MBA Graduate Interviews
Courtesy of the wonderful world of Reddit I have been able to connect with MBA's at all stages of the game.
Today we'll hear from an MBA who graduated 4 years ago:
1. Why did you pursue an MBA?
I had gotten my undergrad in '07 and was disappointed with the salary I was making out of school. Looking back, I'm sure a large part of this was the recession being on the horizon. I knew pretty shortly after that I wanted to get an MBA because the starting salary was a lot higher. I joined a national service program soon after graduating from undergrad, worked for a bank a year after that doing low-level back office work, moved to Boston, where I thought I was going to go to school PT (but didn't), and worked as a CSR for a biochemical company before getting accepted into a full-time program.
2. What was your approach to applying?
I originally was going to go PT in order to keep my cost low. I applied to 5 PT programs and was accepted into all five. I moved to Boston in part because the school there, UMass-Boston, was the lowest cost program. I decided upon seeing the campus that I didn't want to go to school there so I then started looking at full time programs and applied to one school. The biggest factor was the metric of the relatively short time it took to pay back loans.
3. How did you approach the GMAT?
I took the GMAT twice. Once after studying very little while in my national service program. I bombed. After I graduated from that program, I took a continuing education class and studied for maybe a week or so more before taking it a second time.
4. What was the most difficult thing about applying? I honestly don't remember the application process very much, so I can't remember any hardships involved.
5. What was the most surprising thing about the application process? Ditto previous answer.
6. were you pleased with your application results?
Yes. Ultimately, I was accepted into every program I applied for. I think if I had access to additional funds, I may have aimed higher in my choice of school or studied and took the GMAT again to get a higher score but, in terms of applications, I batted a 1000.
7. what classes did you find most interesting/helpful during your program? I thought the analytics courses were very interesting. I also enjoyed my wealth mgmt. and negotiations courses.
8. What do you wish you knew about being an MBA that you know now? I don't think it's a silver bullet by any stretch of the imagination. I think where you go to school matters and there are certain schools that have strong alumni bases in certain regions that have absolutely no presence in others, which is disheartening.
9. Can you detail your intern recruiting process? Target industry/company?
I can't recall very much about my internship process. I applied to a bunch of internships and ultimately landed one in South Florida, where I am from originally. I've always been interested in Energy and was able to work for a utility company, which has been useful in interviewing for roles since then. I was disappointed that there was not as much effort to convert the role for when I graduated, but I blame the utility company, not the school, for that.
10. What was receiving the internship offer letter like?
I can't really recall. They e-mailed me the offer letter and I accepted.
11. How do you rate your career services office?
Good but not great. I think they were really good at getting people into companies where they had already placed people in years past but there was a lot of churn so there wasn't as much consistency as I would have liked. I also don't think they were super helpful for any roles outside of the region where the school was placed.
12. What are some ways to improve the MBA process from admission to recruiting?
My biggest gripe would probably be the inability for regional schools to get marquee companies (IBM, FB, Google, Amazon) to check out their talent. I definitely felt like I was at the mercy of my career service's network or lack thereof.
13. Are you still in your same post-mba role/with the same firm?
No. Due to health issues in my family I had to leave my role there.
14. Do you plan on switching roles or firms?
Yes. I am currently doing temp work looking to find another full-time career role.
15. Do you feel that your MBA will be worth it?
Ultimately, yes. I graduated with about 60K in student loans but was able to pay this off in 2 years by working extra jobs. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, I have been temping for the last two years due to my move. I've been disappointed by the lack of "door opening" due to the MBA. In my experience, companies want 5 years of experience with the MBA or want to pay you the same amount as someone with a bachelor's degree. If you are someone with 2 years of experience with an MBA, you are persona non grata, it seems.