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As a Chicago Business Fellow, early career professionals have access to specialized professional programming geared towards enhancing their MBA experience. Through the programming, Business Fellows can connect with other professionals within our Part-Time MBA Program at Chicago Booth. Our Boothies, Alex Johnson and Kelley McGough are Business Fellows within the Evening MBA Program at Chicago Booth. Here are their thoughts on specialized Chicago Business Fellows programming, why they became Business Fellows, and how their experience has been enhanced through the program.

What one word or phrase best describes your Booth experience?

Alex Johnson: Community. I have met so many great people through the program thus far and continue to meet more at every single event. The Booth atmosphere is extremely welcoming and inclusive, and I have been pleasantly surprised by how social my experience has been with events and gatherings at any time. Beyond the social engagements, Booth has given me a large and inspiring network of people that are always eager to share tips and help in any way they can.

Kelley McGough:
Energizing. The courses I’ve chosen so far have really drawn me in and inspired me to reframe the way I think about problems at work. My time at Booth so far honestly makes me wish I majored in business in college.

Why did you choose to become a Chicago Business Fellow?

AJ: I chose to join CBF for both the social and educational opportunities. I saw it as an avenue to meet new people in similar career positions and a good way to navigate a large school by providing smaller group activities. Additionally, I knew CBF would offer some separate educational programming, like the LinkedIn event, which could only further my career growth through Booth.

KM: I was looking for a way to get involved and network with people of similar stages in their career. The Chicago Business Fellows Program has helped me meet people with a variety of professional backgrounds and learn about different career opportunities within and outside of my industry.

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“My experience within the Chicago Business Fellows Program has been great. I am so glad to have access to specialized programs and to have already met so many great people just by being a part of CBF. The program can only augment my experience at Booth moving forward.”
- Alex Johnson

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“The program has helped me to meet some of my closest friends at Booth and provided great opportunities to learn professional skills that might take years to learn normally. For example, the Etiquette Dinner and LinkedIn Event were designed to give young professionals the opportunity to learn skills like this.”
- Kelley McGough

The purpose of the LinkedIn Learning + Masterclass event with Jennifer Bublitz from Career Services was to assist students in building upon their LinkedIn profiles as MBA candidates. During the event, students also learned more about the LinkedIn Masterclass available to students at Booth. This event is an example of the type of programming offered to Boothies within the Chicago Business Fellows Program.

What are your key takeaways from the recent LinkedIn event?

AJ: My key takeaway from this presentation was how important it is to shape your entire profile around the job you are looking to obtain. I knew that to be true regarding the job experience wording, the same as you would for a resume update, but had not considered that you should also be updating the headshot, banner image, title, etc. There are key buzzwords that you should incorporate to ensure you come up in recruiter searches as well. Overall, this event highlighted for me that everything about your profile should reflect the characteristics of the industry you are looking to enter, which is helpful in considering next steps in my future job search.

Jennifer did a great job walking us through the updates mentioned above, but she also showed us the recruiter’s point of view, which is not something we typically get to see. This brought into perspective why these updates are so valuable and how keywords can help your profile stand out. I would recommend more CBF events like this in the future – it was very easy to join during my lunch break and provided a lot of useful information!

KM: I learned some great new insights from the LinkedIn event, such as using a photo analyzer app to maximize people’s perception of your professionalism/likeability/trustworthiness in your profile photo. Also, Jennifer emphasized the importance of using keywords in your headline and skills/endorsements that allow recruiters to search for you. Some of my key focuses in updating my LinkedIn will be including a robust description of my professional background and experience, adding the additional profile sections, and providing a detailed yet succinct career story in the ‘About’ section.

I’d like more events like this to be available in the future. My LinkedIn profile was probably not something that would normally be at the top of my mind, so offerings like this allowed me to realize that I may not be taking full advantage of the recruiting and networking capabilities of LinkedIn.

We hope that hearing about the Chicago Business Fellows Program from the perspective of our Boothies Alex and Kelley provided you with a better understanding of what it’s like to be a Business Fellow. If you’re interested in the Chicago Business Fellows Program, we encourage you to visit our website to learn more and apply.