Mes: mayo 2010

Harvard 2011’s essays questions

The HBS’s essays and recommendation questions for the next class have been published!

Although I’m still not sure whether I’ll apply to HBS, I have to say that these questions, having the question so early will definitely help. Here the questions:

Essays questions
What are your three most substantial accomplishments and why do you view them as such? (600-word limit)
* What have you learned from a mistake? (400-word limit)
* Please respond to two of the following (400-word limit each):
1. What would you like the MBA Admissions Board to know about your undergraduate academic experience?
2. What is your career vision and why is this choice meaningful to you?
3. Tell us about a time in your professional experience when you were frustrated or disappointed.
4. When you join the HBS Class of 2013, how will you introduce yourself to your new classmates?

I really like the HBS’s questions (straight to the point) and I’m pretty sure that I could manage to write good answers.

Recommendation questions:
* Please comment on the context of your interaction with the applicant. How long have you known the applicant and in what connection? If applicable, briefly describe the applicant’s role in your organization. (250-word limit)
* Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (250-word limit)
* Please make additional statements about the applicant’s performance, potential, or personal qualities you believe would be helpful to the MBA Admissions Board. (250-word limit)

By the way, Harvard requires three recommenders (some schools require only two). I already have two of them decided (my former boss in New York and a work colleague also from New York’s job). About the third I’m still undecided. Naturally, it would have to be someone from my current Hong Kong’s job, but the truth is that they don’t know about my MBA project and telling them about it could have some serious consequences, such as not renovating my expat contract that finishes in December’10. Well, I need to think about it sooner than later.

GMAT Test date: July 6

I didn’t have much time during the last weeks, and I forgot to tell you that I finally booked a date for the GMAT exam. I will take it on July 6.

For that reason I will start studying as much as possible. That is about 1h during weekdays after work, and 5h/day during weekends).

My goal is to get 700 or more, so during the next weeks I need to improve the accuracy and timing in Quant, and practice Verbal as much as possible.

The problem is that I have some friends here in Hong Kong the next days, so I need to combine work, social life and GMAT at the same time: mission impossible. Anyway, I’ve decided to take some days off from work just before the exam so hopefully they will help me to reach my goal.

Wharton Information Session

Today I attended a Wharton information session here in Hong Kong, held in JP Morgan offices in Central. There were an Adcom member plus two Wharton’s current students. Very good idea of bringing these two students as I liked hearing their thoughts about the school. However, I didn’t like so much the Adcom member.

There were more people attending the session than I expected. We were about 40 people, from which 95% were from Asian origins, so a big part of the talk was related to Asia (most of all, about China).

The session was interesting though I already knew most of what it was discussed because I have been doing lot of research during the last months because I’m very interested in this school. In fact, if I had to say which is my top choice school today, I would probably pick Booth or Wharton. Anyway, they provided useful tips about the application process and how to approach the essays. Also, they talked about school’s clubs and how the MBA curriculum is organized during the two years. Clearly, I like their structure of having an intensive core curriculum the first year, and a second year in which there is the possibility to specialize in two different majors.

Another thing I like from Wharton and Booth is their grade no disclosure policy. I believe this is great to promote the team work and team building among students.

Well, I will definitely apply to Wharton on round 1!

Back to 2009: US Road Trip

It’s been almost a year since I did this trip, but as I’m planning at this moment another big trip (this time to China), I want to share with you the planning and route of the trip, in case you are planning a similar one.

The trip lasted 25 days, and we visited San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and many National Parks: Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Mesa Verde, Arches, Bryce, Zion, Death Valley and Yosemite. We were 15 (my family and the family of my wife, including partners).

It wasn’t an easy task to organize this trip and I spent a lot of time doing so, but it was totally worthy: the trip was awesome and everything went fine.

I’m not going to go in detail through each place we visited as the post would become too long. However, don’t hesitate to ask me in case you have any questions.

Day 0 – San Francisco
Trip (flights):
New York-San Francisco (my wife, my brother and I)
Madrid-Toronto-San Francisco (my family and my wife’s)
Night: Hotel Hilton San Francisco Financial District

Day 1: San Francisco
We rented bikes at “Bay City Bike” near Fisherman’s Wharf and we rode to Sausalito, crossing the Golden Gate bridge.
Night: Hotel Hilton San Francisco Financial District

Day 2: San Francisco
Union Square, China Town, Financial District, Cable cars, Lombard, City Hall, Golden Gate park, San Bruno mountain, etc
Night: Hotel Hilton San Francisco Financial District

Day 3: San Francisco to Big Sur.
We rented RVs at CruiseAmerica in Oackland.
Trip: Oackland towards Los Angeles on Highway 1, going through Monterrey. Then, road 1 to Big Sur.
Night: camping at some point in Big Sur. I don’t remember the name as it was very late and we had to improvise.

Day 4: Big Sur to Los Angeles
Big Sur to Malibu Beach, visit to Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, Kodak Theater.
Night: Malibu Beach RV Park.

Day 5: Los Angeles to Grand Canyon
Los Angeles: Griffith Observatory, Hollywood.
Trip: Los Angeles to Grand Canyon (800 km).
Night: Mather Campground (Grand Canyon).

Day 6: Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon first day.
South rim, view points.
Night: Mather Campground (Grand Canyon).

Day 7: Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon second day.
Trail down to the canyon.
Night: Trailer Village Grand Canyon.

Day 8: Grand Canyon, Monumental Valley, Four Corners, Mesa Verde
Desert View Area, Yaki point. Monumental Valley. Four Corners.
Trip: Grand Canyon – Monumental Valley (290 km) – Four Corners – Mesa Verde (269km).
Night: Morefield RV park (Mesa Verde).

Day 9: Mesa Verde
Mesa Verde.
Trip: Mesa Verde to Arches (233km).
Night: Devils Garden Campground (Arches).

Day 10: Arches and Bryce Canyon
Arches: Delicate Arch Viewpoint, Wofe Ranch, Window section, Double Arch.
Trip: Arches to Bryce (438 km).
Night: Ruby’s Inn Campground (Bryce).

Day 11: Bryce Canyon
Trail Queens Garden & Navajo Combo.
Night: Ruby’s Inn Campground (Bryce).

Day 12: Zion Canyon
Zion on shuttle. Weeping Rock (Riverside walk).
Trip: Bryce to Zion (140km), to Las Vegas (269km).
Night: Sam’s Town RV Park.

Day 13: Las Vegas
Las Vegas.
Night: Sam’s Town RV Park.

Day 14: Las Vegas
Las Vegas.
Night: Sam’s Town RV Park.

Day 15: Las Vengas to Death Valley to Mammoth Lakes.
Trip: Las Vegas to Death Valley (271 km) to Mammoth Lakes (315 km).
Night: Mammoth Mountain RV Park.

Day 16: Mammoth Lake and Yosemite.
Mammoth Lake + Yosemite.
Night: Hodgon Meadow, CA.

Day 17: Yosemite
Mariposa Groove, sequoias. Outer Loop Trail
Night: Hodgon Meadow. ,CA

Day 18: Yosemite
Glacier Point. Lower Yosemite Falls. Bridalveil Fall. Taft Point and the Fissures
Yosemite Valley
Night: Oh Ridge (June Lake, CA)

Day 19: Mono Lake
Mono Lake (swim). South Tufa Trail.
June Lake (swim).
Night: Oh Ridge (June Lake, CA)

Day 20: Lake Tahoe
Trip: Mono Lake to Lake Tahoe (240 km).
Tahoe beach near Zephyr
Night: Zephyr Cove RV Park.

Day 21: Oakland
Tahoe to Oakland
Night: Anthony Chabot campground

Day 22: San Francisco
Return RVs.
Flights back (SF-Madrid and SF-New York)

In a postmortem analysis I would say that the time spend in each place was nice, and although some days may seem too stressful, we were able to visit everything we wanted.

If I had to choose my favorite places we visited I would say: San Francisco (I loved it), Grand Canyon (though I had seen it many times on TV so it was not so unexpected), Bryce (awesome) and Arches. Yosemite was impressive but we are more used to that kind of landscape in Europe (such as the Alps and the Pyrenees). However, the canyons in other national parks are something we can’t see in Europe and they are fascinating. I also liked a lot the landscapes along the way while traveling, and the big contrast between regions we crossed.