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FinTech: Prodigy Finance Is Propelling MBA Careers To Hollywood And Silicon Valley

The tuition crowdfunding platform opens up new opportunities for ambitious MBAs

Thu Jun 23 2016

Flora Huang was enjoying a successful career in commercial real estate until the global recession hit in 2008. Then, everything changed. Her company’s rapid growth slowed to a standstill. And she started looking for a way out.

Now, she works in Hollywood. Eager for a career change, she opted for an MBA at INSEAD where she became one of the first US MBA students to profit from Prodigy Finance’s international post-graduate loans.

The pioneering crowdfunding platform has since processed over $140 million in loans, funding MBAs and business masters degrees for over 4000 students of 112 different nationalities. Its repayment rate is in excess of 99%.

“My career would definitely not be on the same path without Prodigy Finance,” says Flora, who after her Prodigy-funded MBA, landed a dream job at Paramount Pictures working on the business side of the making and distributing of Hollywood films.

“Driving to the studio every day and being surrounded by all the action is very exciting!” she says. “As for the future, I hope to continue to progress within this ever-evolving industry.”

While many banks are reluctant to provide students with the loans they need to study abroad, Prodigy’s borderless peer-to-peer lending model opens up opportunities for international students, which might otherwise be unavailable.

Founded by three INSEAD MBA graduates, the financial technology - fintech – firm allows private investors and business school alumni to invest in the future of high-potential students at the world’s leading business schools.

“The interest rate was much more favorable than US-based private loans,” Flora explains. “The application was easy and it was a seamless process transferring the funds directly from Prodigy to INSEAD to pay my tuition.”

Simran Singh, an Indian MBA graduate from the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton school, agrees: “Prodigy Finance [presents] a hassle-free way to get a cheaper loan,” he says. “The fact that these are business school alumni is reflected in the product itself.”

Even Simran – who founded India’s largest price-comparison search engine and boasts a GMAT score of 770 – originally found applying for an MBA abroad problematic. Indian providers were charging very high rates, school-backed loans were also expensive, and he was ineligible for US federal loans.

“Financing an MBA for international students is such a huge barrier,” he says.

“The ugly truth of MBA life is that the restrictions of your loan repayments often dictate your career decisions. So any platform that allows you to free yourself from those chains is highly recommended.”

Freed from financial burden by an affordable Prodigy loan, Simran is relishing post-MBA life working as a senior product manager at VMware, one of the largest tech companies in the Silicon Valley’s Palo Alto.

“This kind of financial independence allows you to be more cavalier in your career choices,” he says.

Nimrod Barnea is an Israeli graduate from Oxford Saïd Business School who’s seen his career evolve since his Prodigy-funded MBA.

Previously, he served in the Israeli Navy and worked for the Israeli Ministry of Defense in New York. After his MBA, he became Israel’s first Uber employee, running operations and looking to bring the sharing economy giant to the Israeli market. It’s all down to his Prodigy loan.

“The best thing about the Prodigy experience is the level of service,” he says. “From the simple application process to the professional and quick customer service, the Prodigy experience as a lender is one of the best I have ever seen. “

Prodigy Finance Ltd is an appointed representative of BriceAmery Capital Limited which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. This document has been issued by BriceAmery Capital Limited as a Financial Promotion under Section 21 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.