This week we spoke to two Chicago Booth alumni who headed across the Atlantic from Europe to do the school’s full-time MBA programme.
Chantal Schumacher graduated in 1999, and says what she learned on the Chicago Booth MBA still helps her in her day-to-day work as an Executive VP within global financial services firm Allianz. Chantal also squeezed in not one but two internships – one in consulting and one in finance – between her first and second year.
Saul Casadio joined Deutsche Bank after graduating from the MBA in 2008 and found that his knowledge of finance was stronger than peers from other top business schools. He already had experience in the industry, and loved the flexibility of the Chicago Booth programme, which allowed him to take advanced classes, including at PhD level.
Name Chantal N. Schumacher
MBA Class 1999
What did you do pre-MBA? I was a Financial Analyst at a Luxemburg Bank, responsible for international credits and structured finance
What is your role now? Executive Vice-President, Global Head of Planning & Performance Management at AGCS, responsible for
strategic planning and financial controlling on a global basis for AGCS.
AGCS (Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty) is the corporate risk carrier of the Allianz Group, one of the world's leading insurance and financial services provider.
How did you hear about Booth? University of Chicago was always in the top three rankings for Finance MBAs, a concentration I was always very keen on. Moreover the number of Nobel prize winners impressed me hugely!
Why did you want to do a two-year MBA? Being from Luxemburg, I always loved intercultural exchanges and exposures, so I liked studying for my diploma in Belgium and France.
Doing a full-time MBA in the US allowed me to meet many first class students from all over the world and I very much enjoyed living and
working on such an international campus as Chicago offered.
I was sure that an MBA from a top US school would open doors for an international career – and it did.
What did you do during the summer vacation between your first and second year at b-school? As I had so many exciting offers I couldn`t help working instead of going on vacation! Indeed I opted to do two internships, one in London at Booz Allen and one in Munich at Allianz, very different industries and cultures, but both great experiences.
Unfortunately, I then had to do my second year within two terms instead of three, that was quite hard work, but worth it!
Can you share an example or two of how the Booth MBA has helped you in your career?! Well, the Booth MBA has gotten me into the very exiting insurance industry which I would probably not have entered otherwise.
Of course, I was very pleased to meet so many different people from all over the world, so that there is always someone to call and
meet when I am travelling. I still have many very close friends from my time at business school. The network that you build over the two years is enormous.
Finally the Booth MBA taught me a lot in terms of intercultural leadership and change management skills as well as a clear and analytical approach towards problem solving. This is a benefit I feel every single day and for which I am most grateful.
Just one example: During a recent integration process, I had to merge many different geographically dispersed teams into one global department of 70 analysts worldwide. I was able to build on the skills earned during my MBA both for planning and implementing
these mergers and integrations in a smooth and structured manner.
You were recently awarded a place in Germany’s Generation CEO network. Congratulations! Has the Booth MBA helped you specifically as a woman in a tough, competitive industry? Getting into a business school such as Booth and doing an MBA is obviously tough and competitive but it is also a lot of fun, laughter, inspiration and friendship.
The MBA definitely taught me a lot in terms of discipline, analytics and strategic thinking, which helps me both in my daily work as well as in managing projects.
During my time in Chicago I also was encouraged to define and stand up for my ambition and perspectives as well as enjoy the things I do as a top manager.
Name Saul Casadio
MBA Class 2008
What did you do pre-MBA? M&A and Private Equity in Italy
What is your role now? I’m a High Yield Analyst in Alliance Bernstein
How did you hear about Booth? It's very well-known internationally, and is consistently ranked as one of the top ten business schools in the world.
Why did you want to do a two-year MBA? I believed that only a two-year program could provide a solid grounding in business.
What did you do during the summer vacation between your first and second year at b-school? A summer internship in Deutsche Bank’s Sales & Trading division
Can you share an example or two of how the Booth MBA has helped you in your career?!
During my general training at Deutsche Bank it was quite evident that Booth graduates had a much better knowledge of finance compared to the other graduates of top schools. It was then that I realized that the learning experience in Chicago is by far the best you can get in finance.
The flexibility of the Chicago Booth program allowed me to tailor my curriculum according to my learning objectives. With significant professional experience in Corporate Finance pre-MBA, I wanted to focus on different areas of finance and to be able to set the
intellectual bar at the level I wanted. The Chicago Booth program gave me the freedom to choose the classes I liked and the opportunity to take PhD classes as well as MBA classes.
You graduated in a very tough year for finance jobs. How did you land a job so quickly? I got the job at Deutsche Bank through my
summer internship. I joined full-time after graduating and within a year I landed the exact position within the bank that I wanted to, for which I must thank a Chicago Booth graduate within the bank who helped me a lot.
The Chicago Booth MBA admissions team is in Europe this month, holding info sessions for the full-time MBA in 16 cities. Reserve a place at an event in your city here!
Chicago Booth has a thriving European Business Group which organizes activities for Europeans and people interested in Europe within the school community.
Read more about Chicago Booth's Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship
Read more stories about Chicago Booth students and alumni