MBA Peregrinations

Charting the course of my travels through the MBA experience.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Dancing Queens

Literally, lots of them. Flashes of their heels and mascara-heavy eyes moving to the throbbing techno under the strobe light at Berlin. Which is where we went after dancing in the slightly more skizzy and frat-boy laden Big Shitty Crap. Skizzier perhaps, but I liked the music and space better at BSC, Berlin was like bumper cars with no room to maneuver. It felt great to get out and dance. Even better when both of the venues are within spitting distance of my place.

I'm so glad that the weekend has finally arrived. The past week felt too long and filled with recruiting events. It feels good to sit at home in my pj's after getting up in the pm hours. I've got plenty that needs to be accomplished over the next day and a half. Earlier in the week tends to be heavy hitting for classes, so I've got to haul on my homework and readings. And get organized for student group activities. But I just can't be bothered right now.

I have a love/hate relationship with my computer. Every time I boot up, I know I'll get a lot of information and be able to communicate with everyone, but its just a time sink. Compy on usually translates to no reading or homework getting done. The more applications I have open, the lower the chances. If I've got Mail, Firefox, iCal, and IM open, fuhggedaboutit. Nothin' doin'.

Kind of like right now.

I love the weekend.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Rainy Day in My Head

Come Thursday, I felt energetic enough to go to campus for recruitment. Thursday night, I was exhausted and cursed myself for venturing out before my body was recuperated. Yesterday, I repeated the same stupidity. So today I am officially bailing on everything in the hopes that I can shake this thing off over the weekend. I had plans to go to campus, then meet up for coffee with a friend of a friend new to Chicago, and then go to the symphony with some GSB folks. *sigh* I suppose its a good thing that I bailed, its making me tired just thinking about it. But the irrationally social and "true to my word" part of me can't help feeling bad about not following through on commitments to other people, expense to my health be damned.

Life has become hectic once again. What's even more surprising is how the 1st years look upon us 2nd years as experts. I guess we are, relatively. But no more than an ant that has figured out the best way to the proverbial cookie jar by getting lost multiple times and then finally getting there through the collective knowledge of previous generations. I managed to end up with 4 mentees. Holy crap. Its a good thing that I made an effort to meet up with all of them well before school started because recruitment will make it tough to keep up.

Its a rainy and dreary day in Chicago today. Not a bad thing when you're sick and confined to the indoors, but what I wouldn't do go to take a walk in it right now. In fact, its one of the reasons I came to Chi in the first place - to escape the perpetual and pleasantly vacuous California sunshine, day in and day out. Seasons, didn't have 'em until now. They do require a bit more spending for the seasonal wardrobes, and the drive home yesterday was frustrating as all hell since everyone turns into a douchebag in the rain. But the cyclicality of seasons somehow makes me feel more alive, like there are days when Mother Nature feels just as depressed or crazy as I do instead of being little miss endless sunshine. I often craved rain in Cali, and one of the most poignant memories of my first few days in Chicago last summer was a night of crazy thunder and lightning when it felt like the whole house was rollin' along with it.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Poor Start to Year 2

Today was a full day. 7 hours of training to be a GA, followed by a reception with the Deans to welcome us 2nd years back to campus and get us into the swing of full-time recruiting, followed by a company presentation.

Yours truly didn't make it to any of the above. I managed to catch a really nasty bug yesterday and spent last night either emptying the contents of my stomach until there was nothing left or passed out in bed trying to sleep off the exhaustion. I'm hoping that I can make it to school tomorrow, I feel like I'm missing out on the excitement of being back on campus and reconnecting with everyone.

The rest of the week can only get better from here.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

No Promises, But I Missed It...

Sure, its been months since I last posted. I've received many a prompt from my fellow bloggers to start posting again. But the inspiration has to be intrinsic you see. Truth be told, I did miss posting a great deal even though I wouldn't have had the time this summer to do much of it.

Since my last post nearly 4 (!) months ago, a great deal has happened. Big stuff first.

My mother went through cancer therapy and has been pronounced "cured". Although there is never really a "cure" to cancer, the scans say that there are no malignant cells left in her body. She will of course continue to have regular scans and checkups, but my family and I are thrilled and looking forward to having her around for the foreseeable future. She is, in every sense of the word, the glue that holds us together. Many thanks to all of you for your support, it helped get me through a very dark period.

Next, the gig. I spent about 10 weeks this summer as a consultant. It was very much the consultant lifestyle. Worked long hours and traveled every week, M-Th. Back in the home office on Friday. I won't go into detail about the clients or firm in order to preserve confidentiality and anonymity. Suffice it to say that I really enjoyed the work and thought the people at the firm were smart and enjoyable to work with. Apparently, they thought the same of me since I did receive a full-time offer. :) I have to evaluate some personal and professional goals before I decide on the offer, but it sure is nice to have the option!

Onwards to travel. Now I'm definitely no Olivier, but I do enjoy traveling (um...check out the moniker) and have accomplished my very short-term goal of "20 by 30". Translation, make it to 20 different countries by the time I turn 30. For those that traveled for work, this is probably nothing exciting. But I never traveled for work (SoCal doesn't officially count as another country, though sometimes I swear it is...) and really started my international travel about 6 years ago. So I've visited about 16 countries in the last 6 years, not half bad IMHO. Anyhoo, 20 by 30 - Check! I haven't turned 30 yet (though its not too far off so it may be time to start shopping for the black armband), but I made it to the 19th and 20th countries in the last several months.

Number 19 was Japan. Intriguing and gorgeous - history, politics, religion, culture, landscape. It was a trip organized through the Asian-Pacific student club on campus, and a big group of students went. The article for ChiBus gives a decent description.

Number 20 was South Africa. Finally made it to the African continent. Only Antarctica to go (no guarantees I'll make it here). South Africa has a complex history and diverse ethnic makeup. Apartheid was not just about white vs. black - so much more complex than that. The 4 major ethnicities that were categorized during Apartheid - black (native African), coloured (mixed race), Indian (from the Indian subcontinent), and white (also referred to as Afrikaaner, mostly Dutch). There were many ethnic minorities as well that didn't fit "cleanly" into these categories (such as Chinese and Taiwanese). We were able to visit several spots that focused on the Apartheid struggle, such as Robben Island in Cape Town (where Mandela and many other prisoners were held), and Soweto, the Hector Pieterson museum, and the Apartheid museum in Johannesburg.

We spent time in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Pilanesburg on a safari. Yes, I saw wild animals and it was amazing!! I won't go into much more detail now, but will post a link to the ChiBus article when its printed. So what's next on the travel hit list? Dunno, we'll see if I get to the next place on my list... I'll share once I know for sure.

This post has now become way too long. I'll stop here for now. Like I said, no promises. Blogging takes up more time than I often have, but I'll see if I can start posting more regularly. Ciao for now!