Catching Up With Recent Stanford GSB Graduate Tim Eisenman

Read more MBA student interviewsThis interview is the latest in an blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now for a follow up interview with Tim Eisenman, who just completed the MBA program at Stanford GSB. We first met Tim last year – you can read our first interview with him here.)

Accepted: Last we spoke you were in the middle of your first year at Stanford GSB, and now you’ve just received your MBA — congrats! Can you bring us up to speed? How was your last year and a half?

Tim: Sure, it is so scary to think that the last time we talked is already 1.5 years ago. As you said, I graduated about a month ago and was fortunate enough to have my parents and my sister from Germany with me.

Right now I am in New York looking for an apartment and getting to know the city before I start my job at McKinsey in fall. I am also volunteering at a kids soccer camp in Manhattan three days a week and am thinking about writing a book. As you can see – I can’t just do nothing.

Highlights from last year are moving off-campus into a house with classmates from Austria, Japan, Turkey, Brasil and Argentina and having amazing BBQ parties as well as developing really close friendships to some GSBers through 1:1s or runs along the Bay. On the academic side, developing the first ever GSB “Travel and Hospitality Industry” elective with a former co-worker of mine was amazing. We will teach the class again this fall.

Accepted: Which clubs or activities were you involved with on campus? How central to student life is club involvement?

Tim: Club involvement was crucial to my GSB experience – both from a professional perspective, but also as a way to get to know likeminded classmates. I was heavily involved in the “Travel & Hospitality Club” and the “Stanford Africa Business Forum.” The Travel Club gave me the opportunity to network with high-profile execs in the airline industry, who also come and speak at our travel class.

At the GSB, it is not only what the school can give to you, but also what you can give back through your background. Aviation was a great example for that and I believe that we really strengthened the industry exposure of the school for years to come. Working on the “Africa Business Forum” was amazing, because I was the only non-African on the team and therefore learnt a lot about different cultural working styles. That team really came together strong at the end and we created an amazing conference.

Accepted: Looking back, what would you say was the most challenging aspect of business school? How would you advise others who may be facing that challenge?

Tim: Figuring out what you want to get out of school was most challenging. I remember double- or even triple-booking my lunch breaks for the first couple of weeks. Everything sounds interesting and you do not want to miss out. What I came to realize though is that I can’t be fully present for several things at the same time and that I needed to prioritize. At the end I was fine taking a 2 hour walk with a classmate and missing Mitt Romney speak – that classmate is going to turn into a lifelong friend and I am totally fine not having a picture with Mitt on my Facebook wall.

If you have time before going off to school make a list with things that are important to you – don’t forget to include sleep, healthy food, exercise and so on. If business school helps you get into the habit of exercising daily then this is a great achievement. Not everything has to be career related.

Accepted: What did you end up doing for your summer internship last year? Can you talk about the process by which you obtained your internship? How does it work at Stanford?

Tim: I worked for McKinsey in London and went through very straightforward on-campus recruiting. A lot of classmates got their internship less formally through networking and knocking on doors of interesting companies. Stanford helps with that process through events (such as the “Fewer than 300 Employees Event”) targeting smaller companies that might not want to set up a booth right next to GE and BCG.

I also did a one-month GMIX, a social impact immersion, working for a mushroom company in Kigali that was founded by a GSBer and that I had worked for before school already. The founder and I have become close friends and this January he offered me to join his board. He graduated twenty years ago and stayed at my house for his reunion this spring. It’s amazing how tight so many of the Stanford connections can get.

Accepted: What’s next for you? Where will your MBA bring you?

Tim: As I said, I will join McKinsey in their New York office this fall working mostly on airline and transportation topics. Eventually I will go back into the industry and hope to take on a leadership role someday. Aviation is not a traditional post-MBA industry, but given that there are no real low-cost airlines in Africa, that there are very few ultra-low-cost long haul carriers and that there is huge room for consolidation, I believe that industry dynamics will continue to shift. I want to be a part of that and feel that the out-of-the-box thinking at Stanford is a great asset for me to have when the time comes.

On the side I will continue to engage in the for-profit social impact sphere in Africa and who knows? Maybe I will get bored in the developed world and take a big leap to work in an underdeveloped African country. I like to have options as I see that traditional picture of a ladder of success being antiquated. It is much rather a climbing wall of success. Instead of going up, going sideways might actually make more sense sometimes.

Accepted: Are you still blogging?

Tim: I am still blogging, but I have slowed down and it is on my to-do list to get back into it again. Everyone talks about the power of journaling at Stanford. It is nice to sometimes just reflect about a topic through writing about it.

To read more about Tim’s journey, please check out his blog, From PA to the World. Thank you Tim for sharing your story with us and we wish you lots of luck!

For one-on-one guidance on your b-school applications, please see our MBA Application Packages.

Register for our free webinar: Get Accepted to Stanford GSB!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• Stanford GSB 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
• Understanding Stanford GSB’s Interest In Personal Qualities And Contributions
• 4 Ways to Show How You’ll Contribute in the Future

Around The Word At MIT Sloan

Read more MBA student interviews!This interview is the latest in an blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now for a chat with Kate Agnew, a student at MIT Sloan….

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What are your hobbies? Favorite TV show?

Kate: I was born and raised in Minnesota and lived there right up until I moved to Boston for business school. I went to Macalester College for my undergrad, where I studied mathematics and also got an environmental studies minor. Outside of school, I almost entirely allow myself to be consumed by TV and movies. I’m a big fan of superheroes and action movies as a whole, and watch most of the major hit TV shows. Scandal, Walking Dead, Criminal Minds, Longmire, Orange is the New Black, Arrow, and Covert Affairs just to name a few…

Accepted: Congrats on finishing your first year at MIT Sloan! What were some of the most challenging and rewarding parts of your first year of b-school? Is there anything that you would change?

Kate: Contrary to what some students like to tell perspective students, business school is really hard. I was only out of school for 3 years and still found it hard to jump back into the groove of things. I had little exposure to economics before, so I found that subject to be especially difficult. There is also always something to do, so prioritizing my time was hard but extremely important.

So far, the most rewarding experience has been participating in The Yarn, which is a monthly event at Sloan where select students share stories from their lives. It was one of the few times I really allowed myself to be vulnerable to such a large group of people in person. I was proud of myself for having the courage to do it, but was also really encouraged by the feedback I received from my peers afterwards. If my story can help even just one other person, it is all worth it. This is why I write as honestly as I do.

Accepted: I see that you’ve had the opportunity to travel a good deal this year. What have those experiences been like, and what have you learned?

Kate: One piece of advice I received my first week of orientation was to write down my 5 goals for business school and to use that when prioritizing my time. My goals were: travel internationally, explore the entertainment industry, decide between entertainment and consulting, engage in empowering women in business, and make strong social connections (in this order). Because of my goal to travel more, I have taken advantage of every travel opportunity that has presented itself.

First I went to Turkey. A small group of Sloan students spent a weekend in Istanbul during the fall, solely because flights were cheap (less than $500 round trip!). Turkey really allowed me to see that things outside of the US are not always as they seem. I was so surprised to find that the city was more… European… than what I expected when traveling to a country in the Middle East. It was also an experience that reminded me how unbelievably fortunate I am. I saw mothers of infants who fled from Syria and were living on the streets with their children. It was heartbreaking.

This Spring I enrolled in a class titled China Lab that allowed me to work on a small consulting project with a partner from MIT and two from Yunnan University. It was different from any other travel experience I’ve had in that it allowed me to see the business side of the country. Corruption is extremely prevalent there and it is concerning how many of the business decisions are made while people are completely intoxicated. Additionally, I saw literally hundreds of skyscrapers being built that still have no plans for tenants. It feels like an economy built on vaporware, or a false expectation of growth. China’s economy plays such a huge role globally and supports so much of the economy of the United States that these issues cannot be ignored.

Most recently I spent 10 days in Israel. On the way there, I had a 12 hour layover in Amsterdam and got to explore the city. It was my first time in a new country all alone and it was quite a liberating experience. I went to the Van Gogh museum and took more selfies than one should in a day.

Israel itself was surreal. In so many ways it is very similar to the United States, especially Tel Aviv where we went clubbing and shopping. I had the opportunity to visit their air force base as well, and it was inspiring to see how much pride everyone has for their country, in part because of their required military service. I seriously left wanting to join the Israeli Army, but I do have a tendency to be easily influenced. Later, we went ATVing about 100 yards from the Syrian “border” (it is really a cease-fire line) and even explored a building that used to be the Syrian Military Headquarters. All of a sudden everything I had read about online or heard on the news was right in front of me… I will definitely think differently of these events moving forward.

Accepted: Your blog covers a lot of topics- from b-school, to work, to more personal writing (and thoughts on the process of writing itself). I can tell you take writing seriously! How did you decide to blog about your experience? What have you gained from the experience?

Kate: Growing up, I felt very alone. I thought I was the only one who had a difficult childhood. Once I got older, I realized my past wasn’t all that unique. I began reading stories of other childhoods, books such as Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt and Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs. They provided me a lot of comfort. I saw that I could be successful and craft my own future; my past didn’t have to dictate who I would become. It also inspired me to begin writing. I figured that if some stories helped me growing up, potentially my stories could help others. The drive behind my writing is really helping others feel connected and less alone.

Additionally, writing has given me the opportunity to deeply reflect on things and to become more open and comfortable with who I am. There are still things about me that are unique, and I’ve been able to embrace these attributes rather than shy away from them. It is still a work in progress though.

Accepted: Can you share some advice to incoming first year students, to help make their adjustment to b-school easier? What do you wish you would’ve known when you were starting out?

Kate: Business school feels more like high school than it should. While in some ways this can be frustrating, it is also refreshing. Everyone has gone through high school and most cases college as well. By applying those same skills both socially and academically, b-school can feel more approachable. Your reputation will be extremely important, but don’t worry too much about what people think about petty things.

Accepted: Do you have any advice for our b-school applicant readers?

Kate: Deeply consider how business school will help you grow and why that growth is important for who you want to be. Because I’m interested in entertainment, b-school wasn’t a requirement for my career. However, I am a first generation college student and have spent a lot of time mentoring younger girls and encouraging them to seek higher education. I felt that having a master’s degree would enhance my ability to be a strong role model and giving back to the community is very important to me.

For one-on-one guidance on your b-school applications, please see our MBA Application Packages

To read more about Kate’s b-school journey, please check out her blog, Kate’s a Cliche. Thank you Kate for sharing your story with us! 

Download your free copy of 12 Terrific Tips for MBA Applicants Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

Why MBA? [Free Guide]
• It’s MBA Season: Do You Know Where Your Applications Are? [Podcast]
• Hone Your MBA Goals [Short Video]

Indian In IT Finds Her Fit At Anderson

Read more MBA student interviewsThis interview is the latest in an blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. We hope to offer you a candid picture of student life, and what you should consider as you prepare your MBA application. And now for an interview with Rohini Vaze…

Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Can you share 3 fun facts about yourself?

Rohini: Sure! I am from Mumbai in India. I did my undergrad in electrical engineering from Pune and then worked at Tata Motors for three years. It was an amazing job where I got a 360 degree view of the business by working in sales, manufacturing and customer support and could take many initiatives and see them implemented. However, I always felt that I needed to learn frameworks that I could apply in my career, and so I came to business school to gain those skills. I also funded my friend’s startup during my time at Tata Motors and that got me interested in this space. So I am using these two years at business school to gain exposure to start-ups in California.

3 fun facts about me are:

1. I have travelled to 10 countries outside my country of birth.

2. I am a trustee at a non-profit organization in India to help underprivileged children learn English and computers.

3. I have been dancing since the age of five.

Accepted: Where are you in business school? What year?

Rohini: I am in my first year of Business School at UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Accepted: What is your favorite thing about Anderson so far? And if you could change one thing about the program, what would it be? 

Rohini: My favorite thing about Anderson has been the people and the exposure that it has given to me. Many schools are good at a single discipline but not so great at other industries, but Anderson is great for a variety of careers. This gives a lot of exposure to people who have very diverse backgrounds and I am sure it will be very helpful in the future. If I could change one thing, I would change the time at which the school starts. The quarter system makes recruiting harder since all other schools tend to have an advantage of starting a month earlier than Anderson, and thus those students have more time to gain valuable skills that will help them in seeking internships and full time positions.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your current internship? What role did UCLA play in helping you secure that position?

Rohini: I am currently pursuing a part-time internship at a Venture Capital Firm in Santa Monica and the opportunity came to me through UCLA itself. We have a website through our career center where companies that are in need of interns post about their opportunities. I applied to this internship after seeing the posting on the website and went through a company analysis and interview process before being offered this position. The part-time internship involves doing market research for companies that are being considered for funding through the Venture Capital Firm. What I really like about the internship is that the firm has good deal flow and provides real support to the entrepreneurs that they fund.

For the summer, I will be going to Amazon, and the Anderson career center was very helpful in giving me tips for preparation for the same. Moreover, my classmates as well as 2nd year students helped a lot with the preparation for the interviews!

Accepted: Which other business schools had you considered attending? How was UCLA the best fit for you?

Rohini: I always wanted a business school on the West Coast. I have a heard a lot about the cultural difference between the West and the East Coast schools and knew that I am a West Coast person. The other two criteria I had in mind were that I wanted a school in a city so that I could pursue part-time internships in parallel to school, as well as I wanted a school where there was a high concentration of people going into Hi-Tech. Thus, I had only considered attending UCLA, Berkeley and Stanford. I believe Anderson is a great fit for me since along with the above factors, Anderson has a very diverse crowd. The business school is really good for Finance and Consulting too, and I am confident that this exposure by being in an ‘all-rounder’ school will be very helpful in my career in the future.

Accepted: I see that you did fantastic on your GMAT – can you share a few tips with our readers?

Rohini: Thanks. There are a few things that I think helped me a lot with my GMAT score:

• Start with the simplest books and then move on to the harder ones. The simpler books help to re-learn the concepts from high school that most of us have forgotten. I started preparing with Princeton books and then went on to Manhattan and Kaplan. I also advise my friends to study from the official GMAT book the last. The official book tends to have the simpler questions in the 400-600 range and are not the best questions to practice when you are aiming for a great GMAT score. However, being able to easily solve these questions in the last couple of days when you need something to reduce your anxiousness is the best way to use the Official GMAT book.

• Check your mistakes to find patterns that will help you to focus your further preparation on a particular topic that is common for GMAT exams.

• Spend adequate time on the first 10 questions. I took the older format GMAT where the first 10 questions can really make or break your final score. Thus checking for silly mistakes in reading the question or a calculation error in not calculating answers till the end helps in getting a good score.

• Most importantly, practice a LOT! This is probably the most important tip since one of my biggest hurdles with GMAT was managing to concentrate for the whole 4 hours. During practice exams, I observed that I would make a lot of silly mistakes in the last hour and get lower scores. Thus, I made it a point to get used to the long hours and took one practice exam every three days. I believe this can really make the difference between a 700 and a 750 score.

Accepted: Do you have any other advice for our b-school applicants? 

Rohini: Start the application early and enjoy the process! Hopefully, there will be many things that you will learn about yourself through the application process. Also, focus on a few schools that you really want to get into and gather as much information about the school from as many sources as possible – you might have the best application but you won’t get any admit unless you can articulate “why this school” well.

For one-on-one guidance on your b-school applications, please see our MBA Application Packages.

To read more a bout Rohini, you can check out her blog at Rohini’s Blog. Thank you Rohini for sharing your story with us – we wish you much success! 

Download our free special report: Best MBA Programs

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• UCLA Anderson Zone Page
• MBA Admissions for Indian Applicants
• Podcast: UCLA Anderson and Entrepreneurship

A Nigerian Woman’s Journey To MIT Sloan Acceptance

Click here for other MBA student interviewsThis interview is the latest in an blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now for an interview with Ginika Agbim O’Kelly…

Accepted:  We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What are a couple of your hobbies?

Ginika: My name is Ginika Agbim O’Kelly. I am Nigerian, grew up in Atlanta, and am married to an English-Irish man. I studied Economics & Strategy, Finance, and Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. I was interested in studying human behavior and decision-making from multiple angles. For fun, I started a fashion column in the school newspaper and organized African fashion shows every year. Today, I also run a blog on my website, run for exercise, and travel at every chance I get!

Accepted: Can you tell us a bit about your path to business school? What were you working in previously? What made you decide to pursue an MBA?

Ginika: Business school is interesting for me, because at one point in my life, I actually wanted to become a doctor. Through working in consulting after graduating from Wash U, I still find myself exercising those same diagnostic and problem solving skills. I knew that I wanted to pursue an MBA because, now that I have analyzed issues in real organizations, I want to improve my skills as a leader and strategic thinker, and also meet many incredibly innovative people changing the world.

Accepted: How did you decide on MIT?

Ginika: I chose MIT Sloan for two main reasons. First, there is the flexible curriculum and the action-learning philosophy. MIT’s motto is Mens et Manus (Mind and Hand), and having the ability to apply concepts that I learn in the classroom to help real organizations move forward fits with my learning style. After the first, rigorous core semester, I can choose the courses I take and engage in Action Labs, which allow me to advise global organizations on pressing issues. Second, not only are the students and alums at MIT Sloan impressive, but they are also collaborative and very humble. I knew this dynamic environment would challenge me to grow both professionally and personally.

Accepted: What was the most challenging part of the MBA application process? How did you approach that challenge and overcome it?

Ginika: The most challenging part of the process is managing your own psychology. Applying can be quite emotional sometimes, and you may find yourself doubting your abilities. To deal with the emotional stress, I relied on my husband and our families, as well as prayer, meditation, yoga, running, and lots of tea! These resources helped me focus, stay true to myself, and put things into perspective. If you’re going to be great in life, it will happen, with –or – without the MBA degree.

Accepted: What are your top three tips for applicants preparing for the MBA application process?

Tip 1:  Start early. Things can go wrong on GMAT test day, the essays will definitely take longer than anticipated, and if you’re anything like me, you want to get all your applications completed by Round 1 so that you can enjoy Christmas vacation. Take the GMAT as early as you can. Life happens, but if you start early, you give yourself the best possible chance to reach your personal application deadlines and submit applications that best capture who you are.

Tip 2:  Talk to people. Though it may seem daunting to reach out to friends or strangers about your MBA ambitions, just do it. People who have “been there and done that“ know more than you regarding business school and succeeding in your future career, so it’s always best to research, reach out, and listen. I talked to my mentors, admissions advisors, current students, alumni, business executives, etc. Talk to people in the careers you hope to enter and at the schools you wish to attend.

Tip 3: Find healthy ways to relieve stress. Applying while working is tough because you can’t give excuses in the office and you have to give 100% in your applications. Re-assess how you spend your time in a 7-day period. Find a support system and know that someday, you’ll be on the other side. And if business school doesn’t work out, keep pushing for your dreams anyway.

For one-on-one guidance on your b-school applications, please see our MBA Application Packages.

Thank you Ginika for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

Download your copy of Navigating the MBA Maze

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One
MIT Business School Zone Page
Video Tips: MBA Application Advice From Linda Abraham

Catching Up with Dartmouth Tuck Student Dominic Yau

Read more interviews with MBA student bloggersThis interview is the latest in an blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now for a follow up interview with Dominic Yau, who is about to complete his first year at Dartmouth Tuck. (We first met Dominic last year – you can read our first interview with him here.)

Accepted: Since we last spoke you applied to a bunch of b-schools. Where did you end up getting accepted and where are you currently attending?

Dominic: I ended up being accepted to the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and I am currently a first year there.

Accepted: How has it been so far? Is b-school as you expected it to be? Any surprises? 

Dominic: First year has been phenomenal. It has been everything I expected and more. On the academic front, I have definitely been challenged both from a breadth perspective. Tuck is a general management program and therefore the core curriculum covers all the key facets of a general manager’s toolkit.

On the recruiting side, it has been a very intense but rewarding experience. I knew going in that I wanted to go into management consulting but also explore a couple of other things. Tuck has given me the opportunity to explore and understand what I wanted out of my career.

Outside of the classroom and recruiting, I have been involved with a lot of clubs and other events from playing (tripod) ice hockey to hosting a UK table at the international dinner during our Diversity Conference. There is such a wide variety of things to get involved that the hardest thing is to pick and choose what you want to do.

Overall, my first year so far has been fantastic. Looking back, one thing that I am surprised by is some of the non-technical skills that I have learnt. One example is being more efficient at making trade-offs when you have limited time. Rather than waste time thinking about what I could be doing, I have gotten much better at deciding on what I want to do and how to use my time most effectively. I think this will be a valuable lesson in my life and in my career going forwards!

Accepted: Why did you choose Tuck? How is it the best fit for you?

Dominic: I chose Tuck because of its location, size, and community. I did my undergrad at a campus university and I knew I wanted a similar experience. Also coming from a large city like London and most likely working in large cities post-MBA, it was a great way of taking two years and doing something slightly different.

Tuck’s size was also a big draw for me. I know pretty much all of the first years and I have had interactions with a large percentage of the second years. This simply is not the case at some other schools. Tuck’s size also closes the gap between the school and its students. I can drop into our program office with any queries or reach out to meet one-on-one with another of the faculty at very short notice.

Finally, the community at Tuck is very strong. People go out of their way to help each other and support each other. I am surprised by the strength of the community on a daily basis.

Accepted: If you could change anything about the program, what would it be?

Dominic: There is not a lot I would change about Tuck. One area that I think Tuck is addressing and needs to continue to address to focus more broadly on global issues. It is great that the Class of 2017 will now have a requirement to undertake at least one trip or project globally during their two years. I think as globalization continues, it is deeply important to have the cultural sensitivity and the ability to work across borders.

Accepted: Are you involved in any clubs on campus? How central to student life is club involvement?

Dominic: I am a wine aficionado and I will be a co-Chair of the Wine Club next year. I also play tripod hockey. Overall clubs are an important part of the Tuck experience but I find that some of my best experiences are typically more ad hoc. Due to our class size, I know the folks who have similar interests as myself so it is very easy to find others who want to go for a hike, play pond hockey, try out local eateries, etc.

Accepted: Do you have an internship lined up for the summer? What role did Tuck play in helping you secure a position?

Dominic: I will be interning this summer with one of the Top 3 consulting firms in New York. I have had great support during my internship recruiting from the Career Development Office (CDO), my classmates, and the alumni network. The CDO has been instrumental in helping me over the last few months from practising cases and fit questions to more general advice about managing the recruiting process. As for my classmates, the second years have devoted a lot of time to first years in helping them get ready for case interviews.

Finally, I cannot say enough about Tuck’s alumni network. Typically, I get a response within 24 hours of reaching out to an alumni. They are also very gracious with their time. I had a call with an alum during his layover at an airport between flights back from a client. I also had mock interviews with several alums during the Christmas break when they should have been relaxing. I think this speaks volume to Tuck’s alumni network.

Accepted: Now that you’ve successfully applied to and gotten into b-school, you must have some good advice for our readers. What are your top 3 admissions tips?

Dominic: My 3 top tips are:

1. Be yourself

2. Be prepared

3. Find the right fit

For one-on-one guidance on your b-school applications, please see our MBA Application Packages. 

To read more about Dominic’s b-school journey, please check out his blog, Domotron. Thank you Dominic for sharing your story with us!

Download our free special report: Best MBA Programs
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

The Tuck School of Business and the Global Insight Requirement
• Dartmouth Tuck 2015 MBA Questions, Deadlines, Tips
MBA Student Interviews