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Real Humans of MBA Admissions: Kurt Ahlm of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business

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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.


Posted in: Admissions Director Q&A, MBA News, News, Real Humans of MBA Admissions, School Q&A

Schools: U. Chicago Booth

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