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After enrolling in Chicago Booth’s Executive MBA Program on the London Campus, I’ve fielded a lot of questions from my network about what the process for admission was like.

Before even beginning to discuss the application process, I think you need to start with your “why.” I felt that an MBA was right for me because I was at a point in my career when I wanted to consolidate the knowledge and skills I had picked up on the job with formal education from a reputable school like the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, particularly as I prepare for senior executive roles. I chose Booth because it provided the best way for me to complement my engineering knowledge from undergraduate studies with unparalleled academic rigor in economics, finance, data analytics, leadership, and management. I also like that the program is truly global in nature with campuses on three continents.

Once you have your “why,” it’s time to start the admissions process. Here is how I describe my experience when I’m asked:

1. Start early

The process of securing admission to business school takes time. For example, you need time to put together an application, which includes writing compelling essays. You also need time to apply for transcripts, request recommendation letters, and prepare for any of the standardized tests such as the EA, GMAT, or GRE. Applying early and studying for the tests will help you put together a strong application that you can feel confident in.

2. Do your research

Beyond the popular rankings, business schools each have their individual strengths and you must ensure that the school you are choosing aligns with your aspirations and purpose. You must be able to choose a school that helps you build on your skills while also addressing your weak spots. Apart from academics, you should decide which program culture is the best fit for you. For example, I chose the Executive MBA Program in London because I was looking for a cohort of senior professionals who had a similar level of experience from all over the world. Also, I found the campus easy to access from my family and work locations. Lastly, the week-long class format makes it easier for me to combine work with study.

3. Engage with schools

You will find it extremely helpful to attend the webinars, networking events, classes for prospective students, and other sessions that schools offer to provide insights into the highlights of each program and school. You should also engage with the admissions committee, alumni, and current students of the schools you are interested in to better acquaint yourself with the community you want to join.

4. Interview preparation

Approach it like you’re preparing for a job interview. There are many videos and sample questions online to help you with this. Practice with them but ultimately, try to enjoy the process. Also, use the school’s template for your CV if provided.

5. Stakeholder buy-in

To be successful with your application and the program, you need to secure the buy-in of important stakeholders such as your family and employer. Trust me, you will need their support to do a program like Chicago Booth’s. Personally, I started the discussion with my wife about three years earlier and she was very excited about it but we both agreed to sequence it after her own master’s degree finished in Canada. At my company, I engaged my colleagues to discuss my interest and they were very supportive, especially because the company also appreciates professional development in a school like Booth.

6. Explore scholarship opportunities

There are scholarships and funding sources available to you, and it’s important to explore those options and apply, if possible.

7. Don’t self-select out

Don’t assume your profile, test scores, or other application materials aren’t good enough. Focus in on the schools you want to target and put together a compelling story for why the MBA is right for you now. There is something unique about you that the school might be interested in, and it’s up to you to identify that. While it’s very competitive, your story doesn’t have to be limited to academic and professional successes only. Tell your story well and be sure to include other extracurricular activities or community service projects you are involved in.

At this point, I have just completed the three international weeks in Chicago, London, and Hong Kong, and the experience has been amazing. We have learned about managerial psychology, microeconomics, and statistics from exceptionally brilliant professors while collaborating with the best and brightest minds in my cohort to internalize what we’ve learned through group studies.

The opportunity to study at the three campuses has already brought me closer to my global classmates and provided exciting new experiences. My classmates who live in these cities tried to outdo each other when hosting in their home areas. The trip to Hong Kong was my first visit, and I got to participate in most of the social activities like hiking to the Peak, dragon boat rides, and amazing seafood dinners. These are special memories to cherish along with the opportunity to learn.

Hope Duntoye

Current EMBA Student

Hope Duntoye, ’25, is a Transformation Manager with Shell responsible for driving performance improvement across Shell Companies in Nigeria and incubating strategic business and energy transition initiatives. He joined the company in 2011 as a Production Engineer (Mech.) and has worked in different assets including as a Mechanical Supervisor and Reliability Engineer on Bonga FPSO, contributing significantly to the asset achieving the highest plant availability ever (95 percent) translating to a free cashflow of 1 billion USD for the business while winning the Asset of the Year award, among others. Prior to joining Shell, he worked in management consulting with PwC.

He is PMP and APM PMQ certified and is a member of several professional organizations where he has received awards for his contributions to engineering and humanity. Duntoye has a BSc in mechanical engineering from the University of Lagos and an MBA (Oil and Gas Management) from Robert Gordon University and is currently a Dean’s Scholar at Booth.

Hope Duntoye