Sunday, July 30, 2006

Pretty Vegas

Should have posted this a month back, but anyway here it is

They say “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” and I have to stick by the code. However, I thought I could share some of it and leave the rest to imagination. Enjoy reading!
It was a fun trip. You cannot “not have fun” in Las vegas. There are just too many things to see and too many things to do. We had 4 days on the long weekend; we were thinking one too many but as it turned out one too less.

It all started on Saturday morning when we caught the early morning flight to Las Vegas. We woke up in time to catch breathtaking views of the lake, canyon and the desert just before landing. Once we touched down we headed directly to our hotel Circus-circus and checked-in. The place was hot, the temperature. It was close to 100F and the sun was beating down with vengeance.

Gorge-ous Posted by Picasa

Quickly refreshed, we caught up with my friend’s friends and headed over to Hoover Dam. I couldn’t figure out why we were going there but not everything in this world is based on reason. The view was good, and we took the usual pictures, you know; the ones you put on ‘myspace’. With that over and done with we were soon back in Vegas and it was time to explore. Ofcourse we had to start with a sumptuous meal, and the buffet at ‘Aladdin’ was just about the perfect start. We decided to walk around and explore the hotel before stuffing ourselves. All hotels in Vegas are built on some theme or the other and if you have ready the fairy tale you can picture exactly how ‘Alladin’ would look. So I thought, but they did one better. With sets and artificial blue sky the place was fascinating. Pictures say more than thousand words so have a look.

Hoover Dam Posted by Picasa

Alladin - blue sky Posted by Picasa

Alladin - Desset passage Posted by Picasa

Done with exploration we sat done for our buffet lunch which though expensive was incredible. There were servings from various continents and I guess over 100 items to choose from. Add to that complimentary champagne which we gulped down with satisfaction. My friend and I were determined to dig into as many courses as possible, so we ended up eating for 2 hours. Expectedly, once done and through, there was nothing left to do but go to bed and crash. We headed back to our hotels.

We woke up around 9 PM and next on our agenda was clubbing at the ‘RA’ nightclub at the ‘Luxor’. Luxor hotel is built on the ‘Egyptian’ theme and we reached early enough to explore the hotel and loose some money to the casino. Even though we were at the ‘RA’ before open, we had to wait for almost an hour before we got in. The place was huge, interiors amazing and appearance glamorous as one would expect. Our friends joined us later and we had a great time all night.

Next morning we headed to the stratosphere, one of the most popular attractions in vegas. We headed to the top and the view was breathtaking. The joy rides at the top looked really frightening so we were quick to get on board. The first one was the ‘Xscream’ which took you on inclined plane over the edge of the stratosphere and left you dangling in mid air. It was not as scary as it looked leaving us disappointed. The second one we took was the ‘Big Shot’. You are shot up from the top of stratosphere like a rocket and it really hits you. Then you freefall for a second or two and this is repeated couple of times over. This one was thrilling. After some time enjoying the views and exploring, we continued on.

Xscream Posted by Picasa

The strip Posted by Picasa

Stratosphere Posted by Picasa

Next stop was the Sahara and the “speed ride” This was one amazing rolling coaster and its over before you know it but really thrilling. One second you are stationary and the other zooming across.

We had to change hotels so we headed back to our room, checked out and settled in to our new hotel ‘Riveria”. After a quick break and lunch we headed out again walking down the boulevard. We covered the ‘Venetian’, ‘Mirage’ and the ‘Treasure island’. ‘Treasure island’ had some fun stuff to do and we especially loved the “Party Bar” where we saw juggling acts by the bartenders and even managed a free shot. By now the strip was glittered with flashy lights and it looked absolutely wonderful at night. We also managed to cover the famous ‘Ceasar’s palace’. The place was huge and aristocratic as one would expect. I headed to the casino to make me some money which surprisingly I did, while others headed for bed.

On the Strip looking south Posted by Picasa

On the strip looking north Posted by Picasa

Inside Ceasars Posted by Picasa

Next day we headed to the ‘Zion canyon’ about 2 hours drive from Las Vegas. We loved the drive and the scenic views that kept getting the further we went. There were so many things to do at Zion that we didn’t have time for. We took the shuttle ride to place that allowed us to hike. We followed up a long trek with a dip in the cold water in the stream.
The ride back equally relaxing. Once back, we had to change hotels again and this time we checked in at the “Hilton”. After settling into our posh hotel room and catching a quick nap we headed out to “The Beach” night club. This was Latino style club and I loved the music. Again the place was huge in keeping with everything else in Vegas. We got bored pretty soon and I headed back to the casino while my friend went back to the room. I was at the casino till about 6 in the morning.

Enroute Zion canyon Posted by Picasa

Expectedly the day started late, and we had a few things to see on the strip. We explored the Hilton to get the “star trek” experience. I managed to lose some more money to the casino. All this while I was playing ‘Blackjack’ which I am supposedly good at. We did spend some time in the poker room to get few tips. All in all we didn’t cover much on the final day as we were very tired.

It was a great trip, very exciting and eventful. There are so many things to do in Vegas that you cannot get bored, in fact it’s hard to find time to sleep. Later that night we caught the flight back singing

The party's over and the road is long The party's over and we're moving on

Sunday, July 23, 2006

School list

I am ready with the list of schools i am going to apply to this year. The process was quite similar to the one I did last year. With the added experience and knowledge about various schools and programs, this year's list appears to be better suited to my needs and hopefully I stand a good chance to getting into one of these schools.

Kept these in mind while selectiong schools –
1. Career focus – management consulting, long term – entrprenuership
2. General management curriculum
3. Placements in consulting
4. School reputation and specialty
5. Culture and fit

So I ended up with 6 schools, plus 2 that I am re-applying to. I might apply to all eight(that would be very difficult) but if I cant, as many as possible.

Stretch schools

Harvard Business School – One of the best business schools in the world, great reputation, excellent alumni network, teaching methods are very practical and more emphasis on case method, excellent placements in consulting.

Tuck, Dartmouth– Another top business school, is a favorite for Management consulting firms. Has a general management curriculum, good alumni network that facilitate lot of placements.

Good Schools – reasonable chance of getting in

Darden, Virginia – Another feeder for MC firms. Has a general management curriculum and excellent placements on consulting.

Ross, Michigan – Good school for consulting and technology. Good placements. Fits in to the top 10 and has good reputation.

McCombs, Texas – More known as a technology school but good curriculum and consulting placements.

Re-applicant – Good chance

Fuqua, Duke – Good curriculum and strong in all areas. Good consulting placements. Love the Fuqua culture.

Tepper, CMU – well structured curriculum. School’s been on the rise. It is known for Technology, finance and consulting. Ranks amongst the best in technology. Focus on analytical skills which result in good placements in Consulting

Safety School

Owen, Vanderbilt - Fits into top 25. Like the curriculum and structure. reaonable consulting placements.

How many I end up applying to is still an open question but its going to be tough few months for me.

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