Recruiters: Before you hire a recent University of Chicago business school grad, consider this

The University of Chicago business school, founded in 1898, is a Top 3 business school in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report.

It is a research-heavy university, making it a strong leader in the data and financial services industries

With both full-time and part-time programs, the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business offers a business program for almost anyone. It’s also the second-oldest business school in the country.

And with campuses in Chicago, London, and Hong Kong, the University of Chicago business school has a presence around the globe. 

The school gives employers a sophisticated tool to help companies research business school students, including executive student profiles and a searchable database of resumes. It is relatively easy for employers to find a Chicago graduate to come to work for them. 

But before hiring a recent graduate from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, consider this.

What to consider before hiring a University of Chicago business school grad

The top medium pay for graduates of the University of Chicago business school is almost $150,000 a year. Graduates tend to be hired within the financial services sector according to reports, followed closely by the consulting industry. 

Also, more than half of University of Chicago business school graduates came into the program with a Master’s degree in another subject, and many alumni return to the school every year to attend classes with current students during their electives week. 

As a result, there is a high likelihood that job candidates from the Booth School of Business will have multiple graduate degrees and may continue to pursue coursework at the University throughout their careers. 

As of 2020, the University’s acceptance rate is only 6.2%, though the Booth business school accepts over 22% of applicants. The average GMAT score was 730 and, in 2019, Booth had a 60/40 split of men vs. women in the business program. Of all admitted applicants, the average Grade Point Average (GPA) was 3.6 as of 2018. The University says there is no minimum GPA or GMAT required. Instead, each applicant’s complete profile is considered during admissions. 

4 crucial questions to ask before hiring a business school grad

Before hiring an MBA graduate, smart organizations take a look at the candidate as a whole, not just the educational credentials listed on their resumes.

University of Chicago’s business school is highly-ranked, but that should not replace hiring managers doing their due diligence during the hiring process. It could help organizations avoid costly hiring mistakes. 

Ask yourself a few questions before hiring a business school grad:

Are they overconfident?

Having an MBA from a top-ranked university is an accomplishment. But, use the hiring process to ensure that the candidate isn’t overconfident.

An overconfident graduate will talk a good game but have very few accomplishments to back up the talk. Be sure to dig in a bit and ask detailed questions of the candidate to validate their listed strengths. Don’t take them for granted just because they have an MBA.  

Do they offer any real-world experience?

An MBA won’t magically make a candidate successful in their position. In general, experience is a more influential predictor of success. That said, a lack of experience is not necessarily a bad thing.

After all, we all start somewhere. But, resist dismissing a candidate’s lack of experience just because they have an elite degree. Ensure that the position is right for the candidate, especially candidates without a demonstrated list of real-world accomplishments outside of a college classroom.  

Are they too specialized?

Unless you are hiring for a very specific role, the best employees are those who can do a variety of business tasks without a lot of help.

Candidates who are overly specialized in one particular area may not be well-rounded enough to succeed in other areas of business. The best MBA graduates have a diverse range of skills and experience. 

Is the candidate more than just the degree?

Organizations hire people, not degrees. This means that the best candidates not only have the necessary skills and knowledge to do their jobs, but they are a good personality fit within the company.

Elite degrees will not magically turn a bad candidate into a great one, and the hiring process should reveal whether or not the candidate’s lack of job-related competence is hiding behind a high-profile degree. 

In my career, I have worked with a lot of highly-qualified MBAs. But, I’ve also seen a good number of MBAs who fundamentally lacked the motivation, drive, and experience to succeed in business.

Instead, they relied on their MBA, which they prominently listed on their resume, to cover up their lack of experience to get new jobs every couple of years. In other words, their degree got them a job, but degrees won’t keep their jobs. 

Use these questions to help avoid hiring an MBA that is not right for your organization. Remember that a qualified business school graduate can speak intelligently about their strengths and back them up with real-world examples. They will come across as humble, not overconfident. 

And, they probably won’t jump companies every other year. Why? Because most companies don’t let great business minds go. 

The University of Chicago business school facts

The University of Chicago says that the majority of Booth students value their professional network above all else, followed closely by advancing their career as a business leader.

Hiring a graduate from the University of Chicago business school also means implied access to their professional network, helping them to navigate tough problems and find creative solutions.   

The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business offers business degrees in a variety of concentrations, including accounting, economics, entrepreneurship, finance, general management, international business, marketing, management information systems, production/operations management, organizational behavior, public policy, and quantitative analysis/statistics and operations research. 

The standard cost of tuition for three semesters at the Booth School of Business just squeaked over $110K, which includes books, food, fees, personal expenses as well as a computer allowance.

The University offers a 21-month full-time program, a part-time MBA program for working professionals that meet on nights and weekends, and an Executive MBA program. Booth’s two-year program is $146,880 and includes up to 2200 units of coursework