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    Women of Wall Street

    May 17th, 2017
    You may not be surprised to know that there are not any Wall Street movies that star women bankers. That was until Equity premiered in 2016. The movie was written, produced, and directed by women. Even better, it was also funded and informed by actual Wall Street women, including Booth alumna Linnea Roberts, ’90, who recently retired as a partner at Goldman Sachs.
    I recently had the honor of participating in a panel discussion on gender equality on Wall Street following a screening of Equity at Chicago Booth’s Gleacher Center in April. The panel was moderated by Linnea Roberts and my co-panelists were Sarah Megan Thomas, Producer and Co-Star of Equity and Gina Lytle, ’09, Vice President at Goldman Sachs. As a second year student, I was thrilled to share my experience preparing for a career in banking, spending my summer on Wall Street, and accepting a job offer. Sitting on the panel reminded me of the tremendous impact of the women in finance who paved the way for me. They established careers that I aspire for while having far fewer female mentors than I have today. Linnea is a wonderful example of someone who has watched the industry embrace women over the course of her career and has dedicated tremendous effort to support successful women in finance.

    Having the opportunity to speak in front of my peers, alumni, and prospective students on an issue that was so relevant to me was such an honor. Business school provides endless opportunities to develop as a communicator and presenter but this was certainly the most fun.

     
    When I decided to earn my MBA to pursue a career in investment banking, there were people outside of my business school circle who often questioned why I would choose such a demanding career in a male-dominated industry. I was not afraid of a challenge so the fact that it could be hard didn’t seem like reason enough not to try. So far in my time at Booth, I’ve gotten to know Booth alumnae and countless fantastic women with impressive banking careers – all wonderful resources and mentors to me. As the industry seeks to be more inclusive (albeit slowly, as you will find when you watch the movie), it is an exciting time to be joining the banks as a woman.

    I first saw Equity on flight shortly after my summer internship experience. I was impacted by how the movie showed us such strong, driven, and complex women and shined a light on topics like mentorship, compensation, family life, and client relationships. Equity is a thrilling story and a reminder for men and women to continue to work toward gender equality on Wall Street. The efforts require sponsorship by men and women, the influence of senior women, and excellence and determination by young women. I was glad to be a small part of the conversation.
     
     

    Sonja Schut
    Current Student
     
     
     
     
     
      
     
    Sonja Schut is a second-year student at Booth. She spent her summer internship with Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York on the Consumer and Retail group. She will be joining Bank of America Merrill Lynch full-time in Chicago upon graduation. 

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    Student Stories: Meet Valentina Durand

    April 25th, 2017

    Originally from Russia, Valentina Durand was living in New York and working in sales and trading at Merrill Lynch when she realized her future was in investing. Given her strong finance background, Valentina wanted an MBA program where she could step directly into advanced level courses that would immediately take her beyond her current knowledge. Booth provided exactly that opportunity as well as lots of ways to get real life experiences while she is attending school.

    For instance, Valentina became a member of several investment-focused student groups, which expanded her education far outside the classroom—from learning how to put together a persuasive stock pitch to speaking with investment professionals about their career advice and investment philosophies. Exposure to such people and information is something Valentina says she only has because she’s a student at Chicago Booth.

    Watch Student Stories: Valentina Durand
     

     
    See our latest videos here and stay tuned for more upcoming student stories. In the meantime, join one of our live chats this month to talk directly with current students.
     

    Best,
    Kate

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    Student Stories: Meet Valentina Durand

    April 25th, 2017

    Originally from Russia, Valentina Durand was living in New York and working in sales and trading at Merrill Lynch when she realized her future was in investing. Given her strong finance background, Valentina wanted an MBA program where she could step directly into advanced level courses that would immediately take her beyond her current knowledge. Booth provided exactly that opportunity as well as lots of ways to get real life experiences while she is attending school.

    For instance, Valentina became a member of several investment-focused student groups, which expanded her education far outside the classroom—from learning how to put together a persuasive stock pitch to speaking with investment professionals about their career advice and investment philosophies. Exposure to such people and information is something Valentina says she only has because she’s a student at Chicago Booth.

    Watch Student Stories: Valentina Durand
     

     
    See our latest videos here and stay tuned for more upcoming student stories. In the meantime, join one of our live chats this month to talk directly with current students.
     

    Best,
    Kate

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    Planning for Your MBA: Advice from the Financial Aid Office

    April 13th, 2017

    Picture of studentIf you’re thinking about business school in the near future, chances are you are also exploring how MBA students finance their education. While the MBA continues to be one of the best short and long-term investments you can make into yourself and your future, it does necessitate a bit of planning ahead. Booth’s office of Financial Aid offers prospective students some information on what to expect and some additional options you may not have considered.

    Know what expenses to expect
    We suggest you start by looking at current tuition rates at your target schools. Even if it’s a year or two before you want to begin your program, you can start calculating a close approximation of costs now. Most schools break down their cost of attendance to include estimates such as renting an apartment, buying a computer, food, textbooks, and securing health insurance — all mandatory expenses every student will have to factor in. At Booth, for example, students may request a loan amount that can also cover these mandatory items.

     
    Your MBA costs, however, won’t be limited to tuition and the necessities mentioned above. Many programs also offer endless travel opportunities – academic, career-related, and purely social. For example, Booth students take Career Treks to meet alumni and industry leaders in various cities in the US and internationally during academic breaks. You will also likely get involved with several student groups, which generally have fees to join. Many Booth hopefuls have their sights set on joining a Random Walk trip with fellow incomings classmates before school begins, which requires money out of pocket—albeit money well spent. A number of events you want to attend (socials, formals, trips, spring break, etc.) may pop up each quarter, so plan to add a few such expenses to your list. This is where money you save before you begin an MBA program will come in handy.

    Be in the driver’s seat
    It’s important to note that your lifestyle during your time as an MBA student can vary wildly based on your choices and, ultimately, you can control how far your money will take you. Be mindful in choosing the right balance for you and plan to be strategic with your spending. Try to identify any easy ‘big wins’—for example, if you can live with a roommate, you can see significant savings in housing costs. Maybe you already have a great laptop, plenty of frequent flyer miles, or have no problem leaving your car behind and taking advantage of Chicago’s public transportation. All of this can add up to significant savings during your MBA program.

    Prior to even starting their MBA, many students create a savings goal for how much money they want to set aside by the time school begins. The rationale being that every extra dollar you save now is one you won’t have to borrow.

    Other funding options
    In addition to applying for federal or private student loans, doing the work to find other funding options will pay off. Does your employer offer MBA sponsorship, or any type of tuition assistance? If so, is it in your best interest to utilize such funds (and accept the terms of such support)? Employer support can require a commitment to return to the employer after school. Be sure to investigate whether an employer assistance program a.) is negotiable; and b.) has amenable terms.

    Are there any agencies or associations you know of or are connected with that offer scholarship or fellowship support to students pursuing their MBA? These could be religious institutions, professional associations, military affiliations, etc. Many students have found success doing a broad scholarship search using big aggregator databases like scholarships.com or fastweb.com.
     

    Family may be another feasible source of funding. Whether gift support or loans with favorable terms, approaching family members who have resources may be a worthwhile conversation to have.

    Chart your path to success!
    Keep in mind; you’re not trying to create a detailed budget quite yet. But when you know what you may spend in a given year, combined with any personal savings and resources, you will develop a clearer sense of what your borrowing estimate might look like.

    The majority of Booth students take out student loans to pay for their education and see the lifelong benefits of this investment! Last year 98.4% of the Chicago Booth Class of 2016 received job offers within three months of graduating, earning a median base salary of $125,000. This can certainly help set prospective students’ minds at ease when it comes to understanding the position they will be in upon graduation.

    Getting a handle on your financing doesn’t need to feel daunting. Most everyone considering an MBA has the same questions —so you’re not alone. There’s no one right way to fund your education, only a right way for you. As many Booth alumni will attest, minimizing borrowing is great, but taking full advantage of the many experiences and relationships that are only possible while in business school will continually pay dividends throughout the entirety of your career.

    For more questions, visit our website or reach us at financial.aid@chicagobooth.edu.

    Best,
    The Office of Financial Aid

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    Alumni Stories: Meet Maddie Thies, ’16

    March 22nd, 2017

    After checking in with recent Chicago Booth graduates in New York and skipping across the country to visit Booth interns on the job in the Bay Area, we are back in the Midwest to talk with alumni in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It’s a city where some of the biggest names in food, retail, and energy have their headquarters. First off, we stopped in Ecolab to chat with Maddie Thies, ’16, about how the unique balance of qualitative and quantitative elements she got at Chicago Booth sets her apart from other marketers today. She talks about not only having the data and analytics to back up her recommendations, but also using insights from her international business concentration at Booth to help her connect with her team globally every day.


    Watch Alumni Stories: Maddie Thies, Assistant Marketing Manager at Ecolab
     


     

    More from our alumni in Minneapolis and other major industry hubs to come…

    Best,
    Lizzie

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    Connect With Students From Around the World

    March 3rd, 2017

    When I was researching Chicago Booth as an international
    applicant in 2014, I came across a list of current students from nearly 50
    countries around the world. Coming from Morocco, there is no doubt in my mind
    that reaching out to the student volunteer from my country was one of the best
    decisions I made during the application process. It strengthened my understanding
    of the program, provided me with a resource to answer specific questions, dramatically
    changed how I thought about my application, and confirmed that Booth is where I
    wanted to be.

    If you are looking
    for a Booth student who can answer some specific questions
    , our global
    community volunteers
    are a
    unique resource. These Booth ambassadors are team of current Booth students, or
    country captains, who volunteer as ambassadors for the school and serve as a
    resource for perspective students all over the world. They share your
    geographic background and can speak to what you may expect living in Chicago
    and being at Booth. They can also assist with any of your questions relating to
    recruiting, academics and otherwise. You can either reach out to your country
    captain when you are visiting the Chicago campus or from afar, depending on
    your circumstances. If you find yourself wanting to know more, I hope you will reach
    out to our 99 country captain volunteers.

    After seeing the impact of the country captain program as a
    prospective student, I too wanted to be an ambassador when I started at Booth.
    Being a country captain for France and Morocco is my humble attempt at showing
    my gratitude to the other country captains that came before me, and pay it
    forward to those of you researching MBA programs. 

    Before Booth I worked as a quantitative analyst on a sales
    and trading floor at an investment bank in Paris, France. After graduation, I
    will be switching to a hedge fund analyst role on the East Coast of the United
    States. If you think I can help answer any questions you may have, please contact
    me
    .
     

    Sincerely,
    Abouchadi Ziad

    Current Student & Guest Blogger

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    Advice for the Early Career Candidate

    February 15th, 2017
    Carving out the pathway to your future career requires significant self-reflection. Sometimes you need to look back in order to go forward. Think about the building blocks of your career thus far. What are your strengths and how do they align with your interests? How can you remain open to new possibilities and opportunities that you may have never even thought about? And what might those logical next steps look like?
     
    Some of you may be thinking about an MBA– maybe next year, or five years from now. Some of you are what we refer to as an early-career candidate; individuals who have three or fewer years of full-time work experience, including students currently pursuing an undergraduate degree. Whether you’re preparing to graduate from college, new to the workforce, or thinking about an MBA in the future, we wanted to offer some insights on how you can explore immediate growth opportunities that will set you up for future success.
     
    Internships are one of the best ways to “test the professional waters” while gaining invaluable practical experience and building a strong network early on. It’s a great way to exposure yourself to an industry or function, as well as to determine your genuine interest and preparedness for various roles. These experiences not only strengthen your resume’ or eventual graduate school application, they will pay dividends throughout the entirety of your career. You will strengthen existing competencies, build new skills, and understand more about career trajectory and logical next steps to pursue. Future employers and graduate programs alike all appreciate the value of internship experiences.

    For many, professional or academic summer programs are also a great next step. Whether you’ve been in the workforce for a year or are still in undergrad, whether you’re pursuing finance or education, whether you immersed yourself in business courses or explored the liberal arts, summer programs are a great way to test out a business school experience. Such programs can effectively augment your undergraduate studies, compliment an internship experience, or even help prepare you for a new job. The Chicago Booth Summer Business Scholars Program (SBSP) may be a fit for you, especially if you are curious whether an MBA makes sense for your future. No matter your background, spending three weeks this summer at Booth will give you tangible business skills that you can use right away, and give you a great taste of the business school experience. From learning how to judge the viability of a company’s marketing strategy to reading and assessing a balance sheet, SBSP will elevate your level of business acumen and set you apart from your peers. Past participants met with industry experts who shared an insider’s look at what it would be like to run a nonprofit organization, work as an Investment Banker, or live the life of a Consultant. Recruiters and graduate programs are attracted to candidates who have explored diverse areas of study, and who can join their organization with strong leadership, business, and communication skills in place. The SBSP environment develops students into well-rounded future leaders. One way for you to see if SBSP is right for you is to meet our SBSP alumni and introduce yourself to the SBSP team.

     
    Continuing your graduate education with an MBA is often a frequent next step for those with more work experience. Candidates always ask if MBA programs prefer someone from banking or consulting, entrepreneurship or marketing, not-for profit or family business. Our honest answer is that an MBA can benefit all backgrounds and enhance many career pursuits. The objective of MBA admissions at Booth is to bring together people with incredibly unique perspectives – perspectives that are born out of each individual’s background, skillset, and goals. This includes teachers, professional athletes, military vets, bankers and consultants alike. MBAs will boost your career and open doors to countless industries and employers. The best way to investigate the MBA as an option is to talk to students, and those in your network.
     
    There are many roads you can take as part of your career journey. Whether it’s an internship, summer program, an MBA, or a new job, early career candidates need to think deeply about why now is the optimal to make such a transition. Take the time to explore each option in order to truly evaluate which is right for you – and when! That includes connecting with students, mentors, alumni, or admissions, to learn more.
     
    Best of Luck,

    Meg

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    Beyond the Classroom: Exploring Your Ambitions – Part 2

    January 14th, 2017
    In part two of our student group we explore how groups create opportunities for students to pursue passions beyond the classroom, take on new challenges, and make lifelong friends. We asked students about their favorite special interest groups and shared some of their experiences below.
    .
      

    As the student-produced variety club, Chicago Booth Follies puts on several
    comedy-related
    events
    in the fall and winter, but
    the main event is the show in spring. “Booth’s annual variety show has actually
    been one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences I’ve had here,” said
    John DeChellis, ’16.  “I’ve never really
    been involved in anything related to theater, so the opportunity to stretch
    myself by helping to write scripts, come up with scenes,
    and think about comedy in a structured way was incredibly new to me. It opened
    my mind in so many ways.”
     
    Booth Sports Clubs

    Open to students of all skill levels, Booth’s 10+ team sport groups let students
    take an active approach to making connections outside of the classroom. Said
    Jenny Dunn, ’16, of the Booth
    Volleyball Club
    . “I’ve been really happy that I could channel my existing
    interest in athletics to a number of the social activities at Booth.” Sports
    clubs also allow students to flex competitive muscles in non-business
    situations, like the annual basketball game
    against The Kellogg School of Management, which was played at the United
    Center, home of the Chicago Bulls.
    “It’s just so amazing to have
    that competitive drive outside of your classes and career search,” said Gordon
    Taylor, ’16, of Booth’s Basketball
    Club
    . Ramiro Sanchez,’16, of the Soccer
    Club
    agreed, “It’s been a great outlet.
    We won two MBA tournaments and I love that the club allows me to experience and
    pursue this passion.”
     

    As an official club, the Booth Partners network is comprised of spouses and
    significant others of current students. In addition to events and monthly
    social activities, Drew Thomas, ’16, appreciated that Booth as a whole offered
    his family a day-to-day community. “For my wife, Jen, being part of the Partner’s
    Club has given her a community here that she can just dive into and thrive in.”
     Ray Liu, ’17, agreed, “Within the
    Partner Group, there is a subcommittee called POLO. We get to hang out with a
    lot of Boothies who have kids and organize interesting family events like
    visits to the zoo.”
    Affinity Groups
    Affinity groups create
    a smaller community within Booth that focus on the different perspectives and
    needs of various student populations from diverse backgrounds.
    Diversity is strongly valued here at Booth, and students’
    commitment to fostering an open environment drives the different affinity groups’
    constant support of each other’s missions.

    Hispanic
    American Business Student Association (HABSA)

    HABSA seeks to mobilize resources for US resident Hispanic students and promote
    academic, professional, and social dialogue. As a member, Gaspar Betancourt,
    ’16, was pleased to find “a community of Hispanic-American students who look to
    each other and find comfort in our similar backgrounds and shared experiences.”
    He continued, “We organize dinners and have a
    really great time getting to know people on a more personal level. It’s a nice
    way to keep in touch with your roots and stay connected to who you are.”

    African
    American MBA Association (AAMBAA)

    AAMBAA connects students of African descent with the Chicago Booth community,
    corporate partners, and the city of Chicago. Meeting speakers from the 30th
    annual DuSable Conference was a highlight for Gordon Taylor, ‘16, “The
    conference brings in leaders from the African American community, one being
    John Rogers, chairman and founder of Ariel Investments. Hearing his perspective
    and knowing that somebody who looks like me is at the top of the investment
    world was really inspiring.”

    OUTreach
    Outreach is Booth’s student group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning students, and allies. “We connect the local population of Booth students that
    identify as LGBTQ with our greater ally community, create opportunities for
    people to understand what it means to be LGBTQ in the workplace, as well as how
    to create a safe environment,” said Erik Underwood, ‘17. The group facilitates
    programming around ally education and fun social activities to create a wider
    community within Booth. One of the largest events every year is the Pink Party,
    which draws over 300 Booth students to a drag performance by student allies. “We
    got a lot of support and involvement — we actually had Diversity Affairs office
    staff and faculty act as judges. I’m really grateful to have such a strong
    community here at Booth.”

    Students of all backgrounds
    and levels of experience can get involved in tech through the Booth Hacks
    group. As someone already familiar with tech, Jake Walker, ’15, enjoyed the monthly
    workshops that cover anything from SQL to learning how to create an app.
    Interest in the group has grown quickly. Jake notes, “The Intro to Coding Fundamentals
    program was so popular, that it actually became an official eight-week course
    in the subsequent quarter.”
     

    Booth
    Dance Club

    As choreographers behind the famous First Day flash mob – the Dance Club provides a creative outlet for
    students at Chicago Booth. “It’s so fun seeing people in a different
    context. You don’t always expect that someone who was recruiting for banking or
    consulting would also have such impressive dance ability,” said club
    member Sana Suh, ’16. “People really put as much effort into these student
    groups as they do into their classes and recruiting.”

      
    “Being a member of AFG has paid so many dividends because of the pay-it-forward
    mentality here at Booth,” said Navy veteran Drew Thomas, ’16. “The group isn’t
    just US veterans, but veterans from all over the world including Israel, South
    Korea, and other nations.” Students share in their past experiences and assist
    one another in positioning their backgrounds to pursue future careers. Before
    school starts, AFG reaches out to new members to assess what they are interested
    in,” continued Drew. “We have regular club meetings. We network with Booth
    alumni who are veterans, as well as veterans at large, to help prepare one another.”
     
    International Groups
    International students make up more than a third
    of the
     student population at Booth,creating a welcoming environment with
    endless opportunities to engage peers from around the world. In addition to classroom
     exchanges, their diverse experiences are shared through more than a dozen
    regionally-focused student groups.
     
      

    Japan
    Club

    As co-chair of the Japan Club, Nobu Kawai, ‘17, organized a spring break trip
    to his native country of Japan for more than 50 students and their partners. “It was
    really interesting to exchange our thoughts and views, while introducing
    members to my home country.” Following the trip, the club took part in
    International Week on campus, sharing Japanese, tradition, and culture with the
    larger Booth community.

    Korean
    Business Group

    The Korean Business group is a forum for students who are from or have an
    interest in Korea with events that are both career-related and social in
    nature. In addition to Korean food tasting, Korean movie nights, networking
    with Korean companies, and other social events, Sana Suh, ’16, felt “it was just
    really nice to be able to meet other Koreans and share in the experience
    together.”

    Latin
    American Business Group (LABG)

    LABG seeks to foster engagement between Booth and Latin American alumni,
    corporations, and institutions. The groups’ 150 members represent over 20
    countries and organize networking events and socials. Having moved from
    Santiago to Chicago, Erik Underwood, ’17, joined LABG to find other students
    who were working within Latin America and “keep up-to-date on the different
    industries back home.”

    Middle
    Eastern North Africa Group (MENA)

    The MENA Group focuses on supporting Middle Eastern students in the global
    academic society and develops platforms of cultural and business ties between
    the US and MENA region. As a Co-Chair, Ziad Abouchadi, ’17, seeks to “promote
    the culture and the language of the region.” Recently, the group organized
    several panels where experts in the region discussed a wide range of topics
    from the Iran deal to the role of women in the Middle East. They also organized
    food tasting events, social mixers, as well as treks to Dubai and Morocco. “I’m
    extremely proud not only of being a member of this dynamic group,” said Ziad, “but
    also of a community as open and broad-minded as Chicago Booth.”

    Hear from more students about all of our business
    and professional groups
    , or keep up with what’s going on at Booth via our student blog. For specific questions, connect with a
    student
    , or
    comment below. You can also join any of
    our live
    chats
    to talk directly with students!
     

     
    Best,
    Colin  

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    Student Stories: Meet Brittany Henry

    January 5th, 2017
    As a consultant with aspirations in impact investing, Brittany Henry wanted to find an MBA program with strong social impact opportunities. At Booth she found the Social Enterprise Initiative (SEI), an on-campus research center that offers students different avenues for getting involved with the social sector.

    In her Social Enterprise Lab class, Brittany was able to help a nonprofit create a revenue generating business. She also participated in competitions and programming where she sat in the seat of an impact investor and made recommendations to actual social organizations. The hands-on experience has allowed Brittany to explore social impact sectors while building essential skillsets for her future career goals.

     
    Watch Student Stories: Brittany Henry
    See our latest videos here and stay tuned for more upcoming student stories. In the meantime, join one of our upcoming live chats this month to talk with current students. 
     
     
    Regards,
    Kate

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    Admissions Holiday Schedule

    December 23rd, 2016
    Yesterday, December 21, was the first day of winter, and the beginning of the holiday season here in Chicago! We hope many of you will have the opportunity for some rest and relaxation, to spend time with your family and friends, to travel, or maybe even quietly catch up on a little work. The end of December also signals a transition for Booth; the usually busy winter garden is now quite calm, the halls of the Harper Center are quiet as the students are on Winter Break.
     
    The Full-Time MBA Admissions Office holiday schedule will be important to know if you were planning a visit to Chicago.
     
    The Admissions Office will be closed from Thursday, December 22 – Monday, January 2. During this time, we will be accessible via email at admissions@chicagobooth.edu should you have any questions about your Round 2 application.
    If you were planning to visit campus, please note that since students are away until early January. Visitors will be welcome for the abbreviated Campus Visit Program on Monday, January 9. The full Campus Visit Program will resume the week of January 16. Visit dates and registration will be open in early January.
    The Admissions office will reopen on Tuesday, January 3, 2017 at 8:30am CT. In early January, there will be several Chicago Booth events, as well as online chats we hope you will consider joining.
     
    As a reminder, Round 2 Application Deadline is Wednesday, January 4 at 11:59pm, CT. For more information regarding our application process and submission deadlines, please visit our website.
     
    We look forward to connecting with you in 2017.
     
    Wishing you and your family a joyous holiday season!

    Kimberly Epps

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