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From Pokémon Trader To BAE Consultant: Georgetown MBA Hopes To Launch a Consulting Career!

Eric Yang's first business venture was Pokémon trading as a kid. He made hundreds of dollars, but hopes to make much more as a consultant after studying a full-time MBA from Georgetown!

Fri Sep 27 2013

BusinessBecause
Eric Yang always had an eye for business opportunities. Even at middle-school in the United States, the would-be Georgetown MBA made his pocket money by selling Pokémon cards to classmates. While most children fantasized about being an astronaut or a secret agent, Eric was making “hundreds” of dollars from the popular trading-card game.

Eric used his intelligence to sell study guides similar to SparkNotes – an idea first started by Harvard Students in the nineties. SparkNotes.com was sold for over $3.5 million, and while Eric obviously didn’t achieve quite as much revenue, for a kid he was making “quite a bit of money”.

Eric’s entrepreneurial initiative drew him to Babson College in 2005, where he studied a Bachelor of Science in entrepreneurship. At the time, he had wanted to establish his own business, but studying on the full-time MBA program at Georgetown University McDonough School of Business is Eric’s tool to branch out into the consulting industry.

MBA Jobs in consulting are one of the most popular choices for b-school graduates, and Eric will hope to bank a return on his investment into the Georgetown MBA by claiming a slice of up to $75,000 that undergraduates can expect to earn at the world’s top consulting firms. For an MBA graduate, salaries at Accenture, Bain & Company and McKinsey can jump to a staggering $135,000. At Accenture, that wage includes a signing-bonus of up to $35,000 and a performance bonus of up to $43,500

Eric had to “personally finance” his business education and, although receiving a little help from his parents, it wasn’t easy. “It was not easy working twenty-plus hours through the school year,” he said. “But it taught me the value of time management, and how to turn the finance issues into an opportunity to really help develop business skill-sets.”

Many students take remedial jobs to help see them through undergraduate degrees, but Eric did not want to waste time pouring coffees at Starbucks. “I made a very conscious attempt to seek employment that may not have paid as much as others, but really developed that business skillset,” he said. “I was even a telemarketer for a while, to develop my sales skills.”

His motivation to seek business experience landed him a job with Interparts Industries on a leadership training program. Within a year after joining the company, he was promoted to an Internal Consultant. He worked hard during his employment with the automotive manufacturer and tackled a variety of problems with the company’s axel development.

Eric says that he spent an entire year prepping for case interviews, in the hope of a career opportunity in external consulting. He finally got his shot with Interparts Industries and nailed an interview with the company’s president. “I actually enjoy case interviews,” he said. “A lot of people don’t enjoy them, but I see it as a puzzle.”

Although working as a successful consultant within the automotive industry for two years, Eric decided to ditch his job with Interparts and study an MBA. It was always part of his plan to go to business school, and after three years in the automotive consulting world, he knew it was time to further his education and, in turn, further his career. “During the MBA I’ve developed analytical skills, but I’ve really tried to focus on the soft, people-based skills,” he said.

“I think as an aspiring leader, having the people skills, understanding how to motivate people, and how to talk confidently, will be skills that are critical to my success.”

Georgetown is one of the top b-schools in the US and global MBA Rankings show that it is currently ranked 30th in the world by BusinessWeek. Eric admits he had a problem choosing which school to study at, after getting into MBA programs at NYU Stern, Boston College and Rutgers Business School. But he turned them all down and began studying at Georgetown in Washington last year. “It has a diverse student body and a great location in the capital of US,” he said. “But the real reason I chooe Georgetown was because of the people I met when I visited the school.

“In my experience, the people you interact with will have a huge impact on your quality of life, and that’s why I chose Georgetown.”

Eric has just completed a summer internship with BAE Systems - the British multinational defence, security and aerospace company – focusing on business analytics and process improvement. He says he got a lot of support from the careers centre at Georgetown; which helped him with interviews, perfecting a cover-letter, crafting a CV and networking. “I know some of the careers team personally and they were a great help,” he adds.

The Georgetown MBA says that the most valuable lesson he learnt on the internship was listening to others. “I had approached it through the eyes of an internal consultant so the most valuable lesson is the value of listening in humility,” he said. “MBA grads sometimes have a reputation of being arrogant and not valuing the knowledge of the employees when consulting

“It’s important to remember that these people have been doing this job for years in some cases and have an understanding that you can never get;  so listening and taking stock of their opinions is helpful.”

Eric wants to be a consultant when he graduates in 2014 and is attracted by the opportunity to work on many different projects for short periods of time. “I will not be stuck in one role for too long,” he added. “And also the travel attracts me; I’m one of the younger members of my MBA class, and I want to live out of a suitcase a little bit.”

There’s no doubt that he’ll get the chance to do just that with a career in consulting. And thanks to studying an MBA at Geogetown, Eric already has one foot on the career ladder. It will be a world away from trading Pokémon cards.

Student Reviews

Georgetown: McDonough School of Business

Yegana

Verified

1/11/2023

Online

GWU - excellent investment for future

George Washington University is a good respected institution with strong programs in various studies, including project management, international affairs, politics, medicine and etc. The university provides students with good opportunities for internships and networking. GWU has a diverse student body and a reputation for academic excellence.

David

Verified

18/08/2023

On Campus

Safety on campus

I have had an amazing experience at Georgetown University. The classes are enjoyable, the professors are exceptional, and I feel like I am receiving a worthwhile education. The people and faculty at this institution are extraordinary, and I have discovered my true self while being here. Additionally, I always feel secure on campus, as it is the safest place in town.

Daniella

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4/04/2023

On Campus

Georgetown is on top!

I've been enjoying this school so far. I wouldn't alter it, despite the fact that the school is on a hill and that it requires a lot of walking to get around it. For minority and first-generation students, there are a ton of services available. Even though the usual dorm rooms are modest, there is still plenty of area for storage. We have a ton of alternatives every day in the dining halls since they provide so many different dishes from so many different cultures

Student

Verified

1/03/2023

On Campus

Physical and mental health

Georgetown is my second home. The pre-professional counselors are incredibly helpful, and I feel supported and inspired to pursue my aspirations. We are certainly ranked as the top research university in the nation. They place a high priority on the development of the students as well as their physical and mental well-being.

Student

Verified

1/03/2023

On Campus

Wonderful university

Georgetown University is wonderful. The school's amazing diversity is one of its greatest strengths. The athletes are extremely committed to their sport, and the campus is amazing. The dorms are excellent! They are comfortable and spacious. If you ever find yourself bored on campus, you can always go off campus; it's fantastic. You'll never get bored dining in the cafeteria because the food is so delicious on campus.

Student

Verified

28/02/2023

On Campus

Academics

The university's academics are what really set it apart; the lecturers are kind and motivating. Although it can be challenging to connect with the majority of students because they are so intense and competitive, social life and student life are what you make of them. It is undoubtedly a very difficult four years that are challenging to get through. But in the end, it strengthens you and provides you with a wealth of knowledge and incredible prospects.

Student

Verified

28/02/2023

On Campus

Fantastic university

Georgetown university is a Fantastic university. The professors are outstanding, there are lots of ways to participate in campus life, and there are numerous groups and organizations where students can get involved. The campus is lovely and always kept clean, and there are people are willing to assist you 24 hours a day whenever you need help.

Student

Verified

28/02/2023

On Campus

Review of Georgetown university

Being at Georgetown university has been one of my best experiences. The Professors are knowledgeable, approachable, and very helpful. You will fall in love with Georgetown because of its daily activities, the vibrant students you will encounter, the food served on campus, and the lush surroundings. The housing and dorms are fantastic. There is no better place than Georgetown University if you’re looking to study, discover new things, make lifelong friends, and have fun!

Student

Verified

28/02/2023

On Campus

Academically challenging institution

Georgetown University is certainly an academically challenging institution, however, if you ask for assistance when you need it, the workload can be managed. Students are happy to assist one another, and most Professor want you to succeed. Student life is vibrant, the location is excellent and everyone here is friendly and welcoming.

Student

Verified

7/02/2024

On Campus

4 Years as an Expat at Georgetown University

Georgetown University provided an exceptional environment for my academic journey as an expat from Italy. As someone who initially felt apprehensive about moving to a new country, Georgetown quickly alleviated my concerns and made my transition incredibly smooth. One of the standout features of Georgetown is its diverse and welcoming community, particularly for international students. The campus is teeming with students from various corners of the globe, fostering a rich cultural tapestry that made me feel right at home. The vibrant campus life and numerous extracurricular activities offered ample opportunities to connect with fellow students, ensuring a well-rounded and fulfilling university experience. Georgetown's unique setting within the heart of Washington, DC, adds another layer to its charm. While the university is situated in the bustling city, the campus in the historic area of Georgetown provides a distinct and almost intimate atmosphere. This blend creates a truly unique feel and contributes to an unforgettable educational experience. Initially enrolled in the College with a desire to major in Linguistics and minor in Art & Journalism, I appreciated the flexibility and openness of the Georgetown education system. After my freshman year, I discovered my true passion lay in Marketing and International Business. The university's seamless transfer process allowed me to transition to the McDonough Business School, where I found the perfect fit for my academic aspirations. Georgetown's commitment to helping students explore and find their academic niche is indeed one of its most commendable qualities. The ability to explore various subjects before settling on a major is a testament to the university's dedication to fostering individual growth and success. The journey from Linguistics to Marketing & International Business exemplifies the beauty of a Georgetown education — a dynamic and supportive environment where students can discover and pursue their true passions. In conclusion, Georgetown University provided not only a top-notch academic education but also a transformative and enriching experience. From the welcoming international community to the unique campus setting and the flexibility to explore diverse academic paths, Georgetown stands out as a beacon of higher education that truly caters to the individual journey of each student.

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