How Booth's Weekend MBA Program Helped Me Evolve My Career

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Aron Branam

Whether every week you fly in from California, Houston, or NYC, drive in from Cincinnati, or take the train in from St. Louis to attend the Weekend MBA Program, at Chicago Booth you become part of a culture where intellectual curiosity is a common characteristic that leads to a shared passion for exploration and collaboration. You will be immersed in a community of Weekend students from all over the US - where 75% commute in from outside of Chicago each week looking to broaden their perspective and have enriching experiences.

Current student, and Student Advisory Council Co-President, Aron Branam recently shared his insights into the Weekend MBA experience and the impact it's had on his career:

"I don't just travel for school, I also travel for work and most of my week is spent in three of the four time zones in the US. I work for a global renewable energy company managing a portfolio of projects throughout the development life cycle. As a Project Manager, I have spent most of my life on the engineering side, but I was really looking to boost my financial and economic acumen and that is what drew me to Booth.

My favorite thing about Booth is the Friday evening when I show up and I get to see all of the great people that I am so fortunate to be around every week at the University of Chicago. I can't tell you how good that feeling is every Friday when you show up and realize you get to spend the next 24-48 hours in the company of these people.

On Saturdays I take 2 classes: one in the morning and one in the afternoon. When it comes to the classroom experience, the faculty at Booth definitely inspire you. In class, you experience the breadth and depth of their knowledge. Faculty are very accessible and willing to share that knowledge with you both inside and outside of the classroom.

A great aspect of working while attending Booth is that I have applied what I have learned from day one. When I took financial accounting and we were looking at how we to allocate costs, this was something very relevant to me and my industry. I went back after learning that skill and called our lead accountant and worked to understand how that works within our business.

I can tell you the experiences you'll have on a weekend basis directly contribute to what you are doing at work, and for me the biggest thing has been understanding the management of people and taking on a leadership role.

The MBA has helped me in my career. I have been promoted twice since starting Booth. I started off as a Project Developer, was promoted to Project Manager, and now I am senior Manager. What has really come from that is an increased responsibility, and the money and assets that I manage as an individual, going from being part of a team and leading the process and having ultimate responsibility for the dollars being invested. I think that vote of confidence to be able to take on increasingly larger investments is really how your managers and superiors reflect on your experience at Booth."

Aron Branam | Current Weekend MBA student

Hear from more current students and alumni about their Booth experiences