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Peter Mochel


With a background in biology, Peter Mochel spent his undergraduate years doing benchwork in a physiology lab studying the curious characteristics of salmon. About these investigations he wearies of giving any additional detail for fear of people’s eyes glazing over, but his passion for general science remains palpable all the same. It was originally part of a larger plan oriented around medical school and ultimately becoming a doctor, but as his desire to become the latter dimmed, Peter was forced to realize he had to reevaluate a couple of his other positions as well.

“I think I recoiled a bit at the prospect of spending my life in a laboratory,” Peter says. “It’s not to say that I didn’t like doing science or that I’m not at heart still a science nerd—there’s no question I’ll always be interested in reading the latest journal articles. It’s just that I’m more of a people person. That’s what I realized. And so I started looking for other opportunities and ways to use my science background.”

Working as a data manager at the University of Chicago Medical Center, Peter was on the receiving end of emails promoting an array of career-advancing programs offered through the University. That’s how he heard of the Graham School’s GSALB program. By this point, despite only recently having finished his undergraduate degree, he was already thinking about business school as an excellent way to expand on his base in science.

“The GSALB program really gave me an opportunity to see what business school would be like,” he says. “I took two foundational classes—Financial Accounting and Business Statistics—and enjoyed them. A lot of what I learned was new, but a lot also tied in with skills and approaches I’d acquired while working in the lab. I was already starting to see opportunities connecting my lab background with the administrative, private sector side of things.”

A particular asset offered by Booth, which Peter learned more about while a student at the Graham School, was the Chicago Business Fellows (CBF) program. Designed for students still early in their careers, CBF students take the same classes and receive the same MBA as other students, but they go through an additional cohort program that focuses on leadership and soft skills.

“It’s really perfect for me and where I am right now,” Peter says, referring to the CBF program. “None of the other schools I was looking into had anything like it. That’s another benefit you get from the GSALB program, particularly if you’re interested in going to Booth: it really allows you to get the fullest sense possible for what Booth has to offer.”

Confident after his time at the Graham School about the direction he wanted to move in, Peter applied and was accepted to the Booth Evening MBA Program as a Chicago Business Fellow. Peter’s now excited to lay the groundwork for a career in biotech or a related field; he’s looking forward to a life spent interacting with people in contexts still centered around science.