Watch out, Johnson, here I come! [Johnson 2016]

Johnson-Cornell-Logo_webI’m sure exactly none of you will be surprised to hear that I’ve put my deposit down for Cornell Johnson!

Even though it was painfully obvious from my recent posts that I had fallen hard for Johnson, the decision was not an easy one to make. As I was considering all the pros and cons, I was also reaping the benefits of living close to UCLA and being able to attend every yield event Anderson offered. I had lunch with Dean Rob Weiler and coffee with my first year buddy. I also attended the Anderson Women’s Business Connection conference, a reception for fellowship recipients and Admit Preview Day. I was especially taken with Dean Judy Olian’s comments at the women’s conference. She was very frank about the challenges women face in business and went as far to say that women can have it all–but not at the same time. Basically, she said that a woman can’t be aggressively furthering her career and having kids simultaneously–one or the other has to take priority. She tried to underline this by pointing out that Julia Stewart (the keynote speaker) had her first child at age 42. It was all very intriguing and I admired Dean Olian for speaking a hard truth, even if it was a debatable one.

What I’m trying to say is that my decision was very personal . It was more about cultural fit and long term plans beyond my two years of business school and less about reputation, the quality of career services and trying to determine which school was “better.” I know it gets really old hearing this over and over again throughout the entire bschool application process, but I really tried to determine what was “better” for me than what was objectively “better.” Okay, now the word “better” sounds and looks really weird. I’m going to stop.

I did receive a Forte Fellowship from Johnson, which was FANTASTIC news. I was so excited! I am really looking forward to getting more involved in the Forte Foundation.

I thought applying and waiting for decisions was hard, but now comes the really terrible part: moving. (Moving–how do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways.) I’ve done it many times throughout my years, including a couple cross-country ones, and no matter how much I try to plan and prepare (and, yes, I do a LOT of planning and preparing), it always ends up being an excruciating process. And this time I’m moving with a car, which I’ve never done before. I’ve got about 3-4 months to prep everything, which sounds like enough time, but also seems like not enough at all. Here’s to hoping for a relatively smooth transition to Ithaca!

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UCLA Anderson: I’m IN! With MONEY!!

ImageI’m officially going to business school next year!

I wasn’t expecting to get a decision from Anderson until Friday, but I was sent an email around 3 a.m. on Thursday morning telling me that my decision was available online. I didn’t even bother checking my email until the late afternoon on Thursday (I’m already on vacation for the winter holiday), and when I saw the email my heart sank. I thought it was a ding since I had not received a phone call and the tone of the email was really cold and noncommittal.

I ran to my computer and logged in and was soooo relieved when I saw it was an offer letter! After the second waitlist decision I just got from Kellogg, I was really unsure of my MBA future. It was really gratifying to have one solid admit under my belt.

Then I received a second email that informed me that I had been awarded a $40,000 Forte Merit Fellowship. I was STUNNED. 40k is an insanely huge amount of money for me–I felt like I had somehow won the lottery. And as an extra bonus, I really respect the Forte Foundation and believe in its mission. I attended a recent Forte Forum and have been keeping an eye on their activities for awhile. I had already decided in my mind that I would become more involved in the organization and contribute in whatever way I can, so being a Forte Fellow would just be perfect.

Getting a 40k scholarship is a huge boon, but I’m a woman who likes options, so I’m not making any decisions or stopping my efforts yet. But–I did decide to no longer apply to USC. Even if USC somehow offered me a full ride or something crazy like that, I wouldn’t choose Marshall over Anderson. So I still have to wait to hear from Cornell (early February) and UMich and Duke (mid-March). I have a really busy upcoming two weeks before round 2 deadlines, so you probably won’t be hearing again from me until 2014.

Have a wonderful holiday season and happy new year, everyone!