Monday, February 18, 2008

Doing a survey for SPSD

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

INSEAD event in Chicago - follow up

So I ended up going to this event in Chicago for prospective INSEAD students that was held by Goldman Sachs at their building downtown. At first I felt kind of awkward, since I've already been admitted and this even was targetted at prospective students, but then I thought about it and decided to sacrifice my Friday night since I thought it would be a good opportunity to meet alumni and to start networking.

It was a good event, which was filled to capacity with prospective students. Talking to students it seemed to be a mixed bunch from all around the midwest. Some candidates even came from St. Louis (5 hours away), and Milwaulkee (2 hours away), just to attend the event. The INSEAD did a great job in selling the school as a top 10 school that has excellent diversity, and which opens doors to you in non-traditional markets in various different countries. This is important, since it something the US schools simply cannot do, since they do not have the diversity and are mainly targetting US recruiters. Also they were very good at selling the school as a fun school to attend, where not only do you get a great education, but you also come away with a lot more. The alumni seemed to have genuinely loved their INSEAD experience,and all pointed it to being their best year of their life to that date.

I met some alumni and they pointed out the days will be long, and there will be a lot of work, but the profs do understand that networking is important and they fully expect and understand that you'll be working on the beach in Thailand trying to finish up an assignment on a weekend. That was good to hear. Also the sense of community for INSEAD alumni is great perhaps than that of other alumni. INSEAD alumni are more likely to hang out, meet each other up for weddings, parties from all around the world. Most other schools use their alumni network in a more formal context. The INSEAD alumni network is a way to meet people in a new city to just hang out with etc...

Also interesting to note the group of prospective students was very diverse as well, and well accomplished. I have a sense of the demographic that INSEAD appeals to, and it seems to be bright forward thinking individuals from around the world that are interested in not only a good education but also a good life experience.

All this has me very excited to start soon and be part of this great alumni network soon.

D-Day at work

Ugh..the Irony. After bragging about 2 posts in one day, I haven't blogged in over a week and a half. I'd like to thank the 3 people who keep reading my blog on a daily basis. You are my inspiration...apparently you have more faith in me then I have in myself.

So yesterday was d-day. Walked into boss' office slammed the door and yelled..." I QUIT". Well not quite...but in retrospect that would have been nice, dramatic and perhaps a more exciting way to leave. But hesitant to burn any bridges I decided to take the, it's not you, it's me approach (thank you Costanza). Actually turned out pretty good. They congratulated me on getting into INPEAD (yeah most Americans have never heard of INSEAD and were baffled when I told them I chose INSEAD over Chicago, NYU, Columbia, etc...). They thought perhaps my lack of a good GMAT, or good undergrad grades had led me to settle for an MBA education abroad, where I could pay my way in.

That night they went home and someone read up on INSEAD and came to me and said "Wow, you got into INSEAD??? That's a great school". So see now there are about 10 people in the Chicago area who know INSEAD and believe it's a top 10 school!!!

Anyways feels awkward would think when I know I'm leaving I would walk into work at 10am and leave for a 2 hour lunch and then leave work at 4pm. For some reason though I feel compelled to work harder. I got in at 8:30 (which is super early for me), and am eager to finish all my work. This will probably die in a day or 2. Whatever...I just can't wait to be in Singapore! :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

INSEAD Event in Chicago??

Checked my email the other day and something interesting showed up. It was an invite from INSEAD to an event in Chicago.

Needless to say I'm going. I have no clue what to expect or wear, but it will be nice to meet some fellow INSEADers that are in Chicago. I posted to see if there was any one else from around here on Insy hot/not (aka Netvestibule) a while ago but nobody responded. So I came to the logical conclusion that nobody from my class is in Chicago. But now I see we have a full event? I'm excited, maybe it'll just be me and the two people that interviewed me. Well...on the bright side, if that's the case, more Booze for me!!

I think it's geared towards prospective students. But I have no clue where/how they advertise it. I'll let you know how it turns out.

INSEAD Funding - Ugh

Sitting, dreaming about being in Singapore I realized I had to find funding SOON. Really there are only 1 or 2 options if you are a Canadian living in the US. The first issue is that all the US federal loans require you to be an American Citizen or a Green Card holder to unfortuantely unless I marry an American within the next 15 days, I don't qualify, and even if that happens (as all you prospective ladies send your applications), it would probably take a month or two for all the paperwork to clear. Feel free to send applications anyways :)

So really you have only a couple of choices:
1) IEFC Loan through TERI
2) PARAS Foundation Loan
3) Private Bank Loan

Paras is an Indian foundation that provides loans, but their whole application system looks really sketchy. Also the amounts they may charge for your loan are not clear and may depend on millions of factors, which of course they choose not to disclose. I'm sure they are good and trustworthy, it's just there is not much information about them out there so it is hard to take that plunge. ALso their origination fees are high.

Getting a Private Bank loan is really not an option if you don't own property and have your own line-of-credit. I don't own a house, so I'm pretty much not eligible unless i can throw down some serious capital. I can't, so i'm SOL

Lastly there is the IEFC loan option. If you are an alien in the US (WTF????) then you can apply for a loan with an eligible co-signer (US Citizen). Three banks provide loans through IEFC and each has it's own pros and cons. 2 of the banks provide LIBOR + 2-3% rates, but they have high origination fees of around 6%. The other bank can give you 0% origination fees depending on your credit, but it's rate is Prime + 1%. So it's a bit of a toss up. Either way you lose.

Option F has you finding a rich relative that can sponsor your tuition :)
Option G = Sugar Momma

So far I'm still looking for Option F or G, so looks like I will have to go with the IEFC.

As for Scholarships...well:
a) I'm lazy and can't be bothered writing 20 essays
b) I don't know how to justify that I'm in a financial crisis when I have a good job, parents are doing fine as well, have some investments etc...

So we'll see how that goes, though I did find one for Canadians that is basically a loan given to students for X amount htat you are expected to pay back to the organization when complete. Also you must have the "intention" of returning to Canada. Now...hmmm...I do have the intention of coming back someday...just not in the next 5 Does that count?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Ciudad de Mexico - Part II

When it rains it pours my little bloggeroos. And I have a treat for you...2 blogs in ONE DAY...WOW! At this rate I might be only behind D.T.L.F by one or two blogs a day.

Anyhow Part I brought us Shakira and all her glory, part II will one up that....if possible.

So still in Mexico, we decide the next day to head to the Aztec pyramids of Teotihuacan (say that 10 times fast) which are about 40 miles outside of DF (District Federale). So it's 40$US for hotel bus...or if you are really frugal and looking forward to a 110000$ bill for your upcoming MBA education abroad you can spending a total of 27 pesos each way + 2 pesos for metro to ride with the locals and their chickens/goat/ for me it boils down to 3$ vs 40$. And i get to spend time with wildlife? wow....option B it is. So turns out we have to take a one hour metro ride to the bus station, from where we need to find a local bus to the pyramids only to get dropped off on a road somewhere near the pyramids. (hopefully)

Soooo...during rush hour...SOMEHOW we board the train...somehow we reach the station, somehow we buy a ticket, and somehow we board a bus. The bus is really ghetto from the 70s and has NO tourists with nobody that speaks English. Also apparently it is not an express bus. It stops anywhere for anyone without hesitation. At this pont I'm thinking...what if it's not going to the pyramids....we are SCREWED. Also the rooster on the seat next to me is a bit vocal in his sensing of my fear. So I go ask the bus driver in my awesome spanish..."Este autobus viaje a las Pyramides?".
Driver - "Si"
Me - "Cuantos horas para ayer a los pyramides"
Driver - "una hora"

rooster on bus

great. So one hour to the pyramids. I can go to sleep (if the rooster shuts up).
So one hour later I get up and the driver is yelling in my ear..."PYRAMIDES...PYRAMIDES"...yes, finally we've arrived? I look outside the window and all I see is a corn field. Reluctantly I get off the bus, hoping worse comes to worse I show a little leg and hitchhike my way back to the Zona Rosa, but fortunately there was a little path leading towards the parking to the Pyramids.

The pyramids themselves were awesome. I wasn't expecting much after being the the Great Pyramids of Giza and as well as the Mayan Chichen Itza, but these were beautiful in their own right.
These pics are from top of Sun Temple towards the moon temple. After reaching the top of the sun temple, the sun gods provided us with bright sunshine the rest of the day!

Ok It's 30 stories high....

yet even the dogs can climb to the top with no issues.

A yes..the path to Human Sacrifice!

view of Sun temple from Moon moon from the moon gods....I think I like the sun god better. Sorry moon god. No wonder your temple is smaller!

sacrifice pit. Ouch.

And to top it off at the top of the sun temple we met these people that wanted us to take their pictures. We chat it up with them for a bit, and it turns out they are from Canada. We ask how come they are in Mexico City expecting a backpacking type answer, but the answer we got was surprising. They are friends with Ms. Canada and were there for Ms. Universe taking place that wknd! Can you believe it? Ms. Universe and Shakira same wknd? So turns out there was no way to get tickets to the event. But they invited us to an after party at the Hard Rock Cafe later that night.

So here are some pics from the Hard Rock Cafe:

Awesome times, I got to meet some of the girls and Invanka and Donald Trump. Was a great time. What can be better than spending an evening with 60+ of the most gorgeous women in the world? I doubt anything can top this. And no these girls are not high on themselves..which would be expected. The ones I talked to were down to earth. (which maybe explains why they talked to me in the first place!)

The next day there was a parade for the contestants

Next day at the airport I ran into some contestants and had a chat with some of them. I talked to Ms. Angola and Ms. Zambia for a bit, as well as Ms. Hungary. It was weird to see them in normal clothes with minimal makeup. They still looked gorgeous though, and are all super tall so they standout. Ms. Angola was really sweet and she said if I ever make it to Luanda she would chill with me and show me around. She gave me a business card, so now all that's left is for me to make a trip to Luanda. Any suckers (I means friends) want to go? I hear it's an awesome country! :)

Of course no Ms. Universe airport sightings would be complete without some nice stalker pics. Here is a pic of some Ms. Universe contestants boarding a plane at the airport.

Anyhow that's Mexico City, and to make things even better I got upgraded by Mexicana into business class on the way back! Damn right! What a trip. This is why I love travelling. The unexpected events, meeting new people, forming your own opinions on places that others may not see the same way....that's what travelling is about. In fact that's what life is about as well. It is experiences like this that make you want to live the extra day, make you want to earn the extra penny. I know it all sounds cliche, but it's true.

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