Tawan (Tina) Suvapatrachai shares her MBA journey from Bangkok to Virginia Darden and then back to Thailand to do strategy for Samsung. Like many international applicants, Tina didn’t have the chance to visit her four target US business schools. How did she research schools and find her best fit? Why did she choose Darden and what did she take from her Darden MBA experience?
As a UX Designer and mother in Kansas City with no MBA network, Graciela Brewer wasn’t sure if she “had a sliver of a chance” at her targets: HBS, MIT Sloan, NYU Stern and Cornell Tech. Four months later, she got into all four programs. In this episode, Grace shares how she shortlisted schools, submitted her strongest resume, essays, and recommendations, and stayed sane during a stressful application process.
Gregory Wool, Cornell Johnson MBA ’21, scored below average on the quantitative section of the GMAT. How did he overcome this score to not only get into Cornell Johnson, but win a prestigious tuition free scholarship? Gregory also shares his experience surviving a packed first semester, leading the student consulting club, and recruiting into strategy consulting.
Around half of Insead MBA graduates end up working in consulting each year. Darren invites Massine Bouzerar, Insead MBA ’19J, to share how he landed a job with Bain & Company AND made the most of his ten months at Insead’s Fontainebleau campus
Cristian Molina Cornejo, Tuck MBA ’21, shares how MBA applicants can take advantage of two pre-MBA programs that champion diversity and inclusion: Management Leaders for Tomorrow (MLT) and the Consortium. Cristian also gives his best application tips after getting into four out of five top 20 US MBA programs.
Hailing from Nigeria and having never visited the US, how did Ikechukwu Edeagu shortlist and apply to MBA programs? And what was his process for navigating internships and the job search as an international student? Listen to get a real-time, inside look into one international student’s MBA experience at UNC Kenan Flagler.
Guest Host Sabaina Kamara, Michigan Ross MBA ’19, invites her section-mate Sheela Lal to share her experience applying for internships, founding Drunk Shrub and securing a full-time job post-graduation. Listen to get a real-time, inside look into the MBA experience at a top b-school like Ross.
Are you pursuing an MBA to make a “3 dimensional” (3D) jump into a new geography, function and industry? Laura Pan, an Australian attending the full-time SDA Bocconi MBA in Milan, Italy, shares how she went from a wastewater treatment engineer to luxury brand manager, her dream job. Laura shares what it’s like to study in Italy, as well as the mindset necessary to capitalize on opportunities as an MBA student. Laura also opines on the myth and reality of attending a business school outside the top 10.
How can you break into the energy industry as an MBA? Vince Faherty, London Business School MBA ’10, shares his experience working in the energy industry for over 10 years. Vince is currently working for Google as Head of Northeast & Midwest Energy Partnerships.
Rob O’Reilly performed stand up comedy for 16 years. Then he decided to get an MBA. We discuss his application journey to USC Marshall, where he’ll start this Fall.
Alex Tuininga, HBS MBA ’18, discusses his transition from a navy intelligence officer to Harvard MBA to BCG management consultant. Alex also shares his thoughts on MBA recruiting and social life as a married, older student.
Guest Host Sabaina Kamara, Michigan Ross MBA ’19, invites her friend and classmate Kashay Sanders to share her experience as a first year MBA student at the Ross School of Business. Listen to get a real-time, inside look into the “MBA1” experience at a top b-school like Ross.
How does MBA recruiting at top entertainment companies work? Darren invites Mark Zee, UCLA Anderson MBA ’14, to share his experience working for 20th Century Fox & Disney, where he is Director of Pay TV & Digital Sales.
What do you need to know about MBA recruiting for top Consumer Package Goods (CPG) companies? Darren invites Ana Archbold, Michigan Ross MBA ’07, to share her experience working for companies like Kraft Foods, Unilever, and Johnson & Johnson, where she is currently a Senior Marketing Director for Neutrogena. Darren and Ana pay special attention to the recruiting process and what applicants can do to maximize their chances of landing internships and jobs. Ana also shares her thoughts on working internationally after getting a top US MBA.
What do MBA applicants need to know about MBA careers in brand management?
Darren invites Michael Schwartz, NYU Stern MBA ’16, to share his thoughts after working in brand management for companies like Philips, Unilever, and Heineken, where he is currently a Brand Director for the Amstel beer line. Michael also shares his thoughts on the part-time MBA experience.
Massine Bouzerar, a 25-year old Canadian, was backpacking through Myanmar in July when he realized he wanted to start his MBA asap. First round deadlines were looming in September. Within 3 months he wrote the GMAT and submitted a successful application to Insead. What should you do when your back is against the wall? Massine shares his experience and what he did to get accepted to one of the world’s top MBA programs: Insead.
What do MBA applicants need to know about MBA careers in venture capital?
Darren invites his friend Garrett to share his experience, both as an MBA student looking to break into venture capital and as an interviewer for Hewlett Packard Ventures.
Garret has worked in venture capital and related jobs in San Francisco for 7 years – don’t miss his hard-earned insights into the industry!
What do MBA applicants need to know about MBA careers in investment banking?
Darren invites his friend Scott to share his experience, both as an MBA student looking to break into investment banking and as an MBA recruiter for Wells Fargo Securities.
Scott has worked in investment banking for 7 years after his MBA – don’t miss his hard-earned insights into the industry!
What do MBA applicants need to know about MBA careers in management consulting?
Darren invites his friend Sandra to share her experience, both as an MBA student looking to break into consulting and as an MBA recruiter for McKinsey & Company.
Sandra worked in management consulting for 5 years after her MBA – don’t miss her hard-earned insights into the industry!
Why did an American Ivy League graduate decide to pursue an MBA in China? Jesse Miller, CEIBS MBA ’17, discusses the pros and cons of pursuing a top-ranked MBA in Asia.
Listen to one applicant’s take on using the MBA to chart your own path.
Stephen Huber discusses his MBA experience at USC Marshall, from what he did to get off the waitlist, to preparing his wife for an intense first year, to leading the High Tech and Interactive Gaming Associations, to landing internships and jobs in tech and the hard-to-break into entertainment industry.
After listening to this talk, you’ll have a good idea of what it takes to make the most of your MBA experience, especially as a career switcher.
Many MBA applicants are interested in entrepreneurship, but have trouble reconciling the cost of an MBA with their goal of starting a business. Darren invites 2 recent Wharton MBA graduates, Alex Kubo and Renata Arauz De Stefano, to discuss if an MBA helps you become a better entrepreneur. Alex currently works at Burrow.com, a Y Combinator backed startup in New York City, and Renata started Mwayi, a fashion social enterprise that brings customized, African-print apparel to US consumers.
Sabaina Kamara, a Touch MBA listener and Admissions Edge Member, details what she did each step of the way to craft her best story – one that got her admitted to 4 top 20 US b-schools, including Michigan Ross, where she will head to this Fall. Sabaina also shares the benefits of applying through the Consortium, and her best application tips on career goals, school selection, GMAT, resumes, essays and MBA interviews.
Neethling McGrath, an Admissions Edge Member, shares the ups and downs of applying, reapplying and getting into his first choice: Columbia GSB.
Neethling shares what he did differently the second time around and what he believes were the factors for his application success.
To those of you who got dinged and are re-applying to top programs, this episode is for you.
Rahul Kewalramani, Insead MBA 16D, shares his thoughts on leading the Insead Private Equity and Venture Capital club, finding jobs in Private Equity and Venture Capital, the January vs. September intake, differences between Singapore and Fountainebleu’s campus and cultures, exchanging at Wharton, bidding for exchanges/classes at Insead, entrepreneurship, hot industries at Insead and more.
Pin Chin Kwok, UC Berkeley Haas MBA ’09, shares her journey pursuing a social impact career as an MBA applicant, student and alumni. Pin majored in Finance & Operations Research at NYU and worked 7 years at Citi in the finance industry before starting her MBA. Pin and Darren discuss what social impact applicants (broadly defined as those who want to work in corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, non-profit, government/public policy, and corporate social responsibility) should look for when shortlisting MBA programs, securing internships/jobs in the sector, and planning their careers.
Emma Fisher, NYU Stern MBA ’15, shares what international MBA students must know about working in the US during and after their US MBA. Emma and Darren walk through the common visa path for most international students – from F1 student visa to OPT/CPT to H1B. Emma also shares ways international students can maximize their chances of working in the US post-MBA.
Darren speaks with Ivan Kerbel of Practice MBA about what applicants need to know about MBA career strategy. A Wharton MBA himself, Ivan headed Yale SOM’s Career Development Office and was also a Associate Director at Wharton’s MBA Career Office. There are few people worldwide who have Ivan’s know-how about MBA career strategy – listen on for the inside scoop!
How do you plan to finance your MBA? This can be a very challenging process, especially for students from developing countries who have less access to competitive MBA loans. Ricardo Fernandez, Head of Business Development for Prodigy Finance and Insead MBA ’05, discusses financing options for students pursuing their MBA outside their home country, as well as how Prodigy is trying to innovate in this underserved marketplace. Darren and Ricardo also talk about the value of the MBA 10 years after graduation and whether MBAs are beneficial for entrepreneurs.
Yuan Lee Chung, HKUST MBA ’15, discusses why she got her MBA in Asia and the benefits and challenges of attending a top Asian business school. Yuan Lee studied at Columbia for one-term and shares her thoughts on how Asian and US programs compare.
Ben Parker, a longtime Touch MBA listener, shares his journey from researching MBA programs to getting accepted to London Business School and HKUST – all this despite having a less than stellar GMAT and GPA and a non-business background.
You’ll learn what to ask MBA students, alumni, and admissions to shortlist schools, make your story “glow” and improve your essays and interview performance. This episode is about assembling an army of advocates – friends, students, admissions staff – to support your candidacy and sanity during an emotionally challenging application process.
Darren talks to Andrew, a recent MIT Sloan MBA graduate, about his internship and job search experience at Sloan. Andrew worked for Target as a Senior Analyst doing business intelligence and analytics before business school. He landed an internship with Uniqlo (one of the world’s top 5 retailers) in New York City and will be heading to Cupertino to work for Apple this month. This episode will give you a great feel for how recruiting works at top US business schools and what to look out for as you shortlist programs based on your career goals. The two also talk about social life at MIT Sloan and what to look forward to. Enjoy!
Which schools should you target in the first, second or third rounds? Darren speaks with Dean Nordheilm, a recent Kellogg admit, about his round strategy and positioning tips.
Many of our podcast listeners come to Touch MBA to get free school selection help. One of them, Li Daming, recently got into Northwestern Kellogg, Insead, Michigan Ross, Duke Fuqua and Cornell Johnson with scholarship funding. How did he do it?
My good friend Mark Zee, a second year student at Anderson, joined the show to discuss his experience at UCLA. Mark is truly a non-traditional candidate, graduating from Princeton University in 2003, acting in Asia for 6 years, starting an import/export business in Singapore, and then working in educational consulting and finance in Houston, Texas before applying to business school in 2012. Mark shares how he tied all this experience together – and linked them to congruent career goals – in only a few essays.
Having trouble figuring out what to write about in your essays? Or how to tell your best story?
If so listen to every minute of this episode.
This week my good friend John Kaaiohelo joined the show to deconstruct how to tell a story that’s memorable and authentic. John’s a master at crafting successful applications, having gotten into Philips Exeter Academy, Princeton University and Harvard University on full-ride scholarships. John is currently writing his first novel.
How did Lawrence Cole, author of the popular MBA applicant blog MBAOver30, get into Wharton, Chicago Booth and MIT Sloan as a 36 year old?
Overwhelmed by the number of MBA programs? Having a hard time differentiating business schools? After listening to this episode, you’ll have the toolkit to surgically dissect an MBA’s offering. You’ll also know a lot more about the student experience at London Business School (LBS).
What is it really like to be an MBA student at INSEAD?
The best way to learn about a school is to talk to students and alumni. For those of you who don’t know anyone from INSEAD, this conversation may be the next best thing.