Get the GMAT out of the way

If there is one thing that I recommend more than any other when considering applying to business school, it's get the GMAT out of the way very early! This was best thing that I did. Seriously, the application process is stressful enough and I'm not even applying until next year. I know that this isn't relevant for those of you that are applying for MBA programs this year. However, if you know one or two years in advance that you are going to be applying to MBA programs, get the GMAT beast out of the way!

I finished my GMAT over a year ago now, but I took the GMAT twice. My first attempt was in June 2009 and I was so nervous going into the test center. I didn't know what to expect that day. All I could think about was getting close to my target score of 700, and I did get close with a 690. Unfortunately, I couldn't get that 690 out of my head and had to give the GMAT another shot. I signed up for my 2nd attempt in July 2009 and ended up with a 710. That put me in the 80% range of all of my target schools.

Overall, I put in a lot of effort studying for the GMAT. Actually, I just looked to see when I signed up for BeatTheGMAT because that is when I began studying for the GMAT. It was April 6, 2008 that my GMAT journey began. As you can tell, I took the GMAT pretty serious by studying for over a year. OK, OK, I admit my studying was off and on at first, but atleast I got started. Here I am over two years later and my GMAT is out of the way. Now, all of my time can be spent researching schools, visiting schools, talking with current students, and of course blogging about my adventure.

Private Equity

Today, I sat in on a meeting that included presentations from some big banks, asset managers, and a private equity firm. I have to say, private equity is by far the most interesting. The person presenting today was actually the chairman of the PE firm and he was phenomenal. This particular PE firm specializes in buyouts and targets companies in the 150-500M range. They have been extremely successful and are looking to start a new fund (that's why they were visiting of course). One of the slides that the PE firm presented had a list of the partners, principals, vice presidents and associates. Two things struck me as I looked at this slide:

1) All but one of the partners were HBS grads.
2) There were no women working with the company.

I guess point 1 isn't that surprising, but I was surprised that there were no women working at the firm. It just seemed like it was the all HBS boys club!

Can anyone that is in or wants to be in PE provide any insight if it is similar with other PE firms?

Inside the MBA Tour

I attended the Inside the MBA Tour last year when it was in Pittsburgh. I enjoyed the event and was hoping that the tour would be back in Pittsburgh this year. I just found out that it will be in Pittsburgh on October 27th, but I won't be around that day!!

Here are the schools that are going to be in Pittsburgh on the 27th:

Carnegie Mellon University
Georgetown University
Indiana University
Purdue University
University of Maryland
University of Rochester
University of Southern California
Vanderbilt University
Washington University in St. Louis
Case Western Reserve University
Emory University
Pennsylvania State University
Temple University
University of Minnesota
University of Pittsburgh

I am pretty disappointed because I really want to talk with Washington University in St. Louis and learn more about the program.

2010-2011 Full Time B-School Tuition

I like to look at things visually, so I put a quick graph together on b-school tuition for the Top 25 schools from the U.S. News ranking. I think you will see that the tuition for private schools is pretty consistent. The thing that sticks out the most is the in-state tuition for some of the public schools. For example, a non-resident of North Carolina would pay an additional $22,124 in tuition at Kenan-Flagler for the 2010-2011 school year. What I am getting at from this post is if you have a top public school in your state, I highly recommend looking into it!

One aspect I want to discuss more in my blog is the financial impact of business school. Many of my family and friends ask me why I want to take on the financial burden of business school. Although b-school is expensive, I don't see it as a financial burden, but as an investment in my future.

Last year, I developed a spreadsheet to look at the NPV of attending various b-schools. I plan to update the spreadsheet in the coming weeks and will post it on my blog when it is complete.

Crazy Times

Well ,it has been quite awhile since I posted anything on my blog. I still haven't got around to the Duke debrief from months ago, but I hope to get around to that sometime soon!

The main reason I have been inactive is because I changed jobs at my company. That has kept me pretty busy. I am now working in Treasury/Finance and I am enjoying the new position. I am still planning to apply to b-school next year. Right now, I am going to keep my options open, but I am strongly considering applying to Tepper's Flex-Time program. It seems to be a logical choice for me if I decide to stay in Pittsburgh (let's see how I feel after winter).

I have some interesting ideas for my blog. I plan to make some changes to the blog and incorporate some new ideas. Be on the lookout for the changes in the future!

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