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Join us for a live chat about marketing at Booth. Current students and staff from the James M. Kilts Center for Marketing, Career Services, and Admissions will answer your questions about resources and opportunities available to students interested in studying or pursuing careers in marketing at Booth. Learn about recruiting, competitions, curriculum choices, concentrations, student groups, and more.

Chat Transcripts  

Guest: I plan to work as a data analyst and provide data-driven targeted marketing in one of the global e-commerce firms after MBA. Since Booth is known to have the best program in that field, I’d like to know more about some of the big data related projects that Kilts Center offers.

* Katie Claussen Bell: We work with faculty to incorporate Nielsen data into several classes such as pricing strategy, data driven marketing, data science for marketing decision making and data mining. The faculty teaching these courses also used Kilts Center acquired data to do research, and that experience enhances how and what they teach in the classroom.



Guest: What types of positions are you prepared for after a marketing analytics concentration?

* Igor German: There really is no limit on the types of positions you can recruit for. However, I think that the Marketing Analytics concentration is a good signaling tool for jobs in Product Management, Product Marketing, Brand Management, Corporate Strategy roles, and a whole slew of roles in Consulting. It's a good blend of soft and quant skills.


Guest:  What avenues are available via Chicago Booth prior to and during career search for networking in Marketing?

* Heather Packo: There are many opportunities for networking for Marketing students here at Booth. To highlight a few, Career Services offers Corporate Conversations throughout the year, where company recruiters come to campus to do info sessions on opportunities within their organizations.. We also offer a variety of networking events including Industry Immersion and Interaction in Fall. Other opportunities offered through Booth include lunch & learns, treks, day at's, and the Marketing Group conference.


Guest: What types of internships/positions are available in Marketing other than brand management?

* Heather Packo: In addition to brand management, some of the other career paths our students take within the marketing function include product management/product marketing management, market research/consumer insights, strategic marketing, marketing communications, and marketing consulting (to name a few).


Guest: This question is for any of the current students. What was your background, and how did you see it connecting to a Marketing Concentration MBA?

* Maria Laura: I was an account manager in technology prior to Booth and I wanted to get a sense of a strategy perspective. I was interested in how can I serve better clients and create products for them. My career prior to Booth was related to mkt but from a tactical perspective. Now I want to apply more strategies and create value for customers.


Guest: Hi! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions. Depending on the company, product management can fall under marketing or engineering. Do you think it is difficult to break into this space and find opportunities if you come from a non-technical background? 

* Igor German: That's a great question. You're right that it depends on the company, but what we are finding more and more is that Marketing skills are really central to the Product Management role, so lots of Boothies choose to study Marketing for that reason. There are lots of people who go into the Tech space without a programming background, and those marketing instincts really help them succeed in those roles. That being said, there are a few exceptions (like Google) that really look for people with computer science backgrounds for the Product Management roles. However, if you love Google, there are lots of roles there that non-programmers fit into, like Product Marketing Management. Hope that helps!


Guest: For people with non-Marketing backgrounds, do you have any recommended materials to familiarize ourselves with the field prior to starting with the MBA?

* Igor German: Definitely-- there are lots of free courses offered online that can give a nice function overview and give you an idea of what a marketing curriculum looks like. For instance, there's an Intro course here: https://www.coursera.org/learn/wharton-marketing That being said, there are lots of people with very little marketing background (I was a High School Teacher before Booth), so there is no expectation of prior knowledge. Hope this helps!


Guest: What opportunities have you taken part in outside of your coursework?  How has it contributed to your Booth experience?

* Jamie Rubinstein: I was a member and co-chair for the student-run Marketing Group. It was a great experience that provided lots of events and networking opportunities. We have 10-12 sponsor companies across industries (tech, CPG, healthcare, etc.) that host various events through the club. We also had social events where I was able to interact with other students that were interested in marketing.


Guest: Where would you say is the key difference between the Marketing Analytics and Marketing Management Concentration? Do both concentrations prepare for similar post MBA roles?

* Katie Claussen Bell: Both concentrations are multi-disciplinary and teach the importance of data-driven decision making. The marketing analytics concentration has a more intense focus on statistical analysis and higher expectations for the level of sophistication one has for using the data. Many students aiming for a marketing role in the technology industry (e.g. product manager or product marketing manager) will particularly benefit from the marketing analytics concentration.



Guest: Do students typically only do one concentration or are multiple ones doable, and if multiple are possible, what are others which are commonly paired together with Marketing?

* Jamie Rubinstein: Multiple concentrations are definitely possible! I have three, for example, and I believe most students have more than one concentration. You'll find that there are a lot of classes that overlap for multiple concentrations. I am concentrating in marketing management, entrepreneurship, and managerial & organizational behavior. I would say there are not necessarily "common pairs" but it's more related to your interests. That is what's great about Booth's flexible curriculum.


Guest: My interest lies towards Brand marketing and creative campaign management, rather than pure product management. As a future Boothie, how do you suggest I plan my Booth journey?

* Heather Packo: Your career journey at Booth is individualized.The summer before your first quarter, career services will be connecting with you for an initial coaching appointment. During this time, we will discuss your journey and help you develop a career plan. Once orientation begins, you will have plenty of opportunities to explore brand marketing/creative campaign management, as well as other areas of marketing.


Guest: Hi, thank you for your time today. Have any of you come to Booth with a certain career plan only to have it changed based on your time there either through the coursework or other opportunities?

* Igor German: Yes, this definitely happened to me. I did not think that I was going to be a Brand Manager, but in the first few weeks of my MBA there were lots of opportunities to learn about different career paths and post-MBA roles. When I happened to sit-in on a panel of Marketers, I learned about Brand Management for the first time and chose to research the career more carefully. The more I learned about the role, the more I knew it was a great fit for me.


Guest: How accessible are the faculty?

* Jamie Rubinstein: It greatly varies based on the professor, but generally I have found that they are very accessible. They respond promptly to emails and offer office hours each week. Through student groups like the Marketing Group, I have also gotten to interact with faculty to learn specifics about their research and background.


Guest: What are the opportunities for research at Booth?

* Katie Claussen Bell: If you're asking about whether you can work with faculty on their research, this is ultimately up to each individual faculty member. Given that Booth has a PhD program, faculty tend to rely most heavily on those students to be RA's on their research project.


Guest: I have a quantitative background, and I'm wondering if the Marketing Analytics concentration has more of a machine learning approach? Or what type of quantitative influence will it have?

* Katie Claussen Bell: Both the marketing analytics concentration and marketing management concentration are multi-disciplinary and teach the importance of data-driven decision making. The marketing analytics concentration has a more intense focus on statistical analysis and higher expectations for the level of sophistication one has for using the data. Many students aiming for a marketing role in the technology industry (e.g. product manager or product marketing manager) will particularly benefit from marketing analytics.



Guest: Since internship recruiting starts in the fall, does Booth offer any resources (resume review, list of alumni contacts, etc.) for incoming students to utilize prior to arriving on campus?

* Heather Packo: You would be correct - on-campus recruiting for 1Ys starts in fall. Career Services offers an array of programs and support to set you up for success. You'll first hear from us in the summer when you'll have an initial coaching appointment with one of our Career Coaches, in addition to access to resources and webinars. During orientation, you will also have access to events and services including resumes, developing your recruiting strategy, networking like a rock star, and more!


Guest: What career paths are there outside of corporate marketing roles?

* Heather Packo: While we see many student pursue roles in corporate, we also see others pursue marketing role with agencies, large consultancies/marketing-specific consultancies, and market research firms (to name a few).


Guest: Also follow up question, is there a certain industry or field that alot of Booth Marketers seem to target? I'm sure it's hard to generalize of course but is there any kind of trend of field Booth marketers are gravitating towards?

* Jamie Rubinstein: CPG is always a pretty common industry for marketers. However, the number of Boothies going into tech has increased significantly. There are a wide range of industries represented overall.You can check out the employment report for more in-depth info here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/employmentreport/


Guest: How is the recruiting timeline for marketing different from consulting/banking?

* Heather Packo: While majority of the consulting/banking opportunities that come to Booth follow an on-campus recruiting timeline (networking/prep in fall quarter; on-campus interviews for internships in winter quarter), Marketing is a blend of on-campus recruiting and specialized search (which you may have previously known as off-campus recruiting). While on-campus recruiting generally wraps up early winter quarter, students doing a specialized search may be recruiting through spring quarter for summer internships.


Guest: What is Student Life typically broken up as? How much of it is spent in Class Time/Studying/Networking etc.?

* Maria Laura: Booth offers a lot of opportunities in terms of academics, social life and recruiting. It depends on each of us to decide what our priority is and allocate our time accordingly. During recruiting season I would say most students spend more time preparing for interviews than academics, but it depends on each person. For me recruiting was my priority and after that I was able to catch up with academics and social life.


Guest: Thank you again for answering our questions. What were the key factors in your decision to pursue a Full Time MBA over Booth's Weekend and Evening MBA Programs?

* Jamie Rubinstein: In studying for the GMAT while i was working full-time, I recognized that studying after work hours was not as productive as it could be and that I was not able to give my best effort to either my work or my studies. I did not think this tradeoff would be sustainable while pursuing my degree. Also, I was looking to make a career switch and wanted to make sure that I had access to the full suite of career services and recruiting programs. So, I decided to choose the full-time program instead of part-time.


Guest: Hi! Thank you so much for the time. What kind of global opportunities are there either for Booth students or international careers post-graduation?

* Maria Laura: Booth is a very strong brand and you will be able to recruit for the region of interest. For example, AbinBev and Kraft recruits for international offices. Also, groups in regions reach out individually to students. Careers services can help you understand better what opportunities are available.


Guest: Thank you for your help! Could someone that has been already a product manager describe the main responsibilities of the role?

* Maria Laura: Product management is very broad role and it varies across companies. For example, Amazon has a non technical PM role and Google's PM role is very technical. I would say the main responsibility is to set the vision for the product, interact with software engineers to drive the vision, define mkt strategies, pricing, shipping the product. It varies a lot depending on the product and company. Please, reach out to me to further explain :)


Guest: Thank you all for taking the time today for answering questions! How did you prepare for your internship interviews, and were you able to get your preferred choice?

* Jamie Rubinstein: There are tons of resources to help prepare for internship interviews! Student groups like the Marketing Group host lots of events that help to review what to expect at the interviews and practice interviewing with other students, alumni, etc. Also, Career Services hosts many events in the Fall like interview practice, employer panels, workshops on case interviews, etc. Finally, the second year students are very helpful and frequently volunteer their time to help with interview practice. I was definitely able to get one of my preferred internships! There are lots of candidates, but everyone eventually finds an opportunity they are excited about.


Guest: I know the Marketing field is changing rapidly, but what are some of the Marketing positions Boothies find themselves in 5-10 years post grad?

* Heather Packo: We see our students in a variety of positions 5-10 years post grad across multiple areas of marketing including brand management, product management, market research, MarComm, etc. All across various industries including consumer products, healthcare, retail, tech, and more. As a student, you will have access to our Community Directory where you can see specifically what organizations they are at.


Guest: Hi everyone! Thanks for hosting this session. Have you ever heard of any marketing career paths in financial services (e.g. in retail banking or FinTech)?

* Igor German: Yes, there definitely are both on-campus and off-campus opportunities for marketing in financial services. For retail banking, we see companies like JP Morgan, Discover, and American Express hire marketers from Booth. For the FinTech route, that's typically a little more off-campus, meaning you would use the Booth network to find people who work at those desired companies and form a relationship with them. Luckily, Booth's reputation lends itself really well to FinTech companies. Hope that helps!


Guest: What is your favorite marketing class and why?

* Igor German: That's a tough question! I'm going to pick two because I can't decide between them. Developing New Products and Services is a Lab class, which means you are working with a external client on a project. So, in my case, my group was working with a large energy company to develop a new service offering they could use at their gasoline stands. I loved this class because the frameworks and systems we used to innovate were so powerful that I found myself using some of the same practices in my other classes. The other is Data Driven Marketing because it was such a useful, no-nonsense primer on the quantitative methods marketers use in their careers; I used a ton of those tools in my internship over the summer and felt really prepared compared to my peers.


Guest: How would you describe the culture of the program? Thanks for answering our questions!

* Jamie Rubinstein: I have found that the marketing culture has been very supportive. There is a lot of information sharing (for example- students tend to share opportunities if they are recruiting for off-campus roles). Because there is a relatively smaller group recruiting for marketing at Booth (versus some other roles), students tend to get very close through classes, during recruiting and beyond! I have made some of my best friends in the marketing program here.


Guest: In preparation for becoming a student at Booth, I've had the opportunity to speak with many of the alumni.  A common denominator that continues to be a shining moment from their experience is the ability to collaborate. It seems to be large part of the culture. How would you describe the overall culture at Booth?

* Jamie Rubinstein: Collaboration is definitely a core part of the experience and culture at Booth. A significant portion of our coursework is done in groups, so by nature it is collaborative. Also, there is a great sense of the "pay it forward" mentality at Booth. Second Years and alumni are frequently are willing to help in any way they can - from recruiting prep to class projects, I have always had positive interactions with anyone I have reached out to.


Guest: Could you please talk about the specifics of recruiting for marketing roles?

* Heather Packo: Recruiting for marketing roles is a blend of on-campus recruiting and specialized search (which you may have previously known as off-campus recruiting). We will talk more about this specifically at orientation, but things to plan for going into fall include working on your resume, networking with companies (at speed networking events, corporate conversations, lunch & learns, etc) and alumni/industry professionals, developing your story, researching companies, and doing interview prep. You will start applying for internship positions as early as December for companies that recruit on-campus with interviews starting in January. For those companies that do not recruit on-campus, there will be programming around your specialized search that career services will help you develop.


Guest: What other subjects are available in a Lab class mode at Booth?

* Igor German: There are quite a few-- off the top of my head there is Responsible Leadership Through Choice Architecture, Healthcare Analytics Lab, PE/VC Lab, Real Estate Lab, and New Venture Lab. You can find the whole list here: https://intranet.chicagobooth.edu/pub/coursesearch/CourseList?IsXPSearch=False&AcademicYear=2016


Guest: Thanks for answering our queries.. How much weightage is given by companies to the work experience of students prior to the course?

* Heather Packo: To answer your question, work experience is very important, however it is just one of many factors considered by companies when they are evaluating candidates. I've seen many students who are either career switchers or early career folk be very successful in their search, despite not having as much experience as their peers. It's all about how they position themselves as candidates.


Guest: Please describe your internship experience. What was your role, what did you learn, did you get an offer?

* Maria Laura: I was a product manager for a start up in digital media. It was very exciting because it was a 10 person company and I had the opportunity to work with developers. I shipped the company's first app ever and I led the beta test of the app. I interacted with users to get feedback and improve the app. Startups don’t offer full-time roles until spring. I recruited for full-time opportunities in tech and I will go to Adobe as a Product mkt manager in mobile analytics.


Guest: Hello, and thanks so much for doing this! This is primarily directed toward the current students. When you were considering accepting the offer to Booth, what the main differentiating factors for you that set Booth's program apart from other schools? What were the components of the program/culture/class that put it over the finish line in your minds? Thanks!

* Igor German: That's a really good question. For me, I was actually looking for the place that would stretch me the most; in other words, I didn't necessarily want a place where I fit in perfectly. I knew that if I wanted to grow as much as possible during business school, I'd need to be somewhere where I felt really challenged. Because I have a non-business background (I was a high school English teacher), I thought Booth was perfect to fill some of the quantitative gaps in my skill set. Now that I'm almost done, I have a Marketing and Statistics concentration, and I feel really confident because I have the Booth brand on my name for the rest of my career. That's what did it for me!


Guest: What are the key aspects in a student's application that matter for admission in Booth?

* Kelsey Bergren: In short, there are no ‘key aspects’. At Booth we have an extremely holistic approach to reviewing applications. Each component of your application is important and is considered as such. Things like your GMAT score, professional experience, and undergraduate success are obviously all very important, however, each piece is considered alongside all other components in efforts to build a better picture of you are and your potential success at Booth.


Guest: What would you say is one of the most challenging things about going to Booth?

* Maria Laura: At Booth everything is fast pace from day 1. Social life, academics and career. I think the most challenging part is to set your priorities and keep yourself focus on what you want to get out of this experience. There are a ton of resources available that can be overwhelming. However, we have career services, academics services and peers to help navigate the experience. It is truly amazing and fun!!!


Guest: Are there any students who would "major" in marketing AND strategy/operations?  Also, do you feel that there are ample opportunities in Chicago for a marketing internship/full-time positions?

* Jamie Rubinstein: Yes! Many students graduate with multiple concentrations. It's fairly easy to do so. Most students have 2-3. For example, I am concentrating in Marketing Management, Entrepreneurship and Managerial and Organizational Behavior. In terms of opportunities in Chicago, there are definitely tons! Lots of companies come on campus through recruiting events hosted by Career Services, and there are a ton of other companies in the area that Booth has great relationships with.


Guest: What helped you decide which career path to follow?

* Maria Laura: During orientation we had panels with alumni. They talked about their experiences. That helped me understand other careers and know what I for sure didn’t what to do. Student groups offer panels with second years and they talk about their internship experiences. I would say second years are an extremely valuable resource to know where you could be a good fit. In my case talking to alumni and second years helped me a lot.


Guest: Thank you all for your time and very useful answers. I especially liked Maria's description of her internship. I would love to hear the similar internship stories from others. Anyone? Please.

* Jamie Rubinstein: Sure! I had a Brand Management internship at Mars Wrigley here in Chicago this summer. I worked on our "gum portfolio" team, which was responsible for all the gum brands (You may know some of them! 5, Orbit, Extra, etc.) My internship project was to diagnose the problems in our fruit-flavored gum business and to come up with suggestions on how we could change our marketing strategies to address those problems. The project was heavily data-driven and I was analyzing data on a daily (hourly!) basis. I worked with people in many different parts of the organization to learn about the issues and help craft my solutions, including: sales, R&D, finance, and more. I felt that I got a really got a well-rounded experience. Hope this is helpful!


Guest: Very special thanks to Igor for taking time to answer my question

* Igor German: My pleasure! Feel free to ask any other questions you have.


Guest: A bit of a very specific question - I work currently in the aviation industry, and am curious if United does any on-campus recruiting at Booth, given their location?

* Heather Packo: Hi Alexander! To answer your question, yes - United takes part in on-campus recruiting at Booth.


Guest: What do you think differentiates the Kilts Center for Marketing from any other MBA programs? Also, are there cases where students do an internship in Marketing after 1YR and then switch their major completely and go into a different field for full-time? (i.e. Finance, etc.)?

* Katie Claussen Bell: The Kilts Center is a unique resource that offers programming to connect students to alumni and faculty. In addition, the center offers activities and workshops to help complement classes and prepare you for your career. As for the second question, typically students stay in the same (or a similar) field to their internship. What we do see is some people that start in a marketing internship and go into a rotational program or marketing consulting. Hope that helps!


Guest: For students who have 3 concentrations, how deep do you feel your knowledge is in any of them? Is there such thing as major/minor?

* Jamie Rubinstein: The concentrations are similar to "majors". There are not opportunities for "minors" per se, but the flexibility of the Booth curriculum really allows you to take classes based on your interests. I found that I got a really well-rounded background and the concentrations sort of fell into place during my second year. Most concentrations require only 3-4 classes, and there is a lot of overlap between concentrations.


Guest: Is it possible for someone without a technical background to find a job in PM in the Tech industry? Which are the companies more likely to hire those kind of students?

* Heather Packo: While possible, it depends on the specific candidate and organization. The PM role varies widely from company to company, both in terms of technical ability (coding) and more customer-centric functions (strategy). Some companies do require a technical background for PM roles, which you will be able to see in the job description. Examples of companies that recruit for PM roles here at Booth include Amazon, Cisco, and Google.


Guest: Are there any things you wished you would have done before you began your MBA in preparation?  It sounds like Booth has provided everyone here with a great variety of experiences, but just looking for additional information on preparatory steps such as the Coursera Marketing course mentioned above.

* Igor German: That's a good question. I think that one thing I would have done a little bit differently is spent more time doing career exploration before I began the program. Because recruiting starts relatively early for some fields (like Consulting and Banking), you don't have tons of time to explore before it begins. The good thing is that Booth's career services have taken note of this desire on behalf of students and are building up some programming that students can participate in before the program begins. So, if you know exactly what you want to do, then this doesn't apply. But, if you intend to explore a little bit, it's a good idea to just start exploring and learning what people do in different fields.


Guest: For courses involving experiential learning such as Management Lab, given the tight coursework schedule, how do you manage your time to visit companies, especially if the companies are located outside of Chicago area?

* Igor German: Typically the scope of the project reflects that you'll be working on it as part of a bigger course load, so it's definitely less work than a real-world consulting project. In my Lab class, we've set up weekly conference calls with the client and tried to be diligent about our deliverables in between calls. The client flew in to Chicago for our final presentation and recommendations.


Guest: Thanks guys for bearing with us... For the Class of 2017, students of which other b-schools would you consider to be your closest competitors?

* Maria Laura: I think it depends on the industry. Once at Booth you get a shot at top companies. Networking is important to get interviews. After you have an interview it depends on you whether you get the job. I would say you are competing with yourself.


Guest: A question to Jamie regarding your internship experience - were you able to solve problems with the fruit-flavored gum business?

* Jamie Rubinstein: It was definitely tough within the 10-week experience to completely solve the problem. That said, however, my manager and others have reached out to me multiple times throughout the year to ask questions about my findings and to say that they are using my work to solve the problem on a larger scale.