Meet Chicago Booth’s MBA Class Of 2020

Ankita Panwar

University of Chicago, Booth School of Business

Definitely an introvert, but always ready for hour-long discussions on life and philosophy.”

Hometown: Meerut, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: I love adventure. From surfing, sky-diving, scuba-diving to canyoning, tried it all and am looking forward to trying new things with my classmates.

Undergraduate School and Major: Integrated M.Sc. in Economics at Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Investment Analyst at Sequoia Capital

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Gaining my firm’s trust and being tasked to take the lead in running several investment deals. Being able to influence investment decisions and heading the due-diligence processes gave me a high sense of ownership and provided meaning to my job.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? They are all super helpful! Several of them have gone out of their way to help me with my many queries.

Aside from your classmates, 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 found Booth’s flexible curriculum to be very appealing. Being able to control my education and schedule would allow me to skip several basic courses in economics and dive deeper into the things I want to learn more.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? The Random walk! A 10-day trip in Costa Rica with my future classmates. I have heard people bond and make friends-for-life during the freewheeling tour of exotic locales, and am looking forward to that experience.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I wanted to build a global network of folks I could learn from. MBA seemed like the best path to do this.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? Honestly, I am not sure if the dollar-return can be calculated with accuracy. But the opportunity to spend two years with fun, driven, interesting people from various walks of life is the real return here and it definitely justifies the investment.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? HBS, Stanford, Wharton

How did you determine your fit at various schools? Talking to alumni (after having done basic research) is the best way to get an idea about your fit and the school’s culture. Fit and culture was the top-most factor in my mind. The second factor was alumni-reach in my target industry/geography. Latter can be compared for various schools easily via Linkedin.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I used to develop algorithmic investment strategies in my first job. Developing my first strategy after multiple failed attempts and night-outs was a moment which gave me immense confidence in my abilities and built my resilience.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? I will continue in the buy-side investment space.

Where do you see yourself in five years? Partner at an investment firm. Living a fulfilling and meaningful life with family and friends.

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