Keresz

My name is Attila Keresz. Although I am from Hungary, I was a finance major at VSE between 1991 and 1998. I happened to end up at Bradley accidentally. In fall of 1993, I happened to take a class called International Financial Management taught by Kevin Rubash, son of Dr. Rubash. He introduced the Bradley opportunity. When I qualified for the tests, Bradley managed to take me as a Hungarian Student besides the two Czech students. For some reason, of the three of us, only one of the Czech students, Peter Jirasek, could go to Bradley in 1994, and a year later, Karal Janecek and I also took advantage of this great opportunity.

I spent exactly two years at Bradley. I arrived in the States on August 19, 1995 and returned to Europe on August 19, 1997. My main incentive for going to Bradley was not really the financial studies, but, the language opportunity, learning a lot about Corporate America, the Americans, and the USA on the spot. I have to acknowledge, I had not even known what an MBA was all about. At Bradley, of course, I gradually realized what I came for, and what I should take home with me as a life time experience.

What I particularly found beneficial about the MBA program, or not even the MBA program, but the education at Bradley in general, was not the different classes but the way tuition was built up. In CEE, we have, "How shall I put it down?" a kind of mass education. And the curriculum is focused on macroeconomics rather than on micro and organizational behaviors. There are couple of hundreds of students in the classes, you do not know the teacher, you hardly ever speak to her/him, visit him at office hours, etc. It is very impersonal. Education at Bradley, however, is very friendly; all the professors follow the open door policy. I could any time visit them in case of any issues. Actually, I got to like my profession at Bradley. I think the most beneficial thing about earning an MBA is how we are tutored to approach an issue, offer solutions via several alternatives, and present it in a decent understandable way. This is done through case studies and team work. And frankly speaking, this is the basis of today's corporate culture and daily work. This is how we work, very simply: 1) get assigned to a project or task circled around a business issue, set up the team, allocate the tasks, analyze the basics, find solutions, present it to a respective audience, make decisions and very important, keep the deadline. Always deliver something upon deadline, even if you feel it is not the most perfect thing yet.

This kind of structured way of studying was not really difficult; it was just new to us. I personally had at the beginning problems with my reading comprehension in English. At the beginning it was extremely hard to read 30-60 pages over one evening. We were lucky because we first went to undergraduate for half a year, and enrolled the MBA program afterwards.

Similarly to the program at VSE, there are classes based more on calculus and statistics e.g. micro, macro, finance, derivatives, etc., and classes that are more intangible e.g. management, marketing, strategy, etc. The former did not really provide any additions to what we had obtained at VSE (we cover the same books basically), however, I learned a lot about derivatives and hedging. Still today, I use that knowledge at work. But still, even these "hard skill" classes included case studies and researches that I would never ever have come across at VSE. In addition, we were forced to use personal computers and information technology on a daily basis. There were four classes I could not take anything away with me: marketing, strategy, and management. This is not Bradley's or the professors' fault. I think these are the classes that cannot really be taught. One need to do it and not learn it on her/his own.

As an assistant, I worked for Dr. Bhandari and Dr. Rubash. My main task was to correct the tests of the undergraduate students and tutoring them in case of need. I even had a class of Dr. Bhandari's to teach when he was not available. I enjoyed it a big time. If I recall it, we were supposed to work 20 hours a week, however, the test corrections never took such a long time. I really enjoyed tutoring the undergraduate students.

Peoria and Bradley in particular offered all the leisure activities I needed. But we all are different. I maximized the utilization of the sport facilities (pool, gym, basketball courts, racket ball courts, etc). I also actively practiced my hobby, classical guitar, and Constance hall offered me a great opportunity to play the guitar. I sometimes went to the bars with my friends, went to see the Braves in the Civic Center, and in the breaks, I traveled around the States. A car is a key asset in the States.

Currently, I work as a Business Finance Manager at Pfizer Hungary. Business Finance is more about financial controlling. Besides the regular reporting, my job is to improve the processes of controlling in order to make the reports more efficient and transparent for the various business departments. Cost controlling has become a hot issue in the pharmaceutical industry as governments are tightening the belts in terms of national pharmaceutical spending. Overall, MBA on your CV opens up a lot of doors that you normally could not without it.

For me, Bradley was a land mark in my life. I can hardly describe why. One needs to spend two years, and you will understand why. I learned to really like my profession, I made friends with wonderful people, and I wish the distance between us was very little. I have actually become an adult.

Finally, my advice to any prospective students is the following. It is not the studies the knowledge that will bring the most for you. We basically cover the same topics authored more or less by the same economists, at VSE. It is however, the way the knowledge is conveyed to you that can offer you the most. The way, you are handled by the professors (equal man), the way the facilities allow you to do your studies, the culture, the language, the people, nature, everything the country can offer you. This is not Europe, however, the United States of America; I think a very lovable and enjoyable piece of the world.

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