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Chetan Mahajan, Evening MBA alumnus

Engagement Manager, The Chartis Group, New York, NY

 

Why did you choose to pursue an MBA at Booth? What impact did your MBA have on your career?

 

As someone who’s working in healthcare consulting, I’ve picked up skills on an ad hoc basis. I was really looking forward to my time at Booth to strengthen my foundation in business principles. What became an unexpected surprise I didn’t know would be so powerful, were the entrepreneurial classes and resources I was exposed to. I gained highly practical experience, starting with my first two classes: accounting and negotiations. I worked on a deal between an insurance company and an academic health system and what I learned allowed me to dive in and structure my deal-making approach. From there on, I knew I could leverage my experience at Booth to do exciting things within my current work.

I appreciated that Booth is one of those places where you get to create your own educational experience. Booth gives you the foundation to build on top of. One of the things I saw immediately was the quality of the faculty. Each professor had a very thoughtful teaching approach, and they were all reachable outside of class as mentors.

What was the highlight of your time at Booth?

The capstone to my MBA experience was the Social New Venture Challenge (SNVC). It allowed me to apply concepts I was picking up across multiple disciplines and work towards building a new social venture. That single pitch was one of those moments that boiled the entire MBA experience into a single moment. Being one of the teams to win the competition felt like such an accomplishment; and the fact that I was able to share the stage with my wife, who also worked on it, was huge. I can’t imagine any other setting where that could have been made possible.

"There’s always this triangle shaped tug of war where you have to balance how much effort and time can go into work, home, or the MBA—so thinking about the path you want to follow will help you streamline things."

— Chetan Mahajan, '20

You were part of both the Evening and Weekend MBA Programs. Tell us about that.

My company sponsored my MBA and was generous enough to give me the opportunity to work remotely and live in Chicago for a few months, and then to take a sabbatical to do a few classes full-time. So I’ve now had the opportunity to be part of the Weekend and the Evening MBA Programs. It’s very surprising but in the Weekend Program, there is such a sense of shared experience. The balance is a taxing way of life that you learn to love because you’re getting so much out of it. And because everyone has that shared experience, the sense of community is really strong in the program.

What advice would you offer to incoming Part-Time students?

The juggle is challenging. Find the tools and support early on and realize that you can’t just muscle your way through. Plan out your courses ahead of time, think about what you want to get out of the experience, and then use your support network to make that happen. There’s always this triangle shaped tug of war where you have to balance how much effort and time can go into work, home, or the MBA—so thinking about the path you want to follow will help you streamline things. Most importantly, prioritize your network. The connections you make will carry over well beyond your MBA classes.

Read our other graduate profiles:

Imah Effiong, Sean Ellis and Yingting Wang.

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