Ask the Expert: Immerse Yourself in the MBA and Other Tips from an Atlantan Student
We had an e-coffee with Atlantan MBA student and admissions consultant Scott Jospin to learn about his experience during each step of the MBA process and how his tips can provide value to students on their journey, especially in the admissions process.
Originally from Atlanta, Scotty grew up obsessing over local sports teams, studied Political Science and Spanish at Tulane, and subsequently moved to Washington, DC to work as a consultant for Booz Allen. While in DC, he started reading voraciously and became curious about what motivates and energizes him most. Four years later, Scotty moved to Los Angeles where as a consultant he helped various NGOs and corporate foundations grow. He also made professional stops at an entertainment-focused merchant bank and a software company that built compliance solutions for cannabis companies. Scotty enjoys reading, writing, and learning constantly. Right now, he is focused on crypto, personal wellness, and his tennis game.
In 2019, Scotty returned to Atlanta to begin an MBA at Emory’s Goizueta Business School. We talked about his reasons for returning to school, the application process, and more in a warm conversation.
What were your main reasons to do an MBA?
The two primary reasons were acquiring technical skills and exploring numerous career paths. However, the latter reason did not come easily to me. In my first year, for instance, I had a mild interest in investment banking but I never dug deep to understand the role well. Only by later making investment banking (and only it) the central focus of my life for a short period did I learn that it wasn’t for me. And after performing that exercise numerous times, I became much more confident in navigating uncertainty associated with recruiting.
I encourage MBAs to push themselves to explore everything that sounds slightly appealing.
Why did you choose Emory for your MBA?
My friends and family who are alumni of the program had great experiences at Goizueta. Also, I visited the school in person and liked the intimacy (~150 students per class in the 2-year Full-Time program). Finally, Emory’s connection to Atlanta, and specifically the local tech community, was a major selling point.
What was the biggest challenge that you faced when you applied?
I really struggled with the GMAT. I was intimidated by math growing up, so I avoided it at all costs. Once I decided to apply to schools, I dedicated all of my spare time to the test.
I used a half dozen resources, and after studying for a year and doing poorly on my 3rd attempt, I met the guys at Merchant, who helped me adjust my approach quickly. I finally nailed it on the 4th attempt, and ultimately, received a scholarship as a result of their help.
Additionally, I found it difficult and time-consuming to first fully understand each MBA program’s culture, and then weave together my most cherished experiences with explanations of how I’d contribute to a particular program to achieve specific personal and professional goals. Fortunately, Merchant has structured this process in a thoughtful way to make it easier for applicants.
What would you advise to someone who is thinking about applying to b-school?
I strongly encourage applicants to think long and hard about which program fits them best.
Set aside more time than you think you’ll need, and don’t stop until you’re fired up that a particular program (or two) is your absolute dream… because that enthusiasm will help you be more creative and have more fun as you compile your applications.
Hand-write what matters most to you and how a certain school can help you achieve your goals so that you can envision yourself there. Go visit if possible, rank order your options, and choose a school because it’s a good fit for you.
As I’ve learned from my own experience and from folks such as Scott Galloway, a Marketing professor at NYU Stern, business school is a time for figuring out how to live a more meaningful life. You will benefit by doing as much soul-searching as possible during the application process.
Why did you decide to join us at Merchant?
To pay it forward! Since I struggled on the GMAT and with the essay-writing process, I have a lot of lessons to share and motivation to give. I also wanted to become friends with folks in the Merchant community — applicants, fellow consultants, and staff.
If you need help with the GMAT or the admissions process we can help. For more information on our different GMAT products see:
- GMAT private classes – see the stories of Will, Teddy, Jessica and Nico and how they approached their GMAT journey with Merchant.
- Merchant Academy – a GMAT teaching innovation that makes taking the GMAT, like an MBA. Click to find out more about the Merchant Academy format.
- Merchant GMAT Hall of Fame – a gallery of some of our clients over the last eight years.
For admissions help see some of the client stories on our admissions page.