Tag Archives: mba

San Francisco trip in June 2014

Hello San Francisco! I left this magnificent City in September 2013 after graduation from my MBA program from Hult Business School. I was looking forward to come back. We were planning the trip with my wife and luckily it happened! A lot has changed in my life since I left the City. This time I came here neither as a student, not as an leisure visitor. Business is the main reason I came here. In 2014 I launched Valley Wizard and I joined CityHour. Both projects are global and will live in San Francisco.

We arrived on June 10th. We checked-in at Vertigo Hotel at Nob Hill close to Union Square.

Next morning I took BART to the East Bay, rented a car and rushed to Mountain View to take part in an investment conference. We just opened the next seed round at CityHour and started raising $1.5M. This was the reason I came to Silicon Valley Open Doors.

I was pitching on June 12th. Well, this was the first experience. I felt I was not ready enough. People said it was ok. My wife said it was close to perfect. Still I know we need to work on many things. I am glad we started this journey.

Jet leg and two days at the conference were pretty hard. I felt pretty tired. Still on Friday June 13th I went to meet Jim my mentor from IBM and Yassi from ISSIP.

The weekend was cool. We visited Carmel, took the 17-mile drive, enjoyed the sun, the ocean, spent the next day in Santa Cruz. Very good experience.

The journey continues. I am meeting a lot of people. We are very busy, but it’s a real fun!

Stay tuned!

MBA. Part2. Schools

The choice of school is extremely important for any MBA program.

I would recommend to pay attention to the following factors:
1) school rankings – there is a number of the – Wall Steer Journal, Financial Times, The Economist, Forbes to name a few. They differ in methodology and show sometimes contradictory data. But you ought to study them
2) geography – The easiest option is to attend a local school, maybe evening lasses or something. I do not recommend this option unless you live in Silicon Valley or Boston and you local school is Stanford GSB or HBS. However, a lot of people go to local schools. So the most wise decision is to change geography and go somewhere else. There are some strong and reputed schools in Europe like Insead, London School of a Business, IMD, IE, maybe some more. All the rest are at least second tier school.
3) program duration – the best option is two-year classic full-time program. But there some red flags here. This is the best option when you are single, under 30, want to change the three domains of you future: function, industry, geography. I should warn you – in no case this is a success factor. Neither business school guarantees you a jib after graduation. You can be lucky to get into the program(element if luck is always present), but you should work hard all the time, under constant pressure. I chose one-year full-time, accelerated program. It was tough, but I am glad I did that. I am married, I have a daughter and I was 29 when I graduated.

I would recommend the following while choosing the school:
1) do a deep research of the rankings and choose the 10-20 short-list
2) study the business schools web-sites. They are usually big portals with a lot of information.
3) find alumni in your circles and approach them with an informational interview request. You can even find some people whom you do not know on LinkedIn and ask for the same. It is considered a good practice and refusal is very unwelcomed in this community. Every worthy MBA graduate should find time to talk to potential students.
4) visit an MBA fair that is held every year at least once in many big cities
5) find a good GMAT tutor or sign up to online and offline courses

I recommend to apply to at least five schools not less. You can have one or two schools of your dream, but do not limit your choice just to them. Be clever enough not to underestimate the risks and odds of not bring accepted. But you should have some schools with which you will feel chemistry and magic traction.

Study hard and get ready!

MBA experience. Part 1. Idea and preparation

What is all this hassle about? Do you need an MBA? When do you need an MBA? Which country, school, and many, many more questions one will ask. I myself went throughout this journey. It took me more than two years to complete: 1 year of preparations and 1 year of full-time program. My recommendation is certainly yes! Its worth the shot. No matter the school, no matter the country, you should go for it. I will recall my personal experience and share my story. I decided to split this into several separate posts.

The first one will be the initiation – how I came to that crazy idea. My story is a long one. To cut the long story shot, I once got bored at my previous job. Not that I am a lazy bone, but my boss decided to go out of real estate development business, sell his assets and disappear(a very common approach and way of thinking in Ukraine and many other ex-Soviet countries). My beloved wife Hanna first recommended, then insisted that I go and study further. The same happened when I was finishing my BBA – I was so busy with my business that it took me 7 years to graduate, unlike my group mates, who graduated 3 years before me. And my wife was the driver in this decision. Same with an MBA – Hanna told me to try my luck with local schools in Ukraine. I made a research, talked to many people and then suddenly a crazy idea appeared – I decided to quit my job and go abroad.

I surely kept that decision in secret from everyone. Just my wife was aware of it as she observed me spending hours studying and cracking GMAT. GMAT was a nightmare! I could not even imagine how weird and strange this could be. I downloaded tons of tests, books, prep materials. I signed up for GMAT courses. I bought latest edition of Manhattan prep and Kaplan books. I even had an iPhone app with more than a 1000 questions. My best advice would be – schedule at least 6 months just for GMAT. I didn’t have that time. I was torn between my job, my family, a lot of problems and a bright idea to get an MBA. Not the best combination, frankly speaking. Anyway, I took GMAT three time – once every month(the first test after 6 weeks of prep, which was vey stupid idea). After got tired of GMAT after 3rd attempt. My best score was 630 and couldn’t proceed further with preparation. I decided to stop and move further.

In my next post I will explore the issue of business school research, essay writing and many more.

My first post

A good beginning makes a good ending. I kept this proverb in mind while I was thinking how to start. The first one is the hardest. I started the blog in September 2013 while still in San Francisco. Having spent more than a year in the Bay Area, the heart of world innovation, it was hard to resist the temptation to start blogging. While I was on my MBA, everyone around me was talking about that. I was not an exception. So I made up my mind. I chose WordPress as the best platform for this and started the blog. It took me a while to setup everything(nothing difficult, but a bit awkward and unusual). I played a little with a theme and widgets and then my inspiration left me. Then I left California the country of the bright sun and easy-going people and moved back home to Ukraine. A lot of events started happening in Ukraine. Good or bad, good and bad. We will live to see. Then, I guess I got my epiphany. Here it goes – the first one and the hardest one!