MBA admissions consulting and the determination, drive and resilience are a game-changer
When I met Paulo Cruz, almost 3 years ago, he had a great resumé from Procurement at Grupo Pão de Açucar (now Casino Group) and a life trajectory that alone exemplified how determination was his X-Factor. He decided to start the MBA project, so in 2016, he started studying English, adding to the potpourri of languages in his background. He had drive and his tender eyes showed me he would do whatever needed to achieve his dream of becoming an MBA student. I saw a gold mine for the Admissions process because Paulo is very humble, with a high sense of service, which made it all more interesting. However, if I could only make him see those grant elements and how well they’d bond with the schools’ cultures and purposes… But Paulo didn’t see greatness. He saw “just-me-being-me, Bia”, as he bounced back all my attempts to open his eyes.
The first time I introduced him to an Admissions officer to a school he dreamed of, he understood he had to have a change of heart and mind to tell his story in a compelling manner, that he had to identify his talents and use them wisely. His wife Marcela joined me in the task of making Paulo see, believe, identify, list. I had a powerful ally! (Marcela, we ALL did it!!!!)
But life is a funny thing and we had to stop his application process back in 2017, holding back the MBA plans. Fortunately, Paulo kept his drive to pursue self-development, started a Master in Agricultural Economics and Food in Italy and strengthened his MBA candidacy. Again, the prospect of studying in sunny California made his eyes shine brighter. He had gone a long way since 2017, his resumé was even stronger, the MS in Italy certainly put him under the spotlight with some awards and recognitions but most importantly, his English skills had significantly improved. That humble gold mine was back in the game and much more competitive. Another life twist led us to shift from the West to the East Coast. We introduced Paulo and Marcela to a business school in NYC, which offered a great program and perfectly fit the couple’s career prospects. When you’re a couple, there’s a lot more at stake that can influence your decisions.
Paulo was accepted at Fordham Gabelli to join the Class of 2022, with a scholarship that reflects his accomplishments and merit achieved so far.
As an Admissions Officer, part of my job is to find the perfect fit between a candidate and the multitude of business schools out there. This is a mission that transposes merely looking at rankings. It’s about understanding the candidate’s go-to-market, what they expect to achieve during the program (academically, personally, professionally), but most importantly, how they blend with that community.
For those candidates out there, crunching rankings data and acing GMAT scores, let me share you a little secret: there’s a silver lining if you are brave enough to look beyond the obvious. Aim as high as possible, yet, be open for something that never crossed your mind because there’s a chance that your “gold mine” will be somewhere else, like Paulo, who found his gold mine in the East Coast with a USD 70,000.00 scholarship!