The Chicago Business Fellow Ambassador Award is presented to students for outstanding contributions and support of the CBF program (designed specifically for young professionals with three years or less of full-time work experience). This year, two of the students recognized, look back during graduation and reflect on their Booth experience. Read Raj Hirpara's reflection here.
Stephanie Sahota, CBF, Evening MBA
Senior quantitative analyst, National Futures Association
What is your favorite memory from your time at Booth?
I really enjoyed studying abroad in China. It was a great way to see a completely different culture I never would have seen otherwise. In addition, it allowed me to create deep bonds with Booth students on the trip.
What surprised you about Booth?
I was surprised at how collaborative the student body is. Coming in, I expected some competitiveness, but everyone I talked to or asked for help has been more than willing to help me. On the flip side, I’ve been able to share my knowledge and experiences to help others learn as well. I’ve had this experience with both Booth students and faculty.
Did you enter Booth with preset goals and did you end up following the path you envisioned?
I have a background in finance so I knew I wanted to pursue concentrations in finance and analytic finance. In addition, I wanted to expand my learning and explore new areas; I earned concentrations in managerial and organizational behavior and general management. I also really enjoyed my operations class, as part of the core requirements, which motivated me to complete the operations concentration.
How did Booth impact your career?
I started a new role a few months ago and I think that opportunity was available because I was near graduation from Booth. I utilized Booth’s Career Services as much as possible; they were very helpful.
What will you miss most about Booth?
I will miss the people; the students, faculty, and staff. It’s been great getting to know different people and forming friendships. I’m looking forward to staying involved as an alumnus. I’ll miss attending the events, meeting friends before and after class, and the general learning opportunities I’ve had.
Do you have any advice for prospective or incoming students?
Time management is really important. I structured my time so that I could take Sundays completely off from both work and school and give myself a mental refresh once a week. One of the lessons I learned early on was that grades are a small part of the overall learning experience; they need to be balanced with everything else the MBA has to offer. It’s important to find balance, enhance your network and remember to have fun.
Libby Smoler is a marketing specialist for the Evening and Weekend MBA Programs.