Thursday, March 27, 2008

Catching a breath

This afternoon around 3pm my official meetings ended after which I promptly camped out in a Starbucks here on University Ave and plotted my next move :) Namely, I am going up to Berkeley tonight to have dinner with a friend. And then tomorrow morning (very early in the morning) I will fly to LA to meet up w/Mrs J-Term Johnny and head to a wedding in Los Olivos (remember Sideways?). A nice, relaxed end to what was a productive 2 days here in Silicon Valley.

Although the relaxation isn't going to last for long...I have a paper to write for Tuesday for my Social Enterprise class, then more informationals next week! Also looking at a deal for one of the firms I've been in contact with, and helping out a portco of another. I am gonna need that Puerto Rico trip sooner rather than later...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Master Class video

This is a video that the CBS administration recently produced regarding master classes. Master classes are something I've been asked about at least a few times by prospective applicants, so I figured I'd repost it here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


An uneventful plane ride to San Fran (aside from an awesome 3 hour nap) and now I'm here at the epicenter of all things tech. I'm meeting an alum shortly for a beer and then may grab dinner with a college friend. I have four meetings tomorrow - two with hiring firms. I am staying near the gate to Chinatown - right around Bush & Grant. Keep your fingers crossed for me to knock the cover off the ball with these guys!

Monday, March 24, 2008

added social enterprise, dropped entrepreneurial selling

Decided to drop my Entrepreneurial Selling course and signed up for a Social Enterprise class instead. It was a tough call because I think selling is an invaluable part of any business career, but in the end the chance to dive into a less familiar area has won me over. Also, I think we'll be getting some good guest speakers as well - just looked at the syllabus and it looks like Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach for America will be visiting during one of the classes.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Duke MBA Games

This just came in today regarding the long running Duke MBA Games. CBS sent some people down last year (and probably in previous years). It is for a good cause as well. Check it out:

MBA Games Weekend
April 4th - 6th, 2008

In past years, teams from these business schools have joined Fuqua in the Games:

Carnegie Mellon • Columbia • Cornell • Dartmouth • Emory • Georgetown • Harvard • Michigan • Northwestern • NYU • UNC • Chicago • Wharton • Darden • Wake Forest

What other organization on campus can offer you the chance to:

·         Swim the length of a pool in a business suit?

·         Hurl a briefcase into the air for distance?

·         Navigate a challenging but FUN obstacle course?

What are The Duke MBA Games? In 1989, a group of students decided to invite their friends from other top business schools to Durham to enjoy the warm spring weather while raising money for the Special Olympics North Carolina. Since then, the Duke MBA Games has evolved into the largest student run event on campus.

Last year, Columbia Business School Joined Several Business Schools at Fuqua, Duke University to volunteer for the Special Olympics.

Visit for more details.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

packed agenda, New York Angels

Well, I have accomplished my goal of packing my West Coast agenda virtually solid with meetings. I'll be talking to folks from six different firms (and one entrepreneur!) over three days - some informally, and some more formally. One of my clustermates helped me hook one of 'em up as well - thanks Aamir! I am looking forward to the trip and hopefully will get to send a couple of reports from the road.

Tonight after class I stuck around campus and saw David Rose, head of the NY Angels, give a speech speeches. Well, not literally. It was a speech about how startups should construct their investor pitch deck. Very informative stuff and it reminded me how most business presentations tend to be cluttered, boring, and generally awful! :) David did a great job and I took away quite a bit from his preso. Also bumped into a couple of the entrepreneurs I have been working with.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Buyouts in Boston

Just when you are ready to smack your head against the wall, you get a call. :) Recruiter just phoned me about an opportunity in Boston doing later stage/buyout stuff. Sounds interesting enough, will hopefully hear something next week...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Goin' back to Cali

I'm going back out to California (Northern) at the end of the month for a few days of job hunting and meetings. So far I've got meetings scheduled with a guy from a venture firm and the CEO of a startup and hopefully some other stuff will start coming through soon.

After the flurry of meetings, I will be meeting my wife in LA and then heading up to San Olivos (near where alot of the movie Sideways was filmed). I am not sure if I will be going out west again so I better make this trip count!

Can't believe spring break is almost over - I actually have some homework to do :) I also need to figure out if I am going to swap out my Monday afternoon class for something else. I'd like to open up Mondays so I can spend it at the partner meetings at Chart. Monday meetings are pretty standard at VC firms, and are a time where the partners get together to talk about deals, portfolio companies, and whatever else is relevant to the group. And definitely a great learning experience for a newbie like myself.

MBA Business Plan competition

This looks kind of cool - lots of good VC firms involved as well...

The 8th Annual MBA Jungle Business Plan CHALLENGE
Presented by MBA Jungle Magazine

April 2008

Register now at
Submit executive summaries by March 15, 2008

You’ve competed against the best from your school; now compete against the best in the world!

Nearly 50% of past finalists have gone on to start their companies. You can’t afford to miss this!

Win thousands of dollars in cash and start-up services. Showcase your ideas to partner level VCs at firms like: Sequoia Venture Capital, Charles River, Goldman Sachs, Merant, Allegis Capital, Pequot Ventures, Intel Capital, JP Morgan Capital, and Ridgewood Capital

For more information and updates, check out the website:

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Puerto Rico

It looks like some J-term folks are trying to guage interest for an end of year Puerto Rico trip - before Disorientation Week but after classes end.
I travelled alot last year (Vietnam, Trinidad & Tobago, Japan) but have not left the continental US yet this year...been so focused on job search, etc. Will be a good chance to get some sun/fun in before graduation. I hope it comes together...

Thursday, March 06, 2008

An investment I worked on just closed

The venture firm I am interning with just closed a Series B investment in an infrared optics company. I helped out with some of the due diligence market research and exit analysis related to the deal. One small step for me in my VC quest :) covered in USA Today!

The startup I worked with last year,, was covered today in USAToday (online and print). Woo hoo!

Career Management Center launches Guest Advisor Program

I didn't realize that this program was coming up, although based on the way the email is worded, I guess it has been in the works for a while.

This will complement nicely the very popular Executives in Residence program already in place at CBS. The EIR program is a way for current students to get one-on-one advising time with very senior executives across a variety of industries. Unfortunately, there isn't a web page (that I could find) on CBS's site that talks about the EIR program. But the calibre of execs is quite strong, and includes guys like Rich Zannino and Leo Hindery.

Here's the text of the email:

The Career Management Center is pleased to announce the launch of a pilot advising program. Thirteen Columbia Business School alumni (and one from HBS) are coming on board to advise students on a variety of industry-specific topics. These alumni, designated as Guest Advisors, cover a breadth of industries including Investment Management, Media, Social Enterprise, Private Equity, Health Care, Investment Banking, among many others.

This program will be rolled out in stages after spring break, but some of the Guest Advisors may have limited availability before then listed on COIN. Feel free to sign up with them then.

We are very excited to launch this pilot program and hope this will add an extra layer of expertise and support to your job search. We will look forward to sharing more information about this program in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

networking galore in Boston

Up in Boston area today. Met with a couple of venture firms, one of whom I did a project with last semester. Good conversations and we'll see where things go. Also met with a great guy from Sloan (2nd year student), who is looking to get back into the venture business (he worked in venture before b-school), traded notes, strategies, etc. It's really great to know I'm not alone in this job search!

Otherwise, planning on having dinner with my folks tonight and then head back to Boston tomorrow in the late morning. I'm looking forward to Spring Break (which officially starts tomorrow) - gonna get organized, pick up around the house, and, oh yeah, keep looking for a job :)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Open House report

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I spent Friday afternoon at Open House helping out on behalf of Hermes Society.

The first event I attended was the E Awards. E meaning entrepreneurship. Cliff Schorer, a great guy and great teacher of entrepreneurship at CBS, led an awards show of sorts, where he gave big E trophies to CBS alums who had started businesses. Recyclebank received an award, as well as Blow, and Tabula Digital. It was a great little event and the prospective students that I spoke with really enjoyed it.

The second event was the club fair, where all the clubs set up tables in Low Library, and prospective students can talk to the club officers about their clubs. For me, it meant chatting with a couple of prospectives, but mostly talking to my friends who were working the tables :)