AdmitMBA360 Blog formerly Journey to my MBA

Journey to my MBA

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Studying is hard work & Stanford Campus Life Review

Lately, I've been doing my best to put myself into environments conducive to what I'm trying to accomplish. For example, this week I've been going to Stanford to study for my GMAT. There is nothing like seeing others around you who are truly focused on their studies and in a facility that truly defines excellence.
My sentence correction studying has come a long way. I'm doing far better now. My weaker areas I'd have to say are Data Sufficiency and Reading Comprehension. Well, my GMAT #2 test is this Monday. I'm a bit nervous, numb and excited to be taking it.

Since I've been studying at Stanford, I think I can provide some input about what I've noticed and what I've been doing there. First of all, I've been studying at the Cecil Green Library. It's open till midnight and is decked out very nice for studying. plenty of desk space. Even though school is in session, there are quite a few areas open to study. It's quite evident that students take their studying pretty seriously. Across the quad is the Meyer Library. I like this library too, but even more so because there is a 24 hr study room there that holds about 50 students. It's test time right now and the study room is about 90% full and that was at 11pm. It's all open table with no cubes. There's a pack of 4 Mac's in the center of the room for students to use. In between the libraries is an outdoor coffee shop that stays open till 11pm. Very nice. Security in the libraries is pretty tight. You have to swipe your ID card just to get in and you have to open up your backpack, purse or whatever other bag you have on you in order to walk out. These front desk guys take this pretty seriously. I had my lunch bag on me and as I walked out so that I could eat my sandwich they made me open it up every pocket. The thing is about 1/2 the size of a loaf of bread. I had to register as a guest to walk in and show my drivers license. Every time I walk out, I have to show my visitors paper with my ID just to get back in. A real pain.
The biggest learning curve was just getting around the school and learning what students already know about where the good study places are. Parking is crazy. Did you know that this year Stanford is not giving out parking permits to their Undergraduate freshman? Yup, that's right. Apparently the county won't permit expansion of building and parking space as Stanford wants so the leadership team decided on more buildings and putting restrictions on student parking. I can't even describe what it must be like for freshmen who live off campus. Bad Bad Bad. One freshman told me that this is only for their year and that grad students and upperclassmen are not affected by this. This was the first year they started doing this.

Another thing that I've noticed are the bicycles. There are tons of them here. In between the libraries, there are bicycle lockup areas that hold about 50-60 bikes. But, tonight.. there were about 150 bikes. These students are so trusting. So in particular areas, they just put down the kickstand and leave it in the center of the quad with the other 100 students who did the same thing with their bike. I stepped outside the library at 11pm and there were still 150 bikes there. Students must feel very secure here. So what's my point... uh.... if you come to Stanford and you don't have a Bike.. you'll probably have to. Put that into your budget. I noticed that at around 2pm yesterday, there were probably 30-40 bikes outside the Business School. Hint Hint Hint about how students get around campus here. All day and night, you'll see students riding their bikes here in mass.

The really cool thing that I noticed was the location of the dorms so close to the libraries. Clearly, students here utilize the libraries to study at. There are lot's of students in the libraries. The 1st dorm building is within 150 feet of the libraries.
If you come to Stanford.. you have to go up Hoover tower. It's the tallest thing on campus and overlooks the entire campus. It must be 12-15 stories high. It costs $2 for visitors and is open till 5pm during weekdays. I don't know about the weekends. When I went there this week, I found that the campus first opened in 1891 and that Herbert Hoover was part of that first class. The front of the school definitely looks like a typical California Mission building, but a majority of the building around campus behind it are more modern.

I was drinking a coffee outside tonight and read in the Stanford Daily that Condoleezza Rice is a professor at Stanford in the Political Science department. I didn't know that. She's on temporary leave from her position, but is still considered a professor at Stanford.

Well, that's about it for my ramblings. Time to get back to my studies. I'll write more later about my observations of the Stanford campus life. Oh, by the way, I walk by the Business School building everyday now and it's pretty weird to think that I'm walking by one of the top Business Schools in the world.


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