Continuing from the earlier post this week, our bloggers this year bid you farewell as they turn over the reins to the new team of 2016.
Less than two years ago I was graduating from the Tisch School of the Arts and living the life of a starving artist in Brooklyn. Making films was a great departure from the career I had before as an officer in the Army. I wasn’t completely fulfilled and applied to business school in order to transition into something “different.” I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do; I just knew that I needed to be somewhere else. I needed some time to figure out what I wanted and knew a top business school could afford me that opportunity. I was lucky to have picked the best possible school for me. Today I am days away from being a graduate of the Chicago Booth school of Business. During the last 2 years I have traveled the world, studied in Barcelona and Nairobi, got a job as an investment banker, met some lifelong friends and business partners and literally changed my stars. My resume is full of accolades, but as I complete this degree I realize that it is not about the end but the means that really mattered. The experience has been an amazing journey and the relationships I’ve created will last a lifetime. This has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life because I really got a chance to figure out who I was and what I wanted. I leave Booth with a reaffirmed confidence that I can do anything and I will have the support of this community in perpetuity.
Two years have gone by and it’s now time to say goodbye. I’ll be moving to Seattle shortly to start working at Amazon as a Sr. Product Manager. My time at Booth has been remarkable and has left me with multiple valuable long-lasting memories. Some of these I have shared with you through blog posts, pictures, videos, etc. Hopefully it is or will soon be the time for you to undergo a similar experience. My only advice would be to be sure to take full advantage of it, pursuing everything you feel could add value and perspective to your life. Remember Business School is as much a time of exploring as it is of learning. Do wonderful things, pursue different challenges, meet diverse people and above all, become the person you’ve always wanted to be. Please do reach out on LinkedIn or any other social media site if you have any questions or need help. Good luck!
It’s been an eventful two years at Booth. The best part of my MBA experience was spending time with Boothies while enjoying the best of Chicago! I am sad to leave the city and my friends, but I know I will return to Chicago often and stay in touch with many of my classmates. My goal in entering Booth was to transition from a career in psychology to a career in marketing. I am still working on that transition, but I am confident that the knowledge I gained in the classroom and the skills I acquired during my internship will be instrumental in meeting that goal. That being said, my advice for admitted students is to understand how to leverage your background most effectively. Career switching is difficult, so be sure to highlight how your past experiences are relevant to the career that you desire. Currently, my plans are to return to Minneapolis to enjoy the lakes before they freeze.
Wrapping up Strategy Symposium, a capstone seminar class taught by Harry Davis, has inspired me to look long and hard at my experience here at Booth and all the ways it’s been transformational. While my two years have been, simply “one of the best days of my life,” I feel well-equipped to move on to the next stage of my life as an associate in McKinsey & Co.’s Chicago office.
So, how have I changed?
First, I switched careers. I came in with a background as a professional investor (buy-side equity research and portfolio management) and the goal of continuing at a higher level. After careful consideration of my strengths, weaknesses, and passions, I recruited for management consulting. Without Booth’s career services team, the Management Consulting Group, and the incredible connections I made with past and current students, I definitely would not be where I am today.
Second, I pushed myself beyond where I was comfortable. If there was an article I wanted to write over the course of this year that I could never fully articulate, it would be an introspective piece on how hard the social aspect of business school was at times for a self-identified introvert. I took on classes I felt only semi-prepared for; I applied for leadership positions and got rejected. I became even better acquainted with failure than I already was.
Third, I made friends with an amazing community of people. Whether it was hiking the four-day Inca Trail or developing a new blog for Booth’s admissions team, or just exploring Chicago, I got to know so many remarkable people with so many remarkable stories. One of the greatest “myths” heard on various communities is that Booth doesn’t have a close-knit community. That’s the complete opposite of my experience here—the people here are the reason why my experience was worthwhile, why I chose to stay in Chicago, and why I would wholeheartedly do this entire experience over again if I had the choice.
Godspeed and good luck, readers. Excel Monkey out.