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Graduating Student Made the Most of “Mistake”

student interviews / tepper

Samuel Belaye grew up in five countries, speaks two languages fluently and another conversationally, and is by any standard intelligent. But, Belaye hadn't fully applied himself in high school.

When he received an acceptance letter to Carnegie Mellon and an offer for a Presidential scholarship, he believed it was a mistake. 

"Clearly, they had seen something in me that I hadn't necessarily seen in myself," Belaye said.

After a difficult first semester, Belaye prioritized his academics and made the most out of his Carnegie Mellon experience. He's now graduating with university honors and a double major in business administration with a concentration in business technology and statistics and data science. He will join McKinsey & Company as a business analyst/consultant this fall. 

"The advice that I have for anyone that wants to come to Carnegie Mellon or a school of similar caliber is that it's a holistic process," Belaye said. "Even if you feel you're lacking academically, you may compensate in another area. Give it your best shot and put your best foot forward. Write your admissions with 100% faith and belief you will make it."

Belaye stressed the importance of prioritizing. 

"It's never too late. I thought it was too late to fix my academics," Belaye said. "Until the very last minute there is never enough that can be done to guarantee your spot here. You can always compensate for your shortcomings earlier on."