Nydia, what motivated or inspired you to undertake an MBA in the U.S.? What attracted you most about Darden?
I’ve spent the last 5 years in my home country of Indonesia working in corporate banking, and I’ve always wanted to learn about other industries. I thought getting an MBA would be a great career move. In terms of the U.S., I like that most MBA programs are for two years, giving me time to explore many things, and U.S. MBA programs host students from all over the world, from different walks of life, so it’s a very diverse learning environment. I get to meet people who don’t think like me, which helps me develop my own point of view. This might be a bit cliché, but it’s the case method teaching that attracted me the most. Coming from Asia, the learning style is lecture-based, so case method learning is really new. I have to talk in front of the class, and it’s a great way to push me out of my comfort zone. Also, you have case studies that let you learn about many different industries, like in finance class, so you get to kill two birds with one stone.
What prompted you to sign up for B-Speak! English coaching? What are your biggest communication challenges?
I signed up to primarily prepare for recruiting during the winter break. Because Darden partners with B-Speak!, international students were encouraged by Darden to sign up and prepare for interviews and work on our storytelling. I think it’s storytelling or explaining a hard concept; it’s hard for me to come to the point quickly while still making sure that other people understand my story. It’s like balancing between not explaining too much and not giving enough information. I think B-Speak! has been very helpful with this challenge.
How did your coaching sessions with MeiLan help you prepare for internship interview season? Tell us about the internship you got with the help of our coaching.
In terms of my internship, we practiced a lot of storytelling and doing mock interviews. At the end of these lessons, I always got very helpful feedback I could apply to my upcoming interviews, and also in the classroom. My internship is going to be a corporate finance role in the automotive industry with GE. I’ll be working on a summer project for two and a half months; at the end I’ll have to present my recommendations in front of executives, and make some written ones as well.
What did you enjoy most about your B-Speak! sessions?
I really like the flexibility, because being an MBA student during the recruiting season, I don’t have the most predictable schedule. I really like how my coach is able to accommodate my schedule! Also, I like the way my coach is able to adjust her teaching style for my needs. I remember how I asked specifically for her to ask me follow-up questions at the end of every behavioral question, and that’s what she did. That was able to help me prepare and form my story better.
How would you describe B-Speak! to a friend or fellow international student?
B-Speak! is an English course that is very relevant for MBA students looking to improve their communication or written skills for any business needs, whether it is for interviewing or school. I think there are a lot of English courses out there, but there are not many with coaches who understand the life of an MBA student, the challenges they are facing, and their priorities. I would say B-Speak! is one of those that can accommodate our needs exactly.