This interview is the latest in an Accepted blog series featuring interviews with MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. And now for a chat with a first year MBA student at Chicago Booth, Delano Saporu….
Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad?
Delano: I am originally from Blaine, Minnesota but was working in Des Moines, Iowa prior to starting my MBA Journey at Chicago Booth. In undergrad I majored in Finance, Banking, and Portfolio Management at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Accepted: If you could describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be?
Goal Oriented: Setting and achieving goals is a huge aspect of my life and something that drives me daily. I tend to set my life goals in increments of 4-5 years and 10 years.
Family Focused: Family is a huge part of my life and my success is largely due to the guidance of my parents. My parents came to the United States from Nigeria in 1981 and instilled work ethic and discipline in myself and all my siblings.
Active: I love to stay active whether it be through sports, class, socializing. I am always on the go until it’s time to sleep.
Accepted: Where are you currently in b-school? What year?
Delano: I am currently a first year student at the University of Chicago Booth class of 2018. The past few weeks at Booth have been amazing with a whirlwind of orientation activities and meeting classmates.
Accepted: What drew you to the Chicago Booth MBA program? How did you decide it was the right “fit” for you?
Delano: I was drawn to Chicago Booth for many reasons but the ones that currently come to mind are location, people, and the flexible curriculum. Being a lifelong mid-westerner I have always wanted to live in the great city of Chicago. Booth is located in a great city but still manages to maintain a great class cohesiveness.
I knew Booth was the right fit for me when I visited during First Day (admitted student day). I immediately felt at home when interacting with other admitted students and current students. Additionally, all my interactions with faculty and staff were pleasant and welcoming. It just felt right.
Booth has a very unique curriculum that allows students to be in the driver’s seat of their academic experience. I was highly attracted to that part of Booth.
Accepted: You’re in the finance industry! How will obtaining your MBA help shape your career?
Delano: An MBA from Booth is unmatched in opening doors to a myriad of companies within the finance industry. Access to an engaged and helpful alumni network as well as a great career services team also make the Booth experience like none other.
Accepted: Who are some of the people, or what are some of the experiences that inspired you to follow your chosen career path?
Delano: I would say a couple of big factors that inspired me to follow this path. The first would be my parents who have been telling me from undergrad that an MBA was needed for my career. Next would be MLT (Management Leadership for Tomorrow), which is a minority fellowship that helps minority professionals reach top MBA programs and further their careers.
Accepted: What was your greatest challenge through the MBA application process? How did you overcome it?
Delano: The biggest challenge was navigating the process while working and handling other responsibilities. It was great to have a supportive MLT network as well as others who really rallied around me and helped me finish strong. Also, it’s important to take a breather once in awhile with family and friends, don’t become consumed – which is easier said than done.
Accepted: Any last pieces of advice for MBA applicants?
Delano: Stay engaged with admissions officers early. Make sure to create a relationship with your target schools and stand out to them. Additionally, make connections with first and second year students. Focus on your complete profile not just one aspect. Schools want well rounded diverse individuals.
You can follow Delano on Twitter (@DelanoSaporu), Facebook (Delano Saporu), Instagram (@Delano_Saporu) and connect with him on LinkedIn. Thank you Delano for sharing your story with us – we wish you continued success!
For one-on-one guidance on your b-school application, please see our MBA Application Packages.