SgHama's MBA Dream

After 2 years of what if's and worrying about the finances... class of 2008 here I come!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Steve Jobs and his resignation

Yesterday, Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO of Apple. This isn't news because it's plastered all over the Internet, wherever I go. What's surprising is all the eulogies being written about him... it's like he's no longer with us anymore.

Now I'm truly saddened that his health has taken a turn for the worse, and I pray that he will recover soon, but the man is not dead. He will be staying on as chairman of the board. Let's be a little bit more optimistic and look forward to more years of Steve's magic.

To close out, I recently watched this commencement speech Jobs made to Stanford's graduating class of 2005. It's a good video with a few nice quotes... favorite ones below. Enjoy.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Moving on from consulting

I alluded to this in my previous post, but for the record, I've decided to move on from consulting. I went into consulting thinking it wouldn't be forever, and my last 3 years have confirmed it. Not that it's a bad career - I've learned a ton, and have a lot of respect for the people who choose to stay in the industry... and the economics become very attractive the longer you stay, but it's just not for me. As nice as high level strategy work is, I'd also like to get grounded in the reality of making things happen on the ground. I want to build a product or a business. I want to work in an industry that I'm excited about. Oh, and I want my life back.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I'm back

Hello world... it's been a while since my last post. Don't think I have anymore readers, but I'd like to still use this as a forum to reflect on the past 5 years. Let's look at the quick highlights:

1) Tried out investment banking in New York - great experience but no thanks

2) Had a baby girl - I'm a dad!! life changes forever

3) Graduated from Tuck with that coveted MBA - ready to conquer the world

4) Moved to California to work for one of the big 3 consulting firms (McKinsey/BCG/Bain) - started out with a ton of energy... have had my share of ups and downs over the last 3 years

5) Spent 6 months in Tokyo on an internal transfer - awesome experience paid for by the company

6) ... looking forward to the next step

Did I make the right decision to take the $150K plunge? Did I truly accelerate my career? What is consulting really like? Do I see myself staying in consulting? Will talk about all this and more soon. If you're read this, leave me a comment so I know I'm not talking to myself. Till next time.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Stanford and GRE

Apparently Stanford will accept GRE scores in lieu of GMAT scores to help potential students who cannot afford high application costs. To me, the whole idea seems ridiculous. People are still going to take the GMAT because all other schools require it, and unless you are 100% sure you're getting into Stanford (and who is?), you're going to apply to other schools as well. So the GRE becomes irrelevant (unless you want to spend even more money to take another test). Interesting how Stanford did not choose to reduce the one cost which would make a difference - the >$200 application fee!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Useful posts (maybe)

I know I haven't been blogging recently, and there is a ton of stuff to update regarding the post-admit process - visa, housing, financial aid, and even a car! I will do that later once I have more time. I'm still working and plan to work through the summer to earn some extra moolah for school. Oh and the World Cup has been sucking a lot of time too ;) I envy all you guys that have already quit and are spending the summer traveling or just bumming around!! My turn will come... 2.5 weeks before I officially hand in my resignation letter and then another month before my last day. The management team doesn't know yet... how did you guys bring up the subject?

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I've added a section on the left for posts that I think would be useful for next year's class - GMAT tips, interviews, etc. Going through my old posts, I also found a few things about essays and recommendations, but they weren't in neat little posts that I can just link to, so if you're interested you'll have to wade in through all the muck of my application story =)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Why I like Green more than Red

As promised, this blog entry addresses the Why Tuck question. It's actually an email response I sent to another T'08 admit who is trying to decide on where to go. My reasoning may not apply to all you guys out there who still have decisions to make but I hope that at least some of it is helpful.

The main areas I considered were career opportunities, brand, location, and fit.

First, in terms of career, I'm one of those guys that isn't really clear about what he wants. I'd like to keep my options open in consulting, finance (buyside in PE/VC, IM), and a general management rotation program. After doing the research I came to the conclusion that both schools are about the same for consulting and that Tuck has a slight edge in general management recruiting in the US. While Chicago is a finance mecca, PC/VC firms don't recruit on campus (except for maybe Harvard/Stanford) so it's going to be tough from either school but I feel that Tuck's proximity to Boston and its alumni network will make it a little easier if I choose to pursue that path. For IM, Chicago is the better school since they bring recruiters to campus, but then again, standing out against the former investment bankers/sell side analysts lining up for IM jobs at Chicago is going to be tough. If I was focused on what I wanted - e.g. IM - then Chicago would be a better choice because I would be able to take all the IM related courses in the first couple semesters in preparation for internship interviews, but because I am pretty undecided, I feel that I wouldn't be able to take advantage of the flexible curriculum. Not to mention having to go up against guys who will load up on relevant courses. While I would be able to select courses that cover a broad range of disciplines at Chicago, I think I would also open up myself to questions from recruiters - e.g. why didn't you focus on finance since you have a such a flexible curriculum, etc. I won't get that at Tuck because everyone has to go through the same courses.

In terms of brand recognition, Chicago trumps Tuck, especially internationally. It's a big risk for me to go with Tuck given that it's relatively unknown in Asia. However, I plan to get a job in the States immediately after graduation, so that made me more comfortable with the branding issue since both schools have good reps in the US. Chicago has a broader alumni network, but I've had mixed reviews about the effectiveness of the network. Tuck alums seem to be unanimously positive about the alumni network.

Finally, Tuck wins hands down for location and fit for me. This is probably a once in a lifetime opportunity to live in such a rural environment. The "fishbowl" environment ensures that I will have deeper relationships with my classmates compared to at a huge city like Chicago, and building lifelong friendships is something I really want to get out of bschool because 5-10 years down the road, that's all that's really left. If you factor in that Hyde Park isn't the most desirable of neighborhoods to live in and that students are scattered over downtown and take classes at both the Gleacher Center downtown and main Hyde Park building, I am pretty sure I will have a better time at Tuck overall. Plus it doesn't hurt that I love snowboarding and that the slopes are practically next door to Tuck, while the midwest is pretty much flat but with the same freeze your ass off weather. =)

To be honest, it took me a really long time to get over the whole brand name/reputation issue. Almost everybody I spoke to recommended that I go to Chicago (and the school does a fantastic job of selling career services and hosting a really slick website), but in the end I think I'll do alright at either school so I might as well go where I feel most comfortable. Another sacrifice we had to make was that my wife will probably not be able to work in Hanover, whereas her chances at Chicago would be much higher. However, we've spoken about it and she is ok about that.

Soooo, here's to drowning myself in green kool aid for the next 2 years. August can't come around soon enough!

Monday, April 24, 2006


Thank you for your response. Your decision has been processed and sent to Tuck Admissions—you have now secured a place in the Tuck Class of 2008. Congratulations!

I finally bit the bullet and paid the $2,000 deposit. I'm officially going to Tuck! I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the estimated student budget for first years ($65k!!!) but I've come this far and I'm not about to back out now. I can't wait till school starts! =)