The inaugural Random Walk New Orleans was a blast! Last year, we wrote about the inspiration for RW NOLA and this summer it was so amazing to see our idea come to life! Our group had a wonderful opportunity to bond as Boothies while experiencing the incredible history, culture, music, food, and nightlife of the Crescent City. To give a bit of an insider’s perspective on the trip, we thought it would be great to share the experience directly from the viewpoint of its participants. Here are some of our highlights!
Prior to business school, incoming MBA students generally take the opportunity to explore long-delayed passions, discover new corners of the world, or earn a few extra paychecks. This year, 70 Boothies (nearly 12% of the class!) achieved all three as part of the school’s groundbreaking Startup Summer program.
A uniquely Booth experience, the program connects incoming Booth students with Chicago Booth alumni who have founded and currently run early-stage startups. In pure win-win fashion, students are exposed to the startup environment and paid a summer stipend while organizations benefit from an infusion of talent.
For more about this exciting Booth experience, let’s hear from our very own Michael Kovach and David Noel, who worked at a Palo Alto-based startup over the summer!
The majority of us Boothies call the Loop home, and for good reason—access to the lake, great restaurants and nightlife, and walking distance to Gleacher Center (Booth’s downtown location that houses the part-time and executive programs). But too many of us cling to our Booth bubble, going to and from Hyde Park then sticking to the Loop or taking a train straight to O’Hare or Midway airport to embark on a new travel adventure.
Fellow second-year student, Holly Smith, and I set out to discover life outside of this bubble. On cold days, sunny days, free days, and busy ones, we wandered through the neighborhoods of Wicker Park, Andersonville, and Logan Square, with a few more local destinations scheduled for this Fall. The result has been an immense appreciation for Chicago—and an equally strong wish to tell everyone (really everyone!) about it.
I spent my summer interning at Bain. Through consulting recruiting at Booth, I was lucky to get significant exposure to the people I was actually going to work with as a Summer Associate in the Chicago office, as well as the 2Ys who had just been in my shoes. Between all the fall events and winter/spring meet-ups, I’d even been in the Bain office multiple times before my first day of work.
But despite Booth’s and Bain’s diligence to prepare our expectations, I still underestimated three aspects of the summer intern experience: the substance of the work I’d do, the fun we could have even back in the real (working) world, and how much my Booth network and first-year experience mattered.
As an incoming first year, I went on a Random Walk to Vietnam—it was by far the best decision I made since coming to Booth. I got to know 15 amazing people from all over the world, share unforgettable experiences, and build lasting relationships. A large contributing factor to the success of my Random Walk was my amazing trip leader team. As a second year, I knew I wanted to pay it forward and do the same for the next incoming class. I got together with three of my classmates to help plan and execute (hopefully) the best Random Walk ever – this time to Iceland!