By Chicago Booth November 18, 2013 Leave a Comment
As a newly minted college graduate, Chicago Booth student Luis Nanes was looking to round out his general business skills after graduating from Universidad Iberoamericana with a degree in Industrial Engineering. He was also curious to learn more about the MBA degree and determine whether or not it was for him. Nanes had heard of Chicago Booth, and discovered the Summer Business Scholars Program after doing some research on the school. He felt that the three-week program was a perfect option for him to get an inside view of life as an MBA student.
The Summer Business Scholars Program (SBSP) was created in 2007 in response to growing interest from current undergraduate students and early career professionals who were curious to learn more about the MBA Program and pick up some applicable business skills. It was designed to provide a window into our world, a chance to test the waters while still a few years away from graduate school. True to University of Chicago tradition, it was also structured to provide a stellar academic experience.
It was Chicago that first impressed Nanes. “When I came to Chicago, I really fell in love,” he said. “It was summertime and the weather was beautiful.” SBSP scholars arrive in mid-July and stay through the first week of August. They live together downtown, within walking distance of the Magnificent Mile, some of Chicago’s best beaches and Lake Michigan. It’s not a bad place to be for three weeks!
Once he arrived at Booth, Nanes dove into the coursework. SBSP features three courses  we consider fundamental towards understanding the nature of business: accounting, finance and marketing. Nanes found the marketing course to be particularly helpful; as an engineering student marketing wasn’t something he had previous experience with. “It was a case-based course,” he explained, and provided a “whole different approach from what I had been used to in my home program.” In addition to coursework, SBSP also focuses on leadership development and enhanced self-awareness. We bring in our team from LEAD to facilitate a leadership exercise with the students as well as sponsor sessions on networking, business etiquette and perfecting your professional “pitch.” For Nanes, the networking piece was key. “Networking is essential in your everyday life,” he said. It’s important to meet people from different backgrounds and settings in order to reach your goals. SBSP helped me get the skills to do it.”
Above all, Nanes cites the people he met in SBSP as the biggest gain from doing the program, as well as being instrumental in his decision to return to Chicago Booth as an MBA student later on. “The participants in SBSP are very similar to the ones I am with right now in my MBA Program,” he commented. “I can describe them as very proactive. They want to change the world. They want to have an impact on other people’s lives.”
If you’re curious to see how business skills can change the world, or simply want to further your interest in a particular field, you might want to consider taking a similar path to Nanes. To learn more about this unique opportunity, request more information Applications to #SBSP2014 are being accepted now through early May.
Best, Meghan

About Chicago Booth

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Since 1898, Booth has produced ideas and leaders that shape the world of business. Our rigorous, discipline-based approach to business education transforms our students into confident, effective, respected business leaders prepared to face the toughest challenges.

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