When I got into Booth, I was fortunate enough to be chosen as a Kilt’s Marketing Fellow. As a part of this experience, I have had the opportunity to interact with Marketing faculty and alumni at special events and to receive mentorship from a member of the Kilts Center Steering Committee. This experience has been instrumental in shaping my time at Booth as it has paved the way for my path during business school and defined my approach on how to leverage the alumni network at Booth.
As the outgoing Booth Experience team, for what seems like the last 10 weeks we’ve been asked how we felt about graduating, so we thought we’d give you a few of our top 10s.
It isn’t often that a young professional gets the chance to meet and engage in meaningful conversations with dozens of CEOs, CMOs, and senior executives, especially in a single afternoon. However, as a Booth student, myself and many of my classmates, had the opportunity to do just that, thanks to the Marketing Day Forum put on by the Kilts Center during Spring Quarter.
As I’m wrapping up my last quarter here at Chicago Booth, my mind is running through a whirlwind of what seems like far-off memories. The drive from Colorado, first day of classes, investment banking recruiting, trips across the world, and the list goes on. Contemplating what I imagine will eventually seem like a small glimpse in time, I find myself reflecting on one aspect of this experience that I feel is illustrative of the whole.
My first year at Business School was tough. Awash with a number of competing tasks—moving to a new city, navigating the waters of recruiting, maintaining a family, nurturing lifelong friendships—it was critical that I had the right network in place to help alleviate some of the stress, so that I may successfully emerge from this experience. More often than not, I came to find that members of the African American MBA Association (AAMBAA) were more than willing to fill this gap. AAMBAA has served as more than just a professional resource, it has been my family.
In this second installment of our Booth through the decades series, we speak with Earl Van Zyl, ’07, who works in investment management in South Africa. Earl chose to pursue his MBA despite the observed differences in educational expectations between South Africa and the US. Whilst the chartered accounting qualification is a more popular and recognized post-graduate degree in his home country, Earl saw a unique need for and opportunity in pursuing the Booth MBA: here is his take on how his experience stands out from the rest.