Executive Education: Basic Training

M.B.A. remains degree of choice for executives, entrepreneurs

How did you prepare yourself?
Mentors and organizations. I had great mentors who encouraged me to apply, looked over my essays, and helped me prepare for the GMAT. There are also organizations that connect you to the right resources. I joined INROADS, an organization that connects underrepresented minorities with opportunities in corporate America, and it helped me get the internship at Pricewaterhouse Coopers. In applying to business school, I went through the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management. I also got connected to the National Black MBA Association and received a $10,000 scholarship. It offers scholarships to undergraduate as well as graduate business students.

Why do you think you were accepted?
I think that my internships and leadership experiences in student organizations played a large part, and I even think that my part-time job as a waitress at Red Lobster played a role. They showed that I have a strong work ethic and that I know how to successfully balance and prioritize things.

Where else did you apply, and how successful were you?
I applied through the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, which is an organization that gives full-tuition scholarships to mostly underrepresented minorities and anyone who can uphold the mission of the organization, and to my knowledge, if you get in and receive a fellowship to your first choice, you don’t hear from the other schools you apply to. Tepper was my first choice. I also applied to New York University and University of Virginia.

How is it being one of the less experienced members of the class?
It’s been great. My classmates are so willing to share what they have learned in the workforce with me and, since many of them were not business majors, I can share what I learned in undergrad with them. In fact, many of them are impressed that I was admitted without work experience, and they respect my work. They even elected me to be an officer in student government. I felt so honored.

This story originally appeared in the July 2008 issue of Black Enterprise magazine.

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