Leah Grace C’s story

Before coming to the US, my husband and I founded a software startup in Montreal, Canada. We knew that we eventually wanted to go to Boston for his MBA but we wanted to take that chance of building a business. We didn’t find immediate success but it was and still is a great learning experience. We left Canada, leaving most of the management to our employees.

I arrived in Boston on F2 visa. My husband and I still had the startup bug and the opportunities at MIT helped fuel that. Through the Legatum Center at MIT and the MIT IDEAS Global Challenge, we were able to get funding for a project in the Philippines, where I’m from. This is the one thing that kept me “sane” during those first few months in Boston while my husband went to school every day and I used to sit at home due to my visa status. After two months I made the decision to go to graduate school. Going to graduate school in the US has always been a dream of mine but it was my recent business experience and living among the business school community in Cambridge that gave me the needed push. I started studying for the GMAT and took the test a month later.

I found Hult International Business School through an Economist article plus I’ve known some friends who went there for their MBAs. I knew that I only wanted a 1-year program and its proximity to the MIT Housing where we live was a bonus. I met with one of the recruiters and hearing my story, she encouraged me to apply for August 2012 admission.

When I got accepted, I immediately made plans to go back to Canada to apply for an F1 visa there. I could have applied within the US but it would have taken a lot of time and the US State Department does not really approve of it (based on past personal experience). Thankfully, I had no problems with the visa application at all.

I would suggest spouses coming to US on F2 visa to take a decision early and start working towards your goal.

Leah Grace C.

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