Graham graduated from Middlebury College and worked in consulting at Bain, started and sold a small technology company and did the Peace Corps in Guatemala.
His application to business school was a little harder to do than for most applicants as he had to take eight hours bus rides to the capitol on colorfully painted old school busses (chicken busses as they are called in Guatemala) to work on his application.
Graham went to Wharton and loved his classmates, the classes, but most of all, the opportunity to learn through leading through the experience-based activities Wharton students get to do.
While at Wharton, Graham worked on the Admissions Committee, chaired the Ethics Committee, was a Leadership Fellowand played intramural hockey.
After business school, Graham applied the lessons learned from business school in public education. First, Graham worked for BCG focusing on education clients, which included a case helping to rebuild the public school system in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
He then went directly into education where he was an award-winning teacher, school administrator, board member of a charter school and the Executive Director of Talent Acquisition for Baltimore County Public Schools, the 26th largest school system in the U.S. overseeing the hiring of over 1,000 positions annually.
What’s your Personal Brand?
I enjoy making the world a better place by both challenging the status quo and helping others achieve lofty goals they did not think they could achieve.
That could be helping a 9th grade football player pass the state content test for the first time in his life, recruiting an all-star candidate to a leadership position who can help a school system be successful, or helping great candidates who can do amazing things get into business school.
I also greatly enjoy the outdoors and when not helping others, I enjoy spending time with my family hiking, sailing and training for triathlons.
I had offers from a handful of admissions consulting firms and chose EXPARTUS because I believe applying to business school is more than writing applications and essays.
It is an incredible opportunity to think about one’s professional and personal journey through life. By helping candidates develop their personal brand, it gives them the tools to present themselves purposefully, consistently and authentically to business schools and get admitted.
I get to be a coach helping someone define themselves and not a crutch helping someone write a better application.
What are the Biggest Misconceptions MBA Applicants Have About Applying to Business School?
GPA and GMAT define a candidate’s chances.
The truth is they don’t. They are a factor, but much less so than a candidate’s story. While on the Wharton admissions committee, I saw many applicants with lower GPAs and GMATS who were better candidates than high scoring candidates.
I have to be what they are looking for and have a certain background or certain career goals.
The truth is you have to be a capable, team-oriented and high-performing professional who has aspirations to do great things aided by what one learns in business school.
I’m so good and successful, my application will write itself.
The truth is it won’t, especially, if one has that view of him or herself. The opportunity of applying to business school is a chance to reflect on yourself and present your personal brand – the deeper introspection will come across in your application and make you a stronger candidate.