USA Today’s Young and In Debt serie presents Tolu Adeleye, a MIT Sloan graduate who charged $35,000 in credit card debt due to travels during business school (he also has $25,000 in business school loans). Out of all the stories, his is probably the one I can most relate to. I LOVE to travel, and I can understand how it’d be easy to swipe the card for plane tickets, hotels, and dinners when you’re at a top business school with prospects for a high-paying job. Now I know it’s not smart to rack up credit card debt, but I can see Tolu’s side of the story. He’s been to 22 countries! I guess you can say the experience was priceless.
His $25,000 student loans was a good investment – Tolu has a $100,000+ post-MBA salary, with more opportunities for advancement. He lives in Minneapolis, so those six figures will go much farther than in New York or San Francisco. If he buckles down, I think he can pay off his debt relatively quickly.
I’ve heard that many MBA students take out more school loans than they need for tuition and room/board (which has a lower interest rate than credit cards), and just use the rest to travel. I know it’s not prudent, but when the travel bug bites, it bites hard! Most MBA students have worked for 4 to 6 years before school, and will be jumping back into the working pool after two years. B-school would probably be their only chance to be a globe-trotter for a long while, unless they become consultants or something.
Let’s see: I’ve been to Argentina, Bulgaria, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Mexico, and Uruguay. But some of these countries were only day trips, so they didn’t quite count. I’ve also had the pleasure of visiting England and Switzerland, but only if you count time spent in airport. Every time I get a new stamp in my passport I can’t help but smile. I want to visit Spain, Italy, and Morrocco within the next five years. Hopefully I’ll have saved something for a travel fund by the time I go to B-school.