Days of Whine and Neurosis

Friday, January 28, 2005

Class Visit and Rooms of Serpents

I went to UC Irvine this week to sit-in on an Organizational Behavior class and have lunch with a current First Year. Lunch was nice and fairly standard – we talked about the school’s personal touch, the strengths of the program, etc. Nothing out of the ordinary.

I was impressed by the level of the student body in the OB class I sat in on. There were some great questions asked and some smart cookies in the seats. I attended the class with another FY student (not the FY I went to lunch with), and he came from a real estate fund before starting Bschool, which is exactly where I want to end up. It was nice to meet with someone that had been where I want to be – it’s rare to meet Bschool students angling for real estate as it’s something of a niche in MBA-land. All in all, the visit bumped up UCI in my book.

In the meantime I’ve been trying to lay the foundation for a real estate capital investment firm internship while in Bschool. A little early, I know, but it’s maddening to sit and think about the Bschool experience without being able to DO anything about it. Even though the application process was grueling, there was at least a feeling that every day was getting me closer to a better future through blood, sweat, and tears. The moment I submitted that last app, I was forced into a period of unwanted Zen. I think 95% of MBA applicants are “doers” who need to have direct control of their own destiny. I know I am. There was something about studying for the GMAT, ordering transcripts, lining up recommendations, writing essays, and filling out applications that was reassuring. The little baby steps leading up to the ultimate goal were a drag and fulfilling at the same time. Now, there’s little to do but continue life as usual and wait. And, oh yeah, read blogs and the BW forum religiously.

So, I contacted a friend who used to work for a real estate capital investment firm in Boston to inquire about a possible internship if I wind up back east. And, I’ve done the same thing with a friend at a west coast capital partners firm. It’s all preliminary at this point, but I’d love to have something set before I even start. Furthermore, it can help my interview process. There have been a few instances when, during interviews, my interviewer will look at me like a dog who’s been shown a card trick when I speak of my future career plans. (Thanks to Bill Hicks for that line – the greatest comedian of all time. If you don’t know, you better ask somebody. Buy this CD to laugh. It would be great to have some summer-internship-ammo to diffuse any future interviewer doubts.

USC is due to start notifying R1 applicants on Feb. 1, and I sure hope they give me a “yes.” I had a great interview there and really liked the school. I’m hoping to have a terribly difficult decision choosing between five great programs. After all, none of us worked on our applications for our health, right!

In the meantime I have a gig at the Viper Room on Sunset Strip in Hollywood on Sunday night. Playing the Viper Room is always cool because it’s such a scene. It’s not a very big room, even though its reputation would suggest otherwise, but it’s soaked in the Sunset Strip attitude. Every time I play there I’m amazed at how many people cruise by just to take a photo of the marquee and try to figure out where on the sidewalk River Phoenix succumbed to a speedball. All in all, I could do without the Strip in its entirety. It’s a bridge-and-tunnel crowd destination and little else, but these last few months of gigging will be fun since I’ll be winding it down come August.