This is the first part of an interview with a recent alumni of Chicago Booth Business School. Huei Jang is currently a Managing Member of Empire Biscuit (www.empirebiscuit.com), a 24-Hour southern biscuit counter-service restaurant in New York’s East Village.  He is also the Founding Member of Original Jangster, an advisory practice specializing in providing finance, accounting, and investor relations advice for early-stage start-up firms.  Previously, Huei was an Associate Director at UBS Investment Bank in the Mergers & Acquisitions group.  Prior to that, he also worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Assurance and at The Boeing Company in the space satellites division.

Huei earned his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles.  He is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in the State of New York.

How did you identify schools that were of interest to you? What kind of research/outreach did you do prior to applying and during the application process?

Rankings played a pretty easy role—at first. I figured that there were a limited number of programs that would make it “worth” spending $150K to go back to school.  From there, it was a lot of speaking to people.  If you are considering graduate business school, you likely know someone, or know someone that knows someone, that has been or is going through it (i.e., someone from your year in college that opted to dive in a little sooner, that girl you met at a bar, etc.). They are a valuable resource and are generally going to be your most unfiltered source of advice. They have been where you are about to go (well before matriculation, there is the research and application process). Schools are also great at organizing information sessions about their programs and they are often well attended by alumni; this is another great source of information. At the end of the day, I was fortunate enough to just apply to four schools in Round 1 and complete my process with that. I did not have to go beyond identifying schools that were of interest to me that were not already of great interest to me at that point.

 What were the most important qualities you looked for in an MBA program? Having completed the program, do you still feel that those qualities are the most important or do you have new insight?

There is a way that I look at how an MBA fits into your career.  You are likely going to have several jobs over the course of your lifetime.  Your business card is going to change several times, both in terms of the company as well as job title.  However, there are a couple of things on your resume that you cannot really shed or explain away, and those are where you went to college and where you went to graduate school. That said, attending an institution that, at least from the reputation standpoint, made sense for what I wanted to do in life (more precisely, what I thought I wanted to do in life) was by far the most important quality to me at that point (it is not just rankings…the school got that reputation somehow, right?). After completion, I absolutely feel that that quality held. Of course, after completion, I also realized how obnoxious and misleading that way of thought can be. Ideally, you get into every school you apply to, then clear your mind of any notions you have, attend admit weekend, and make a decision based solely on how you feel about the faculty, current students, and soon-to-be classmates. If I were to give advice today, I would say that is the only quality you should be focusing on if you have made it that far.

5. What did you hope to gain by obtaining your MBA?

I always tell prospective students that I had three objectives for graduate business school (in no particular order): (1) meet a lot of great people, both like-minded and not, and build upon my professional network, (2) effect a career change, and (3) find a wife. (1) and (2) worked out fantastically. I’m still working on (3).

Read more stories about MBA students and their journey:

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