Diego - Questrom, 2018
“Your MBA is not just a degree, but an opportunity to build an entire network that you can and should leverage from the moment you start to after you graduate.”
After 6 years of experience working in marketing in the Brazilian telecom industry with solid career progression, I decided to join the full-time MBA program at the Boston University Questrom School of Business in 2016 to get both a personal and professional boost.
The two years I studied at Questrom exceeded any expectations I had during the application process, which were many. I learned so much about so many subjects and was constantly exposed to new, exciting experiences. I learned about industries and technologies that were foreign to me, discussed social causes and business topics in and out of class, met colleagues and professors who showed me multiple perspectives, visited great companies, and went through the arduous process of adjusting to sitting in 3-hour classes and studying for exams, just like in college. In just two years, my skill set, business knowledge, mindset, and network increased at a speed that I cannot even compare to the many years it would have taken me to do it otherwise.
Questrom Program Strengths
The main program strength is the people. Questrom did an excellent job of forming the class itself: a group of collaborative and competent personalities, coming from different career and personal backgrounds.
The curriculum was fantastic. Classes primarily utilized experiential learning: I worked on almost 10 hands-on projects with different clients in different industries.
Another great aspect of the program is the amount of extra-curricular opportunities that were available either through on-campus events or leadership positions in the school clubs. I joined multiple clubs, including Net Impact and Cohort Q, and had a chance to organize and participate in networking sessions, forums, conferences, social meetups, competitions and a lot of team meetings.
As I said, the greatest strength of Questrom’s full-time program is its people.
Program Opportunity Areas
Of course, not everything is perfect. As much as there was a good diversity of professional backgrounds in my class, it was still underwhelming and disappointing to see the number of students from underrepresented groups. There’s, of course, a chicken or the egg problem in which the corporate world is also far from truly representing our societal makeup, but for a school claiming to create value for the world, I don’t expect any less than a greater diversity in its MBA class.
One thing I wish I knew before applying
The one thing I wish I knew before applying, and this would probably be true anywhere, is the career preparation needed prior starting the program. After 6 years of work experience, I was seeing the MBA program as a career exploration journey as much as I was seeing it as a career booster. Both are true, but in my opinion, the faster you get through the exploration phase, the smoother and bigger the booster to your career.
The MBA program is a job-hunting experience starting Day 1. I took my time during the first year to explore multiple options, test different versions of my career story and aspirations, and dream about many post-MBA jobs. As much as everything worked out in the end (and I’m very happy with my career since graduating), I saw a vast difference on the journey that led me here when I compare it to that of friends who came to school with this exploration exercise already done. It is true everyone has their own timing, and a lot of people were in the same situation as I, but I wish I knew that speeding up that process would’ve reduced some stress during the first-year internship search.
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