Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Vanessa Abundis Correa, University of Chicago (Booth)

Vanessa Abundis Correa

University of Chicago, Booth School of Business

“Morning person, adrenaline seeker, NASA and space enthusiast, passionate about entrepreneurship.”

Hometown: Monterrey, Mexico

 Fun Fact About Yourself: I was born in Mexico, but because of my grandparents’ nationality and their influence in my life, I consider myself not only Mexican, but also Colombian and Filipino.

Undergraduate School and Major: Tec de Monterrey, Chemical Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Strategy and Product Manager, Didi Food

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Chicago Booth? I am very excited about engaging in the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation programs. Looking back at my previous professional experience, I now realize there is no secret formula to starting and developing a venture. Receiving guidance to validate and/or grow a business model and having access to valuable connections can make a difference throughout the entrepreneurial journey. I am eager to participate in (hopefully a lot of) Booth’s more than 20 courses on entrepreneurship to learn not only about how to build and grow a business (from scratch or through a Search Fund), but also on how to raise funds and manage investors.

What has been your first impression of the Booth MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far. Booth is known for its quantitative and analytically rigorous curriculum, but Boothies are not all about the numbers. At the beginning I wondered how collaboration and competitive high-driven personalities coexisted. From my first interaction until now, I have encountered generous and always ready-to-help Boothies. Even before I had officially enrolled at Booth, I was able to experience Booth’s unique camaraderie.

Tell us your best Booth story so far. I got my pre-MBA summer internship from a referral given by a current MBA student. I met him at a Bar-B-Que organized by first years for admitted students—even before I was officially enrolled in Booth’s MBA program. Minutes later, he had introduced me to Booth’s alumni from a Mexican Search Fund. His genuine interest to get to know me as a person, resulted in an internship that influenced my career path decision, and a mentor-mentee relationship that I value a lot.

What makes Chicago such a great place to earn an MBA? Chicago is a warm-welcoming city, full of activities to do all-year round (even during the winter). Although it is a very big city, with a lot of things happening simultaneously, people are very helpful and kind. The river, the lake, its buildings with varied architecture styles, and its rich cuisine offering make it a multicultural city to enjoy. Professionally speaking, there are several company offices and headquarters based in Chicago, so students can access and leverage a solid and diverse business network. And last, but not least, being able to live downtown while simultaneously attending classes on Booth’s campus in Hyde Park, surrounded by beautiful nature landscapes and Gothic-style buildings, is definitely a plus to the MBA student experience.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Chicago Booth’s MBA program? When answering these two questions: “Why do I want to get an MBA?” and “Which school do I want to attend?”— it is common to have unconsciously predefined answers in your head. It might be because you have heard those answers from your friends, or you have built them from what you’ve read. My advice would be to be curious, open, and intentional about talking to people with diverse profiles – from different backgrounds, nationalities, and graduation years.

In my case, before I started my preparation process to apply to an MBA, some universities where I eventually applied were not even on my radar. When I broadened my research of universities, I was able to get to know alumni, students, and admissions staff who gave me unique perspectives on their programs, day-to-day activities, and network dynamics. Some programs resonated with me a lot, and some others, not that much. At Chicago Booth, aside from their strength in economics and finance, I discovered their remarkable and empowering entrepreneurship capability through the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, where you can engage in startups, search funds, and PE/VC programs and activities.


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