Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Rishav Dhar, University of Chicago (Booth)

Rishav Dhar

University of Chicago, Booth School of Business

Curious, resilient, sociable, open-minded, passionate about healthcare, and building an equitable society.”

Hometown: Kolkata, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: I was a waiter, entrepreneur, writer, and event manager — all within a week’s time as a full time student.

Undergraduate School and Major: Vellore Institute of Technology | Bachelor of Technology

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Analyst | Clinton Health Access Initiative

What word best describes the Chicago Booth MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far and why? Humble. The people I have met up to now in the Chicago Booth Full-Time MBA Program have exceeded even the high expectations I had while coming here. What truly stands out is how humble everyone is about their achievements. Everyone is willing to speak with and learn from everyone! That gives me the confidence and platform to reach out to anyone associated with the school and ask even basic and silly questions, regardless of seniority. That creates a very strong inclusive atmosphere within the Booth community.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of Chicago Booth’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The flexibility offered by the Chicago Booth curriculum makes it extremely unique. There is no core curriculum and the MBA is really what one wants it to be. This gives me the flexibility to study multiple interesting courses at the same time at my own pace. Chicago Booth is a great place for people who know what they want and provides them all the support and space to pursue it in the best possible way.

Another thing that stood out about Booth was the culture. Booth believes in the pay-it-forward culture and that was reflected when I cold emailed Booth alumni during the application phase. The response rate of Booth alums stood out as one of the highest amongst the alumni of multiple schools I applied to. I was very pleasantly surprised that a community as highly accomplished as that of Chicago Booth was willing to take out time for an applicant even before an interview call. They are also more than willing to open up their networks and put you in touch with whoever they know. I think that only shows the trust and faith every member has in the Booth community.

When you think of the Booth philosophy, what is the first word that comes to mind? Why? Data. The Chicago Booth MBA is centered on data and that makes it one of the most, if not the most, academically strong MBA programs in the world. I think that puts Chicago Booth in a unique spot as a thought leader in the 21st century when leadership is all about decision making with complex data.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Helping the Government of India scale up COVID-19 testing from a few hundred tests per day to a few million tests per day, during the initial few months of the pandemic was the most fulfilling project of my life. Working with the bureaucrats, epidemiologists, engineers, and logistics experts from across a country as large and diverse as India, to impact something this important was one of the most challenging yet humbling experiences to date.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? I intend to continue in healthcare, but preferably pivoting into digital health. I’m excited about the tech startups that are addressing healthcare challenges in the monitoring, delivery, and wellness space.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Wharton, INSEAD, Columbia, Kellogg

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Chicago Booth’s MBA program? The Booth application essay is tricky because, unlike other schools, it does not have a word limit. So, there is a significant amount of canvas for an applicant to paint a complete picture. I would definitely recommend using the space optimally and conveying three things: Why MBA? Why Booth? Why you?


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.