All posts by Edward M

Random Walk Guatemala : First year perspectives

Leslie Koehn and Tunde Bamigboye are first year students at Booth who went on the 2014 Guatemala Random Walk trip. Random Walks provide Chicago Booth students with an opportunity to meet and bond with their future classmates before the rigors of the MBA program begin. I spoke with them to learn more about their experiences, including what it was like to roast marshmallows on top of a volcano. 

EM: Were you nervous before the trip?

Leslie – To be honest, yes I was a little nervous. Going on a trip with a bunch of people you have never met can be intimidating and a little nerve racking but I was also excited for the new experience.

Tunde – No, not really. In my pre-Booth research, the common strain in the Booth experiences of people I had spoken to was how fantastic the RW trip was for them and how it was a time in which they all made life-long friends. A high bar for sure, but one I was excited for.

Continue reading Random Walk Guatemala : First year perspectives


This past week LGBTQ students from Chicago Booth attended the 2014 Reaching Out MBA conference in San Francisco. Each year ROMBA is held in a different city with the purpose of bringing LGBTQ MBA students from all the top business schools together to empower them to become professionals who will lead the way to equality in business education, in the workplace, and throughout society. I had the privilege to accompany 13 first year Boothies to the conference.

Last year I attended the conference as a first year in New Orleans. The three-day event was full of cocktail parties, case competitions, industry panel discussions, break out sessions and networking events. Many firms even invite 1st year MBAs to interview for summer internships. This year was no different. As a 2nd year MBA, the conference was less stressful and not focused on the job search. I attended the conference with Deutsche Bank and spoke to prospective summer interns about my summer experience at the LGBTQ Talent Career Expo. (I interned at DB this summer and signed on to return after graduation).

Conference highlights:

Day 1

SF technology & entrepreneur trek – MBAs visited Twitter,

Women @ Romba sessions

Welcome reception hosted by Goldman Sachs

Day 2

Various career sessions (Investment banking 101, finding success in Consulting, etc)

LGBTQ talent career expo

Marquis dinner & keynote speaker: jonathan mildenhall (cmo of airbnb)

Day 32014-10-04 13.47.34

Case competition, valuation competition, startup pitch competition

Awards lunch & keynote speaker
Keynote Speaker: Peter Thiel (Entrepreneur & Investor)

Closing charity party (Sponsored by Target & Unilever)

2014-10-04 14.05.20Chris Lee and Bradley Powell won the Valuation competition beating schools from other top programs with their valuation of UBER. They won a $2,500 cash price.

Part-time student Piya Chaiprasoet won the Amazon case competition.

Prospective MBAs can also attend the conference and meet with the top 30 business schools.

Reflections on Applying to Booth

Hi all! Dana and I have enjoyed interacting with you over the last few weeks as your DSAC Communications Co-Chairs. Today, we’d like to take a minute to introduce the rest of the DSAC Co-Chair team. Our fellow Co-Chairs have been working tirelessly to make events that provide prospective and admitted students a glimpse into the Booth experience – both on campus and around the world – possible. Below they share a little bit about who they are and why they chose to be involved with DSAC. I hope you enjoy getting to know them better here and throughout the upcoming year!

Continue reading Reflections on Applying to Booth

9th Annual Latin American Business Group Conference

In this week’s TBE blog post, Sandra Scoseria-Katz, a first-year student and co-chair of the Latin American Business Group, describes the group’s annual conference. LABG has approximately 150 active members and hosts both professional and social events that encompass the Latin American business world and culture at Booth. To learn more about LABG, head to their official website.

On Friday, April 27, 2012, Chicago Booth welcomed distinguished guests from around to globe for the 9th Annual Vale Latin American Business Conference.

Organized by the Latin American Business Group (LABG), with the generous sponsorship of VALE, a global mining and logistics company headquartered in Brazil, the conference brought together leading professionals from across the Americas and distinguished faculty and students from University of Chicago community to discuss cutting-edge business trends in Latin America.

This year’s conference focused on Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth. Dean Sunil Kumar opened the conference, followed by a welcome address by Roberto Castello-Branco, Director of Investor Relations at VALE.

The first panel explored how public policy can spur innovation and entrepreneurship. Professor Marianne Bertrand moderated the discussion, featuring former Minster for the Economy, Mr. Juan Andres Fontaine and Mexican Vice-Minister of the Economy, Ms. Lorenza Martinez.

Mr. Fernando Fabre, President of Endeavor, delivered the Luncheon Keynote Address, “Entrepreneurial Networks in Emerging Economies – The Endeavor Case.” Fabre shared data on global trends in entrepreneurship, comparing the U.S. and Latin American markets and focusing on opportunities for further growth. Second-year MBA student Carolina Ratto, from Argentina, was fascinated by Fabre’s presentation. “He was incredible,” noted Carolina. “Mr. Fabre’s experience in entrepreneurship is unparalleled. He shared powerful facts with us and brought great energy and insight to the conference.”

Mr. Fabre moderated the second panel, “Taking the Bet – The Entrepeneurs’ Perspective” which featured Mr. Mark Barcinksy (Founder of ProPay, Brazil), Mr. Enrique Gomez-Junco (Founder of Optima Energia, Mexico), Mr. Boris Hirmas (Angel Investor & Vice Chairman of Yellow Pepper, USA) and Mr.
Heberto Taracena (Founder of Metros Cubicos & InventMX, Mexico). These entrepreneurs discussed their adventures in business, highlighting the ups-and-downs of starting one’s own business. Carla Casares, a first-year MBA student from Mexico, appreciated the speakers’ unique perspectives and candor. “Not only were the panelists high-profile and tremendously successful, they were also very down to earth. They shared specific details with us about how to start a business, truly aiming to help inspire students, while also warning of the great challenges entrepreneurs face – namely securing funding, recruiting talent, and growing a client base.”

The last panel, “Risks and Returns: Venture and Growth Capital in Latin America”, brought together Professor Scott Meadow and Mr. Eric Acher (Founding Partner, Monashees Capital, Brazil), Mr. Raimundo Cerda (Managing Director, Aurus Tecnologia, Chile), Mr. Jaime Sanchez (Manager, Mexico Ventures I, Mexico & USA) and Mr. Ariel Muslera (Partner, CAP Ventures, Argentina). The venture capitalists discussed about the different risks of investing within the region along with the proven strategies to mitigate them. They emphasized in the high potential and opportunities in Latin America.

The LABG Co-Chairs would like to the conference’s sponsor, VALE, the panelists, guests and volunteers for making this event possible. We look forward to welcoming you to the 10th Annual Conference next spring!

Discover Forté…In L.A!

Hello TBE Readers! We’re back with another post about the Forté Foundation, an organization that brings together women from top corporations and MBA programs to promote their advancement in the business world. We hope you enjoyed reading Vivienne’s TBE post last week about her experience at Forté Foundation Financial Services FAST Track. This week, first year student Katie Blodgett shares how she geared up for business school by attending the Forté MBA Women’s Conference last summer. Whether a recently admitted or current female MBA candidate, this year’s conference, aptly titled “Advantage Women: Use Your Strengths to Build an Exceptional Career,” is a great way to prepare for the upcoming year and expand your network. The conference will take place June 29 – 30, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.

Check out Katie’s story below to hear firsthand about the conference experience and visit the 2012 Forté MBA Women’s Conference page for more details and information on how to register for the event.


When admitted to an MBA program, a door is opened to innumerable opportunities – both for the two years of your MBA program and beyond. As a new admit last spring, I found this to be incredibly exciting, but I also found myself a little nervous about what the coming two years would entail and how to best use that time to build my career and grow as a person. When the invitation to attend the Forté Foundation MBA Women’s Conference hit my e-mail inbox and I perused the agenda for the weekend, I thought that it sounded like a great way to help acclimate myself to business school and allow myself to feel better prepared for what the next two years might hold. The event definitely lived up to my expectations and then some.

During the course of the Forté MBA Women’s Conference, I was exposed to so much helpful information about potential future career paths and ways to help prepare myself for internship interview season. I found a workshop session I attended on perfecting your elevator pitch to be extremely helpful and put my mind at ease a bit about the recruiting process. The panels of women leaders were inspiring and motivating, and I had the opportunity to meet wonderful women from MBA programs around the country, as well as from Chicago Booth.

Looking at the agenda for this year’s Forté MBA Women’s Conference, it once again looks filled with many helpful workshops and panels, and will surely be an opportunity for new MBA women to become better prepared to hit the ground running in August and September when orientation starts. If I can make it work with my internship schedule this summer, you may see me there!