The Stereotype-Defying MBAs In The Class of 2018

Victoria Junger

Victoria Yunger

The University of Chicago, Booth School of Business

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Fashion blogger turned digital marketer, with a knack for details and long sentences

Hometown: Tel Aviv, Israel

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have watched every single episode of Top Chef and other U.S-based culinary shows. So naturally, my excitement towards joining Booth’s Epicurean Group is infinite!

Undergraduate School and Major: Communication and Management in Tel-Aviv University

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: After my mandatory two-year army service served in Israel’s Ministry of Defense, I worked as a Marketing Projects Manager at Welldan (consumer goods importer) and later as a Project Manager at Dataworks (eCommerce agency).

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My fashion blog is my biggest feat to date. I founded it with a mission statement of empowering teens from tough socio-economic upbringings by offering advice on affordable style. My blog became a sensation in Israel, igniting a conversation about fashion and consumerism. The community impact was so significant, that my blog was crowned “Best Fashion Blog” by top Israeli magazine and was featured in local and global media, such as Vogue.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? According to Edmund Hilary, “it is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves”. And indeed, the ascent towards MBA admission is characterized by constant self-inspection, self-discovery and self-improvement.

In terms of actionable tips, I suggest talking with as many students and alumni as possible, as in at least 10 per program! Personal stories and experiences were crucial for me to understand important factors such as community and atmosphere. Your objective shouldn’t be ticking off a box and name-dropping sources in essays, but instead, determining the right path and fit for you. Therefore, in these exchanges, there is value to being brave with your questions.

In addition, I suggest focusing on a holistic approach of storytelling in your applications, and especially on how the different pieces of your life complement each other. In my eyes, your story components don’t have to be picture-perfect in order for you to be a great storyteller. Thus, if you tackle an essay that allows self-expression through elements other than text, dive into the creative waters and go big.

My final advice is on a more personal note and is directed towards the not-necessarily traditional MBA candidates. Harness moments of doubt, originating from you or those around you, to your advantage. First, don’t feel pressured to fit into an “MBA mold,” since there is no such thing and the classroom is unbelievably diverse! Second, capitalize on instances in which you feel like a fish out of water and zoom in on why you feel this way. Your answer might reveal a differentiator that you could work with to enhance your personal brand. Lastly, always believe in yourself. You can do it.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Several years ago, my husband Oren and I attended a Chicago Booth information session. The evening launched with a startling question: “Why are you here and not somewhere else?,”as the Admissions Officer stated that Booth students are encouraged to think about this question daily. This strong opening gave me chills that I remember to this day. Both of us pinpoint this slogan as key in our relationship with Booth, since it encompasses a lifestyle of saying NO to autopilot. Ultimately, this approach pushed us to choose Booth as individuals and as a couple, and we both will matriculate at Booth this fall. Ever since, I received multiple answers to #WhyBooth.A major draw was the program’s prestigious faculty and abundant academic and practical resources like the Kilts Center and Polsky Center, all creating a framework that teaches how to think instead of what to think. Also, the DNA of Chicago Booth intrigued me and from the get-go, I became captivated by the school’s unapologetically clever social media presence, unusual essay approach, and overall essence of innovation and trailblazing. Finally, I believe that it’s all about the people. As I got to know more and more remarkable Boothies as an applicant, an emotional connection was formed. I realized that I would feel at home in this amazingly collaborative community, a collective force that is Chicago Booth.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? (Explain how it appeals to your ambitions and values) I am fascinated with all things eCommerce and digital, and this is the area that I’m currently interested in. In terms of function, I’d love to fulfill a marketing-related role, and specifically gain experience in Brand or Product Management. Nonetheless, I’m open to being directed to new horizons by the transformative Booth experience.


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