Monday, April 30, 2007

UCLA Knapp Competition

A few days ago I had the chance to attend the UCLA Knapp Business Plan competition.. ( more like crashed into ) since I'm the only admit there I think.. anyway it was exciting.. there were LOTS and LOTS of team giving a 30 min presentation in front of professors, guest Venture Capitalist and fellow students. Of the three presentation that I attended, two of them actually made it to the four finalists. That really helped in identifying what makes them tick :)

So one team was giving a presentation about Mr.Fob, a website that gives info on ethnic food and restaurants currently within LA. The team behind Mr. Fob also holds food tours ( Not so sure how often they hold it ) to ethnic restaurants in LA. Each person will pay $30 for the food tour and a food tour-guide will attend and give brief cultural background on the ethnic food. That is interesting :) they give presentation on how much funding they need, what the growth future for the business, the competition and how they can overcome it.. etc etc..

So that is interesting and for once, I'm impressed of the entrepreneur program in UCLA ( refer to my thought about Anderson day ). Last time, I didn't have a very good vibe on the entrepreneur program at UCLA because I feel that students merely want to ace in the class, however looking at how the students gave presentation at UCLA Knapp Competition really changed my mind. I guess it's more about if my interest is in Enterpreneurship, I should immerse myself with those who have common interest with me.

Why I think these students make it to the top four :
1. Data data data
2. If you have a business plan to show for the competition, it's best if you have realised the first few stages of your business idea to better prepare the business idea.
3. You can get a professional at other industry outside of UCLA to join your business team ( which the other team did by having a well-known doctor who had treated Glaucoma to join them )
4. Think about all the possible problems you may encounter in setting up the business
5. Practise presenting the idea

Now on a side note of the Kate Moss' picture : The yellow asymetric chiffon dress -inspired by this one that Kate wore - is FINALLY available! Kinda disappointed of the detail of the dress by TopShop so I won't buy it haha but others may be interested..

Monday, April 23, 2007

Girls out there, please be careful!

Girls out there.. PLEASE BE CAREFUL! Especially those who're going to stuy or live in New York.. Why? This is a news about a Columbia graduate student who was raped and tortured in her apartment just a few weeks ago.

Things to note :
1. Buy a pepper spray!
2. Be paranoild like me and have 911 on your speed dial. Or if not, this accident can be prevented if you just talk on the phone with someone when you feel wary of a stranger. The stranger/ prospectful criminal may think twice before attacking you because you're on the phone with someone else
3. Try to live with a roommate. Cheaper, safer, and someone may be able to take care of you when you're sick
4. If you're in a public parking area and going to enter your car, please have your car key handy and get into your car quickly and lock the door. Do NOT stand in front of your car, trying to grab your key from your bag or worse sit in your car with your door open. You'll be a good target for this prospectful criminal.
5. Take self-defense classes..
6. Don't trade in your safety over rent price.. Try to find out the crime rate in the neighborhood you're interested in by checking out the local police website.
7. For international students who are coming to US/Europe/ other countries than their own and esp if you have never studied abroad.. please be cautios of others and your surroundings ..

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

read read read

Okay I give up waiting for comments.. I'm following Iday's approach and am starting to read all the students' blogs one by one.. Thank God I did.. because there's a reason why they're writing those blogs.. For us the upcoming MBA students to learn and carve the best plan for our 2 years MBA experience....

Okay so I'm gonna be away for a while burrying myself in all the blogs :)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Vote for your favorite blog for BOB HERE!!

So here are the list of nominees for BOB this year :

Applicant Bloggers:
AGirlsMBA -
Anand -
Asiangal -
B-School Diva -
Forrest Gump -
HairTwirler -
Iday S -
Inblue -
ipoel -
JatWarrior -
Juggler -
Katrina -
MBA babe -
mba_salsera -
necromonger -
Peter -
Rohit -
Rungee582 -
RusGirl -
ScareCrow -
StressTensor -
Suser -
TJ -
UniQpath -

Current Student Bloggers:

Angel Angie (LBS) -
Ash (Stanford) -
Ashwyn (IESE) -
Benny (Tuck) -
Bronowski (Yale SOM) -
Divine Miss N (LBS) -
FM (LBS) -
FromCali (Ross) -
Hallonman (INSEAD) -
Jacek (ESADE) -
Jerry Blank (Yale SOM) -
J-Term Johnny (Columbia) -
Karlitos (LBS) -
La Laudiaria (Wharton) -
Le Voyageur (Chicago) -
MBA Gladiator (Yale SOM) -
Mbwana (Stanford) -
Nagendra (Oxford) -
Noelle (IESE) -
Patxi (LBS) -
Perpetual Motion (Wharton) -
Rubeo Boy (Stern) -
The Dirty Canuck (Chicago) -
Tim K.(McCombs) -
UCLADawg (Anderson) -

OKAY! SO THAT'S A LOT! And to be frank, I have not been following most of them.. I had definitely browsed most of the applicants' blogger but not so much of the current students' blogs.. SO I think this voting by the nominees will not be very fair ( assuming most of the nominees are like me.. which of course I might be wrong ) but anyway.. I'm calling ALL BLOG READERS to nominate your favorite posts!! Okay so then you guys will help me SCREEN for the posts... I will of course still read your nominations and pick my fave post :)

Nominees are welcome to nominate yourself too.. That will help me check out your interesting post.. because there's no way I will go through each nominee's postSS throughout the year..

For Example, let me start : I like my excerpts post for long term goal and family essays.. just to help applicants to really see a concrete essay. After being rejected in early 2006 from 4 top B Schools, I contacted a friend of mine who had gotten in to 4 even TOP-PER Bschool and ask if she's willing to share her essay with me. She's kind enough to share with me and that helped me identify my mistakes :
1. don't ramble too much about my jobs -> adcoms don't call about my daily tasks' details,
2. try to be very specific about your short/long term goal even though you're not very certain what it is..

What else.. I think my blog is different because it helps the applicants with a. less working experience or b. international applicants to get a feel what B school is really about. ( It's really all about the ALCOHOL ) jk.

Now my favorite post will be when I ask others what they REWARD themselves for getting into B school... BOY That one receives a hell lots of comments.. haha

OKAY you guys get the point, please vote for your favorite blog's post in my comment box ! KAY! deadline for me to vote is coming up

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Excerpt from my Long Term Goal Essay

In the past, I've posted excerpt from my family essay ( that I assumed help me get into Anderson ), so here's another one of my LT goal:

In a departure from the office, my recent trip to Indonesia has also helped me reshape my long term goals. I was accompanying my family to travel to remote areas of the country – the contrast in living condition between the locals and those living in the capital struck me profoundly. After much thought, I recalled the story of a businesswoman in India who had set up a microfinancing company to provide women living in isolated parts of her country with small business loans. These loans allowed the poor to advance their economic standing as well as attain their independence. I realized that the business model of microfinancing would apply equally well to the situation I had witnessed in Indonesia. My long term goal is therefore to set up a company that issues micro-loans in remote areas of my country in the near future. It is evident that my current work in the field of investment debt provides an excellent foundation, however, I intend to further develop my ideas at Anderson through its [say club name].

So, I hope you guys can note that from my two excerpts, I try to show :
1. something personal
2. something in the past that makes me what/who I am right now, makes me want to do something, explains my motivation for the future.. and that's why in the present I'm pursuing an MBA.. ah life is a circle ( HAHA I remember my literature class while studying "Joy Luck Club" : it's a circle. the begining is the end and the end is the beginning")
3. something different ( everyone will write about their work experience and how they go beyond the expected and bla bla bla.. this is good! Yes.. but try to inject something else.. something personal, some explanation why you went beyond)

Happy essay-ing!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

B School Interview is different than job interview

So how is it different?

At B school interview, the school wants to get to know about you as a person: your strength but also your weakness, your likes and your dislikes, your motivation as a person, your goals in life..

Job interview : the employer wants to know that you have MORE strength than you have weakness, your working style, your interpersonal relationship, your goals in alignment to the company's goal..

During my interview with USC, I let myself by me.. In asnwering " What's the most common misconception about you?"

I answer : I'm a very outgoing and bubly person that sometimes at work people don't take me seriously

Q: What do you not like about your job?
A: very detailed oriented and tedious as opposed to my working style that likes to take a look at the big picture

Okay IF that was a job interview, the interviewer would let me out the door after 5 mins..
But hope you guys get the picture, that's what others are saying when they give you advice to be yourself during interviews..

Friday, April 6, 2007

Now WHY didn't I know this Best of Blogging Award before

As fate would have it, I'm nominated for the Best of Blogging 2007. Hell, why didn't I know this thing before.. and the winner gets an Ipod Video??? I want one too.............

But anyway haha Thanks for nominating me!! I'm honored..

Now for the story about Paris.. I haven't talked about him for a long time now have I:

I went home from work yesterday and found his vomit in front of the door ( Sorry.. gross ) but okay so I'm like.. great.. what now.. and then I saw to the left of it is ....


OH SHOOT.............. Okay so I'm not as panic as I sounded because I immediately recalled that Paris had eaten : tylenol, my heartburn medicine, acne creams, PENSS, pencils..
I'm amazed I never had to take him to the vet

So he was pretty tired through out the night, didn't eat anything and just drank water. My first ALERT was when I gave him a new toy I had bought at Petco and he did NOT play with it.. We're talking about Paris who lovessss squeaky toy and would tear it apart in one day..

Hah.. I pretty much studied my CFA last night with him on my lap, making sure that he's still breathing. Did call the 24hr Vet and they said that it's a normal sign of eating something bad and I can go to the vet if I'm worried.. Good to know there's 24 hr vet service..

When I called the vet I was like : my dog ate my hair tonic and I don't know if he's having food poisoning..
Person on the other line : So what did he eat? What's the ingredients..
Ipoel scrambling to get to the box of this hair tonic.. and......... OF COURSE IT DOES NOT HAVE ANY INGRDIENTS written ot it .. because this tonic is from Indonesia and Indonesians do NOT list any ingredients on their products.. DARN
ipoel : I don't know.. it doesn't say anything
Other person : then I can't tell you if it's poisonous or not..

Okay so there you go.. anyway back to Paris.. he's fine now.. eating.. I'm actually working from home now to "monitor" his health.. hahahahaha

Tips on How to get to know a School more

Any of you had that experience where you're in a B school info sessions and all these adcoms are around you.. but you have no ideas what to ask them?? or maybe you see other people are told to contact current students /alumns to ask about that school's particular MBA experience and you're like WHY... ISN'T IT ALL THE SAME?

Okay well I had that experience.. lotsssss of time.. As you guys remember about how I decide to pick schools is solely by location.

Well here are tips and explanation WHY you should try to find out about schools you're interested in and HOW.

Now the HOW :
1. Talk to current students/ alumns. And ask them: how do you like the program/school? Is it what you thought it would be before you join MBA? Is there anything you are disappointed about? Is there anything you really enjoy? What do you think about the professors or the clubs? Do you think you learn anything from B School? if yes, WHAT?

It'll help to talk to someone with the same background or long term goal as you have.. for example at the Q's bar just before Anderson day, I actually met someone who has similar background as I do.. it's almost insane :
He's from India, went to Singapore for scholarship for his undergrad ( I went on the same scholarship for my high school ) and then he worked in fixed income ( ME TOO ) and then he moved to LA to do his MBA at UCLA and he plans to return to Asia to be an entrepreneur..

WOW.. Really gives you insights..

2. Okay other than talking to current students/alumns, talk to professor/ staffs from the B School. I met with a few entrepreneur professors at UCLA and asked tons of questions : such as
- how can you teach Entrepreneur
- what's your program like
- how many of your students really become an entrepreneur after MBA
- name me some who are successful


3. browsed the school's website , its international exchange program maybe if you're interested, take a look at the classes they offer, read the school's catalogue back to back

4. read all the blogs and forums about those schools and get a feel of HOW others view the school and also the rankings..

5. Okay I'm out of idea.. :)

Thursday, April 5, 2007

ReCap on Anderson Days..

I know.. it's a bit late that I would only go through my A days experience now... I went to the first A days (March 11-12). Although most of the people I met at A days are nice and friendly, this includes the admits and the seniors, I must say I didn't really bond too much with these students. Partly because I was too busy trying to talk to every Entrepreneur students and professors in Anderson. During that period, I was still unsure about whether I should really go on with my MBA plan or go back to Indonesia for good. So, I went to talk to every one who's related to Entrepreneurship there and just asked for his/her opinion.

Now about the Entrepreneurship in UCLA : must say that Bruins are v proud of their entrepreneur programs. It's not the best in the nation.. ( number 10 according to USnews ranking for Entrepreneurship) but yeah it's not bad. Anyway, I (speaking as an international student who's looking to return to Asia upon graduation and start my own business a few yrs after my graduation) am kinda disappointed with the program. I think that the program is great for students who want to do business here in US, but won't help much for biz in Asia.

Why? I have a feeling that the Entpreneurship program (possibly in the whole US) is more geared towards helping wanna-be-entrepreneurs to get funding from Venture Capitals... Which is totally wonderful and sensible.. ( IF you're gonna stay n do ur biz in US )...
There's also the fact that I FEEL the Entrepreneurship program is more talk than do.. U are taught to PRESENT your business ideas to the VCs, work the data and show them why your biz idea is brilliant.. BUT that's not what entrepreneurs are all about.. Entrepreneurs are about doing... not selling ur idea to get funding.. OF COURSE there are SOME who will work on their biz idea after they get funding.. but seems like the students are more into PRESENTING their ideas to get good grades..

NOW HOW do I come to this conclusion : I went to one Business Plan Development class.. and well I believe about 30% of the students are going to work on their business ideas.. UCLA also has fellowships.... where if you want to work on ur biz idea during ur Summer, U can apply for this grand to make it happen.. Of course.. this is brilliant.. though i doubt many students will do that..

OKAY SO anyone who wants to do entrepreneurship in UCLA should not be discouraged because of my post. I think it's what you want to gain out of the program... I've definitely met with lots of determined entrepreneurs who are concurrently working on their business while doing their MBAs.. yes, their paths are not as straightforward as those who want to do Investment Banking or Consulting but UCLA still help you with their Knapp Competition (business plan) or fellowships program!

Yes that's my insight of the Entrepreneurship program here.. which may be useful if you have the same long term goal as I do..

Overall: the people are nice and friendly. Pretty dominated by Californian people : NorthCal, SouthCal. But meeting people from Chicago, NY, Washington is not uncommon. I skipped a lot of their A day program ( namely Dinner with a Dozen, early moning class ) just because I was too tired.. but def a good experience..

Before the A days, people meet up at the bar Q's on Wilshire and they do hiking/biking together so that's a good bonding time before the real A days come.. I regret I didn't go to the outdoor activities.. but remembering my dermatologist told me I should not sweat else acnes will be popping out.. I'd rather stay home. ( Hell, I sound bimbotic..)

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Advice for Young Applicant, specifically international applicant

From my experience meeting with admitted students at A-days and through casual dinners around LA, I'm painstakingly aware of my age as compared to other admitted students. OKAY I'll admit I'm not THAT young.. I'm 24 going to 25 this year.. Whenever the other students start talking about "OH u went to UCLA too? Which year..? "I kinda want to not say anything.. :)

But anway back to the advice.. so I guess my advice will really mostly apply to international applicants ( sorry locals.. ) I think the international applicants at an advantage if they're applying with less than ave working experience.. why? because of course they have the diversity going on, and they have more to offer to the class in terms of global network and cultural differences. Also if you happen to be a young FEMALE applicant, you're in better luck than the fellow males because from my conversation w other ppl ( DISCLAIMER: I say from conversationsss ) seems like B school understand that :


and that we want to start a family soon yada yada yada and thus Adcom give us a break for applying early.

Now while getting into B school w less than working experience, there are things to consider :

what can u give to other students from ur limited w/e.. maybe ur diversity, maybe ur internationa w/e, maybe your non-profit experience, maybe u worked for only 2 yrs but u have done an amazing job at it.. Whatever it is, make sure u know what u can offer to the school..

Of course then there's that conversation about how we are at a disadvantage because we never manage anyone before.. If you have strong extracurricular activities where you have managed people before.. GREAT.. I've spoken to current students about this.. Most of them react : HELL YOU GET IN.. who cares..
One though says YES DEF u're at a disadvantage.. I asked WHY? He says you'll learn a topic well when you tell ur self : HEY That's what I SHOULD HAVE DONE before.. But i guess that's debatable..

Now from my reassesment of whether I want to do MBA last month.. u guys should pick an important lesson! PLEASE do research about why you want to do mba BEFORE you apply to schools.. HAHAHA but then again I guess I might be discouraged from applying had I known other applicants have much stronger profile than I do.. Okay lemme admit how I pick schools :

I know I def want to do MBA. WHY: prestige, educational value, international network

HOW I PICK SCHOOLS : okay which schools are in big cities ( NY or LA).. okay next, which school are top 20... Okay then :

Hah okay u get the point, I'm nuts..

But I must say, I'm a general representative of the international applicant ( OKAY.. maybe that's too general.. how bout Indonesian.. No? Ok I ll stop generalizing)

but yeah that's what I've been doing for my undergrad: didn't research what major I need to do, didn't know what classes there are, didn't know why I want to go to a specific school.. Location Location Location..

OK anyway I know it's hard for international applicant not in US to really get to know the schools other than through websites or catalogue. Access to alumns are probably limited. I've only done my research after I got in schools: I've never talked to current students/alumns before. The idea ofo researching about a school before was too abstract.. I always wonder about what I should talk to with these students.. maybe because my goal at the first place is not clear about why i want to do MBA.. Once you know what you want to get out of it, then you start researching more.

Anyway, I believe this applying to B school process is AS IMPORTANT as getting in.. Hell, networking, researching, talking and emailing current students.. These all are NEW to me..

Anyway back to advices : Don't be too stressed out if your w/e is not too much.. it's quality not quantity. it's also about what you want to achieve with your MBA. what's your goal after MBA. if it makes sense then by all means apply early. I believe that my career progression and MBA is in line in achieving my LT goal. Thus I apply..

Also don't think about failing.. You should always think about doing your best. Do the best for your application : GMAT, essays etc.. Then when all that fails, think again why you fail.. talk to other ppl why they succeed.. Failure is just a postponed success.. My gmat is lower than other students, my w/e is nothing as well.. but I think essays really help .. so work hard :)

Any other advices... Herm.. not at the moment.. but good luck !

I think adcoms who read my advices here will want to kill me.. what's with them telling ppl not to apply to early.. and here I am telling ppl to shut that off and just concentrate on what you want to get out of MBA..