A New Year … and Now A New Blog

Last September, I finally made the big jump. I left my post at a full-time consulting firm in Boston and decided to head off to business school and law school. Like most students, I saw school as the perfect opportunity to pursue my dreams and eventually make my way to the top.

But at the same time, I felt compelled to start a blog so I should share my experiences with others. Like many new endeavors, the blog was both more fun and more work than I expected.  So I decided to put together a site and spread the word a bit and worked hard to keep posting.  Soon found that I really enjoyed the process, and  I became committed to keeping it running.

Change Is Good
Six months later–and just a few weeks ago today–I came to the realization that my blog was reaching a bit of a transition point. Although my site was only about six months old, I decided I needed a better website to host it on given the number of visitors I was attracting and given recent challenges I came across with the old host site. I also thought my blog was starting to feel a bit more focused over time. So I thought I take a step back and then try to adapt the content a bit in order to best serve me and my readers.

So What’s New?
1. So here’s what new: First, I’m hoping to put a lot more effort into writing about the readers want.  Feedback from readers suggests that you’d like more answers to questions. So I invite you to send all your questions about Northwestern, whether about admissions, about law or business school generally, about the recruiting processes that happen here, or  career options stemming from both.

2. Next, I also hope to better balance the amount of tactical information I write about better with the higher level advice that I enjoy. In past posts, I’ve usually posted about one or the other, but I look forward to telling more integrated stories and sharing other types of information.

3. I’ve noticed that many of my readers visit pretty frequently. So I’ll try to balance my longer more interesting articles, with shorter ones to keep the content moving.  To do this, I’ll integrate shorter posts about activities and events here on campus as well as links to related news stories and articles.

4. As you may have noticed, three themes have really emerged on my site,  and I intend to keep incorporating them heavily into my writing. 1) The differing values and skills that JDs and MBAs bring to the table, and how they can work together to achieve better results. 2)  The importance of good leadership in the workplace and some of my reflections on the topic  3) The idea that “business is human” and that financial decisions and human resources decisions don’t always have to be so disparate.

But don’t get me wrong. despite my idea to focus, I’m pretty certain my new site will still evolve over time. In fact, I I hope that it does.  But hopefully those twists and turns will be learning experiences and they will both provide me with some pretty good life lessons and with the stories to narrate here on my website.

And in the end, I hope the blog will become valuable to more and more people, and I hope that the benefits bestowed up my reader’s will be just as great as the rewarding experience I’ve had as a student and as a journaler. I look forward to sharing my experiences along the way.  Stay tuned ! And post a comment or two to let me know what you think.

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Friday, January 15th, 2010 Leadership 5 Comments

MBA Essay Advice From John Rice, Founder of Management Leadership for Tomorrow

Lately I’ve been getting lots of calls from old friends and classmates applying to business school and looking for a bit of advice. Some applied during round one and are getting anxious to hear back. They ask me about their chances of admission, and want to know what i think in light of 2009’s economic challenges (check out my new post on that topic). Others are frantically wrapping up round two applications and call with more specific questions. I was in the exact same process last year, and I remember how stressful things feel in the last few days. This is especially true if you’re submitting applications to some of the heavy hitters, whose deadlines are fast approaching (List of MBA Deadlines).

As a result, January is usually one of the hardest times of the year for applicants. Not only are applicants scrambling around to pull their application materials together while also cramming to fine-tune their essays before the deadline but they’re also sitting on pins and needles worrying whether they’ll get in to the schools they applied to in the first round. But the best thing to do now is sit back and relax a little. This is completely normal. I still remember these feelings of anxiety and uncertainly like I had them yesterday, But I still ended up doing really well, so in the end, these feelings were never really all that relevant except for motivating me to work harder. In my opinion however, what was most relevant were the essays. In fact, I consider the essays to be the most significant part of the application by far, and in my experience, the best business school applicants spend a significant amount of time writing so they can develop their stories. Similarly, you should also make sure you’re happy with your essays and hold off on submitting everything until you’re absolutely finished.

That said, the point of this post is to pass along a few final tips on how to ensure you’ve submitted the best possible business school essays possible. The advice actually comes John Rice, an HBS grad, business school admissions guru, and founder of Management Leadership For Tomorrow (MLT, MLT is a national non-profit organization dedicated to developing diverse leaders and professionals, and it is an organization I’m proud to be part of. (As usual, I can never really say enough about how valuable MLT is) I’ll note that John originally posted his information on a website named GottaMentor ( which which was co-founded by his wife Andrea Rice and is a social networking site created for high potential professionals to share information. All the B-school applicants, students, and graduates out there should definitely check it out. Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn, and other networking sites, Gotta Mentor is geared specifically toward business professionals and “allows you to engage people who will add true value to YOUR career.” Have a look at John’s article below and ionce you finish up the essays, come back and check out Gotta Mentor as well.

Good luck!

Source: Gotta Mentor
Author: John Rice
Title: Business School Essays That Get You In

Here is an excerpt from John’s Article

“One of the most important aspects of applying to business school is understanding how to tell your story in a way that translates your strengths and accomplishments into high potential for positive impact at your target MBA campus and later as a leader over the course of your post-MBA career. Focus the body of your story on articulating and illustrating the following things:

1. What you are passionate about and why, and what that implies for your long-term career goals. Your story should focus on what you want to accomplish in life/why and secondarily how business school fits into that plan. Failing to be introspective and genuine about what you really care about and what you really want to do with your life virtually eliminates the chance that you will tell a unique, memorable, and compelling story. Many applicants make the mistake of …. ” (Click here to see the rest of John’s essays advice)

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Tuesday, January 5th, 2010 Admissions, Business School No Comments

Recruiting Tool That Provides Company Salaries, Interview Information and Reviews

Hey all, I hope everyone is enjoying December so far and that you have fun plans with family and friends for the holiday break. As I mentioned in my last post, I just finished my first semester law school final exams a couple of days ago, and just yesterday I left Chicago for the warm weather of sunny Arizona. But sounds like I was one of the lucky ones. Despite a small delay on the runway, I was able to escape the winter snowstorms in Chicago. Unfortunately that was not the case for my classmates.

Upon reading the news, it sounds like a lot of people had delayed flights. In fact, many of my friend never even took a step on the plane. I hope all those headed back east, especially out to Philadelphia and Virginia, are able to make out soon.  The break is far too short to have to miss a few days due to “odd” weather conditions. Also, just wanted to give a big congratulations to those of you who just finished your first semester of law school or business school, It’s definitely a big accomplishment, and from what I hear it only gets a lot easier from here. I’ll let you all know if that’s true at Northwestern once the semester begins in a few weeks.

Anyhow, the point of my post here was just to pass along a quick website to you guys. A few weeks ago, I stumbled across a company named Glassdoor (Click Here for Website) If you have not heard of the company yet, you should take a minute to browse the website. You’ll see that it has a lot of pretty interesting career-related information, including reviews of companies, interview information, and employee salary levels, all of which are pretty important to anyone in the job market. While I don’t know enough about the company to vouch for every piece of information, most of what I’ve seen doesn’t seem too far off. To see most of the information, you’ll have to sign up with a user name and password. But that’s an easy process, and I’ve found the information here to be well worth the five minutes it takes to sign up. And the good news is that the site works for almost everyone, as there’s information here for those both in business and those in law.

It looks like Glassdoor also just came out with a Best Places to Work in 2010 list (Click Here for List). I’m not sure exactly how they analyzed the companies to come up with the rankings, but I suspect it has something to do with the individual feedback on the site. Have a look when you have a chance.

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Sunday, December 20th, 2009 Careers 1 Comment

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Jeremy C Wilson is a JD-MBA alumni using his site to share information on education, the social enterprise revolution, entrepreneurship, and doing things differently. Feel free to send along questions or comments as you read.


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The contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect the views or position of Kellogg, Northwestern Law, the JD-MBA program, or any firm that I work for. I only offer my own perspective on all issues.
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