Evening MBA student, Manjul Sharma, shares how he takes advantage of Booth's flexible curriculum and develop as an effective leader.
- September 14, 2021
- Chicago Business Fellows
Being able to learn from world-class faculty, discuss ideas with classmates working in different industries, and then apply that learning immediately at work is why I chose Chicago Booth. I wanted to supplement my real-world work experience with the tried and tested cased-based approach at Booth. The ability to part-take in the New Venture Challenge and join several interest-based student groups was a cherry on top.
Experience at work is pivotal to seeing the bigger picture. The Chicago Booth Fellows Program (CBF) allowed me to attend a top-notch MBA program without giving up on the valuable work experience I am receiving at work. The CBF program helped me befriend and learn from other brilliant early career students who that are doing amazing work at various corporations. Talking to them and being in the LEAD seminar with them, gave a glimpse of what different careers look like. For some students, that is enough to start thinking about professions you never knew you'd be interested in. Getting an MBA earlier in my career was important for me to accelerate my career in investing. It helped me understand the ABCs of disciplines like marketing and operations management which can be an incredible value add even to someone who doesn’t directly work in those areas. I think in investing, being a master of one discipline is not enough; it helps to also be a jack of all trades.
I want to ensure that every project and every entrepreneur that deserves funding receives the capital they need no matter their background or place of origin. So, I aspire to continue in the path of becoming a sophisticated financier and play a role in fostering innovation around the world. I am originally from Nepal and I am eager make capital accessible to companies in developing countries like Nepal that don’t have an established capital market. An MBA from Booth allowed me to take classes like International Corporate Finance with Professor Raghuram Rajan and Emerging Markets Finance and Entrepreneurship with Professor Emanuele Colonnelli that taught about how deals in foreign markets can be structured to make it attractive for all parties involved. Those classes also provided the opportunity to hear from high profile guest lecturers from the World Bank and other international organizations.
MBA students have the most varied backgrounds and prior work experiences. I think the flexible curriculum at Booth is critical to letting an individual take classes to fill your specific knowledge gaps. For example, as a software research analyst, I found myself constantly trying to understand how exactly a company can do what it does. I had only taken a few computer sciences classes as an undergrad. Taking the ‘Application Development’ class with Professor Raghu Betina not only enabled me to create my own app but also enabled me to better understand the technology used by companies under my coverage at work.
In a world that emphasizes fitting in, Booth teaches you how to stand out. In a workplace that is getting increasingly diverse and dynamic, it is important for leaders to be aware of the power of situation and use it to foster creativity by removing barriers. The LEAD course at Booth is designed to help an individual understand your strengths and weakness as a leader so you can actively work on becoming an effective leader.
The Booth community is incredibly supportive, and I have benefitted from it in different aspects of my life. My wife is a current Booth student and going through the MBA journey together has been an amazing experience. I have also participated in several alumni dinners and gotten to meet people who are willing to make time in their busy schedule to talk to a fellow Boothies and help us out. Once a fellow conference attendee noticed my Booth luggage tag given to me by Professor Ginzel and started a conversation that made the whole travel day fun. In all, the Booth community has made Chicago feel like a second home for me.