Graham School News

Nico Yepes and How the GSALB Program Can Kick-Start Your Career at Booth

Philip Baker

Nico Yepes always knew he wanted to go into business. While studying for a degree in economics at Hamilton College, he did two investment banking internships, one at Citi Group and the other at Morgan Stanley. Upon graduation, he was hired as an investment banking analyst at Morgan Stanley, where he worked on a variety of transactions for clients across North America, Europe, and Asia.

“In particular, my goal was to work in economic development in Latin America,” says Nico. He felt his undergraduate education prepared him well for the start of his career, including giving him the opportunity to do economic research as a Levitt Fellow in Paraguay and as a Kathryn Davis Fellow for an intensive Portuguese program at Middlebury College. Nevertheless, he knew he would need an MBA to keep growing and advancing.

When Nico moved to Chicago at the beginning of 2018 for a senior associate position at Creation Investments, a global private equity firm where he is part of a two-person investment team focusing on Latin America, he had his eyes on a couple top MBA programs. Very soon, however, he began honing in on the University of Chicago Booth School of Business for its strong reputation and its quantitative rigor in finance, economics, and data science. While doing research on UChicago Booth, he first learned of the Graduate Student-at-Large: Business (GSALB) program.


“Being able to take classes at Booth with Booth students and Booth professors is a great way to get a feel for what it’s like. I was also eager to get started immediately and didn’t want to wait through the prolonged application process to begin. The sooner you get started, the sooner it helps you in your career.”


“Once I discovered the GSALB program, the decision became even easier,” Nico says. “Being able to take classes at Booth with Booth students and Booth professors is a great way to get a feel for what it’s like. I was also eager to get started immediately and didn’t want to wait through the prolonged application process to begin. The sooner you get started, the sooner it helps you in your career.”

That he was then able to transfer the two foundational classes he took as a GSALB student to his degree at Booth made the process all the more practical. With Financial Accounting and Microeconomics already taken care of, Nico’s first class as an official Booth student was Game Theory, which he calls amazing. Looking forward, Nico hopes to graduate with his MBA in 2021, though he admits that this will depend on his commitments at work.

“I have traveled to Mexico upwards of twenty times since joining Creation Investments and I’ve been in Brazil three of the last four weeks,” he notes. “We’re involved on a very personal level with the management teams of the companies we invest in. That means the flexibility Booth offers is important for me. As for what I’ll do once I graduate, I intend to stay on the path I’m on now. Further down the road, though, I might start my own company.”