PAYING IT FORWARD
No worries about that. Ask Booth alumni about their alma mater and they’re certain to tout its “Pay It Forward” ethos. Vickey Xiong, a 2019 grad, credits alumni and second-years for helping her land a job in McKinsey’s Shanghai office. “You can cold email anyone associated with Booth and they are willing to help you, and you do the same. I always felt supported and had a community to share the ups-and-downs along my entire MBA journey.”
By always, she means right from the start. That’s exactly how Lihi Shadmi experienced the school’s Pay It Forward culture. “After being accepted, not only did current students contact me and offer help in anything I needed, they also sent me a long document detailing all the things I need to know as I make my move from a different country to the USA. This helped me feel more confident about the big life change and give me the sense of community I thought would take at least a year to cultivate.”
One reason for students’ penchant for giving back, Alexandre Lin believes, is the de-centralized nature of the program. “Without a curriculum that puts everyone through the same core program, students are a little more left to themselves. As a result, 2nd year students naturally offer their help to 1st year students to navigate this choice-based environment, and I found this sense of camaraderie to be present among alumni too.”
“THE PEOPLE” MATTER
Dylan Geary has a saying: “Culture is felt not heard.” That is certainly true of the Booth School. The program has been called “nerdy” for its high academic standards and devotion to data. In reality, says 2020 grad Yonas Zewdie, the program was something entirely different than nerd nirvana
“These past two years have been some of the most fun ones I’ve had in my adult life. The people here are warm, intelligent, and driven, but they’re also down-to-earth, and love to socialize and have a good time.”
Those people, says Dylan Geary, can range from Nobel Prize winning economists to engineers and artists looking for a purpose and a plan. “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,” she writes. “One of the best aspects of Booth is its people.”
A CLASS PROFILE
This year, Chicago Booth received 4,909 applications for a spot in the Class of 2022, up 10.7% over the previous year. That wasn’t the school’s biggest area of growth, however. The incoming class numbers 621 students, up from 593 the year before. Among this group, 14 students are pursuing a joint JD-MBA. What’s more, nearly 1-in-5 hold postgraduate degrees. Another 8% of the student body has served in their nations’ respective armed forces.
Overall, the class brings a 724 average GMAT to Hyde Park, down six points from the previous class (though the median GMAT reached 730). The class’ average GRE scores were 163 (Quant) and 161 (Verbal), with 17% of the class opting for the GRE. Average GPA held steady at 3.6.
Here’s a number to remember: nearly 58% of applicants who received an acceptance letter ultimately enrolled at Chicago Booth – one of the highest yields among Top 25 programs.
Looking at class composition, women account for 38% of the class, with the percentage of U.S. minorities jumping from 28% to 43%. Combined, Hispanics and African Americans hold 72 seats in the class. Despite COVID restrictions, international students make up 30% of the student body, down just a point from last year. In fact, the Class of 2022 is made up of 56 countries, the most diverse class in four years. Outside of Americans, the largest portions of the class were born in Asia (11%), Latin and South America (9%), and Canada and Europe (3% each).
Speaking of diverse backgrounds, the Class of 2022 hails from 256 undergraduate institutions. The largest segment of the class – 28% – majored in Business. True to the University of Chicago’s roots, 24% hold degrees in Economics. Engineering (21%), Liberal Arts (13%), and Physical Sciences (10%) round out the rest of the class. Professionally, a quarter of the class has most recently worked in Consulting. Another 20% worked in Financial Services, followed by Technology (11%), Non-Profit and Government (10%), Private Equity and Venture Capital (8%), and Healthcare (5%).
POPULAR AMONG STUDENTS…AND EDUCATORS
This pattern holds true after graduation. 38.2% of the Class of 2020 chose Consulting, topping Finance (30.9%) and Technology (16.3%). By the same token, median compensation also rose this year from $168,060 to $170,100 – far smaller growth than what graduates experienced from 2018 to 2019 (+$18,310).
In terms of ranking, Chicago Booth is the reigning #1 in both Forbes and The Economist. The number that sticks out with the latter: Booth notched the highest score from students and alumni surveyed for Personal Development and Educational Experience. In a separate Businessweek student survey, Booth scored high in Prestige, Alumni, and Entrepreneurship. When business school deans and MBA directors were surveyed by U.S. News, Booth ranked among the best in Finance, Accounting, Marketing, and Analytics.
Chances are, it will soon be joining the conversation as one of the top Entrepreneurship programs. Ranked 11th in P&Q’s latest Entrepreneurship Ranking, Booth has invested heavily in the startup space. For example, a third of its electives revolve around entrepreneurship. The school also ranks among the most generous, doling out over a million dollars annually to student startups — three times more than Northwestern Kellogg and six times more than the Wharton School. These efforts have borne fruit, with BlockTower Capital – an MBA startup founded at Booth in 2017 – attracting over $140 million dollars in investment.
The heart of the program is the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which hosts an array of courses, guest speakers, and competitions – not to mention an accelerator program. Rajul Parekh, who launched her online fashion rental startup at Booth, credits the community and programming for her success.
“We would never have come this far without the support and resources of Chicago Booth. The sheer number of introductions and relationships we’ve built through the Booth network is astounding. What has surprised me the most is people’s willingness to help. Additionally, the academic rigor of Booth’s program has helped me hone skills across a number of functions such as accounting, marketing, and operations, which I’ve been able to apply to our venture.”
That interest has filtered down into the Class of 2022 members like Patrick Flood Mauel, who has been exploring fintech and venture capital as a first year. “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.”
AN INTERVIEW WITH THE DEPUTY DEAN
What are some other unexpected treasures at the Booth School? What types of new developments can applicants expect in the coming year? And what traits do adcoms consider key to the makeup of a Booth MBA? Recently, P&Q posted these questions to Starr Marcello, Deputy Dean for MBA Programs. Here were his thoughts on the state of the Booth MBA.
P&Q: What are the most exciting new developments at your program?
Marcello: “The Booth community continues to expand its mission of creating knowledge with enduring impact, and influencing and educating current and future leaders. For the 2020-2021 academic year, we welcomed 11 new esteemed faculty members, and are introducing six new courses, including Evolving Capitalism; Entrepreneurship through Intellectual Property; and Global Health and Social Policy, which is particularly relevant given the state of the world right now.
We’ve also launched a new three-year accelerated JD/MBA program in coordination with UChicago Law School, with our first cohort beginning this fall, as well as expanded our MBA Civic Scholars Program to include students in the Full-Time, Evening and Weekend programs.
Another exciting development to note is that Booth significantly increased support for veterans thanks to a sizable gift from the Harper Family Foundation, and are proud to welcome our largest number of veterans to date as part of the Full-Time program’s Class of 2022.
Lastly is the extension of the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s nationally-ranked Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge (NVC). The Alumni New Venture Challenge (ANVC) is designed to be a global program that helps alumni jumpstart their business ventures. It’s now in its third year and continues to be a great example of how a Booth education doesn’t end at graduation. The Booth community is committed to supporting alumni around the world through access to critical resources that help them successfully grow their ideas, launch scalable businesses, and drive meaningful change.”
P&Q: What are the two most unique or differentiating features of your full-time program?
Marcello: “The unquestioned strength of our world-renowned faculty, as well as our discipline-based and empirical approach to learning, differentiates Chicago Booth from other business schools.
Our unique educational philosophy is known as The Chicago Approach. At Booth, we answer questions and question answers. We challenge the status quo and turn business problems into real opportunities. In a world faced with constant change and instability, our empirical, innovative approach provides an enduring framework to deal with ambiguity, tackle unprecedented issues, and rise to any business challenge, in any industry, anywhere in the world.
Booth’s celebrated faculty has won major awards in the fields of finance, economics, psychology, accounting, and social sciences. They are Nobel Prize winners. They advise the governments of some of the world’s biggest economies. Top companies worldwide turn to Booth faculty as consultants and board members, and many faculty are sought-after experts for the global media. At the same time, Booth professors are dedicated teachers and mentors. They bring their research passion and real-world experiences into the classroom, constructing each course to reflect the realities of today’s business world. They value student contributions and ideas in and outside the classroom, and strive to shape a truly collaborative, dynamic classroom experience.”
Page 3: In-depth profiles of 12 members of the Class of 2022