Get to Know: Chicago Booth

Chicago Booth is one of the “hottest” MBA programs in the world, considering the rankings. More and more top-tier candidates now consider applying to Booth than ever before, making getting in to Booth tougher. Over the past several years, we have probably seen inquires about Booth increase more than those for any other school. Booth is hot, and people want to go there. If you’re reading this, then odds are that you’re considering Booth, too.

But how do you know Chicago Booth is a good fit for you? Today we look at four things that might make Booth an especially good fit for you. Not all of these need to apply to you, but the more these things sound like you, the more likely you are to fit in at Booth and excel in its rigorous learning environment:

You appreciate the Midwest
Obviously the majority of top American schools are on the coasts. Chicago Booth is one of two excellent schools in the middle of the country. If you don’t mind the cold — and the wind — Chicago is a dynamic city with plenty of urban attractions and diversions to occupy you when you’re not in class. Most recruiters who come to Chicago Booth also go to the other top schools on the coasts, however if you plan to stay in the Midwest after business school, then Chicago is an obvious choice.

You are an impressive early-career candidate
Chicago Booth has been known to be somewhat more open to younger applicants, though not generally those coming straight from university. Chicago Booth Admissions states that usually 1½ or 2 years in the workforce is recommended before you’ll be ready for the MBA experience.

You are changing careers
The freedom of curriculum design at Chicago Booth means that career changers can target their first-year experience to gain not just the standard MBA skills of economics, statistics, and finance, but also begin to develop the specialized training they will need for their post-MBA career — before their internship. At Chicago Booth, a well-planned first-year program can potentially result in a more meaningful summer internship experience and dramatically accelerate your progress in your new field, making you more attractive when you compete against candidates from other programs.

You like a smaller classroom
While its graduating class is at the upper end of the range of business school programs, at 550 full-time students, the actual class size at Chicago Booth tends to be a little smaller than at other schools, particularly in the core classes. This is because of that flexible curriculum again: instead of being assigned to a cluster that might be up to 90 students, and is almost definitely at least 65 (the average at Columbia and Wharton), Chicago Booth first-years choose how to satisfy their core requirements from a variety of options. The incoming class naturally scatters out to pursue the core subjects at their appropriate level of difficulty — and resulting in less than 60 students per class. Electives at Chicago Booth generally have fewer than 50 students. You might still get “lost in the crowd” given how large Chicago Booth is overall, but the classroom experience might be marginally less intimidating with fewer people people in the room.

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