Posted on March 26, 2023

A Day in the Life of a Chicago Booth Student


Are you an incoming Chicago Booth student planning to begin your B- school journey in Fall? If yes, this blog post is tailored for you. As you prepare to transition from an applicant to a student, you may have many questions, including what a typical day would entail at the Chicago Booth School of Business. To gain insights into a Boothie's daily routine, we contacted former MER student Shekar Iyer, currently in his second year at Chicago Booth.

Shekar has graciously provided us with an overview of his daily schedule at the Chicago Booth.

Here is Shekhar’s story in his own words…


Context: I am a second-year student at Booth and live in the Chicago Loop area, where most Booth students live. The Booth academic term for most full-time students runs for three quarters – Fall, Winter, and Spring. Most students take 3-4 classes per quarter, nine weeks long. This is an account of one day in my life in the Winter Quarter when I took four classes. Two of my classes were in Hyde Park (the main U-Chicago campus), and two were at the Gleacher Center in Downtown Chicago (with part-time students).

Caveat: Booth has a  diverse student population with a range of interests. Also, there is no typical day in a student’s life. So this post is more an indicative example of one day in the life of one student rather than an account of a ‘typical’ day for any Booth student.

6:15 AM - 7:45 AM: Gym

I go to the gym in my building for a quick run/workout. It is typically very cold outside in the Winter. But in the Fall and late Spring, I would run outside by the beautiful Lake Michigan.

After this, I like to spend some time having coffee with my wife and catching up on news/emails.

7:40 AM – 8:20 AM: Travel to Campus

Like most students, I take the train (Metra) to Hyde Park for my morning class. At this time, you typically bump into other Booth students on the elevator, the station, or the train. On most days, the train ride is spent chatting with other Boothies. Occasionally, I try to find a quiet spot when I need to finish readings or class assignments.

Most students get down at the 59th street station for a short 8-9 minute walk to the Harper Center. However, I prefer to get off at  57th street station (i.e., one station early) for a 15-minute walk through the beautiful University of Chicago Campus. If I haven’t had my morning coffee yet, I stop at Medici’s for a strong Americano with some Almond crescent cookies!

8:20AM - 8:30AM: Coffee Station

Speaking of coffee - the Harper Center has free coffee for everyone! The coffee station on the classroom floor is a hub for students to engage with each other, energizing the mood with laughter and smart chatter!

8:30AM - 11:30AM: Morning Class

Today, I have a class on the Study of Behavioral Economics by Professor Devin Pope. He is an engaging teacher, and the topic is so interesting that the 3-hour duration (typical of a Booth class) feels like an instant. A regular class has 60 students; it is more lecture-based than case-based and is very interactive. Professor Pope encourages students to bring their real-world observations to the classroom, starting each class with 5-6 students sharing insights or observations. Most students come ready to learn, engage, take notes, and ask intelligent questions. Students take notes on either their notebooks, iPads, or laptops. Assignments for this class involve reading a research paper on the topic (could be 15-80 pages long) and provide a short write-up on your key insights/learnings. The assignment prepares you for the next class and is forward-looking.

11:45 AM – 1:15 PM: Lunch Break

This time is reserved for extracurriculars, talks, events, etc. Most days have at least two exciting activities running simultaneously, and you must choose! In the Fall Quarter, this time slot also has many recruiting events – organized by Booth’s Career Services team or one of the many professional Student Groups.

Today, I have a meeting of a student group (club) that I co-chair. Booth student groups (clubs) are headed by 2-7 co-chairs, mostly 2nd year. During the meeting, we (co-chairs) discussed the logistics and marketing of an event we are planning in 3 weeks. The session lasts  45 minutes, leaving some time for me to grab lunch at the Kovler Café.

Other students might attend talks by Booth Professors, Ph.D. students, or outside experts or participate in training programs organized by different student groups.

When the weather is better (in Fall/Spring), I mostly spend this time outdoors – hanging out at the Quad or walking around the Campus for new places to explore.

1:00 PM - 1:30 PM: Train back home

Today, I don’t have an afternoon class. So, I head back home to work on my assignment for my evening class at the Gleacher Center. Most students would prefer to stay back on Campus as the Harper Center has a cool Reading Room, a well-equipped Student lounge, and a happy Winter Garden, providing the right space for all their moods. I prefer studying at home.

2:00 PM – 5:30 PM: Study time

I have a class in the evening at the Gleacher Center. So I get back home, and after a short break, I start working on my assignment and pre-class readings. Unlike my morning class, the assignment for this class, Managing the Firm in the Global Economy, is designed to reinforce concepts learned in the previous week rather than provide a preview for this week.

I am working on the assignment with my study group of three students. Over the weekend, we met a couple of times, discussing our strategy and setting a foundation for solving the assignment. Today, my job is to build on the foundation and get us a final answer for two of the five problems. I do that on a collaborative Google Drive document, and once we are all done, one of us submits the assignment before class.

In addition to the assignment, the class typically has 3-4 articles to read in preparation for this week’s lecture. It is not ideal, but most weeks, I end up rushing through the readings in a  couple of hours right before class. The readings are fascinating and prepare me well for the topic.

5:40 PM – 5:50 PM: Walk to Class

The Gleacher Center is just a short way from most Booth Students' homes. It is conveniently located for me to enjoy a leisurely walk on Michigan Avenue, appreciating the wonderous architecture of Chicago and the lovely sights (restaurants, Apple store, etc.) that line the Chicago River.

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM: Evening Class

This class has mostly part-time students who admirably manage work and rigorous study at Booth. Most Booth classes have separate sections for full-time and evening students, and this class is no exception. Full-time students can take evening sections only after part-time students have been accommodated. I chose the evening section for this class because I wanted to engage with part-time students and learn from their perspectives. Professor Dingel, who teaches this class, is an excellent communicator and works hard to ensure the content is clear to every student. In this class, I have often felt grateful to be in a community of smart and driven people who push me to think outside the confines of my experiences and help me expand my perspective.

There is a 15-minute break around 7:30 PM, when I get a light snack to ensure my late dinner (after class) is not too heavy.

9:00 PM – 10:00 PM: Walk back home, dinner, Netflix

I try to rush back home and immediately have dinner with my wife. We typically eat while watching Netflix. These days, we are watching the Virgin River.

10:00 PM – 10:45 PM: Relaxing Time

Light reading (generally News) and off to sleep!


You may click here to learn more about Shekhar’s Booth experience and his advice to incoming students.

You may click here to learn about Shekhar’s application experience and his advice to prospective applicants.

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Poonam Tandon, the founder of MER (myEssayReview), is a Ph.D. in English with 12 years of MBA consulting experience and three decades of teaching experience in India and the US. A master storyteller, Poonam has successfully guided hundreds of students from around the world to gain admission into the esteemed MBA, EMBA, and specialized Masters's programs in the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Throughout her four-decade-long professional career, she has reviewed 10,000+ essays written by applicants worldwide. Poonam is recognized as one of the top 5 most reviewed consultants on the GMAT Club (141 reviews).

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