Switching things up, Part II: Tech @ Booth

Switching things up, Part II: Tech @ Booth

Boothies @ NEtflix

Congratulations everyone who were admitted to Chicago Booth in Round One! This post continues my story about how Booth helped me switch careers from finance to technology.

When I first started checking out resources at Chicago Booth for a student interested in technology, I was excited as well as overwhelmed. The Chicago Booth curriculum offers excellent academic courses, which teach skillsets directly transferrable to a role like product management at a technology company. One such course, which I enrolled for, was Developing New Products and Services taught by Prof. Arthur Middlebrooks. It is one of the most structured courses I have ever studied and methodically teaches you how to translate customer needs into a product idea. Many times, those in charge of building a product make the mistake of doing so without actually validating their customer’s needs. This leads to lack of customer traction for the product, even though the development and design team did a good job. After taking this course, I will be less likely to make that mistake. Another course which I found useful for a role in a technology company is Big Data by Prof. Matt Taddy. Technology companies have access to plethora of data, and if one is able to learn tools, which can make better sense of that data, one gains a competitive edge over peers.

Apart from the academic courses on offer, students at Chicago Booth run a club called the Booth Technology Group. They organize events ranging from former intern panels to company representatives talking about opportunities for MBAs in their firms. One of the flagship events organized by the Booth Technology Group is TechDisrupt, which is a tech conference where speakers from leading technology companies such as Groupon, Google, IBM, Mu Sigma and SalesForce share their opinions about the ever-changing world of technology. Attending these events helped me better understand the opportunities on offer as well as the culture of these companies. 

The internship recruitment season started soon after. Another resource which was hugely valuable to me were second year students. They took out time from their busy schedules to review my resume and cover letters, as well as do mock interviews once I got shortlisted for tech roles. They were also a constant source of encouragement and motivation when the going got tough. Career Services also provided a lot of guidance and support during recruitment (More details here). Thanks to all the resources at Chicago Booth, I was able to finally land my dream job at Amazon!

Achieving my career goal was not the only aspect where Chicago Booth helped me. It also surprised and amused me when I moved from my country of birth – India – to my adopted country of study – the USA. I will share that experience in my next blog spot. So, keep watching this space!