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Posts Tagged ‘interviews’

::DING DING DING::

[Thanks N!]

I distinctly remember doing a song and dance for the INSEAD interviewer who looked like she would rather poke her eye with a sharp stick than spend time interviewing me.  When I asked her about what she liked about INSEAD, she had quite a bit of trouble first thinking of it and then being convincing about it.  She said that the most memorable thing for her was professor quality.  Seriously?  She must have had different professors.  Yes, Pekka’s lectures on ‘survival of the fattest’ are a delight, but I wouldn’t recommend someone to go to INSEAD for the professors.  I’d recommend it for a whole bunch of other reasons, but Stan’s diatribes… err, lectures… will not be high on that list.

-Did you just call me Stan?

-Yes, Stan.

My interviewed had a private equity fund to run, so interviewing potential INSEAD students might not have been high on her list of exciting things to do.  Methinks she might have more time this year.  Post interview, I had written off INSEAD as a potential future plan and got to thinking about that amazing entrepreneurial thing I was going to do because I had already given notice to quit at my job.  When I found out that I got in, I was quite surprised.

I recently had that same experience during an interview.  The interviewer looked so amazingly bored that I kept wondering whether I could call time early.  

Me: What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

My interviewer: Mumble-mumble-sigh-mumble-humph-grumble-sigh-roll-eyes-stare-off-into-space-mumble

Me: Wow, that sounds really fascinating!

What’s more is that the interviewer asked me about my concerns about the company, but did nothing to mitigate them:

Me: My fears are lack of social life beyond the firm, having to spend time in Uzbekistan on a project, stress ulcers, baldness, working with shitheads, constant evaluation.

My interviewer: Mmm… scribble scribble

The DING bell in the bar has been ringing almost non-stop for the last week and I’m eager to chime in, get someone to buy me a beer and chalk this one up to practice.

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Some years ago my friend Leonard and I were browsing through some racks at American Apparel.  Leonard is a fashion whore.  Every 2 months or so he’s talking about needing  a new suit.  Because to say that you want a new suit is less legitimate than to say you need one.  Leonard has needs, not wants.      

“I think I need a new fleece,” I thought out loud.

“Oh, right.  You wear fleece,” said Leonard.  

After this, hoping to blend in among the fashionably competent, I’ve limited wearing my fleece around town.  But seriously, dressing better than the crowd was not hard to do in a college town where sweatpants from Victoria’s Secret with UGG boots are acceptable Sunday brunch wear.  Paris, I fear, will be another story.  Isn’t it adorable how I keep deluding myself that I’ll actually be living in Paris (not 45 minutes away by train and sans time or money to actually go to Paris)?

For the past few weeks I’ve been searching for a skirt suit to wear to the tens of rounds of interviews that are a favorite pastime of any INSEAD student, and I’m going slightly nuts.  I’ve now exhausted the options of everything below $500.  From Theory (slutty) to Banana Republic (hideousness) to Sisley (awful quality).  And it’s not even that I have a weird body type or hang-ups about my body image!  I’m perfectly proportional for my height.  Unfortunately for my wallet, everything at Anthropologie was made with me in mind.   

I stopped by Barney’s outlet store to find the men’s side chock full of suits, and the women’s side full of frivolous, frilly suits for walking poodles on the Upper East Side but nothing for interviews or board meetings.  Next door, Kaspar offered hideously colorful suits for middle-aged secretaries and real estate agents in size 8 and up.  How is it that after 60 years since women entered the work force in numbers, major labels like Boss still don’t design suits for women?  Oh, right, women don’t get to play in the boardroom.  I think I wrote something about that for my scholarship applications.  Speaking of… the INSEAD scholarship selection committee is about a month late getting back with the response.  But that’s another rant.  

The other day I stopped by a store in town center where my father has bought some of his suits.  The only options for women were bespoke suits for around $1700.  The sales associate there tried shifting the attention away from his ignorance of differences between European and American styles by rebuking me for worrying about fashion and buying a suit with an expiration date of 1.5 years.  

When I tried on a model of one of the styles, he said, “that’s a great Hillary Clinton look.”  WHAT?  Now, I admire and respect Hillary Clinton, and resent the fact that the media found her pantsuits worthy of more attention than her healthcare proposals.  And I’ll be lucky to look that good in bright orange when I’m 65, but that’s like 35 years from now!  

I put on my fleece and left in a huff.

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