Imaginary Engineer - Yale SOM '08

Industrial Engineer dreaming of an MBA

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


One of the coolest tools I've learned in my short MBA life is how to use simulation models to solve complicated real-world problems. I'm taking two ops electives that use computer simulations to address problems I will probably face this summer and when I graduate next year. Today in Supply Chain Management, we simulated the famous MIT Beer Game online. While this exercise is not completely realistic because no communication was allowed to upstream/downstream partners, it showed how ineffective supply chains can hurt your total costs exponentially. Also, our group is competing in a week long simulation managing a supply chain of an industrial chemical factory/warehouse/distribution network. Coming from a distribution background, I'm interested to learn about the roles of upstream players and how that impacts the entire supply chain. My other elective, Ops Simulation Modeling, is my favorite class because we are learning how to use Extend software to build complicated models to simulate nearly any business. Whether the processes are discrete or continuous, we are learning to use Extend to solve problems such as waiting times in Hospitals, Banks and Courts.

On a side note, I'm also excited to participate in the int'l Littlefield competition hosted by MIT's Ops Club. There are over 60 teams competing from MBA programs all over the world, and hopefully Yale SOM will have a decent finish!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Long Time No Blog

Just when you think first semester is busy, second semester is even busier! There was little time to transition from the international experience to new classes, and recruiting for a summer internship was a long emotional process similar to that of applying to business school. A quick recap of what has been going on since the new year:

New Curriculum:
Classes were more interesting this semester compared to those in the first two quarters. I took Employee (HR perspective taught by the Dean), Innovator (fun class to practice thinking in creative ways), Operations Engine (my favorite prof), Managing Sourcing Funds (CFO perspective, with half of the class taught by Fabozzi, who is famous on Wall St among Fixed Income folks) and Negotiations (a fun interactive class with grad students from nearly every professional school). I feel I have developed a more balanced view of solving business problems by learning about issues from different perspectives. The professors and Dean were amazing and I especially liked the guest speakers in Operations. What typically may be a boring subject in most schools was really fun because the professor and guest speakers gave a realistic view of operational challeneges at different companies. They gave memorable stories and the Littlefield competition was so exciting that I'll be competing with a team in the MIT Littlefield competition in April. Next quarter, I'll be taking electives and the last core class, Integrated Leadership Perspective. This class is the culmination of the new curriculum and nearly all the material is brand new. There will be many professors teaching the class and I'm interested in learning about how everything ties together.

Recruiting was a long process. Coming to Yale SOM, my expectation for a good business school is to open doors and land interview spots. For me, I believe the school should do its best to set students up with 1st round interviews, and after that, it is up to the student to sink or swim on his/her merits. A lot of firms make their decisions based on the quality of the student and his/her background before coming to school. Regardless if I went to Wharton or MIT Sloan, I would be asked the same cases and questions during the interview process because you are competing against all business school students. Hence, I was definitely pleased by the CDO's (career development office) efforts to land me interviews. Some firms had more formalized processes than others, but after several months of mostly phone interviews (I targetted west coast firms), I landed one of my top choices for a summer internship. I will be returning to beautiful San Francisco to work in Operations for a large retailer (think of a large SF-based retailer who has cool khakis).

Last year, I remember meeting someone at the San Francisco Yale admitted students reception who ended up choosing Tuck over SOM because she felt that Tuck would prepare her better for a job in management consulting. Specifically, she felt she would have better chances at getting into Mckinsey by attending Tuck. I don't know all of the statistics, but I feel that if you're a smart candidate, Mckinsey will find you either way. The candidate who is likely to study harder for the cases and has a spotless resume will get hired over the less qualified candidate. Both schools can set you up for an interview, but I'm not sure how one school can prepare a candidate better than another school. Going off published statistics can also be misleading because schools do not publish how many offers were made and how many people initially applied. For example, I think Yale SOM had competitive percentages of offers over applied, but two students both chose to turn down Mck offers for personal reasons.

There were a couple school wide fundraising events that were fun and successful. The Global Social Enterprise group had a Date Auction at playwright that was very entertaining. Eligible single students were auctioned off like cattle to raise money for the Brazil trip. Some surprising bids were made and I never would've guessed how much money people are willing to spend to just go on a date. The internship fund also had a competition to raise money for students going into non-profits this summer. The folks running the internship fund will also be hosting a talent show when we get back from spring break and I imagine there will be some memorable acts. It might be the same weekend as Admit Weekend in April and I encourage prospectives to stop by to get a taste of some of the personalities at SOM.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Happy New Year/Semester

A very belated Happy New Year! It has been a month since my last post but it has been a very busy month. After spending a week in Hong Kong to celebrate New Years, the China trip was a blast and I've included below some pics. Superweek was emotionally draining for many of my peers (I'm glad I'm not doing banking) and with new classes and recruiting season kicked off in high gear, this has been a very busy first week of school!

Hong Kong Trip - Before the official school trip to HK/China, a small subset of the students decided to fly into HK a week early to explore the city and get settled into the different time zone. Surprisingly, Hong Kong was warm and I didn't realize how much fun it would be. Lan Kwai Fong was definitely THE place to be during New Years as it was packed with locals, ex-pats and tourists. Among the fun things we experienced include: Victoria's Peak, Stanley Market, hanging out at Starbucks next to the world's largest Buddha, Lan Kwai Fong, random shopping at markets all over Hong Kong, Karaoke (uh... KTV overload??), Dim Sum (mmm pork buns), Macau (I actually walked away up), custom suit tailoring and random people watching. All in all, it was one of my best trips I've taken with lotsa fun memories.

China Trip - Even though this was an "educational" trip, it was fun to learn about China's business environment from different perspectives. Our schedule was very packed as we had company/government presentations in the mornings and afternoons, and Yale alumni events during the evenings. We had some free time on the weekends but because we visited 3 cities in 10 days (HK, Shanghai, Beijing), it felt like we were always on the move and checking in and out of hotels. Coming from an operations background, I really enjoyed visiting the GM plant and seeing the steel being produced at Bao Steel. My favorite presenter was the Senior Vice President of Cummins Engine. He was very articulate and gave a good overview about his vast experience in working in Asia for the past 17 years. It truly is amazing to learn about the explosive 9% GDP growth in China. He was also very generous in hosting us for dinner at the exclusive Cihna Club in Beijing the night before we left. The picture on the left is me standing in a very austere building (MOFCOM - Ministry of Commerce).

I hope to blog more this semester and congrats to all the Round 1 admits, I look forward to meeting everyone at welcome weekend. Also congrats to all the Round 2 prospectives who got an interview invites, Yale SOM is truly an exciting place to be!

Monday, December 25, 2006

25% Done

Happy Holidays!!

I'm not sure if its a sign of me getting older, or how busy life gets at school, but time is zooming by a ludicrous speed. My MBA experience is already 25% complete and I feel like we're just getting started. Summer Internship recruiting has kept me busy but I'm looking forward to catch up with all resume drops during winter break. As I apply for these summer jobs, I'm reliving the anxiety I felt last year applying to different MBA programs. Writing cover letters is just like writing application essays and some companies actually ask for GMAT/SAT scores! I am going to be so relieved when I eventually get an offer.

There was an interesting article that quoted some of my classmates talking about the international experience portion of the new curriculum. I'll be heading over to Hong Kong on Wednesday and am trying to figure out how to pack 3 weeks worth of clothes and suits into one suit case and one carry on. For the trip, we got these nifty chinese business cards and learned some basic phrases to get by. For those that will be in Hong Kong this Friday, a small group of 1st year students including me will be hosting a winter break social. This will be a fun opportunity to meet prospective students and I encourage everyone applying to Yale to attend their local winter break social.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Last week in our Competitors class, we learned about coopetition and alliances. Coincidently, Carlos Ghosn spoke at SOM on Tuesday, describing the Nissan-Renault alliance. It was an amazing experience to learn about the automobile industry from the CEO's perspective and to see a real example of the material we're learning in class. He spent most of the time answering well prepared questions and overall, I was very impressed by how smoothly everything ran.

The difference between the second part of the new curriculum and the first part is the amount of group work assigned. This week alone, I have the following group assignments: Industry Analysis for the Int'l trip to China, Competitor company analysis, Competitor group assignment, Customer project, State & Society project, and a mentorship meeting. The hardest part isn't completing the assignments, but scheduling a time where everyone can meet. I don't want to sound like a complaining 1st year (ahem JB), but I definitely can't wait till winter break!!

On the recruiting front, I finished my first cover letter and have started bidding for interview spots. Time definitely flies when you're in school, but I hope to land some interviews in January. Fortunately I have a little time because I'm not pursuing ibanking, but I definitely don't want to miss any of the consulting deadlines. One thing I realize is that I'm severely behind on practicing case interviews. Even though I should've been practicing all semester, I hope to do some major catch-up over the next few weeks.

Lastly, I'm SUPER excited about going to Hong Kong and China. I got all my vaccinations from YHS last week and my passport/visa is all good to go. There has been some complaining among the China travelers that our pre-trip work (15-20 slides + 10 pg paper) is excessive compared to groups going to other countries, but at the end of the day I guess it's a good way to learn more about the fastest growing economy in the world. This will be my first new years experience outside the USA, and I expect nothing but ridiculous, crazy fun.

23 Days left till Hong Kong

PS - I have mixed feelings about UCLA upsetting USC, but at least the Rose Bowl will be a classic Big 10/Pac 10 showdown

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Game

This past weekend, we took a road trip up to Boston to watch Yale kick Harvard's butt in "The Game." I don't even remember the final score, but Yale pretty much dominated the entire game. One of the most memorable moments of the day was watching campus security trying to tackle and arrest a nude MIT streaker during the 4th quarter. I've seen many "Big Games" in the bay area, but have never witnessed an actual streaker.

Boston/Cambridge is also a very cool area to visit. I never realized how good new england "clam chowdah" and "chaider (chai + apple cider)" could taste. We also visited HBS and MIT Sloan, and all I can say is that I'm SUPER jealous of HBS. While I think Yale SOM's facilities are nicer than MIT Sloan's, HBS is in a totally different league. Huntsman Hall at Wharton is pretty sweet, but HBS is probably the nicest business school I've ever visited. I hope that the new Yale SOM campus will have that similar "wow" factor when people visit.

On a sadder note, Michigan and Cal lost on Saturday, so the "Go Blue" schools were only 1 for 3. Both schools will still end up decent bowl games, but I really really wanted Cal to go to the Rose Bowl this year.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

New Perspective

Its been a couple weeks since my last blog, but business school life has changed since finals week. While the first perspective gave us the traditional MBA tools, this second perspective is giving us a broader view of management. Instead of taking classes like finance, strategy, marketing, we are taking Investor, Competitor, Customer, State & Society, and Negotiations. The coolest part about the new perspectives, is that we are using new Yale SOM cases. Instead of recycling 10 year old HBS cases, our classes use new and relevant material (cases were written in 2006). Even our Dean helped write one of the cases we used in Customer and sat in class with us when we discussed it. Coming to business school, I never expected to sit in class with the Dean of the school.

Since my last blog, some of the things happening around SOM:
-Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo, came and spoke at the Pepsi recruiting event
-participated but did not make the finals in the Lufthansa Case Competition
-Application volume for Yale SOM Round 1 is up nearly 50% with applicant average GMAT up 1 point. Combining this with the deferrals from last year, I can tell the class of 2009 is going to be really bright

Upcoming speakers I'm looking forward to:
-Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan
-Fred Smith, CEO of Fed Ex

Thursday, October 26, 2006

3.5 hour countdown


Pros of finals week:
-no crazy homework assignments
-no classes, lots of free time during the day
-discovering new study areas on campus
-after it's done, completely freeeeee of work till Monday
-difference between public school vs private school is that private schools "care" enough to give you free coffee in the morning (it's all about the little things)
-incredible euphoric feeling after actually balancing t-accounts/balance sheets/income statements/cash flow on the first try

Cons of finals week:
-self realization that I have ADD and can't study for a long period of time
-with all this free time, can't find time to clean the apt

in 3.5 hours, i'll be FREEEEE (at least till the next round of finals). I'm really excited about hanging out at Bar after the test; SOM is very kind to reward us with free pizza and beer. The party will continue on today in new haven and tomorrow in NYC as a bunch of SOMers celebrate our proficients in the big apple!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Breaking Down the Silos

With finals looming next week, a mock interview with my top choice firm on Thursday, an 1,800 word paper due tomorrow (haven't started yet), crew practice tonight, econ case review for tomorrow, and updating my roster for my fantasy football league (I can't believe Arizona choked on MNF), I've decided to pause and enjoy the moment. For someone who has lived in California his whole life, I am amazed at the beautiful fall foliage around campus. Walking around feels like I'm in a scene from Scent of a Woman. Even walking through campus to eat in downtown is a memorable experience because of the gothic architecture and brown/red leaves on the streets. I definitely can't wait till winter comes and I make my first snowball!

As the first years finish up the first 6 weeks of the new curriculum (Orientation to Management), I've started to notice the integration and "breaking down of the silos". In the first few weeks, we learned basic management tools and theories in traditional format (accounting, econ, data). Now, as we discuss cases and problems, we are applying the tools we've learned to address and solve problems. Some concrete examples are:

-In evaluating an econ problem regarding the effects of an auction of public rail, we had to use accounting to measure the present value (PV) of the bid.
-In solving a case in problem framing regarding best strategies of a partnership game, we applied a principle from econ (nash equilibrium) to find best strategies.
-In problem framing, we discussed game theory and used "backward induction" to solve a puzzle, which happens to relate to what we learned about "rolling back" decision trees in Data & Decision

I can't wait to start the Organizational Perspectives part of the new curriculum because it'll be interesting to analyze problems companies face from the different perspectives.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Beautiful Days

One of the benefits of being a student at Yale is getting access to the Yale Golf Club for only $25 per round. This is an amazing golf course and it is really pretty during the fall. It's really peaceful out there and the experience is different from golfing in California because of the leaves changing colors. Surprisingly, the last few days have been warm (in the 70's) and I'm anxiously bracing myself for the temperature dropping anytime soon now.

Yale SOM gossip: Flatpoint did a great job in summarizing the Dean's exciting news. Raising $32.9 million is no joke.

For those interested in seeing the video resume of this "how not to get an i-banking job" Yale undergrad, click here. Click here if you want to read an interesting story on him before attending Yale.

Ok.. that's enough blabber, back to class!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I Heart Art

I think it's really funny that when you go to Yale's MBA homepage, there's a link to the "I Heart Art" t-shirts. Not only is the story on the front homepage, but it's up there between "A New Curriculum" and "The Hybrid Professional." Professor Swersey is one of my favorite professors at SOM, but I don't know if the story is as newsworthy as the new curriculum. He definitely deserves some recognition for being a great teacher. Instead of giving a dry lecture on Data & Decision Analysis, he uses props and stories to keep the class engaged and actually teaches the material effectively because the stories are so memorable. I can't wait till I can take an operations class from him.

Other than the t-shirts, it was a pretty normal week at school. My life was packed with homework/school/club activities/gym/firm events. The best part of the week was scoring free tickets (thanks operations club) to nextfest held in NYC. It has been over a month since I've visited NYC, and it turned out to a gorgeous day. There were a lot of cool tech exhibits and it was fun seeing all the different robots and research projects.

Lastly, every student received an email from the Dean inviting us to a Town Hall meeting on Tuesday. Apparently there's some good news he wants to share with everyone, but we're going to have to wait till Tuesday to hear about it. I hope it relates to a possible improvement in the business week rankings, but I don't want to speculate anything yet.....

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Just when I thought I couldn't get any busier, my outlook calendar this past week was crammed with club activities. In the span of one week:

Crew - learned that it's much harder than it looks
Consulting - I really need to start practicing for case interviews asap
Operations - we've already formed a team for the Lufthansa case competition
Korean - huge turn out for the delicious bar-b-q on Saturday
Sports - need to find a glove for IM softball

Fortunately the color coding in my outlook keeps me organized and helps manage my time so I can keep up with classes, but it'll be interesting to see how I manage to keep up with the pace of business school life now that company presentations begin this week (my resume needs a big makeover soon).

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Proficient is sufficient?

I'm not sure if it's a first year thing, or the new curriculum, but the pace of classes accelerated to ludicrous speed in just one week. Even though there aren't any grades, I find myself working harder than I did in undergrad just to keep up with the homeworks/assignments/readings. The good thing about this pace is that I've learned to manage my time significantly better. While I can't party every night now, proper time management will allow me to continue watching my favorite sports (go bears!).

On Friday, the CDO (Career Development Office) sponsored a "Meet the Firms" event where a bunch of companies came by SOM to talk about opportunities for MBA's (internships and full time positions). While I didn't learn anything new at the Consulting booths, I found myself speaking to representatives from the Consumer Packaged Goods and Manufacturing industries and learning more about opportunities available. Some of these companies are bigger than you expect, and it may be easier to find an amazing job in California through these big companies, versus going the consulting career path. Fortunately, I still have time to decide what I want to do, but I probably should make up my mind soon.

BTW, for the international experience, I got my first pick! I will be heading over to China on Jan 3-14. I'm contemplating flying out earlier to possibly spend New Years in China or Hong Kong.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Honeymoon Period Over

After a fun week of orientation and another week of team building, school has officially started. My classes (Econ, Data & Decision Analysis, Accounting, Problem Framing, Interpersonal Dynamics) aren't too difficult yet, but it has been a challenge to manage my schedule of things to do. Fortunately, Microsoft Outlook has many fancy features to color code my calendar and tasks so I can keep track of which homeworks/recruiting events/readings are due the next day.

Outside of class, we had the SOM Student Club fair and I probably overextended myself by signing up for too many clubs. The clubs that I'm interested in are:

-Sports (I love IM)
-Media & Entertainment (Can we visit ESPN today??)
-Consulting (I definitely need practice in the case study)
-Ski & Snowboard (Vermont, here I come)
-Korean (mmmmm kimchee and bulgogi)
-Operations (possible operations field trip: Casino Ops)
-West Coast (I'm a spoiled California kid at heart)
-Crew (Outside my comfort zone, trying something new)

On Friday, the CDO (Career Development Office) sponsored a career immersion event to give everyone a taste of different industries by having panelists talk about their jobs. The sessions I attended were:

-Session 1: Investment Banking (After learning more about the IB industry, I know I don't want to be an IBanker)
-Session 2: Manufacturing (The only industry of the day that actually talked about work/life balance in a positive way)
-Session 3: Media & Entertainment (I want to be VP of the NBA, such an awesome job!)
-Session 4: Consulting (panelists from all the big firms gave honest feedback in describing life as a consultant)

The Career Immersion day was surprisingly really helpful in learning about industries I'm not familiar with. I never considered a career in Media & Entertainment, but now I may consider applying for internships in that industry.

On Friday night, we learned more about the International Experience coming up in January. We learned about the 8 countries (China, Singapore, Japan, South Africa, England, Costa Rica, Argentina, India) and which focus/perspective (State/Society/Investor..) they would be tied to regarding the new curriculum. China is still my top choice, but the Toyota Plant tour in Japan has me seriously considering Japan as my 2nd choice. The Argentina presentation was engaging and energetic, and I may choose Argentina as my 3rd choice solely based on the professor's enthusiasm for the country. We'll see what happens, but I look forward to visiting any of the 8 countries.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Managing Teams

Just finished my first week of school and I surprisingly learned a lot about myself and working in teams. The first course "Managing Groups & Teams" in the "Orientation to Management" section of the new curriculum was very interesting as we:

-solved a murder mystery
-survived a hurricane
-participated in a biased market trading poker chips (go red squares!!)
-built a lego man in 2 minutes
-commanded a battle tank
-learned a lot about our mentorship team members

I learned the consequences of "group think" and how important structure and processes are to creating an effective team. My mentorship team is awesome and I look forward to working with them throughout the first year. The diversity of my team is just a representative cross section of the diversity in the class of '08. There's an investment banker, operations/engineering guy (me), education background, investigative journalist, military guy, consumer goods guy, and joint forestry/mba student. We worked effectively and acknowledge we still have areas to improve upon.

The social aspect of last week was pretty intense as we ended up drinking nearly every night. Yale SOM rented out a bowling alley one night and everyone showed up. The party at Playwright was fun because drinks were free!! I sense things will slow down next week as classes start getting harder.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Wow, business school is so much fun! I've been in New Haven for about a week and a half and I absolutely love it here. My class is extremely diverse (not many bankers/consultants) as I've met people from all industries from all over the world. I think it's impressive that there are 22 countries represented in such a small class size (~ 200). The statistic I remember most is that we have 38% women in our class, which is probably one of the highest of any MBA program in the US. I think it's also pretty cool that not many of my peers took the deferral opportunity. Everyone in the class of 2008 is eager to be here and despite the short term benefit of saving $20,000, people realize the long term rewards for earning the MBA one year earlier.

In case you're wondering, I'm a member of the awesome silver cohort. We're probably the most social cohort because I tend to see more silvers at the bars every night. My favorite bar so far is "Bar" because they brew their own beer and on Thursdays, it's only $1! The atmosphere reminds me of Raleigh's in Berkeley and it's always crowded.

Last week's orientation was fun but also exhausting because I met so many people at once. I've gotten better at introducing myself and giving a quick history of my life in less than 30 seconds. Sometimes, I have to study the facebook at night to remember all the names of people I met earlier.

A few highlights from Orientation:
-barbeque at Lighthouse Point, free beer and beautiful sunset
-Taste of New Haven, eating samples of food from all the local restaurants
-Lunch at the Yale Club, NYC
-Company Visit in NYC
-NYSE Reception on the trading floor
-Alumni panels
-Dean describing the new curriculum in detail and feeling the excitement and energy from faculty

I can tell this will be an amazing 2 years, I want to take advantage of every opportunity available. By the way, after buying nearly all my furniture from Ikea, I've become a pro at building anything. If anyone still needs help building that desk or drawer, I'm your man.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Summer Update 5

Where has the summer gone? It's already August and school is about to start in a couple weeks!! I had a really fun July, including trips to San Diego, San Francisco, and Vegas (DO NOT STAY IN VEGAS FOR 5 DAYS EVER). Also, I'm finally getting to know Southern California better. Because I've been up in the bay area since college, I never really spent much time around LA until now. Who knew the sunset strip in Hollywood is such a hot spot to hang out!

As orientation for Yale gets closer, I'm getting more and more excited about bschool. They released the orientation schedule and I'm definitely looking forward to eating lunch at the Yale Club in NYC and stopping by NYSE. I've never been to Wall Street, but I imagine screaming traders and lotsa money flowing through computer screens. As far as pre-arrival check off items, I've finished most of the things I need to do. I stopped by my high school's district office to pick up my immunization records (not that I hate needles, but I don't feel like standing in line to get unncessary shots during orientation). I also stopped by the Post Office last week to get my passport ready (better to do it now for the int'l trip in January). I've read two of the three req'd books (Buffet and Walton biographies) but I'm struggling to finish Gandhi's autobiography. It's an interesting book but really long.

The weirdest pre-arrival check off item was buying a one-way plane ticket. I did a lot of research and in some situations, it's almost cheaper to use half a roundtrip ticket versus just buying a one-way ticket. I don't know how the pricing in the airline industry works, but that doesn't make intuitive sense. It'd be interesting to read a case study on how airlines set their prices.

Lastly, I found out that I'm eligible for the Hope Tax Credit this year! Because I worked only the first half of 2006, and I'm a student in 2006, I'm eligible for $1500 credit. Credit is better than a deduction cuz this is Uncle Sam just giving me $1500!

13 Days till I move to New Haven
20 Days till Orientation

Monday, July 10, 2006

Summer Update 4

Summer's chugging along and I can really enjoy doing nothing. Part of me is bored and wants to work to stay busy, while the other part of me is perfectly happy being a bum. Over the last couple weeks I've enjoyed doing random things, from going to a gun range to try shooting glocks, to attending a concert at the House of Blues in Downtown Disney (fun intimate venue), to just hanging out at the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. This summer is turning out to be as relaxing as I hoped!

On the MBA front, I got my Kroll notification (a few weeks ago) that I passed my background check so that obstacle is clear. I also finished reading Buffett's biography. His life story is very interesting and I think it's cool he's donating so much money to Bill Gates' Foundation. Even though the book was written in the mid-nineties, his character is consistent to that of stories written in current newspaper articles. The part of his biography that I will remember most is how he donates money. Buffett treats his philanthropy like investments, and always looks for long-term benefits versus just handing out money for short-term causes.

I also got my first bill for tuition last week. Even though you see student budget estimates, it doesn't sink in until you actually see the first bill. At the end of two years, I could technically buy a really fancy car instead of going to bschool (where are my priorities)....

35 Days till I move into New Haven
42 Days till Orientation

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Laptops Laptops Laptops

One of the requirements for bschool is buying your own laptop. I don't understand how I "need" a laptop, because I got by perfectly fine with a desktop during my undergrad experience. I prefer desktops because they seem more stable and you can get a big monitor with a normal keyboard and mouse. I find cafe's too distracting to get any real work done, and do most of my work at home. Regardless, since I have to get a laptop, I started doing research. A great online resource for comparing laptops is:

After checking out all the latest specs on the laptops, I found almost any new laptop these days suits my needs. The only things I would use my laptop for are: chatting on aim/email/internet/MS Office. I don't need fancy graphics or the fastest processor. The school offers some discounted deals on Dell's, but after reading online reviews, I definitely would never buy a Dell. After further research, I narrowed down my laptop search to either a Sony Vaio or IBM thinkpad. Both are great brands with good reputations, and would sufficiently meet my needs.

Then I ran across the Sony Vaio S series (older generation to the current SZ models). The Sony Vaio S series used to be the top laptops in Fall 2005, but after the new SZ models came out earlier this year, prices for S series laptops dropped. I think the S and SZ are comparable (SZ has built-in camera/microphone which I don't need), and with current prices, the S series is a tremendous value. What used to cost $2500 last Fall now costs around $1500 online. What really sold me on the S660P/B model, was its sleek design (you have to see how the monitor curves around the hinge), size (around 4 lbs and slim to fit in my backpack), and price ($1399). Even though I really liked some IBM thinkpad laptops, I fell in love with this Sony Vaio S660 because of it's sleek design. Because they were last year's model, they stopped manufacturing this particular laptop. After froogling my way around the internet, I found one website that still has some in its inventory: Most websites and ebay are out of stock, but costcentral still has over 100 in inventory. I would recommend this laptop for anyone interested in a laptop with cool style/size (specs are sufficient too).

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Summer Update 3

Even though I'm a summer bum, it's been quite a busy week. I fully recovered from Lasik surgery and can see 20/20. The only side effect is that I see halos around lights at night time, but this should go away soon. I totally recommend anyone with bad eyes to get a consultation, because it is sooo worth it. I'll post the details of the entire process later when I have nothing to write about.

I also found my amazing dream apartment in New Haven during my east coast trip. It has everything I want: location (4th house on Mansfield, about 170 yards from SOM), garage (covered garage spot), bottom floor (cooler during summers), clean (suprisingly very clean, including bathroom and kitchen), amenities (free washer/dryer downstairs). I looked at apartments in the east rock area as well as downtown, but I realized (after bloody ankles and sore feet) that location is super important. Even though the Yale shuttle goes through all the neighborhoods, I wouldn't want to wait for it during the cold winter months. I'm so excited to move to New Haven, August seems so far away.

Our first homework assignment is to read the following books during the summer: (i) Sam Walton’s autobiography Made in America; (ii) Roger Lowenstein’s biography of Warren Buffett, Buffett; (iii) Gandhi’s autobiography An Autobiography; The Story of My Experiments with Truth. I haven't picked up the books yet, but this assignment is way more interesting than reading Chaucer.

Lastly, I'd like to congratulate Desther for a beautiful wedding and wish you two both a lifetime of good health and happiness.