It’s always great to speak with another fellow Stanford guy and here we are today with Andy Juang!
Listen to my interview with Andy, a hedge fund guy who will be starting Stanford business school in the fall. We’ll be talking about the MBA admissions process, life after getting in, and some GMAT advice. Why would a hedge fund guy go to business school? What happens after you get in? What about Stanford’s notoriously dreaded essay question? Listen and find out!
GMATPill: And here we are at GMATPill.com – today we have with us someone who got into Stanford Business School – Andy Juang. Andy will be sharing with us a little bit about his experience applying and getting into business school, taking the GMATs, writing those essays. So before we get into Q&A–Andy, why don’t you introduce yourself. Talk a little bit about yourself, who you are, what you do, where you come from.
Andy: Thanks for having me on this call here. Happy to be here. So a little bit about my background. I grew up in Tennessee. I went to Michigan for a couple years, transferred, graduated undergrad at Wharton back in 07 and spent a year in investment banking and then 3 years working at a hedge fund doing healthcare investing. And now I will be heading to Stanford in the fall.
GMATPill: Very, very good. So you mentioned you’ve been in the hedge fund space for 3 years. Typically we hear about people in the investment banking route or management consulting route who apply to get their MBA. I’m just curious–what is the rationale for a hedge fund analyst like yourself to go for his MBA? What made you decide to take the GMAT and apply for business school?
Andy: I think taking the GMAT versus actually applying to business school—were definitely easier decisions. In terms of the GMATs, really it gives you optionality in terms of applying so that was a no-brainer for me. But in terms of applying to business school, there are really quite a few reasons for me and a lot of them were some atypical reasons. Some of the typical ones that people apply for is–they’re trying to get into better industry or better company. Maybe they aren’t satisfied with their undergraduate credential. Like you said, management consulting or private equity–maybe the industry requires it. Or they need a break or something like that. All those things kind of—I felt like it didn’t really apply to me. Because the hedge fund industry–you don’t really need an MBA necessarily. But for me, I did want to meet a lot of great, smart people. So expanding the network–broadening it. I wanted to move out to California on a permanent basis so Stanford’s a great segue to build that network. I thought it would be great to brush up on more qualitative skills, my management, my leadership, communication–things like that. And I wanted to dip my toes in the entrepreneurial field. Stanford has a great entrepreneurial program. And worst case scenario–I figure I will always be able to get back into the investment management industry if I like to. Maybe it’ll cost me a couple of years, but in the long run it might not be that bad.
GMATPill: And right now you’re in between stages–you’re about to enter business school in the fall. How are you spending your time right now? How are you spending your summer before your adventurous ride to Stanford?
Andy: So I’m just personally trying to take it easy and travel as much as I can. I’m looking at going to Greece for a week–Europe for another 2 weeks–Hawaii–maybe go to Colombia or China. Really just trying to spend as much time…
Andy: I was studying for about two months straight. On my weekends–really devoting 12 hours a day on Saturday and Sunday to just focus on GMAT preparation. And then sprinkle in a few hours on the weekdays. Plus I also took a week off right before I took the test. And really after all that I didn’t feel like I had enough preparation. I felt like I could have used a few more weeks–maybe a month or two more to prepare. Secondly, I would say just go ahead and set a date. You’re really just not going to be motivated unless you have a date in front of you. For me, I personally studied off and on for a few months and then when I finally got a date set I really lit the fire and it really forced me to sacrifice my social life to actually do the preparation. I also checked out a few different services like Princeton, ManhattanGMAT and I wish I knew more about the GMATPill before I took it–but I actually found that GMATPill has a very unique approach. Zeke’s actually taking you through each question and giving you his thought process behind it. I don’t think any of the other guys do that. It’s really a unique way to prepare. It’s also great if you’re in finance or you have an intense job and you really need to be able to watch his videos on your own schedule. I think you have a great program there.
–Andy Juang, Stanford MBA
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