Sweating on the big things

Over in the UK we’re experiencing our hottest and most sustained heatwave with temperatures hitting the roasting highs of 36°C, the hottest temperatures here since 2006. My days are punctuated by my staff complaining about the heat, sport-related sunburn and a regular prescription of ice cold beer, three times a day (I’m definitely the best Doctor for me).

Needless to say, none of these are really suited to sitting and focusing on anything related to indoor introspection but do provide some breaks to the usual routine. My applications go through sudden burst of activity often followed by up to a week of little or no progress. They continue to dominate my thoughts though, I’d describe my essay drafts as ‘patchy’ – an improvement from the previous status of ‘sparse’.

I have an appointment to discuss my application with my General Manager early next week, and hopefully secure agreement for her to be my second recommender. The build-up to a slightly awkward conversation is now nothing new to me, following my early discussion with my line manager which went really well (read about it here in my first post) and I plan to follow similar lines.

As a MBA-alum, and someone familiar with both my own experience and also the application process, I’d dearly love her to agree to invest that time in me. I also know that she is incredibly busy at the moment, as well as a little more emotionally involved in such things, so I am a little apprehensive. I discovered last week that my prospective recommendation was in danger of evaporating due to a 3 week holiday in the August to return home to the states, so I am slightly more rushed than I’d planned. Still, if I can’t cope with this maybe an MBA isn’t such a good idea?

Most deadlines are now around 2 months away, apart from HBS who have obviously have decided they need to be first and have their first deadline in 16th Sept. Having broadly decided now on my application strategy up until the end of the year and R2 it’s time to go to work! That’s if BBQs and sunshine-bathing don’t get in the way. Just another 30 minutes…

Stuck in the middle with… my essays

Traffic - my worst enemy

Traffic – my worst enemy

I had a new experience this weekend, I gained a flat tire on a noisy British motorway. Unfortunately it was on a main route to the ferry ports in the South-East England, meaning a huge goods vehicle thundered past every 10 seconds inches away from where I crouched and struggled with a small and slightly plastic-y compact vehicle jack.

After almost falling backwards from my crouched position for the third time into a certain death, I caught myself doing something even more ridiculous. I am getting MBA application essays on the brain. Even before I’d finished tightening the wheel nuts I was trying to work this latest episode into a “Tell me about a time you’ve triumphed in adversity” essay (maximum 500 words).

I furnished my story in my head with images of myself standing on top of my vehicle in celebration, or flagging down a heavily laden lorry to save a small bunny rabbit that had strayed into the road from the grassy verges (Stamford would love this stuff, so I’ve heard. Throw in a bit of landmine-clearing or other animal saving activities while I’m at it…)

Having changed over in a rather impressive time for a first timer that would make some pro-racing teams proud – that Engineering degree wasn’t for nothing kids – I retreated home. I need to make some better essay progress and the semi-thrashed notes in my head just aren’t working, or at least fast enough.

So an enforced day at home after a trip to the garage involved roughly 50% tennis viewing and 50% essay structuring. I’ve not gone full-technicolor spreadsheet with all my essays, but I have constructed a list of titles, deadlines and a rough essay sequence to get drafts done. I feel better already! I won’t when I miss all my self-imposed deadlines…

Juggling my work responsibilities between now and the end of September (as well as having to help plan a wedding – yeah well, like it wasn’t enough of a challenge already?) is going to be causing some serious stresses and strains ahead so hopefully this bit of planning will ease some of my worries.