1Y Women of Booth

In our final post of our #herboothexperience series, we share a tribute to 1Y women. We wanted to highlight 5 who have already made significant contributions to the community and come from a variety of backgrounds.

Corina Varlan describes herself as a citizen of the world—she is originally from Bucharest, Romania, went to undergrad at a small liberal arts college in Iowa, and most recently moved from London. She has already been incredibly involved with the Booth community.  Starting in Spring, she has two official leadership positions as a co-chair of Marketing Group and the Ally co-chair of OUTreach, the LGBTQ+ organization on campus. With Marketing, she plans to focus on encouraging international students to consider careers outside banking and consulting and help them navigate the complicated recruiting process for internationals. With OUTreach, she is keen to help consolidate the LGBTQ+ community on campus and help bring awareness of LGBTQ+ issues to the wider student body while finding ways to encourage allyship in all its forms. Other involvements include planning of Diversity Week, leading a Random Walk to Glacier National Park, and co-hosting women centered dinners and tea times to build a strong network. On what motivates her, she shared, “My biggest motivator is my curiosity to figure out what’s on the other side—whether that be the next big idea, or what the person in front of me is thinking. I believe that we all have something valuable to contribute, which makes the Booth environment a really exciting place to be, where I am challenged to think differently through my classes and conversations every single day.”

Patricia Suh is originally from Seoul, South Korea, but moved to the States when she was 16 and pursued higher education at NYU. Prior to Booth, she worked in the tech industry at Vimeo, IAC and Viacom doing monetization strategy and adverting tech.  She was also a founding NYC chapter president for Period The Menstrual Movement group, where she led a team of volunteers to collect, pack, and distribute feminine hygiene products to local homeless shelters. At Booth, she has been involved with Chicago Women In Business (CWiB), where will take on a role as Equity Engagement Chair this Spring. As the first to take on this role, she is tasked with defining how CWiB will engage with the Booth community around gender equity initiatives (creating more focused programming, such as notable speakers or community engagement initiatives, and developing a new membership level such as “manbassador” to promote inclusivity across campus). Other involvements include leading RW Indonesia, serving as an interview greeter, being a co-captain on the First Day Team, and being a Booth Buddy for the International Exchange Program. On what motivates her, she shared, “I am always looking for opportunities to lead and make meaningful impact that inspires action.”

Lauren Campbell is a dual-degree candidate for the MBA and Masters in Computer Science. A Management Information Systems and Accounting major from the University of Delaware, she spent her pre-Booth years working in product management at JPMorgan Chase. This summer, she will be a product manager at Amazon. Despite a heavy MBA and CS workload, she has been quite involved at Booth. She is part of Booth’s acapella group, Economies of Scale, and will be a co-chair of the group next year (in addition to being co-chair of the Belgian Club, which organizes Booth’s much acclaimed Belgian Halloween Party). She is also involved with Booth Technology Group and is on the planning committee for Booth’s upcoming TechCon conference. On what motivates her, she shared, “Achieving goals is something that really motivates me. I’m always setting new ones for myself and it feels really great when I can achieve something difficult.” So far, she’s achieved her goal of attending Booth—but there are many more ahead.

Chidi Nwankpa is a family physician who came to Booth to challenge herself and develop new skill sets. She is currently a co-chair of two student groups, Public Speaking and Communications Group and Chicago African Business Group. Last quarter, she spoke on a panel organized by the African American MBA association and Chicago African Business Group. On her experience, Chidi said, ““Everybody tells you that this will be the most exciting two years of your life, but you never truly understand it until you come in. There are so many opportunities here at Booth that I always feel like 24hrs/day is not enough. For me as a physician, I have gotten used to having a busy life; but business school puts a different spin on it. With a plethora of exciting opportunities, I have had to prioritize. Coming here, I wanted to get outside of my comfort zone as much as possible and meet more people. I find that getting involved in the community is the best way to do this. The amazing diverse students here at Booth will blow your mind.”

Kurbi Mehta is a first year and an incoming co-chair of the Management Consulting Group at Booth. In her words, “My favorite things about Booth (in this order) are, the intellectual rigor, the wide plethora of opportunities available here, and the pay-it-forward culture (which is why I think I wanted to be MCG Co-Chair).” Prior to Booth, Kurbi worked in Corporate Finance at Amazon, India and in Operations Finance at India’s largest conglomerate, ITC Limited and at an Indian Health and Beauty CPG major, Marico Limited. Her time in consumer-centric industries has made her passionate about all things consumer, and she was awarded a Kilts fellowship in Marketing and Strategy. She holds a Chartered Accountant’s License and a Bachelor’s in Commerce (both earned in India). This summer she will be interning as a generalist at McKinsey & Co., Seattle, where she hopes to explore her passion for all things consumer, and hone her problem solving skills. Outside of school, she shares that she loves work, travel, and food (as evidenced by the accompanying photograph in a local Chicago restaurant).

Christina Bachtina and her family immigrated to the US from Ukraine with one suitcase and big dreams. She shares that her parents worked long hours and hard jobs to allow her to focus on her education. Christina ultimately ended up graduating as HS valedictorian studying finance at the University of Florida. After working in finance, she came to Booth to learn skills and gain the network that would allow her to make a greater impact on the companies and communities she serves. Upon being accepted into Booth she states, “My parents said it was the best day of their lives, this was all the motivation I needed to make the most of this experience.” She has already been highly engaged with a role as co-chair of the Business Solutions Group and volunteer work at a middle school with the Big Shoulders Fund, an internship at a PE fund in Chicago during the quarter, and as alumni advisor for the UChicago chapter of her sorority. On how she sets goals, Christina told us, “A successful mentor once told me that your life should be divided into three stages, ‘first you learn, then you earn, and last you return’. This stuck with me because it allows me to plan my life with a goal in mind—my motivation lies in someday being able to return the mentorship and support I have received, in multiples, to my communities. Booth has set me up for success in all three stages and I am excited for the career and service opportunities that lie ahead.”

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