Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Dylan Geary, University of Chicago (Booth)

Dylan Geary

University of Chicago, Booth School of Business

“Health care enthusiast who thrives on friendly competition, humor, adventure, and Oxford commas.”

Hometown: Leawood, Kansas

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have done 13 escape rooms in 7 different cities and have even made it out of a few of them

Undergraduate School and Major: Lawrence University, Economics

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Cerner Corporation, Lead Business Analyst

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Booth students commonly refer to the flexible curriculum, which allows us to craft our own paths and build on our interests. In addition, I focused on the core pillars that The University of Chicago is committed to and the way those tenets inform our classes. Booth not only maintains a data-driven approach, but also strongly supports open dialogue. The University of Chicago is built on the principle of teaching people how to think, not what to think, and cultivating an environment that brings together diverse voices to incubate ideas and push boundaries. I truly believe there is no better climate to prepare us for the disruptions and opportunities we will continue to see across industries.

What quality best describes your MBA community and why? Although bonding as a class during a pandemic takes a little more intentionality and creativity, the Boothies that I have encountered thus far have shown themselves to be other-directed. Everyone tries to create opportunities and be cognizant of one another within our community, as well as paying attention to broader communities. My classmates are conscious of the most compelling issues about equity and resource-distribution in the world and the roles we can and will play in the future in addressing them.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far? I am proud of leading an initiative to change a workflow that Cerner’s sales teams used to manage our CRM, saving hundreds of hours per quarter. This contributed to me being the youngest winner of Cerner’s Masters Award given to the top 100 associates (of 28,000 at the time).

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Despite growing up with two lawyers, I told my parents that I wanted to get an MBA when I was seven years old and I have not wavered on that. Attending a liberal arts school taught me how to think broadly and solve complex problems, but an MBA is important for me to fill the gaps that I have in specific areas such as finance, marketing, and strategy.

If I hadn’t always recognized the value of business school and knew that it was part of my plan to go further faster, I might not have taken the leap so soon. I loved my role at Cerner and the challenges that were thrown my way which made it difficult to leave. Thankfully, I worked for an executive who inspired and mentored me, and was very supportive of me leaving to get an MBA. Perhaps he just wanted to get rid of me.

What makes you most excited about getting your MBA at Booth? What makes you most nervous about starting business school? I am excited to learn from professors who defined the economic theories I learned about in textbooks and to be surrounded by classmates who challenge and inspire me. One of the best aspects of Booth is its people.

What makes me nervous is staying engaged and in touch with the current changing landscape of business. Many sectors will see significant shifts during these turbulent economic times and many companies will be restructured while my class is in school. Now, more than ever, we will need to be conscious of that while in an academic setting.

What club or activity excites you most at this school? Outside of the Health Care Group and Management Consulting Group, I am looking forward to joining our Basketball Club. Most of my formative years were spent on a basketball court, but I haven’t picked up a basketball since college. I suddenly now have a group of people willing to play with me anytime.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Stanford GSB, Northwestern Kellogg, Harvard Business School, Yale SOM

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I looked at many of the standard factors such as rankings, location, alumni network, etc. The two aspects that I centered on were curriculum and community:

Curriculum: A flexible curriculum was important to me to be able to pursue my own interests and be in classes with classmates who want to be there, which creates a more engaging experience. I also looked specifically for programs with a variety of health care and data science classes to fit my career goals.

Community: Culture was very important to me. Each school projects its culture throughout the admissions process and anyone can find the typical profiles online, but I think trying to experience a culture is important. I attended events and talked to multiple current students at the schools. Each time, I thought about the type of people I would want to call years from now to help me solve a problem or to bounce around ideas. Business school goes well beyond the two years we spend here. It is one thing for a school to say it has a supportive, collaborative culture and another thing to perceive that from the people with whom you are interacting. Culture is felt not heard.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? I lost my father two years ago to Parkinson’s disease. His death wasn’t nearly as defining as was his six-year battle with the disease. Navigating the health care system and feeling powerless at times to help him is what motivated me to want to spend my career improving others’ interactions and outcomes. My skillset does not lend itself to helping cure Parkinson’s, but I do believe I can play a role in encouraging early intervention and preventing medical mistakes.

My father’s battle gave me the benefit of knowing how I want to contribute to society and therefore a guide to what I want to get out of business school.


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