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When Chicago Booth launched the world’s first executive MBA program, in 1943, its inaugural classes were largely made up of managers from the greater Chicago area. More than seven decades later, students represent two dozen nationalities and take classes at campuses in London and Hong Kong as well as Chicago. In all that time, what hasn’t changed is the ambition of these senior leaders to invest in themselves, and the support of a powerful alumni network to help them along the way.

To celebrate the program’s recent 75th-anniversary milestone, alumni from around the world contributed to scholarships for three outstanding Executive MBA candidates entering the class of 2019. These highly accomplished recipients—a leader in the FBI, a fighter pilot for the UK Royal Navy, and a PhD-trained biotech executive—shared with us their experiences so far, and what propelled them to seek an MBA at Chicago Booth.

Headshot Britton Boyd
Britton Boyd

Britton Boyd
Chicago, XP-90

Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation

The 9/11 attacks occurred during my senior year of college and greatly influenced my decision to enter public service. I had initially planned on a career as a federal prosecutor, but decided to gain some life experience by working in law enforcement for a year before entering law school. It was a hugely impactful and fulfilling experience. One year turned into more than five, and I eventually decided to make the transition to the FBI, where I had the opportunity to work a variety of investigations before focusing on transnational organized crime.

Prior to my current position, I was in charge of the International Terrorism Operations Section, where I was in charge of analyzing trends, data, and processes, and responsible for seeking solutions and implementing change on an enterprise-wide basis. I wanted to develop leadership skills with a goal of promoting into senior leadership roles within the organization, and Booth was the perfect fit. I’m gaining a stronger analytical framework and exposure to so many new ideas and processes.

I am grateful to the alumni donors for providing support through the scholarship, as it helps mitigate some of the financial cost of the program. I think the relationships developed at Booth and the extensive network will be highly beneficial as I aspire to take on further leadership roles within the FBI.

Headshot Adam Hogg
Adam Hogg

Adam Hogg
London, EXP-26

Senior Strategy Advisor, UK Ministry of Defence

I’ve spent my entire professional career as a pilot in the Royal Navy, flying F-35 and Harrier fighter jets, and representing the United Kingdom in international military procurement. More recently, I’ve started working in strategy for the Ministry of Defence, helping to shape the future of the UK military and doing other big-picture work.

Chicago Booth is a fantastic institution right on my doorstep in London. I was looking for an intellectual challenge and wanted to work with some of the best students, staff, and professors in the world. Booth offered this and more, giving me the business knowledge, confidence, and credibility I needed to take the next steps in my career.

I was incredibly proud and honored to be selected for this scholarship, and grateful for the opportunity it’s given me to work among such a talented group of people at the University of Chicago.

Headshot Na Li
Lina Li

Lina Li
Hong Kong, AXP-20

Vice President, CAS Dx, and CEO, Molecular Dx and Life Sciences Group, CAS Diagnostics; Vice President, Medite, and CEO, Medite-Great China, Medite GmBH

My career in vitro diagnostics has been driven by my science education in biochemistry and molecular biology. I’m interested in adding finance and business strategy to my educational portfolio, not only to boost my own personal career, but to help improve my business on the global stage.

All of my life’s professional achievements have been directly linked to my education and the network built from my educational experiences. So when I decided to apply for an executive MBA program, I wanted the best. Booth is famous for its academic standards and offers what I’m looking for to improve my knowledge base. I’ve already joined the Shanghai chapter of the Alumni Club of China and have made great connections.

This scholarship is an honor for me. It makes me feel an even deeper connection to Chicago Booth. I hope for an opportunity to return that gift for others someday.


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