2020 MBAs To Watch: Bolor-Erdene Erdenechuluun, Michigan State (Broad) 

Bolor-Erdene Erdenechuluun     

Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business

“An enthusiastic person with eagerness to learn and commitment to impact others.”

Hometown: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia – the coldest capital city in the world!

Fun fact about yourself: I have worked as a TV hostess for a short period of time when I was an undergrad student. I was hosting a morning live program, a live music show at the Ulaanbaatar Broadcast System (UBS). Because there is copyright protection applied to the contents created by the channel, they have never published the programs on the internet (Thank God!).

Undergraduate School and Degree:

National University of Mongolia, Business School

Degree: Bachelor of Business Administration, Bank Management (with Distinction)

Florida Gulf Coast University

Non-degree: Undergraduate exchange student in Finance through Global UGRAD Program (enlisted in Dean’s List)

(Briefly about Global UGRAD Program – It’s an exchange program sponsored by the US Department of State and tailored to the international undergraduate students to experience the U.S. educational system, share their diversity, and explore U.S. culture and values.)

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school?

Organization:                    Khan Bank LLC (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia)

Position:                             Officer at the Investor Relations Department

I have worked for the last three years at the largest commercial bank in Mongolia raising senior and subordinated debt funding from international development finance institutions. These funds were dedicated to impact investments such as micro-enterprises, small and medium enterprises, renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, and climate adaption platforms. When you imagine a banker’s job, you think of routine day-to-day work with a bunch of numbers and sharply dressed meetings. But I was fortunate enough to have this position where my efforts to raise low-cost funding from international market brought impact to the ones in need; micro-enterprises were able to receive funding for their businesses and develop it even further, and a nomad herder was able to protect his/her livestock from harsh winters with insurance policy funded by the capital we brought.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2019? I am a Fulbright Scholar with visa limitation to work in the U.S. Therefore, I didn’t have an internship last summer but rather traveled to different states in the U.S.

(Briefly about Fulbright Fellowship Program – it’s a scholarship funded by the U.S. Department of State and granted to the international students who are mostly on a graduate level. The main goal of the Program is to expand the academic environment with diversity and facilitate cultural exchange through direct interaction on an individual basis in the classroom, field, and home)

Where will you be working after graduation? I am considered as an employee on a Study Leave at the Khan Bank LLC (my previous firm), in which case, I am expected to negotiate my position once I am ready to re-join the organization. Also, in order to develop a global perspective, I am in the process of applying to jobs at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and other international development banks / financial institutions.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

Leadership Role: VP of the MBA Finance Association

Besides being an active member and organizing many events, I am responsible for the academic relations of the club. Within that frame, I have held Financial Modeling (on Microsoft Excel) event and Mock Interview sessions tailored to the newly-joined MBAs in order to support them for their internship recruitment process. Finance exam help rooms are one of the most needed events for our MBA students as some of them struggle due to their lack of experience in the financial sector.

Award: Eli Broad Dean Fellowship (2018-2020)

The Fellowship is granted as financial support to students who have excellent academic records and bring in a diverse added value to the Business School.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? At the end of each academic year, the MSU MBA Association holds its Community Honors event, where we celebrate what we have achieved during the year. I was granted the “NPV” award, which is an abbreviation of net present value – a financial valuation methodology that assesses the efficiency of a project or company. This award was special to me because I was voted for this by my peers. I am flattered to be acknowledged for this honor and proud to see my name sealed on an iron Spartan.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? An umbrella. When I have joined Khan Bank right after the undergraduate program, we had an information security certification going. By the end of it, we have taken tests and somehow I achieved the highest score. The CEO of the Bank presented the awards, amongst which I was given an umbrella as a corporate award. And he said that it is nice to see a newly-joined employee succeeding in this initiative and acknowledged my efforts. It was a random gift, but it always reminds me that I belong to somewhere where my hard work is valued, even on rainy days.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? It is a very tough question, and I already have quite a few favorite professors in my head. But if I must chose only one, it has to be Professor Andrei Simonov – Chairperson of the Finance Department. Financial subjects can easily become tough, complicated, and very boring. I mean really boring. And it’s one thing for a Professor to be experienced and knowledgeable enough to educate students, but it’s another thing if the Professor can explain the subject in a way that the students understand it. Professor Simonov did a remarkable job when he taught Debt and Money Market Instruments course connecting theoretical finance with practice that reframes the concepts in a way that it made sense – and we had a reason to laugh in every class too. He would bring examples of not only how things work but also what could go wrong. His research interests are in asset pricing, individual portfolio decision, and behavioral finance which is also a very fascinating side of finance.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? It has to be BuildOn weekend. BuildOn is an international nonprofit organization that runs youth service after school programs in the United States high schools and builds schools in developing countries.

Prior to coming to the U.S., I used to teach elementary schoolgirls at the Child and Youths’ Specialized Center in the rural area of Ulaanbaatar, a foster house for children and youths who are coming from troubled families. I saw how these young girls and boys are struggling in their lives without their parents even though the parents are alive. Poverty is building barriers for them to stay with the family together in warmth and food on the table. Yet, they are still children with innocence and they stay positive despite the challenges.

When we were first heard that MBA Program will be going on community service experience to Detroit, MI through the BuildOn program, I was curious. Coming from a developing country, topics such as poverty and underprivileged kids in the US never crossed my mind. However, the high school students who are trying their own best to change the community they are living in were questioning my efforts, wondering if I am doing enough. Also, poverty doesn’t care about the location; when poverty hits, it can harm anyone, whether you are an American or a citizen of the slowest developing countries.

MBAs receive great resources to develop themselves and it’s our own will how we can impact others outside our community.

Why did you choose this business school? As I had prior experience of studying in US as an exchange student, I instantly knew that I needed to come back to the U.S. to pursue my graduate degree. The fact that MSU acknowledged my efforts to come to Eli Broad Business College from half a world away and supported me financially was one of the prime reasons I chose to come here. Also, I wanted to live in a place with four seasons. Some people hate winters because it’s freezing in Michigan, but I love winters because I am from the coldest capital city in the world.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? You are not worse than anyone else in the room. Stay self-confident, but remember that you are not better than anyone else. Be respectful. If you are an international applicant like me who wants to grow in his/her career and get a degree from US…that would be my advice. You are one many in the room who has the potential to diversify ideas which can be very powerful if in need. Find a Program or university that will value you as a prospective future leader and will support you all the way through. Harness the network and the resources that will open in front of you as an MBA student will be solid.

Aside these fancy words, start your preparation to join as soon as possible. Because the tests and interviews need practice. It’s not something unachievable, it’s just how much commitment you can put in order to reach your final goal.

What is the biggest myth about your school?

“Broad College of Business has the best Supply Chain Program in the U.S. As a result, the School puts more resources and exposure for this program only.”

This is a total lie. I am majoring in Finance and I find my decision valid. The University puts great effort into other programs as well. For instance, last semester I had Security Analysis and Portfolio Management where we were working analysts for Students Investment Fund by analyzing and evaluating stocks. When your studies are tied to real money, you learn a lot and put in much effort. At the end of the semester, the Financial Advisory Board, which has members working as wealth managers and investment bankers at reputable financial institutions such as JP Morgan, would come to listen to our pitches and give us advice. It was a great opportunity to merge what we have learned in theory with practice in real life and keep up with updated industry trends.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? The Fulbright Fellowship is a very competitive scholarship, and only 15 students get selected from Mongolia. I am eternally grateful that I could get this prestigious Fellowship. However, because it applies certain limitations over pursuing employment in the U.S., I would have preferred applying to the MBA program on my own. That way, I could have gained working experience in the U.S. But hey, I have a long way to go; maybe I can come back to work in a few years.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Avi Jhamaria, my Indian teammate with whom many people are happy to work because he is reliable and always has legitimate advice. Despite his challenges being as an international student to find employment in US, he worked hard on his consultancy skills and technical abilities that now he has an offer from Ernst & Young as a Senior Consultant. I am very proud of my team captain.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? Mongolia declared its democracy in 1992, the year I was born. At the same time, we have opened our market from communism to capitalism through which many people lost their jobs, money, and assets. The financial industry has a huge power to circulate the wealth from rich to the ones who are in need. So, I would say that Mongolian economic environment rather than a person had influenced me to choose business. For now, we are still developing, and I wanted to be an impactful person to help my country.

And if I have to choose someone, I would my name niece who is 14 years old now. I want to be a role model for her that women in finance can succeed when you put effort and work hard.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

In the near term, these are my bucket lists in my professional career:

  1. Get the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation preferably in 5 years, and this a post-graduate professional qualification offered internationally.
  2. Have employment at one of the major international development financial institutions in the next 5 years.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? A girl from Mongolia who is bright and hardworking to achieve her dreams.

Hobbies? I am a die-hard fan of make-up. I don’t consider myself as a make-up artist, but I have been developing my interest in the beauty industry and skincare since I was 20 years old. Nowadays, I receive requests from my peers, friends, and family to help for their special events as well as to educate them on how to take care of their cosmetology.

What made Bolor such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“Bolor was an invaluable member of the 2020 class for making an impact in academic, professional, and personal contexts. From day one, Bolor has defined servant leadership by serving as a mentor in the MBA program to the international student community. In some instances, there is tension in adapting to a graduate business program, particularly if one has not traveled abroad, or has not experienced it first-hand. Bolor can always be counted on to support her fellow MBAs by assisting them by providing advice in how to manage their individual transitions. Bolor’s leadership has extended to her student leadership roles in our student finance organization, where she has not only served as a tutor for struggling MBAs, she has taken it upon herself to develop programming to simplify complex financial concepts for her colleagues. Rather than outsource an Excel modeling workshop, she taught it herself, a credit to her abilities and her sense of service.

Bolor has impacted the program in many ways, and one I find very memorable is related to a multicultural information and celebration evening that the program hosted in 2019. She spent considerable time and effort in developing a presentation to teach her colleagues about Mongolia, and her passion and pride were felt by everyone in the room.”

Wayne R. Hutchison, Ph.D.
Managing Director, FTMBA


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