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Student Spotlight — Matt Flores: CMU-Tepper Student Nostalgic for his GMAT Prep Days (Really!)

Posted in Test Prep on April 26, 2011 by

In this Student Spotlight, meet Matt Flores, a first-year b-school student at CMU-Tepper! Matt recently came to NYC  and visited the Knewton office to reminisce about the good ol’ days of Sentence Correction drills.


Matthew Flores


San Francisco/Minneapolis

Current job?

1st Year MBA at Carnegie Mellon School of Business, Tepper

What do you think of b-school?

Business school is great. I love the challenge and how ambitious everyone is. Despite all the negativity you see on the front pages, business and entrepreneurship can actually be a very noble cause that empowers the disadvantaged and provides incremental improvements in the lives of everyday people. Sometimes it takes stepping out of the workforce to realize that, which is a very humbling feeling to have and has definitely inspired me to do good and strive for change.

What’s your dream job after b-school?

Working at a West Coast technology firm in a finance or strategy capacity…. or Autobot

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

Preparing for the GMAT was BRUTAL. I actually have severe anxiety problems when it comes to putting the moves on beautiful women and taking timed standardized tests. I got really nervous when I had attempted to take the GMAT before and could never fall asleep so my dad, who’s a neurosurgeon, actually had to give me medical grade sleeping pills for me to get to bed the night before the test. Additionally, I really needed to over prepare for the test, because otherwise I would probably get really anxious and let that distract me. Knewton made the preparation process so enjoyable. It’s been over a year and a half, but I honestly miss waking up at 8:30AM on a Saturday to do SC problems. I really looked forward to seeing Brad & Dave’s faces every week [and Joanna’s chats]. They really made the material fun and I obviously learned a lot too.

Any Knewton teacher shout-outs?

YES!!!!!!! I love Joanna and Effie. I actually was super skeptical of Knewton BEFORE I signed up. I talked to Effie like 4 times and she so smoothly convinced me to sign up. Effie is also eternally optimistic, which got me through a lot of study sessions. Joanna Bersin is literally my hero. Like, legit, if I don’t adopt, I owe her my first born. She suggested that I have a more formulaic approach to my SC, which saved me TONS of time during the actual GMAT. Given how long it took me to do the rest of the problems, I would have easily run out of time w/o the help of Joanna. Dave Ingber also deserves a shout out bc he gave me most of my “A-ha” moments. I feel like Brad M. is worthy of a shout-out, but get the sense that everyone at Knewton likes to make fun of Brad, so I’m just going to abstain.

Lightning Round: Data Sufficiency or Sentence Correction?

Sentence correction stand up!

Bill Gates or Steve Jobs?

Bill Gates. He didn’t even go to CMU, but he bought us a really sweet building that always has free food that I mooch off of. Plus, I love X-box 360. Prior to enrolling in B-school, I was a 40 rank in Halo. That said, I only buy Apple computer/phone products.

Harry Potter or Twilight?

In a street fight, I’d rather be on Harry Potter’s side. In terms of getting babes, I’d rather roll w/ the vampires. Chicks dig immortality.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I’m glad you asked!! I recommended Knewton to 2 friends, both of whom have gotten into good business schools. They’re still interviewing so I can’t say which ones.