It’s that time again—where we offer insight into just who it is who’ll be deciding your fate in the upcoming MBA admissions season. This week we’re featuring Kurt Ahlm, associate dean for student recruitment and admissions at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Ahlm is a veteran in the admissions world, having started out in undergrad admissions at Northwestern University 20 years ago. He then worked in corporate recruiting for a stint before returning to higher education at Chicago Booth in 2002. MBA admissions, he finds, provides the perfect mix of the academic and corporate worlds, and he’s been at the helm at Chicago Booth since 2011.
In the answers that follow, he confesses to the occasional Netflix binge, reveals himself as a family man and warns about his distaste for pregnant pauses. Read on to learn a few more quirks and foibles. Thanks for playing, Kurt!
Real Humans of MBA Admissions: Kurt Ahlm of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Coffee or tea? Coffee
Beach or mountains? That’s a tough one. I’d probably have to say the beach.
Morning person or night owl? Morning person
Pet peeve? People not letting me merge in traffic
Guilty pleasure? Binge watching Netflix shows, the latest being “Bloodline”
Favorite virtue in others? Honesty
Worst habit? I don’t like a lot of long silences, so I tend to jump in when there are pregnant pauses.
Happy place? Home
Comfort food? Pizza
Go-to cocktail? Vodka martini, straight up
Proudest moment? My wedding and the births of my three kids
Biggest regret? Not learning a second language well
One thing you would change about how you were raised? I am pretty happy with my childhood—my parents took good care of me.
Superpower you wish you had? Being able to read minds
Favorite fictional hero/heroine? I’m a bit of a comic book junkie, so I’d probably say Batman.