Don Martin- Booth (Univ. of Chicago)
Name: Don Martin
Age: 26 years old
Hometown: Gladstone, MO
Education: Received a Bachelor of Science from Pepperdine University in 2012
Current MBA program: The University of Chicago Booth School of Business Evening and Weekend MBA Program
Bio: Don is currently in his second year of the Chicago Booth School of Business Evening and Weekend MBA Program. He is also working at The University of Chicago in a Project Management role. He lives in Chicago, IL with his wife, Gina, who is also attending graduate school. Prior to living in Chicago, the couple attended Pepperdine University in Malibu, California where they participated in collegiate athletics. Following graduation, Don anticipates furthering his career in business at The University of Chicago.
Describe a typical day as a MBA student: For me, this question is slightly different, because I am a part-time student. My typical day consists of going to work in the morning, then coming home at night and putting in several hours to homework. On weekends and some weeknights I attend classes and spend as much time as possible with my wife. This schedule is rigorous and requires a lot of time management skills.
Where did you work before enrolling in business school? I worked at The University of Chicago prior to enrolling in business school. I worked for two years in treasury and one year in the project management office. At The University of Chicago, I learned some basic business skills and fully realized my interest in attending business school. Several of my colleagues had attended Booth, and they spoke highly of the education that they received. I decided that this path would also be beneficial for me.
Why did you choose this business school? I decided to attend The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, because I was living in Chicago and worked at the university. The University of Chicago also has a phenomenal reputation, and everyone who I met who had gone through the program highly recommended it to me. Additionally, I love to challenge myself, and this program promised to do just that. Engaging in the part-time program gave me the opportunity to continue working, while learning the fundamentals of business in one of the top programs in the world. I really enjoy the hands-on learning I obtain at my job while also expanding my knowledge in classes at night and on weekends.
What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school? For anyone applying to graduate school in any field, I would recommend confirming that they are passionate about whatever it is that they are going to be studying. For me, I knew I had a passion for leadership and business and was excited to explore different facets of business that I had not experienced yet through my work. The program has confirmed my desire to learn and to pursue a career that will keep me learning and challenging myself to be the best I can be. I would also encourage applicants to research the program that they are considering to enter and make sure that the lifestyle the program requires is a good fit for them and their family.
What is/was the most enjoyable part about business school?. Personally, I have enjoyed getting to know my classmates and my professors. I find that networking is a huge component of business school, and it is definitely one of the most enjoyable parts for me. Additionally, I enjoy having the hands-on experience of working in a financial setting during the day, while learning new material at night and on weekends. I am able to take what I learn and quickly put it into practice at work. I think that this is an invaluable experience that is thoroughly preparing me for my future career.
What is/was the hardest part of business school? The hardest part of business school is the time commitment. It takes time away from your family life, friend life, and personal life. It is important that all members of your family are aware of this before committing. It has been a challenge for me as I have other interests outside of work and school that have taken a backseat. I find that by honing my time management skills and by being disciplined I am able to keep up with my schoolwork and even treat myself every once in awhile.
Where will you be working after graduation? Immediately after graduation I will remain at The University of Chicago. I am currently satisfied with my role working in the project management office. When classes end, I am looking forward to being able to allocate a greater portion of my time to my career and expanding my role.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career or at your school? I am most proud of the relationships that I have built at the workplace and at Booth. It is easy to get caught up in one’s work and forget the people who are around you. I try to spend time every day getting to know my co-workers and classmates better and to build genuine friendships.
Favorite MBA Courses? Operations Management, Strategic Leadership
Fun fact about yourself: I played college basketball at Pepperdine University for three years