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Real Humans of UCI Merage’s MBA Class of 2022

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Constance Toulemonde, Merage MBA Class of 2022

Age: 25
Hometown: Paris, France
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Oregon State University, Marketing, and Management
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 3 years, Marketing (Nike and a small boutique consulting firm)

Why business school? Why now?
To strengthen my all-around business acumen, develop more technical skills such as analytics and strategy, to become a stronger marketer able to work my way up to leadership positions. I was at a point in my career where I knew what I wanted and that my MBA was the only missing piece of the puzzle to get there.

Why UCI Merage? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend? 

  1. The community
  2. The personalized experience
  3. All the advantages of a smaller program, while having access to big opportunities.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2022? 
I am a former student-athlete and international student with a fairly unique background. I studied both in France and the USA and have worked in both countries. I have also extensive experience in storytelling and public speaking, which comes in handy during group projects.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application? 
I have a double high-school graduation in French and Spanish.

Post-MBA career interests? 
I am pursuing Brand Strategy/ Brand Marketing opportunities in the CPG and sports industries.

Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?

Apply to a wide range of schools to give me as many options as possible

–One thing you would change or do differently?
Start earlier, the process is long and takes some time, especially if you work full-time.

–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it? 
The GMAT! Starting very early is the key, as well as having a study plan and taking classes to land the desired score.

What is your initial impression of UCI Merage’s students/culture/community?
A tight-knit community genuinely interested in learning from each other and authentically motivated to make each other better.

One thing you have learned about UCI Merage that has surprised you? 
Paul Merage to whom the business school was named after is the creator of the Hot Pocket!

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Finding time to do all the amazing opportunities available.

Thing you are most excited about in your first year? 
Getting to know my incredible classmates and share our MBA journey together.

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.