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 Jacquelyn takes advantage of Chicago Booth's flexible curriculum.

Why Chicago Booth?

Chicago Booth had always been a school I aspired to attend. I’d hear about the best-in-class faculty, flexible curriculum, and the endless amount of professional development opportunities. These were all things that stood out for me as I considered which MBA program fit me best. The cherry on top was the opportunity to join Chicago Business Fellows. The additional leadership programming and professional development opportunities Chicago Business Fellows offers, along with the ability to connect with fellow younger professionals in social settings, was what really sealed the deal for me. Booth has delivered on all of those “reasons why,” and it has been a truly transformational experience.

Why Chicago Business Fellows? Why was getting an MBA earlier in your career important to you?

When I initially looked at the average age of a Booth Evening/Weekend student, I was intimidated. As a 25-year-old, seeing an average student age of around 30 unearthed feelings of “imposter syndrome.” I almost convinced myself that it wasn’t the right time for me to earn an MBA. After doing more research on the Chicago Business Fellows Program and realizing that I’d be surrounded by a supportive group of young professionals, I reassured myself that it absolutely was the right time for me to get started and that jump starting my career with an MBA to make a career pivot earlier rather than later was exactly the right fit.

How have you used the flexible curriculum to maximize your time at Booth and get what you needed out of your MBA? What’s a specific example?

Leveraging Booth’s flexible curriculum has been a key piece of my experience thus far. Being able to flex between Evening and Weekend classes and the ability to choose my own pace have been key benefits. One quarter, I decided to dedicate more focus to my extracurricular involvement, so I took only one class, which was really helpful for me as I better integrated myself into the Booth network.

How have the additional professional development opportunities and social programming for Chicago Business Fellows helped you?

When I applied to Chicago Booth, I knew I wanted to be a part of the Chicago Business Fellows program because everyone I had talked with currently in the Business Fellows program had spoken of it highly. Going in, I had high expectations for the leadership programming and social events, yet even with those high expectations, Chicago Business Fellows has exceeded them. The professional development opportunities have not only been helpful for me as an emerging leader, but have offered skills I’ll take with me throughout my career. On top of that, attending social events has opened my eyes to new connections I never thought I’d make pre-Booth. I’ve been able to develop professionally and have met some amazing people, and a lot of those connections wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for my involvement in Chicago Business Fellows.

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