WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO CHICAGO BOOTH?
The quality of faculty was the clear winner for me. These
are the people at the forefront of research in finance and
economics. During my full-time MBA education and then
at work, I would hear people quote them all the time. Most
are pioneers in their field. As someone entering the PhD
program with an aim of building a career in academic
research, there couldn’t be a better way of building a strong
foundation than by learning from these people.
WHAT KIND OF INTERACTION DO YOU HAVE WITH THE FACULTY?
Faculty members treat you as a colleague. Their doors
are always open and they are eager to listen to you. Quite
often, I would enter a faculty member’s office with an idea
or question about an issue and come out thinking about
the topic in an entirely different way. They ask probing
questions and force you to think about aspects that you had
never considered. If you have an idea, there are plenty of
people eager to talk to you. The program is structured in a
way that encourages you to interact with faculty members
on research ideas from the very first year of study. Once
you start interacting with them, you realize how eager they
are to listen to you.
HOW DOES THIS COMPARE TO THE OVERALL CULTURE
OF FACULTY INTERACTION?
Booth prides itself upon its research culture, and
meaningful research can only come through continued
interactions and healthy discussions. In seminars and
workshops, you get to listen to what others are working
on, as well as get an opportunity to present your work to
others. The entire faculty makes it a point to attend these
seminars and they take the work seriously.
WHAT ROLE DO YOUR CLASSMATES PLAY?
My classmates provide a healthy ecosystem where we can
bounce ideas and develop theories together. After taking
classes together and working in groups, you really feel
comfortable discussing ideas with them. Quite often, it is
these ideas that form the core of your dissertation. A small
PhD program means that although your area of research
and interest often overlaps with those of others, everybody
is working on something unique, and this confluence of
different thoughts and perspectives helps you formulate a
coherent and comprehensive research hypothesis.
WHAT ARE YOU RESEARCHING NOW?
My area of research is corporate finance, with a special
focus on the role of banks in helping firms finance
profitable projects. The latest recession created a lot of
interest around the financial sector in general, and there
are debates all over the world on how to get the economy
running again. I believe banks will play a key role in
reviving growth via their ability to identify and fund
investment projects of corporations that are the backbone
of our economy.
WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF BEING A STUDENT HERE?
You are always at the forefront of research. You get to listen
to pioneers from Booth and elsewhere talk about their
latest research. Not only that, research here is very much
integrated with the problems at hand that regulators and
policy makers face around the world. A lot of faculty at
Booth are advisors and members of various committees
dealing with financial sector and the economy. Quite often,
practitioners, regulators and policy makers will visit Booth
to discuss their problems and potential solutions that they
are working on. We have thorough discussions and try to
devise a better solution together. This constant interaction
and exposure to the problems of the real world help us
focus in the right direction.
F I NANCE
Chicago BOoth P