Category Archives: Student Groups

Why I Became a LEAD Facilitator

At Booth, we pride ourselves on the flexible curriculum, but there is one required class every first-year student must take their first quarter: Leadership Effectiveness And Development—or LEAD for short. Through LEAD, students explore how their personality and cultural experiences impact their leadership style and receive valuable 360 feedback on how their professional behavior is perceived. But the course doesn’t only provide value to first-years. For a select group of ~40 second-year students (including me), it provides the unique opportunity to develop and facilitate a curriculum for the incoming first-years that directly impacts the culture of leadership at Booth.

We call ourselves LEAD Facilitators (Facils for short)—recognizable by our stylish Leadership Development Office polos and unmistakable charm. But we don’t do it (just) for the free swag and recognition. Every Facil’s motivations may be different, here are mine…

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Reflections of a Booth MBA: Family, Student, and Alumni Community

As I’m wrapping up my last quarter here at Chicago Booth, my mind is running through a whirlwind of what seems like far-off memories.  The drive from Colorado, first day of classes, investment banking recruiting, trips across the world, and the list goes on.  Contemplating what I imagine will eventually seem like a small glimpse in time, I find myself reflecting on one aspect of this experience that I feel is illustrative of the whole.

My first year at Business School was tough.  Awash with a number of competing tasks—moving to a new city, navigating the waters of recruiting, maintaining a family, nurturing lifelong friendships—it was critical that I had the right network in place to help alleviate some of the stress, so that I may successfully emerge from this experience.  More often than not, I came to find that members of the African American MBA Association (AAMBAA) were more than willing to fill this gap.  AAMBAA has served as more than just a professional resource, it has been my family. 

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Booth through the decades: Impact of an MBA in Africa, with Earl Van Zyl ‘07

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.

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Behind the scenes of the Japan Spring Break Trek 2018

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.

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“The Biggest Party in Golf” with the Booth Golf Club

The starting line of a race is always tense. Everyone is a bit too tightly packed in which adds to the tension as the competitors size each other up. As a co-chair of Booth’s Golf Club, I knew that attending this unconventional outing is an annual Booth Golf tradition. Back on the starting line, contestants scanned the crowd and realized who their main competition would be. My group of Boothies had been in line since 6:00 AM, so we were anxious to get going.

At 7:00 AM, the front groups got the signal and the race was on. Next to me, the guy in the Romphim quickly sidestepped the guy wearing the “Saturdays are For the Boys” flag like a cape but was deftly blocked at the pass by the girl in the sundress. Of course, as you may have guessed by now, we were at no ordinary race. We were at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, often described as “The Greatest Show on Grass.”

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