Last year we posted several Q&As with former Bell Curves students (Lauren Sickles, Gabe Perez, Rhomaro Powell, Denitresse Burns, and Radina Russell) in which they shared their experiences in business school and how it benefited their careers. The insights were well-received, so we decided to conduct a few more with a slightly different focus. This time around we were interested in hearing from MBAs that recently completed their first year.
For our first offering in this installment, Goreleigh Willis shares his experiences and insights.
Prior to pursuing his MBA at Cornell University’s Johnson School, Goreleigh was an Associate with the Private Bank at J.P. Morgan in New York City. For five years, he worked with families to manage their wealth, as a Banker Analyst, and more recently as a Trust Officer. Previously, he spent four years in management consulting within the firm. At Johnson, Goreleigh is a Vice President of the Old Ezra Finance Club. He is also the Vice President of Alumni Affairs for the Black Graduate Business Association and a Vice President of the Johnson Soccer Club. Goreleigh will be an investment banking Associate at Lazard this summer.
Goreleigh holds a B.A. in Economics and Political Science with Honors distinction from Swarthmore College.
What was the most surprising aspect of your first year in an MBA Program?
The most surprising thing for me was the pace of Johnson. Many of the core courses are 8 weeks long, so there is no time to fall behind. Even though I heard from the second year students beforehand, it was still a challenge to balance academic work with recruiting. Efficient time management is crucial!
If you had to tell prospective MBAs one thing about your school or about business school, what would be it?
Johnson is one of the best places in the country to go if you have a focused career plan. The immersion programs are fantastic and have far exceeded my expectations.
What’s the best way to get ready for the rigors of business school?
The more you can focus your career plans early, the better. If you have time to review accounting and finance before starting school, I would recommend it. You may have taken these courses in college, but business school teaches them in more depth and at a much faster pace. If you haven’t taken them, enroll in undergraduate level courses at a local college – you won’t regret it! If anything, you may be able to test out of certain core classes. Exempting core classes allows you the flexibility to further tailor your MBA program to your needs.
Did preparing for and taking the GMAT get you ready to tackle your classes?
Absolutely. All business school programs require the same base knowledge obtained from GMAT preparation. GMAT preparation forces you to return to serious study mode, which is essential to acclimating to a rigorous academic environment. Balancing your GMAT study with work and other activities is a preview of the time management challenges you will experience during business school.
For more information on how Bell Curves courses and tutoring could help you maximize your GMAT score to improve your graduate business school prospects, visit us at gmat.bellcurves.com.