School Spotlight: University of Chicago Booth School of Business

University of Chicago Booth School of Business Admissions Highlights:

2017-2018 Application Deadlines:

Booth 2017-2018 Full-Time MBA Essay Questions:

NOTE: These are the questions from the 2016-2017 application season. We will post the new ones once they are available.

2016-2017 Chicago Booth Full-Time MBA Essay Question:
View this collection of shared Booth moments. Choose the moment that best resonates with you and tell us why. 

Presentation/Essay Guidelines:

  • Choose the format that works for you. Want to illustrate your response visually? Submit a slide presentation. Like to express yourself with words? Write a traditional essay. Use the format that you feel best captures your response, the Admissions Committee has no preference.
  • Determine your own length. There is no prescribed minimum or maximum length. We trust that you will use your best judgment in determining how long your submission should be, but we recommend that you think strategically about how to best allocate the space.

Technical Guidelines:

  • File Size: Maximum file size is 16 MB.
  • Accepted Upload Formats: Acceptable formats are PDF, Word, and PowerPoint. We strongly recommend converting your piece to a PDF file prior to submitting.
  • Multimedia Restrictions: We will be viewing your submission electronically and in full color, but all submissions will be converted to PDF files, so animation, video, music, etc. will not translate over.

Optional Essay:

Is there any additional information that you would like the Admissions Committee to know? If so, please address in an optional essay. (300 words maximum)

Re-applicant Essay:

Upon reflection, how has your perspective regarding your future, Chicago Booth, and/or getting an MBA changed since the time of your last application? (300 words maximum)


Acceptance Rate & Key Statistics:

Key Statistics

Applicants: 4,169 (22% Admitted)
Full-Time MBA: 1,160 Students
Average GMAT: 719
Median GMAT: 720
Average Age: 28
Average Work Experience: 58 Months
Rolling Admissions: No
% Students who are Women: 35%
% Students who are International: 33%


Bloomberg Businessweek: 2
U.S. News & World Report: 2
Financial Times: 8


Helpful Links:

Our Consultant Jamal’s Experience at Booth

When and where did you attend grad school?

I attended The University of Chicago Booth School of Business from 2011-2013. As a native Chicagoan, attending Chicago Booth allowed me to experience my home town from a whole new perspective. Grad school allowed me to view Chicago through a business lens and appreciate the rich industrial, financial, and academic legacies of the city.

What inspired you to choose your degree and the particular school you attended?

I chose to pursue an MBA in order to change careers, fill in my knowledge gaps, and expand my network. I wanted to evolve past jobs on the operational side of investment firms, and launch a career as a stock analyst and portfolio manager. In addition, I choose an MBA to help me learn more about competitive strategy, entrepreneurship, and other areas where I lacked deep exposure.

I choose Chicago Booth because I wanted its quantitative rigor to sharpen my business math (never been my strongest suit). In addition, the economic and financial reputation of Chicago Booth seemed quite attractive to me as an aspiring investment manager.

What were your 2-4 favorite classes in grad school and why?

My favorite classes were New Venture Strategy, Entrepreneurial Selling, and Mergers & Acquisitions Accounting. Honestly, every single class I took was AWESOME!!! But, NVS gave me the confidence to seriously consider launching my own business. Entrepreneurial Selling taught me the drivers of revenue and was the first sales class that I’d ever taken. M&A Accounting was just good geeky fun.

What were your most important extracurricular activities while in grad school? Why?

Being a member of the Investment Club was a significant extracurricular during my first year. I suggest assuming a leadership position in student run organizations. For example, I organized a trek to visit hedge funds and money managers in London. Not only did this provide an opportunity to meet many students, I also met all of the recruiters and gatekeepers for internships.

Jamal at a Booth event with grad school classmates.

It often sounds like domestic and international travel is an important part of the grad school experience. Did you travel with your grad school classmates, and if so, where did you go and why?

Besides the London trek, I traveled to Singapore, Mexico, Brazil, and I did a quarter abroad in Japan. Soooo, yes, travel was an important part of the experience for me. All of those trips had an academic or career angle, and I never did a spring break or music festival trip just to lounge with classmates. BUT, I did attend the class ski trips.

If you could go back and tell yourself something at the beginning of your grad school experience, what would you tell yourself and why?

I would tell myself to trust the process and don’t worry about the outcome. There is no way to expound on this other than to say that the reward I receive will actually be awesome beyond my wildest dreams. The things I was so focused on getting (internships, accolades, job offers) pale in comparison to what I have actually ended up having 4 years after graduation. The funny thing is that myself at the beginning of grad school probably wouldn’t even believe the me that is typing this right now. What can I say…ask me a meta question, and I’ll give you a meta answer 🙂

It can be difficult to know what a degree or school is like before you’re actually there. What is one misconception people have about your degree(s) and/or schools that you’d like to dispel?

Chicago Booth is not all about quantitative analysis. There is a heavy emphasis on leadership, network building, and other “soft skills”. Chicago Booth does examine the economic underpinnings of concepts and will seek to quantitatively measure drivers and effects. Being in this environment helped me strengthen these skills–already being sharp in these areas is not a prerequisite for seeking a Chicago Booth education. 

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