According to The Economist magazine, only some 5% of students at Harvard Business School come from poor families.

Studying at renowned business schools isn’t a cheap adventure. You will need to have $50,000 in your pocket if you want to study at Cambridge, for example. For Harvard – $60,000. That being said, those schools provide scholarships for not-well-off applicants [like you and me], who otherwise would struggle to pay the tuition fees.

One of the first requirements to get admission to Cambridge or HBS, as well as to win a scholarship, is to achieve a decent score on GMAT.

When my friends ask me what the heck GMAT is, I ask them in response “Have you ever heard of such thing as Google?” Jokes aside, it stands for Graduate Management Admission Test [sounds fancy, huh?] That’d be a short explanation. The longer one would be: it is a test designed for those who are willing to study MBA or at a Masters program related to Business/Management. Nowadays almost all reputable business schools require a good GMAT score to be simply considered for their programs. They say it is one of the hardest tests ever.

I solved GMAT problems until 1 a.m. yesterday. After I woke up in the morning and brushed my teeth, I started solving GMAT problems again. Today I have a meeting in the afternoon. Do you know what I will be doing before and after the meeting? You’re absolutely right. I’ll be solving GMAT problems. Why am I investing so much time in it? Because it’s the only way for me to work my way to Cambridge.

Last month I was honored to talk to an Uzbek who studied there in 2009. Also, I’ve heard of several Uzbeks who happened to study at Harvard. Each of them, though, was self-financed. The ones who studied at Harvard took a student loan to pay their tuition fees [to do that you need to be an American citizen or at least a Green Card holder]. The one who studied at Cambridge was financially supported by her family. Incidentally, the daughter of the former President of Uzbekistan studied at Harvard too. I wonder, where did SHE take this whopping amount of money?

When I told one of my family members that I dream to study at Cambridge for my Masters and I’ll be applying to it next year, he said: “I’d recommend you to apply to other graduate schools as well, just in case if Cambridge doesn’t accept you. Also, where are you going to get money to pay the tuitions?” To be honest with you, I expected a little bit more encouraging response from one of my closest people.

Thank God, I have a roommate who supports me and by no means criticizes me when I sound silly; who says “Just do it!” when I tell him about my dreams of Cambridge.

I am unfazed by the problem of paying the tuition fees, because I’ve found at least 10 full-scholarships for those international students who get admission to Cambridge. Also, there are certain ways to take a student loan [without being a citizen or Green Card holder]; or I could find a way to earn that money on my own before starting the Masters program. Where there is a will, there is a way, right?

The only issue that I am REALLY concerned about is the crazy competition to be admitted to Cambridge [even Brexit and Mr Trump are secondary issues]. Thousands of the brightest students who come from the UK, America, China, India, Russia, the Middle East, the Far East, and all over the world will be applying to the program that I am interested in. That program accepts only 40 students. Only 40 students. I will do my best to be among those “Fantastic Fourty” in 2019. I should JUST DO IT! Oh, speaking of “doing”… I have to go back to my GMAT problems. I’ll see you next time! 🙂

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- Blogger - Computer Science student - Leader of University speaking club - Fluent speaker of four languages: English, Uzbek, Russian, German - Best start-upper in the Czech Republic in 2016