Category Archives: Pay it Forward

Camaraderie and Community: Veterans Day at Booth

What makes Chicago Booth such a special place to be a veteran?

You might guess it’s our unlimited Yellow Ribbon Scholarships that help veterans finance the transition from military to MBA. Or it could be Eric Gleacher’s 2016 donation of $10 Million earmarked to fund veterans’ scholarships.

These are both notable, but to me what makes Booth truly special is the incredible community and camaraderie found among the 82 veterans currently here, and within the hundreds of veterans in our alumni network. It’s a culture that makes you feel warm and welcomed while ensuring that your dreams receive all the support possible from those in a position to help.

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Phase II of My Leadership Development Journey at Booth

One of the major draws to Booth for me was its structured program that would allow me to work on my “soft” skills (or as Booth’s Leadership Development office calls them, “action” skills), like teamwork, public speaking, and leadership.  The Leadership, Effectiveness And Development (LEAD) program at the beginning of my first year allowed me to do just that: I had a chance to study how my personality affects my leadership style, understand the default role I tend to play within a team, and practice giving a persuasive speech to my classmates.

These skills and insights were immensely valuable and came into play for me numerous times throughout my first year and my summer internship.  So I decided that being a leadership facilitator in my second year would be a perfect way for me to “pay it forward,” while continuing to work on my own leadership skills.

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What It’s Like to Lead a Booth Random Walk

Every year, around 400 First Years (1Ys) go on a Random Walk with a group of classmates they will have just met for the first time. The international excursions combine cultural experiences, nightlife, relaxation, and outdoor adventures to flex Boothies out of their comfort zone and offer opportunities to form lasting friendships (fellow TBEer Eli and I both went on the Mystery Random Walk our first year).

Each group of 12-14 1Ys is accompanied by four Second Year trip leaders (~120 from the entire 2Y class). While some of our classmates may think we leaders just can’t let go of our first yearafter going to work this summer, I never want school to endand want to relive our adventures from last year; I can assure you a little more goes into guiding the experience than just doing another random Random Walk.

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Reflections from my first year at Booth

Today marks a year since I moved to Chicago to pursue my MBA at Booth. I remember feeling excited about this new chapter but also feeling anxious about all the unknowns. I had created a list of what I thought to be the most important things to accomplish: classes I would take, student organizations I would join, and companies I would apply to, etc… But as I reflect on my first year, I realize that it wasn’t always the activities I took part in that I remember most today, rather it’s the people I shared those experiences with. Here’s a look at a couple of my most memorable ones.

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Learning teamwork through laughs

You’ll often hear current students say that “being a team player” is an important value to highlight in MBA applications. More often than not, students at Booth work in teams – for classes, as part of clubs and other extracurricular responsibilities. However, not everyone has been exposed to extensive team-based environments in our pre-MBA careers.

Thankfully, it’s an easy skill to build. First-year student Vikram Sivakumar reflects on his journey in teamwork that he learned in a unique way – through the ten-week Improv course offered by Booth’s Public Speaking Club. And what better place to learn than in the city of Chicago – home of Improv legends like Second City and Up Comedy Club!

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