Way back in 1992, I applied for an MBA into top programs in the United States. At that time I was 22 years old, had an “Aggregation” in Social Sciences and was about to finish my Master at Sciences Po Paris. I did not want to become a high school teacher or a civil servant and decided to apply to a US MBA. Paris in 1992 did not have any test prep centers nor admission consultants. Kaplan opened the year after and Richard Montauk, a famous MBA admissions consultants who wrote ‘How To Get Into The Top MBA Programs’, arrived on the scene shortly after 1992. The only resources that were available to me were Brentano’s, an English book shop in Paris that was selling TOEFL prep books and the GMAT Official Guide, that at the time was only 200 pages long. Working by myself I applied to four MBA programs and got rejected by Harvard Business school, waitlisted at Duke, but accepted to Wharton, Columbia, and Cornell. I applied in January 1993 and by the time I got my answers –it was May 1993–I could not secure the financing for an MBA and I could not get the visa (a French citizen needs to show that he has all the money to pay for tuition and living expenses to get his/her visa). Having learned my lesson I applied for a Masters and Ph.D. program the year after. However, since my acceptance at the three Ivy League Schools, I decided to get into the education industry to help other candidates like me navigate the admissions process. I didn’t want them to experience the same problems that I did. I created a platform whereby students could get experts who would give them test prep and admissions consulting services, help them further contacts with schools and also give them tips for financing studies and getting a visa.
The idea of the MBA Center was born during the summer of 1993 and of course, professionalized, when I left for the US the year after. Since then I’ve been busy preparing students for Masters, MBA, and EMBA programs all across the Western world. My idea of the MBA Center is that it is a platform gathering the best in its field, rather than a company imposing its rules. I have always believed that the company should be shared with as many people as possible, without boundaries. This is why the MBA Center collaborates with GMAT “Gurus” or reputable test prep centers all over Western Europe and in some cities in India. To “evangelize” the teaching methods we have collaborated with many publishers so that our content and knowledge is shared and brought to the greatest number of people at affordable prices. We did the same when we decided to collaborate with QS to develop QS Leap, the world’s first social and free preparatory platform allowing candidates access to a global community of aspirants, experts, and test prep organizations, and now with a company GMAT. In terms of admission consulting, we follow the philosophy of collaboration and growing together rather than competing for very little. We teamed up with other admission consultants and consulting companies, even giving seminars in their premises and websites if necessary.
MBA Center also collaborates with business schools, constantly welcoming them in our centers. I remember writing my first GMAT book, that was published by Hobsons in 1997, using Microsoft Access. I was the first one to publish a book on GMAT CAT tests. Since then we have come a long way. The company has participated in many interesting projects such as adaptive e learning platforms, social test prep communities, MBA fairs with MBA Events, or Access MBA etc. Through it all, I’ve always wanted the company to stick to the values we had since its inception, which is a comprehensive global approach, an affordable service, and a team-based outlook. According to us, a coach or teacher is the one that makes a team that is ready to achieve ultimate success, which in our case is acceptance to a top business school. Another feature that differentiates us from the others is that we are an NGO; so I consider myself more as the animator of the project rather than the owner. Our profits are invested in projects like publishing, training, creating a set of books for publishers, humanitarian actions, financing test prep centers in Africa, launching a teaching program for teachers in the NIS, etc.
Education is my passion. I entered the French Elite Teacher Training Program to become a high school teacher when I was 18 years old, I later passed my Ph.D. to become a professor and researcher at Paris Sciences et Lettres University. However, I am always available to talk to students and share my modest knowledge in this field to help them assess their profile, make a list of the target schools, and see to their planning preparations, etc., so that ultimately they achieve their dream of getting a MIM, MBA or EMBA from whichever school they choose.