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Mason Zurovchak, Weekend MBA student, Consultant, W. Capra Consulting Group

Why did you decide to pursue an MBA at Chicago Booth?

I never wanted to stop working because I love my job, but I knew I needed other experiences to augment my current skill set. I love a mental challenge and I love to learn. The driving force of my life is to take the abstract and make it actionable. I knew that Chicago Booth, with the Chicago Approach and the analytical and hypothesis-driven way that the school attacks business problems, was the right place to improve my skills. The Chicago Approach aligned with the “Mason Approach” for my life. I travel for my job four days a week so the Weekend Program was my ‘Goldilocks’ and gave me the flexibility to continue to grow professionally and academically.

You are four years into your career, which is relatively early. Why pursue an MBA now?

Young professionals are malleable. I’m at the point in my career where I had enough professional experience where I was comfortable with the technical and soft skills that would allow me to be effective with a client on my own, but I lacked the breadth to take more abstract problems and turn them into something tangible. I knew I needed greater understanding of complex business concepts that I didn’t learn in undergrad and couldn’t pick up by continuing to do my job. I don’t have the most quantitative background, and I knew that Chicago Booth was the right place because it would teach me those skills and give me the frameworks to become a better professional and drive insight for my clients and my firm.

Tell us about Booth Pride 

Booth Pride is the LGBTQ organization for Evening and Weekend students. We seek to foster a sense of community for students and allies, as well as provide social opportunities and professional development. Now for the first time, we are also applying a philanthropic lens, as we have a lot of privelege as LGBTQ individuals at a premier business institution like Chicago Booth. We have a lot of talent that we can take advantage of and leverage to better the community. We are a group that celebrates the diversity of opinions and lived experiences of these individuals, knowing that we can have a greater impact on the business community. 

We do a series of events ranging from social nights to professional development to panels about being LGBTQ in the workplace. Our group also partners with different organizations at Chicago Booth, including Outreach (the Full-Time MBA student group). We attend an annual conference called the ROMBA conference, which is the world’s largest gathering of LGBT+ business students and alumni. We host a bootcamp for resume review and interview prep to make sure that, as representatives of Chicago Booth and the LGBTQ community, we are putting on the best face possible. Right now, Booth Pride is all about socializing and creating connections, because this year those connections have been difficult to make, so we are focused on fostering that sense of community, especially for new incoming students.

Booth student Mason Zurovchak

"There's no prescriptive one way to be LGBTQ at Chicago Booth or to work with Booth Pride...know there is a community waiting for you with open arms at Chicago Booth."

— Mason Zurovchak

Why did you decide to become a Booth Pride co-chair?

I matriculated during the pandemic, and immediately recognized the higher barrier of entry in connecting with fellow Boothies. It’s been difficult to hold impactful events remotely, but I wanted the opportunity to increase the scope of activities and awareness for Booth Pride.

While at University of Notre Dame, I was the president of the LGBTQ organization. I have a history of advocating for the marginalized and of using my privilege and agency to try to leave the room better off than when I entered it. That is something I try to apply in every scenario, whether it's in a group meeting, with a volunteer organization, or a club like Booth Pride. 

I've been very blessed to have grown up in this day and age where support and acceptance of LGBTQ individuals is at an all time high. Notre Dame’s specific policy adheres to Catholic teaching and celebrates the individual, and as such, we athe LGBTQ advocacy organization were limited in the types of events we could put on, or the types of speakers that we could bring to campus. Walking that balance while trying to bring awareness and programming to allow people to fully accept themselves and celebrate themselves was difficult, but was the perfect training ground to plan and deliver value to multiple stakeholders. As a white, cis male, my image is relatively palatable for the masses. So I can use that privilege to advocate for others, and knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity here at Chicago Booth. I want every other business professional who comes after me to have it a little easier, and that’s what we strive to do with Booth Pride.

How would you characterize the Chicago Booth community?

It took me by surprise how easy it was to live authentically at Chicago Booth. When you're trying to create lasting connections and grow yourself, it can be difficult to make the most of the opportunities available if you are worried about acceptance and of being who you are and trying to hide pieces of yourself. Coming into the Booth community, I felt it took five minutes of a conversation with someone, to realize that I didn't have to do that. From my first Zoom to the first socially distanced happy hour to the first in-class breakout, living authentically at Chicago Booth is honestly not something I even think about anymore. The student body, the professors, the firms recruiting, and the staff have all been immensely welcoming. There’s no prescriptive one way to be LGBTQ at Chicago Booth or to work with Booth Pride. I recognize that my lived experience is not reflective of everyone else’s, and if yours is different, know there is a community waiting for you with open arms at Chicago Booth. 

Is there anything else you’d like prospective students to know?

I am very passionate about Chicago Booth. Feel free to reach out to us Pride co-chairs if you want to learn more. If you're looking at Chicago Booth, I would tell you to investigate a little further, and if you end up deciding to attend, we're waiting for you.

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