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What this MBA did with corporate sponsors when he wanted a new job

Prodigy Finance - August 28, 2019

International MBA Prodigy Finance borrower

Ghassan Kara is everything you’d expect from a Wharton MBA: talented, motivated, hard-working, dedicated and committed to making a difference in the world.

He also leaves himself open to the possibilities and opportunities that might come his way.

That’s why he’s working in New York for Google after his MBA. If he really wanted to play it safe, he could’ve returned to Dubai and the company that sponsored his studies.

Why this Wharton MBA took a corporate sponsorship

Having completed his undergraduate studies at Boston University in the US, Ghassan moved into the world of consulting at Booz & Company (now Strategy&) in Dubai. After his acceptance to the Wharton School’s MBA programme at the University of Pennsylvania, he wasn’t sure whether he would return to Booz or pursue a new direction.

With his decision split down the middle, Ghassan opted for the safe route and accepted corporate financing from his company: a generous offer of $140,000 with 0% interest - as long as he returned to the company post-MBA. This sponsorship commitment was enough to secure his I-20 form for the first year of study in Philadelphia. 

Getting a post-MBA job in the US

Ghassan had left his post-MBA options open when he arrived in the US. But, the more time he spent at Wharton, the more convinced he became that he should pursue career options in the US.

He accepted Prodigy Finance in-school loans for the second year of his MBA for 2 key reasons. Ghassan wanted to avoid:

  • Additional financial ties outside of the US.
  • Financial dependence on others. 
  • Burdening friends and family in the US with the position of co-signing a loan for him.

And then he accepted a summer internship with Google in New York City. Recognising the same drive and talents that Wharton saw, Google offered him a position in their NY office - and gave him time to think about it.

Before accepting, Ghassan considered his:

  • Career path and trajectory.
  • Personal development and continued learning opportunities.
  • Day-to-day life and lifestyle in the US.
  • Financial implications.

The position and projects Google offered, plus the experience of working in NYC, won out time and time again - except on the financial side. 

Need to release your corporate sponsorship?

Knowing that he would accept the offer if he didn’t have a corporate sponsorship to consider, Ghassan decided to see if he could get a loan.

But, he found it quite tricky. In fact, Ghassan believes that the majority of MBA with corporate sponsors don’t leave their companies simply because they can’t. While there aren’t any statistics to back up this suggestion, Ghassan certainly worked hard to find an option that would allow him to pursue this dream opportunity.

Before accepting refinance from Prodigy Finance, Ghassan investigated:

  • Personal loans from banks in his home country. In Lebanon, he found a limited number of banks willing to provide personal loans which were too expensive to accept. However, most banks didn’t offer any options as he would be living and working in the US.
  • Loan refinancing or personal loans from banks in the US. Once again, Ghassan opted not to burden extended family members also living in the US with such a sizeable loan as his co-signer. And, outside of that option, he couldn’t find a provider willing to work with him.

And then, he turned to Prodigy Finance. 

Prodigy Finance pilots flexible refinance

After learning about Prodigy Finance in his first year at Wharton, Ghassan soon applied for and accepted a loan to fund his second year. And then he discovered that he might also be able to refinance his corporate sponsorship. 

“We built a product together, Prodigy Finance and I. It was a cool experience. I felt like we were developing something good, something that would work for others who want to be released from their corporate sponsors.”

With no penalties for repaying his company sponsor - and no change in the refinancing process on the Prodigy Finance side - Ghassan gladly accepted his dream job. Shortly after, he began working with Google to submit his H-1B visa petition (which came through 6 months after working on his F-1 OPT).

Would he do it the same way again? Absolutely, especially now that he knows about Prodigy Finance. 

Want to learn more about refinancing?

Take a minute to learn more about international student loan refinancing benefits.

Prodigy Finance Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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