Sally is a Chicago-based consultant with a demanding travel schedule. For her, the Weekend MBA provides the perfect balance of academic rigor and program flexibility.
At Booth, group work is absolutely unavoidable. Learning how to work within a team is simply a part of the training you receive. For instance, one of my classes required me to work with four or five other students to write a one-page paper every week. Of course, we wanted those papers to be five or six pages because we had so many thoughts, but the professor explained that the group work component was part of the challenge.
He said, “We do this by design. We want you to figure out how to work together, how to drive towards answers, how to build consensus within your team. We want you to be succinct. We all know that you’re smart and you can write a 10-page paper every week, but that’s not what we’re looking for. We’re looking for concise, definitive responses for the questions that we’ve asked, and doing that in a group setting is a very real-life experience.”
Being a student at Booth has increased my confidence in surprising ways. Because of Booth, I know where I stand among my peers. I have strengths that other people maybe don’t have, and I can recognize the areas in which I may need to improve.
Also, I know how to solicit help from people that are better at things than I am, and I’m able to understand that doing so is not a point of weakness. Booth has helped me know who I am and what my strengths are, and that is where my confidence has come from.
As a consultant who travels frequently, the Weekend MBA Program at Chicago Booth was a natural fit. The components of the Weekend program are virtually identical to those of the Full-Time program, and that was important to me. I have the same professors and the same flexibility in terms of the curriculum and making my class schedules. Also, there’s a highly active student life that’s available to me.
As a person who lives in Chicago, being in the Weekend program has been very interesting. Because a lot of my fellow students in the Weekend program are consultants like me and come from different places in the US, I’ve gotten to meet a good mix of people from around the country. I’ve enjoyed being able to broaden my relationships with people outside of the city of Chicago.
One of the more challenging classes I’ve had so far is Marketing Strategy. I think sometimes people are quick to dismiss the rigor in marketing. They say, “Oh, it’s advertising. It’s fairly easy, or it’s fairly light.” That’s not the case at Booth. Marketing Strategy took some aspect of every single course I had taken to date, and stretched me to think beyond the obvious answer that was in front of me.
It was surprising because most of the classes I had taken before were quantitative. Those classes had a lot of interaction between students and the professors, but this was the first class I had where there weren’t specific yes-or-no answers. Also, the professor challenged people every day. She required us to provide the basis for our responses. We had to be succinct, and she would ask follow-up questions that made us think much harder.