WHY DID YOU CHOOSE CHICAGO BOOTH?
I was looking for an operations management program that
was pretty rigorous and had a lot of mathematical heft be-
cause I came from a math background. Booth was one of
the few business schools that had the benefits of a business
school but didn’t sacrifice the mathematical side of the field.
WHAT KIND OF INTERACTION HAVE YOU HAD WITH THE FACULTY?
There are three main types. Number one, obviously,
is interaction during courses. The faculty are really
knowledgeable and the PhD classes are pretty small, so
there is a lot of close contact in the classes, lots of freedom
to ask questions. There’s also workshops, which are group
oriented. Those are more discussion based, and so that’s also
a lot of give-and-take conversation with faculty. I’ve also had
close contact with my advisor on my research.
WHAT ARE YOU RESEARCHING NOW?
I’m in my third year, so I haven’t entirely settled on my
dissertation, but my research so far is based on approximate
dynamic programming. My advisor, professor Dan
Adelman, and I are working on product development in the
software industry, trying to develop both theoretical models
and then convert those into usable tools to help companies
figure out which features to add to their products and when
they should add them while taking into account cost as well
as competitors developing similar products.
WHAT’S THE BEST PART ABOUT BEING A STUDENT HERE AT BOOTH?
The faculty are really good, so you know that you’re
getting help and guidance from people who really know
what they’re doing. The other thing is that the structure
of the program is atypical for graduate programs. You’re
not assigned to an advisor, and therefore you have a lot
of freedom to talk to different professors and pursue
whichever ideas you want to work on. Your funding isn’t
tied to a specific professor, so you have the freedom to
change topics. That’s been helpful.
WHAT ROLE DO YOUR CLASSMATES PLAY IN YOUR EDUCATION?
My research project is pretty much just me at this point,
but my classmates usually get together and talk about
each of our research projects. Somebody outside of my
group often has an insight that comes from their topic area
that I hadn’t thought of because I don’t do accounting or
finance. There are some projects that some of my friends
and I would like to work on in the future that are cross-
disciplinary that came out of these conversations.
WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF THE PROGRAM FOR YOU?
The course load is challenging because it’s a lot of work, but
I think the most challenging thing is probably transitioning
from coursework to research because it’s pretty different.
Figuring out how to identify what it is you should work on
and then setting up a work plan to actually achieve those
goals and then being able to adapt to complications when
they arise. The faculty is pretty supportive on that because
it’s not something that’s specific to you, it’s just part of
becoming an academic.
MANAGEMENT SC I ENCE /OPERAT I ONS MANAGEMENT
Chicago BOoth P