Learning from the Best

Joe Osnoss addresses a packed room of students gathered for Entrepreneurial Finance & Private Equity (EFPE) taught by Professor Steven Kaplan, one of Booth’s most coveted and ‘expensive’ (in terms of bid points, of course!) classes. Joe Osnoss is Managing Director at Silver Lake Partners, and is a leading voice in the Private Equity world – he discusses nuances in taxation with the same ease that he talks about negotiating with stakeholders across the deal table. What I like about the lecture is his ability to ‘zoom in’ – with incredible mastery over financial intricacies, and at the same time ‘zoom out’ – weaving several years of investing experience into his judgment.

This is one of the core aspects of the Chicago Booth Curriculum – it integrates deep academic research with speakers from industry who offer relevant and actionable insight on how to apply a theoretical framework in business.

When I started at Chicago Booth, I knew that I would be immersed in a challenging, data-driven academic environment, at one of the most rigorous business programs in the world. What came as a pleasant surprise is the number of opportunities that a student has to interact and build a strong network with industry veterans. One meets industry primarily through three avenues – via traditional recruiting, conferences & guest lectures, and via classes. This article focuses on the latter.

This is a distinguishing feature of the Booth MBA – every single lecture that I have attended has been highly relevant to a professional goal or skill. Professor Kaplan (pictured above), for instance, has a lecturer every week from the PE/VC world – invariably the protagonist in the case study that we had to solve.

Professor Guy Rolnik, who teaches a class called Reputation and Regulation: How Media Influences Business, often invites speakers who challenge our thinking, and offers a safe space to ask and answer difficult questions.

One such lecture remains etched in my mind – Luba Greenwood, a senior healthcare leader with Roche Pharmaceuticals. She gave a powerful talk on the future of healthcare – integrating aspects of science, compliance, sales & marketing tools, and community welfare into her talk. As an aspiring woman professional, her story was extremely inspiring.

There are classes that enable you to work full-time with a client to solve a strategic problem, ‘lab’ classes that offer experiential learning opportunities, and the Polsky Center, which creates a strong ecosystem for students to engage with entrepreneurs. Of course, I am incredibly excited to attend a class by Professor Raghuram Rajan – the former Governor of India’s Central Bank, and one of the most influential voices in global policy-making.

These are just a few examples of the excellence and uniqueness of the Chicago Booth MBA. This is a program for those who want to delve deep into topics, forge meaningful relationships, and have memorable experiences. To me the Booth MBA is all of that – subtle and understated, yet incredibly powerful.

Priyanka C Prakash is a Full Time MBA student in the Class of 2017 and a regular guest blogger for The Booth Experience.

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