Category Archives: Admissions

The Official Kick-off to “The Booth Experience”

Hello out there!

Today is an exciting day for DSAC (Dean’s Student Admissions Committee). We are officially launching our integrated social media campaign for “The Booth Experience” – the first ever student-led admissions initiative aimed at sharing the energy, diversity, and authenticity of the Booth student experience with the online community.

You can tune into “The Booth Experience” in a few ways:

“The Booth Experience” is on Facebook. Come “like” us then check back often to keep up with the busy Booth student body!

On our Facebook page you will find:

A live feed from our YouTube channel with weekly videos we call “Wednesdays in the Winter Garden”. Each Wednesday, we will add a new video to our “Wednesdays in the Winter Garden” series (WIWG for short). The Winter Garden is the hub of student activity on campus, and each week we’ll go to the Winter Garden to catch up with Booth students – we’ll find out the latest on what’s happening in our community, and also ask questions that have been posed by prospective students.

We’ve already addressed questions like “What’s Impressed you about Booth?” and “How did you discover Booth?” For this week’s WIWG videos, we did something a little different. We took our camera to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin where we spoke to first-year students about their experience during Orientation and at the Leadership Orientation Retreat (LOR). If you have a question that you’d like Booth students to answer in this video series, let us know! Submit your questions through this blog or our Facebook page.

Photo albums with pictures from the latest on-campus and off-campus events – check in to join a virtual LPF (Liquidity Preference Function) – Booth’s weekly Friday happy hour in the Winter Garden, or view pictures of Booth’s adventurous students trekking around the world together on “Random Walks”.

An interactive discussion forum where you can post questions for current students – come join the discussion or post your own questions which will be answered by a DSAC member

A live feed of this student blog – as if you could get enough of us! Or, you can continue to follow the Booth Experience blog right here. We will use this blog to post regularly about topics of interest to prospective students. The blog will include both the 1st year and 2nd year perspective on topics such as extracurriculars, academics, recruiting, and the unique art all over the Harper Center! If you have anything you’d like to learn about – please let us know by commenting or sending us an email.

We look forward to sharing our “Booth Experience” with all of you in the coming months. We’re always interested to hear what’s on your mind – feel free to send us any questions/comments/feedback to

Until next time,

Random Walks around the world!

Hello! Hola! Bonjour! Ni Hao!

That is just a taste of how many ways over 250 Booth Students will have been greeting one another and new-found friends in the past week. Over the last week, about 250 students in the incoming class packed up their hiking shoes and put their exploring hats on to visit over 2 dozen countries across the world on ChicagoBooth’s annual Random Walk trips. Led by a team of four 2nd Year students, the 1st years who went on the trip had a once in a lifetime experience of exploring a new country with what would very likely become 15 of their newest good friends.

The RW I took last year to Nicaragua feels like it was yesterday – it was the first time I climbed a volcano, sang happy birthday to one of my classmates on the top of that volcano, then proceeded to sled down, all on our second day there! (see picture below of the “before” – we were a lot dirtier after we came down!)

Keep reading to hear the perspective of three 2nd year students as they prepared to lead their trips this year.

Dale Heidekat:

Where are you leading your Random Walk?

I’m leading the Israel Random Walk.

What are you most looking forward to for the trip?

I’m most looking forward to getting to know a group of incoming first years and sharing the Random Walk experience with them. Of course, I’m also pretty excited to visit a part of the world I’ve never been to!

Where did you go on your Random Walk last year?

I went to Turkey last year and it was amazing!

What made you want to lead a trip yourself?

I had an incredible time on my Random Walk trip last year and so much of that had to do with my great trip leaders. They helped me start my Booth experience off on the right foot, answering all of the questions I had, and helping us all get to know one another. I really appreciated everything my trip leaders did while we were in Turkey and the friendship and guidance they offered once we got back to school. I wanted the opportunity to play that role for a new class of Boothies.

What are you going to do between Random Walk and coming back to Booth?

After Random Walk, two of the other Israel trip leaders and I are planning on traveling around Europe for a few weeks. We are going to visit my family in Southern France and then continue to Barcelona, Mallorca and Lisbon. Then I’ll come back to Chicago to gear up for second year!

Andy Nelson:

Where are you leading your Random Walk?

I am so excited to lead a Random Walk trip to Fiji this year! It is a trip guaranteed to offer the greatest views, fun adventures, and an amazing time with 13 very lucky first years. The other leaders and I have been looking forward to this trip for months, and we can’t wait to fly out there.

Where did you go on your Random Walk last year? What made you want to lead a trip yourself?

Last year I went on a Random Walk trip to Nicaragua, coming back with great stories, better memories, and most importantly, some of the best friends I could ever ask for. It’s these relationships that made me want to come back in hopes that I can help some incoming students have the same experience that I had.

What are you most looking forward to for the trip?

While I feel that Fiji speaks for itself, I am actually more excited to make many more lasting friendships with some of the most impressive and interesting people in the world. It’s going to be a great adventure!

Jamie Castro:

Where are you leading your Random Walk?

Brazil UNO, baby!

What are you most looking forward to for the trip?

Three things:

1) Getting to know the first years, who I know are going to be awesome.

2) Traveling with and becoming better friends with my fellow leaders, who I already know are awesome.

3) Showing the whole group the amazing country where I used to live as a child. (I LOVE Brazil!)

Where did you go on your Random Walk last year?


What made you want to lead a trip yourself?

RW was the bomb. Why wouldn’t I want to do it again?

Okay, seriously, I want to give the incoming first years an awesome experience, just like the one that was given to me.

What are you going to do between Random Walk and coming back to Booth?

If I told you, I’d have to kill you. 😛


As much as possible. Visit family in San Francisco, do more international travel (destinations TBD), eat and drink my face off, and try to make it back alive to get geared up for second year. Oh yeah, and maybe bid on classes…maybe.

Booth Summer Stories

Hello, and welcome back!

I hope you’ve been having a terrific summer, hanging in there with the heat, and even taking in a good old BBQ or two. In today’s post, I am going to check in with some of my fellow Booth Class of 2012 classmates to see how their summers have been going. This summer, Booth students are in dozens of cities all over the US and world, pursuing internships that are a stepping stone to their exciting future career. Today I check in with a Management Consultant at McKinsey in Houston, a Brand Manager working on the Old Spice brand in Cincinnati, and an Operations Strategist at Apple in San Francisco. Read on for more!

Cosme Salazar:

What are you doing this summer?

I am a Summer Associate with McKinsey and Company in their Houston office. During the summer I am working on an organizational strategy study for one of the largest companies in the world.

What have been your Top 2 best experiences of your summer job?

Two experiences from the summer really stand out. First I have been very happy with the professional development and support that I have received from my internship. I have multiple people at the firm (up to the partner level) that are frequently checking in to see how my experience has been and offer advice on what I can do to grow professionally and reach my long term goals.

My other favorite experience has been all the fun summer events that I have been able to attend. My wife and I attended an amazing Summer Conference that McKinsey hosted for all their summer interns in Dana Point, California. I got to meet company leadership and other consultants from all over and get a better perspective of the many opportunities available with the firm. I have also attended Astros games, the theater, and I met many future Booth students at an admissions event I hosted in Houston.

What will you take away from your summer?

This summer I have learned how to create a concise and cohesive story to deliver a compelling message. Before this summer I knew consultants were pros at producing PowerPoint slides by the hundreds, but now I really appreciate the problem solving and the thought process that goes into crafting a meaningful message rather than a deck of slides.

What are you doing before starting back up at school?

I won’t have a lot of free time after my internship ends because I will be a LEAD Facilitator for the first year students. We have to put the finishing touches on some things we have planned to kick off a great start for the class of 2013.

What are you looking forward to about returning to Booth in September?

I really look forward to enjoying Chicago this fall. I live in Hyde Park, and when it’s warm I love to walk around the community with the parks and fun restaurants. I’m also really excited to hear about the great internships that my classmates enjoyed this last summer.

Ryan Bennett:

What are you doing this summer?

I am the Marketing intern on Old Spice at Procter & Gamble. My biggest projects include: 1) developing a global e-commerce strategy to stay ahead of the consumer as she transitions from shopping in brick & mortar stores to buying all her groceries online, and 2) creating a long-term growth plan for the “black sheep” part of our portfolio that has been growing gangbusters recently almost by accident.

What have been your Top 2 best experiences of your summer job?

I will forever remember being in the thick of the Fabio versus Old Spice Guy YouTube duel. The campaign quickly became a cultural phenomenon and it was incredibly exciting to sit in the center of it. Second, I’ve enjoyed engaging with P&G’s leaders to hear their collective vision for how the company is evolving. I’ve had astonishing access to management all summer, including dinner at the CEO’s house, a happy hour with the head of North America, a fireside chat with the CMO, and a one-on-one lunch with a Group President.

What will you take away from your summer?

As corny as it sounds, I’ll leave Cincinnati having made a ton of new friends. The 52 Marketing interns formed a close-knit community that will yield strong lifelong relationships. From a career-building perspective, I appreciate the experience of managing very large cross-functional teams, a skill that I never had the opportunity to develop during my time working on Wall Street prior to business school.

What are you doing before starting back up at school?

My fiancée and I are going on a road trip through the Midwest as we drive back to my home in Virginia. We’re excited to check out those random culinary hotspots profiled on “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives” along the way!

What are you looking forward to about returning to Booth in September?

I cannot wait to swap internship war stories with my classmates. It will be fun to compare my time at P&G versus what other Marketers experienced. I’m probably even more excited to hear from friends who spent their summers in emerging markets or pursuing entrepreneurial ventures.

Donna Wu:

What are you doing this summer?

I’m working as an MBA intern in Operations at Apple. That’s all I’m allowed to say 😉

What have been your “Top 2” best experiences of your summer job?

Attending a series of Executive Speaker speeches given by the Apple Executive Team and seeing Steve Jobs (on more than one occasion) getting lunch at Cafe Macs.

What will you take away from your summer?

People at Apple are some of the smartest and brightest individuals I have ever met. Their passion for the company and products is unbelievable. I know this is going to sound cliche but being surrounded by culture of excellence pushes me to be the best I can.

What are you looking forward to about returning to Booth in September?

Seeing all my Boothie friends again! This summer has been like an eternity, and I can’t believe how much I miss them. It’s amazing the kind of relationships you build at Booth – ones that last a lifetime 🙂

Hello and Welcome to The Booth Experience

Hi everyone!

I am so excited to be taking over this blog from Todd, I have big shoes to fill! For those of you new to this site, WELCOME! The purpose of this blog is to give you an opportunity to peek into the real Chicago Booth Student experience, through the eyes of current students over the next academic year. This blog, along with our Facebook page (launching this month!) is our way of welcoming you onto our campus and our 2 year MBA experience from the comfort of your computer/smartphone/tablet! Our mission is to be candid about what it’s like here at Booth, and to help you decide if this could be the perfect place for you to pursue your full-time MBA.

I will be one of your guides throughout this experience. A little about me – my name is Tina Gao and I am currently a 2nd year student at Booth. I am the Communications Chair of DSAC (the Dean’s Student Admissions Committee). I, along with my other 5 Co-Chairs are passionate about helping our Admissions Office shape the admissions process for prospective students. I hail originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia, and after attending undergrad at Penn I worked for a number of years as a Management Consultant in Washington D.C for the Boston Consulting Group. I chose to come to Booth to pursue a career change to Brand Management & Marketing. This summer, I am in Cincinnati, OH interning as an Assistant Brand Manager at Procter & Gamble.

There are many reasons Booth was the right fit for me – many of which I hope to share with you over the course of the year on this blog and our Facebook page. Stay tuned, and I hope we can help you in your business school journey over the course of the next few months!



More About the Booth Community

Happy April,

Prior to starting this week’s topic, I saw there was a question on the last blog entry: “How does the recruiting process at Booth differ from other top business schools?” While I cannot speak for other schools, I can certainly discuss two features that really impressed me about Booth’s approach. First, Booth places a premium on their career services department. Using just one of many examples, out of the recent endowment gift from David Booth, a portion was reserved to expand an already incredible department even further by hiring two additional staff with the sole purpose of finding even more career opportunities after Booth – an effort inevitably benefiting any Booth student looking for a new career. Second, the student body was far more cooperative and helpful than I ever expected. While I don’t know if it is the same at other schools, I could not have asked for anything more from my Booth experience. I was truly amazed at how the whole atmosphere made the recruiting process go so smoothly.

On the note of community, in this post I want to spend this entry briefly talking about how close we become with our classmates while at Booth. During the admissions process, there is a genuine and conscious focus on finding high potential leaders who truly are great fits for the Booth community (something roughly defined as individuals with intellectual curiosity, willingness to take risks, who aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo, and contribute diversity of thought and experience to the community). The effort the admissions team puts into this selection process definitely pays off in the atmosphere, friendliness, diversity, and caliber of people at Booth. Of my class of ~570 students, I would venture to say that I know and hang out with most of the class and am regularly impressed with how much everyone adds to the environment and our educational experience.

The Booth camaraderie can be seen on a daily basis or at any number of regular functions but it can also be very easily seen as our class pans the globe during scheduled breaks (winter, spring, or summer). Recently I just got back from a South American tour with several my classmates which we took during spring break. The trip was amazing; we spent almost two weeks traveling the continent, experiencing new cultures and further strengthening the bonds created while at Booth (picture below). This is not a unique experience. Upon returning from break the two questions that almost everyone wanted to ask was “where did you go” and “who did you go with.” It was exciting to hear the answers because we were literally spreading out across the globe in groups of 3-100 Booth students and everyone had such great stories and experiences. To mention just a few, 25 classmates rented houses in Costa Rica and spent a relaxing time on the beach. Roughly 100 students chose to spend spring break in Mexico. We even had a group of students trek as far as India to visit an area they otherwise hadn’t had much exposure to.

The real point that I am trying to make is that the full-time Booth experience is so much more than just a world class education. Thanks to the great application/selection process, it is two year journey with a cohesive and diverse set of individuals that will inevitably become invaluable friends, travel companions, and the core of a great business network.

Until next time, take care. I hope to see lots of you at Admit Weekend… it will definatley be a great time.