Last week at the annual Private Equity Association of Chicago (PEAC) MBA event, I had the pleasure of spending an evening meeting men and women currently working at some of the top Private Equity firms in Chicago who are enthusiastic about pursuing an MBA and are focused on learning more about Chicago Booth. KPMG was our gracious host at the hip Market Bar on Randolph Street, and I was joined by my colleagues from other business schools for a night of small group discussions and networking, as well as a panel discussion with admissions representatives.
During the Admissions panel discussion, a popular question centered on how those working in Private Equity with similar profiles can distinguish themselves from other applicants. We want candidates to know that it isn’t just about “standing out” or making yourself “unique.” The application process for any candidate should be authentic - showcasing your true self and fit with our program. We want to hear about your interests, your passions, your accomplishments, your failures, and how this all ties in to your reasons for wanting to attend Booth. Our best advice? Just be you!
After the panel, my fellow colleagues and I had the opportunity to talk to prospective students one on one and in small groups. A great deal of my conversations revolved around what Booth offers. Many seek out Booth for our strength in finance and economics that includes a bench of world class finance faculty, and a focus on analytics. Students interested in pursuing careers in private equity and venture capital at Booth can also expect access to a unique blend of coursework, experiential learning opportunities, and world-class alumni in the field. The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship offers a range of innovative private equity programs designed to supplement a robust list of applicable courses, giving students hands-on industry experience. Students participate in The Elfman-Wareham Private Equity & Venture Capital Lab, created for students to learn first-hand about the private equity, venture capital, and angel industries. Students compete in the Sterling Partners Investment Thesis Challenge where student teams work with mentors at private equity firms to develop an investment thesis over four months. This challenge is the first of its kind among national MBA programs. As for curriculum, students can also choose among 27 courses in entrepreneurship, private equity, and other related topics taught by more than 20 faculty members.
Not to mention Booth Student run groups like the Private Equity Group. This is one of the largest and most active full-time student groups at Booth. Members have access to career development opportunities, conferences and events with industry-leading speakers. The Booth Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition Group educates students and alumni about the entrepreneurship through acquisition process through an array of programs and events, including topical discussions with industry experts and opportunities to source and evaluate live investment targets.
Lastly, I was especially thrilled to have current students Katie Ossman and Laura Johnson, co-chairs of the private equity group at Booth, join us for networking and cocktails. The PE group on campus is very active within the student community, as it provides career development, networking opportunities, conferences on current topics in the industry, group activities, industry-leading speakers/trips, and several other valuable resources for its members. Katie’s activities with the private equity group include primary responsibility for the New York Private Equity Trek. The trek offers students pursuing careers in Private Equity an opportunity to travel to the East Coast or West Coast to gain insight into the region’s private equity market through firm visits and alumni meetings for example. The treks prove to be a great compliment to recruiting.
If you are interested in learning more about PE at Booth, please reach out and we can assist you in connecting with our students! We look forward to participating in the PEAC event again next year.
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