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Just one year into her deferral period, Jelanie Vasquez, shares her thoughts on why a Chicago Booth deferred MBA is the right choice for her and how she's making the most of this time.

What attracted you to the Chicago Booth Scholars Program?

Being part of a deferred MBA program came naturally as it gives me the opportunity to take risks during my full-time work experience that I might not have otherwise. I was first attracted to Chicago Booth due to its emphasis on quantitative data and analysis. Booth’s flexible curriculum allows students to choose the exact courses applicable to their career goals. I like how I will not only take classes I know I need, but also explore new topics that I'm interested in, like entrepreneurship.

Another reason I committed to Chicago Booth is because of the diverse and supportive community. I’ve already connected with a current student from the Hispanic American Business Students Association (HABSA) and, by the time I was admitted, I had experienced immense support from many members of the community. It's that diversity within each Booth class that makes for the best MBA experience possible.

What do you hope an MBA will help you achieve in your future?

Improving equality of opportunity locally, and eventually globally, is my most important goal. My hope is that, through work in nonprofit organizations, I will be able to positively impact disadvantaged communities. Immediately post-MBA, I want to use the skills gained from Booth to work in a top marketing management position at a prominent nonprofit or establish my own business, tailoring its brand and marketing strategies to reduce inequalities.

What’s your best advice for Booth Scholars applicants?

Imposter syndrome is real, so my biggest piece of advice for those considering this program is to push through that and apply, regardless of doubt. The second is to focus on your fit and impact. Fit is why you want to attend Booth specifically while impact is how you will be an influential member of a future class. You should know yourself and your goals, both short-term and long-term. As an applicant, you are the sum of all parts of your application, and you should craft a cohesive story. Finally, never be afraid to reach out to a current student if you have any questions.

How have you stayed engaged with Booth during your deferment period?

I have stayed connected with my fellow Booth Scholars via our Facebook and Slack groups. I’m also excited to attend more of the quarterly professional development and networking events to meet my future classmates in person!

Jelanie Vasquez is nearly one year into her Chicago Booth Scholars deferral period. After graduating with dual degrees in Marketing and Global Perspectives from Bentley University, Jelanie now works for the Union City Board of Education. While she’s still gaining valuable experience in her career, Jelanie anticipates graduating from Chicago Booth in 2023.