Thursday, August 03, 2006

Good Morning.

So I just wanted to know if I was the only one who thought that the sample recommendation letter in Montauk's Top MBA book was absolutely, mind-blowingly ridiculous. It totally summed up my reservations about subjecting myself to this process - that despite being a perfectly good performer of above-average intelligence, I would never get admitted as they pass me over for these super human automatons the likes of which I've never known to exist which must only be further evidence of my inferior status in life. The letter takes up a good 5+ pages in the book (I was assuming one page was adequate) and is glowing beyond belief. Presumably it's a real letter, so my apologies for disparaging poor Margaret, but this woman was an Art History/English major who has apparently mastered every aspect of Ibanking Associate life and all things quantitative within the 3 years that the recommender has known her. She is trilingual, charming, singularly amazing among her cohort of 40 associates who also came from top schools and blithely put in their 80 hour weeks. The apex of absurdity comes about mid-way through when the recommender is in Taiwan I think (skimming vigorously at this point, so not sure exactly the set up) working desperately in the final hours of a project, decides to share that s/he is 'homesick' (!) and Margaret breezes in and within minutes finds a mistake in their quantitative work. Either Margaret really is a saint or this recommender is a loser! A Harvard MBA, 19 years in the business and gets homesick while on a deal!? Seems a little fishy. I couldn't finish the thing it was so ridiculous.

Anyhow, early in September of last year I decided that I was sick to death of my job and only graduate school could save me. Unfortunately, having not studied at all for the GMAT at that point, I eventually scrapped the whole idea as my third year of CFA studies loomed quickly and for various other reasons. But I spoke with a very nice woman from one of the MBA consulting outfits to see if it was crazy to try to apply that year. She said it's not out of the question, though challenging, but perhaps I can take on more extracurriculars and job responsibility? Stop here. At this point my average week is 60 (people really work 80? is that even humanly possible for more than 1 month?), I am getting up at 4, putting in my day to come straight home, jump into work clothes and scrape paint off my house for 6 hours. I am mentoring several hours a week for Big Brother/Big Sisters, studying for all the series licenses I have been putting off taking as I slog through CFA studies and extra Calculus classes in a false start to apply to PhD programs the previous fall, trying to get some exercise and keep up with my subscription to the Economist and retain what few friendships I have that have managed to withstand my perpetual non-availability and keep my husband from divorcing me. And I'm supposed to have more time to volunteer for something? My god, I thought, I am really not cut out for this MBA stuff already. To hell with that. My life sucks enough, if I'm a slacker then that's just where it stands.

Which leads me to the second point of reluctance about signing myself up for this degree. Who are these people who make it into these programs and do I really want to spend 2 years with them and perhaps the rest of my working life? I'm a solid above-average sort - not amazing and not always reliably above-average, I have my moments of weakness and depression and disappointments. I work hard but scoff in the face of this alleged 70+ week. Come on people, aren't we exaggerating a bit? I'm not team spirit. Team player fine - if necessary. But I like to work on my own, I despise team-building activities, I loathe insincerity and let's face it, top business people often seem like the most insincere people on earth. The business shelf at the bookstore is rife with the worst tomes produced in the human language. MBA's have reputations for being cocky, know-nothings. And do I really want to join these ranks?

I didn't really want to introduce myself this way, but this really is at the heart of my reluctance. As it happens, some of the MBA blogs I've run into have made me take a second look, these people actually seem sane, endowed with a sense of humor, even human. So that's good. And I really do appreciate ambition and success and feel like I might really enjoy those qualities in classmates from a top school. But that recommender letter just touched off those old irritations and fears and I just thought I'd get them out there in the open.

No comments: