The Business Of Being Awesome

For the last few months now, I’ve been working with a great team of classmates at MIT Sloan on a podcast called The Business of Being Awesome. Erica and Lily started the podcast last year, and after being featured on episode 8 (below) of the first season, I wanted to be more involved.

I’ve been helping with strategy for the podcast, and then miscellaneous marketing efforts. It’s been a really fun team to be involved with, I’ve gotten some good press, and I even got to write a fun blog post about online dating. I’ve stolen the copy of this from the website, and put it below.

A love affair with online dating

I would deem 2011 the year “Kate Dates.” I went on at least 40 dates that year, purely for the enjoyment. There is something about finding someone who at the very least agrees with you on some political issues and probably a lot more. My website of choice was OkCupid. I chose it because it was free and I was still in college; I kept going back because I loved it.

My profile was amazing, and I took good care of it. Anytime that year I went to a new, good movie, it was instantly added to my “favorites” list. Granted, it probably wouldn’t make my top 10 cut long-term, but I liked to stay relevant.

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Not all my dates were good. I remember one guy who intrigued me because he was in medical school. He was seriously the worst of them all.

One guy confided in me that he had been married while on our third date… this didn’t sit well with me. Been there, done that.

Another guy really liked playing games and we had fun going to the Chatterbox in Saint Paul, where with food and drinks you could play any game (including video!) that you wanted. When he leaned in for that kiss though, I felt more like he was my brother and knew that was the end.

There is one date in particular that sticks out in my mind. I went out with this guy because he liked math and basically said he was a math professor “I work for the math department at the University of Minnesota.” You’d think that by date number 36 I’d be a little jaded, and maybe I was, but I still loved getting to know someone new. On the date, it was clear this guy was looking for something serious. Bless his heart, but I felt bad telling him “I’m just here to have fun, nothing serious…” Needless to say, it was one of the most enjoyable dates I had been on and I was looking forward to another.

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The next day, I went to Colorado where, lo and behold, OkCupid also has a presence. I quickly updated my location so I could meet a guy or two while the friend I was staying with had to work. This was the first time I met an actual married man, who was actually in an open relationship. It was interesting from an interview perspective: I had tons of questions about logistics, trust, intimacy, and the fact that they had children together. His wife’s boyfriend was around the house a lot and had met their children – this was a bit too much for me, but was definitely an eye-opening conversation.

Today, I’m engaged to the math professor [not a math professor] and couldn’t be happier. Yet, because of our relationship (rather than in spite of), I still love exploring the world of online dating.

Last year, I took a course titled Analytics Edge at MIT where, get this, we explored how analytics can give companies a competitive edge. One of the companies we did a case study on was eHarmony. We also discussed other social networks, specifically Hinge and how it leverages your existing network to connect you with 3rd degree connections. So fascinating!

Of course, I had to create a profile on Hinge, just to see how it worked. I remember the text I sent to Joe:

Me: “Hey, I joined Hinge fyi… #research”

I would hate for a coworker of his to stumble upon my profile and mention it to him and have him not know about it. We are all about communication.

This past weekend, his little sister was in town. She is currently single, and to be honest, I haven’t approved of her former boyfriends either. Wanting her to find a good match, I suggested we create her a profile. I chose Tinder, probably just because that’s what I think the kids are into these days. We also did Coffee Meets Bagel, so give me some credit.

Another friend of mine is also looking to find someone (coincidentally, it is the friend I visited in Colorado!). I’ve consulted with him on his dating profile, and am still trying to convince him to give me full rains. Think about it: if I had access to his account and his calendar, I could literally schedule dates I felt were a good match. I would obviously send him notes on our conversations beforehand, so he wouldn’t be caught off guard on something. The other side of me cringes at the idea of a relationship being founded on lies though… so I haven’t actually done this.

If anyone out there wants a consultant to help them with their online dating, I am your woman. I won’t actually independently chat with them, nor meet them for a first date, but other than that, count me it.

Originally posted on The Business of Being Awesome on April 1, 2016.

Day 1 with Google Glass

Today was my first day of using Google Glass. I actually picked it up last night but was having this weird eye thing (gross, I know) and couldn’t wear contacts. So, this morning I popped in my contacts and finally got to explore through the world of glass.

I stayed with one of Joe’s friends last night – he turned out to be a pretty nice guy. He was walking me to the subway this afternoon and asked me what the over/under was on how long until someone asked me about them. I thought that within the hour someone would definitely ask, and if not, right away at my hotel. He bet on someone asking on the subway.

Three hours later, as I’m riding down the elevator from the rooftop bar, I’m finally asked about them for the first time. “What kind of glasses are those?” was the question. He was an old man and I had to explain the concept of it being mostly like a computer.

Next, I went to stalk the filming of Tracers starting Taylor Lautner because that’s the kind of thing I do. And now here is a whole semi-discrete camera on my face for filming said famous people – score.

I sadly couldn’t track him down, but someone quickly approached me “oh my god, can I take your picture? You’re the first I’ve seen!!” Never being one to turn down a photo op, I obliged. Next, I used it to flirt with the crew on set to try and get some word on when Taylor would be around… no dice.

My favorite part so far? I walked into a home store and the associate was like “Can I help you find…. omg, are those Google Glass? Kari, Sam, get over here!” And quickly it was like I was on display.

From a functionality stand point… still getting used to it. I mistakenly tried to “hangout” with my OKC circle when I was at the Google Glass Basecamp… what is an OKC circle you ask? It is a circle I used to hold all the men I met from OkCupid, which has since been deleted. Note: “edit undo” is not a Google Glass command.

Is anyone interested in my dating escapades?

I did months of online dating last year, 30+ dates I would say. I have funny stories, sad stories, and maybe some good advice. Is anyone interested in a short little blog series on my experiences? Is it rude to publicly discuss dates? I wouldn’t use names or anything… but either way I’d love to hear folks’ perspectives on this :)

Business School = Online Dating

Searching for the right business school is online dating. Not “similar to” or “just like,” no, it is. How can I say this with such certainty, you ask? Because I have extensive experience in both arenas, that’s how.

First, spoiler alert here, a new blog mini-series I am working on chronicles my online dating adventures. I’ve titled it “The Chronicles of OKC.” I dated a few handfuls of men before (and well, after too) finding Joe, and I can say it’s a cool thing. You down select through reading different profiles, creating specific criteria “only show me men aged 24-35 that are taller than 5’6″,” and through some light messaging. Only the lucky few are awarded a date.

Compare this to the business school search. You look at tons of business schools online, finally getting a better understanding of what your search criteria is “I want class sizes smaller than 50, the ability to gain international experience, and for it to be a top-tier program.” Now you are left with only a handful of schools, with whom you thoroughly review via profiles, feedback from others, etc. Maybe you even exchange emails with the admissions folk. When you are ready to take that next step, you set up some in person meeting. Campus visit? Local information session? The median doesn’t always matter, but the feelings you get while on this “date” can be very telling about how your personality will fit with the institution.

Let’s take tonight as an example. Kellogg was in town doing an information session of their full-time programs. I’ll admit, I was a little lax in saying “yes” to this proposal, knowing little about the school. However, they are ranked number four according to US News (read: 6’0″, masters holding professional, living in a condo downtown), so I just went with it. Right off the bat, they impressed me with highlighting the MMM program. While I still don’t know what it stands for, I know it is a dual-degree program, resulting in an MBA and a masters in engineering in two years. The engineering degree can be focused on innovation and design and doesn’t require students to have a CS (computer science, folks) undergrad degree. Holy cow, sign me up. It’s like all that I’ve ever wanted to accomplish wrapped up neatly into two easy years!

After diving more deeply into the university though, I found myself comparing everything they said and did to Stanford. “Oh, well Stanford has a better partners program…” What does this mean then? Are Stanford and I meant to be? Maybe, but I need to stop looking lustfully at their profile and sending quirky messages back and fourth – we need to meet on their turf. We met in that group setting a while back, which was great, but I want something more… intimate. Who knows, it might not be a good fit, but I’m not making any friends by going on all these info sessions with Stanford on my mind.

My overall opinion on Kellogg? We would make great friends. A lot of the program sounds great, they value involvement, alumni engagement, designing your own education through many elective options, etc. However, I don’t feel that spark. I’d go visit them on campus or even consider applying (especially to the MMM program!), but my after-the-first-date gut feeling: it will never be more than a friends (maybe with benefits) type of relationship.

Chicago, Day 6

So this whole week I’ve been studying accounting. I’d never taken it before, so it is [as a side note, I just cracked open a beer and it is literally the coldest beer I’ve ever had] a completely new subject for me. Tomorrow is the final, which, I’m actually kind of looking forward to I think. Today someone told me that I could have taken all the classes pass/fail, and for a second I thought about it, but then I’m like, dude, that’s lame. 1) If I can’t even get an A/B in a one-week accounting course, I have no right applying to Stanford. So, I’m content in my decision :)

Yesterday was a super awesome day. Wednesday’s are our Company Visit days, so we started out the morning at DraftFCB. It is a marketing agency, so I was semi-interested in it, but basically assumed it wasn’t my cup of tea. The first speaker they brought in though: the director of customer intelligence. It is a department dedicated to analyzing data about customers. It was cooler than just statistics though, because they understand the importance of creativity. The way they explained it was Albert Einstein &  Pablo Picasso’s love child (smart art). It was everything I ever wanted to see in a presentation and more. When they brought up the OkCupid data I giggled in my seat. Not only is that awesome because I love OKC (where I met Joe!), but also because their analytics are fantastic. Let’s just say, I was definitely engaged.

Lunch was awesome. We ate at Quartino’s and it was great. Salad, calamari, bread, then the really good pasta, followed by a chocolate fondue. I nearly crapped myself it was that awesome. Then, when I thought my day couldn’t get any better, they served us coffee, to which I added chocolate. I’m so serious. Life for me is just that good.

Next, we went to Grubhub. For those of you who haven’t heard of it (I hadn’t!) it is this awesome fantastic start up in Chicago, that started actually about 8 years ago. It was founded by a Booth alum, so it worked out perfectly for them to take us there. It was just like “bam, here is a future mark zuckerberg, sit in the front row and between ogling his cuteness, ask all the questions you want about starting a company.” Saying I was in heaven would be an understatement.

He and the panel of Booth alum gave so many great insights into Business School. Things that I think I already knew, but were great to have reaffirmed.

  1. Go for the education, but also for the network. What do I want to do afterwards? Go some place that will introduce me to those networks.
  2. Know what I want to do going into it. While I could figure it out during school (they usually have great career centers) it is best to go in with a goal.
  3. Everyone at school comes from different backgrounds and earned the opportunity to be there. Gather all I can from those interactions and relationships.
  4. Work experience is necessary, but there is no formula for when is right for me. If I have the excitement and passion for it now, capitalize on that.

Overall, the day was full of thoughts and emotions. I considered what would happen were I to wait an additional year to apply. Would I be a better candidate? Would I still have the drive to go? Would my interests change? How will I change?

One of my best friends from college is studying for the GMAT right now. He got into Stanford Law School but is considering going for a JD/MBA degree. I pretty much know that he and I will take over the world some day, so it makes sense to be there when he will be there so while we won’t necessarily be group partners, we will hang out and party together a lot.

Well, to bed I go. I must wake up early to get my donuts.

Get stuff done.

So, I am a doer. Not in the kind that people talk about when they take a strengths finder quiz or the Myers-Briggs crap they post on their Okcupid profile. I mean, I just get stuff done. I don’t talk about how nice it would be to get something done or how someone else should do it/change it. No, I just do it.

What sucks is that I only know this because a former boyfriend pointed it out. He pointed it out over a year ago when I was having my stress-of-graduating attack and went to him, crying. He had just done his strengths finder and happened to recognize that I’m a doer.

What I mean to say though is my brand manager needs to find a way to convey the fact that I just get shit done. She asked me what my “title” should say. Blogger? Writer? I said it should say “awesome” but I’m not sure if that is sustainable. [To clarify, me being awesome is sustainable, but being so… not-humble about it may not be] I’m more of a… an all around get shit doner. Ha, doner. That looks like boner.