprised that I got waitlisted.. Well now I feel like I need to go to New York and visit NYU as well as Columbia. I need to see which school I really want to go.. I love UCLA.. and NYU is in New York.. When can I squeeze this trip to New York ( I have minus 1 vacation day after my upcoming trip to Indonesia )

Monday, January 29, 2007

Excerpts from my UCLA Anderson essay about my family

My family situation had much influence on my outlooks on life and work. My parents are both self-employed. My mother started her own business ... Her career grew fast ever since; even faster than my father’s. She is stubborn, bossy, ambitious, and both a workaholic and a perfectionist; whereas my father is more laid-back and pessimistic. On weekends, my mother would be on her phone, strategizing promotions to attract more clients whereas my father would go to the town square to play kites with his friends. ... My mother used to advise me not to be too content in life like my father and to always be ambitious. Often time, I would remind her that had she not marry a person as contented about life as he is, no one would be there to remind her to take a break and enjoy her hard work. Having these two significant yet contradicting figures in my life reminds me to strike a balance between career, hobby, and family every single day. Even now, while I also work full time, I am taking an oil-painting class, a past-time hobby of mine and spending my evenings and weekends playing with my year old puppy.

My International Experience

When I was 16, I was offered an ASEAN Secondary school scholarship from the Singapore government. Basically, I would be able to study in Singapore for grade 9 and 10 and all my accomodation were provided for.
I stayed in the Raffless Institution Boarding house with other students from South East Asia, China, India etc. It was a really memorable experience.
Even now, 8 years since then, I always fall back to my friends from Singapore for help.
For ex : who did I ask to check on my essays while applying to B school :
1. Joan, my best friend and previous roommate in Singapore. She's an Indonesian who has been able to master the English language ( unlike me, who never seem to be able to make one piece of writings without any grammar mistake) She was in Singapore and I had sent her the essays through emails
2. Ha, my Vietnamese friend and ex roommate from Singapore. She was in the Mid west and I had sent my essays through MSN and asked her to check them!
3. Ruby, my Indonesian scholar mate who is working in LA.

It's mind boggling isn't it.. Here I am in LA and all these friends all over the world and I still ask for their helps

I must say studying in Singapore really gives me a vast network...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


No interview invite from NYU .. :(
SIGH.. Okay.. live goes on..

Marshall USC had told me that they would get back to me next Friday on the decision.. That's about 2 weeks faster than the afore mentioned deadline. We'll see.. I kinda screwed up the interview since I didn't research much about SC's program...

In 3 weeks time I'm going back to Indonesia.. YAIIIIIIIIIIII.............. I haven't gone home in like 2 years plus.. My friends and family are missing me.. I'm actually going home for Chinese new year on February 18th.. So a day after I reach Jakarta, I'm flying out to Semarang, my grandparents' home town. Chinese always celebrate events by having a dinner with the whole family.. This will be exciting..

I'm also going to hold my late house(apartment) warming party at my tiny studio apartment here in LA this weekend.. I actually had moved in last year October but was so busy with the B-School application - giddy from the UCLA result, that I only have time to throw a party now..
When I was working on the guest lists.. I ended up with 20+ people.. And that is not going to fit my tiny apartment.. SO I had to cut down my list to less than 10 ppl.. HAH!

I'm going to have Indonesian food for the party.. ( Ordering in, I don't cook, and My friends don't trust me in cooking )... This will be fun.. Paris will be excited to see many people at my apartment.

As a result of my upcoming party, I have been checking out www.apartmenttherapy.com to seek inspirations to design/re-design my apartment.. My close friend is tired of my talks about changing the position of the furnitures/ hanging more stuff on the wall/ painting the kitchen brown...

Okay I think I've been talking all over the place tonight :)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

USC interview questions..

Questions from USC interview :

1. why dya want an MBA
2. why MBA now?
3. what’s a feedback u have received from ppl
4. wat’s a common misconception about u
5. wat’s ur leadership style
6. wat dya do in the spare time
7. which leader will represent ur leadership skill (HUH???)
8. if u’re the adcom and u’re reviewing ur own application, what dya think is the biggest weakness in the application
9. tell me bout ur career progress
10. tell me bout ur professional aspiration
11. gimme an example when you have failed miserably
12. show me a time where you show a leadership quality
13. what will you bring to USC
14. what do you not like about your current job

Damn! That’s a lot of questions for a 30 min interview..

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Remembering UCLA decision

I had just received my admission packet from Anderson today. What a big binder...... It still seems surreal reading all the letters congratulating us for being accepted..

Last year when I had applied for MBA the class of 2008 R2 or maybe R3?, I had waited until the notification date and yet no news until 5.02pm on March 24th, 2006 :

Dear Ms. Ipoel:

We have carefully considered your application to the UCLA Anderson School of Management for Fall 2006 admission, and have placed your name on the wait list.

The wait list is a select group of candidates who we believe have strong qualities and yet are not admissible at this point in time. As we continue to develop the Class of 2008 we would like to keep you in mind for further consideration.

And then on 11.26am, June 15, 2006 :

Dear Ms. Ipoel:

The Admissions Committee has carefully reviewed your application materials and I am sorry to inform you that we are unable to offer you admission to UCLA Anderson School of Management for Fall 2006.

Our admission decisions have been especially difficult due to the large number of highly qualified people who applied for the limited number of places in the MBA Class of 2008. Typically, given the high degree of self-selection, at least eighty percent of our applicants could succeed in our MBA program. Thus, we are forced to choose and balance our class from an immensely talented and genuinely impressive pool of applicants. We in no way question your ability to succeed in a fine graduate management program or become an effective manager. Though your application presented many strong qualities, it is our opinion that other applicants demonstrated greater potential to both contribute to and benefit from the academic and professional program at The Anderson School.

Although this may not be the news you were hoping for, we feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to review your application. We appreciate your interest and efforts in applying to UCLA Anderson and we wish you well in your plans for the future.

Linda Baldwin
Director of Admissions

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

USC Interview coming up...

I had just remembered in answering USC Marshall's question on :

We all experience significant events or milestones that influence the course of our lives. Briefly describe such an event and how it affected you.

, I had written about my recent break up....

NOW... If this is not a blind interview... I better prepare myself in discussing my personal experience to a stranger.

I had only asked ONE bestfriend of mine to edit this essay and the thought of having to talk about this with the interviewer is daunting...

For you guys who are still in shock of why I would write such a personal topic : I felt that my break up was really a milestone that had set the course of my life to this point. I was going to return to Indonesia for good after I was rejected by all 4 B schools that I had applied to.. But this event made me stay

Friday, January 12, 2007

CFA continuation and Self-Improvement

The next day after I signed up for the CFA test, I started to be a lil panic... From my conversation with another coworker who is going to take the test as well :

"WHAT?? CFA test is 6 hours??? Are you kidding me???"
"It's Multiple choice right???? Thank god!"
"Where on earth is the test center?"
"Whyy oh why do I know so little about this and still sign up"

I'm really only thinking of doing the level 1 and not going through the next level 2 and 3. Firstly, I'm not intending to go into finance after my graduation from MBA. Secondly, I'm only doing CFA because I need a closure to my working life.

My group leader who wrote me a letter of recommendations to B Schools told me that my weaknesses are my lack of quantitative skills in the fixed income industry as well as my public speaking ability. I never had any finance class in my undergraduate and I didn't know anything about fixed income instruments when I went in for my job. The only access I had to this knowledge is the Fixed Income Handbook by Fabozzi, given to me on my first day. My first task was to read some chapters out of it and grasp the gist out of the book. Never being able to study from a textbook ( always prefer listening to someone explaining to me), unsurprisingly I gain v little knowledge about the Mortgage Backed securities as well as the Asset Backed Securities.

SO : to make sure that my experience working in this company is not futile, I've decided to take the CFA level 1.

Now, to improve on my public speaking ability, my co- worker introduced me to Toastmaster.

Basically you meet about once or twice a week for two hours with a group of 10-20 people and during the meeting, you need to do presentation. I think almost everyone gets to speak up during the meeting..

Went once last week and it was really interesting. I definitely think that I can improve my public speaking ability by joining this club...

More on that when I go to the next meeting

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Taking CFA Level 1 in June

I've decided to sign up for CFA exam in june 2nd, raking $1100 from my pocket for registration and books. Been thinking about it for a few weeks and by talking to my co-workers, I've decided that I'm at no loss in taking the CFA ( unless I fail... )

Working in an investment company, many of my coworkers are pursuing CFA and see many benefits out of it. Moreover, my company would award us $500 and reimburse the test fee if we pass the exam.. So.. we'll see :)

I changed my MSN nick name to be "Taking CFA Level 1" and my brother's first response was :

" You're taking CFA?? What for? Omigod.. why are you so excited about studying..."

Background : he went to Australia for his Accounting undergraduate degree. He had never enjoyed schools and felt that working is more useful than studying. Although he graduated from his undergraduate at the age of 21, he saw no point of taking MBA.. SIGH

Another best friend of mine saw my nick name and said the same exact thing : "You're taking CFA??? And MBA?? Geez.. why do you love studying so much... "

And I thought it's a norm here.. well at least I'm only thinking of taking level 1 and not finishing the whole series...

Monday, January 8, 2007

Networking for International Applicant

From where I come from, networking is uncommon unless you start working. Now, my being away from Indonesia since I was 16 has yet introduced me to this networking skills. While a senior in UCLA, I went for a "Jump Start" career seminar by the career center which introduced me to the 'networking' skill to secure a job.

The idea just seems WRONG...... That means that I need to be extremely friendly and nice to a stranger because I want something in return. I need to pretend I'm superly interested in someone because of who he is, when in fact I am only interested in getting contacts or getting a job link from this person. The perplexing thing is that the person that I pretend to like know that I am "using" him/her for a job link... But he/she lets me do it.. Probably because he/she had done the same thing in the past.

While I view myself as an extrovert, I don't really try to strike conversation to everyone in the room to make myself known.. Usually if it just happens I click with someone.. then well I will talk a lot to that person..

I don't know.. I begin to accept this 'networking' but I must say I need to adjust myself to doing it... It was kinda a shock to me .. My Indonesian friends admitted that it was really hard for them to adjust to network to strangers. I must admit though networking really opens up many doors

More on the Business School Confidential book

Herm I must say when you get to reading what you need to prepare for B School, it kinda get boring... For ex : stuff along the line of:
  • Don't talk too much in class but also don't be too passive
  • Be responsible and finish your part of work during team work
  • Talk to the professor
  • Don't try to brag in school


But yeah so I'm still in the chapter of preparing for B School, next is about preparing for Summer Internship..

USC Interview Invite

I've received an email from USC Marshall Business school to invite me for on-campus interview between January 10 to January 29th.

I'm partially excited because I have gone through the whole process just weeks earlier of being estatic to hear news from school.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Informal Meeting with Anderson admits

A few days ago about five of us who were accepted to UCLA anderson met up at the Westwood Brewing Company near UCLA.. We chatted about the whole admission process, which other schools we are applying to, what our career goals are..

It's pretty informative because some people shared their experience as they visited the class in UCLA. This specific person really enjoyed both the class he attended at UCLA.

All of the other people I met are pretty successful in their career, so that gives an idea the kind of people I would meet in UCLA if I decide to join the school :)

Book Review : Business School Confidential

Okay, so I skipped the first few chapters which discuss about applying to Business school and choosing the schools .. but I started reading from the chapter on "Choosing B schools if you are admitted to more than 1 "
Not that I have any more admit, but I just want to know more about the process.
Pretty much a good book, it aims to remind us on the preparation we need to do to return to school, it also has some review on the things we may want to join once we're in b school : For example it talks about how you may want to join the math camp if you're not an economic/math/ business major for your undergraduate
Also talks about how to finance your school and the options you can take to do so..
I've only read about a third of the book, but pretty much enjoy it

How Many People Have Been Accepted to UCLA Anderson?

The people who have been accepted to UCLA Anderson R1 were invited to join this specific yahoo groups and currently they already have about 60 members.. So does this mean UCLA has accepted about 60 people for their Round 1 application? Maybe...

A little more info about UCLA Anderson from Linda Baldwin's chat with Accepted.com in 2003 :

sandrat (Dec 15, 2003 9:31:27 PM)
Will Round 1 decisions be released on a rolling basis or all at the same time on Jan 21? How will the decisions be released? email, web status, phone calls?
LindaBaldwinUCLA (Dec 15, 2003 9:37:22 PM)
Sandrat - admit decisions are made and sent on a weekly basis beginning the third week of December. Decisions are emailed. Deny and waitlist decisions are made closer to the deadline mail out date.

Janqs (Dec 15, 2003 9:00:35 PM)
I think I heard someone from Anderson say that GMAT scores for International students are reviewed within the pool of applicants from their own countries. Did I hear right? Is this true for Anderson? Do you know if this is true for other schools?
LindaBaldwinUCLA (Dec 15, 2003 9:03:58 PM)
International GMATs are assessed based on their strength in comparison to all applicants. We do, in addition, take into consideration the GMAT scores of other applicants from that same country. I don't know the policy of other schools.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

B School and Alcohol-Tolerance

While chatting with the current Anderson student, we stumbled across the topic of alcohol..

To let you guys know : I don't like to drink...

I don't like beer, sake, red wine, white wine, champagne, sho-ju, shots...

I do occasionally drink cocktails - whatever that is sweet..

So, the Anderson student had said that I'm at a loss for not being able to drink.. During recruiting season, I would need to network with the recruiter. Other than looking at the qualifications, recruiters would like to know if someone has a fit with the company ( or I guess the people in the company).

I said : But I can just order Apple Martini and that's alright right...
He : No.. you have to order the right thing... No screwdriver, scotch and coke and all those.. Those are adolescents' drinks...

ERRR................ U guys should know that Indonesia's population is 90% muslims and muslims are not supposed to drink alcohol so drinking is not really a common daily life drink in Indonesia.. Of course there are still market for beers.. but you don't exactly drink beer almost every day.. In Indonesia, we drink tea... coffee.... coconut juice ( tropical country )
And don't even imagine about going to HAPPY HOUR every week... no no no..

But okay, apart from the culture difference.. I personally do not like to drink alcohol.. I actually went to a lounge yesterday night. My friend had made me cranberry juice mixed with vodka. But I didn't stir the drink yet before I drank it. My first gulp was the taste of vodka and I actually SPIT it out because it was too strong ( Gross I know.. but I'm trying to make a point ).

Alcohol smell reminds me of the alcohol solution I used to clean Paris' dirty fur...

So basically I'm screwed for not being able to drink...

Interview with Current Anderson Student

I had lunch with a current Anderson student yesterday. He is also an Indonesian and the UCLA Admission director actually emailed me his contacts so I can find out more about the Anderson's experience

He is specializing in Finance, Operations something (?) and Real Estate. He also said that he loves the whole B School experience and confirmed that the first quarter in Anderson where everyone has to take 5 classes was the"worst time of his life" [verbatim]. OKAY don't panic yet, I asked him why was it the worst time in his life and he said :
1. he has to take FIVE classes ( i think a usual quarter will have 4 classes )
2. he was still adjusting to being a student once more ( he had 3 years working experience before B School )
2. BUSY.. company presentation and networking session started on the second week of the quarter

I asked him the question that my mother had asked me the day before : What can you gain out of MBA? Is it really useful?
He said : Yes! ( of course )
Explanation : In B School, you learned case studies .. You are required to make decisions over these real life business problems. You are also required to present your decision.. He said during exam, he would be given a case study. He would need to work on his laptop, create some financial model (? I thought he said something along this line ) and present it in a Word Doc.

So okay, I'll tell my parents that the next time they ask me.

What really impress me was Anderson students' career progression. So there are 3 Indonesian currently in Anderson. The guy I interviewed worked from Australia before. He then said he was contacted by Booz Allen ( consulting company ) in Sydney because they had come across his resume on the resume books... And in the end, he's offered the position.
Another Indonesian guy is going to work at McKinsey Singapore. Another one has an offer from another consulting company in Asia but will work in corporate finance in MidWest.. I think with AMGEN...

So : WOW!

My question ( was kinda worried ) : Why are most of them offered jobs in Asia? Is it because they are Indonesians or because they had wanted to return to Asia ?
His Answer : Both ways actually.. I was contacted by Booz Allen from Australia and I had planned to return there. The other guy who is going to work in Singapore needs to return to Asia because he is a scholar from an Indonesian company. And the other one is staying in the States.

Question : Are there many people hired to be banker? I heard that we're kinda in a disadvantage for being in the West coast .
Answer : There are about 40 people out of 360 who are going to work in IB
( forgot to ask which part of the States they're going to work at though.. east or west coast?)

Question :How long do you usually stay in school til ?
Answer: about 9am til 4pm

Okay That's about all I could remember from our lunch.. Would write more later on

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Recap on My UCLA Anderson Interview

I had my interview pretty early on October 2nd 2006. I actually met a really nice lady who was familiar with the company I worked with ( ! ) She had an interesting background. She was a banker in Hong Kong and then came to Anderson to do a career switch to the entertainment industry. She told me about her AMR project on the entertainment industry as well.

Anyway, it's been a long time ago but these are the questions that I could remember :
1. Why MBA?
2. What's your short term and long term goal?
3. Why Anderson?
4. I'm not sure but I think something along what clubs are you looking to join in Anderson
5. Give an example of time when you have motivated your team members?
6. If you are in a team work and you only have a few hours left to do presentation, but someone in your team did not finish his/her part of the work, what would you do?

That's all I could remember folks...

I actually had had an interview in 2005 ( I'm a reapplicant ) and that previous interview was something along this line as well...