My career began with a brief stint at the world’s largest building, the Boeing commercial airplane plant in Everett, Wash. After D.C., I knew that I wanted to return to something like the ebb and flow of the factory, where capital is invested and products are built. I initially looked to transition into commercial consulting, but I found that my government jargon did not jibe with my interviewers. I saw business school as the boot camp that would catch me up to my peers. Even as an engineer I had always enjoyed economics and business, and I realized how an MBA could propel me to new heights outside the public sector. I now hope to transition from managing the U.S. government’s intelligence investments to becoming a venture capitalist and managing a portfolio of emerging technology companies.
When I looked at schools, I knew that I wanted a rigorous MBA program that would give me instant credibility like my engineering background had. I applied to schools focused on finance and technology, and I was fortunate to be admitted to the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Here, finance and entrepreneurship are the leading concentrations. I believe that a Booth education will refine my analytical skill set while introducing me to other students with a passion for both technology and business.
Of course, once I was finally admitted, the first thing to hit me was the price tag. Over $100,000 in tuition, and then all the other expenses you only learn about later: the foreign trips, the nights out on the town, and the downtown Chicago rent. Yet I always wanted to pursue an MBA as an undergraduate, so I truly view attending business school as an investment in myself. It is the opportunity to build the foundation required of a business leader.
As I came to the end of the MBA application process, I realized that the pursuit of a new career was only just beginning. Before business school, I gave myself a month and a half to recalibrate by attending a wedding in India and taking some time to relax. Now I’m in the hyperactive world of MBA students, where I am trying my best to keep up while attempting to pass through the academic rigor. It should be an enjoyable two years, and I look forward to coming out the other side—I hope—more worldly and with a career.