Berkeley Haas | Mr. Bangladeshi Data Scientist
GMAT 760, GPA 3.33
Stanford GSB | Ms. 2+2 Tech Girl
GRE 333, GPA 3.95
Ross | Mr. Automotive Compliance Professional
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Wharton | Mr. Digi-Transformer
GMAT 680, GPA 4
Stanford GSB | Ms. Healthcare Operations To General Management
GRE 700, GPA 7.3
Chicago Booth | Ms. CS Engineer To Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.31
Kenan-Flagler | Mr. Engineer In The Military
GRE 310, GPA 3.9
Chicago Booth | Mr. Oil & Gas Leader
GMAT 760, GPA 6.85/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Seeking Fellow Program
GMAT 760, GPA 3
Wharton | Mr. Real Estate Investor
GMAT 720, GPA 3.3
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Chef Instructor
GMAT 760, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Climate
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Wharton | Mr. New England Hopeful
GMAT 730, GPA 3.65
Harvard | Mr. Military Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 3.9
Ross | Ms. Packaging Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.47
Chicago Booth | Mr. Private Equity To Ed-Tech
GRE 326, GPA 3.4
Harvard | Mr. Gay Singaporean Strategy Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Electric Vehicles Product Strategist
GRE 331, GPA 3.8
Columbia | Mr. BB Trading M/O To Hedge Fund
GMAT 710, GPA 3.23
Columbia | Mr. Old Indian Engineer
GRE 333, GPA 67%
Harvard | Mr. Athlete Turned MBB Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Ross | Mr. Civil Rights Lawyer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.62
Stanford GSB | Mr. Co-Founder & Analytics Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 7.4 out of 10.0 - 4th in Class
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Environmental Sustainability
GMAT N/A, GPA 7.08
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Trucking
GMAT 640, GPA 3.82
Ross | Mr. Low GRE Not-For-Profit
GRE 316, GPA 74.04% First Division (No GPA)
Harvard | Mr. Marine Pilot
GMAT 750, GPA 3.98

Meet The Chicago Booth MBA Class of 2017

University of Chicago Booth School of Business

University of Chicago Booth School of Business

So what draws so many students to Booth? For some, it is the school’s rich tradition and academic horsepower. There’s a reason that Booth doesn’t post grades. Courses are taught by some of the best faculty and researchers in the game, such as Austan Goolsbee, the former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors during President Obama’s first term, and James Schrager, considered one of the top entrepreneurship professors in the world. Students are expected to take deep dives in the subject matter, where assumptions are picked apart with Socratic precision. In other words, you can’t coast at Booth (especially without a cohort to carry you). And this strongly appealed to Camila Fonseca Lacerda de Almeida, a Brazil native who climbed the ranks at Temasek, an investment firm, before enrolling at Booth. “I felt that the school’s philosophy and data driven approach, as well as its high quality academic experience, would be the right fit after watching engaging classes, with rich discussions between students.”

And this rigor may be one reason why the program is so popular among employers. Booth is considered by some to be the most career-centric full-time MBA programs, devoting heavy resources to helping students land jobs. As a result, Booth boasted a 97.2% placement rate for 2014 graduates within three months of graduation (at an average starting salary and bonus of $137,615). And the Class of 2015 is seemingly doing even better. 465 graduates have reported a median salary of $125,000 and a median sign on bonus of $25,000. And the numbers are even better in consulting ($140,000 and $25,000) and investment banking ($125,000 and $40,000).

Of course, Booth offers a flexibility that few schools can match. Technically, incoming students are only required to take one course: Leadership Effectiveness and Development (LEAD). For Mei, this ala carte model adds additional value to their education. “[It] frees students up to take challenging coursework from day one and allows me to tailor my MBA learning to suit my professional aims.”

Chicago

Chicago

Plus, the school can tout their Chicago location, with its lucrative business opportunities, posh nightlife, and ample recreation to seal the deal. “[Booth]’s long-standing ties to the greater Chicagoland business community also appeals to me, as it provide many unique opportunities to explore careers and build strong networks within the city,” Mei adds. In fact, the Booth network came in handy when Wurzbach was evaluating her options. “The pay-it-forward culture was evident in every aspect of my trip and interactions with the students. Everyone I met wanted to know how they could help, offered to speak to me about post-MBA plans, picking a school, etc.  Students were not just happy but overjoyed to be a part of the Booth community. That spoke volumes to me and made my decision to attend Chicago Booth an easy one.”

So now that they’re here, where does Booth’s Class of 2017 plan to go? Wurzbach is hoping to try new things. “I want to push outside of my comfort zone, academically and socially.  I want to try things I would have never had an opportunity to do as an officer or undergrad and not be afraid to challenge myself. I know Booth is the place to do just that.”

Phillips takes it a step further. “Is it too cliché to say that I literally want to take advantage of EVERYTHING Booth has to offer? I want to wring my two years completely dry by the end…It’s also equally as important to me to have positively impacted the Booth community and made valuable contributions to my colleagues, faculty, and staff before I leave the school.”

At the opposite end, Kevin Xu, a corporate attorney, hopes to slow things down. “I also would like to take this opportunity to step back from the daily grind and really focus on the larger picture of what I want out of my career and my personal life.”

Boothies proving that fun can actually live at the University of Chicago

Boothies proving that fun can actually live at the University of Chicago

It’s going to be an exhilerating two years for the Class of 2017. Regardless of the outcome, most students believe they have found a place to call home. “When I came to Booth,” everything fell into place,” reminisces Lilach Rapaport, who went to KPMG after a stint in the Israeli army. “It had the perfect balance of everything I was looking for: Super-smart people but yet down to earth and sociable; amazing faculty; career services that would do anything to make you a success story; and an incredible city with lots of things to explore. I honestly felt that if I were to come to Booth, the sky is the limit.”

To read profiles of incoming Booth students – along with their advice on tackling GMAT, applications, and interviews – click on the student links below.

Austin Ashmore / Hartsville, SC

Jonathan Coffey / Lincolnshire, IL

Camila Fonseca Lacerda de Almeida / São Paulo, Brazil

Eliza Matache / Bucharest, Romania

Mary Mei / Saint Paul, MN

Michael Moorstein / Darnestown, MD

Ameerah C. Phillips / Chicago, IL

Lilach (Lily) Rapaport / Kibbutz Mevo Hama (Israel)

Katharine Wurzbach / Cortlandt Manor, NY

Kevin Xu / Rochester Hills, MI

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