Friday, December 31, 2004

Long time no-blog 

I spent Christmas Eve to Boxing Day (26th Dec) at my mum's and then headed back home on the 27th for the rest of the holiday period. From the point of view of spending time with people, three days was too short. From the point of view of spending time in a house with a cat I'm allergic to, heating that always seems to be on too high, and double glazing that makes me feel like I'm in an air-tight container, it was long enough. Since I've been home I've slept lots, taken care of some bits and pieces that have needed doing for a while, pottered around and generally enjoyed having several consecutive days at home without having to travel half way across the country or get up ridiculously early.

Despite her rather low-key initial response, my mum was impressed and excited by my two acceptances. When I got to her house she was still struggling with which of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania was the state and which the city, but had found out that UPenn is Ivy League. Despite my attempts to explain that this doesn't necessarily mean much in terms of b-schools, she still seems to think that it's important. (From a parental bragging p.o.v., I think she's still a bit disappointed that I opted to do my undergrad at London rather than Cambridge. ) So when choosing between the two, it's clear where her vote goes.

I must say that Wharton is garnering itself in laurels when it comes to how admits are handled in a way which Kellogg currently is not. The on-line admit notice links straight into an admitted students portal, with information on welcome weekends, financial aid etc and a discussion forum similar to S2S, so you immediatley link into this community of other admits and current students. In addition, my admit package arrived this morning, sent by DHL. As well as the expected letters was information on Philly, a UPenn graduate student leaflet etc. And I've had three of four e-mails from current students. There's a very real sense that they are as happy and excited at the prospect of me studying there as I am.

In contrast, there's been nothing from Kellogg since the intial phone call and e-mail. OK, it' not their fault that they phoned the same day as Wharton, but everything has been very low key since then. I can't even log on to the admitted students area until I get my log-in information, which is in a letter currently making its way across the atlantic from Chicago. Fortunatley, I've got a rough Day at Kellogg timetable from someone on the Business Week boards, which meant I could plan travel.

Speaking of travel, my credit card has taken quite a battering booking flights and hotel rooms. I've negotiated some rather awkward time off so that I can go to the Wharton Social Impact Management Conference in two week's time. Although it means an extra flight, I'm interested to get a better pisture of this side of things at Wharton, and compared to the overall expenditure for an MBA, it dosn't cost too much. Fortunatley it's a cheapish time to be travelling to the north east US, and my airline allows you to sandwich flights together, so I've managed to avoid a Saturday night stay both for this trip and Winter Welcome. Hotwire.com got me a decent price at the Sheraton University City for the first trip. For Winter Welcome I'm going to be at the Hyatt Regency Penn's Landing, which is somewhat further away than I'd have liked, but a really good price from Priceline means I can afford to take cabs and still be in-pocket. For Day at Kellogg, I've booked a flight over to Washington Dulles (which seems to be the best place for connections, as I don't want to fly with any of the airlines that go direct) and will book the internal flight in a few days once I'm into the next credit card billing period. I'll sort out somewhere to stay then too. I did think about going for the 'stay with a student' option for Winter Welcome, but decided that a. it'd make more sense to be somewhere I can respond to my jet-lagged body clock without disturbing other people and b. because I'm still deciding between schools, having a bit more physical space to myself will let me think and reflect better.

Happy New Year to all. Good luck to everyone completing r2 applications, and my thoughts and prayers are with everyone copin with the effects of the earthquake and tsunami.


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