Meet Chicago Booth’s MBA Class Of 2019

Sam Spletzer 

University of Chicago, Booth School of Business 

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Driven, analytical, and intellectually curious servant leader whose career has been building and leading teams.

Hometown: Cedarburg, WI

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’ve been to six of the seven continents (only missing Antarctica… for now).

Undergraduate School and Major: United States Naval Academy, Systems Engineering

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: U.S. Navy, Naval Special Warfare Officer (11 years)

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Serving at Naval Special Warfare Development Group alongside an amazing array of highly talented and very driven people.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? Take the time to make an in-depth visit to each school you intend to apply to – this will be time well spent. Go to one or more classes, see the school’s teaching method(s) in action, experience the overall setting of the school, interact with the students, meet some of the faculty, and walk around the location where you would be living for two years. Get a first-hand understanding of the whole school, see it all through your own eyes, and form your own unique and personal opinion of the school. Once you’ve gathered this first-hand knowledge, envision yourself as a student at that school for two years and gauge your reaction to that vision. Does it feel right? Is there something you think might not fit you well? I feel that this level of experience and contemplation will help you and your application in many ways: being more genuine and substantive in your interview, helping you create more effective and personal essays, and (ultimately) in helping you land at a school that is the right fit for you.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? I would sum up my one key factor as the overall setting or context of Chicago Booth.  The academic, social, and geographic environment of Booth was what I felt most comfortable with and excited about.  Booth combines a highly flexible yet clearly academically rigorous program (and student body) with a major U.S. city setting and great living prospects in downtown Chicago. Plus, as a native Midwesterner, I felt a very strong pull back to the regional culture and attitude. The genuine helpfulness and friendliness of all the students, faculty, and staff I’ve encountered at Booth really reflect that culture.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? Heading into an internship that I find exciting and challenging, having successfully built a foundation of fundamental business knowledge by learning alongside talented fellow students and enjoying the whole experience.

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