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Kick-Start Your Career at Booth

A busy professional takes classes through the Graduate Student-at-Large: Business (GSALB) program to get a head start on his MBA.

Written by Philip Baker
Nico Yepes

Nico Yepes always knew he wanted to pursue a career in business.

While completing his degree in economics at Hamilton College, he took advantage of the opportunity to complete two investment banking internships, one at CitiGroup and the other at Morgan Stanley. Returning to Morgan Stanley after graduating, he accepted a position as an investment banking analyst where he worked on a variety of transactions for clients across North America, Europe, and Asia.

“In particular, my goal was to work in economic development in Latin America,” Yepes says. 

He felt his undergraduate education had prepared him well for the start of his career. Not only did he have the opportunity to do economic research as a Levitt Fellow in Paraguay, but he also studied  in the intensive Portuguese program at Middlebury College as a Kathryn Davis Fellow. Despite these excellent foundations, however, he knew he’d need an MBA to keep growing and advancing.

A Running Start 

When Yepes moved to Chicago at the beginning of 2018 for a senior associate position at Creation Investments, a global private equity firm where he’s part of a two-person investment team focusing on Latin America, he had his eyes on a couple top MBA programs. Very soon, however, he began homing in on Chicago Booth for its strong reputation and its quantitative rigor in finance, economics, and data science. While reading up on all Booth had to offer, that’s when he first learned of the GSALB program.
“Once I discovered the GSALB program, the decision became even easier,” he says. “Being able to take classes at Booth with Booth students and Booth professors is a great way to get a feel for what it’s like. I was also eager to get started immediately and didn’t want to wait through the prolonged application process to begin. The sooner you get started, the sooner it helps you in your career."

A Practical Education

That he was then able to transfer the two foundational classes he took as a GSALB student to his degree at Booth made the process all the more practical. With Financial Accounting and Microeconomics already taken care of, Yepes's first class as an official Booth student was Game Theory, which he describes as amazing. Now looking forward to graduating with his MBA, he admits that this will depend on his commitments at work.

“I have traveled to Mexico upwards of twenty times since joining Creation Investments and I’ve been in Brazil three of the last four weeks,” he notes. “We’re involved on a very personal level with the management teams of the companies we invest in. That means the flexibility Booth offers is important for me. As for what I’ll do once I graduate, I intend to stay on the path I’m on now. Further down the road, though, I might start my own company.”

Discover the Graduate Student-at-Large: Business program at the University of Chicago

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