Kriti Pradhan
Indian. McGill University: Desautels, graduated 2023. Senior consultant, people and change advisory, KPMG Canada. Toronto

What is your advice to someone thinking about studying for an MBA?
I think this is common advice given to MBA students, but it is something I noticed in my class and the classes that came after us: you need to avoid developing a fear of missing out, especially when you’re in the programme. A lot of people come with one vision in mind — for example a career in finance. Then they see everybody else going into marketing, consulting, etc and there is a tendency to do everything, all at once. They want to join every networking event, every society, take on more courses, do double or triple specialisations. The person ends up spreading themselves too thin.

My only advice is not to do that because if you are focusing on too many things, you are really not focusing on anything. I stopped doing things that didn’t make sense in the long run for me and started to focus my time on the courses and activities that would really add value.

Gillian Sero Del Mundo
Hong Kong Chinese. Chinese University of Hong Kong, graduates 2024. Hong Kong

What are your tactics to survive the MBA?
It is an intensive course and they add different events outside the curriculum — such as competitions or networking sessions. I try to be present and make sure I can join in any events that are good opportunities. The main tactics are time management and allocating priorities.

The MBA teaches you how to be collaborative so I take different roles in different courses, projects and competitions. On some courses, I take more of a leadership role whereas, for others, if the team has a very clear vision — and once I have analysed the strengths and weaknesses to see what they need from me — I might take a team player role. So it requires a lot of people development skills and observation. But I think, because of that, I have not been stressed or burnt out. I’ve been able to fully engage in all the opportunities.

Frank Hager, Jr
American. Cornell University: Johnson, graduates 2024. Associate in the investment banking division, Morgan Stanley, from this year. Ithaca, NY

What is the most important lesson you have learned on the course?
The faculty comprises both traditional academics and seasoned practitioners. The most important lesson is bridging the gap from academic research and theoretical frameworks to practical application.

Drew Pascarella, a senior lecturer, leads an investment banking immersion practicum that replicates the investment banking environment. While a standard MBA valuation course delves into the academic theory of discounted cash flow analysis and other valuation techniques, Pascarella goes further. He imparts the theoretical foundation and elucidates on choosing the right valuation techniques across industries and applying them in the context of M&A or capital raises. A student-managed fund investing more than $1mn from Cornell University’s endowment supplements financial markets coursework with a real-time profit and loss record for its 28 portfolio managers.

These hands-on experiences, facilitated by real-world practitioners, translated core business concepts into practical and applicable real-world skills.

Jocelyn Gutiérrez
American. Rice University: Jones, graduates 2024. Houston, Texas

Has the course met your expectations and, if so, how?
It definitely has. I had the goal of pivoting my career from education and government work to consulting. After interning with Deloitte, I have secured a permanent offer to join the firm some time after I graduate. So, definitely, that has been accomplished.

Another thing is the value of the Rice network. While applying for different jobs, Rice alumni really have your back. There can be alumni that work at those companies or that just want to help you out because they have gone through your experience. I really reached out to the network for help — whether it was asking them to look at my resumé, walking over my pitch or, if I was meeting with a specific company, asking them for recommendations. So I think falling back on that network was really important for me.

Hamza Rehman
Norwegian. Durham University Business School, graduated 2020. Enterprise performance management specialist and consultant, Inlumi UK, London

How do you use the MBA in your everyday work?
The people and leadership skills acquired through collaboration with the diverse MBA cohort have proved to be instrumental in my everyday work.

For example, during the boardroom exercise, we had to take on the role of chief executive of a large corporation like Procter & Gamble, leading a diverse team and presenting board papers to the business’s non-executive directors. This experience gave me invaluable lessons in collaboration, delegation, leadership, managing diverse teams and delivering high-quality results.

Global MBA Ranking 2024

Read the ranking and report, plus how we compiled our league table. Spotlight on the MBA webinar, February 21:

The skills I honed help me in my current job, which involves constant collaboration with clients and colleagues around the world. The MBA has enhanced my ability to contribute to my organisation.

Finally, the holistic understanding of business that I gained through the MBA programme allows me to make decisions that require a comprehensive grasp of the strategic landscape.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2024. All rights reserved.
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