If you're a fan of 30 Rock, you probably recognized the title of this post from Season Five, where Pete and Frank decide to resurrect Pete's music career (he had once played with Loverboy) by recording the song "It's Never Too Late For Now." For me, this phrase has been running through my head lately as I prepare to go back to school and dust off the memory banks to re-learn all the math I have forgotten.
If you're reading this blog because you're interested in an MBA program, it should be no surprise that business school requires a baseline of mathematical knowledge, or in b-school terms, quantitative or "quant" skills. In theory, I shouldn't be too intimidated by this. After all, I got a 4.0 in my college Calculus class, and I have been assured that my MBA program will not require anything more advanced than what I learned back then.
The harsh reality, however, is that when I took Calculus, the hot new Johnny Depp film wasn't Pirates of the Caribbean, or even Chocolat--it was What's Eating Gilbert Grape. Before you Google that, rest assured that it was quite a while ago.
Since then, I avoided math by going to law school (perhaps the only grad school program that doesn't require math) and then practicing law, where the only number crunching I did was preparing income tax returns. I did refresh my memory banks last fall while prepping for the GMAT, but just enough to get a respectable test score--not enough to succeed in the quant-heavy classes I'll start in a few weeks.
So if you're a prospective MBA student who is similarly situated, the good news is that you CAN get into a top program on more than quantitative skills alone. The bad news is, you'll have to get up to speed eventually. Fortunately, UCLA Anderson provides several options. I'm currently enrolled in MBA Math as well as Anderson's online MBA Math Workshop. I also purchased GMAC's Essential Prep series, although I find the Khan Academy tutorials in the MBA Math Workshop to be more helpful. I'm also working through the Excel tutorials on Lynda.com (with free access provided by Anderson).
Basically, I have spent the last 3 weeks holed up at home re-learning math (and learning Excel for the first time). It's a challenge, but a manageable one. Plus, I'm in Los Angeles so when I take breaks, it's to do fun stuff like catch a comedy show at Upright Citizens Brigade Theater.
I went last night and saw performers from two other favorite NBC shows, The Office and Parks and Recreation. (No Amy Poehler, unfortunately, but Jean-Ralphio was a good consolation prize.) Even more exciting, I'm going back in a couple of weeks to see local celebrity/brother Albert Ching perform some improv comedy goodness.
For now, back to the books!
-Ann Ching, '14
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