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Simon Holstein- BOOTH (UNIV. OF CHICAGO)

Simon Holstein- BOOTH (UNIV. OF CHICAGO)

Name: Simon Holstein
Age: 35
Hometown: Glencoe, Illinois
Education: University of Illinois, Urbana – Champaign
Current MBA program: The University of Chicago, Booth School of Business

Describe a typical day as a MBA student

As a part-time MBA student my days are almost always filled with my full time job. I start my second job of being a part-time MBA student at 6PM most evenings. When I have class, I grab dinner before class begins, catch up on the evening’s case or assigned reading and try to take my mind out of work mode and into student mode. On nights where I do not have class I am typically at the gym, on a run, working on class assignments, or, if I am lucky, watching Netflix.
Where did you work before enrolling in business school?

During the business school application process I was an Analyst at PEAK6, a proprietary trading firm in Chicago. While at PEAK6 I had begun to formulate an idea and plan for launching my own business in the crowdfunded Commercial Real Estate space. After being accepted to Booth, I chose to set out on my own, working full time on my startup while waiting for classes to begin. Today, my startup has been shelved (though I am proud of my decision to set out on my own) and I work full time at Avant, an online consumer lending startup, founded in Chicago.

Why did you choose this business school?

The Booth School of Business has put an incredible focus on the entrepreneurship curriculum offered to students and I was impressed with the opportunities to explore the field in an academic manner. The rigorous quantitative and finance history of the school, which still exists today, I felt would greatly round out my professional skill set and push me to study academic topics I was not comfortable with before entering school.

What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school?

Be yourself. Trying to answer written application questions or interview questions the way you “think” they should be answered will not set you apart from the pack. Describe and elaborate on unique experiences that have defined your professional and personal career. This ensures you represent yourself in the best possible way in your application and I feel gives the best chance for admission.

What is/was the most enjoyable part about business school?

Not to sound cliché (which is a cliché thing to say), but the people are the best part of business school. The core group of friends I will take away from business school work in diverse fields, come from all different backgrounds, and have helped in many ways throughout business school. Whether it is working together in case groups, providing advice on suggested courses, or grabbing a drink to celebrate the end of a quarter, the people make the grind of school much easier.

What is/was the hardest part of business school?

Not to sound cliché (which is a cliché thing to say), but the people are the best part of business school. The core group of friends I will take away from business school work in diverse fields, come from all different backgrounds, and have helped in many ways throughout business school. Whether it is working together in case groups, providing advice on suggested courses, or grabbing a drink to celebrate the end of a quarter, the people make the grind of school much easier.

Where will you be working after graduation?

I am still searching for a job for after graduation, but am looking to move the San Francisco area. Specifically, I am looking for a role with a Venture Capital firm or with a startup in a finance/ strategy role. If anyone out there wants to connect to discuss the startup ecosystem or Venture Capital roles please reach out via email or LinkedIn.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career or at your school? 

New Venture Challenge

Favorite MBA Courses?

Scott Meadow’s Entrepreneurial Finance & Private Equity

Steve Kaplan’s New Venture Challenge

Fun fact about yourself:

I enjoy horrible reality television more than anyone I know.

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