Meet Chicago Booth’s MBA Class Of 2020

John Tracey

University of Chicago, Booth School of Business

Ambitious and outgoing leader, mentor and team player with a passion for paying it forward.”

Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Fun Fact About Yourself: My nickname is Jock (it’s Scottish)

Undergraduate School and Major: United States Naval Academy, BS Economics

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Company: Ascent Technologies. Position: Intern, participating in Chicago Booth’s Start-Up Summer

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Successfully leading a team of sailors on an independent security mission in Central America. This was a very challenging experience in which I had to build a cohesive team to overcome a lack of resources and a compressed timeline in an unstructured environment. This refined my leadership style in building a flat environment to work collaboratively as a team, coordinating with international agencies and developing solutions to unique problems.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Gregarious. Each person I have met has been outgoing and engaging. I think this speaks to the flexibility of Booth, both academically and socially, in that the program attracts individuals who are eager to extend themselves, explore areas outside of their comfort zone and build new relationships.

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? One of the most influential factors was Booth’s culture of a commitment to action. The boldness of action resonated with me. As with my experience in the Navy, it is not only important to work collaboratively with your team to develop the best plans but to move these ideas forward, act and make an impact. This aspect, combined with resources available outside of the classroom at Booth such as the PE/VC lab or Start-Up summer, made it clear that not only would students challenge the status quo in the classroom, but the opportunity existed to realize the real-world impact of these ideas immediately.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? The Armed Forces Group this year and the Mentor Program as a mentor in my second year. I am very excited to pass on the lessons I have learned and pay forward the assistance I have received throughout my career.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Having developed as a leader through many diverse experiences in the Navy, I wanted to pursue my interests in the business world and felt an MBA would provide the ability to explore new opportunities at great depth, continue my professional and personal development, and therefore have a more immediate impact in my career upon graduation.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? It was clear that the ability to discover multiple careers at business school would be critical in my development and my ability to find a meaningful and impactful role. This was particularly evident with Booth’s flexible curriculum and class structure in facilitating this exploration and encouraging a breaking of the norm to find new and unique opportunities which would not be available without an MBA.

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