Vinni Gosain even considered selling her house to help fund her full-time MBA at London Business School (LBS).
Back then, Vinni worked in Risk Management for McKinsey & Company in India – the only woman in a team of 30, she wanted to take her career to the next level. But with LBS tuition fees topping $90,000, funding looked impossible, with Indian banks not being of much help to provide international education loans.
For three months, she visited banks, made numerous phone calls, and had loan providers visit and inspect her family home, with no signs of progress.
Close to postponing her enrollment, Vinni was introduced to alternative student loans provider Prodigy Finance, a financial technology – fintech – company, founded by MBAs, for MBAs.
While banks are reluctant to lend internationally, Prodigy Finance’s borderless, peer-to-peer lending model gives international MBA and master’s students – from 150 countries worldwide – access to the loans they need to study abroad.
With a loan from Prodigy Finance, Vinni was able to fulfil her dreams of pursuing Masters from LBS. She also secured a scholarship. Vinni graduates in July 2018, but she’s already got two full-time job offers.
She’s currently interning at Prodigy Finance for the summer, hoping to positively help more prospective MBA students achieve their dreams.
How big an issue was funding your MBA for you?
Honestly, it was a very difficult position. I could not have financed my MBA without Prodigy Finance.
Indian banks have very strict criteria for loan applications. They wanted me to give collateral and provide a co-signer. Even though I had family collateral, because of legal requirements it had to be transferred to my name which required another investment of seven-to-eight thousand dollars.
In India, they grant loans based on a family’s profile, not just the student profile. To add to the difficulty, the co-signer has to be a first relative too, who should be working and earning. They would come to your house and visit your property and post months of conversations, they will decline to help without substantial reasons. In my case, both my parents are retired, so it was difficult to provide a co-signer.
After spending three months dealing with Indian banks, I considered postponing my MBA to next year. I even considered selling my house, as an extreme step, to be able to finance my MBA.
What stands out about Prodigy Finance?
With Prodigy Finance, the process was very professional, transparent, easy and quick compared to Indian banks. They focused on my capability rather than the people associated with me. It took just a week to get loan approval!
It’s a surprise that I ended up working for Prodigy Finance. The environment here is the perfect balance of professionalism and having the freedom to think out of the box – it’s in between a startup company and a fully-grown McKinsey. It’s a great business model and that’s why I’m here.
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA abroad?
I wanted to pursue higher education at an international business school, to hone my skills further, after having worked with multi-nationals for seven years.
With my professional experience and educational background, I always wanted a school with global exposure. The education system in India is still quite theoretical, MBA schools in India would be unlikely to focus on the international aspect or holistic development opportunities. The curriculum or case studies might not be relevant in today’s environment.
How have you profited from your MBA experience so far?
Without an MBA, I would have never had opportunity to work in any other domain, outside risk management. Now, with job offers in my hand, and my first year complete, I get the choice of either staying in the same field or try something new.
Agree or disagree, women still face biases at work – my male colleagues were usually given more weight in an argument than their female counterpart. A global MBA adds more credibility to your profile. Plus, self-development and confidence. Now, I feel well-equipped, and I’m not limited in my options.
What funding advice do you have for prospective MBAs?
Do not let funding be an impediment to pursuing your educational dreams. If you want to pursue an MBA, go for it. Whether it means you have to go out and look for international sponsors, talk to schools, and seek scholarships, I think that the value the MBA adds to your profile is worth the investment and efforts.
I would strongly recommend Prodigy Finance because of their professionalism and the product on offer. They give you a six-month grace period off after the MBA, which means you have time to take a break and decide which industry/country to settle in before having to repay your loan.
Everything they do is in the interest of the student. They are responsive and have a quick turnaround time. To me, the customer experience I’ve had with the best-of-the-best banks is similar to the experience I’ve had with Prodigy Finance.