Another Leg on the Road to… Comes to a Close

What a weekend! Berkeley Interview. Beantown visit. Yale Interview and visit. And another bout with PHL (aka the worst airport in the world).

Berkeley Interview

Instead of flying to San Francisco, I opted for an alumni interview. The interview lasted over an hour and started off (and ended) well. I had a minor hiccup in the middle but I attribute this to “interview fatigue”. As these interviews have dragged on my level on engagement and being ‘on’ all the time has waned. Berkeley certainly seems like an ideal school considering my entrepreneurial interests, and nothing right now sounds better than an exodus from the frigid Midwest, but my girlfriend is looking at schools out east and down south so the long distance relationship would definitely be a challenge.

Beantown Visit

Boston is a great city. Lots of youthful verve, great Italian food and superb seafood. Yes, I treated myself to a famous Boston lobster roll and a Sam Adams (well more than one :-). My girlfriend spent most of the time visiting Boston University’s school of public health while I flooded my Pumas walking through a wet weekend in Beantown.

We also visited Cambridge and took a tour of the Harvard Campus. Both of us agreed, it would be pretty baller to say, ‘I go to Harvard’, however in the same thought we both said, ‘Damn, these people need to take a chill pill’. Perhaps we judged prematurely by the few conversations we heard on the streets of Cambridge amongst Harvard students. They seemed to be dissecting some abstract classroom appropriate conundrum that apparently couldn’t wait until Monday (we encountered this three times in a ten minute span). There were also other things that annoyed… Excessive traffic, a 4 dollar piece of chocolate and way too many tan leather briefcases. After visiting for a couple of hours I didn’t regret my decision not to apply to HBS.

The rest of our trip was great. We had a skate on the Frog pound in Boston Commons and concluded the mini vacation with a robust Italian meal in the North End. I recommend Hotel 140 for anyone traveling to the area.

Yale Visit

I took the train from Boston to New Haven and was surprised that when I ended up at my destination I found myself smack dab in the ghetto. Not a big deal for a guy from Detroit, but I’m not gonna lie, I was expecting more. Sunday evening I met up with a friend for dinner and a drink, and was pleasantly surprised with the breadth of options in downtown New Haven in terms of food and bar action. Compared to other small town schools I’ve visited (Tuck, Johnson and Darden) Yale wins handily in the category.

This morning (it’s Monday and I write this from the airplane) I was dropped off at SOM and quite frankly, was a bit shocked at the age of the facilities. I’m all for architectural preservation and leveraging one’s vintage appeal as part of the reason to come to a school, but it seemed like SOM was an afterthought. It’s precariously placed at the edge of campus and split between three to four buildings which were quite dated. I was expecting more. The good news is, Yale has recognized this and is constructing what looks to be an absolutely amazing facility about 100 yards from the current buildings.

In terms of the interview, no real surprises. Again, a bit of interview fatigue crept in, but I felt very good about the connection with the 2nd year who interviewed me and the overall feel of the entire experience. SOM takes such a refreshing approach to learning that I really appreciate. We were able to sit in on a class and it really reinforced why I decided to apply… Of all the schools on my list, SOM has the most dynamic academic curriculum of any other. If you have a pure thirst for learning, and could someday see yourself as a professor this place is perfect for you. If you graduate from SOM, it’s likely you’ll be the smartest person in any room you sit in.

Catching up

This week, and next is going to be the busiest of 2012. I’m working on a new partnership at work that we’ll wrap up tomorrow. I’m teaching my first high school classes all day on Wednesday, and I’m tutoring my favorite youth entrepreneur I’ve cultivated on Wednesday night. Saturday I have a board meeting with a social venture I helped launch this past year, and unfortunately I have to deliver some sobering news… I’ve been there before when it comes to startups I’ve been a part of and even led, but I have faith the management can turn things around.

Overall it was a successful trip and I finished all of my interviews! Out of the 9 schools I applied to 8 invited me to interview and I completed 7. Now onto the next leg of the Road to the MBA Class of 2014.

P.S. The guy in Row 21 needs to stop farting. He’s already got my eyes watering.

P.P.S. I’ve logged so many mile on U.S. Airways in the past three months, and I’ve become so accustomed to the Bombardier Dash-8 you see in the picture above I think it’s my new favorite plane and airline.

P.P.P.S. Philadelphia International Airport still remains my arch nemesis.


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