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Real Humans of the Chicago Booth MBA Class of 2019

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The 582 students in the Chicago Booth MBA Class of 2019 boast a chart-topping average GMAT score of 730—marking the 15th consecutive year of increases—and an average undergraduate GPA of 3.6. Beyond brainy, this class is also diverse, hailing from 57 different countries. U.S. minorities make up 27 percent of the class (down two percentage points over the year before), international students comprise 36 percent (up two percent), and women account for 40 percent (down two percent).

As undergraduates, 27.9 percent of the class studied business, followed closely by economics (24.6 percent). Engineering and physical sciences majors make up a combined 27.1 percent, and liberal arts majors, 16.5 percent. Given that Chicago Booth is famous for finance, it makes sense that more students—24.9 percent—come from that industry than any other. Former consultants make up a healthy slice of the pie—20.8 percent—followed by 11.5 percent of students drawn from the education/government/nonprofit sectors.

Beyond its strengths in finance, many students are attracted to Chicago Booth for its flexible curriculum. Indeed, with just one required course—Leadership Effectiveness and Development (LEAD)—Booth gives its MBA students near total control over what they study, allowing them to completely customize their coursework based on their career interests. The school also does a bang-up job of placing students in jobs—with 97.1 percent of the most recent graduating class landing jobs within three months of graduation and pulling down an average salary of $125,000.

But to delve deeper than these high-level statistics, we caught up with several members of the Chicago Booth MBA Class of 2019 to get to know them as individuals. In the profiles that follow, you’ll hear from a Scottish former pro golfer and a Princeton University basketball star. Also in the mix: a Beirut-born mechanical engineer turned management consultant, a Baltimore native looking to move beyond her Morgan Stanley M&A experience to work with young companies early in their growth stages, and a student from Hyderabad whose career has already spanned engineering, social entrepreneurship, and technology.

For as varied a group as they represent, these Booth students also hold quite a few things in common. For starters, many note that they were drawn to Chicago Booth’s “pay-it-forward” culture and its rigorous, quant-focused academic reputation. Random Walk—a week-long international pre-school trip—factors prominently as a shared highlight so far, along with LEAD, the single required course they’ll take at Booth. And many urge other prospective MBA applicants to visit the school they’re interested in if at all possible, since visiting Chicago Booth helped make up their minds.

We happen to know that Chicago Booth might be sharing some news with Round 1 applicants this week… The waiting is hard, so why not distract yourselves by getting to know next year’s second-year students.