Thursday, September 11, 2008

Back in the swing of things

It's amazing how much smoother the second year is. Thank goodness. I don't think I could have taken the stress of the first year again. The great thing about this year is that we take electives and not core classes. I am actually enjoying all of my classes so far. Plus the amount of work is like halved in comparison to last year which is always a good thing.

My summer was fantastic. It was so nice to be in the same city as my boyfriend and family and my beautiful new niece! And I was pretty lucky that my job, albeit stressful, was truly a 40 hour a week job. I received the full time offer on my last day of work which is always a good thing. I'm deciding now whether or not I want to return, I have a little more time before I have to decide. There are a lot of pros but I think for me the cons are outweighing the pros right now, that may change. I'm going to attend some of the upcoming MBA career fairs to see if I get any bites on my resume and if I feel that there is significant interest in me then I'll be a little more confident and be able to turn down the offer. But the internship was great and I learned a lot...I'm just not so sure the culture is for me. Ya veremos!

This year I have several goals...all very selfish. I plan on having a life. I just bought a fantastic new road bike and I wnat to start racing! I'm broadening my horizons...not just marathons anymore, I want to start racing and actually winning on the bike! And if I take to it...maybe my boyfriend and I will head to France next July to ride parts of the tour and watch Lance take number 8? Who knows?

My other goal is to write at least once a month on this blog. We'll see how that goes...


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Half Way Through...

I'm half way through my internship and roughly 15% through my internship project that I am supposed to present at the end of my summer here. That doesn't add up correctly now does it? So my internship....the jury is still out on how I feel about it.

The Pros-
-I am actually doing venture capital inside a large corporation. I had expected to take a more operations type finance role but got lucky and was placed in the the venture capital arm of said large corporation.
-I'm learning so much about VC that I didn't know I had an interest in it. I clumped VC with those types of jobs that don't allow for a reasonable work/life balance, but it turns out, there are possibilities.
-Working for a large corporation has its perks. There are a lot of employee programs in place that help the work/life balance. There are a lot of resources available as well.
-There is a rotation program when you become a full time employee. Every couple of years you can rotate into a new position, allowing for quite a breadth of knowledge in finance.
-The location rocks...home sweet home.
-Telecommuting is pretty common place here. Very easy to work from home at minimum one day per week.
-A lot of really bright, very driven people work here. You can learn a lot from any of the tens of thousands of employees here.
-You have pretty easy access to some pretty big players in management no matter what your level is.

The Cons-
-There are tens of thousands of employees working here, it's hard not to just feel like a number.
-The rotation program is more or less a requirement, you must change jobs every 2 breadth better than depth?
-The very bright/driven people here tend to give off an air of competition? Not sure that's an environment I want to work in.
-There is something about the culture here that I can't seem to put my finger on that turns me off...but I really can't figure out what it is just yet.
-Pay is competitive but not on the high end of the scale for the area.
-There are a few other cons but I don't want to out the company so I'll keep them to myself an not list them on a public forum.

Random thoughts about my career...
I don't think I ever considered that the culture of finance in general is so very different than the culture of engineering. I think that's been a huge transition for me (as well as working for the first time for an ENORMOUS corporation). As an engineer you are concerned about the end product, and less concerned about cost. For obvious reasons, finance is all about the almighty $. There is something about that that makes me feel uncomfortable. Maybe it's something I should have considered a lot more before choosing finance as my career path? But I think if I can find a job where I am passionate about the end product, I can deal with the fact that my particular job description is just about the $$. Sadly I think that end product is going to be in the non-profit world....and because of the almighty $$ that Georgetown has taken from me, the non-profit world is going to have to wait for me for a few years!

Now it's off to happy hour with my fellow interns. Networking Networking Networking...I so despise that word...


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

No More Midday Naps

I'm in the midst of week three of the internship. I'm still forming my opinion. It's such a large firm and everyone has nothing but great things to say about's sort of strange. I feel like it's a bit cultish. I like my supervisor, I like my project, I like my commute, I like the perks of working in my department, and I LOVE being back home! However, being home sort of puts me at a disadvantage in the networking department. I can't make it to all of the intern events because I have so many obligations here. The other interns are out here on their own so they depend on the intern events for social activities and I just don't have time for all of them.

There are lots of things I could say about the internship but I'm reserving my judgements until the end of the summer.

In the meantime I have to say that Moab is AWESOME! The BF and I went on a little road trip before I started work. We went to Zion to hike the Narrows. Sadly, the Narrows were closed but we managed to do another hike. Then we went to Bryce Canyon. Then Escalante for some slot canyons. Then off to Moab to mountain bike. And finally to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Sometimes I forget how lucky we are to live so close to such beauty!

Anyway, Moab mountain biking is unbelievably fun! I almost killed myself about a dozen times but it was worth it! I was feeling pretty studly after finishing the Slickrock trail. Although, I can't wear any skirts anytime soon. I did some serious damage to my legs on some of my crashes. I look like a 10 year old boy. But I'll say it was AWESOME!

And last weekend I ran marathon number 4 in San Diego. I haven't been to San Diego in so long, I forgot how beautiful it was. Perfect weather for running too. I didn't run anywhere near my goal but I did improve my time by almost 10 minutes. I was in the top 5% of my division and top 11% overall. I would have done so much better if I hadn't started flaking on my training 5 weeks ago. C'est La Vie. I'm thinking about Honolulu in December? Or maybe Nashville with a friend? But for now, I'm taking a week off of running and recovering...feels good!

More on the internship later. Until then I hope everyone is taking advantage of the summer!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

So close to margaritas on the roof...

In about 6 hours I'll be completely done with my first year of business school. Hallelujah! Praise whomever you feel the need to! Well, I suppose that is only technically true if I actually pass all of my finals? But I will assume that is the least I hope it is.

I have lots to say about my first year of business school but I'll reflect on that a little later while I'm not thinking about margaritas on the roof of the car barn (the not so cozy building that Georgetown currently houses it's MBA program in). Today it's margaritas on the roof and then some party out at a club tonight. I'm not so sure I'll be going out tonight. I'm not a night club kind of girl, plus I have to run at some point today (my marathon is just a little over a month away!!). Tomorrow it will be the last time my cohort (my 70 or so classmates that I've take almost all my classes with this past year)will be together. The social rep has planned a BBQ. I'll stop by for a bit. It should be a nice day. Right now it's beautiful. Makes it difficult to study for my last final.

Speaking of finals, I have come to the conclusion that finals are lame. Thank you thank you, but really there is no need to thank me for such astute insight ;-) This is my problem with finals, first of all we're on the module system so we're taking 5 finals 4 times a year, and just in case you didn't do so well on the quant section of the GMAT, that would be 20, yes TWENTY, finals to take over an 8 month period. And really, that's just lame. Plus, it's not as if we have to take final exams in the "real world" that they claim to be preparing us for, as if we have never been there before, but I digress. I think they should require final projects. That's my two cents. But since no one seems to care about what I think, probably rightfully so, I must get back to pretending to study for my last final exam of Year 1 in business school! Woohoo!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

New Internship...Time Off? To Float or Not to Float?

As I was just trying to organize my calendar for the summer it occurred to me that less than two weeks into my internship I need to ask for a day off! How do I go about doing that? I'm running a marathon out of town and will be traveling the Friday before the marathon. I could probably get away with working a half day that Friday? Do I contact the intern manager now or do I wait until I start? Hmmm??

In other news it seems its getting more and more difficult to focus on school knowing that I have less than two weeks of classes left, then exams, then I get to go back to California! Woohoo! Give me sun and fun! I have a little less than 3 weeks to enjoy of no responsibility before I start the internship. I am sooo looking forward to that! I'm trying to figure out what kind of vacation I can talk the BF into during that time? I was thinking the Grand Canyon, a hiking/camping trip. Or maybe Alaska?! Or road trip north through Oregon and Washington for some cycling, hiking, camping?? So many choices ;-)

Do you see how difficult it is to concentrate on To Float or Not to Float the Chinese Renminbi? Which by the way was supposed to be read for yesterday's lecture...oops! And off to class I go...

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Long Time No Blog!

I almost forgot that I had a blog until I was reminded by two classmates that asked me if I was mbasalsera! My first year as an MBA student is about 3 weeks from ending. All I can say is Thank God! It's been a tumultuous year. I'm not sure I was cut out for b-school? Or maybe I just wasn't cut out, at this stage in my life, for being so far from the one's I love back home? The work, albeit huge quantities, is not all that difficult. It's not like we're learning rocket science here. Sadly I have enjoyed very few of my classes. Fortunately, the few classes I have enjoyed are all happening right now, so it's making the year end on a positive note. Professors are alright, some fantastic, some horrible, most just average. The administration has a general attitude of superiority to the students. Have they forgotten that, prior to coming to b-school, all of us had already been successful in this "real world" they always refer to condescendingly as if we have no idea what that is. I wonder if I should have waited a year and reapplied to some of the other schools I was interested in? I also wonder if any of those schools would have been much different? (As I re-read this I realize how negative I'm being, please note, I'm tired and grumpy at the moment, I promise to be more positive about my experience in my next blog ;-)

On the flip side, DC is a fantastic city. I really wish I had more time to enjoy it though. I think next year will be a lot better. I'll be taking classes I have an interest in instead of being forced to take core courses. By the way, the core courses are something I actually wanted in a B-school, because I felt like I had no idea about anything after having only been an engineer for so long. However, after having been there done that, I completely regret that decision. I wish I NEVER had to take a marketing class ever. It's not what I like, not what I'm good at, and if I have no interest in it why would I want to be forced to take it? So if you're reading this and deciding between schools or deciding what schools to apply to, definitely consider what classes you are required to take and really think about whether or not you want to go through that! That was bad planning on my part. C'est la vie.

Anyway, as I was saying, next year will be much better. I've obviously learned how to balance my work load a little better. I'll be taking classes of my choosing so the work load will seem less overwhelming and I can try to enjoy life in DC a little more and maybe even get a life outside of school...find some running team or cycling team or maybe even a salsa team to get out with.

As every first year MBA student stressed about an internship....I got lucky. I had my internship lined up back in early October. It seemed absurd to me that I had been in school for less than two months and I was already interviewing and had an offer!! There were definitely a million pluses and a few minuses to having a summer internship lined up so early in the year. The very large tech firm found my resume posted for one of the career fairs I attended. The recruiter called me for an interview. I went through one phone interview and one in person interview at the career fair and had an offer soon after. I took it. It was the right location, the right position in corporate finance and the right $$. I'm not sure it was the right firm but it's a big name and it will look good on my resume. Plus the two people I interviewed with were really fantastic and I contacted two other people in the finance department there just to chat with them about the place and they were wonderful as well, so I took the offer. Of course that was great in terms of me not having to worry about applying and interviewing in the midst of finals, papers, projects etc. However, I sort of wish I had interviewed elsewhere just for the practice. I heard about classmates interviewing in front of panels of management, having 5 interviews, etc and I have no practice with that now. If next year I don't get an offer for full time at my internship or if I don't want to return I won't have the experience of interviewing. Plus when other firms of interest contacted me I had to say I couldn't interview with them because of the commitment I had already made for the summer. But what can you do? Besides I think the benefits of getting a good internship early on definitely outweight the cons by a landslide!

I will try to maintain this blog throughout my internship experience and throughout next year a little better. But no promises! I hope that all those bloggers out there that went through the application process with me are enjoying their first year and have fantastic internships lined up for the summer!

mba-salsera! (I should give myself a new name, I haven't been salsa dancing all year long :-( I hope to make up for that this summer!)

Thursday, June 21, 2007


They don't tell you in the interview that your assignments start the minute you send in your deposit check! I attended the Career search Jump Start program that Georgetown career development office so graciously designed to get a head start on the resume building and career search for incoming 1st years. The program is required and if you cannot attend in person (they travel to several cities in the U.S.) then you must complete it on line. I am glad I was able to attend in person. I found that I am not the only one completely confused about everything that needs to be completed prior to stepping foot on campus. Not to mention totally overwhelmed. The two ladies from the career office were very nice an extremely helpful. But when one of them said "it's great to get this all started now, this summer, since you have the time" I cried a little inside.

Time? What time? I still have an entire house to pack up and move out of by June 30th. I have to dig myself out of this pile of crap on my desk at work and wrap up everything before my last day on July 6th. I have yet to plan a single moment of my trip to Costa Rica which I leave for on July 12th. And as of June 30th I am pretty much homeless in my hometown not to mention what the hell I'm doing about housing in D.C.??? Time??? Seriously? I have time? Where is it because I can't seem to find it?

I return from Costa Rica on July 22nd and have a week to get myself together before spending another week driving cross country to arrive homeless in D.C. by August 5th. But no worries because I'll have plenty of time to do statistics and accounting on line courses then read and prepare the first 4 chapters of my accounting text book. NO worries!!!! Plenty of TIME!

Why exactly did I want to go back to school????