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For many Executive MBA students, reentering an academic setting can be a bit unsettling. It’s been a while since leaving college behind and you’re now a fully-fledged adult with professional and personal responsibilities to manage. How can you get the most out of your Booth EMBA experience—the academic rigor, career and leadership coaching, and global network—while keeping everything balanced? Thankfully, our alumni prove that it can be done. Here are some tips and tricks we collected from recent graduates on how to get the most out of your program. 

On starting the program strong:

  • Preread the material. It will help tremendously by allowing you to gain technical knowledge ahead of time. 

  • Try to get to know your cohort through the Chicago Booth app.

  • Relax and don't stress right out of the gate. There is a lot to take in all at once. Besides  academics, definitely take the time to enjoy the adventure you are starting.

On the Booth classroom:

  • Determine your classroom dynamic early. Make your unique voice heard by adding one comment in every class, but try not to dominate the conversation. 

  • Come with an open mind and be prepared to learn from all courses.

  • Keep notes of course highlights throughout the program—your future self will be grateful.

  • The culture of the classroom is really ambitious, and that energy is something that will inspire you to achieve even more.

On making the most of the Booth network:  

  • Network. Network. Network. 

  • The program will be hard, but remember to take the time to build that network because it lasts beyond the degree.

  • Do not hesitate to reach out to alumni and the broader Booth network for support when needed.

  • Find a group that works hard and has fun. 

On finding balance:

  • Grades don't define life. Focus on the learning, and good marks will follow. 

  • Breathe. Everyone is just as confused, nervous, and excited as you are. It will all work out. 

  • The program will make you realize just how valuable time is. It will teach you to compartmentalize and become significantly more focused on everything. 

  • Embrace the experiences and remember what motivated you to take this step is the same motivation that will fuel you through the program. 

On Booth's career impact:

  • Make sure that you know how your degree is in advancing your career.

  • Remember, it is not just about earning an MBA certificate. You will become more productive and efficient because of the MBA, and as a result, career progression will follow.

  • As you learn more and more, you can use your own business as the test case of what the program is teaching you and put it into practice.


Makini Allwood

Assistant Director, Marketing and Communications

Makini works with the Global Admissions teams to craft content and communications targeted to prospective students. 

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