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This blog exists only as an archive. It is a journal that serves as a window into my life as a Marine combat veteran serving in Iraq and Afghanistan; it was written with no filter, no politics and no agenda. Please feel free to follow my journey from beginning to end. Welcome to my life.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Grad School Road Trip

My dad and I are on day 5 of our little whirlwind grad school round-up. Unfortunately, many of the schools that I wanted to visit were not in session this week, so we had to strike them from our itinerary. We started out on Sunday by heading over to Indiana to see my Uncle Paul and Aunt Joanna. Those two are my most reliable dvd pirating champions when I'm deployed. When I left Monday morning, Paul handed me a spindle of DVDs that had about 60, many of them with titles like, "Man Eating Zombie Cats" or every single episode ever made of "The Simpsons".

From Indiana we headed due east into Pennsylvania, eventually ending up at the University of Pennsylvania and it's Wharton School. Wharton was very impressive, and I was fortunate enough to meet up with a Marine veteran who was able to show me around and explain to me the ins and outs of applying to business school as a vet.

We took off from Wharton and headed straight west, trying to cover some miles before we go snowed in by mother nature. We got as far as Bedford, PA, where we shacked up for the night. Of course we didn't get settled in at our hotel until we closed down one of the more honky tonk bars in the area. Very, very honky tonk. And on a side note, you might not realize how miserable living in a state that allows smoking indoors was until you step back into a bar located in a basement, that is the only bar in town that allows you to smoke. It was like hitting a wall.

So last night my dad and I arrived in Chicago, which was an adventure because we definitely did not miss the snow storm pummeling the midwest. I swear, people in Indiana must not pay taxes, because they obviously don't have enough money to pay to have roads cleared.

Today was spent visiting the University of Chicago's Booth Business School. You've probably never heard of it, but it is actually the top ranked B School in the country, and a guy named Milton Friedman kind of made it famous. I saw two Nobel Prize winners, and more than one nerd. Again I was able to meet up with some vets, which has really been the most beneficial aspect of the trip so far, talking to people that have come from the same background and who have had the same hurdles in the application process.

So tomorrow is Northwestern. Surprised that a die-hard Badger is visiting Northwestern? I am a little concerned about it, but I think I'll get over it. I will admit though, that I was too immature to include Michigan on my list of schools. It was on the list for about 10 seconds before I threw up in my mouth and crossed it off.

Speaking of the Badgers, I'm meeting up with Greg Root down in Lincoln Park in about an hour to watch the Badgers take on the Gophers at the Wisconsin Alumni bar. On, Wisconsin.


  1. If you make it to OK, where it is cold but not snowing, look us up. I hear OU has a good business school although their football team tends to choke during bowl games.

  2. Damn! Wish I would have know you were in the area (Western PA). I would have loved to meet you! I've been reading your blog religiously for a couple years now. It would have been an honor to buy your drinks during your stop in the area. Thanks for everything you do!


  3. If you are thinking about going back to school:

  4. I live outside the windy city, and yes you do get used to this crappy weather. My son went to Purdue, my daughter will be going to NIU in the fall. Good luck on your search!

  5. The prestige of a Penn or Chicago MBA will be worth the extra stress and cost. It will open many doors and help you go as far as you want to go in life. Being a Marine will help you out in those rough neighborhoods these 2 fine schools are located in.

  6. I see a lot of bios in my work as an analyst. I would tell you from purely un-scientific research, U of Chicago MBA grads seem to have the most prestigious jobs. Additionally, if you want to eventually settle in the mid-west or in the southeast, you will find a lot of Chicago natives who will be willing to give a midwesterner a leg up. Unsolicitated advice.

    Congrats on what must have been fabulous GMAT scores.