Get out of your comfort zone

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"Chicago Booth Executive MBA Program is not about teaching you in your comfort zone, it is about bringing you out from your comfort zone."

This is why Chicago Booth is recognized for its academic rigor and innovations in business education. All alumni and students in our community have gone through a transforming experience of challenging and rethinking what they thought they knew, developing new abilities and pushing themselves further than they ever thought possible.

At recent admissions events, I have heard many questions about how to cope with such a rigorous program, whether it is easy to fail a course or whether students are very competitive. It is a good start that our prospective students have set a realistic expectation and they know they have to put in real effort to study once they are admitted into the program. However, we also want to clear their worries about Chicago Booth being serious, boring, too academic or too quantitative.

At Chicago Booth, we believe in data over dogma. Students harness their experiences and the power of open, rigorous, and thoughtful inquiry to challenge assumptions and test and refine ideas. This is part of the Chicago Approach to Business education which resonates beyond the classroom. As this is a general management program, you will also have plenty of courses to hone your practical soft skills in other areas such as strategy, marketing and organizational behavior. What you learn in the classroom does not stay in the classroom, you are the one to decides when and how to apply what you have learnt to your professional and personal life.

Given the diversified class profile, the learning environment can be competitive and yet cooperative, exciting and fun. With the multi-cultural student group, the interaction and discussion in class are often dynamic and can be colorful at times. At Chicago Booth, we don’t see competition as negative. It can be healthy sometimes actually. If you ever find a program which guarantees you no competition, you should avoid it. Students often work in teams during courses and they are not alone in this learning journey. In fact, they help one and another to go through the journey together. The cooperative, exciting and fun part of the learning process is often initiated by students themselves.

We are here to facilitate your learning journey, but we are not here to fail you and defeat your confidence. Before your admission, our Admissions Committee would have already assessed your level of quantitative and analytical skill and your ability to apply those skills to our MBA program. Before your study, there are resources for you to pre-prepare for the MBA program. During your study, you will have additional supports from our Chicago Booth faculty’s teaching assistants. These teaching assistants are often our PhD students or graduates who are fully qualified to help students with any academically-related questions in their courses. If you are committed and willing to put an effort into your study, you should not be worrying about the word "failure".

Our Executive MBA experience is not about staying in your comfort zone and doing what you are already good at doing. When you join the Chicago booth community, the invaluable network is already there for you. You cannot only think about how to tap into the network to advance your career, you will also have to contribute and challenge yourself to build meaningful relationships and add value to the network. You join our unique community for the transforming experience which will impact your professional and personal development. This is what we want for you.

Stephanie Wong

Assistant Director, Recruitment and Admissions

Executive MBA Program – Asia