General stuff

Ticket to ride

It’s been a while since I updated my blog. Sorry for that but I’ve been kinda busy packing up ready for this whole MBA thing 🙂

I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries from folks starting out on their application journey (or thinking about it) and I hope I’ve given some food for thought to the next generation who’ve read this blog or reached out directly.

Since I quit my job in mid-May (great feeling!) I’ve been working on a smooth transition for me and my family (including Beatrice, the real top dog!) to our new life in Boston. This will be my 16th address change since I was born!

However, gone are the days when a borrowed ride and a couple of backpacks were all I needed to transport my worldly possessions. This time I was moving four people and a dog from Athens, Greece to Boston, USA, neither of which is my domiciled home.

I wanted to share my key checklist for reference for those of you lucky enough to be making this journey in years to come.

Checklist for Offer:

  • Finalise verification process, i.e. how your b school will check all the details you provided in your application (be warned!) – it involved a lot of prompting from me (my status is still a mystery) as well as a request to defer my employment check (until I resigned)
  • Complete Medical Report form – to be eligible to use b school’s medical facilities and (I think) enrol in classes
  • Create headshot – used in school photobook (seen by all your classmates)
  • Resign from job, return cell/keys/pass/laptop etc.
  • Summer academic preparation – take diagnostic tests (if applicable) and bone up on any weaknesses. Not loving Calculus right now and way behind on micro-economics but I’m sure it will be fine…
  • Read unofficial student guide – past and current Sloan students put together a really helpful instruction manual for newbies, which I’ve referred to time and time again 🙂
  • Complete incoming student survey – also used to select electives and tracks (if applicable) so requires some planning


  • Decide location and agree ‘must haves’/’desirables’ – this could be a whole post in itself(!) as it took a whole week in Boston to find somewhere that worked and was still available at the end of the day. Be flexible!
  • Get pay-as-you-go phone – saved a fortune in US calls to realtors during that week (see above)
  • Take out renters insurance
  • Agree UK ‘farewell tour’ dates – complicated for me since I don’t live in my home country and needed to say farewell to family, friends etc.
  • Hotel for first night in US – we arrived at 8pm local time, it was great to have a cooked breakfast the next day before we moved into our new home!


  • Send in Graduate Loan Application Form – think this is a standard requirement for US students to be eligible to apply for financial aid
  • Open bank account in US (I went with MIT’s Federal Credit Union for the time being)
  • Create a cost of living budget – useful to plan when cash is needed if you don’t hold a lot of US Dollars…
  • Unwind investments and convert to USD – worth thinking about if your college fund is invested in equities and the global economy has gone to pot! 😉
  • Get UK/US tax advice – again, complicated for me given I don’t live in my home country and had(have) no idea if I’ll stay in the US post-graduation
  • Submit final receipts for local health insurance cover (before it expires) – I managed to get most of my vaccinations free!
  • Look into social security scheme in UK (or your home country) – worth considering as you’ll be out of the workforce for two years


  • Research visa application process, obtain I-20 certificate, go to US Embassy – self-explanatory and most b schools will help you with this, but obviously very important to be ready in time (note to Round 3 applicants!)
  • Check out Beatrice [dog] visa and immunisation requirements – this was actually more complicated than the human visa process!

Travel and Healthcare:

  • Research flight options and book – keep in mind there may be restrictions on your visa about when you’re allowed to enter the US (30 days prior to registration day in my case)
  • Research cargo options for Beatrice, obtain Health Certificate, update passport etc. – more complicated when conducted in your non-native tongue!
  • Arrange furniture transportation to US, complete insurance form, US Customs forms etc. – worth paying your haulier to handle in my opinion
  • Sell car 😦 and arrange hire car for last few weeks
  • Compare student medical health plans and enrol, check translations (problem for me as my kids’ medical records are in Greek)
  • Check life insurance and critical illness cover – hopefully not a major issue for most of you but when you have kids…
  • Check which immunisations (MMR, Hepatitis B, Varicella, Meningococcal Polysaccharide) are required – it turned out I wasn’t properly immunised against several diseases; useful to know!

So it was a bit of a random order but I hope it helps to get a few ideas in your heads when you’ve got an offer (or offers!) on the table.

My next post will be at the time I actually set foot on campus as a MIT Sloan Class of 2017 MBA Candidate for the first time – stay tuned!


12 thoughts on “Ticket to ride

  1. Pingback: The long and winding road | TopDogMBA

  2. Pingback: Top Dog Takes MIT Sloan by Storm | The GMAT Club

  3. Pingback: Top Dog Takes MIT Sloan by Storm | Hanna Renaldi

    • Haha! I made a very good choice of wife which helped, and a lot of summer was spent writing checklists instead of sunning on the beach.

      Let’s hope it all pays off now… 😉


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