University of Chicago

From Medicine to an MBA: A University of Chicago Graham School Story

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Peter Wilson, GSALB, Graduate Student at Large, Chicago Booth, Booth School of Business

Some Booth students experience a Chicago Booth MBA course before applying with the Graham School's Graduate Student at Large Business Program (GSALB). By attending a class taught by Booth faculty, with Booth students, and in a Booth classroom, these students were able to confidently pursue their MBAs. This is Peter's story. 

A biology major as an undergraduate, Peter Wilson had envisioned a career in medicine since his first science class in college. After being accepted to medical school, however, he decided not to go. “It’s all incredibly complicated,” he says, “but, simply put, it turned out it wasn’t the path I wanted after all. There were other things I wanted to do in life.” And so the question became how he’d achieve these other things.

As a University of Chicago Director of Admissions, Peter couldn’t help but see Chicago Booth as a good option. When it came time to consider MBA Programs, however, the process proved difficult as he admitted to himself that he didn't really know what business school was like. Moreover, it seemed unreasonable to invest that kind of money in something he wasn’t absolutely certain about. Fundamentally, Peter wondered, was he the type of person who even pursued an MBA?

For Peter, The Graham School’s Graduate Student at Large Business (GSALB) program was a great way to answer this fundamental question while also bridging the gap from his science background to Booth’s discipline-based approach to business education. By taking actual MBA courses, you’re able to experience the whole package—learn from Booth faculty, collaborate with Booth students, and get a jumpstart on your MBA. In Peter’s case, the classes he took through GSALB “sealed the deal.” They answered his questions and lifted his concerns. “My sense of business school was something limited before taking classes at the GSALB,” he says. “I didn’t realize how much was there.” Currently Deputy Dean of Admissions and Chief of Staff at the University of Chicago, he is slated to graduate from Booth’s Evening MBA Program in 2018.

Doing well in GSALB courses can show the Admissions committee that you can handle the academic rigor of the Booth MBA. Up to three GSALB courses transfer into the MBA program if admitted, which means you are also getting a jumpstart on the program. We recommend taking foundational courses such as business statistics or financial accounting. While GSALB is a fantastic option, it is not without risk. Grades are very important, and we look for B+ or higher.  For more details, feel free to contact Eileen Flemming, efleming9@uchicago.edu