Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Business School Attire: Dressed for Classes

Back to (Grad) School

Hi guys! I took a few minutes to put together an example of a look I'd wear for class days now that I'm in business school. I didn't really have to adapt my wardrobe at all since most of us aren't too worried about looking business-y in class. We're just there to absorb knowledge from our professors and get through the many to-do's of our day.

I plan to do a lot more of these posts to share how I have been dressing (or plan to dress) for various events related to business school. Let me know if you have any questions/thoughts/ideas about how to approach dressing for certain events. I feel like I overcomplicate this stuff sometimes, but I guess that's the whole point of this blog!


Zara peter pan collar dress / Topshop shoes / Topshop black satchel bag / Karen Walker Eyewear sunglasses / Tom Ford plum lipstick / Butter London gold nail polish

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Major Misconception

I had an interesting experience last night that I've been mulling over today and I thought I'd share it with all of you.

Short story: a few of my classmates and I were at a bar griping about one of our assignments when a guy playing pool near us interjected, "are you guys grad students too?" We assumed he'd overheard something he could relate to and wanted to contribute to our grousing. So we invited him into our conversation, asked what he was studying (political science) and told him we were MBA students. As soon as he heard this, he started ranting angrily about what douchebags we are and how pathetic our choice of study is. He even went so far as to ask what our program is ranked, scoffing at UC Davis' "low ranking". (Actually it's top 40, and why would you make fun of the university that you are also attending?!) Anyway, we were a bit shell-shocked and eventually just shut him out of our conversation.

Of course none of us really care what this psycho thinks about our life choices, but it got me thinking. What would cause someone that knows nothing about any of us jump to so many conclusions about our character? Obviously there is a misconception out there about what business school is and the type of people that choose to pursue an MBA. I will be the first to admit that I had my own set of misconceptions about MBA students, even after I'd decided to attend business school. For one, I thought everyone in my classes would be exactly the same: type A, aggressive, competitive. I imagined myself struggling to conform to some pervasive corporate culture that we would all be groomed for. I COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE WRONG.

Here is what I have learned: MBAs want to innovate and to effect positive social, environmental and economic change. We are ambitious and goal-oriented, but also humble and grounded. We want to make the world a better place. Of course, that means something different for everyone, but I have yet to meet anyone whose sole objective from the program is to get filthy rich. Maybe it's unique to the program I'm in, I can't speak to what it's like at Harvard or Stanford. What I do know is that my classmates come from such varied backgrounds that there is no such thing as a typical MBA student in our class. I've already learned so much through this diversity -- and we've only been in school for 2 weeks!

Classmates, what do you guys think? Did you have misperceptions that have been shattered? Let me know what you think! I'd also love to hear what any of you non-MBAs out there think of us :)

I have more to add on this topic in terms of my personal goals and how I feel about business as a mechanism for empowerment, but I'll save it for another time. I also promise to write more about b-school fashion soon, promise!!


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Class is in Session

Classes have begun and my first quarter as an MBA student is in full swing! In fact, I'm writing this from a Starbucks in Woodland where some of my lovely classmates and I have met up to study. (Yes, I'm already slacking, but only for a few minutes!)
So now that I know the lay of the land, there are a few things I wish I had done differently with my summer. One in particular is that I wish I hadn't been so worried about preparing for school! I spent a lot of time fretting over my lack of quantitative skills and experience with Excel. I signed up for additional pre-MBA prep classes online to help compensate for these shortcomings, and frankly I didn't need to. This quarter is all about fundamentals: accounting, microeconomics, statistics, and so on. But everyone is from such different backgrounds that our professors don't assume any prior knowledge of the material. Not that I have delusions that any of my classes will be easy, but the extra prep classes didn't really give me much of an edge.
So, my advice to you if you are reading this as a recently admitted MBA student some time in the future: forget studying in the summer! Spend extra time with your friends and family, take that trip to Hawaii, be lazy and watch all of RHOBH. Do whatever you want, just don't study! You'll be hitting the books for the next two years, take a deep breath and enjoy summer while you still can.
All that said, it feels really great to be a student again and couldn't be happier about my decision to go back to school. I consider myself a lifelong learner so it's nice to be in an official learning environment. For the next two years, it's my job just to learn things.
More updates to come, stay tuned!
 Image via Zara

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sonoma is for lovers

Sean and our families recently spent an afternoon in Sonoma to look into some details for our wedding (I promise this will not turn into a wedding blog!) and had the chance to check out a few wineries while we were there. I snapped a few photos and thought I'd share some of them here. Our first stop was Jacuzzi Vineyards, which has the loveliest backyard area. It would be so much fun to have a picnic back there next time! My favorite was the fountain (pictured below) that someone had cleverly "decorated."
Next we visited Ram's Gate Winery--what an amazing space! It felt more like a hip boutique hotel in LA than a Sonoma winery. Rather than the rustic d├ęcor that is so pervasive at wineries, the spaces at Ram's Gate were designed with an edgy modern aesthetic in mind, which actually created a rather exclusive ambiance. I loved the views in the outdoor spaces, but can already picture myself enjoying one of the three indoor-outdoor fireplaces on a cold day this Fall.
Lastly, we visited the winery where we'll be getting married next Fall -- Viansa Winery. Here are just a few photos from Viansa. You'll have to wait till after the big day to see more details...
That's it for this little update, there will be another post soon on how my first week of school is going. Thanks as always for reading!