Petya Ignatova, who launched a consultancy firm, has applied for a full-time MBA at Hult International Business School, a part-time MBA at Laurier’s Toronto campus, and is considering applying for European MBA programs.
She set up Advikus, an immigration consultancy in Canada providing newcomers with legal advice and assistance. Foreign-born nationals represent more than 20% of the Canadian population.
After emigrating from Bulgaria over five years ago, Petya swapped a career as a teacher and translator for a job as a security supervisor. Now, she hopes that an MBA will develop her Toronto-based business and expand its reach.
What do you hope to gain from an MBA?
Formal education matters when people want to change careers. An MBA will boost my career prospects and help me to develop my professional network.
What are your future career plans?
I’d like to further develop my immigration consultancy. I need a formal business education in order to provide added-value immigration services to my clients.
I’d also like to sit on the board of a non-profit organization. I believe that we have to give back to society.
What are the most important factors to you when choosing a business school?
The diversity of candidates, the curriculum, ranking, location and great customer service.
I’ve already applied to a Canadian and US university, but as a European I’m also very interested in European MBA programs. Hult is a good option as they offer international locations that I can choose from.
What has been the biggest challenge in the application process so far?
Finding the right school. When I started exploring various MBA programs, I found that not all schools deal with middle-aged candidates. Most of them sent me to part-time MBA or EMBA programs.
I think business schools should pay more attention, not only to gender and ethnic diversity, but also to generational diversity. There are middle aged people who are ready to go back to school and do an MBA full-time.
How have you prepared for the GMAT?
I went to a prep course a couple of months ago but I still had to put in some extra hours of self-study.
Finding time to study is one of the main issues. I’ve been trying to juggle a couple of things at the same time and it doesn’t always work out well.
How do you plan to fund your MBA?
Funding an MBA is a huge commitment. I’ve been exploring all possible options: my own funds, scholarships and student loans.
What advice do you have for others considering applying for an MBA?
MBA candidates should know what their expectations are. An MBA alone cannot be a prerequisite for landing a dream job. They should have more than one realistic alternative in terms of career plans.
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