Category Archives: Leadership

30 years of LEAD: Reflecting with Professor Harry Davis

Chicago Booth is known for its flexible curriculum, which allows students to curate a tailored MBA experience by picking and choosing the courses they want to do. In fact, there is only one class that is mandatory for everyone: Leadership Effectiveness and Development (LEAD). The course is designed to enhance one’s self-awareness and interpersonal effectiveness by working in teams and going through modules such as cross-cultural communication, personality development, and feedback and coaching.

Each year, 40 second-year students (called LEAD facilitators) are selected by faculty to design and deliver this flagship course to an incoming class of ~600 students. I had the pleasure of being a LEAD facilitator this year, an experience that has been the highlight of my time at business school.

But in a school that is known for cutting-edge research in finance and economics—and has faculty that is at the forefront of their fields—why is a student-run course on leadership the only mandatory class? I got the amazing opportunity to sit down with Professor Harry Davis to reflect on the journey of LEAD, 30 years after he started the program in 1989.

Continue reading 30 years of LEAD: Reflecting with Professor Harry Davis

Boothies Interning in the Bay Area

Last spring, my internship search led to three offers: a finance associate role in the Northeast; a corporate strategy role in the Midwest; and a product management role in the West. I weighed my options in regards to location, potential career trajectory, and company culture. After a difficult decision, I landed in Silicon Valley. It wasn’t so much the role itself, but the vast opportunities for spontaneous networking and immersing into cutting-edge technologies. Let me explain.

Continue reading Boothies Interning in the Bay Area

Making “Group Work” Work: Leadership at Booth

Every applicant has a primary motivation to attend an MBA program. It may be a two-year pause for self-reflection away from the corporate grind, the chance to broaden knowledge across business functions, or even an opportunity to pivot one’s career to a new industry. Whatever the primary reason, most of my classmates mention that they would cherish the opportunity to sharpen their leadership identity – honing strengths, pinpointing weaknesses, and experimenting in a secure environment.

Deputy Dean for MBA Programs Stacey Kole presented a finding from a 2018 year-end survey that, “the Class of 2019 is highly interested in developing leadership skills: 60% say it’s essential, 30% say it’s important, and 10% say it’s preferred. Communicating persuasively was one of the most common skills that students sought to improve.” Once we kickoff our MBA at Booth, we are given a myriad of instances in our daily activities that we can harness to push ourselves to be better leaders.

Continue reading Making “Group Work” Work: Leadership at Booth

Exploring my passion by volunteering at the Shedd Aquarium

Business school offers you the opportunity to have a lot of new experiences. Many are what you’d typically expect: exciting classes, building your leadership skills in a new environment, and traveling with your new friends. Having managed to check all of these boxes during my first year, I wanted to make sure I spent some time during my last year at Booth on things that had personal significance to me. 

With a vibrant passion for the environment and animal-welfare, I explored different options of getting-involved with the Chicago community that focused in these areas. Through my research I found volunteer opportunities at the Shedd Aquarium. I’ve always been fascinated with aquariums because of how they can transport you to another world that’s supposed to be inaccessible, yet there it is in front of you on the other side of the glass. Because of this, I was extremely excited for the opportunity to volunteer.

Continue reading Exploring my passion by volunteering at the Shedd Aquarium

What (Good) Leaders Can Learn from Actors

I recently had the pleasure of listening to Tzachi Zamir speak at a Spark Dinner hosted by the Harry L. Davis Center for Leadership at Booth. Tzachi is the inaugural visiting scholar and a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In his talk, he discussed the performance related aspects of leadership and the need for leaders to hone the characters they bring on stage.

Continue reading What (Good) Leaders Can Learn from Actors