When I got into Booth, I was fortunate enough to be chosen as a Kilt’s Marketing Fellow. As a part of this experience, I have had the opportunity to interact with Marketing faculty and alumni at special events and to receive mentorship from a member of the Kilts Center Steering Committee. This experience has been instrumental in shaping my time at Booth as it has paved the way for my path during business school and defined my approach on how to leverage the alumni network at Booth.
For veterans at Chicago Booth, one event stands out among the myriad cocktail hours, dinners, and Liquidity Preference Functions (LPFs) that comprise the MBA social experience. That hallmark event is, of course, Dining Out.
Those unfamiliar with military traditions might find the event’s title a bit strange, perhaps literal even, but Dining Outs (and their equally creatively-named cousins, Dining Ins) both feature strongly in military culture. Dining Ins traditionally consist only of military service members. They often occur just before or after combat deployments and entail a degree of silliness to counter the seriousness of our daily jobs. Dining Out differs in that significant others are invited to join, and the silliness is somewhat toned-down.
For most of the veterans at Booth, Dining Out is a piece of the familiar in what can be a new and strange place. Most of us could not have distinguished a credit from a debit before Booth, and would have assumed that an “efficient market” meant less than five minutes in line at the store. While we are all hopefully past that point now, it is still great to dust off the old traditions and have a time of fellowship and fun.
Fall on Hyde Park’s campus looks familiar to me. I lived here for four years here as an undergraduate studying economics. But a lot has changed for me since the last time I walked the Midway or grabbed lunch at the Medici. I spent the last four and half years in the Marine Corps, stationed in Hawaii and deploying around Asia as an Intelligence Officer.
Transitioning to civilian life and Booth has been a lot of fun, but jumping into the b-school trifecta of academics, social events and recruiting has had it’s challenges, too (not to mention working on growing my hair to a civilian length!). As I celebrated Veteran’s Day at the Armed Forces Dining Out with over 120 current and alumni Booth veterans last weekend, I thought a lot about how great it’s been to have the Armed Forces Group (AFG)— one of campus’s tightest knit support networks on campus— to lean on along the way.
It’s that time of year. In true pay-it-forward fashion, second years are meeting up with first years for a ton of “coffee chats” to talk recruiting, summer internships, and all things Booth. After sitting on both sides, I know two things for sure: there aren’t enough tables in the Winter Garden for all ~1100 of us, and every chat is better with good food and drinks.
If you’re looking for a change of scenery, here are my top five Hyde Park meet-up locations, all within walking distance from the Harper Center.
At Booth, we pride ourselves on the flexible curriculum, but there is one required class every first-year student must take their first quarter: Leadership Effectiveness And Development—or LEAD for short. Through LEAD, students explore how their personality and cultural experiences impact their leadership style and receive valuable 360 feedback on how their professional behavior is perceived. But the course doesn’t only provide value to first-years. For a select group of ~40 second-year students (including me), it provides the unique opportunity to develop and facilitate a curriculum for the incoming first-years that directly impacts the culture of leadership at Booth.
We call ourselves LEAD Facilitators (Facils for short)—recognizable by our stylish Leadership Development Office polos and unmistakable charm. But we don’t do it (just) for the free swag and recognition. Every Facil’s motivations may be different, here are mine…