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What was one of the most important factors you were looking for in a business school and why?
I was looking for cultural fit and intellectual stimulation. I really like deep thinking and thrive in environments where you can sense authenticity, which I picked up on right away at Booth.  

Who/What were some of the influences that helped you choose Booth?
The staff was top notch. Dean Snyder (at the time), then Deputy Dean Stacey Kole, Eddie Pulliam, and Jessica Jaggers—along with a host of other people were very intelligent, kind, and welcoming. I felt seen. After a visit, Stacey Kole emailed me to share that she had not yet seen my application. That email had a large impact; I knew that I was not just another number. The motto at the time, "Challenge Everything," was also intriguing. I like a culture of continuous improvement.

After being admitted, what was one of your biggest concerns?
I did not have many concerns. I was elated! My biggest concern was housing, finding an environment that would best situate me to foster community and get to classes. I chose to live in Hyde Park and enjoyed my experience.

What one word or phrase best describes your Booth experience? 

— One of the best decisions of my life!

What classes or professors made the biggest impression on you and why?
Finance courses helped me learn what I do not like. I find that knowing what you don’t like is equally as important as learning what you do like. 

What were some of the ways you got involved while at Booth and how was that involvement important to your experience?
I enjoyed Chicago Women in Business (CWiB) and the African American MBA Association (AAMBAA). I really enjoyed Booth Follies, Random Walk, and TNDC activities as well. I formed quality relationships at these events and sometimes simply by sitting in the Winter Garden. It was nice to connect as humans based on common interests and not only speak about courses and careers.

How many concentrations did you have upon graduation?
I graduated with three concentrations. They were in Strategic Management, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship.

What type of impact do you feel you’ve made in your current role because of your MBA?
My MBA helped me to become more comfortable with entertaining varied perspectives and being open to change my mind based on data. These skills have served me well and continuously allow me to chart new paths in ambiguous environments. 

What are some of the challenges you are able to conquer at work because of your MBA?
I can quickly synthesize data and identify key drivers of decisions. 

What characteristic is most associated with being a Boothie? 
Booth students embody using evidence to challenge, well, everything. That data-driven nature runs through them in the ways they move through the world personally and professionally. 

What was one of your favorite places to visit in Chicago and what makes it special to you?
I loved living near Lake Michigan. The sight of water reminds me of God's grace.  

What changes would you like to see Booth make that will help maintain your pride in being a Booth alumna? 
Increase their focus on DEI. I’d like to see them diversify the faculty and continue DEI training in LEAD (for all students).

Janelle Jenkins is the President of Operations at KIPP St. Louis. Prior to joining KIPP St. Louis, she honed her leadership skills while working at DaimlerChrysler, Citi, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, and KIPP Delta Public Schools. Janelle was born and raised in Detroit, MI, and earned her BBA from Ross School of Business at The University of Michigan and M.Ed in Educational Leadership from The Broad Center, in addition to her MBA from Chicago Booth. She loves the freedom and opportunities her education has afforded her.

Janelle enjoys empowering more adults and children to live freely and authentically. She wants more curvy, dark skinned, curly/natural haired Black Girls—and everyone else—to know that they don’t have to change a thing about themselves to be successful. She wants everyone to know that leadership opportunities are NOT reserved for those who fit a certain mold or look.

FT Admissions

FT Admissions

The Full-Time MBA Admissions team offers you candid information and insight about our approach to management education, admissions, academics, career insights, and student life in the Full-Time MBA Program at Chicago Booth.

FT Admissions