Here’s a talk with David Bonan, an MBA applicant from Canada applying to top U.S. b-schools. David blogs at From The Great White North To The Land of Opportunity. Thank you David for sharing your adventure with us!
Accepted: First, can you tell us a bit about yourself: Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What have you been doing since you graduated?
David: I am originally from Montreal, Quebec, Canada and moved to Toronto when I was seven. I graduated with an Honours Business degree at a school called Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. I chose this school because it has the best co-op/internship program for business students. I graduated in 2009 and I have held a variety of positions since then.
The first year after I graduated I worked for my family business, developing web content, answering phones, and working in the factory.
I then moved on to Staples as a Retail Communications Coordinator. In this role I executed a lot of the day to day store communications tasks (preparing notices and updates to stores), creating internal websites, developing and analyzing surveys, and managing internal calendars.
Upon completion of my Staples contract, I worked as a Consultant at a marketing agency called Starshot and dealt exclusively with my client, Microsoft. In this role, I managed several programs – each program includes a webinar, a series of emails and invitations that are delivered to prospects, data analysis and reporting, social media planning, and monthly presentations. I was essentially an email marketing and marketing automation expert – during my time at Starshot, I was able to increase the number of Microsoft Dynamics leads by over 200% and webinar registrants increased 6 times during my tenure!
I was actually just offered a job at one of the largest payroll companies in Canada called Ceridian to work on their email marketing and marketing automation (very similar to what I did at Starshot). Tomorrow will be my first day.
Accepted: What stage are you up to in the MBA admissions process?
David: Currently, I am studying for the GMAT. I am trying not to get too far ahead of myself but as I am studying I am still researching programs and downloading materials that will help me prepare for when I do apply to these schools. I plan on taking the GMAT in May.
Accepted: What has been the most challenging step for you so far?
David: The Verbal section of the GMAT I am finding very challenging. I absolutely love Math so the quant section was a breeze to study and a lot of fun. Finding the time to study has also been a challenge. Working 10-12 hour days makes it hard to find a lot of time to study.
Accepted: Where do you plan on applying to b-school?
David: I have a list of 8 schools that I am hoping to apply to:
Accepted: Will you also be applying to safety schools?
David: My goal is to apply in round one to my top school choices. If I don’t get in to one of my first choices, I will reevaluate and apply to safety schools in round two.
Accepted: How much does cost play a factor when deciding where to apply and eventually where to attend? Will you apply for scholarships?
David: Cost is a huge factor. I am going to go into debt to fund my schooling. I think it is worth it in the long run so I am willing to do that and the increase in salary upon graduation is a big boost. As soon as I finish the application process, I will be spending a great deal of time looking for and applying to as many scholarships that I am eligible for. If my biggest problem through the application process is having to decide between my top school choice with no scholarship and a school lower down on my list with a decent scholarship, I will consider this process an absolute success and a problem I am looking forward to.
Accepted: Why did you decide to blog about your experience? Has the process revealed anything new about yourself?
David: I really enjoy writing. I joined the Beat The GMAT community and saw someone suggest to blog about your experience through the application process. I thought that was a great idea. I have several friends who are interested in going to school and several family members who are really pulling for me and have asked to keep them updated. A blog is a great way to do something I enjoy and share my experience with those closest to me. My goal is to use my experience to 1) get people excited to go back to school to further their education, 2) allow people to follow along with me in my every step in the application process and 3) share the emotions that go through your mind as an applicant.
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