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The End of Ambassadors + Your Advice?

So I’m thinking of shutting down this space. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Many Touch MBA listeners told us they wanted a central location to connect with and learn from MBA students from different b-schools. So four years ago, we got 30-40 volunteer MBAs from our stellar audience to share their insights here on Ambassadors. I can’t thank them enough.

Yet the forum has been largely inactive for the past 2 years. One reason is certainly because I haven’t managed it well.

Honestly, when I started Ambassadors four years ago, I thought forums like gmatclub, beatthegmat and findmba were full of noise: ads, anonymous users, low quality threads, etc. Yet they’ve survived so they are clearly doing something right!

I’ll likely shut down Ambassadors at the end of this month. I want to thank @Margaret, @Steve_Huber, @bgresham, @SarahChenLin, @t.ceithaml @CSegura @rafaym @stugrondel @Massine @lily.trieu @ikechukwu_edeagu for being our most active contributors, and of course everyone who donated their time to put up a profile and share their experience. Most of your posts got over 1K views, so I’m sure they helped at least a few applicants.

If you have a moment, I’d love to hear 1) what you’re up to and 2) your advice on how we can help applicants make better school selection decisions. Most of you are MBA grads now! Crazy!

Hope you’re healthy and well.


Hi Darren!

It’s so sad to hear this space is closing! Hope You’ll stay active in other social media channels?
Here’s my feedback:

  1. Currently half-way through my MBA at ESSEC Business School in Paris, with a specialised track in Luxury Brand Management. I hope to pivot my career towards sustainable luxury.

  2. If I remember correctly, there was an initial survey we had to take? I found it incredibly useful.
    Also, set their expectations from the start. Everyone goes after the top schools for their shiny titles but they might not be the best fit for the candidate, as you know! I learned this the hard way too.
    Last but not least, perhaps do a group or one-to-one workshop on personal branding strategy to help candidates see the bigger picture and how the right MBA fits in it. I wish I did this pre-MBA.

Keep in touch and never hesitate to reach out for more feedback if needed!

Take care :slight_smile:

Thank you so much for your thoughts, I really appreciate them. A workshop on personal branding + MBA is a great idea. Have you found any helpful resources here?

The Startup of You by Reid Hoffman (founder of LinkedIn) has helped me think about personal branding + networking in the digital age.

Can’t wait to hear about what you do in sustainable luxury. It seems like an oxymoron, but I’m sure there are some really innovative creators & companies in this space.

Will reach out to you personally to stay in touch.

@darren thank you! You were an excellent resource during my school search and application process.

  1. What am I up to? Besides being locked down and quarantined in NYC, I’m graduating from NYU Stern in May and returning to Deloitte where I did my internship. I worked on a couple of really interesting M&A due diligence projects last summer, and start dates for the fall are up in the air right now, but I’ll join the M&A team whenever I return to the firm.

  2. Advice on how we can help applicants make better school selection decisions? I think school selection is a very personal choice for each individual. When I made my initial list of 6 schools, I was just throwing darts at a wall and had no idea what I wanted out of the experience. Once I realized my own priorities and what I was looking for in a school, my entire list changed. I also can’t overstate how important it is to visit as many schools as possible. Even if you’re in a situation where you can’t physically visit, then reach out to admissions and ask to be connected with a current student for a 20 minute phone conversation. I think these personal interactions are the best way to help you determine if a school is a good fit.

Darren, thanks again for everything you have done through your podcast and website to help prospective students make better informed decisions when applying to business schools. I probably listened to 90% of your podcasts and learned something new from every single one of them.
-Beau Gresham

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Beau, thanks for the update and advice. Congrats on landing a job with Deloitte!

Wishing you, your classmates (and all of New York, really) the best during this crazy time.

Have classes stopped at Stern? I’m curious to hear how the virus has affected how your program runs / ends…

@darren All classes are virtual now over zoom. Probably about 50% of my classmates have fled NYC and gone to live with friends in family, preferably in warmer climates (so many people are joining in class from beaches in Florida).

We will still graduate in May, but the graduation ceremony is postponed. The school will try to have some sort of virtual graduation ceremony next month, and possibly an in person ceremony when possible.

I am on our Student Government Events team, and we are planning and coordinating a couple of virtual events and in-person reunions for the graduating class.

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Darren! Bummer to hear you’re shutting down the forum. I trust that you will continue to find meaningful and innovative ways to connect with prospective and current MBAs!

As for me…

  1. I graduated from McCombs in 2019 and have begun a new career as a Public Affairs professional for an education nonprofit. Since I came from CPG pre-MBA, it’s a huge pivot for me and I’m learning a ton every day. Public affairs, education, and nonprofit might not seem like a traditional post-MBA career but it’s precisely the combination I was looking for so I’m feeling really lucky.

  2. You already do such a great job with your podcast and survey! The one thing I really challenge prospective students to think about is what their ultimate goals are. It’s so easy to get caught up in the rankings and noise of blogs/forums/etc… everyone you meet will tell you why their program is the best. This is why it’s really important to do the hard, self-reflection before making the leap.

Looking forward to the exciting things you have coming!

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@lily.trieu thanks for the update and congrats on the Public Affairs role! It sounds like you’re exactly where you want to be.

I agree 100% with what you’re saying about goals. Maybe I can record a podcast version of this post, or how to think about goals. I do think though, that people sometimes need to prototype or build their way into understanding what they really want to do. And that’s why MBA programs are so chock full of consulting projects, internships, conferences, clubs, etc. It’s the paradox of MBA admissions. Schools want a clear direction, but also want applicants to keep an open mind to different possibilities.

If you have any resources that helped you do that hard, self-reflection, I’d love to know what they were.

Regardless, take care, and thanks for supporting Touch MBA over the years.