I was born and raised in New Jersey and went to Vanderbilt University for undergrad. At Vanderbilt, I developed an interest in corporate finance and eventually started my career in investment banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. I enjoyed this role, but I was more interested in being an investor than an advisor so I transitioned to Carlyle’s real estate private equity group, where I worked for three years. While I’d like to be an investor for the long term, I knew that attending Booth would provide me with a well-rounded business education, leadership development training, and a network of remarkable and talented colleagues.
When I visited Booth for the first time, it was the people and their passion for the program that stood out. I also think Booth’s utilization of the city of Chicago differentiates it from other MBA programs. This primarily manifests itself in the lab courses, which allow students to benefit from hands-on experiential learning with real Chicago-based practitioners. I took PE/VC lab last spring in tandem with an internship at AJ Capital Partners, a Chicago-based real estate private equity firm focused on hotel investments. It was great to have an opportunity to pursue internships during the school year and a big benefit of going to school in a city like Chicago.
Booth also offers a unique value proposition due to its flexible curriculum. This is a major differentiating factor as it enables students to allocate their time as they wish, effectively allowing them to maximize their education. Since there are no real requirements (other than LEAD, our Leadership Effectiveness and Development course), students can study whatever they think will best bolster their careers. The LEAD program also attracted me to Booth as leadership development training was one of the reasons I wanted to pursue an MBA. After experiencing LEAD firsthand, I can attest to how much it helped with my communication and interpersonal skills. »
I’ve had the opportunity to exercise some of those leadership skills through my involvement with iMentor Chicago and as a Regional Captain for the Global Booth Ambassadors. I’m also active with Booth’s Private Equity and Real Estate Clubs as well as intramural basketball. Class-wise, I have to say Negotiations with Bernd Wittenbrink and Real Estate Investments I & II with Joseph Pagliari have been among my favorites. Like I mentioned before, you get to build out your curriculum to your specific career interests and needs, and I’ve definitely taken advantage of that freedom.
I not only enjoy going to school and working in Chicago, but I love living here as well. Living in the Gold Coast neighborhood positions me close enough to all of the Booth action in the Loop while also allowing me to experience living in a classic Chicago community and within walking distance to all of the restaurants and bars in River North. I’d say that my favorite things to do in Chicago are jogging along Lake Michigan and trying new places to eat within the West Loop dining scene.
I am thrilled to be part of The Booth Experience blogger team because it’s a great way to connect with prospective Booth applicants. Back when I was applying to business school, I constantly checked the Booth blogs and social media posts, and they were instrumental in both educating and exciting me about Booth. I hope I can do the same for you!