"The Admissions Committee has carefully reviewed your application materials and I am sorry to inform you that we are unable to offer you admission to UCLA Anderson School of Management for Fall 2005."
Like all good dings, this one was succinct and had an exceptional, harmonically perfect ring tone.
I recommend this ding with the Nieman Ranch free-range chicken breast scallopini, seared winter veggies, pistachio - green tea ice cream and steel-cut oatmeal parfait, all complemented by the '99 Chateau St. Michelle Gewurtztraminer.
Anyway, what can you do? I was a little luke warm on the place anyway, especially in comparison to my visits to Rice and McCombs. I lugged my ass up there in a suit, only to interview with a second-year who was wearing shorts and a t-shirt with a three-day stubble. After attending a class with a totally forgettable professor, I think one student introduced himself to me. Contrast that with Rice and UT, where I had non-flippant interviewers dressed for the occasion and at least 10-15 students introduce themselves and volunteer their contact info in case I had any questions. So bottom line? I kind of expected it, and I'm not that bummed about it.
So in the absence of any new info from UT -- now entering week 11 since applying -- I've started to really research the career options and school life at Rice. And I've been really impressed with what I've seen. The ten-week action learning projects they do while in residence will be a great opportunity for me to get some hands-on finance and marketing experience. This will be huge coming from and engineering/project management background. It also seems like a lot of I-banks recruit there, especially for energy I-banking. Not that I want to be a banker necessarily, but I see I-bank recruiting as somewhat of a validation of an MBA program -- kind of like getting a Starbucks in your neighborhood.
I've been really enjoying my career research and reading up on finance, accounting and statistics. I enjoy sort of cerebral and analytical things, but I also have a non-engineer personality. My early opinon is that I will pursue some sort of investment career, likely in the energy sector. Of course, all this could go out the window after my first marketing class, but as they say, if you don't have at least some sort of plan, how do you know what do deviate from?
*Kudos again to WC on the Sam Giancana Memorial Scholarship at Chicago, and for all of the support and advice.