Choosing the business school that best suits you can be quite the difficult task. Natalia had to do her own extensive research to figure it out, and she’s learned a thing or two along the way.
“I did a thorough research on different business schools before applying to the program, in order to understand which one best fits me. I tried to get to know even the most seemingly subtle things about my top choice. It goes without saying that trying to collect information from the outside is very different from the experience of actually living through it, but the main, most distinctive issues remain. In my case, the expectation about the school and the reality turned out to be well-aligned. I should mention that it is extremely useful to reach out to current students prior to coming to the school to get a general feeling about what it looks like in real life”, says Natalia.
Choosing the right school is important because each one has its own style of teaching. Natalia chose the Yale School of Management, which provided a couple of advantages over other business schools. Some of them are the relatively small classes (334 students as opposed to up to 1000), an intense integrate curriculum and strong ties with the parent university and other grad schools.
“A small class size allows you to personally know more people, and not just mark them as “people I used to go to the same school with”. I consider it important not only in helping to build a real, strong network, but also as being an incredibly enriching experience. Another distinctive feature of the Yale SOM is its emphasis on diversity, which means close communication with people of vastly diverse backgrounds”, Natalia adds.
This type of setting offered great opportunities for interesting experiences for Natalia. Creating her own path and following her own story has turned out to be a very unique moment in her life.
“It’s hard to pick one or several experiences that have influenced me out of the high-speed stream of events. At this point, all the experiences have formed a solid piece. It’s all about constantly meeting new people, each of whom has a prominent and unique story to share, watching the further development of those stories, and being part of them”, explains Natalia.
It’s not all easy, of course. There might be small language barriers and you have to spend a lot of time on researching schools, but Natalia insists that the difficulties are manageable and do not actually differ much from those in her native country.
Besides, Natalia has benefited from support awarded by SEED Grant, which pays tuition fees for Moldovans and Ukrainians applying to the best US business schools. She calls for everyone who thinks they’re ready to apply.
“The decision to apply for an MBA program is highly personal. If you feel that you are at that very point of your life when you are ready for a steep change, you are a self-starter, and you have what to bring to the table, then you should definitely apply. Career acceleration and career switching are two main reasons for people getting their MBAs. I truly believe that an MBA program is crucial for executives and top-level managers, as well as entrepreneurs”, concludes Natalia.