The Knewton Blog

Our monthly newsletter features edtech and product updates, with a healthy dose of fun Knerd news.

Student Spotlight — Justin Bohn: A Rock Climber Who Rocked the GMAT

Posted in Test Prep on April 12, 2011 by

In this installment of our Student Spotlight series, meet student Justin Bohn, who lives in Germany and managed to raise his GMAT score by a whopping 130 points (from 570 to 700!). Plus, he already got into b-school… in Barcelona! Read on for more.


Justin Bohn


Cologne, Germany

Current job?

Mergers & Acquisitions advisory

Why do you want to get an MBA?

Upon graduating from Maastricht with a Bachelor in Economics I intended to pursue internships over the course of a year in order to subsequently return to academics for a master, when I knew on which area I would want to focus. A confirmed interest in my field of choice and a desire to master the M&A profession along with a collegial and challenging work environment, however, led me to stay with WestLB. I decided to pursue the CFA accreditation as a substitute for a specialized master with the goal of gaining an MBA degree in the future. In 2008, my employer, aware of my future ambitions and in the context of my professional development plan, instead of paying a bonus, offered me to sponsor an MBA conditional upon my passing CFA Levels 2 and 3 in consecutive years. Fortunately, I managed the CFA challenge, which allowed me to embark on the GMAT fun in 2010.

I view an MBA degree as a milestone to advance my career ambitions. After what will be more than five years in M&A advisory, I desire to evolve and eventually cross borders to the “non-advisory side” of the economy. My aspiration is to build on my M&A experience, ideally in corporate development and strategy. I want to move from advising to implementing transactions and strategic advice, to creating value and shaping a business and its future. I strive to assume entrepreneurial responsibility and form part of a management team responsible for a business and its stakeholders. I see no better alternative to achieve these ambitions – including at some point in the future potentially setting up my own business – than earning an MBA now. I can, however, just as easily picture myself working for some non-profit and doing “something good”… we’ll see where it takes me… I hope that the MBA will open doors into various directions…

And hey, a year off work, in Barcelona (I got into Esade there), with as much rock climbing and fun as possible…who wouldn’t wanna do that?

What’s your dream job after b-school?

Kind of already answered this above…my dream job? Setting up my own rock climbing gym and then going into venture capital…

Can you tell us a bit about your experience prepping for the GMAT?

I found all the quant stuff most challenging, especially data sufficiency. Honestly, I hated the GMAT experience – thanks to Knewton, however, it turned out a lot less gruesome…I followed a six week course and then took another month to prepare (mostly for quant though). In the end I didn’t do as well as I wanted in the quant section…but overall Knewton and all the prep bumped up my score from 570 to 700 – so that was great.

Any Knewton teacher shout-outs?

All the classes were fun…and I always checked out Dave’s recorded quant sessions cause he is awesome. Had they been actual physical classes I think I would have fallen in love with Jess 😉

Lightning Round: Favorite song right now?

The xx – Basic Space

Data Sufficiency or Sentence Correction?

Sentence Correction

Bill Gates or Steve Jobs?

Bill Gates / his foundation

Harry Potter or Twilight?

Harry Potter