An Engineer Takes the Chicago Booth Approach


As an engineering manager, Harnam Atwal understands how things work. In Chicago Booth’s Evening MBA Program, Harnam is learning how businesses work, how to better predict outcomes, and how to use data to support his ideas.

Harnam did a lot of research before choosing the Evening MBA Program at Chicago Booth, and by a lot of research, we’re talking about a detailed spreadsheet of school rankings for the past six years, travel distances, and post-MBA salaries reported by each school.

“I guess I was doing a Booth-type approach before I knew what the Booth approach was,” Harnam says.

In addition to his full-time job, he’s also a husband and father to a young son. So tacking on an MBA to his schedule was a tall order, but Harnam says the extra commitment is already paying off. Right after starting at Booth, he was able to use classroom lessons and identify a potentially difficult contract his sales team had negotiated.

“We showed the sales team areas where the contract could work against us, and they were able to renegotiate new terms,” he says.

Harnam’s learnings from Booth have had a positive impact on both his company’s bottom line and his position. Since starting at Booth, Harnam now has an overall understanding of his company’s market and business and is showing his team way to maximize its strengths.

The reward: an expanded role and higher visibility within the company.

The opinions in this blog are those of Harnam Atwal and do not represent those of his employer, Baker Hughes GE.