What made you decide to pursue an Executive MBA?
I felt that my career had hit a brick wall. I took a survey of all the top C-level executives here in the Philippines, and most of them have an MBA degree. Also, the company that we started years ago was in the process of getting acquired, and I believed that the only logical step was to get more training from a reputable, pioneering university that is also a thought leader in the field of business. It is difficult to move the company to the next level as well as to upgrade myself without it. I am aware of my knowledge and skills gap and I want to take things to the next level.
What factors played into your decision to attend Booth?
It was serendipity. I was on the phone with my godfather, the former CEO of a large corporation, and he was encouraging me to enroll in executive education. Moments after we put down the phone, I got an email from Chicago Booth.
Booth was not at the top of my list initially because of the costs involved. But then I had coffee with a local executive who told me that an MBA degree would change my life. He said, “Putting 50 highly intelligent people in front of a problem will make you appreciate it better, and you will gain more understanding from it. Chicago Booth is world-class. Do you want to be world-class?” The rest is history.
How do you feel that Booth is the right ‘fit’ for you?
The academic rigor, the culture, the inquiry, the endless flow of thoughts—that’s what I was looking for. The culture at Booth is similar to the University of the Philippines, where I came from. Also, I’m an engineer, so the school’s heavy quantitative focus convinces me even more that this is the right place for me to learn.
How did it feel to receive the 75th Anniversary Scholarship? What does it mean to you?
It is an honor, not only for me but also for my country. It pushes me more to know that someone believes in me. It means a lot, and I hope to inspire people from the Philippines as well.
What has been a significant or memorable experience that you have had during your first quarters at Booth?
The first week was especially memorable. Having classmates who are wildly successful yet remain humble—who are intellectually elite but know how to respect your opinion—is gold. It has been an uplifting experience.
Do you have any advice for someone considering applying to Booth’s Executive MBA?
There is no better time than now. The life-changing experience and the cohort who will be your friends for life—you cannot put a monetary value on that. There is a reason why UChicago’s coat of arms is a phoenix—you will come back changed and stronger.