From the first day I walked through the doors of Harper Center last summer, I may have heard “why are you here and not somewhere else?” about a thousand times. And if you haven’t heard this Booth mantra yet… you definitely will. In fact, this mantra is even a popular installation of the infamous Chicago Booth art collection. Simply put, this is the million dollar question. Imagine me before B-school… I’m in a room of around 500 Zambian students; all bright, eager and vulnerable. My Kucetekela team only have a year to develop applications that will further the education of Zambian generations to follow. I am teary eyed because of the cycle of academic inefficiency and inaccessibility that breeds poverty from the lowest to the highest levels in developing nations. I am faced with selecting the “talented tenth,” having to leave behind the other portion of Zambia’s student population without the proper solution. I raise my head, dry my eyes, and pray for the many students the startup’s efforts cannot reach. I am hopeful that if some succeed, each student can support many others.
1. Why you want an MBA (important) and why you want an MBA now (incredibly important). This is a no-brainer. Asking why you want to get an MBA is in almost any application you’ll pick up, and you should have a clear answer to this question. However, as an early-career candidate, there’s also an imbedded question here – you should be ready to describe why you want an MBA today. There is no right answer to this question – but it’s definitely something you should be thinking about.
As the Round 2 application deadline draws closer, it’s important to reflect on your motivations for wanting an MBA and why Chicago Booth is the right school for you. This week, Josh Hirschland, a first-year student and member of the DSAC Communications team, gives us an honest perspective on such a life-changing undertaking.
My name is Josh Hirschland. I am a first-year student here at Booth, I am a member of the Dean’s Student Admissions Committee, I am pursuing a concentration in strategic management, and I play a mean game of Settlers of Catan.