Insight into the Exchange Student Experience at Booth

Matt von Brockdorff                       IESE Business School                     Hometown:  Valetta, Malta

Matt von Brockdorff                       IESE Business School                     Hometown:  Valetta, Malta

KV:  Why did you want to study abroad at Booth?

MV:  I have never lived in the U.S. and wanted to try something new.  Booth being a top-ranked university with a large focus on finance (my past) and consulting (my future) and boasting an extensive list of Nobel laureates was extremely attractive.  I applied, was lucky enough to have the grades required, and quickly accepted.

KV: First impressions of Chicago? Of Booth?

MV:  The city is beautiful - way nicer than I expected.  The rumors of Chicago being a cold, gritty place could not be further from the truth.  The architecture is beautiful, there is a great live music and stand up scene, and there are loads of great restaurants and bars.  In general, the city has a very easy going feel.  As for Booth, the campus is great - from the iconic towers to the grass fields and top-notch lecture halls.  My favorite thing about Booth so far has been the sports - coming from a smaller business school, we don't have the numbers or the facilities to really get into more niche sports such as rugby.  Here, the greater university has top notch facilities and joining the Booth Rugby team has been a great way to integrate as an exchange student.

KV: How is Booth similar to IESE?  How is it different?

MV:  The caliber of teaching is very similar.  In my head, I have already compared professors and found similar characters, styles, and abilities.  The main difference is that IESE is a 100% case-based MBA, so every class is full of discussion.

KV: Anything on your bucket list while studying abroad?

MV:  Attend Booth Ski Trip in Aspen, visit Yosemite national park, rent a Harley and drive from California to Las Vegas, and visit the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley.  Additionally, I want to find a good stand up comedy club and a gritty old school blues bar to frequent in Chicago.

Julia Boltz                                       London School of Economics and Political Science                             Hometown: Frankfurt, Malta

Julia Boltz                                       London School of Economics and Political Science                             Hometown: Frankfurt, Malta

KV:  Why did you want to study abroad?

JB:  I spent my junior year in high school at a boarding school in Massachusetts and fell in love with the U.S. and its people.  During that time, I made a lot of great friends and we have kept in touch since. After that experience, I always wanted to come back.  In my opinion, the U.S. is a fascinating country with many contradictions, especially in today’s time, which makes the current exchange even more exciting.

KV: What have been your favorite aspects of Booth so far?

JB:  My favorite aspect so far has been the people I’ve meet and the interesting conversations I’ve had.  I believe that living abroad and getting to know a foreign culture and its people (no matter how similar or different they might be from yours) is the best way to overcome resentments and prejudices.  Hearing other students’ perspectives on particular issues and learning from their experiences has been very inspiring.

KV: In what ways is your Booth similar to LSE? In what ways is Booth different?

JB:  LSE teaches management from a social science perspective and its teaching is, in my opinion, much more theoretical than the teaching at Booth.  Furthermore, students at Booth are much older than they are in my cohort at LSE, which makes class discussion more interesting.  Both schools are very similar in regards to student diversity, something I highly value.