Go to a better blog!

You can find a better version of my blog at http://www.adammarkus.com/blog/.

Be sure to read my Key Posts on the admissions process. Topics include essay analysis, resumes, recommendations, rankings, and more.

June 02, 2011

Q&A with a Member of the Chicago Booth MBA Class of 2011

My former client, Booth2011, is an American who previously worked at a Big 4 accounting in audit and advisory.  After Booth, he will become an associate in an investment bank. 

Adam: Looking back on your MBA experience, what do you think you have gained from the experience?

Booth2011: A lot of what I would like to say is cliché - a great business education, a lifelong network, improved interpersonal skills and awareness, etc.  And no doubt these are true and extremely valuable.  But above all, I gained from my MBA experience a much-improved approach to solving problems and thinking about issues.  Being surrounded by so many smart and ambitious people and being exposed to their thoughts and ideas have really expanded the way I think.  There are many layers and subtle aspects to problems that aren’t readily noticeable but can’t be ignored.  The classroom experience and the continuous dialogue with professors have taught me to scrutinize my assumptions and biases and ensure that my logic is on solid footing before I present an argument. 

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

Booth2011: The parts of the program I liked the most were the ones over which I had the most discretion.  The flexible curriculum, which Booth rightfully touts as a major plus, has allowed me to commit the majority of my focus to subjects that are directly relevant to my career interests.  Conversely, the aspects I enjoyed the least were the standard requirements that must be met to obtain the degree.  I didn’t enjoy as much the classes that I felt weren’t as relevant for me. 

Adam: To what extent do you think the school has delivered on its mission?

Booth2011: The school’s mission is to “challenge everything.”  This mantra manifests itself in every lively classroom debate.  Faulty or flimsy assumptions will simply not go unchallenged, forcing you to question many concepts that you would just as soon take as given.  When you’re around so many bright people who come to class and study groups with dynamic, innovative ideas, it becomes obvious that each of us has the ability to question the norm, disrupt the status quo, and push the boundaries of conventional business thought.

Adam: How would you describe the culture of the business school?

Booth2011: The culture is definitely one of collaboration, ambition, and entrepreneurship (both in the traditional sense and the sense of owning your career path and making it what you want it to be).  Outside of school, students are very open and seek to get to know each other on a personal level.  Although few people live in the immediate area surrounding campus, the classes are still very tight-knit and gather regularly at various spots around the city.  Each school has its popular stereotypes, and before coming to Booth I had heard them all – quant school, nerdy culture.  I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised at how well-rounded the students were and how far from that stereotype the school actually is.  It’s a tremendous experience academically and socially. 

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

Booth2011: Very intellectually curious, ambitious, willing to work hard to achieve a goal, and looking to have fun.

Adam: What is hot at your school right now?

Booth2011: There is definitely a buzz around entrepreneurship at Booth right now.  To be sure, the school has been and always will be a top target for employers in finance, consulting, management, and marketing.  But the Polsky Center and the New Venture Challenge (NVC) are both very popular, and students seem inspired by what other Booth alumni have done.  A great example is Bump Technologies, known for its “Bump” iPhone app. They have gone from winning the NVC to attracting nearly $20 million to date in venture capital funding.

Adam: What is your opinion of the career services center at your school?

Booth2011: The career services center at Booth is tremendous.  No matter what career path or industry you are pursuing, they have an extensive staff ready to help.  The recruiting process for more traditional careers like investment banking, consulting, or marketing is thoroughly mapped out to guide you at each step, while counselors are also well versed in helping students seeking less visible or more nuanced positions.

Adam: What is the job market like for you and your classmates?

Booth2011: The job market seems to have taken a very positive turn compared to the last two years, especially in financial services.  All the top employers come to the school and aggressively hire for internships and full-time. 

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

Booth2011: Make sure you know specifically what about Booth makes the school the perfect fit for you and your career plans.  Learn as much as possible about the curriculum, extracurriculars, and school culture to show that you know what Booth has to offer and what you have to offer Booth.  Admissions wants people who know exactly why they need a Booth education as well as people who can enrich the makeup of the class.

I want to thank Booth2011 for taking the time to answer my questions. I wish him the best of luck as he begins to engage in his new career.

-Adam Markus
アダム マーカス

If you are interested in my counseling services and would like to arrange an initial consultation, please complete my intake form, which is publicly available on Google Docs and Scribedand then send your completed form to adammarkus@gmail.com.  You can also send me your resume if it is convenient for you.  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.  See here for why.


Real Time Web Analytics