What Surprised Me About Booth

As an Admissions Fellow, I am often asked about my experience at Booth. A common question I get is, “What’s surprised you most?” So, I wanted to share my biggest pleasant surprises and, hopefully in the process, shed some light on what attending this school has meant to me.

1- The emphasis on personal growth

I expected to come to business school and learn the fundamentals, build a network, and learn the necessary tools to land my desired internship/job. I did not expect the extent to which Booth would promote personal growth by encouraging some serious introspection. That path toward personal growth began with LEAD, which tested my self-awareness and got me to consider how my strengths and weaknesses translate into my abilities as a leader and teammate. 

It continued with Booth Insights, a program where I got to meet bi-weekly with a group of Boothies to discuss perspectives on work/life balance, success, and love, among other topics. I experienced it in my Ethics of Business class, where I had the opportunity to read Marx, Smith, and Franklin and consider big questions around the ethics of capitalism, giving back, and generally, what it means to be an ethical businessperson. That journey will continue through graduation and I am immensely grateful for it.

2- A world-class quantitative program with equally strong qualitative offerings

Booth is often referred to as a quant school and people are not mistaken for assuming this. Disciplines here from finance to marketing are all viewed through a quantitative, data-driven lens. That said, I have taken some amazing qualitative-leaning classes that have incorporated elements of sociology, psychology, social psychology, and law. I strongly recommend Managing in Orgs, the Legal Infrastructure of Business, Consumer Behavior, and Strategy and Structure.

3- Connections to the larger university

The school does a good job of promoting interactions with the larger University. Boothies are able to take up to 6 classes across the different graduate and undergraduate departments. The graduate council also offers a variety of inter-graduate activities like socials, tickets to plays, comedy shows and sports games, and opportunities to participate in Maroon Insights, which is similar to Booth Insights but includes a group of students from different grad programs.

4- Diversity of student body

I’ve been blown away by the diversity of backgrounds represented in my class. My classmates worked in banking, consulting, private equity and also in entrepreneurship, tech, music, acting, sports, healthcare, real estate, oil and gas, government, military, marketing and the list continues. That’s without mentioning their unique and fascinating life stories.

5-Opportunities to form strong bonds

As an introvert, I was initially intimated by the prospect of joining a large class and meeting so many people at once. I’ve been pleasantly surprised that I’ve developed such close friendships where we’ve bonded over watching TV shows, climbing at Brooklyn Boulders, eating Lebanese food, seeing international movies, and enjoying good conversation.

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