Bailey Miller began her career at Target managing a store with a $45 million sales volume before she moved into the corporate world at McMaster-Carr as a sales specialist. By her own admission, business school hadn’t been something she’d thought too much about until then. “At McMaster-Carr, there were just a lot of people around me taking that step,” she says. “And since I wanted to advance in my career, it just seemed logical that I’d take that step too.”
And so, not quite two years out of undergrad, Bailey started looking into business programs and going to information sessions and speaking with everyone she could about the best path she could take. Very quickly she realized it was Booth she was most attracted to. In particular, it was the Chicago Business Fellows program that intrigued her. While other schools told her to wait a couple years and come back once she’d gained a little more experience, she was excited by the prospect of starting immediately in a program that was designed specifically to instill leadership skills in students still early on in their careers.
Bailey says that it was a colleague at work who first told her about the Graham School’s GSALB program. Not only would it be a great way to get a sense for business school—and for Booth in particular—but her colleague told her that the GSALB program was an especially great way to show the admissions committee she was up to the challenge of Booth coursework.
The first class Bailey enrolled in at Booth through the GSALB program only added to the excitement and optimism she was already feeling. “Financial Accounting’s the sort of class most people probably expect to be a little dry,” she says, “but at Booth it really wasn’t. It kept me engaged and even had me looking forward to class. Plus, I was able to bond with some other people in class and I’m still friends with them today. What’s more,” she adds, “I left the class confident that I could perform at the level required by Booth students.”
Next, Bailey took another foundational class at Booth through the GSALB, this one on business statistics, and this experience confirmed everything she’d felt during her first class. “Taking classes at Booth through the GSALB is a great way to speak with Booth students and learn more about what it’s like,” she says. “It really gives you a sense for the type of things they’re looking for. After taking those classes, I definitely felt a lot more confident about submitting my application when I did.”
In the end, her confidence proved well-founded. Bailey was accepted into the Booth Evening MBA program as a Chicago Business Fellow for the autumn of 2016. As to how she sees herself and her career evolving in the upcoming years, Bailey’s quick to mention a handful of possible trajectories, but she’s just as quick to mention something else as well. “It’s what you can’t expect that can be so exciting,” she says. “That’s the great thing about Booth—it opens you to a world of new possibilities.”