First few months full of First-time experiences

The first three months in Booth gave me so many “First-time ever experiences.” I am busier than when I was as an investment banker!

Surprisingly, there are so many “First-time ever experiences” since I started my Booth journey this summer. It is more than expected that there is so much going on in Booth! As I was an investment banker before coming to Booth, I got used to being busy. However, I have been overwhelmed by the life in Booth and have to manage my time allocation more than ever (in a good way). Let me share with you some highlights from my Booth Experience so far this first quarter!

Random Walk
I think it matters where you go, but more so who you go with. In addition to the beautiful scenery I have met in Morocco, I met really the BEST people in my Random Walk, which is literally my first event as a Boothie. Firstly, the 2nd year Random Walk leaders (Nina, Disha, Herbert, and John), were extremely fantastic. They not only welcomed us 1st years as new Booth students, but also used their creativity to make us feel at home. One of their biggest achievements was to lead us to create and perform a dance “Get Your Morock-On” during our 9-hour bus ride. Search for it on YouTube if you want to see it. Secondly, all the 1st years who came to Morocco were totally amazing. During the entire trip we talked about our stories, dreams, and interests. I realized that life-long friendships with those buddies will be a treasure for the rest of my life.

LEAD
The next big adventure I took part in was LEAD! After we were divided into 10 cohorts, we enrolled in a number of courses to develop our leadership skills. I really enjoyed this experience because it gave us a lot of opportunities to self-reflect and learn more about our leadership styles. Over and over again, I asked myself what I believe is the most important question in life: “Who am I?” In terms of activities, I was impressed by the Leadership Orientation Retreat (LOR), which is a trip to Wisconsin to spend 3 days with my cohort. I learned that one of the biggest differences between Booth and other top schools is that Booth gives us a lot of opportunities to spend time getting to know other students, such as LOR and Random Walk: the more time we spend with buddies, the more friendships and bonds we can foster. In addition, I was really impressed by the fact that LEAD is taught by trained 2nd year students based on the pay-it-forward culture, so this program is also designed to help 2nd years develop their leadership skills.

GBC and cohort president
Each LEAD cohort, about 60 people, elects a President and a Representative. Since I love my cohort members and want to contribute to it, I ran in the election and became the President! And our representative is the greatest ever Manali. Manali and I organized a cohort potluck and gave gifts and message cards to our LEAD facilitators Disha, John, Tobias, Karthik, Lauren, Analyssa and Purva, they are all awesome. In addition, becoming the cohort President means becoming a part of the Graduate Business Council (GBC). In GBC, I found that we always ask ourselves: How could we make Booth better? I think that GBC is the place where I can most contribute to the Booth community with a pay-it-forward mind and I can make a difference in Booth. I am super-excited to do this over the next two years.

Co-chair of the Japan Club
I immediately wanted to become the co-chair of Japan Club. Our first big project is to lead the “Japan Trek” where we take 70 Booth students to Japan during Spring Break. As a co-chair, I am involved in all aspects, including contacting the travel agency, talking to the school, and marketing the trip to current students. We had an info session to pitch our trip and many students showed up to indicate their interests. There are many logistical challenges but we are so excited to lead the Japan Trek to share the greatest Japan experience with our friends.

Four discipline-based advanced classes
Before I started classes, I was overconfident; so, I took four advanced classes in my first quarter. That was a huge underestimation of how much time and effort they would take. I must say that the advanced classes at Booth are not easy at all. They all require a huge time commitment and I was so impressed with how smart everyone in my class is. While it is tough to keep up with the coursework, which sometimes means sleepless nights, I am happy to accept a challenge I have never undertaken before. Two of my favorite professors are Kevin Murphy from Advanced Microeconomics and Mark Tebbe from Entrepreneurial Discovery. They are not only good at teaching, but also very friendly and helpful.

As I am involved in all of the above “First-time ever experiences,” it is difficult to make time for myself and yet still enjoy everything Booth has to offer. However, every day I learn something new, and I meet new people: this is the experience I could never have somewhere else, and this is why I am here and not somewhere else. I am super excited to spend the rest of my time in Booth!

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