As an early career Part-Time MBA student at Chicago Booth, Andres shares his experience in shifting career goals and the value of a Booth network.
- September 14, 2021
The Chicago Business Fellows Program (CBF) is part of Chicago Booth’s Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Programs, designed for candidates with three years or less of full-time business experience. Learn how Andres shifted career goals and built meaningful relationships at Chicago Booth.
After spending undergraduate and the first few years of my professional career in Texas, I was ready to find a new environment that would challenge me to think differently. Chicago Booth offered an incredible opportunity to be surrounded by some of the world’s most incredible professors, while learning with highly driven impact-seeking individuals. I knew that I would be a better analytical, strategic, and thoughtful leader if I just surrounded myself with such individuals every single weekend.
After two or three years of working it can be easy to get comfortable and continue climbing up the corporate ladder. What the Chicago Business Fellows Program offers is a critical pivot point in your early career that allows you to find the first job that will one day lead to your dream job. I loved talking to students in the program prior to joining who had amazing goals of starting their own company or moving to private equity, consulting, or tech. It was easy to tell that the connections and knowledge they were building were catapults towards their future success. What’s more amazing is that the part-time program allows you to make this pivot while still in school. I’ve seen a large percentage of my Chicago Business Fellows family (that’s what we call each other), including myself, already find those new careers, just halfway through the program. The value of the Booth MBA is exponential and you see the impact it has on your personal and professional life each year.
While I thought it would be Booth’s world-renowned financial courses that would make me a successful analytical tech investor, it was the human-centric strategic innovation, marketing, and entrepreneurship courses that shifted my career goals towards a career in product management. During my Digital Marketing Lab class, where my team and I consulted as a digital marketer for a tech company in the Bay Area, I had the opportunity to learn and use HubSpot as a CRM. In class we even had a HubSpot marketer provide training. This same connection and experience led me to find a job as a Product manager at HubSpot, only half way through my MBA program. As I continue to grow as a product and entrepreneurial leader, Booth’s New Venture Challenge accelerator gave me the opportunity to co-found a company and learn from household names such as Grubhub, Braintree/Venmo, and Simple Mills. While we shut down the company, the tools and friendships I gained along the way helped me become a better product manager and will help me as I pursue entrepreneurship later in life.
The Booth network is incredibly powerful in the classroom, but also outside with alumni and professors alike. As I transitioned to a career in product management, it was Anita Brick, one of our career coaches, who prepared, connected and guided me. When I started a company, it was professors like Mark Tebbe and Lindsey Lyman who pushed me, listened to me, and advised me. I’ve gotten to serve as a student leader in various organizations and help both nonprofit and for-profit organizations scale their businesses through Polsky’s Small Business Growth and the Booth’s Social Impact programs. Finally, I’ve celebrated promotions, weddings, and baby showers with the most driven and incredible people in the world. People who I know will change the world as corporate CEO’s, government leaders, and founders.