Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Quantitative Thinking for Dummies
As I come to the end of the 1st month as an MBA student, I am really starting to understand where I come up short and what I need to work on. I got an OK score on the GMAT- enough to get me into the school of my choice but nothing to brag about. The problem is I was highly skewed on my skill sets. Let's put it this way: on the verbal section I was in the 82nd percentile, on the quantitative I was in the 25th. Now, as I am tackling subjects such as Operations Management, the quantitative skills are sorely lacking and I am scrambling to figure out how to be a math whiz before the final in December. From a conceptual standpoint, math is not that difficult for me. The problem is I don't automatically think in quantitative terms, and it is a huge problem. I found a book online that people have raved about in the reviews, but it is backordered to late November. I need to be smart now. It is totally apparent to me that quantitative thinking is one of if not the most important skill in the business world, I just need to learn how to translate information into those terms.
My passion is marketing. Even though on the outside marketing looks like pretty colors, glossy magazine spreads, and catchy jingles, there are numbers behind each and every one of those components. Research is something I devour, but being able to solve business problems with an equal balance of soft and hard data is a little more challenging to me. I am going to do whatever I need to do to learn the skills I need including reading books outside the assigned class materials just so I can catch up.
I am competitive, but internally more than externally so. I didn't care or try as much as I should have in undergrad so I am making up for it now..... I hate to admit it, but I have a lot to prove to myself and the rest of the world. Will anyone really take that much notice when I accomplish these things? Probably not, but I will tell you that I heard some information yesterday that reminded me of my potential success. The President of U.S. Operations at my company started out in my position (Quasi-Peon). He is also an Italian-American, which if for nothing else makes me proud of my heritage and shows me that even we wops can make a (legitimately) decent life for ourselves.
As far as the job front goes, remember the project I was doing for the dream job I applied for in JUNE? Well, I finally got an interview and it's scheduled for next Wednesday. I will be swinging by Ann Taylor Loft this evening to purchase a new suit and Aldo to get some classy professional shoes. The recruiter said they loved my project, and I am only competing with ONE other candidate who just happens to external. Survey says: odds are in my favor as an internal candidate. Now hold on a minute there, I didn't say I had the interview dialed...but I do have the questions and I will be studying everything I can like a maniac until 4 pm next week. I've said it before and I'll say it again, success is right around the corner and it is going to taste like a cold Malta India on a hot summer day. Keep me in your prayers folks, I need all the love I can get!