Graduate Spotlight Q&A: Aaron

Book open Reading time: 2 mins
Name: Aaron Lichtig
Studied: MBA, ‘10, The University of Chicago – Booth School of Business

What motivated your decision to pursue an MBA?

For me it was a mix of the practical and the aspirational. My employer offered tuition reimbursement for part-time programs...I had always been interested in an MBA, and that made the financial side manageable.

I had entered Proctor & Gamble without an MBA straight out of undergrad and was around a lot of people who had MBAs; I knew in order to be effective in the kind of roles that I was looking at that I needed to broaden my skillset and expose myself to more than what I was seeing in the day-to-day of my role.

Your career has included roles at some high-profile, industry-leading companies. How did your MBA prepare you for success in these types of organizations?

I think an MBA helps you succeed in a couple of different ways. One big one is that it allows you to be more fluent across functions, which allows you to be a part of conversations that you may not have necessarily been a part of otherwise. The generalist curriculum of an MBA allows you to know what’s going on in any part of a business. Even if you’re not an expert in a particular subject area, you understand what’s going on and how things work.

For me personally, taking finance, accounting, and statistics classes with some really strong professors gave me a quantitative foundation that’s been important in my career.

How did your MBA prepare you to think strategically as a leader in a rapidly evolving business landscape?

The University of Chicago is so grounded in academic research and asking good questions and figuring out what data can verify your hypotheses...I think that’s always a good way of thinking, not just in business, but also in other fields. Looking at problems through the lens of academic rigor and experimentation instead of just relying on business platitudes or experiences that may not be generalizable...I like that approach to decision making and I’ve always tried to apply that way of thinking whenever I can in my career.