Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Patrick Flood Mauel, University of Chicago (Booth)

Patrick Flood Mauel

University of Chicago, Booth School of Business

“Curious, open-minded, resilient, creative, hungry.”

Hometown: Houston, TX

Fun Fact About Yourself: My first job was operating a mini-donut machine in Northwest Iowa. I have not eaten a mini-donut since.

Undergraduate School and Major: Applied Math – Statistics at Harvard University

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Commodities Options Trader, Morgan Stanley

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? For me it was Booth’s emphasis on academic rigor and evidence-based learning. You see that in its accomplished faculty, the technical depth of its coursework, and the way it has invested in centers exploring the intersection of data science and fields like asset management and marketing. That differentiates Booth’s students from those of other programs, making them increasingly valuable in a world that depends more and more on data-driven insight.

What quality best describes your MBA community and why? Booth students come from all walks of life, but in my experience the common thread that links us is a pay-it-forward mentality. Whether interviewing prospective students, giving career advice, or sharing opinions on which classes to take, the current second years have been a remarkably involved and accessible resource. That ownership is a unique testament to students’ shared belief in Booth.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far? Finding my way to an options trading seat pushed the limits of my understanding of risk management, markets, and myself. The trial-by-fire, no excuses ethos of the desk taught me that we are all far more capable than we think, and that repeated failure is necessary for success in the things that matter most.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I wanted the time to take a step back from my particular corner of the workforce, gain exposure to innovation-oriented fields like financial technology and venture capital, and very deliberately plan the next phase of my career.

What club or activity excites you most at this school? Hands-down, I am most excited for entrepreneurship resources like the Polsky Exchange and New Venture Challenge. As an MBA, you have a nearly risk-free two-year window to start or join a new company, surrounded by students and faculty who want to see your idea succeed. That level of goodwill doesn’t exist outside university walls, making programs like Booth an incredibly rare opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? While online information was certainly helpful, my most informative resources were the current students I reached out to. Getting the pulse on what their priorities were during their two years, what classes and clubs they were involved in, and how they themselves felt about the experience gave me a good idea about their schools’ respective cultures.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? When I was 15, I found myself in a London hospital with a bullet in my leg – I had been caught in the crossfire of a dispute that unfolded in the restaurant where I was eating. The experience made me appreciate the outsized impact highly improbable events can have on our best-laid plans and projections. It taught me that aftershocks like the health and economic crisis taking place today, we have to do our best to forget the old plans, take things as they are today, and start optimizing tomorrow.

What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? General Magic. It was the first company that set out to build the smartphone, 17 years before one was successfully introduced by Apple. Though the company ultimately folded, its team went on to play pivotal roles at the firms that shaped today’s technology. It illustrated that even as business cycles ebb and flow, the most impactful ideas persist. In a way, that’s its own form of success.