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MBA Grads’ Advice to Their Younger Selves

We asked our Forté Fellows and 2017 MBA grads about their post-graduate plans, which aspect of their MBA will have the most lasting impact, and what they wish they’d known two years ago before they started their programs.


Rachel Charatan
UCLA Anderson School of Management

“Maintain a healthy dose of perspective through keeping close relationships with those outside an MBA program. It’s also okay to turn down some of the amazing events and activities on campus in order to get enough rest and relaxation.”

If I had decided not to get an MBA, I would have joined the Foreign Service instead.


Tenaj Ferguson
The University of Texas at Austin – Red McCombs School of Business

“Go for it, fully invest and take care of yourself (mind, body, spirit) in the process. Have a circle you can lean on. In doing so, you’ll move forward and feel better.”

In five years, I will be Director of Innovation for a growing start-up or for a top Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) company.


Poojah Ganesan
Emory University- Goizueta Business School

“Take this time to find passions outside of the classroom, challenge yourself both personally and professionally, and most of all, travel as much as you can.”

If I had decided not to get an MBA, I would have continued applying my knowledge and skills as a nonprofit consultant to help solve society’s toughest challenges instead.


Anna Jumamil
Georgetown University McDonough School of Business

“Reach out to current students as early as possible! Once school starts, you will be focused on studies and finding an internship so you may miss opportunities – case competitions, part-time internships, research assistant positions or fellowships, or starting your own club.“

In five years, I hopefully will have my own tech start-up in the Philippines that strengthens access to financial services for members of low-income communities.


Hilary Kirtland
George Washington University School of Business

“’Yes! You can do that, too.’ The best, and most rewarding, experiences were the times I jumped far outside my comfort zone and went all in when I was not sure.”

As I focused my MBA on Consulting and Business Analytics, I now view life challenges as opportunities for improvement. Traveling abroad also gave a completely new lease by which I view the world.


Margaux LaPointe
UCLA Anderson School of Management

”You can shape your personal MBA experience as well as make a lasting impact on the school. Administrators will support your vision for programming. Dream it, then make it a reality.”

My classmates were intimidatingly impressive, and now I count many of them as friends who will always be part of my life.


Morgan Muller
IESE Business School – Barcelona

“Experience is greater than grades – do not discount the social and personal experiences you will share with your classmates. Truly learning about someone who’s from another corner of the world will not only grow and challenge you, it will have the most lasting impact of all.”

In five years, I hope to be in New York City at an impact investing fund, a socially conscious start-up or for-profit company.


Laju Obasaju, J.D.
University of Southern California – Marshall School of Business

“I would have been perfectly fine if I spent a little less time on school work and more time on alumni coffee chats, joining organizations, and reaching out to second-year students.”

As MBA students, we learned to lean on each other and look out for our fellow classmates in both the classroom and in recruiting.


Rachel Rubin Neuhausen
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

“I would tell myself not to be so intimidated by accounting. It was significantly less math than I thought.”

In five years, I hope to be a junior executive for a healthcare organization.


Elizabeth Tang
University of Pennsylvania – The Wharton School

“Two poems by Nayyirah Waheed​:

‘No’ might make them angry, but it will make you free. If no one has ever told you, your freedom is more important than their anger.

When I am afraid to speak is when I speak. That is when it is most important.”

In five years, I will be litigating at a legal organization like the American Civil Liberties Union​ and organizing communities to advance racial, gender, and economic justice​.

One Response to “MBA Grads’ Advice to Their Younger Selves”

  1. Olivia

    Thank you for sharing these! As someone who is hesitant to start school in a month, this was very encouraging.

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