The Touch Mba Admissions Podcast



Get an inside look at how top business schools assess candidates. Interviews with Admissions Directors & students from the world's top ranked MBA programs. Strategies and tips on how to craft a successful application. Straight talk on how to find and get into your target MBA programs.


  • #181 Taking the Road Less Traveled with Tony DeGennaro, CUHK MBA '17

    18/08/2021 Duración: 53min

    Most applicants get an MBA to step out of their comfort zones. But, what about pursuing your MBA and subsequent five-year marketing career in Hong Kong as an American? Tony DeGennaro, who majored in Political Science and Philosophy at Rutgers, shares his winding journey to the CUHK MBA, one of the top-ranked business schools in Asia, to running a boutique marketing agency targeting Chinese consumers, to now working as a Digital Strategist for First Page Digital, an online marketing agency with offices in 9 countries. What has Tony learned from studying and working in Hong Kong? Questions Tony’s background, pre-MBA goals, and reasons for applying to CUHK (3:45) Tony’s biggest challenge during the MBA (13:40) The two things Tony took away from his MBA experience (17:10) Can entrepreneurship be taught? (21:20) How Tony ended up running his own boutique marketing agency (22:10) Tony’s current role at First Page Digital (27:50) Tony’s thoughts on the future of digital marketing and the marketing industry in Hong

  • #180 The Fully Funded MBA with Samuel Adeoye, UBC Sauder MBA '22

    02/08/2021 Duración: 50min

    Samuel Adeoye, UBC Sauder MBA '22, has an amazing story to tell about applying to 18 business schools over two years, and getting full-scholarship awards at 8 of them. How was he able to do this? And what has he learned from his application journey from Abuja, Nigeria to Vancouver, Canada? Questions Samuel's background (4:18) Samuel's 2-year journey applying to over 15 business schools (8:00) Samuel's advice to low income applicants on applying to business schools and winning scholarships (20:52) Why Samuel started City of Lane and LanePod (30:40) Samuel's Sauder MBA experience so far and landing an internship at Microsoft (41:54) About Samuel After getting his Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria, Samuel Adeoye interned as a Highway and Transportation Engineer while launching a podcast tech startup, and then worked as an Implementation & Design Engineer for Arup, a global architecture and civil engineering consulting firm. He then worked as a consultant for

  • #179 From Artist to MBA with Justin Taines, RSM MBA ’21

    23/07/2021 Duración: 01h16min

    Justin Taines, RSM MBA ’21, shares his journey from developing kids and family entertainment shows in Los Angeles to the RSM MBA, based in the Netherlands. Why did Justin pursue an MBA (instead of an EMBA) despite having over 10 years of work experience? What was his experience at the RSM MBA as an older student and during Covid? Questions Justin's background (2:15) Justin's shortlist of schools (4:30) Why Justin took the GRE instead of the GMAT (12:36) Justin's positioning and application tips (16:40) Justin's RSM MBA experience (27:10) Justin's thoughts on his (forced) hybrid MBA experience (35:33) Justin's recruiting experience and lessons (45:45) What Justin wished he knew before starting his MBA; how to best prepare for your MBA (1:05:45) About Justin After getting his Bachelors of Fine Arts in Experimental Animation from the California Institute of Arts, Justin Taines worked in creative development, developing kids and family entertainment shows. He then worked in business development, building animat

  • #178 The McKinsey & Insead Experience with Milan Mecklenburg, Insead MBA '18D

    26/06/2021 Duración: 51min

    Milan Mecklenberg, Insead MBA '18D, shares his journey from studying theoretical physics at Cambridge to McKinsey Berlin to Insead and then back to McKinsey, this time in Vietnam. What has he learned from the journey? Questions Milan's background (2:20) Applying to Insead and getting sponsored by McKinsey (4:20) Preparing for the GMAT (8:55) Interviewing with McKinsey as an MBA student (11:20) Milan's McKinsey experience (18:28) Milan's Insead experience (22:42) Making the most of 1-year and building your network at Insead (33:40) Building self-awareness at Insead & McKinsey (39:45) Picking classes & professors at Insead (44:55) About Milan After getting his Masters and Bachelors in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics from Cambridge University, Milan Mecklenburg worked for McKinsey in Berlin, who then sponsored his Insead MBA in 2018. He then joined McKinsey Vietnam's office for two years. Milan is currently working as a freelance consultant and pursuing entrepreneurial projects Episode write-up:

  • #177 How I Got into the Wharton MBA / MA Lauder Joint Degree Program with Hunter Dong

    27/03/2021 Duración: 56min

    Hunter Dong shares his best application tips for getting into the Wharton MBA / MA Lauder Joint Degree in International Studies program. How did Hunter pull together his diverse work experience working for the Hinrich Foundation in the Philippines, his family business in pharmaceutical packaging and IBM as a Data Scientist to make an ultimately winning case to Wharton and Columbia? Hunter walks us through his entire preparation process, from initial school research to the final team-based discussion interview. Don't miss this episode packed with clear, practical advice from a just admitted applicant. Questions Hunter's work experience and reasons for pursuing an MBA/MA in International Studies (2:25) Hunter's positioning strategy (9:10) How Hunter focused on students and professors as sources of information to craft his application (15:00) Hunter's advice for Wharton's team-based discussion (TBD) interview (19:25) Hunter's essay timeline and editing process (29:45) Lauder application tips (35:40) Preparing a

  • #176 Use the 5 Senses to Make Your MBA Application Stick

    26/02/2021 Duración: 28min

    After helping four MBA applicants with their resume and essays, Darren realized he was repeating similar advice. In this episode, Darren shares how you can use the five senses - sight, sound, smell, taste and touch - to make your application more three dimensional. Topics Introduction (0:00) Sight - paint the scene (2:23) Touch - make the reader feel something (8:00) Sound - have a point of view (12:54) Taste - be focused and break stereotypes (18:10) Smell - make sure your entire application matches (23:54) Episode write-up:  Get free, personalized school selection help at Touch MBA:

  • #175 AGSM MBA Program & Admissions Interview with Dr. Michele Roberts

    30/11/2020 Duración: 53min

    Dr. Michele Roberts, MBA Academic Director of the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) at University of New South Wales (UNSW), discusses what makes the AGSM MBA unique, the school’s admissions process, career opportunities and more. Program Highlights (3:20) | Admissions (31:00) | Careers (47:30) About Our Guest Dr. Michele Roberts is the MBA Academic Director of AGSM at UNSW, looking after all its MBA Programs. Michele teaches MBA courses in Marketing Management and Foundations of Management. Prior to academic life, Michele worked as a Marketing Manager at a Fortune 500 company in London and Melbourne. She holds a Masters’ Degree in Marketing and a PhD in Marketing & Public Policy from the University of Western Australia. Full write-up on what makes AGSM unique Get free, personalized school selection help at Touch MBA  

  • #174 Mannheim MBA Program & Admissions Interview with Kai Stenzel & Sofia Syed Nasir

    19/11/2020 Duración: 56min

    Chief Market Officer Kai Stenzel and Admissions Manager Sofia Syed Nasir discuss what makes the Mannheim MBA unique, the school’s admissions process, career opportunities and more. Program Highlights (3:50) | Admissions (25:15) | Financing & Working in Germany (35:40) | Careers (48:30) About Our Guest Kai Stenzel is the Chief Market Officer for Mannheim Business School where he has worked for over 6 years. He is responsible for Marketing, Admissions, Career Development, and Alumni Relations. Kai got his MBA from Mannheim Business School and Essec Business School. Sofia Syed Nasir is the Admissions Manager for Mannheim Full-time MBA, Mannheim Business School. She got her Masters in International Business from Grenoble Ecole de Management. What is unique about the Mannheim MBA? Ranked #1 MBA in Germany by Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek and the Economist Ranked #1 in Business Administration by German HR professionals 14 years in a row (Wirtschaftswoche University Ranking) Targets and consistently rank

  • #173 City, University of London Business School MBA Program & Admissions Interview with Alex Jones

    09/11/2020 Duración: 51min

    MBA Recruitment Manager Alex Jones discusses what makes the City, University of London Business School MBA unique, the school’s admissions process, career opportunities and more. Program Highlights (4:10) | Admissions (19:30) | Financing & Scholarships (33:40) | Careers (37:30) About Our Guest Alex Jones is the MBA Recruitment Manager for City, University of London Business School, where he has worked for over 8 years.  What is unique about The Business School MBA? 1 year MBA starts in September with ~90 students per intake City's campus is in the heart of London’s financial district, which helps with career-related events, meetings and recruiting Core curriculum is taught in 4 blocks through the first 6 months of program: 1) strategy & organization 2) the financial environment 3) creating management advantage and 4) knowledge and policy, followed by a week-long international consultancy, electives and business mastery project Looking for minimum of 3 years professional experience and experience work

  • #172 Melbourne MBA Program & Admissions Interview with Anastasia Georgiou

    29/10/2020 Duración: 49min

    Anastasia Georgiou, Director of Admissions at Melbourne Business School, discusses what makes the Melbourne MBA unique, the school’s admissions process, career opportunities and more. Program Highlights (4:38) | Admissions (19:00) | Scholarships (31:20) | Careers (34:00) About Our Guest Anastasia Georgiou is Director of Admissions at Melbourne Business School. Anastasia has worked in higher education and admissions for over 20 years. What is unique about the Melbourne MBA? What are its key advantages? Highest ranked Australian MBA by Financial Times, Economist and QS Offered Australia’s first MBA program starting in 1963. Melbourne Business School is 55% owned by Australia’s leading companies and 45% by the University of Melbourne Melbourne was ranked the world's most livable city for 18 years straight and is the multicultural capital of Australia MBA can be completed in 1 or 2 years Well-known for marketing and finance, and has recently set up Centres for Business Analytics and Sustainability & Business

  • #171 3 Positioning Strategies for Job Hoppers

    18/10/2020 Duración: 22min

    Job hoppers, this episode is for you! Darren shares three strategies you can use to mitigate your track record of job hopping. How can you present this as an asset to your target MBA programs? Episode summary, show notes and more at:

  • #170 Nanyang MBA Program & Admissions Interview with Gilbert Chua

    12/10/2020 Duración: 46min

    Gilbert Chua, Deputy Director of Marketing, Recruitment & Admissions at Nanyang Business School, discusses what makes the Nanyang MBA unique, the school’s admissions process, career opportunities and more. Program Highlights (2:30) | Admissions (11:50) | Scholarships (31:45) | Careers (34:20) About Our Guest Gilbert Chua is the Deputy Director of Marketing, Recruitment & Admissions at Nanyang Business School. Gilbert previously served as Head of Recruitment & Admissions for Singapore Management University's Postgraduate Programmes, where he also got his EMBA. What is unique about the Nanyang MBA? What are its key advantages? 1-year program includes 9 core courses + 4 electives + 1 leadership module + 1 business study mission + 1 strategy project, with option to add a summer / fall exchange or get Double Masters with Waseda (Japan), St. Gallen (Switzerland) or Essec (France) Offers 5 concentrations in Banking & Finance, Strategy & Innovation, General Management, Marketing Management, Human

  • #169 CEIBS MBA Program & Admissions Interview with James Kent

    21/09/2020 Duración: 01h01min

    James Kent, Marketing Manager for the MBA Admissions & Marketing Team at China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), discusses what makes the CEIBS MBA unique, the school’s admissions process, career opportunities and more. Program Highlights (3:00) | Admissions (23:40) | Scholarships & Covid-19 (39:40) | Careers (49:30) About Our Guest James Kent is the Marketing Manager for the MBA Admissions & Marketing Team at CEIBS. James got his Bachelors in Chinese and Management from Sheffield University and has worked in recruitment and marketing for 10 years. What is unique about the CEIBS MBA? What are its key advantages? China's top-ranked MBA lasts 18 months and focuses on "China Depth, Global Breadth" CEIBS was co-founded in 1994 by the Chinese Government and the European Union, and has campuses in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Accra and Zurich CEIBS is looking for proactive candidates with a pioneering spirit Mentoring program matches each MBA student with a CEIBS EMBA alumni CEIBS 70 facult

  • #168 Live the Questions

    28/08/2020 Duración: 28min

    This episode is from my new podcast, ASE, which explores making a living and life as a solopreneur. I bring on artists, social entrepreneurs, and solo founders to explore the self-employed, creative life and how to do your best work. A number of my salsa friends in their 20s and 30s have found it helpful, so I thought I'd share it with you too. ASE showcases a different, more personal side to me (with some cursing, so be warned!). And for those of you who are looking for more MBA admissions content, don't worry, I have plenty more MBA episodes coming your way - including more interviews with MBA Admissions Directors - so stay tuned. Live the Questions A month ago my salsa friends and I shared our personal challenges over smoothies. Most revolved around feeling more whole and complete with ourselves and our lives. I've thought about that conversation for weeks. Here is my unsolicited advice to friends in their 20s searching for purpose, work, home and satisfaction. More than anything, this episode is a reminde

  • #167 Breaking into Vietnam, Venture Capital & Professional Sports with Henry Nguyen, Founding Owner, Los Angeles Football Club & Kellogg MBA '00

    31/07/2020 Duración: 01h37min

    How did Henry Nguyen, who graduated from Kellogg 20 years ago, launch Vietnam’s first technology venture capital fund, Vietnam’s first professional basketball team, and Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC), a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise? Henry recounts his journey from travel writer to MD to MBA to Wall Street and then back to Vietnam, where he has built a career as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. Henry also gives a behind a scenes look into putting together a winning bid for LAFC, building a 22,000 capacity outdoor arena in downtown Los Angeles, and growing a raving fanbase before LAFC’s first game in 2018. Henry shares what he gained from his Kellogg MBA, as well as his advice to young professionals and entrepreneurs considering business school. "Being an entrepreneur is sometimes just saying 'Why Not?'" - Henry Nguyen Questions Introducing Henry Nguyen (0:00) Henry’s unanticipated MBA and business career (6:30) Henry’s heads to Wall Street (11:00) The travel writing experience that changed Hen

  • #166 Inside the Sofaer Global MBA with Manuel Fajardo '20

    16/07/2020 Duración: 37min

    Why did a Colombian civil engineer choose to do his MBA in Israel? Manuel Fajardo shares his journey to the Tel Aviv University’s Sofaer Global MBA, and how the program’s focus on new venture creation has helped him pursue his business idea. About Manuel Manuel Fajardo will graduate from the Sofaer Global MBA this Fall. Before getting his MBA, Manuel worked as General Manager of EDS LA PAZ, and as COO and Chief Engineer at Agregados el Rodeo in Colombia. Manuel got his degree in Civil Engineering from Universidad de Los Andes. Questions Introducing Manuel Fajardo (0:00) Why Manuel decided to study in Israel (3:38) Is Israel safe? (10:18) Attending a young MBA program (12:10) Tel Aviv University’s ties to the start-up ecosystem (13:55) Manuel’s business idea (17:45) Sofaer’s entrepreneurial curriculum, competition and opportunities (19:00) What Manuel found surprising about studying in Israel (24:05) Being in a small MBA class with less than 40 students (27:20) Working in Israel post-MBA (30:25) Manuel’s post

  • #165 How is Covid-19 Impacting B-Schools? Dirk Hopfl Shares IE Business School's Response

    03/07/2020 Duración: 24min

    Darren invites Dirk Hopfl from IE Business School to share how Covid-19 has affected its MBA program and IE's plan moving forward. IE, based in Spain, is one of Europe's leading business schools with one of world's most international MBA programs, regularly admitting 90% of its students from 75 countries outside Spain. Its response offers one possibility for how MBAs will evolve to meet student needs during a pandemic. About Dirk Dirk Hopfl is Regional Director South East Asia for IE Business School. Dirk got his MBA in 1999 from IE and has over 20 years of leadership experience in international management education. Episode summary, show notes and more at:

  • #164 Inside the Virginia Darden MBA with Tawan (Tina) Suvapatrachai '18

    16/05/2020 Duración: 51min

    Tawan (Tina) Suvapatrachai shares her MBA journey from Bangkok to Virginia Darden and then back to Thailand to do strategy for Samsung. Like many international applicants, Tina didn't have the chance to visit her four target US business schools. How did she research schools and find her best fit? Why did she choose Darden and what did she take from her Darden MBA experience? Questions Tina's background (3:40) Tina's school research and application tips (5:00) How the MBA did not give Tina more career clarity, but rather a powerful career platform (11:30) Common problems Tina sees from international MBA applicants (17:00) Tina's Darden experience (24:40) Blending in as an international student (34:20) How to make the most of the MBA experience (36:30) The importance of the on-campus experience (39:00) Tina's internship and job search (42:05) Tina's big takeaways from her Darden experience (48:55) About Tina Tawan (Tina) Suvapatrachai works as a Channel Strategy Lead at Samsung in Bangkok, Thailand. Before ge

  • #163 How I Got Into Harvard Business School with Graciela Brewer

    01/05/2020 Duración: 01h26min

    As a UX Designer and mother in Kansas City with no MBA network, Graciela Brewer wasn't sure if she "had a sliver of a chance" at her targets: HBS, MIT Sloan, NYU Stern and Cornell Tech. Four months later, she got into all four programs. In this episode, Grace shares how she shortlisted schools, submitted her strongest resume, essays, and recommendations, and stayed sane during a stressful application process. Questions How Covid-19 is affecting Grace's HBS plans (5:24) How family and motherhood factored into Grace's school choices (7:57) Grace's educational and work background (13:10) Grace's post-MBA career goals (16:38) How Grace shortlisted schools (18:33) Why Grace focused her school research process on student clubs (21:25) Grace's most helpful resources: Touch MBA, Poets & Quants, Applicant Lab (24:14) Grace's resume tips and extracurriculars (31:50) How Grace answered the HBS essay (37:00) Grace's HBS interview & post-interview reflection (44:15) How Grace handled MIT Sloan's cover letter &

  • #162 Don't Trust Your Gut for Career Decisions with Dr. Gleb Tsipursky

    05/03/2020 Duración: 50min

    Dr. Gleb Tsipursky has dedicated his professional life to helping others overcome cognitive biases and make better decisions. In this episode, Darren and Dr. Gleb discuss ways MBA applicants can make better decisions when it comes to business school and their careers. Questions Why Dr. Gleb has dedicated two decades of his life to overcoming cognitive biases with decision making (3:00) Autopilot vs. Intentional decision making (7:45) When our gut serves us in career decisions (14:30) Best practices for overcoming our cognitive biases (20:48) Common biases when making career decisions (27:17) How important are rankings? (33:33) Five questions to avoid decision disasters (37:07) Navigating emotions and decision making (43:48) About Our Guest Dr. Gleb Tsipursky is on a mission to protect leaders from dangerous judgment errors known as cognitive biases by developing the most effective decision making strategies. He has over two decades of consulting, coaching, and training experience as CEO of Disaster Avoidanc

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