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Keeley Shaye Kandziora, a senior at Colorado College, was an intern at Morgan Stanley in summer 2023, not far from Chicago Booth’s Gleacher Center campus downtown. “I would walk past it every day going to work and think, ‘That’s where I want to be,’” she recalls.

And she will be there, starting this Fall Quarter. Michael Minnis, professor of accounting and a Charles E. Merrill Faculty Scholar, along with the University of Chicago’s head volleyball coach Mitchell McPartland, flew to Colorado to surprise her with the news that she was the first student admitted to Booth’s new Master in Management Program. Kandziora, a hitter for Colorado College, will also continue her collegiate volleyball career with the Maroon.

When McPartland and Minnis showed up, Kandziora was “beyond surprised” and elated. A native of Chicago’s northern suburbs, she is excited to start the program with Boothcamp—two weeks of professional development—at the downtown campus with her fellow MiM students. In a stroke of kismet, she had already planned to spend the upcoming summer months in Chicago as an intern for JPMorgan Chase’s private bank.

We interviewed Kandziora to learn more about her interest in the MiM Program and how it supports her career aspirations.

“UChicago has always been my dream school, and I feel very lucky to have been given the opportunity to receive academic instruction at Booth...while playing the sport that I love. It’s the best of both worlds.”

— Keeley Shaye Kandziora

Tell us about your academic experience and your research.

I’m an economics major and a math minor. I wrote my thesis on the Federal Reserve and the Taylor rule [a formula central banks can use to adjust interest rates on the basis of inflation and economic growth]. I proposed creating a new version of the rule to more accurately model the Federal Reserve and their decisions with respect to monetary policy throughout time.

When I interned at Morgan Stanley for their Graystone Consulting team, I researched market data on artificial intelligence and generational trends relating to Millennials, Gen Z, and Gen Alpha. It was important to me to choose a timely topic so that I could add value to the team that I was working with. Over the next decade, AI and machine learning will be the next biggest tech trend, and the use of AI in automating tasks will drive the next wave of productivity, which will in turn drive GDP growth.

Given your interest in finance, what made you choose the MiM Program?

I am a relationship-oriented person, and I want to pursue a career that allows me to impact people’s lives on a personal basis. The MiM Program will allow me to continue to grow my technical skills while simultaneously teaching me how to truly make a difference in people’s lives through relationships. After speaking with Professor Minnis, we came to the conclusion that the MiM Program with a specialization in finance would be the best way to gain a comprehensive understanding of key business concepts, strategy, and leadership.

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What are your career goals? How will the program help you succeed?  

After completing the program, I want to begin a career as an analyst on an investment advisory team, supporting endowments and foundations to create positive environmental and social impact while still generating returns.

The program will help me achieve my immediate goals of further developing strong business analytic skills while also meeting my long-term goals of working in the fields of finance and economics. Booth is a world-renowned academic institution with tremendous resources and opportunities that will allow me to advance my understanding of business fundamentals and data analytics.

What are you most looking forward to as a Boothie?

I’m a four-year student-athlete at Colorado College and feel beyond blessed to be able to continue playing volleyball at UChicago next year. I am a team oriented and competitive person, so I love that volleyball provides me with an avenue to build communication and trust with my teammates while competing with and against them every day. I’m looking forward to joining a competitive roster of athletes and learning from UChicago’s talented coaching staff.

UChicago has always been my dream school, and I feel very lucky to have been given the opportunity to receive academic instruction at Booth that will elevate my knowledge in business and economics while playing the sport that I love. It’s the best of both worlds.

Learn More about the Master in Management