2016 Best MBAs: Dane Guarino, University of Chicago

Dane Guarino Chicago Booth

Dane Guarino


University of Chicago, Booth School of Business

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be probably getting yelled at by a banking MD that I had the audacity to get some sleep last night.”

Age: 31

Hometown: Stevens Point, WI

Education: University of Wisconsin – Madison, BBA in Finance

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? I was an analyst and then an associate at First Analysis, an investment bank in Chicago

Where did you intern during the summer of 2015? I worked at the company I started, Markit Medical (which is a healthcare software company that aims to bring pricing transparency data to the physician office so that patients and doctors can work together to make great clinical and financial choices for patients).

Where will you be working after graduation? I plan to continue building out Markit Medical.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School I was a co-chair of the Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Group, as well as the Healthcare Group.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I started a startup competition and education series called StartUpWeek that took place over an entire week. Surrounding the hackathon style competition (that went for the duration of the week), I brought in influential entrepreneurs to talk about their experiences. The result was a program that let all students at the University of Chicago either try out starting a company, or learn more about how they could start a company in the future. More than 300 students participated in the program.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Successfully getting a company off of the ground. I was worried that I didn’t have the requisite experience to make starting a company possible (especially a healthcare company!), but through hard work, focus, and determination, Markit Medical became a real entity providing real services!

Who is your favorite professor? All five entrepreneurial professors I have worked with, I can’t pick just one! Waverly Deutsch, Craig Wortmann, James Schrager, Mark Tebbe and Brian Coe taught me so much about starting a company. All have remained active advisors to my startup as well, sharing their knowledge and ideas frequently.

Favorite MBA Courses? Building the New Venture (Deutsch), New Venture Strategy (Schrager), Entrepreneurial Selling (Wortmann), Entrepreneurial Discovery (Tebbe and Coe): all were essential to giving me the skillset and confidence to start a company.

Why did you choose this business school? It had the courses to help someone who lacked entrepreneurial experience (say a former investment banker) successfully start a company, and it had the track record to back it up (Grubhub, Braintree and countless others)

What did you enjoy most about business school? Building so many incredible relationships. The students and faculty at Booth are the smartest and kindest people I have ever met.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from business school? Don’t shy away from what you are afraid of.

What was the most surprising thing about business school? The amount of social psychology that was the baseline for much of my classes. A very pleasant surprise.

What was the hardest part of business school? Not being able to do everything!

What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school? Be grounded.

I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I realized that my desire for learning and to start a company could both be satiated at the same time.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…probably getting yelled at by a banking MD that I had the audacity to get some sleep last night.”

Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire Brian Coe, a professor at Booth and the CEO of Slipchip. He’s brilliant, as well as a successful entrepreneur and executive who constantly shares his time and knowledge even though he faces incredible demands as a CEO. He has found the perfect balance in life.

What are your long-term professional goals? See Coe, Brian. Successfully build companies. Help other entrepreneurs. Make the world better.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My parents instilling in me the value of hard work and creativity. Chicago Booth would be a close second.

Fun fact about yourself: I grew up in the woods in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin. I like nature a lot as a result.

Favorite book: To Kill a Mockingbird

Favorite movie: Rainman

Favorite musical performer: Bruce Springsteen

Favorite television show: The Wire

Favorite vacation spot: Istanbul

Hobbies? Fly fishing, camping, reading, bowling, golfing

What made Dane such an invaluable addition to the class of 2016?

“One of the co-founders of Markit Medical, a Booth-start-up transforming the market for health care services, Dane embodies the entrepreneurial experience at Booth. A leader among his peers, Dane partners extensively with Booth’s Polsky Center, UChicago’s Chicago Innovation Exchange, and Chicago-based MATTER to fully leverage ideas and resource for the larger good. An outdoor enthusiast, often called Camp Counselor Dane by classmates, Dane has shaped the Booth experience for classmates interested in start-ups (e.g., led West Coast trek) and all those interested in the great outdoors.” — Stacey Kole, Clinical Professor and Deputy Dean, University of Chicago, Booth School of Business


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