As summer starts to fade away and the beginning of the school year comes closer, my second year classmates are returning to Chicago armed with stories and offers from our internships, and the incoming class of 2012 has returned from their Random Walk adventures and are now here in Chicago for Orientation. We all had great and unique experiences over the summer, and it’s interesting to hear the stories and adventures from old classmates or new friends.
For the second years, one of the biggest things on our minds is securing what we are going to do after we graduated. For me, one of best aspects of the full-time program was the opportunity to accept a paid internship (usually 10 weeks long) between the first and second year at Booth. This internship allows us to experience a new company, industry, or job function in a risk free atmosphere. For me, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but I knew I wanted more of a strategy role. With this goal in mind, I applied for and was accepted at a strategy consulting firm. Although I had no previous consulting experience (prior to Booth I was an Acquisitions Officer for the Air Force and was later involved in business development for an insurance firm), Booth helped me understand what consulting was and had me fully prepared for recruiting. When I started my consulting internship, I found an amazing career – fast paced, exciting, top level strategy work and I quickly decided it was the career I wanted to pursue after graduation. My internship let me experience a 10-week trial of a completely new career and ultimately translated into a full time offer upon graduation. After talking with many of my friends it was clear that my story was not abnormal. Many people who had gone off to try various fields like investment banking, finance, marketing, or even start their own business had found jobs they loved and planned to go back to. There were many students, however, that decided their summer internship was not what they wanted to pursue after graduation. For these students, Booth was still right beside them helping them find the path that was right for them. Career Services has been regularly reaching out to us to ensure that we know how to leverage our summer experience, find a suitable career field, and ultimately land the job we do want. Coming back to Chicago, I am still amazed at the experiences people had during their internships as well as the confidence Booth has given us as we move into our second year.
The first year class, however, likely has far lighter issues on their minds. When students are accepted to Booth, they have the option of going on a “Random Walk” before school starts. This Random Walk is basically a 7-day trip to one of 26 exotic locations across the globe (I went to China before my first year). The trip is with 12 fellow classmates and 4 second year facilitators. Personally, I found the trip to be a great way to get really close with 11 of my classmates, see places and aspects of the world I had never seen before like the Great Wall of China or the Forbidden City, have some incredible adventures like riding a luge down a mountain and clubbing in Shanghai, as well as getting closer with some of the second year class (I am now great friends with my old facilitators). With LEAD (Booth’s leadership program for incoming students – discussed more in the next blog entry) beginning today, the first year class is now back from their trips and sharing their stories with their fellow classmates and me.
While these two stories are just tiny excerpts from my first year at Booth, it seems that every time I turn around, there is another facet of Chicago’s program that makes me very glad to be at Booth. Until the next post, take care and I hope you have had a wonderful summer. (Also please use the survey to the right so I know what you want me to write about).