Meet Chicago Booth’s MBA Class Of 2019

Leila Kutler 

University of Chicago, Booth School of Business 

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Extrovert who loves tackling consumer-facing business problems almost as much as good food and wine.

Hometown: Chevy Chase, Maryland

Fun Fact About Yourself: My 2016 New Year’s resolution was to reach Yelp’s “Elite” status so I could justify all the time I spend talking about/writing about/taking pictures of food -­‐-­‐ it’s the only resolution I’ve ever kept!

Undergraduate School and Major: Duke University, Economics

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Business analyst, McKinsey & Company Product manager, Wayfair

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest career accomplishment was managing my first team at Wayfair. I was terrified to transition from 0 direct reports to a team of 6, but ultimately it was one of the most rewarding experiences. I loved mentoring and developing my team, and I’ve learned that managing others is a key element I will look for in my post-­MBA job.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? Don’t be afraid to let your freak flag fly! Highlight true passions and eccentricities instead of trying to fit in the mold. I was skeptical when  mentors urged me to share my quirks, thinking that wasn’t what admissions officers would want to hear. In retrospect, those stories painted the truest picture of myself and made for the most successful applications.

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? It was the opportunity to tailor my business school experience in a more personalized and intimate way. This is uniquely true at Booth due to both the elective-based curriculum and the high levels of interaction and mentorship between first- and second-year students. I’m also excited to be part of several concentric and overlapping groups of new communities – between living in the heart of Chicago, the broader ecosystem of the University of Chicago, and the business school specific opportunities among my entire class and the other Rath fellows.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? I hope to finish my first year with a concrete list of  and/or careers in which I was not successful. This means I will have taken classes outside of my wheelhouse and challenged myself to explore careers far off the traditional path. If I sail through first year, to me that means I will have failed in embracing what business school is all about: a chance to push myself outside of my comfort zone.