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Claudine Vainrub, MBA ’97: Entrepreneurial Journey Leads Alum Back to Ross

By Joel Sensenig

For Claudine Vainrub, MBA ’97, her passion is helping others find their path in life by guiding them through the college admissions process. As the founder, owner, and principal of EduPlan, a college and graduate admissions counseling firm based in Miami, Florida, Vainrub has supported thousands of college and graduate school candidates in successfully navigating the admissions process and securing scholarships.

Vainrub manages a team of editors and support staff that assist her behind the scenes with admissions-related and administrative tasks. She takes pride in offering a highly personalized practice that supports not only the admissions journey for her clients, but their personal and professional growth.

Immigration clears path to career success

From the age of 17, Vainrub knew she wanted a career that combined the fields of communications and business. Upon getting her undergraduate degree in communications and journalism, she bought a book detailing the top 25 business schools — one of which was the Ross School of Business. She attended an MBA fair in Venezuela and met with the Michigan Ross admissions director. 

“After our meeting, I was hooked,” Vainrub recalled. “The social environment, MAP, the excellence in every branch of business and particularly in marketing and strategy were all traits I was looking for and Ross offered.”   

After earning her MBA from Ross in 1997, Vainrub returned to her native Venezuela where she worked as an executive vice president of an industrial manufacturing company and also served on the Michigan Ross Alumni Admissions Committee, conducting interviews for prospective MBA students.

However, five years later while on a family vacation to Florida, Vainrub and her husband, Alexander Kupchik, made the decision not to return to Venezuela, which was struggling to find stability in the wake of the Chavez regime taking control of the government. 

“I realized that Venezuela would not go back for a long while to being the prosperous country it once was,” she said. “That's when my husband and I, along with my parents and kids, sought to establish ourselves in Miami, leaving all behind.”

Vainrub knew she had her education to lean on as she set out to start over. Looking through job postings in the newspaper, she saw an ad for a university admissions officer and decided to apply.

“It just clicked,” Vainrub said. “I knew that, moving forward, that’s what I wanted to do.” 

Within a month of starting that job, Vainrub made plans to establish her own college admissions practice and incorporated EduPlan. Since that time, she’s found both fulfillment and success in her career. 

“I adore the feeling of helping someone maximize their potential and expand their life opportunities. I feel like Michigan Ross did that for me, providing learning opportunities that catapulted me to success.” 

 Claudine Vainrub, MBA '97

A career shaped by Michigan Ross

Vainrub credits Ross faculty, such as Dr. Andy Lawlor and the late Professor C.K. Prahalad, as being instrumental in teaching her the value of thinking ahead. 

“They guided me to see beyond the present, showed me how to identify market opportunities, and finally inspired me to have the courage to take calculated risks that resonated with my interests and talents,” she said.  

At Ross, Vainrub also learned the value of developing one’s personal brand, which has helped her not only in the recruiting process, but in finding success in her career. 

“Not only did I learn how to market myself as a job seeker, but I eventually became so proficient in writing resumes that I successfully incorporated this service into my practice.”

A continuing legacy and commitment to Michigan Ross

Vainrub’s connection to Michigan Ross has been renewed and strengthened with her daughter Anabella Kupchik, BBA ‘24, now a Ross student, and her son, Elliot Kupchik, a student at the U-M College of Engineering. As a result, she found herself wanting to be more involved with her alma mater and took on a leadership role in organizing her Ross Class of 1997 reunion during U-M’s 2022 Homecoming weekend. 

“It was fantastic,” Vainrub said. “Reconnecting with our class and enjoying those memories, I’m super proud of each member and how they have grown in their professions — it is very rewarding that our friendships have lasted all these years.”

Looking to the future, Vainrub knows she will remain involved with her class events — even eyeing the possibility of an off-campus reunion in Miami. 

“I wish to continue working toward developing new programs and offerings for our reunion events to be both meaningful and enjoyable for all alumni,” she said. “I hope to continue contributing with ideas and helping to establish a concept that allows our spirited alumni to continue being deeply engaged with our institution.”

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