Category Archives: Leadership

Excel Monkey Gets Over Feeling Like the Second Banana

Because Everyone Feels Like a Baboon Sometimes: On Failure, Resilience and Gratitude

 

A few weeks ago, I read a great article about mental health during the MBA, and how emotional and psychological struggles are frequently left unvoiced or untreated.

Deeply imbedded is the idea of failure, particularly as it relates to employment (ah, the all-important internship recruiting cycle…) and academic performance. So many people in the community here at Booth are legitimate rockstars, having succeeded at everything practically from the womb. That, coupled with the investment we put into coming here, from a professional, personal and financial perspective, make every stumble feel like a fall, and every fall feel like a catastrophe.

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What Program is Best for Me as an Early Career Candidate? (Part 2 of a 3 part series)

Congratulations to all of the Round 1 admits, and good luck to everyone who applied Round 2! A few weeks ago, I posted a few questions I think every early career candidate should ask themselves before applying to an MBA program. As you consider which school is right for an MBA, now is a great time to turn the tables and ask key questions of the programs you’re considering. Here are three I think are critically important:

Continue reading What Program is Best for Me as an Early Career Candidate? (Part 2 of a 3 part series)

Accelerating Your Emerging Markets Career at the Booth Emerging Markets Summit

The Emerging Markets Summit (EMS) at Chicago Booth is a unique Booth-run conference that gathers professionals and MBA students from and with interests in Latin America, Africa, South Asia, China, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe under one roof.  The event showcases the amazing reach that Booth MBAs have into emerging markets-related careers. The Summit will be held on Saturday April 14, 2014 at the J.W. Marriot in downtown Chicago, and is open to the public.
 
One of the 2014 conference organizers is Ying Liu, a second-year MBA student at Booth.  Prior to Booth, she worked in management consulting, focusing on the Life Sciences industry.  In addition to helping to organize the EMS, she is a Co-Chair of the Public Speaking and Communications Group, and involved with the Emerging Markets Group.
 
 

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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.

Chicago Women in Business: 2013 Conference Recap

Booth’s Chicago Women in Business (CWiB) recently held its Fall 2013 conference. CWiB is one of the largest and most active student groups on campus, and provides great programming for Booth’s women to network with one another and alumni in a variety of fields, and participate in educational programming such as golf and self-defense lessons, wine tastings with Booth faculty, and investing strategies.
To get a sense of what the conference was like, check out The Booth Experience’s interview and video with conference organizers Gigi Wong and Aditi Mehta (Class of 2014). In this edition of The Booth Experience blog, second-year students Michelle Breunig and Elizabeth Kim also offer their perspectives on what the conference meant to them.
–Matt
 
Michelle Breunig
One of the best things about being at Booth is having the chance to hear and learn from top business leaders. There are so many different opportunities –the Corporate Speaker Series, the Alumni Breakfast Series, conferences organized by the various student organizations, and more. As a first year student last year, CWiB’s annual fall conference was one of my favorite activities and was a great start to the year and the recruiting season. I was excited to attend the event again this year – and it was another great conference! The CWiB co-chairs and volunteers did an excellent job.
The theme of this year’s conference was Success Redefined – Defining Success in a Personal Way. This theme was reflected in the keynote addresses and throughout the different panels. Panel topics included the art of negotiation, networking, leadership stories, and managing career changes. Two Booth alumnae gave the keynote speeches. Paula Fasseas, ’96, Founder and Chair of PAWS Chicago, talked about starting her career in banking and bringing her business training and knowledge to PAWS in Chicago to help spread the No Kill model to shelters across the country. Valerie VanMeter (’04), Senior VP and CFO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, took her own spin on Sheryl Sandberg’s popular “Lean In” message to women. Her message was incredibly powerful and very personal!
I enjoyed learning about the different paths to success everyone has had – and the constant message of pursuing your passion. I also appreciated the candid advice – including the recommendation to take full advantage of all of the opportunities here at Booth. Definitely a great reminder to carry through my second year!
Elizabeth Kim
CWiB is a terrific resource for Booth women. Apart from the practical programming the group hosts to prepare women at Booth for internships and full-time jobs, women can also leverage CWiB to build meaningful friendships and professional networks. 
When Gigi Wong, one of the two Co-Chairs in charge of organizing the CWiB Conference, asked me to facilitate two of the panels, I was grateful for the opportunity as a second year to give back to Booth and to get more involved with the CWiB conference attendees and panelists. The panels I facilitated were called “Leadership Stories: Definition of Success” and “Moving Up and Managing Career Changes.” As I listened to the stories of the panelists, I recognized themes of flexibility, leveraging relationships, and being tenacious. Something that I learned from the panelists and observed first-hand last year was to be attentive and cordial to others. This will build goodwill with others and yourself, which will also pay dividends while at school and beyond.
About the authors:
Michelle Breunig is originally from the Milwaukee, WI area and went to the University of Wisconsin – Madison for an undergraduate degree in Accounting. She then worked for a big 4 public accounting firm. At Booth she is pursuing Concentrations in Finance, Economics, and Entrepreneurship. This past summer Michelle interned at Goldman Sachs in Private Wealth Management in the firm’s Chicago office, and will be returning full time after graduation. At Booth, she is an active member of Chicago Women in Business (CWiB), the Investment Management Group (IMG), and the Dean’s Student Admissions Committee (DSAC). In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her husband and their dog, traveling (currently planning a 2 week trip to Italy post-graduation), and enjoying Chicago’s fabulous restaurant scene.
Elizabeth Kim is a second year at Booth and is a Co-Chair of the Management Consulting Group and the Latter-Day Saints Students Association (LDSSA) in addition to being an Admissions Fellow. She is currently pursuing concentrations in Entrepreneurship and Operations Management. This past summer, Elizabeth spent her summer at McKinsey & Company in Chicago where she will be returning full-time. Elizabeth grew up in California and attended UCLA, graduating cum laude with a BA in Anthropology and a minor in Accounting. She joined Deloitte & Touche LLP upon graduation and was an Enterprise Risk Services Manager in the accounting consultations group in the D.C. area prior to coming to Booth. Elizabeth enjoys cooking for her friends and family and exploring the city of Chicago.