In this edition of Real Humans: MBA Students, we head to the “Windy City” in the midwestern U.S. The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business full-time MBA program is located on the University of Chicago’s main campus in the Hyde Park neighborhood, just seven miles south of Chicago’s downtown center, the Loop. It is home to some of the world’s most distinguished faculty—nine have won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences since the award was established in 1968 (most recently Richard H. Thaler in 2017). Chicago Booth seeks to emulate this academic excellence and global influence throughout their curriculum and culture. Students, having only one required course (Leadership Effectiveness and Development), are free to pursue their intellectual curiosity by tailoring their studies. Beyond the fundamental foundation courses, Booth students have the option to explore any of 13 concentrations more deeply. Two concentrations, Analytic Finance and Business Analytics, are even STEM eligible. Extensive study abroad opportunities span a few weeks to a full term. Binding all of this together is the sense of community at Booth—indeed, the candidates we profile in this edition of Real Humans all cite how generous the community has been, even before their formal studies began.
Let’s take a closer look at the new crop of candidates. The 593 students in the Class of 2021 earned an average GPA of 3.6 during their undergraduate years. Business had been the most popular major, as 29 percent had studied it. This was followed by economics, which 22 percent of the class had majored in. Another 20 percent had studied engineering and 15 percent liberal arts. Nine percent pursued physical sciences and one percent came from a law background. Overall, the group averaged a GMAT score of 730, with the range landing between 610 and 790. Thirteen percent of the class had taken the GRE instead of the GMAT, but no averages were reported.
International students comprise 31% of the Class of 2021, with 49 countries represented. US minority students make up 27% and women 40% of the 2021 class. They arrived on campus with an average of five years of work experience, and average age of 28. A quarter had pre-MBA work experience in consulting, followed by 21 percent in financial services. Technology and non-profit/government sectors each sourced 10 percent of the latest class. Eight percent came from private equity/venture capital and another five percent from the healthcare industry. The rest of the class stemmed from arts, accounting, media, consumer goods and more.
Booth has over 40 student-led groups that emphasize athletic, career, diversity, leadership, social, and special interests. Students can also form teams and participate in a number of Booth-sponsored or national competitions, such as the A.T. Kearney Global Prize, Venture Capital Investment Competition, Fortune Small Business Business Plan Contest, Energy Finance Competition, The Edward L. Kaplan New Venture Challenge, JP Morgan Mergers and Acquisitions Challenge, and IPO Challenge.
Clear Admit had the opportunity to chat with six members of Chicago Booth’s Class of 2021 about what drew them to Chicago Booth, their journey through the admissions process, the community they’ve found there, what they hope to accomplish and more.