The MBA Tour interviewed Xiaotang Gao, an MBA applicant and MBA Tour Toronto attendee. She shares with us what she gained from the event, and how she hopes an MBA will transition her career from medical research to business.
Where are you in your career?
I am currently transitioning my career from medical research-focused to business-centered. Although it was not a planned decision, I am using this as an opportunity to expand perspective. I have been talking to colleagues and networking with industry professionals o discuss how to not only stay relevant but also bring my potential to the fullest.
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA?
The moment I set my foot in business, I have never been bored because I am constantly exposed to challenges and learning new things. I think an MBA really helps to solidify the skills I built so far and hone it to the finest. Plus, it brings a cohort of great minds together to share insights.
Why did you decide to attend an MBA Tour event?
I want to have a “one-stop” shop of schools so that I can talk to admission directors and alumni to know if the program, timeline, courses, internship opportunities, etc. work for me.
What aspect event did you find most helpful? Which schools did you network with?
Originally, I only wanted to locate programs that offer specific tracks to healthcare. However, as I talk to multiple schools, I am hearing unique tracks such as retail/luxurious goods management. Personally, I am very interested in arts/fashion and I wouldn’t have known that such track exists in an MBA program if I didn’t come to the event.
Did talking to other candidates influence your decision on which schools to apply/research?
As an international applicant, I don’t have the luxury to stay however long I like, so I have to consider my immigration status after graduation. From the event, I learned about the stem designation that can extend the visa status to three years. As a result, I would be more likely to apply to the schools that have this designation.
What are some of the factors influencing you in making the decision as to where to apply? (location, length of the program, financial aid options, ranking, etc.)
Location: I would like to be exposed to a new environment and meet new people.
Ranking: It adds weight to the degree I obtain.
Internship/Global Opportunities: Before settling down in one field, I would like to try different industries and also operate business in different cultures.
What type of MBA program are you looking for?
I like the program that offers specialized tracks or personalized options rather than a “one-fits-all” curriculum. I also expect the program to offer internships in different fields/countries so that I could try them out during education before diving in. I care how much connection a program has because I love attending panel discussions, debates, seminars/conferences, either nationwide or international. I want to connect with speakers and other attendees.
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