Coming to Chicago Booth is a transformative experience that will change you forever, in terms of knowledge and self-confidence.
When I came to Booth, I was already working for one of the world's largest pharmaceutical groups, so it was very important to me to earn my MBA from an American university. And no one has more Nobel laureates than Chicago Booth. Although I was already in a very good position at my company, I wanted to transition into a new position on the executive committee of my firm. Chicago Booth gave me this opportunity just three months after I graduated.
Booth really prepared me to be a better leader. There's a culture here of thinking outside the box and questioning everything. I do find that I'm a better manager and a better colleague now, because I have the ability to ask better questions, and hopefully, to help us find better solutions. I'm so much more confident than I used to be. It can be challenging, sometimes, in a class of 80 or 90 people--all of whom are experts in their individual fields--to come in and challenge someone. You really have to be very well-prepared and to make sure that you're offering challenges and responses that are fact-based. But it's really such a better way to work.
I remember when I first came to Booth, being amazed and a little intimidated by how smart all of my peers were, and thinking, "What can I possibly bring to the table?" But in going through the program, you start to see things from different angles, and you realize that everyone contributes something different and necessary to the group. You realize that you're one of the smart people at the table.
You study several topics in a number of fields, and I don't want to say you become a master in each of those fields, but you do understand them so much better, and know how to raise very good questions to the people who are working in these areas. It's given me a confidence even outside of my career field. Recently, I was in a discussion with a person in the financial industry and we were discussing investments. At the end of the conversation, he asked me if I had a financial background based on my comments, and before coming to Booth, I would have said no, because I'm primarily highly-specialized in marketing and strategy. But instead, I said yes; I have a financial background because I studied at Chicago Booth.