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Engineer Wins Scholarships at INSEAD, Cambridge MBA Programs

As an engineer who lived in Canada, spoke fluent French, spent time in Switzerland growing up, and wanted a diverse, multicultural higher education experience, Sophie honed in on European MBA programs. An engineer by trade, and having also worked in sales and marketing, she hit a point in her career where she knew that she’d reached a limit of what she could learn on the job.

Sophie’s MBA Admissions Journey with Menlo Coaching


Challenge #1: Explaining a Highly Technical Career Path

Sophie worked on sophisticated communications hardware, and the day-to-day of her work was highly technical, dealing with automated testing equipment for radio frequency transmitters used on mobile phone towers.

We worked with Sophie to find the important parts — her teamwork, ability to handle high-pressure situations (like a late night when phone service was disrupted and needed to be on again ASAP), and her success as a woman in a male-dominated field.

Challenge #2: Mapping Out the Right Post-MBA Career Goals

We guided Sophie in lining up her personal background against her goal: serving as a product manager in artificial intelligence. Because product management jobs are in high demand among MBA graduates, and AI is seen as an obviously hot field, it would be easy for an MBA admissions committee to assume that Sophie was just “following the crowd” when stating this goal. It is also a highly aggressive career goal that might make admissions officers worry about whether it’s achievable.

Sophie overcame this challenge by connecting the goal to her previous coursework in the area of AI, and also laying out a step-by-step path to use a tech company’s rotational program as an immediate post-MBA career goal, working up to an AI-focused product management role after first learning her future employer’s business generally.

Challenge #3: Deciding Between Competing Offers! 🙂

Although Sophie went into the process assuming that INSEAD would be her first choice school, this changed after both INSEAD and Cambridge Judge made her admissions offers, including scholarships at both schools.

We connected Sophie to other Menlo Coaching clients pursuing MBAs in the UK, and she learned about how the research park around Cambridge was unparalleled for her goal of getting into an AI product management job.

Sophie enrolled at Cambridge Judge and is looking forward to the next step in her career.

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