As our Best Booth Moment series continues, we hear stories from students about how they interact with Booth faculty outside of the classroom.
While at Booth, I have had the opportunity to take a variety of courses covering the spectrum of business school topics taught through many different styles and approaches by my professors. During the winter quarter, I was enrolled in Building the New Venture with Professor Lindsey Lyman, one of the many experiential, entrepreneurship classes offered at Booth. The experience proved to be a great opportunity for our team to connect with our professor outside of the classroom setting.
During the 10-week long course, groups of 4 to 5 students became the founders of their own entrepreneurial ventures and simulated the first 18 months of their startup’s life. This simulation was complemented with course content and guest lectures by experienced entrepreneurs to cover every aspect of starting a business and create a working model for entrepreneurship. Some of the topics covered include: raising seed funding, building a management team, identifying a target market, establishing sales processes, making key hires and leveraging a startup’s limited sources and partnerships to satisfy the different demands of the business.
Along the way, students were challenged on the actions they choose to take and were forced to manage the various crises that a startup faces in these early stages. Also, adding another layer of complexity to growing these ventures, groups were competing against each other throughout the quarter to crown the winning team based on viability of actions taken, creativity of solutions and working within seed budget constraints.
While I learned a tremendous amount while taking the course, there were other takeaways that I gained after it all ended. By the end of the quarter, my team had won the competition and were rewarded with a celebration at Lindsey’s home.
Although these interactions with professors outside of the classroom are not uncommon at Booth, it was a first for me and a great opportunity for our team to connect with our professor outside of the classroom setting. We were also joined by the winning team of the Evening Program section of this course, which further gave us the opportunity to connect with a different part of the Booth community — students in Booth’s part-time program.
Not only was it interesting to learn about the company they built, but also share our respective Booth experiences with each other as well as with Lindsey and her husband, both of whom are Booth alumni. The path Lindsey has taken from student to alumni to professor gives her a unique perspective and speaks to how our relationship with the Booth community as Boothies can flex throughout different points in our lives from giving us support in different forms to us giving back to the community to make an impact for both current and future students.
During our time together in her home, it was a wonderful opportunity for us to engage our professor on a more personal level and begin to understand the balancing act so many professors have going on outside of the classroom in addition to delivering an engaging class each week and critical feedback on our deliverables as students. The relationships we build at Booth can come in many different forms and often times will surprise you as they exceed expectations.