In this second installment of our Booth through the decades series, we speak with Earl Van Zyl, ’07, who works in investment management in South Africa. Earl chose to pursue his MBA despite the observed differences in educational expectations between South Africa and the US. Whilst the chartered accounting qualification is a more popular and recognized post-graduate degree in his home country, Earl saw a unique need for and opportunity in pursuing the Booth MBA: here is his take on how his experience stands out from the rest.
After coming back to Chicago from Japan Trek 2018—the experience of a lifetime—I received one email. It said: “Dear Atsushi, We had such a wonderful time in Japan and you put in so much effort it was just wonderful and we cannot say thank you enough for all your energy. Thank you.” It was sent by the Japan Trek participants with a gift card.
I was so excited that I immediately showed it to the other Trek leaders, and realized they had also received the same message! What more could I ask for as a Trek leader?
While there were some challenges to organize the trek, it was an incredibly rewarding experience. The thank you note reminded me of what made the trip so special. Although this could be self-applauding, the beauty of the Japan Trek truly came from the diversity of experiences of the trek leaders and how well we worked together.
I wanted to talk a little about my Booth experience as an international exchange student. I’m originally from El Salvador, coming to Chicago Booth from IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain. I’ve worked in several Latin American countries and I spent my summer internship in Barcelona, so I’m writing about both academic and cultural perspectives. As opposed to Booth, IESE is a case method school (much like Harvard) and each method has its pros and cons, but this blog is not about comparing. It’s about my experience at Booth as an outsider.
In honor of Black History Month, the African American MBA Association (AAMBAA) organized a Black Out Day — dedicated to dressing in all black to call attention to the continued struggle for equality for ALL in America. In addition to addressing the fight for justice within Black communities, students wanted to promote awareness of social inequities, and empower those from marginalized communities.
Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, was always my favorite festival growing up. My family would celebrate by lighting diyas (tealights) around the house and along the perimeter of our driveway. Diwali always consisted of dressing up in new clothes, spending time with family and friends, and celebrating the bright start of a new year.