Where's Nate?

living large in the four-oh-eight. wicked large.


and i would drive five hundred miles.

Big day today. Started in the beautiful town of Columbia, Missouri, and ended up in Colby, Kansas. That's 500 miles on I-70. Sweet.

Nick and I hit the Royals-A's game in Kauffman Stadium, crossing yet another ballpark off our list. It's a very unique park, with a huge concourse, crazy water fountains, and a tiny crowd in attendance. And for good reason. Nobody wants to see this once-proud franchise get beat up by the squad from Oakland.

I dropped Nick off at the airport and headed west. Thank goodness for my trusty iPod and cruise control. Off to Denver tomorrow.


done (and heading west).

It's been a while since my last post because I spent a lot of last week on the golf course, in the bar, and packing up for my drive back to california. We finished our MAP project on Wednesday (a day early!) and I hit the road on Friday. First stop was Chicago, to pick up my buddy Nick. Our mission is to cross off two more baseball stadiums.

Today, we managed to knock out the brand new Busch Stadium in St. Louis. We've been in Missouri for about 16 hours now, and the only four hours it hasn't poured were the four hours we spent at the stadium. Very lucky.

It's a great yard with a classic feel and super-classy fans. Highly recommended. Off to KC tomorrow.


from the cockpit.

Last week, on the way out to San Jose, our flight lost one of it's generators. This forced us to turnaround somewhere over the Western Rockies and head back to Denver. You can see the flight path below:

While the flight was less than pleasant, I'm not writing this to bitch about United. Once back in Denver, they brought us a new plane and had us to San Jose only a few hours late. I guess that's the perk of breaking down near a hub.

If you haven't see it yet, check out FlightAware. I'm a bit of a flight-tracking website snob, but FlightAware is the most comprehensive and accurate service I've seen to date. You can follow individual flights, view traffic around an airport, or even punch in the tail number of a celebrity plane. (Check out the Discussions area for that.) And, I'll admit it: I didn't find this one on my own. Thanks, Paige!


ethernet strategery.

So when we found out last week that our final presentation at Cisco was being moved from one building to another due to the "President's Office", we thought CEO Chambers needed our conference room. Little did we know, a different kind of President is visiting Cisco tomorrow.

Apparently, Dubyah and Arnold are paying a visit to our favorite networking company (a story scooped by the Mercury News yesterday and confirmed by the fresh paint we smelled/saw on campus). And MAP Team Cisco is getting the boot.

That's fine. I guess I won't be sharing my politics with that guy in the corner wearing the dark suit.


one down, two to go.

We made our final MAP presentation to our faculty advisors yesterday, with mixed results. As we were one of the first teams at Michigan to present (the term ends on 4/27), they were complimentary of how far our analysis and recommendations had come in six short weeks. I think we made a compelling argument that illustrated our understanding of the industry, customer perceptions, and next steps for Cisco.

The faculty gave us some specific feedback, however, that will make us re-think one of our recommendations before our Friday meeting with Cisco in San Jose. We certainly have time, as we fly out to California this afternoon and will have Wednesday and Thursday on-site.

MAP continues to be quite an experience. Nothing like taking six students from various backgrounds and throwing them into a seven-week project with no clear (or implied) reporting structure, two key stakeholders (the faculty and the company), and huge deliverables. What does this remind me of?

Oh, yeah. The real world.


at the crossroads.

My friend Mike has asked us to visit him this summer during his internship with a major e-tailer. He might have a hard time pulling people away from the coasts to the sleepy hamlet of Coffeyville, Kansas.

Mike employs the bulleted list, a standard device that makes it possible for any short-attention-spanned MBA to read along:

1) You will LITERALLY be at the crossroads of America.

2) Dalton is home to a plaster replica of the "largest hailstone on record," 17.5 inches in circumference, 1.67 pounds. It fell on Coffeyville on September 3, 1970. You will get to see what this puppy looks like in real life.

3) This is the guy you see for real estate if you want to rent a cabin for during your stay. The average home price is about $37,000. The town will also give you free land to put a double-wide on if you like.

4) According to the community profile there are a lot of tourist and recreation activities for you including "looking at historic murals."

Good luck, Mike. At least the golf is cheap. Wherever it is.


somebody's listening.

Last week during the admitted students event, several future Ross-ers made it a point to tell me they read "Where's Nate." Cool. While I don't think anything I write in here is particularly revolutionary, it is a good reflection of MBA student life.

On a related note, I was nominated for a "Best Blog" award by clearadmit.com, an MBA admissions website:

Congratulations on your nomination for Clear Admit’s 2006 Best of Blogging competition! As an MBA blogger, we value your opinion and ask you to weigh in with your thoughts on which blogs have been the most enjoyable and helpful over the past year. To receive a copy of this year’s ballot, please email bestofblogging@clearadmit.com. Thank you and good luck!

So vote early and vote often, I guess.


two weeks.

It's been a busy, busy week. First off, Paige is in town all week...which has been awesome. We've explored Ann Arbor and enjoyed each other's company for the first time in six weeks. I'm literally counting down the days until I head home for the summer.

With Paige in town, her parents came up from Cincy to spend a couple of days with us. They even got a chance to see P-Hat live at Skeepers tonight. What a treat!

Most of the business is related to MAP. We have our final faculty presentation on Monday and then we're off to San Jose to present to Cisco next Friday. After weeks of research and analysis, we're working our tails off to get all of our thoughts into PowerPoint and Word. While I like where are recommendations are going, I'll be glad to present them (and be done with it).

I've been very lucky (knock on wood) with my team and my faculty advisor. Everyone seems to be pulling in the same direction and working hard down to the wire. While we may or may not kill each other in the process, it's been quite a ride. More on our final presentation coming soon.


welcome wagon.

Go Blue Rendezvous is a great weekend at Ross in which new admits visit campus to meet professors, current students, and (most importantly) each other. I had the pleasure this week to coordinate the housing information table, host an admit dinner, and introduce my favorite Finance prof. The energy around this place, which was starting to wane a bit as first-years retreated into MAP cocoons, was as high as I've seen since football season.

So if you missed my housing tips, here they are in a nutshell:
1) Decide whether or not you want to walk. Then decide how far.
2) Decide whether or not you mind undergrad neighbors. Then decide how many.
3) Decide whether or not you bring furniture. Then decide how much.

All of these variables will impact your rent. The closer you get to campus, the higher the rent. The farther you get from campus, the higher the quality. But remember, when you're stumbling out of Rick's and you have to get home, the most expensive cab in Ann Arbor will cost no more than $10. Well worth it.

Hosting admits is a hilarious, high-energy experience and I'm definitely going to do it again next year. At one point on Thursday night, I looked around the event and noticed that all of the MBA1s were talking to each other. But that's fine. All of the admits were far more interested in each other than current students. We're boring. And that's cool.


best day of the year.

What's not to like about today? A time change means the sun doesn't set until 8:00pm. The White Sox and the Indians kick off the MLB season tonight. And I had a chance to swing the sticks at the UM Golf Course (even though I could see my breath).

In a related story, we had a big night of beer die on Friday. It's becoming quite a revelation for those who didn't "get" to play during their undergrad years. How old am I again? Old enough to spend $20 on a custom-made T-shirt (see above).


blow out the candles.

First off, Happy 30th Birthday to Apple. Today was a little bittersweet for me, as I finally announced to my colleagues at Apple that I'm ending my part-time gig so that I can spend a summer at Yahoo! in Sunnyvale. Here's what I wrote today:

I'm writing to let you know that my last day at Apple will be this Friday, April 7. I'm very grateful to Apple for keeping me in a part-time capacity during my first year at the Ross School of Business. Thanks to the patience and hard work of Tracey, Dave, and others, we were able to launch an exciting scholarship program.

Alas, it's time to move on. After finishing up the academic year in late April, I'll be returning to the Bay Area and taking a summer position in Yahoo! Product Marketing. It's a great opportunity to broaden my skills while riding on this newfangled invention called the "Information Superhighway."

See you back in the Loop,

Four years with one company is a long time, and I'm very fortunate to have been in the Loop during the good part of the rollercoaster. Farewell, Apple. Hello, Yahoo!