Open to speaking about:
Resources I used on my MBA application journey
Virtual and/or in-person information sessions hosted by Admissions
r/MBA on Reddit, but you should take anything you read there with a grain of salt since posts/commenters are not verified
Download the Quizlet app - it’s free and the flashcard feature is great for GMAT prep, interview prep, and studying for exams
One thing I wish I knew about the MBA application process
Preparation takes a long longer than you might expect, especially if you have other commitments (e.g., professional, family, social). You should budget extra time for GMAT prep because life inevitably happens.
Hi - my name is Joe Haddad. It’s nice to meet you!
I graduated from the MBA program at MIT Sloan in 2021, and I am currently working at a private equity firm in Austin, Texas. Prior to business school, I was fortunate enough to work in management consulting, financial services, and the startup environment. I also attended a small liberal arts school for undergrad.
I’ve noticed over the course of my career that I am naturally drawn to challenging opportunities. This inclination has been a helpful forcing mechanism for me to learn new skills and form new relationships in the pursuit of achieving goals. On the other hand, though, I have also frequently found myself in the uncomfortable position of recognizing a significant delta between the current version of me and what I wanted to achieve.
One such experience was when I initially transitioned from my role as a management consultant to the financial services industry. I was considered a non-traditional hire at my new firm because every other member of the team had been hired via the more common route of investment banking. While my prior role provided me with many useful skills and experiences, I had never been exposed to basic corporate finance or accounting principles.
My first twelve months on the job were rough (to put it politely). I noticed that my peers were receiving stronger praise and getting staffed on more meaningful work. For comparison, I was working longer hours to complete--with varying degrees of success--more basic deliverables. Without any ability to consult a mentor who had followed a similar path as I had, I recall how frequently I felt those nagging thoughts of “am I really cut out for this job?”
After my first annual performance review in which I received fair, but tough, feedback, I made a commitment to myself that I would seek out as many opportunities as possible to close my competency gaps. The most effective strategy that I employed was to enroll in external training programs in an attempt to learn from individuals who could more closely relate to my experiences and limitations. I ultimately had a far more successful second year, and the skills that I developed were critical when I eventually launched a fintech startup company in my next role. However, I have decided to return to the private equity industry for my post-MBA career, and I am confident that the skills that I developed will serve as a strong foundation.
Please do not hesitate to reach out if I can share any thoughts on how self-awareness and a willingness to step outside of my comfort zone have been fundamental to me turning my development areas into strengths.