Kailei, graduating MBA student, Houston

Kailei took a two-year leave from management consulting in Atlanta to pursue her dream of obtaining an MBA in media management. Moving to Chicago, however, had one major obstacle. “When I got accepted, I realized that it would be financially difficult if I was to be stuck paying two mortgages (in Georgia and South Carolina) and a rent payment at the same time. So I decided to defer for a year to sell off at least one of the properties and save more money.”

She also looked at the big picture of financing her six-figure venture. “I saved a little bit while I was working, but knew that if I were to apply to financial aid that they would look at how much money was in my bank account, and the more money I had in my bank account, the less I would be able to receive in financial aid.”

So Kailei sold some company stock, quit work three months before school and lived off of savings to strategically deplete some of her funds. She also found a renter for her loft in Atlanta.


Look at other sources of income … writing for a Web site … mystery shopping.”

But midway through her program, life happened. Her tenants in Atlanta abruptly severed their lease agreement. “Luckily, it happened right before I started my summer internship, and I was earning enough money for me to cover my financial responsibility in Illinois as well as in Atlanta.” Before it got too late, she sold it.

Kailei wasn’t able to continue investing during school, but plans to again, starting with her signing bonus for her new job in Houston.

Her advice to others? “Look at other sources of income. I was fortunate to be able to find a scholarship to pay for one of my years. That was tremendously helpful. In addition, I was writing for a Web site for a while that gave me some spending money, as well as mystery shopping to make cash on the side.”