Many of you come to this site with a goal of learning more about what’s it’s like to be a student at Chicago Booth, and hopefully throughout the year we’ve been able to provide plenty of information in that domain. Much of what we write about is intended to give you insight into The Booth Experience (ohh, that’s the reason for the site name!), and even a tip or two for what to say in the interview room.
One of the aspects of Booth that I hadn’t previously considered when I started my first year back in August 2015 was what it was like to sit on the other side of the table as applicants filed in one after the other. I interviewed on campus so I did meet with a student, but I guess it sort of slipped my mind that these roles needed to be filled by upcoming classes.
After spending the last year as an Admissions Fellow, I can finally look back on what that ride has been like. What started as a fairly competitive process for being selected is now ending with a chance to pass along the responsibilities to the next great batch of students in the Class of 2018. It’s been a really fun experience, and an influential one in terms of my progression while at Booth.
Product management has become the darling of the tech world with the boom in startups, and as more companies become savvy to the value of having good product managers in place. The job description varies from company to company, yet there are some overall aspects that remain consistent. Still, it’s hard to wrap one’s head around this fairly ambiguous role. To understand more about what the heck product managers do exactly, I recently attended a Product Management (PM) boot camp hosted by one of our alumni, Satyajeet Salgar, ’07, who currently leads Google Search.
Satyajeet has had a very interesting couple of years at Google where he worked with teams at YouTube, Google Play Games, and Google+. He’s led some incredible product launches and I could trust no one better to help me understand the ins and outs of product management.
On April 29, the fifth annual Booth Emerging Markets Summit (EMS) went off (seemingly) without a hitch. Like a proud mama, I watched the entire conference unfold and basked in the enthusiasm and comments of attendees.
In the six months leading up to that day, I’d spent countless hours along with four other Boothies planning the details of the conference. I wrote hundreds of emails, made maybe half that many calls, and called in favors I was saving for life-or-death situations. But it wasn’t all grueling. Looking back today from the vantage point of knowing the event was a huge success, I would say that planning the EMS was a good way to see the changes that the past year and half has brought me, as well as effecting some of those final transformations.
Anyone interested in entrepreneurship, startups or getting involved with new business ventures has likely heard of the Edward L. Kaplan New Venture Challenge (NVC). Run by the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation here at Booth, NVC is a top-ranked accelerator program in the nation and has graduated over 160 start-up companies still in operation today, including some recognizable names like Braintree, which acquired Venmo and was then later acquired by PayPal in 2013 for $800 million; Bump Technologies, which was acquired by Google in 2013; and GrubHub, which completed an IPO in April 2014.
NVC is truly an incredible program that helps student teams turn ideas into viable businesses. But it takes a lot of hard work and commitment on top of the already demanding commitments of being a Booth student. So I wanted to hear from NVC participants exactly why they wanted to compete in this year’s challenge.
Here’s what they had to say.