Life as an MBA Student | Engineer to Entrepreneur: The Wharton Transformation

Eric Allen is the co-founder and director of Admit Advantage. Eric changes career from Engineering to Entrepreneurship. We caught up with Eric after his career change, to hear about his Wharton journey. 

What are the unexpected things you’ve learnt about yourself along the way while changing career from engineering to entrepreneurship?

There is a huge difference between management and leadership. As a business leader, I make hundreds of decisions on a daily basis that are critical to the strategic and operational direction of the company. Our staff looks to me to set the tone for corporate culture, attitude, and work ethic that trickles down throughout the organization. 

Another surprise for me as an entrepreneur was how much time I spend soaking in information. I spend over half of my time reading and listening to customers, vendors, partners, and investors to help me shape the direction of the company, which can be a bit frustrating as I try to balance operational progress with defining the appropriate strategic direction.


What is the one thing you wished you had known before embarking on you MBA journey?

I wish I had realized the importance of networking and building relationships. As a career changer, I thought it was critical that I knew everything about the business classes that I took. As a result, I graduated Wharton with honors, but I missed out on opportunities to build meaningful relationships with some of the smartest and most dynamic people in the business world.

Do you feel Admit Advantage would be the success it is today without your MBA?
Certainly not, for the line of business that I’m in today. Business school was critical to building my professional network, providing me with the business toolkit that gives me the confidence to run my business every day, and the Wharton brand gives me the credibility I need as I talk to investors, vendors, clients and partners. Finally, my experience as a Wharton admissions officer gave me the perspective from the admissions side that is critical to my success delivering advice to my clients. 

If you wrote a book about your MBA experience what would it be called?
Engineer to Entrepreneur: The Wharton Transformation

What, if anything, would you change about your experience? What would make the perfect MBA for you?
I would have networked more and gotten to know more people. The people at Wharton are absolutely amazing with an incredible breadth of background and experiences, and I wish I had dedicated more time to get to know more people. I also would’ve gone overseas for a semester. Business is much more global than ever, and it’s important for people to learn in an environment outside of the U.S. Finally, I would’ve also focused more on developing my “soft skills” including communication and human capital skills, which are critical to running a business.

What’s the one memory that will always stick with you throughout this experience?
I will always remember the friendships that I have built. Not only was my Wharton experience a transformational experience in my career, but it has created a meaningful set of friends, including my two co-founders, that I will cherish forever. I will also remember the activities that I participated in outside of Wharton. One very meaningful experience for me was the Wharton Leadership Venture to Quantico Marine Base to train with the Marines and learn leadership under duress. Oorah!

What’s next for Admit Advantage?
There are lots of exciting things on the horizon for Admit Advantage. Continued expansion across demographics and segments (we now cover undergraduate, MBA and law admissions); we are a global company and we will continue to expand our global reach; and we will change the way we deliver advice to our clients in innovative ways. 


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Life as an MBA Student | Ryan from Scripted.com, MIT Sloan

Ryan Buckley graduated from MIT Sloan in the Class of ’09 and started his business (Scripted.com) while he was in school. Even with all the entrepreneurship classes and time spent bartending at the Muddy Charles (an awesome old MIT pub); his favorite business school experience was playing in the Rolling Sloans, MIT Sloan’s hard rock cover band. Ryan takes us through his MBA experience.

 

What are the unexpected things you’ve learnt about yourself along the way?

I learned that while I do enjoy studying and getting good grades, grad school is really about the relationships you form. Tests are merely an indicator of how well you learned the material that was tested, but when I look back on grad school, it’s the conferences, happy hours, and trips I took with my classmates that I’ll remember the most. 

 

What is the one thing you wished you had known before embarking on you MBA journey?

I wish I had known to spend more time trying to meet everyone in my class. I did the best I could, because I think I subconsciously knew it was important, but you can always do better. It’s those bonds that become most valuable in the years after you graduate. You definitely want to stay connected and be invited to the social events five years after you graduate. 

 

What was your main reason/objective for starting your MBA…? Did this direction change over the course of your journey?

I got an MBA because I was starting a freelance writing company at the time, which eventually evolved into Scripted.com. Starting a business is tough, and I wanted to meet other people who were going to take on the challenge with me. I knew that MIT Sloan was respected for entrepreneurship and I was very excited to throw my hat in there. 

If you wrote a book about your MBA experience what would it be called?

How to Start a Business While Getting an MBA

What, if anything, would you change about your experience? What would make the “perfect MBA” for you?

Well, a perfect MBA would cost nothing. It also would have taught me everything I needed to know about how to start and finance a small business. Most MBA’s are very high level, analyzing stuff you’d only see in a Coca Cola board room. Real business to me is small, when you’re working with less than $1M in capital so every mistake is a huge one and every dollar counts. Most MBA programs don’t focus on the less sexy cases, and although MIT tried to change that, I think they still went a little too corporate. 

What’s the one memory that will always stick with you throughout this experience?

I played in the Rolling Sloans, MIT Sloan’s own rock and roll cover band, and I bartend at the Muddy Charles, MIT’s fabled campus pub. Both experiences brought me exposure to different parts of campus and introduced me to new friends. MIT is a wonderful and unique place, and it was important to me that I branch outside of the business school. Being in the cover band helped keep me from straying too far!

What is next for you, now that you have graduated? 

Grow Scripted to many, many multiples of $1M, so we can sit in a board room and THEN I can put all my MIT Sloan lessons to work. 

 


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Life as an MBA Student | Shreyans from KoyalWholesale.com

Shreyans Parekh is the Director of KoyalWholesale.com, the world’s largest wedding and event supplies company. He founded the company along with his 2 siblings in 2003, and today, they have grown to carry over 50,000 products shipping worldwide. Shreyans graduated from Wharton’s full-time MBA program in 2010 majoring in strategic and entrepreneurial management, and marketing.

He attended the University of Pennsylvania’s undergraduate Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business, and sub matriculated into the MBA program, thus graduating with both his undergrad and grad degrees in 5 years and being one of the youngest graduates of the MBA program. He took the time out of his busy schedule to speak with us about his MBA journey. 

What are the unexpected things you’ve learnt about yourself along the way?

Wow, quite a bit of unexpected things actually!  I’ve learned that developing managerial skills and a managerial framework at tackling product issues is extremely important in guiding my company, KoyalWholesale.com.  I learned that nearly every single ‘new’ implementation at Koyal, whether it involves personnel, technology, products, etc will almost always contribute to unexpected twists and turns on the road to becoming a truly robust global corporation.

What is the one thing you wished you had known before embarking on you MBA journey?

The one thing I wish I had known was how to leverage all the tremendous knowledge resources I had at my disposal in order to really be able to expand my company, KoyalWholesale.com.  I tended to get engrossed in a lot of extracurricular activities and events that Wharton had to offer, without distilling my time and expertise within the industry that I was currently immersed in, retail e-commerce.  I had been involved in two activities that boosted by management and analytical skills, Global Consulting Practicum and the Small Business Development Center, but involved working on external companies and ideas to hone my skills.  Given my time commitment to these activities, I was not able to then apply these skills to Koyal, and to then develop my existing business plan with professors and entrepreneurs in house at Wharton.

What was your main reason/objective for starting your MBA…? Did this direction change over the course of your journey?

My main objective in starting my MBA at Wharton was to be able to access the business development programs, professors and classes that would enable me to grow Koyal after returning back to Southern California in 2010.  My focus and objective remained constant throughout the program – to grow my expertise and analytical skills in retail and e-commerce, to be able to expand and guide Koyal along the correct course.

If you wrote a book about your MBA experience what would it be called?

The book would be called “The Global Family Business Management MBA” because the Wharton MBA has been invaluable in guiding my management of the enterprise founded by three siblings – myself, my brother Sheetal, a Pepperdine MBA, and my sister Shayna, a Yale-educated Attorney.  The program also connected me with pioneers and thought leaders in e-commerce and online analytics, which has been invaluable for me to grow the company online.

What, if anything, would you change about your experience? What would make the “perfect MBA” for you?

The “perfect MBA” would have consisted of being able to communicate and share my growth strategy plan with my professors and advisors on a more engaging level to tackle our strategic growth issues worldwide.  I wish I had taken advantage of Wharton’s robust entrepreneurial program to guide my strategy, and be able to grow the company globally.

What’s the one memory that will always stick with you throughout this experience?

The memory that will definitely stick with me throughout this experience will be the tremendous support and guidance of my classmates and peers.  Interacted with so many established entrepreneurs, consultants and venture capitalists, has enabled me to develop the skills, expertise and confidence to grow Koyal.

What is next for you, now that you have graduated?

I will continue to devote my time and energies to growing Koyal global reach in weddings and special event decor and supplies.  In addition, I will look to expand our partnerships with wedding planners, distributors, caterers and companies abroad.

 


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Life as an MBA Student | Ben from BensFriends.org

In 2006, Ben Munoz suffered a life-threatening brain hemorrhage caused by a rare disease. He created an online support community so that he could connect with other patients. Due to this rare disease, Ben missed part of his 2nd year, but still earned his degree. Since then he, along with a classmate started a social enterprise that helps rare disease patients. Ben also completed a postbac, took his GMAT, and start medical school this fall. We speak to him about his experiences. 

What are the unexpected things you’ve learnt about yourself along the way?

The most unexpected thing I learned along the way is that the fundamental business skills I learned in business school are based on universal principles that are applicable in many industries.  My marketing skills are applicable as I help a friend run for political office here in Austin, TX.  My operations skills are applicable in running my social enterprise, BensFriends.org.  My general management and strategy skills will one day be applicable as I work alongside others to transform healthcare in America.    One can earn an MBA and apply those skills outside the traditional MBA industries such as finance, CP&G, and consulting. 

What is the one thing you wished you had known before embarking on you MBA journey?

I wished that pursuing an alternative career path was a realistic possibility.  Then I would have avoided being distracted by conventional recruiters coming to campus and would have pursued my own path earlier. 

What was your main reason/objective for starting your MBA…? Did this direction change over the course of your journey?

I wanted to explore new career paths and align my passions with my career.  This direction changed drastically, but it’s all coming together well.  Here’s my story

If you wrote a book about your MBA experience what would it be called?

Follow Your Passion, Design Your Life.

What, if anything, would you change about your experience? What would make the “perfect MBA” for you?

I would consider an alternative MBA, especially if entrepreneurship is part of your goal.  For example, Acton MBA, Seth Godin’s 6 Month MBA.  Although the education is so valuable, an MBA is expensive.  Ask yourself if there’s a cheaper way to get an MBA and still get the education and also build the same connections.

What’s the one memory that will always stick with you throughout this experience?

Orientation and trips which built the personal connections that will last a lifetime and can’t be replicated through reading/classwork alone.

What is next for you, now that you have graduated?

Medical school and then transformation of the American healthcare system.

 

BensFriends.org – we build patient support communities for people affected by a rare disease.  30+ patient communities built and 15,000+ members’ lives changed.

 

To learn more, watch this 60 sec video.


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Life as an International MBA Student | Edward from Nigeria

Edward Barber is a full-time MBA student at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, with an emphasis in supply chain management. You can find out more about how the school assists international MBA students here. Edward is originally from Nigeria, and we asked about his experiences applying as an international student.

What was your motivation for studying in the US?

Studying in the U.S. gave me the opportunity to meet, make friends and network with American business-oriented students. I was also motivated by the opportunity to learn and understand business and management disciplines from the perspective of the U.S.

What obstacles did you face in your application process?

Applying as an international student came with its unique challenges. Due to the lesser pool of GMAT test centres and duration of delivery of important documents, I had to plan further ahead than home students during my application process. I also had less flexibility than home students because of the uncertainty surrounding student visa acceptance by the U.S. Embassy.

What support were you given by the school to help you transition to US life?

The international MBA students launch at the W. P. Carey School of Business was very beneficial to me. It eased the settlement process into the U.S. in terms of understanding contemporary American culture, ethics, and language.


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Advice from an International MBA Student | Cristina from Romania, W.P. Carey School of Business

Cristina Krintea is a full-time MBA student at the W. P. Carey School of Business, with an emphasis in supply chain management. She is from Romania and speaks three languages. She has worked for Oracle Corporation, Colgate-Palmolive, Coca-Cola Hellenic and other well-known companies

Information about how the W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona assists international MBA students can be found here.

The Application: What was your motivation for studying in the US? What did a US MBA offer that could not be found in your home country?

The U.S. has the most prestigious business schools in the world, which serve as a pipeline for future leaders. Romania has highly reputable programs at the undergraduate and Ph.D. levels, but it has yet to develop an internationally competitive MBA.

What obstacles did you face in your application process? Were there any advantages to being an international student?

I strongly believe I had an advantage in the application process because during the four years of work experience that I have, I had the opportunity to pursue roles with high visibility and increased responsibility because of the size of the Romanian market versus the U.S. market. If, in the U.S., my company needed a team of 70 demand planners to forecast sales, in Romania, I was the only demand planner talking to the executive team. Furthermore, coming from a different culture, you get to bring an extra flavor to the MBA and have the opportunity to explain why your international exposure will contribute to the experience of your peers in their future global careers.

After Acceptance: What support were you given by the school to help you transition to US life? Did the school give international students any extra orientation?

W. P. Carey delivered more than it promised by making sure that the international students are fully integrated. I think what is the thing that stands out is the accent specialist that they contract to help the students integrate in the business world through communicating clearly and effectively. The orientation days especially created for international students walk you through every aspect of the U.S. culture and help you understand what a professional, as well as a common sense of behavior is here. The school also offers a lot of clubs students can join. I personally chose to apply for board positions in some of them because it would expose me to interaction with employers, as well as school contacts, thus preparing me for a better integration in the workplace upon graduation.

What unexpected events or experiences did you face? Did you make friends with local students or hang out with the students from your country? Any major culture differences in the teaching style (or studying style) that took you surprise?

I do not see international students separate from the domestic ones because we have mixed groups and so make friends from all regions, who, in turn, have their own network. The most significant difference is the teaching style. If, in Romania, most courses were lecture-based, at ASU, all professors have team assignments asking students to work on cases or company assessments that really challenge them to apply the knowledge that they learn and solidify it for the long term. The collaboration and exchange of ideas is amazing and helps international students get an excellent insight on the future work environment because the internship will most likely be based in a U.S. company.

What advice would you give potential international MBA students? What would you have done differently and what did you get right?

The only advice I would give potential students is to really research the program they apply to and focus on all offerings that a program has because only when you find the best fit you will flourish. I chose ASU because it had a class of about 80 students versus the other larger MBA programs, the international electives, the national rankings of the school, as well as supply chain and the impressive list of employers recruiting on campus. Last but not least, reach out to ambassadors and ask as many questions about the school now because there might be many benefits that you cannot know just by browsing the website.


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Advice from International MBA Students | Denys, Ukraine | Harvard Business School.

Denys, Ukraine. Graduate from Harvard Business School.


International student Denys from the Ukraine talks about his experience at HBS as an international student.

“I chose to go to HBS primarily to explore life abroad. I also felt that, while I had the technical knowledge to do my job, I did not necessarily have enough management skills.


There are no MBA programs in Ukraine or nearby that can compare with HBS by quality of education and career and networking opportunities.The main issue I had to deal with in the application process was showing that my untraditional background (non-consultant, non-banker, Ukrainian) would not make me less capable student vis-a-vis other more traditional applicants. I had a bit of an advantage, since my background made it easier to distinguish myself from the rest of the crowd.


The pre-MBA program for international students was a blast! It gave us a head start in case method and teaching in America. I hung out mostlywith international students. It was easier to make friends wit them, since we were in the same boat as internationals and because many students saw clear networking value in establishing connections with people in the region you intend to work in.


Advice No1 is get outside of your comfort zone and get to know people who are different from you – culturally, language-wise, professionally, etc. While it can be frustrating at first, you’ll soon get used to it and the benefits will be huge. You’ll make connections and friends you never hoped for.”


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GMAT/ MBA Interview 6 | Co-Founder & CEO of Bennu, Social Media Marketing Company

Ashok Kamal graduated in June 2010 from the Full-Time Honors program at Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business in New York City. After business school he went on to become the co-founder and CEO of Bennu, a social media marketing company that develops and executes corporate social responsibility (CSR) solutions. As part of our series of GMAT and MBA interviews, we ask him about his test taking and MBA experience.

Ashok, can you tell us a little about your GMAT taking experience – how and for how long did you prepare for the GMAT?:

Although business school itself was intense, I consider GMAT prep to be one of the most demanding phases of my overall B-School experience. Like most people, I worked for 5 years before applying to B-School, so the GMAT was my re-introduction to algebra and tricky verbal problems. Fortunately, I enrolled in a prep course and gave myself the runway to study and become familiar with the exam’s format. I also took the GMAT twice and improved my score the second time around. When it comes to the GMAT, the “5 P’s” of life definitely apply: Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.

 

What were your reasons for pursuing an MBA?:

I went to business school for two primary reasons. First, I wanted to hone my technical skills. The B-School curriculum is highly quantitative and trains you to better understand the relationships among complex data sets. Second, I wanted to expand my network to people from fields outside my professional background. Between your fellow students, professors, mentors, speakers and company representatives, business school provides a compact community to increase your social capital and open up new opportunities.

 

What advice would you give a friend working on his/her business school application?

Plan your work, work your plan. Make sure you think through your motivation for pursuing an MBA before you start applying. It’s a lifestyle shift to go from working full-time to being a full-time graduate student. You don’t need to know exactly what you want to do when you finish business school, but you do need to be ready to embrace change.

 

What professional opportunities did you gain from your MBA?:

Business plan competitions were the greatest professional springboard during my MBA. In my first year of B-School, my partners and I won a city-wide competition sponsored by Merrill Lynch in NYC. This led to us being selected to participate in the Rice University Business Plan Competition, which is considered the world’s most prestigious event for student entrepreneurs. My team’s learning and success in these competitions resulted in us forming a social media marketing company, Bennu, which we run to this day.

 

How did you grow personally from your MBA?

Business school significantly expanded my horizons. I’m a lifelong social entrepreneur, but I had limited contacts with people in industries such as finance and information technology. Moreover, I took advantage of a study abroad program and spent a semester at the Indian Institute of Management, which is the premier business school in India. My perspective is more holistic as a result of the exposure to new people and places that I gained while in B-School.

 

What was the hardest part of your MBA?

The first semester is trial by fire! Not only is the course load rigorous, but also you have to factor extracurricular activities, job prep and, of course, socializing. It takes some tweaking to calibrate your schedule, but eventually you achieve a rhythm.

 

Is business school for everyone? Why/ Why not?

Absolutely not. Anyone can benefit from business school, but there are many roads to success. If you’re happy with your career prospects and personal life, why interrupt the flow with graduate school? But if you’re looking to change gears, short- or long-term, business school allows you to embark on a more emergent path.

 

Any other advice for potential MBA candidates?

I encourage prospective MBAs to think beyond how they will personally gain from their degree, and also consider how to take advantage of resources that create a broader societal benefit. For example, I was President of my school’s Sustainable Business Club, which is the local chapter of Net Impact. Net Impact is a global network of leaders using business to improve the world. My colleagues and I advocated for more courses on green business,  promoted job opportunities in corporate social responsibility (CSR), and supported nonprofits that empower low-income youth. Many of my closest friends — and my current business partners – came from the Net Impact community. The experience afforded me the opportunity to pursue my passion and launch a social enterprise, Bennu, which is dedicated to greening the standard for a new lifestyle.

Thanks for a great and informative interview, Ashok! To find out more about Ashok and his company Bennu, please visit www.bennuworld.com.



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GMAT/MBA Interview 4 | With the CEO of CollegeSolved | Columbia Business School

Today’s MBA interview is with Hayward Major, the CEO and Co-Founder of College Solved, an online resource for college-bound high school students from around the world.

Hayward is an MBA grad from Columbia Business School, 2007. We asked him about his GMAT test taking experience, and how his MBA prepared him to become a CEO and entrepreneur.

Tell us about your GMAT taking experience. 

I took the GMAT in October 2005.  I bought a book of example GMAT tests, took those for a week and then took the exam.

I did not take any classes or use any other study guides.  I got a 750 on the exam.  That being said, I went to the University of  Virginia School of Law (graduated 2001), so I realized that the GMAT tested much of the same type of logic and other categories that the LSAT tested.  I had figured out how to take those exams and it just made sense to me.  

I didn’t feel that a class was necessary, plus I wasn’t sure if I were going to business school or not.  I didn’t stress over it.  If I did well enough, I would apply to schools.  Basically, I did better because I wasn’t worried about it.

What was business school like for you?

Business school was great.  I met a lot of great people who are still in my network and some are my best friends.  It was a collaborative atmosphere – which is different from law school, which I loved.  It required us to work as a group and come together despite some very different personalities.  Columbia is a lot of fun – it has a great “fraternity” atmosphere.  People have fun hanging out together (i.e., drinking together).  It was not overly serious and people were there to learn for the sake of learning (which was great).

You are the CEO of CollegeSolved.com. What skills did you learn on your MBA that helped you to start your own business?

I took a number of entrepreneurship classes while I was at Columbia.  I also took a lot of finance classes.  These were great.  One of my classes even required me to come up with a business idea and write the business plan.  While I did not start that company, it was a great experience.  It showed me what resources are available for small business – especially at Columbia for alumni.  I have tapped my network of professors for many questions and issues – which is an added benefit of being part of that alumni base.

Tell us a little about the company you founded:

There is a right college for everyone out there – and CollegeSolved has created a new and better way to find it. No need to read through countless books on college admissions or search multiple sites for answers to your questions.  We provide a virtual-to-personal experience like no one else can.  CollegeSolved has built a network of the highest quality experts who are ready to help you find the best college fit and work with you through the entire process. As if that were not enough, now you can have a private call with a student on over 650 campuses across the US.  Here is your chance to find out what the social life and academics are really like or which freshman dorm is the best (and is it really co-ed).  Go beyond the campus tour and speak with one of our campus ambassadors.

Who can benefit from going to business school? Is it worth the time and money?

There is no doubt that people can benefit from business school.  I think people that want to step back and sharpen their skills (finance, entrepreneurship, marketing, operations, etc) but also it builds a network of friends and colleagues that will benefit you throughout your professional life.  I have run into alumni from other decades that are always willing to talk and mentor – as am I for those who have graduated since I did.  I think the camaraderie and group work is what makes school worth it.

The forced interaction with people of different backgrounds and experiences – which is what a business is usually like – was great.  We were fortunate enough to have a very high international population – so not only did they bring a different perspective – we now have people to visit all over the world.  I think the investment was very worth it – loans and all.

While I am still paying off my business school tuition, I would not have changed that time for anything.  I think the network helps pay for itself, plus the two years of academics (which I love) and playing (travel and happy hours) was exactly what I was looking for.

 


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The Real Cost of Business School

How much does it really cost to go to business school & how can you pay for it?


Source

It’s not an easy equation. Let’s attempt to break it down.

Tuition
The average annual tuition cost of business school is around $40,000, though it might range anywhere from $8000 – $100,000. Public schools are typically $10,000 cheaper each year, while some of the top schools are pushing six figures.
Living Costs
You want to factor in living costs (rent, food, daily costs), which assuming you need to pay rent (as opposed to crash with family) and depending on whether you are in the city or out in the boonies, will be somewhere around $20-25,000/year.
In addition, while you are going to be living the supposed “student life”, business school students like to party and have a good time (it’s all for networking, honestly). Some of these are costs that you would be paying whether you were in school or not (rent, food etc). So the real math you need to do is:
Tuition + Transport + Living Costs not currently incurred + Books and Materials.

Then, you need to add into this calculation the salary you will lose during your MBA program. (MBA Programs are usually 2 years in the US (excluding fast track), European MBA programs are typically 11-18 months). This is what is known as your opportunity cost. It should factor in any salary raises you are expecting to see over the next two years, if any.
So, the big calculation is;


Tuition + Transport + Books & Materials + Extra expenses not currently incurred
+ Salary expected over the next two years
- Scholarships
= The real cost of business school.


“That seems like a lot of money!” I hear you cry!

Putting it in Perspective

Keep in mind the increase in salary post MBA, the reported payback period for all of these costs is somewhere around 18 months – 3 years. This is not long, in the grand scale of things, and while paying the money upfront is a scary thought, it’s important to focus on the investment you are making in yourself and your future.
So, you know that it’s possible to make the money back within 3 years, but where on earth are you going to find the money in the first place?!

There are a number of options;
US- based applicants

1) Federal Stafford Loan: For full-time students = up to $20,500/year.
2) Federal Perkins Loan: $8,000/year w. 5% interest.
3) Grad PLUS Loan: Total cost minus any financial aid.


International students

1) Private Loans: International Student Loan Program – the drawback of which is the requirement of a US citizen or permanent resident to co-sign. This is paid back after graduating in monthly repayments for 5-30 years.
Besides loans, here are some other ways you can cut some costs;
- It is potentially cheaper to apply to an in-state college

- Scholarship/fellowship: view a school’s list of available scholarships, usually available on their website.
- Summer internship – these are usually taken for 3 months in the summer between your first and second year of school. As well as the financial advantage, they are an incredible way to gain invaluable experience and the possibility of employment post business school.
- Jobs – business school is time-consuming and demanding but a part-time job is not out of the question and may well be a welcome relief to sitting at your desk and hitting the books!
- There are flexible options such as consulting or freelance writing, or perhaps you can ask your current employer about part time opportunities.
Another good option is to become a TA (teaching assistant) at your school. These involve some paperwork as well as assisting undergraduate classes, which might turn out to be beneficial to your studies.
The Bottom Line

Most MBA graduates we have spoken to told us that monetary terms is not a very good way of analyzing the ‘cost’ of business school. Of course financing is a concern, and a very real one. However, the non-financial gains of going to business school are unquantifiable – fantastic networking opportunities, great relationships, personal growth and discovery, improved social and communication skills as well as a stimulating environment and a new zest for your career.
Here’s an example – if you meet just one person in business school who is on the same wavelength of you (and of course business school is a magnet for that kind of person), he/she may lead you to a job/partnership/ business opportunity in the future that will pay for the cost of business school many times over.
Calculating the cost of business school is not black and white, is not the same for any two situations and in many ways is impossible to foresee. Life experience cannot be valued. Talk to MBA graduates that you may know and see if they agree.

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