Estee Katcoff gives us insight into how her MBA allowed her to start a non-profit organization in Paraguay and a tutoring company in the US simultaneously.
1. What is one sentence you would use to describe who you are and what you do?
I am a problem-solver talented in building cross-sectoral relationships; I combined my passions for education and management by founding two flourishing educational start-ups with teams of 40+ instructors combined in both the United States and Paraguay.
2. Why did you choose to go to business school?
I wanted to apply best business practices to the mission-driven sector, with special interests in international education and social entrepreneurship.
3. How has business school helped you with your non-profit?
So much. From setting culture, to leading teams, to fraud prevention, to public speaking, to creating strategic plans, I felt very equipped and distinguished from non-MBAs working in social entrepreneurship. An MBA degree prepares you to confidently jump into any field and provide value.
4. Why did you decide to start a tutoring company?
I was tired of asking for donations to my non-profit, so founded PrepCorps (a GRE/GMAT test prep company in Seattle) as a more sustainable way to fundraise. To date, PrepCorps has sponsored about 50% of our budget for the last three years.
5. How do you juggle both of these ventures?
In the beginning, it wasn’t easy – a lot of work goes into starting a company. I was working ~60 hours per week in 2018. That being said, what made it easier was having help along the way. I was continuously able to recruit volunteers or hire for projects as needed so that I wouldn’t feel alone. I am lucky to say that I’ve had the support of hundreds of volunteers – some very dedicated! – pitch in along the way.
6. What advice would you give to someone considering getting an MBA?
Study hard for the GMAT/GRE! MBAs need to be willing to put in the work.