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An American Candidate’s Journey to Emory with Scholarship

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An American Candidate’s Journey to Emory with Scholarship [#permalink]

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New post 29 Mar 2016, 13:04
Poonam, founder and president of myEssayReview, is now publishing interviews of her most successful students of Round 1 of 2015-16 application season. This is the second in the series.

Here is a chat with Ryan who is accepted into the full time MBA program of Emory with substantial scholarship. Ryan is all set to begin his MBA at Emory in Fall , 2016.

Poonam: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What do you do now?

Ryan: Certainly! I was born and raised in Macon, GA and received a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Georgia College in 2012. I went into the mortgage industry after graduating, working in the Secondary Marketing department for a national online mortgage lender where I was responsible for the daily pricing and trading of originated mortgages to correspondent end-investors. After about a year and a half, I transitioned into the Corporate FP&A environment for a public lighting manufacturing company headquartered in Atlanta, GA. I am currently a Senior Financial Analyst and have supported strategic growth initiatives and acquisitions for the Sales, Verticals, Business Strategy, and Product groups over my 2.5 years at my current company.

Poonam: When did you start thinking about MBA?

Ryan: I think I’ve always known that I wanted to pursue an MBA, as I’m a big proponent of opportunities for continued personal growth and development. After I graduated from undergrad, I took the initiative to do some informational interviews with a few high-performers in my network who had already received their MBA, and the general consensus was that the more work experience you can bring to the table, the more you’ll get out of the program. So I set a 5-year goal for myself and decided that if I could achieve my personal goals within 5 years, then that would be the time for me to pursue my MBA. Fortunately, I have been able to achieve that goal in 4 years, so I decided to apply a year early.

Poonam: Great! What are your career goals?

Ryan: Long-term, I’d like to develop myself as a strategic consultant, thought leader, and business developer. I envision myself as the leader of a powerful team who shoulders the responsibility of driving innovations and long-term corporate planning. My experience thus far in Finance has given me a great foundation for understanding marketing strategy, business intelligence, and financial impacts of decision-making, and I think leveraging these experiences will help develop myself into a well-rounded corporate executive.

Poonam: When did you start preparing for your application? Could you please share your application strategy, planning and preparation with our readers?

Ryan: I actually started preparing for my applications a full year before I would actually apply. This all fell into my 5-year plan that I mentioned before; when I realized that I was ahead of schedule, I began to “pretend” that I was applying for business school a year before I actually planned to submit applications. I began to think about my stories, my essays (because they stay generally the same), and what my candidate profile looked like compared to those that I would read about on GMAT Club and on the schools’ websites. Off and on over the next year, I would tweak my stories (adding or changing based on my new experiences) and really did some soul searching to understand why exactly I was going to get my MBA. Then four months before the Round One deadline for my target school (Emory), I really started to get in gear. Because of my preparation over the past year, I pretty much knew all of the stories I wanted to tell and how I would speak to them in interviews. However, I wasn’t really sure how to best convey all of my ideas in the almost-impossibly short essays – that’s why I contacted you!

Poonam: Looking back, what was the most challenging aspect of the school admissions process? How did you approach that challenge and overcome it? How would you advise other MBA applicants who are facing similar challenges?

Ryan: Personally, the most challenge aspects of the admissions process were the essays. As I said before, I felt like I had enough preparation on interviewing skills and knowing my story that most of the applications process didn’t really bother me; however, writing an essay about an important, impactful story in only 250 words is VERY challenging. I think the easiest way for me to tackle these Essays was to think about them in the S.T.A.R. format, and then write down an outline. I’d spend about an hour a day looking over my S.T.A.R. outlines and writing notes about my stories, and then pick the most impactful ideas to include in my writing. Ultimately, though, it was the help I received from you that really made my essays shine. I think it’s great having an outside, objective viewpoint to help drive the meaning of the story home. Receiving feedback like “this point you made is incredibly impactful, so why did you wait until the last paragraph to tell me this?” made writing my essays a lot easier. (For those who want more details on my experience of working with Poonam, here is my review posted on GMAT Club.

My advice – KNOW your personal stories inside and out, and then tell them to as many people as you can. Basically, that’s what you’re going to be doing to the Ad Com, so why not practice on people who can outright tell you what will make you better?

Poonam: You applied to only one school. How is Emory the best school for you?

Ryan: I did a lot of research on potential programs and their benefits, and I think Emory stood out to me as the best choice for a few reasons. First, Emory is located in Atlanta, which is the geographic location where I’d like most to work. Second, the class sizes are small, meaning you develop a very intimate relationship with both students and faculty. I believe your Net Worth is your Network, and Emory’s class structure facilitates a very strong network within the program. Finally, Emory’s reputation in the Southeast as a top-tier Consulting and Finance school means that I can get exposure to a great curriculum that will help me develop as a strategic thinker and leader, while opening doors to potential employers that recognize the pedigree of the program’s rigorous yet thorough nature.

Poonam: You were admitted to Emory for both the 1-year and 2-year programs with a very generous merit-based scholarship: $45,000 for 1-year program and $60,000 for 2-year program. Which one you will be joining and why?

Ryan: I was very gracious to receive the news about my scholarships, and in the end I decided to commit to the One-Year program. I feel my education and employment backgrounds lend well to the accelerated nature of their program (I am very quantitatively-focused in both realms), and I don’t feel that I need to leverage an internship in order to continue the career path that I’m interested in. Plus, the ROI on a One-Year MBA is incredible – you enter the workforce quicker and the program is less expensive. It’s a win-win. A caveat though – it’s a lot of work. They make that clear as you’re going into the program. But if you have the background they’re looking for, then you’ll succeed no problem.

Poonam: Do you have any admissions tips for applicants who are aiming for top 20 MBA programs? (e.g. school selection, GMAT, essays, résumé, recommendation letters, interview etc.)

Ryan: In the age of the internet, almost everything you need is at your fingertips. Research schools, research what they’re looking for, research previous and current class statistics…research everything. And then really do some soul searching to figure out what it is that you’re looking for. Once you’ve done those things, then don’t be shy to ask (and in many cases pay) for help. I took a GMAT study class; I hired an admissions consultant; I bought countless books…Anything that you can get your hands on to level the playing field is helpful. But most importantly, know your STORY. Why MBA? Why now? Once you’ve sold YOURSELF on the idea of an MBA, and truly believe your reasoning, then I think you can get into any school you want to. Oh, and proof-read everything. Don’t embarrass yourself by misspelling something on your resume.

Poonam: Do you plan on staying in Atlanta after you receive your MBA? Do you plan on relocating somewhere else?

Ryan: I’m very interested in staying in Atlanta – I’ve already a very strong network in the area and enjoy the vibrant nature of the city as well as the employment opportunities. I’ve also considered relocating to potentially North or South Carolina, or potentially New York, but I think my heart is in Atlanta.

Poonam: What are your favorite non-school books? What are you hobbies?

Ryan: Anything by Nelson DeMille. He is an ex-military author who writes suspense/action historical fiction, usually centering around anti-terrorism or government conspiracy. My favorite book of his is The Gold Coast, but Charm School and The Lion are also incredible. When I’m not reading, I enjoy trying out new recipes in the kitchen, riding my bike, or attending live theater or symphonic concerts.

Poonam: Thank you, Ryan for sharing your story with us. It was a pleasure chatting with you. I am sure your valuable insights will be a great resource to the prospective MBA candidates. Good luck on your Emory experience and your future career.

Note: You can connect with Ryan via LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/ryan-brown-44118245)
_________________

MyEssayReview - A personalized and dedicated consulting service
Email:poonam@myessayreview.com

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An American Candidate’s Journey to Emory with Scholarship   [#permalink] 29 Mar 2016, 13:04
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An American Candidate’s Journey to Emory with Scholarship

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