The MBA Tour interviewed Caroline Deng, an MBA applicant and MBA Tour San Francisco attendee. She shares with us why she is pursuing an MBA, why she joined The MBA Tour and how she hopes the degree will impact her future.
Where are you in your career?
I am a media strategist, where I’ve had the opportunity to build media campaigns for large brands in the skincare, CPG, and technology spaces. Post-graduation, I started as a data analyst within a publishing company’s data engineering department. I made the career switch to media because I wanted to be able to flex my quantitative and qualitative skills in a more creative capacity, and I felt that agency life would be a fast-paced, challenging environment where I’d be able to learn quickly. In the future, I hope to transition into brand management.
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA?
I have decided to pursue an MBA (likely a 2022 start year) because my goal is to go into brand management and switch regions (moving to the UK or EU) to gain a deeper understanding of how marketing is evolving under GDPR. Additionally, I’d like to gain a broader knowledge of marketing beyond the specialized world of media/advertising.
Why did you decide to attend an MBA Tour event?
I wanted to understand what differentiates schools from one another, while potentially meeting alumni to get a better feel of the school culture. In particular, the MBA Tour had a lot of schools that I would potentially be interested in attending, both domestically and internationally.
What aspect event did you find most helpful? Which schools did you network with?
The most helpful aspect of the MBA Tour was the representation of alumni and admissions officers that attended. It was really valuable for me to hear directly from former students what the curriculum was like, their favorite aspects and least favorite aspects, etc. In particular, I stopped by a few domestic booths (UCLA, Berkeley, etc.) and some international booths (London Business School, Oxford, INSEAD, etc.)
Did talking to other candidates influence your decision on which schools to apply/research?
Talking to other candidates did have some impact, especially when other candidates spoke about their experiences with the admissions offices/alumni, both positive and negative.
What are some of the factors influencing you in making the decision as to where to apply?
I’m mainly looking at culture (do I see myself being able to contribute in a meaningful way to the student body and do I see myself getting along with the people that I am meeting), placement rates within the EU/UK, unique opportunities within the curriculum/career services, and ranking.
What type of MBA program are you looking for?
Because I went to NYU for undergrad, I’ve experienced the opportunities that a large, diverse student body offers within one of the largest cities in the world. As a result, I would want a smaller, diverse, and tight-knit community where I can continue learning to work cross-culturally and focus on developing the skills that I’d need in order to be effective in my life post-MBA.
Are you considering other types of degrees besides an MBA such as a specialized business master’s?
At the moment, no, because I prefer the more practical-oriented curriculums of an MBA program.
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