Eduardo Silva received admit offers from UCLA, Yale, and Kellogg with substantial scholarships (Kellogg: 70K Donald Jacobs scholarship, Yale SOM: 20k scholarship, UCLA Anderson: 70k scholarship). He chose Kellogg.
In a candid video interview with Poonam, Eduardo Silva, now a second-year student at Kellogg, shares his amazing experiences at Kellogg that shaped his life and career. He also offers valuable advice for the prospective applicants, regarding the application process, goals, campus life, and recruitment.
The transcript of Eduardo’s Interview will be published in 2 parts.
In this Part 1, he talks about:
- His background and career goals
- Application experience, and the challenges he faced during the process
- How Kellogg was the best 'fit' for him
Poonam: Hello, Eduardo, Welcome back.
Eduardo: Thank you.
Poonam: Last time we chatted was 2 years back when you were getting all set to start your Kellogg journey. And now, you are a second-year student almost ready to graduate. So how does it feel? What changes have taken place in these two years?
Eduardo: Yes. I think, for me, a lot has changed. I have made an important life and career decisions. I have only two or three months to go, and I don’t want to leave. I really would love to stay more. I am enjoying every day and week of my final quarter at Kellogg. At the same time, I am very excited about the career path I am taking. Yes, it is a transformative experience. I met a lot of amazing people and have many friendships. I have traveled like crazy. I have changed my career plan a couple of times, and I am ending up in that industry. Also, I got married, which is a big thing.
Poonam: Congratulations. That’s great news.
Eduardo: Thank you. That was not planned originally before the MBA, but it ended up happening. MBA is a catalyst for change in many ways. Yes, these were two amazing years of my life.
Poonam: Absolutely. I am happy to know that. Eduardo, for those who have not read the previous interview, will you like to say something about yourself, where are you from, and where did you study as an undergrad?
Eduardo: Sure. I am a Brazilian, born and raised in Sao Paulo, and I studied business during undergrad back in Sao Paulo. I started my career in Marketing, which was my passion, so I did 7 years of marketing and product management in the manufacturing industry. I loved my job but also felt that I was too focused in Brazil and Latin America, and I wanted to have a global career. An MBA was a unique opportunity to have that global opportunity and also because I wanted to make a bigger impact in the long run back in Brazil. Still, for that, I felt like I needed to do something abroad for a while and learn and bring the knowledge and opportunities back to my country. Also, I came to Kellogg with one plan of resuming my career in the same industry, but then a lot changed, and I’m now switching to the technology industry.
Poonam: Looking back, you received admit offers from Haas, UCLA, Yale, and Kellogg, all with substantial scholarships, but you finally chose Kellogg. How is Kellogg the best school for you, and how are you the best fit for Kellogg?
Eduardo: As evident from the choices of schools I made and was admitted to, I wanted a collaborative school. Kellogg was the only one that is not only collaborative and fun like smaller schools such as Berkeley and Yale, but also has the resources of a large school. Kellogg has several programs - the two-year MBA is almost 500 students, plus students from other programs such as the MMM, the one-year program, the JD, and MD, which make Kellogg large. The speakers come to campus on different classes on niche subjects, so we not only enjoy many resources of a large school but also enjoy the collaborative and fun environment of a smaller school. This is only possible at Kellogg because they care about the culture, select candidates that align with the culture, and allow us to have this interesting combination of a smaller and large school.
Also, Evanston and Chicago also mirror that idea. Most people live in Evanston; it is a small city north of Chicago that has grocery stores, restaurants and, bars, etc. My commute is amazing as I can walk to my school. So, I have all the benefits of living in a small city, but at the same time, I have Chicago, 30 minutes away, where we can go to parties in amazing restaurants, and enjoy other conveniences of a large city.
Poonam: A perfect mix of small and big schools. Great! Looking back, what was the most challenging aspect of your application process, what was the challenge, and how you overcame it?
Eduardo: For me, essays were the most challenging piece. I recognize that most people say that GMAT is the most challenging part, but for me, the path was a little different. I spent a lot of time on the GMAT. I was lucky that I had people that advised me to start early for the GMAT, I did that at the beginning of my career, way before I applied to business schools. I did spend a lot of time on that, but I knew what I had to do. I think it was challenging in terms of time, but it was not intellectually challenging. But essays were more challenging because initially, I was not comfortable getting at the personal level of the stories, I had to overcome those challenges and get deep into my personality. I spent a lot of time on my essays, and I thought I was doing a great job. Then, I remember, in June, I decided to hire you for one essay only for one school because I wanted to double-check if it would go in the right direction. And after your first review, I clearly understood that I was on the wrong path. I trashed all the essays I had already written for many schools and started all over again. I think I learned a lot in the process. You taught me how to get personal and write, which stories to tell, and how to tell those stories. It was an amazing process, but essays were something that required me to get out of my comfort zone and understand what it was all about.
Poonam: Exactly. I enjoyed the process, too.
Eduardo: Thank you.
Note: Stay tuned to Eduardo’s interview Part 2, wherein he shares his memorable experiences at Kellogg and also offers valuable advice to the prospective applicants, regarding goals, campus life, and recruitment.
You can connect with Eduardo via LinkedIn.