Meet Chicago Booth’s MBA Class of 2018


Randy Paris

University of Chicago, Booth School of Business

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: A budding innovator who’s excited to apply private sector rigor to social sector challenges.

Hometown: (City and State) Pittsburgh, PA

Fun Fact About Yourself: When I was 16, I got a hole-in-one in a hole-in-one contest! Did not: win a million dollars. Did: win a gift certificate.

Undergraduate School and Major: Wake Forest University, double major in Political Science and Religion.

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

The White House, Presidential Personnel Office, Associate

The White House, Office of Scheduling and Advance, Associate

The White House, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Confidential Assistant

The Sprout Fund, Project Director

Digital Promise, Learning Innovation Fellow

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Helping launch President Obama’s Nation of Makers Initiative, including coordinating the first-ever 3D scan and 3D print of a U.S. President.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? You learn a ton going through the process. Here are my biggest pieces of advice:

  • Allocate enough time to the process. There are a bunch of things involved in the admissions process (GMAT/GRE, essays, recommendations, interviews, school research/visiting, the applications themselves, etc.). In order to get into your dream school(s), you need to do all of these well. That will take time (especially when you already have a demanding job/life!), so give yourself enough time to do the process the right way.
  • Know why you’re going to b-school. It is a huge investment, people. Lots of money and two years of opportunity cost. By the time you sit down to start drafting your essays, you should know that you’re theory for “why b-school” makes complete and total sense.
  • Figure out the schools. When you look closely at various schools, you find out that they present experiences that are, in many ways, really varied. Your experience at Sloan is going to look a lot different than Tuck or Booth or Tepper, etc. First, visiting schools is the best way to get a feel for what that experience will look like, so invest in those trips. Second, talk to students. Third, do your homework. And fourth, don’t accept the heuristics people throw on schools. Booth is much more than a “quant school,” Kellogg is much more than a “marketing school,” etc.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Booth did the best job at catering to exactly what I was looking for – rigorous learning, training, and opportunity in entrepreneurship, leadership, and application to the public and social sector. In each of those buckets, some schools are better than others – Booth is exceptional in all.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? I would love to work somewhere with the potential for deep and broad social impact, where I had (1) the freedom to build and grow a project, portfolio, or idea, and (2) wonderful colleagues who inspired me to come to work every day.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? That I gave the opportunity absolutely everything I had, and that I left nothing on the field.

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