The University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Class of 2012
Carmelo Barbaro

After his first year at Booth, Carmelo, a former urban planner who initially intended to pursue opportunities in community development finance, discovered a passion for management consulting.

Carmelo's Videos
Carmelo Barbaro

Changing the way you think - challenge everything
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Photo of Carmelo Barbaro

A new career path thanks to Career Services sponsored Industry Immersion Day
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Challenge Everything

The energy here is electric. My classmates are engaged with the material and really want to learn. The professors are great. They expect people to come prepared and to contribute in ways that are meaningful. They want people to challenge one another, which is something I find really refreshing. The community here is very open, and that contributes to a very lively classroom experience. At Booth, no assumption goes unchallenged, and that kind of environment has encouraged me to open some doors I otherwise might not have opened, and inspired me to grow in a lot of unexpected ways.

Partner Activities at Booth

I have been dating my boyfriend Alex for nearly 10 years now. We live together in Chicago's South Loop neighborhood in an area called Printer’s Row. We own a loft and have three cats.

My partner and I do participate in the social life of the school. He comes to quite a few social functions, like the fall semi-formal and the Pink Party, which I helped host last May.

Alex has really enjoyed getting to know both my classmates and their partners. We do a lot of dinner parties and check out restaurants in Chicago together. A very rewarding part of going to Booth has been sharing my life here with him.

Pushing Boundaries

One of the primary reasons I came to get an MBA at Chicago Booth was because I wanted to be pushed a little bit. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. I spent five years working in urban planning and I had become fairly comfortable with my clients and with my coworkers and with the routine I had developed.

I really felt I wasn't being challenged as a leader. I felt I wasn't being challenged intellectually in a way I would have liked, so getting an MBA was one of the ways that I was going to develop my skills. Booth has definitely lived up to my expectations in that regard. The variety of leadership experiences here at Booth has inspired me to grow.

A Breadth of Perspective and Experience

When I came to Booth I was not planning to pursue an internship in management consulting. I was interested in working in finance, and community development finance in particular. What I realized after doing a great deal of career exploration, though, was that I really needed to spend a few years getting a breadth of experience.

After talking to some alumni and attending a few Corporate Conversation events, I have zeroed in on management consulting as an area where I can get that experience. I will be taking an internship this summer with the Boston Consulting Group, and I'm really excited about it. I think it's going to give me that variety of perspective and experience that I really feel I need in order to be effective in the business world.


  • Hometown
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Undergraduate Degree
    Harvard University
    AB, Government
  • Graduate Degree
    London School of Economics
    MS, Regional and Urban Planning Studies
  • Before Booth
    Urban Planning, S. B. Friedman & Company
  • Concentrations
    Strategic Management
  • Student Groups
    Gays and Lesbians in Business (GLIB)
    Management Consulting Group
    Net Impact
    Real Estate Group
    Wine Club
  • Internship and Current Position
    Consulting, The Boston Consulting Group