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May 21, 2011

Q&A with a Member of the Chicago Booth MBA Class of 2012

In this post. Booth1Y, a former client, has been kind enough to answer my questions regarding his first year.

Booth1Y wanted me to share his background with you: “After the four year experience as an equity analyst and the three year experience in the corporate in one of the major investment banks, I got an MBA sponsorship from my company and chose Booth due to its amazing finance program (however, again Booth is not just finance school).”

Adam: To what extent do you think the school’s mission statement has impacted what you learned at the school so far?

Booth1Y: Booth tries to transform us into confident, effective, respected business leaders prepared to face the toughest challenges through its rigorous, discipline-based approach to business education.
I have experienced and truly enjoyed the “rigorous, discipline based approach” in all of the courses I took since I joined Booth. I feel that the professors at Booth try to teach us how to solve a problem by thorough analysis based on real data and by theoretical framework. Through   such analytical, quantitative, and (of course) qualitative approach to education, we learn to discuss based on the fact and thorough analysis, not based on vague intuition or thoughts. I definitely believe this approach will be very useful in my future career.

Adam: What parts of the program have you liked the most?

Booth1Y:  I like the flexibility of Booth very much!! At Booth, we have only one strict core course (LEAD; Leadership Effectiveness And Development). Thus, we can take any courses which we want to learn from the very first quarter. For example, because I worked as an equity analyst for about four years and am familiar with finance, I took advanced finance courses from the very beginning of MBA.
On the flip side, if students do not have specific goals about MBA in terms of what they want to learn, what they want to achieve, what skill they want to acquire, they must get lost at the tons of resources. Therefore, applicants for Booth need to specify what their goal is when applying and before entering Booth.

Adam: Do you actually have any time for clubs? If so, which ones are you active in?

Booth1Y: Yes, I do! Not only I but also almost all of us enjoy club activities. I am a member of five student groups (Investment Management Group, Wine Club, Epicurean Club, Chicago Asia-Pacific Group, and Japan Club). Especially I am active in Wine Club and Japan Club. In Wine Club, we have parties about twice or three times a month, in which we can enjoy various kinds of wine. In Japan Club, every year we have organized Japan Trip, which is one of the biggest student trips about 40-50 students join. Unfortunately this year (2011) the trip got cancelled due to the earthquake. But because many Booth students are interested in Japanese culture such as Japanese food and Japanese animation, a lot of students hope to visit Japan next year.

Adam:  Are there any common characteristics you find amongst your classmates?

Booth1Y: My classmates discuss until they are truly convinced. Never compromise without legitimate reasons. But we respect opinions and ideas by our classmates.

Adam: Are there any changes coming to the school?

Booth1Y: Booth has been famous for its rich and high-level finance program. As you may know, famous finance professors such as Prof. Eugene Fama and Prof. John Cochrane provide us with the interesting lectures. However, Booth has strength other than finance. Booth tries to make its courses in entrepreneurship and marketing much more attractive. Especially, in entrepreneurship, there are a lot of interesting courses such as the course in which the students compete about their business ideas and the course in which we can experience various issues new venture face. Japanese applicants tend to consider Booth “Finance School”. However, we are not just “Finance School”! Booth is proud of very well-balanced and flexible program.

Adam: What are you doing this summer?
Booth1Y: During the summer MBA students do internship to get a full-time offer. But because I am sponsored by my company and my company prohibits me from doing any internship in other companies, I am going to travel around Europe first. After I come back to Chicago in the middle of July, I plan to study financial modeling such as LBO model with the help of a Booth’s accounting professor and to help the professor create course materials for the next academic year.

Adam: Do you have any specific advice for those considering application to your school?

Booth1Y: Booth provides us with tons of resources in every aspects. Its flexible curriculum enables us to choose any courses from tons of options. In addition, there are lot of experiential learning courses and competitions related to marketing, M&A cases, and new venture. As for career, professional career advisors and 2
nd year career advisors help us with mock interviews and resume check. In career-related student groups such as Investment Banking Group and Hedge Fund Group, conferences and information sessions about companies are held often. In terms of social life, various kinds of sports tournaments are often organized and of course parties are held almost every day by some student groups and our classmates.
As you may notice, without any specific goal about MBA you will get lost with these rich opportunities.

Adam: Are there any specific websites or blogs that you would recommend that applicants look at to learn more about your school?

Booth1Y: I recommend that applicants for Booth should look at the blog written by Japanese students (only in Japanese): http://chicagoboothjapan.blog89.fc2.com/. On the blog, we, Japanese students, write a lot of interesting courses at Booth and our life in Chicago. Applicants will definitely have a better understanding about Booth by looking at the blog. However, if applicants really wanto understand Booth, it is best to visit Booth.

Adam: Anything else you would like to tell us?

Booth1Y: I feel that Booth is underestimated in Japan. Booth is one the best schools not only for finance people but also for marketing people or entrepreneurs. If you plan to apply for MBA, you definitely should consider Booth as one of your options.

I want to thank Booth1Y for taking the time to answer my questions.

-Adam Markus

I am a graduate admissions consultant who works with clients worldwide. If you would like to arrange an initial consultation, please complete my intake form. Please don't email me any essays, other admissions consultant's intake forms, your life story, or any long email asking for a written profile assessment. The only profiles I assess are those with people who I offer initial consultations to. Please note that initial consultations are not offered when I have reached full capacity or when I determine that I am not a good fit with an applicant.
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