25 Notable Things

Fuqua recently instituted a question in the MBA application that asks for 25 random things about applicants. When I first heard this, I immediately thought of the Facebook notes chain that was viral in 2009. So, I checked Facebook, and lo and behold, it’s the ONLY Facebook note I’ve ever written. Looking back, I chuckled about the silliness, relevancy, and/or lack of relevancy of some of my 25 things. Here, I’ve updated a few of the items from my original Facebook note. I’m not sure this would be the final “25 things” I would include in my B-school essay (had I been required to answer this question for an application) but it is a very random list of 25 things about me that are hopefully interesting. Enjoy!

  1. I love traveling. The second I finish one trip, I start yearning for the next. Off-the-beaten-path vacations are the best, and one day I will visit all of the continents, including Antarctica. This is one of the main reasons I wanted to participate in GATE as a team leader.
  2. I traveled to Guatemala at the end of May 2010 for my birthday (see #1 above — when I find a good deal, I just go!). If anyone can recall, this is the exact time that two natural calamities struck the country. On my actual birthday (May 27), I was in Guatemala City when the active volcano Pacaya (just 19 miles away) erupted. I was wondering what the “hot dirty rain” was and why people were taking pictures of their footprints. Turns out it was ash that had blanketed the city. Two days later, tropical storm Agatha hit, causing severe floods, destroying buildings, and spontaneously creating a gigantic 20 meter deep and 15 meter wide sinkhole. Airports shut down for weeks in the country, so I had to precariously travel to El Salvador just to fly back to the U.S. It was an amazing adventure!
  3. I’m hooked on general knowledge trivia. Pub quiz night, Jeopardy, Trivial Pursuit, and shows like Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader, and Do You Want to be a Millionaire.
  4. Though I realize that celebrity gossip is completely inane, it’s my guilty pleasure. Don’t judge me.
  5. I ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, and it forever changed my outlook on facing fears. Now, I can’t wait to go skydiving.
  6. I have always wanted to own a pet dolphin. Really. I still harbor fantasies of building a Sea World-ish type pool in my backyard, so that I can swim around with dolphins.
  7. I’m fascinated with watching people do things I don’t do. I will literally stare as people put shellfish (I’m allergic) into their mouths … I’ve even made people repeat such things just so I can take a closer look. Yes, I know, strange.
  8. I was once solely responsible for a lockdown of the NASA Space Center.
  9. I’m an avid fan of movies, but horror movies do a number on me. My overactive imagination takes control and my own thoughts scare me much more than the actual movie.
  10. Along the lines of movies, I’m constantly imagining my life as one. I replay scenes in my head, see it from different angles, and imagine all kinds of scenarios. I even find myself “rehearsing” lines in my head ALL the time. I often catch myself doing it out loud (on the street, in the subway), which probably made me a perfect fit with the other random people in New York City (where I used to live before Fuqua). Also, it coincidentally makes me a natural fit for FuquaVision.
  11. I fractured my ankle in three places along the growth line when I was playing soccer in 3rd grade. I had to wear a cast up to my waist for 3 months, got pretty darn adept at racing up and down stairs in my crutches, and actually had to re-learn how to walk after the cast was removed.
  12. In 2007, I took a vacation to travel around the Middle East by myself. In one month, I went to 9 countries and 13 cities. I still keep in touch with many of the friends that I met along the way.
  13. My photographs and camera are two of my most valued possessions.
  14. When I was little, I used to be so afraid of swimming in pools because I thought little alligators would swim out of the filtration grates and attack me. Even to this day, after 13 years of swimming, including 3 years on the water polo team and 4 years on the swim team in high school, I still occasionally glance at the grates just to make sure …
  15. I eat a Kit Kat bar by first biting off the two chocolate ends of one bar, then the sides, then the top, then the bottom, then I nibble the little wafer that remains. This is generally how I eat all chocolate bars.
  16. I once inadvertently stepped on a beehive and was stung by a swarm of 50+ angry bees. Not fun.
  17. Jim Cramer, of Mad Money fame, once called me at my previous job (Investor Relations) and I proceeded to speak to him for an hour about how the company was a good long-term investment. Within weeks, he became a huge supporter of the company on his TV show. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one responsible for this, but I’d like to feel I played some part!
  18. I can be a bit of a klutz. I’ll walk into walls and bump myself on random things. I even ran into a partially open door and completely dislocated my shoulder during a bomb threat evacuation from my work building…in front of my former company’s CFO and CEO. Eek!
  19. My nickname is Mojo.
  20. Although I’m right-handed, I can dexterously use chopsticks with my left hand as well.
  21. I’m a night owl. It is not an unusual occurrence for me for me to go to sleep at 4 am on a work day.
  22. I studied classical piano for over 9 years, and yet my favorite song to play is still a simple Fur Elise.
  23. I can sleep ANYWHERE. I’ve slept on a stone slab, on the damp grass in front of a church in Spain, on a park bench in the middle of the day during the San Fermines festival (you can imagine the noise), on the concrete floor of a train station, standing up, in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, on a roof, on top of a statue in Israel, on top of the Half Dome, and numerous other places. This is hugely beneficial since I fall asleep immediately on airplane flights.
  24. Writing is a passion of mine, and I am currently in the process of writing a book.
  25. I’m happiest when I’m near a body of water — whether it’s a beach, river, or lake.
Anjali Menon

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Daytime MBA, Class of 2013. Find out more about me...

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6 Responses to 25 Notable Things

  1. Gaurav J Goel says:

    Awesome list Anjali… #7, #18, and #23 are hilarious! and would like to know more about #8… :)

  2. Grace Schiodtz says:

    I love reading these 25 random things and finding out that people do weird things I do too, felt a bit better about strange things on my 25 list essay. Please tell us about #8, really curious.

  3. River says:

    Aha, one reason for me to apply for Fuqua is this 25 Random things essay. Essay questions show school personality. It’s funny to read yours.
    Fur Elise is not at all a simple piece!

  4. Amitesh says:

    I must say, i have the same fear as you do in #14, just with snakes, instead of alligators!

    I’m applying to Fuqua’s full-time program for this fall and have a few questions. Would you mind sharing your contact/contacting me in this regard ?
    My mail ID is amitesh.bhagwan@gmail.com

    • Blog Admin says:

      Hello Amitesh, thank you for your comment and for reading the blog. Anjali is currently traveling and has limited access to respond to comments. However, if you send an email to askastudent@fuqua.duke.edu, you will be connected to a current student who can answer your questions in a timely manner. Best wishes!

  5. Vikram Jain says:

    Hi Anjali,

    This is a really fun read and gives a great insight to the kind of students at Fuqua. Enjoyed reading this :)

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