All posts by Nadeem Khan

A weekend at the UCLA Intramural Soccer tournament!

Any Chicagoan knows that after spending some time in the city, you learn to embrace all four seasons. And yes, that even includes winter. This mentality is what has allowed the Booth Soccer Club to be one of the most vibrant and thriving communities on campus—we find ways to embrace the sport no matter the weather.

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30 years of LEAD: Reflecting with Professor Harry Davis

Chicago Booth is known for its flexible curriculum, which allows students to curate a tailored MBA experience by picking and choosing the courses they want to do. In fact, there is only one class that is mandatory for everyone: Leadership Effectiveness and Development (LEAD). The course is designed to enhance one’s self-awareness and interpersonal effectiveness by working in teams and going through modules such as cross-cultural communication, personality development, and feedback and coaching.

Each year, 40 second-year students (called LEAD facilitators) are selected by faculty to design and deliver this flagship course to an incoming class of ~600 students. I had the pleasure of being a LEAD facilitator this year, an experience that has been the highlight of my time at business school.

But in a school that is known for cutting-edge research in finance and economics—and has faculty that is at the forefront of their fields—why is a student-run course on leadership the only mandatory class? I got the amazing opportunity to sit down with Professor Harry Davis to reflect on the journey of LEAD, 30 years after he started the program in 1989.

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Do your co-workers pass the “airport test”?

Throughout the recruiting process, people advised me to keep in mind the “airport test,” i.e., to answer the question, “Would I want to hang out with these people if we were stuck together in an airport for four hours?” During my summer internship, I had an extreme experience of the airport test come to fruition. While driving back from a client site three hours away, my team and I got stuck in an 8-hour traffic jam due to an accident on the highway. After a long week, while such a situation was extremely painful, we made the most of it, sharing music that we like, speaking about our experience at Booth, and even celebrating our manager’s birthday in the car with a bar of chocolate we found in our bags. To say the team passed the airport test with flying colors, would be an understatement!

I spent my summer at McKinsey and Co.’s Chicago office, working on a large digital transformation project for a public sector client. The best part about the experience—the team was made up of four Boothies (one each from the MBA class of ’17, ’18, ’19, and ’20)! 

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Get to Know Nadeem Khan

I’m originally from New Delhi, India, and I was living and working in Mumbai prior to coming to Booth. To say that the weather is a bit different from back home is definitely an understatement. That said, I’ve really enjoyed my time here in Chicago this past year, and the city is beginning to feel like home. One of the motivating factors for me to pursue an MBA was that I wanted to take time off from work and explore different things — take new classes, meet diverse people, and focus on my interests.

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