The Big Decision – Why Booth?

The Big Decision – Why Booth?

Everyone has their own set of considerations when deciding to pursue an MBA and where to ultimately attend following the admissions process. As many of our readers are navigating these decisions right now, I wanted to share the perspectives of current Boothies. Here I’m shining a spotlight on some of my outstanding classmates in the Class of 2022 by asking them one simple question:

Why did you choose Booth?

“Booth’s emphasis on experiential learning is a big part of why I chose to attend this program. I wanted an MBA to help me pivot my career post-consulting, but I wasn’t exactly clear what I wanted to do next. 

Through classroom projects, lab-based courses, and accelerator programs, Booth has opened a ton of doors for me which has allowed me to explore a wide range of industries and gain hands-on skills that are extremely valuable for recruiting. 

For example, during my first year at Booth, I interned at two different venture capital funds as part of the PE/VC Lab. As a second year, I am now interning at a late-stage digital health start-up. The opportunities available to you as a Boothie are plentiful, and I love that each and every one of us is able to follow our individual passions and chart a unique journey for ourselves during our time here.” Yashu Madhavan

“Chicago Booth was the best possible choice for my business school decision. I was hoping to advance my career in finance in the Chicago market, and I couldn’t think of a better place to do this. The opportunity to learn from preeminent minds in modern finance is unparalleled, and I know that I will be able to apply The Chicago Approach™ throughout my career.” – Joseph Whalen

“I first became interested in Booth after working with a Booth alumna. I admired her ability to tackle any complex, ambiguous problem, connect easily with clients, and create a psychologically safe and enjoyable environment for her teammates. When I asked her how she developed these skills, she credited her time at Booth, which prompted me to look further into Booth’s offerings.

Upon further research, I was excited to learn about Booth’s MBA/MPCS joint degree program. I had taken a few computer science classes in undergrad, but had always wanted a more in-depth, comprehensive education in the subject area. Moreover, after talking to more Boothies, I was impressed by how helpful, driven, and down-to-earth everyone was, and I knew this was a community I would love to be a part of. Ultimately, I chose Booth because I knew Booth would be the best school to support my personal and professional growth.” – Victoria Wen

“I chose Booth for the academic challenge, professional opportunities, and classmates who make me better every day. The academic challenge comes daily with professors who challenge us and directly relevant business education. Professional opportunities are wide and varied – I am tremendously grateful for the recruiting process here. Lastly, and most importantly, my classmates are some of the most intellectually curious, thoughtful, and generous individuals.” Enoch Lau

“When going through my application process, I selected Booth primarily because of three main reasons: 1) its strength and flexibility across industries, 2) the openness, transparency, and genuine nature of the student body, and 3) its alumni network. 

Booth initially came up as it boasts a strong reputation across a variety of industries, which, even as an applicant who was (and remains) very focused on a single industry (investment banking), enables a more diverse set of experiences while I’m here, and connections once I graduate. Secondly, the students that I interacted with before accepting were exceptionally helpful and genuinely wanted to help me in any way that they could. I felt that they encouraged me to make the right decision for me, and were willing to work through the process with me, no matter the outcome. Lastly, in every single interaction that I had, the alumni network consistently came up and now that I’m a part of the Booth community, I feel that I can speak first-hand to how committed and supportive everyone is. From my initial interviewer to the individuals that I recruited with, I know that, without a doubt, they would help if and when I need it.” Nick Pellicciaro

“The flexible curriculum, the employment statistics, and the fact that Booth isn’t in Evanston.” Andy Hammond

“I choose Booth because of the fantastic and unparalleled community of students and alumni. When I was first accepted to the MBA program, I noticed that Booth alumni went the extra mile to connect me with information, resources, advice, and even paid pre-MBA internship opportunities. 

The strength of that community continued into my first year during the recruiting process for investment banking, where returning second years and young alumni invested their time and effort to help me accomplish my career goals. As I look to my second year and graduating into the working world, I look to continue paying it forward for this community of talented businesspeople and amazing human beings.” Alex Chivescu

“I choose Booth for two main reasons. The first was that I wanted to be challenged academically and Booth provides a safety net of grade non-disclosure that encourages you to take harder courses. This is what I’ve been doing by taking finance and modeling classes that have been completely rewarding. The second reason was more of a gut instinct when I visited the school. I could tell how all the students, professors, and staff wanted everyone to succeed. I also fell in love with Harper Center and had a strong pull to spend every day here!” Steph Regimbal

“I knew that Booth was the best school to help me successfully transition into finance given my engineering background. Booth has given me the opportunity to pursue my MBA in my favorite city, where I want to stay long-term while learning from world-renowned faculty. Also, the flexible curriculum has allowed me to take courses of my choosing for the entire two years of business school. Last, but certainly not least, the students I met during my campus visit, interview, and at First Day were so welcoming and really made me feel like I belonged at Booth.” Randell Strowbridge 

“I chose to earn my MBA at Chicago Booth because of The Chicago Approach™. I found that it emphasized similar themes and values to the ones I had found throughout my career journey, such as the importance of having the freedom and flexibility to forge my own path. To elaborate, I majored in chemical engineering in undergrad and worked as a recruiting analyst at Bain after I graduated. Learning to leverage my data-analytic and quantitative skills in a historically qualitative field was challenging and also part of why I wanted to earn my MBA to begin with. Anything can be a “science” if you utilize and understand how to interpret the data!”Liz O’Loughlin

“After attending First Day and meeting my future classmates, I knew I was making the right choice with Booth! There was so much energy and effort put into the weekend to showcase what makes the Booth community so special.” – Gabby Bates

“When I applied to MBA programs, I was transitioning out of five years in the finance world. I had grown up in the US but spent the majority of my career working across Europe. I wanted business school to be an opportunity to not only come back home but also get back in touch with my academic roots as an environmental scientist. 

The differentiating factors that lead me to choose Booth were its culture and philosophy. As I got to know current students and faculty through the application process, I was drawn to Booth’s world-class flexible curriculum, which encourages independent thinking within a highly supportive community. Over the past year, I’ve been able to focus on two areas of immense importance to me: exploring the intersections of business and sustainability and discovering what it means to lead authentically. Above all, I am consistently inspired by my incredibly driven and thoughtful classmates, who have helped me define and refine what being an authentic leader means to me.” Ash Shirahatti

As you can see, everyone has their own reasons for choosing Booth, which will be unique from your motivations as well. Hopefully, these students’ stories are helpful as you think through why Booth may be the perfect next step in your career!