Open to speaking about:
Resources I used on my MBA application journey
MLT MBA Prep
Talking to admissions officers, students, and alumni (in that order) at target Business schools
One thing I wish I knew about the MBA application process
How valuable any experience can be / knowing how to best self-promote your experiences
Having migrated to the US for college, my goal was always to achieve the American Dream (whatever that means), and then repeat that success formula back in my home country. Most of my American Dream pursuit has focused on academics, which has taken me to the brightest and darkest parts of my life. In summary, my biggest learning is that being smart and/or studious by itself does not guarantee success nor happiness.
The brightest part of my life has been my MBA experience at Darden. But the darkest side came when I was pursuing graduate studies in chemical engineering at Vanderbilt University. I graduated from Florida State in 2010, shortly after the Great Recession, a difficult time to find jobs. Instead of continuing the job search, I chose to pursue graduate studies because advanced degrees are always a good idea, right? After almost 3 years of struggles and unhappiness, I dropped out of graduate school to pursue an engineering career at Cummins.
My time at Cummins was therapeutic, since it allowed me to overcome the imposter syndrome that I had acquired during my time at Vanderbilt. I spent 7 years at Cummins, during which I regained my confidence, achieved 2 promotions, completed an online masters in statistical engineering, and prepared my MBA applications.
Important factors that allowed me to succeed while at Cummins were having a sense of community where I felt I belonged, guidance on how to progress professionally, support from coworkers and the organization, and exposure to myriad career paths. Little did I know some of those factors were also going to be important in my search for the right business school, which was greatly influenced by the MLT MBA Prep program.
Owning my story of dropping out of graduate school was just one small aspect of preparing to apply for business school. Most of my application journey focused on being introspective, tying personal and professional experiences from my past, highlighting learnings from them, and linking them to an MBA and my future.