Thursday, May 31, 2007

As I alluded to in an earlier post, career-related activities are getting going here at CBS this summer. Next week I will be attending both a presentation skills workshop and an interviewing skills workshop. The former is optional and the latter is required (if you want to participate in on-campus recruiting). It's too bad the presentation skills class wasn't sooner because a group of us have to give a presentation in our Macroecon class next week!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

I just added a Twitter widget to my blog. Twitter is a free service that lets you create a feed to which your friends can subscribe, or that you can add to a blog. The feed consists of messages that you send from your cell phone, or via a Twitter web page. Anyone who is subscribed to your Twitter will get messages any time you make a posting. So, it's a way for you to let you friends know where you're going, what you're doing, or how you're feeling at any point in the day. Perhaps not very practical, but kind of fun.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The long weekend is finally here although I'm still tied to my computer. Been making alot of phone appointments to talk to various alums and other folks about career stuff. I'm heading down to Google shortly to meet one of my friends, a former VMware coworker who is doing Product Management out at the Googleplex. Later tonight I'm kicking off the weekend at the Boat Basin with a bunch of my clustermates. On Saturday, the Dutch J-termers are going to host a picnic during the day and then one of my clustermates is having is 30th birthday party that evening. I'm looking forward to catching up on sleep and hopefully getting some work done, too.

The recruiting machine has also begun spinning its wheels. A bunch of people (I think everyone) got a note from Credit Suisse asking if they'd like to be involved in summer recruiting activities. Also, some of the clubs had recruiting/career sessions this week (PE/VC and Management Consulting). Everyone is starting to talk about jobs (more than usual) and maybe even a little stressed. I have heard "everyone gets a job" but, does that mean everyone gets the right job? I'd like to think so, but I won't know for a while!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

On Monday I attended the 1st annual East Coast Venture Competition which was sponsored by VC firm DFJ Gotham and took place at Columbia. It was a really great event, especially considering it was the first one (they have one out West too, but this was the first on the East coast). A couple of guys from Princeton took first prize (250,000 in funding) for their chemically enhanced bacteria-resistant catheters and one of CBS's own won the surprise 2nd prize - $100,000 in funding.

The CBS winner was a company called Greenware, founded by a 2nd year who just graduated. Basically, they make ecologically friendly paper plates. It sounds simple but is actually very hard to do. The plates are microwavable, washable, and look good, too. I think they're onto something, and apparently the VC's do, too!

I also had the pleasure of meeting Tim Draper, who came out to judge the event. For those who don't know, he is the 'D' in DFJ, and one of the world's most successful VC's. It was kind of like meeting a rock star (albeit a rockstar that only MBAs and VC geeks like myself would appreciate :)

Actually, I just put some links to some videos of Tim on the right side of the blog -- it's him singing his VC-themed song, 'The Riskmaster'. Corny, but funny. Future MBAs will get a kick out of it (and others may cringe).

Kudos to DFJ - they put on a great event.

Friday, May 18, 2007

It's weird, I feel like I was on vacation forever after 1st semester (even though we had less than a week off) and now its back to drinking from the b-school firehose. I had three assignments/cases due today which I think was the most stuff I've ever had due in one day.

Since the semester break I have begun my informal job hunt - namely, networking like crazy. I have been leveraging personal contacts as well as LinkedIn to find people in my target field/jobs. Oh yeah, I've made the decision to shoot for Corporate Development jobs at tech/media companies as well as venture capital. VC is _really_ hard to break into but I've been having a fair amount of success in getting conversations with our alums in the industry. Actually, both of the roles are pretty tightly related (Corp Dev guys buy the companies that the VCs are funding) so by learning about one role I feel like it adds to my knowledge in the other role as well.

Also, a note for folks who want to go the J-term route AND career-switch...DO NOT TAKE IT LIGHTLY. Because J-term has no summer internship, you will likely have a harder time getting into the jobs that have a very well-oiled recruiting factory. What I mean by that is the firms who get most of their incoming class out of the previous year's intern pool. This is particularly true with the investment banks. However, I think that moving to consulting is certainly possible (and there are many J-termers who career switch into consulting). Even without an internship, there are plenty of opportunities to 'be' a consultant either through clubs or classwork.

I guess my point is, if you were in marketing (or basketweaving, or non-profit) pre-MBA, and want that job on Wall Street, be ready to work harder than the September term students and put your networking hat on early.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Here is a question that came in related to my last post:

Johnny, can you provide more details about the new "track" system? Will a student be allowed to take track related courses outside of Business School, such as the School of Architecture if one is interested in the Real Estate concentration?

Regardless of the new track system, you are able to take some number of courses outside of CBS. For example, I know a couple of students who have taken a law school course. There is a limit to how many courses outside of CBS one can take, and I think the information is somewhere on the CBS website.

Just enjoying a weekend out of the city. My wife and I are in Baltimore this weekend hanging out with her family. Thursday night we had our first J-term happy hour up at Havana Central after which some of my clustermates (as well as some Cluster Y and Z'ers) hit S.O.B.'s down in Tribeca. They had some sort of jam band playing which wasn't too bad. Friday I managed to get out of bed at a decent time and have lunch with one of my former co-workers who is starting a software company. I also did some career related networking, and had a great phone call with someone from Cisco, who filled me in on how M&A/corp development jobs work over there. Really great stuff.

Next week we've got Wednesday off since it's graduation day. Good news: no class on Wednesday. Bad news: we make up the classes on Friday. However, this means I will get to attend the Wilson Sonsini Entrepreneur's college session at their office in midtown. For those who don't know, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati is arguably the premiere VC/tech law firm in Silcon Valley. They are running free sessions this summer that cover various aspects of starting a company. Very useful for budding entrepreneurs like myself! If you're in New York and have lunch hour off, I encourage you to attend!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Hello from Texas! I am here visiting my newborn nephew during my very short break. Finals finished Monday and we start classes again this coming Monday! All of my grades are in (except for Microecon) and I did just fine. I felt like I learned a ton of stuff this semester, and am ready to start drinking from the firehose again on Monday. :)

I am taking 6 courses during the first half of the semester and then 5 the second. Here's what I'm taking, in case you are curious:

Analyzing Financial Statements
Capital Markets and Investments
Financial Accounting (Core)
Managing Marketing Programs (Core)
Operations (Core)
Decision Models (Core)
Global Economic Environment - fancy name for Macroecon (Core)

I exempted out of Leadership, which is usually a 2nd semester core course. However, for new students coming in this fall, the core is going to be much different, anyways. They are going to cut down on the number of required courses and move to a system that allows you to pick a 'track' based on your area of interest.

I think this is a good idea in some ways (you get to take more of what interests you earlier in your b-school career), but not so good in others (you'll be bound to have more classes outside your cluster than within it, which could cut down on bonding). I'm glad I am not the one making decisions on the structure of the core because I know it's tremendously difficult (ok, impossible) to find an outcome that will make everyone happy.

I also (as usual) seem to find myself with 18 different balls in the air as I start the semester. I'm helping out a company sharpen their funding pitch early this week (they are presenting to VCs on Wednesday) and have to write up an investment brief for a VC firm that I'm trying to get an internship with. Also, one of my study group peeps is going to have us all over for some dinner on Tuesday. Looking forward to that...