This summer, 24 members of the Class of 2019 got a head start to their Booth experience through the pre-MBA program called Startup Summer. Across the globe, soon-to-be Booth students were paired with Booth-founded startups to explore their entrepreneurial function and industry goals. Cofounded by Booth alumna Andrea Sreshta, ’16, LuminAID is a women-founded Chicago-based startup that makes solar-powered inflatable lanterns for disaster relief and outdoor recreation. Find out what incoming Booth students Erich Bao, Jessica Goldberg, and Michael Hull had to say about their experience at LuminAID, and how it will impact their time at Booth going forward.
It’s intimidating to walk into a new career (even an internship) with zero work experience in the field. But that’s exactly the situation that I, like many of my peers, are finding ourselves in at this moment.
Like many Boothies, I’m a career transitioner (military to consulting, in my case). Though I was comfortable leading 150 combat soldiers, I was quite nervous thinking about how I should interact with a client. Also, like many of my peers, I like experiential learning in addition to classrooms and coffee chats – feeling like I need to touch & feel a process before I really understand it.
Fortunately, Booth built a course that’s exactly what I needed: Strategy Lab, which is a hands-on class that pairs small teams of students with real clients, solving real problems, mentored by real consultants.
What do you do when you have a chance to present to people who can be connections for you and help you with your goals?
That is what the New Venture Challenge class experience teaches participants in the ten weeks they spend as part of the course As the New Venture Challenge (NVC) enters its final round this week, the businesses that have gone through it have evolved and so have the entrepreneurs and their teams. Those selected for NVC have to take the class, which includes two rounds of pitching to potential investors. I sat in one of the pitching sessions and it was a wonderful learning experience even though I wasn’t trying to get any idea sold.
Here at Booth, an interesting and special story is never a scarcity, especially after summer internships. But when I talked to Jesse Taylor, the founder of Verdant Financial Services and a good friend from the trenches of Commercializing Innovation, I was still very shocked by how special his summer internship was in an industry I had only heard about from news and movies—cannabis. This story is also a little bit special as it is about an entrepreneur who hustled into NVC when his proposal was originally denied—the only one of its kind. I have no doubt that his persistence and perseverance will be helpful moving the business forward in this new industry. Here’s Jesse’s story…
Decision making is a vital prelude to any business transaction or strategy execution.
My two years at Booth have provided me tremendous resources to learn not just from the best faculty but also from the best leaders in industry. And who better to learn from when it comes to decision making than from the people who deal with it every instance of every day –- the CEO alums of Booth.
As a part of the Road to CEO speaker series, I got the opportunity to interact with one of the most powerful people from the energy sector, John S. Watson, CEO of Chevron. Make or break decisions involving billions of dollars, managing relations with political heavyweights, and in spite of all that, staying level-headed in an industry that is literally ‘volatile’ at all times, were just a few of the topics covered.