Great Orientation

Great Orientation

We had a great visit to campus and a very helpful orientation. But best of all, it was an opportunity to meet the folks I will be spending the next year getting to know better. We covered topics ranging from course selection to health insurance and housing choices.

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am — three short months until classes start!

We’re still looking for off-campus housing (we have dogs who aren’t welcome in Stanford housing). Hopefully we’ll have a solution for this soon.

I didn’t have a chance to speak in-depth with everyone in the cohort, but I can already tell that we have an incredible group.

A few words of advice for future Sloan Fellows — come to orientation a day or two early, hydrate well, get acclimated to the time zone and start the orientation well rested. There are plenty of opportunities to stay up late, drink a lot and ask the current cohort a lot of questions. You’ll also start building friendships within your own new cohort — and it pays to have the stamina to hang in with the late evenings. Orientation days are long and action-packed — so come prepared to soak up a lot of info and ask a lot of questions.

Hope and I find the Palo Alto weather nearly ideal — but the mild temperatures may be a bit of a shock to some. It will be warm in the sun and can be chilly in the shade or in a breeze. So wear layers or bring a light jacket…

If you have pets — it seems like the advice varies quite a bit. There are folks who will tell you to sneak them into on-campus housing. Others will tell you to turn your dog into a “service animal” and get an exception (e.g. you can’t live without the assistance of your poodle). But we came to the conclusion that the right thing to do is live off-campus. There are many apartments and rental homes that are quite accepting of pets — but since the rental market is so competitive these days, applications that come in without pets may trump your application. So be prepared for potential disappointment and seek multiple options.

As for off-campus housing — Palo Alto does offer affordable rental options — and very nice rental options. But, as we found, the two often don’t come together! I’m convinced that the photos in Craigslist are even less accurate than those you would find on a dating website… We found one house that looked so nice in the photos, but we walked away calling it “shit brown” — so we are no longer considering Palo Alto. 🙂

If searching for off-campus housing, do it with a sense of humor and a little patience — you might occasionally find a gem, only to have it stolen by another competing rental application. And anyone with a real job will likely get the house before you!!! We started looking a bit up the peninsula — currently we’re thinking San Mateo. A bit farther away than some people suggested, but I think we will be able to make it work.

Last item: We were invited to share an evening at Antonio’s Nut House. Apparently, this “tradition” has been passed down from previous Sloan generations. I don’t  personally get it… An interesting place to say the least — but if you have a peanut allergy, avoid like the plague!! But a great place to get cheap beer…

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Searching for housing!

Ok, we are looking for a home in the Bay Area that will accept us and our pups. We’ve found a couple places that we like! Applications are going in now — wish us luck.

The rental market is pretty hot right now in the Bay Area, so I can already tell we will have some competition. Places are getting snapped up quickly. Rents are high…

Originally, we were hoping for something in Palo Alto, but I think we’re moving up the Peninsula. Palo Alto rents are approaching absurd… Redwood City was better, but currently liking San Mateo a lot.

Orientation starts tonight. Looking forward to meeting my cohort!