Category Archives: Boothie Life

Admit Weekend on the Horizon: Meet your Co-Captains!

Admit Weekend is a terrific opportunity for admitted students to experience life as a Chicago Booth MBA for a weekend. Admits learn about the Booth curriculum, tour Chicago neighborhoods, and have plenty of time to get to know fellow future Booth MBAs.

It takes lots of planning to make this happen, but fortunately we have a huge team of great volunteers. The students involved on the Admit Weekend Planning Committee take a “Co-Captain” role in a specific, key aspect of the Admit Weekend experience, from neighborhood and housing tours to partners’ programming.


Several of our Co-Captains offer reflections on their experiences and discuss why all admitted students should come to Admit Weekend!

–Matt Richman

Mary Cate Waris and Jennifer Phillips
Admit Weekend Squad Leader Co-Captains

We both attended Admit Weekend last year and we had such a great time meeting everyone and learning more about the Booth community that we were excited to be involved in planning and organizing the 2014 events. As the Squad Leader Co-Captains we are responsible for selecting and training the squad leaders (current students who help lead admitted students through the Admit Weekend activities) and for organizing many of the events that you will take part in over the weekend. As you may know, Booth uses a cohort and squad system for the LEAD course that all first year students will take. After LEAD, students take whatever courses they want independent of any cohort; however cohorts and squads still function like your home base throughout your time at Booth. Admit Weekend squads work the same way. The squad and cohort activities of Admit Weekend will give you an opportunity to have fun and get to know both your new classmates and Booth’s current students. We hope that you will enjoy participating in the activities as much as we have enjoyed preparing them. Your Admit Weekend squad will introduce you to many of your closest friends during your time and Booth, as it did for us. We look forward to meeting you soon!

Emma Tan
Partners Co-Captain

Starting business school is an exciting journey for not only us, but also for our partners. While moving to a new city can be hard for a couple, Booth has great resources, such as the Partners Club, and an inviting culture that help make our significant others feel like an integral part of the Booth community. The experience so far at Booth for me and my husband has been wonderful, and I wanted to give back as part of the Admit Weekend team. Working as a co-captain to plan the partner-specific programming is a great opportunity for me and my team to share our experience and help admitted students and partners get ready to make the most of their time at Booth. Through the partner experience panel, we will invite students and their partners to talk about the fun and surprises they had living in the Booth community, offer tips, and answer questions about Chicago. We also planned a Chicago resource fair to create an opportunity for partners to share information, make new friends, and bond with this amazing community at Booth! It has been an incredible experience for us to be part of the Admit Weekend Planning Committee to share our excitement about being at Booth with the incoming class!

Prakriti Mishra
Neighborhood and Housing Tours Co-Captain

I am a former UChicago undergrad, and although I moved to NYC after graduation, I was hesitant about coming to Admit Weekend last year, because I felt like I already “knew” Booth and Chicago. However, I am glad I went against my instincts, and flew out for Admit Weekend. The Booth that I saw at Admit Weekend was vibrant, intelligent, and incredibly fun! In the three days over Admit Weekend, I met my current roommate, talked to 2nd years who got me interested in technology and consulting, and saw the city of Chicago in a completely new light. Now, as a Co-Captain for the Neighborhood and Housing Tours, I hope to provide admitted Booth students with a fun, informative and engaging way to see the city for themselves. We have student hosts and tour guides to take our guests around some of Chicago’s most popular neighborhoods, and give them a chance to see some of the apartments that current Boothies live in. I hope many of you will take this opportunity to get to know Chicago, and I look forward to seeing you on a tour around one of Chicago’s many exciting neighborhoods!

Booth Hits the Slopes: The Booth Ski Trip in Photos

Brandon Jones is a first-year student at Chicago Booth. Prior to Booth, he worked as a project manager for construction firms in Chicago and Los Angeles. Outside of school, Brandon is an avid snowboarder and diehard USC Trojan fan. At Booth, he is a member of the Management Consulting Group, Giving Something Back, Dean’s Student Admissions Committee, and is a Dean’s Student and Alumni Representative.

He recently returned from the Booth Ski and Snowboard Club annual trip. It is a fun opportunity for Booth students to hang out and let loose after finals. As Brandon’s photo essay shows, the trip is not just about skiing; it’s also filled with themed parties and great bonding experiences for first- and second-year classmates. Enjoy his pictures!
–Matt

It’s Friday evening and I just turned in my last final. The first quarter of school at Chicago Booth is officially done, but it’s not time to celebrate yet. I head home, grab a quick dinner with my wife and pack up for the Ski and Snowboard Club trip to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. After a 2 hour nap, I manage to pour myself in a cab with two second years and we’re off for our 6:30am flight.

By 9pm, 253 Boothies and partners are checked in to The Lodge at Steamboat and headed to one of the slopeside restaurants for appetizers and much-needed libations. I head back to the condo relatively early to catch up on sleep so I’m ready to hit the hill early.

My roommates and I were more tired than we expected. After sleeping in, we scramble up some eggs and bacon and finally get to the gondola by mid-morning. It appears a few of our classmates have already left their mark in a deep snowbank. It’s going to be a great day.

After a solid first day of skiing and snowboarding, we change into our most radical attire for an 80’s-themed après ski happy hour hosted by the Ski and Snowboard Club. From the photo, you can see that rock star Axl Rose (me), several members of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” USA Olympic hockey team are here, and a few random 80s people.

After a quick dip in the hot tub, we head back to the condo to transform into angels and demons for the Heaven and Hell rave, because the only thing better than a themed party to celebrate the first day of skiing is two themed parties in one night. Rumors have been circulating that a special musical guest might be at the rave, but no one was saying who. Halfway through the night, The White Panda appears and Steamboat is temporarily transformed into an EDM mega-show (at least for the Boothies).

The next day of skiing and riding is gorgeous. We manage to track down some hidden powder stashes in the hike-to-ski double black diamond chutes on Steamboat’s perimeter. Our legs are definitely feeling the gym days we skipped during the last two weeks of class and recruiting.

Of course, not everyone on the trip is a skier or snowboarder. Quite a few people just came along to hang out with friends. A few of these folks discover that Steamboat offers bumper cars on ice and head over to the rink to take out some post-finals aggression on one another. Others go for an adrenaline-packed snowmobile ride or an idyllic snowshoe tour.

Three more days of skiing are punctuated by more après ski events, including a costume-mandatory flip cup tournament, where the Second Year Goths prevail over the First Year Onesie Directions, a pub crawl, a visit to the local hot springs, and an impromptu late-night grilled cheese bake-off. The week culminates with the Ski Bum Prom at Thunderhead Lodge atop the gondola. Everyone puts on their best mountain formal wear for a sit-down dinner before showing off their moves on the dance floor.

It’s finally time to pack up and head home for the holidays. Looking back at the last 6 days and nights makes me realize how fortunate I am for the opportunity to be at Chicago Booth and for the amazing friendships I’ve developed already. Finding a group of people with wildly different backgrounds that can learn from each other in class, support each other during recruiting, and travel across the country to ski, snowboard, snowshoe, and raise a glass together is what defines the Booth Experience for me. I can’t wait to see what the next year and a half brings.

Speakers, Networking, and Tiny Crab Cakes: Just a Normal Day During Bank Week

Chicago Booth is a major recruiting target for Wall Street investment banks. For most of the recruiting process, banks come to Chicago for networking events, but right after finals, we make a trip to New York to visit them on their turf. This trip is known as “Bank Week”. This year, about 80 first-year students from Chicago Booth’s Investment Banking Group (IBG) made the Bank Week trek to visit potential employers and make a final recruiting push before interviews for investment banking summer internships. The trek is meant not only for those pursuing a career in New York, but also those who are recruiting for Chicago, West Coast, or even global offices of NYC-based firms.

First-year Booth MBA Jason Arican just finished up his trek, and offers a glimpse into his experience with a “day-in-the-life” diary of Bank Week. As Jason shows, recruiting is a tough process for anyone, but the key to Booth students’ success in landing investment banking internships comes from a combination of strong relationships with an active alumni base in banking, a supportive and collaborative environment among the first-years (as well as between the first-year and second-year classes), and great support from Booth’s Career Services.
–Matt Richman

7:50 a.m.: The alarm on my phone goes off. I have an informational interview with a firm at 9 a.m. and figure that I can eke out a ten minute snooze and still make it on time. The nights during Bank Week are late (with some events that are scheduled by banks and others that… are not), so right now ten minutes seems like an eternity.

8:54 a.m.: After a brisk twelve minute walk, I arrive to the building. All of the banks are in skyscrapers that require you to show ID when you arrive and I am stuck waiting in line at the security desk. I did not budget enough time for this and am starting to sweat knowing that I might be a few minutes late.


9 a.m.: I get off the elevator and turn towards the double glass doors of the office. I immediately see a fellow Booth student waiting on the couches inside, so I know that I’m not late. “Time to go to work,” I think to myself as I get amped for the day. I take a deep breath and casually stroll through the doors with the confidence of someone who was not anxiously gritting his teeth 90 seconds earlier.

9:30 a.m.: The informational interview ends on time. The banker was a nice guy and easy to get along with. We talked about my background, and why I am interested in investment banking and, specifically, their firm. At this point in the process we have been asked the same handful of questions a number of times and had tons of feedback from Career Services, the IBG, and second years, so my answers were polished and succinct. It wasn’t always that way though, and there were plenty of conversations that didn’t go this smoothly. Heck, that could be another blog post entirely.

10:55 a.m.: At the next event, I walk into a large reception hall and make a mad dash to the coffee. I turn to look at the food spread and eye a platter of sandwiches. I am 30 years old, but being on a student budget has regressed my thought process to a 19 year old who can spot a free meal from across a crowded room. But I think back to the trainings we had with Career Services in preparation for recruiting – I don’t want a Managing Director picking me out of an audience as the guy crushing a roast beef sandwich with crumbs on his tie. I compromise and make a mental note to find a chair closest to the food for when it’s time to eat later on.

11 a.m.: The speaker is a Booth alum and big supporter of hiring Booth students. As someone who has had a long career in banking, he is uniquely placed to give thoughts about the current environment and, given the spirited Q&A, I can tell we are all quite interested in his perspective.

12:30 p.m.: As the event winds down, a group of students make plans to leave for the next bank. The banks know that we have a tight schedule, so no one takes it personally when you leave – provided that you do so in a courteous way. Prior to Bank Week, Career Services and the IBG stressed the importance of leaving and arriving in groups – especially if you’re leaving a little too early or getting there a little too late. It’s one thing show up somewhere five minutes late by yourself (easy to just get written off as someone who didn’t plan properly), versus what it means when a group of people are a bit behind (the last event probably ran a little long). As a class, we are eager to collaborate, so we work together to coordinate our arrival and departure times.

1 p.m.: For the next event, the bank sends down the Global Head of Investment Banking – about as senior as you can get for an event like this. We deliver a flurry of questions, ranging from thoughts on expansion in emerging markets to what qualities are important to emphasize as we go through the rest of the recruiting process. He is eager to answer these questions and has really thoughtful input.

View from the 53rd

6 p.m.: It is the last open event of the day. The setting for this cocktail event is like no other. We are on the 53rd floor and directly eye-level with the top of the Empire State Building. As the sun sets over this sprawling city, I stop to grab a quick picture and give myself a moment to reflect on just exactly where I am. Recruiting has been an arduous journey, there is no doubt about it. Our days are long and we are expected to always put our best foot forward, executing conversations with excitement, poise, and laser-sharp focus. But what is most important is that we’ve done it together. As a group, we have developed close relationships with each other founded on a culture of teamwork. There are no sharp elbows here because we all know that for any of us to succeed, we need the larger group for support and for the Booth brand to resonate positively.

6:27 p.m.: A server comes around with a plate of tiny crab cakes. I politely decline. PRO TIP: Do not eat the tiny crab cakes. Ever. You will be offered them all the time and, look- I know it’s hard because tiny crab cakes are amazing. But your sole objective is to talk to bankers at these events. Trust me- you do not want to talk to anyone, let alone a person who may want to hire you, with crab meat on your breath.

6:40 p.m.: The tray of tiny crab cakes comes around again. I break down and take one because YOLO.

Bank Week networking event

7:30 p.m.: In addition to the open events I attended today, many banks have invite-only receptions which occur each evening. I’m off tonight, so I head back to the hotel to rest up and explore New York a bit!
****

In retrospect, this was my busiest day of Bank Week. Overall, the entire week was a great experience. In a way, it’s almost like a rite of passage; something that second-year students can regale the first-years with tales of rainy days and anxiety-filled cab rides through New York City to make a meeting with only seconds to spare. Which reminds me… if you come to Booth and make the trip to Bank Week: make sure you bring an umbrella. Whoops.

But more than anything, enjoy yourself. Career Services and the IBG do a great job of helping to ready us, and at no point did I feel unprepared during a conversation or meeting. Bank Week is very much about getting to know potential colleagues and bonding with current classmates. We got to see New York City from a unique perspective and had engaging conversations with really bright people. Sure, the days are long… but ultimately they are quite rewarding and I’m now ready and looking forward to the internship interviews that take place on campus over the next few weeks.

Why I Am Here and Not Somewhere Else: My Admit Weekend Experience

By Jatin Jindal, Class of 2015

On behalf of the Admit Weekend Planning Committee, I would like to congratulate Round 1 admits on being selected to join the best business school in the world! When I got the call from the Booth Admissions staff last year, the first thing I did was book my tickets to Chicago for Admit Weekend. I knew that the 24 hour-long flight from Mumbai to Chicago would be well worth the experience I would have at Admit Weekend.

Well, I was not only proven correct, but Admit Weekend exceeded all of my expectations. I had such an amazing experience that I knew I wanted to be a part of the next class’s Admit Weekend planning team. So, I volunteered for the position of Social Media Captain for Admit Weekend 2014. As a Social Media Captain, admitted students will hear from me through social media channels, including photos and posts to the Class of 2016 Facebook page.

I grew up in Mumbai, India. I spent three years in investment banking in London, and after that, was fortunate to scale up and successfully exit from my own startup. Yet, as I considered my next career moves, I realized there were some gaps in my business training necessary to advance my goals. I was impressed by the awesome resources at Chicago Booth, particularly in tech and entrepreneurship, as well as by Booth’s discipline-based approach to learning, which further confirmed my decision to apply. I should reveal that I am a child of a tropical climate who had never seen snow. So, when I landed in Chicago for Admit Weekend in February 2013 and was greeted by snow, I was both terrified and excited. What amazed me was the fact that the snow had only made Chicago’s sprawling skyline and magnificent architecture look even more beautiful. After reaching my hotel, I made my way to the Gleacher Center, where international student ambassadors were waiting to welcome the international admitted students. It was amazing to see the variety of nationalities present at that event, and I met many of my current friends there for the first time.

Admit Weekend is designed to give newly admitted students a glimpse into what life as a full-time student will be like. One of the most exciting sessions at my Admit Weekend was a chance to sit on an entrepreneurial sales class with Professor Craig Wortmann, who is founder and CEO of Sales Engine and has been a professional sales person for 20 years. We also learned more about Booth’s Leadership and Effective Development (LEAD) course through some fun team-building activities with our future classmates. We capped the day off with an introduction to the Booth tradition of the Liquidity Preference Function (LPF), which is a bi-weekly happy hour in the Harper Center Winter Garden sponsored by the Graduate Business Council (GBC). During the rest of the weekend, we met representatives from every Booth student group – including the Soccer Club, which I immediately got involved with when I started school – and learned about the wide array of Random Walk locations we could choose from. Admit Weekend ended with a celebration at the majestic Art Institute of Chicago, located in downtown Chicago.

Enjoying beautiful scenery of Fiji during my Booth Random Walk

Overall, Admit Weekend was a sneak peek into what Booth has to offer, both academically and socially. At the end of the event, I could see that many of my fellow Admit Weekend attendees were convinced that Booth was where they were going to spend their next two years. I had also made up my mind, and could not have been more excited to start at Booth in the fall.

Overall, my experience at Booth so far has exceeded all of my expectations. I have made amazing friends from all over the world and have learned so many new things in a short span of time.

Dancing at this year’s South Asia Business Group (SABG) Diwali-themed cruise on Lake Michigan.

I highly recommend attending Admit Weekend for two main reasons: first, it will help you decide for yourself “Why are you here, and not somewhere else”, and second, if you are already sold on Booth, you will get a first-hand experience of a compressed two year b-school experience in 3 days, which is valuable in helping you start to think about how to get the most out of the MBA experience. So, buckle up and get ready for Admit Weekend 2014 – you have to be here to experience it for yourself!

Five Pleasantly Surprising Facts about Life at Chicago Booth

My name is YaoYao Wang and I’m a first year MBA student at Booth, originally from Los Angeles, California. Prior to business school I worked as an Operations Manager at a health products startup while being the CMO of a volunteer-run nonprofit. Outside of work and school, I love playing badminton, cooking, and Yelping. Follow me @yaoyaowang where I tweet about all sorts of business school fun.
In just a few short months as an MBA student at Booth, I’ve learned a few valuable lessons and pleasantly surprising facts.  I share my Top 5 with those of you considering an MBA at Booth. Hopefully my lessons will provide insight into the wealth of opportunities at Booth, as well as the best way to navigate your decision-making to get the most out of your experience.
1. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
No, I’m not actually referring to Newtonian physics here. As a business school student, you quickly learn to manage your time very well; and often, what you’ll find is that you can’t add events to your calendar without taking something off. Planning your career, networking, learning in business school? I’ve quickly learned the key to success is actually all about mastering the art of making tradeoffs. If you can’t decide which amazing classes, student clubs, and recruiting opportunities to sacrifice over others, you’ll get great guidance from Career and Academic Services. And since this is Chicago Booth, home of brilliant professors and Nobel prize-winning economists, concepts like opportunity cost and marginal utility will creep into your daily vocabulary before you even know it, and will help you make these tough decisions.
2. Use your pre-MBA summer wisely.
Once school starts you will have 20 million events and deadlines on your calendar (Legal disclaimer: OK, maybe not literally 20 million events and deadlines, but there are tons of opportunities here!). If you can, take time before Booth to travel, spend time with family and friends, work out, eat healthy, and sleep.
See if you still know how to study. This sounds pretty basic but you’d be surprised at how many of us realize that being in the workforce for a few years has made us forget how to be students. A great way to regain your learning skills would be to take an online class or even a local language or art class.
3. Second years are to first years like sliced bread and zippers are to humanity.
A third thing I didn’t fully understand before starting Booth is the tremendous value that second year MBAs add to the business school experience. Their willingness to help knows no bounds. Got questions about internships, careers, resumes, interviews, classes, housing, transportation, or what to wear in the Chicago winters? Second years will help you with that. I always find myself shocked with the amount of time second years put into planning events that improve first years’ business school experience, whether it be Random Walks, LEAD, student groups, school-wide events, company presentations, workshops, social events, trips, or mixers. If you ask them why, you’ll get a shoulder shrug that downplays their involvement and the usual, “the second years were there for us when we first got here.” You’ll see this sense of paying it forward permeating the Chicago Booth network from the first years all the way up to the alumni.
4. There is such a thing as free lunch.
In the form of Lunch ‘n’ Learns, that is! Career Services and the career-focused student groups host prominent companies from various functions and industries to recruit MBA talent and these presentations often come with free meals! Though I’ve enjoyed not having to buy lunch my first quarter because I’ve been to so many events, the real “free lunches” are the valuable interactions Career Services has facilitated with Booth alumni from companies large and small. Through presentations of mini case studies of recent challenging problems they’ve faced or explaining their company culture and values, I’ve found it invaluable to learn about fit and culture at companies I’m interested in. It’s a two-way street, because as much as companies are recruiting us, we are also scoping them out to make sure we might enjoy our time there as an intern or full-time hire. Additionally, Career Services has been really helpful in working with us to make sure we have a good sense of our career goals and personal needs to get the most out of these events and interactions.
5.  Any interest or hobby you can think of, it’s probably here.
We have an amazing array of student groups solely focused on fun, hobbies, diversity, and interests. Food, wine, boxing, rugby – you name it, we’ve got it. Clubs are a great way to meet new friends who may not be in your classes or recruiting for the same career path. In addition to the extensive list of student groups people are constantly organizing informal events.
I could easily go on and on about the wonderful experience that Chicago Booth has been for the last two and a half months (that’s right, we’ve only been here for two and a half months!) but, there’s no blog or list that could tell you what it’s really like at Booth. For me, speaking with current students and alumni at locally-hosted Booth events and visiting the campus really helped me decide that Booth was the right place for me. As a prospective student, I met so many great people with diverse backgrounds and fascinating life stories, and I’m enjoying getting to know them now as my peers and classmates.
I look forward to seeing you at an on-campus event and welcoming you to our school!