Introducing…your new Communications Co-Chairs!

Hello Booth Experience readers! Beth and Dana here, writing to introduce ourselves as the new DSAC Communications Co-Chairs. We have some big shoes to fill. In the past year, Tina has brought this blog, the Facebook page, Wednesdays in the Winter Garden, and the Day in the Life videos to life. We are thrilled to have all of these forums to show you what life at Booth is all about. To kick things off, we thought we’d share a quick tale of how we first met and what’s in store for The Booth Experience over the next year.

How we met:
Maybe it was fate. Or maybe it was just a careless coat checker. But Beth and Dana were destined to meet, and it’s only fitting that their first meeting was facilitated through their class Facebook group.

Per Thursday tradition, both first year students met up with 100 or so of their classmates to kick off the weekend at a local bar this January. When Beth went to retrieve her coat from the coat check she was handed an almost identical coat and learned that hers had been given to someone else. She put a call out for her coat on Facebook and Dana responded. When they met at Harper to make the exchange, they learned that they had more in common than their puffy coats. They shared a passion for wine, live music, and all things admissions. Three months later, their relationship became official when they together took on the roles of DSAC Communications Co-Chairs.

What’s next:

We are so excited to work on The Booth Experience! In the coming year, we hope to continue to share the Booth community with everyone through all of our online channels, and to increase interaction with our readers through them as well. We’ll be featuring many of the academic, professional, extracurricular, and social elements at Booth that make this school such a wonderful place to be. We hope you’ll let us know what you want to see more of, what topics you’d like covered, and how you think we are doing. Here’s to a great year and getting to know each other better!

Also, this week, make sure to check out Beth’s Day in the Life video to learn more about her! Follow her on a day where she plays strategy games in class, skypes with Australia, enjoys a sushi dinner and the kick-off to Admit Weekend 1 at a bar downtown, and ends the night with a Booth favorite – Rock & Roll McDonalds!

Why Booth? Round 2

Hi everyone,

This week at The Booth Experience we’d like to offer our “Congratulations!!!” to those who just got accepted Round 2 – we are looking forward to welcoming you to the Booth community. In this week’s Wednesdays in the Winter Garden (WIWG) video series, we thought we’d do another video on the popular question “Why did you choose Booth” to give both Admitted and Prospective students some different perspectives on this important decision. Check it out here, and let us know what other questions you have for us!


Taking on the New Venture Challenge

Hi everyone,

Happy Friday! Here at Booth we have just completed Finals week (woohoo!) and are getting ready to head off on our Spring Break vacation destinations all over the world. It’s almost a shame to be leaving the 70+ degree and gorgeously sunny days we’ve been having in Chicago over the last week!

In addition to a new blog entry today, we’d are very excited to bring you another Day in the Life – a continuing video series through which Booth’s students share with you what the Booth experience is really like. Today, we join Albert for a day as he starts his day with a healthy breakfast, goes to meetings and class at Harper Center, then Kuma’s Corner (great burger place) for dinner before finishing the night with a model (an excel model). Check it out here and let us know what you think!

In today’s blog, we check back in with our aspiring entrepreneur, Dana, as she gets ready for Booth’s New Venture Challenge that will take place this spring!



Although the spring quarter hasn’t even started, I know it will be one of the most exciting and busy of my time at Booth. Why? I will be participating in the New Venture Challenge (NVC), one of the country’s best-known MBA business creation competitions. NVC is hosted by the Polsky Center and previous winners have included high-profile start-ups such as Bump and GrubHub. This year has been one for the records: the Polsky Center received 119 applications, 52 of which are advancing to Round 2. Although the final round of the competition is not until May, my team has plenty to do and thankfully, the Polsky Center has incredible resources and contacts for us as we work on our business plan. I will be working on Omakase, an online platform that will bring “underground” dining and supper clubs to a broader base of eager diners.

Both Professor Rudnick and Professor Kaplan teach a course, Special Topics in Entrepreneurship: Developing a Business Plan, for those of us who have progressed to Round 2 of NVC. The course not only allows teams to dedicate additional time to business plans, but allows us to practice our presentation skills and receive feedback from our professors and judges. The lecture portions of the course cover legal issues, sales and marketing, and how to develop a financial plan. My team will be one of the first to present; the Monday we get back from spring break, Team Omakase will deliver our first 15 minute pitch and business overview. In addition to the time spent in class, teams also have appointments scheduled with entrepreneurship professors for additional guidance and leads. Although each member of Team Omakase has an extensive network, I am both very impressed by and gracious for the network that Professor Rudnick has provided us, generating further leads in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

After our final business plans are due in late April, the last few weeks in May leading up to the finals are dedicated to our second presentations. Based on the quality of the presentations and the final business plans, a handful of teams are then selected to present in the finals, where the top teams (as determined by a panel of judges) will win cash prizes.

Personally, I feel as though I have a tremendous deal to learn from the NVC process. I have never had to pitch to investors and have never been part of a team to develop a business plan. Although I have sold tangible goods in the past, it is so much different to sell target consumers on an idea and service in its infancy. And no matter how much sales experience I’ve had, it’s always difficult to hear “no” from a potential client or customer. As an entrepreneur, I believe that selling skills are critical to have and I know that by participating in NVC, I can improve a great deal.

The NVC process has already taught me a great deal about some of the nuances in building a business and the decisions that are required. What are the implications for incorporating as an LLC or C-corp? How much equity is appropriate for each team member to have? How do we go about finding a lawyer who has sufficient experience with start-ups? These may seem like relatively mundane details, but the NVC process thus far has taught me not to overlook these important steps.

If you’d like to see how NVC unfolds over the next few weeks, you can follow the Polsky Center (@polskycenter) on Twitter and search for the official #ChicagoNVC hashtag.

Looking forward to spring (break)

Hi everyone!

Wow, it’s really starting to feel like spring here in Chicago! We have been enjoying some days of 60 degree weather, with another week of it to come as we enter into Final Exam week next week. As we look forward to our Spring Break after finals, this week, Chloe Williams blogs about her plans as well as what other students are planning to do over our one week break.

Also this week, make sure to check out the next installment in our Day in the Life video series! Come along with Ingrid, a 2nd year student from Iowa, as she works out, goes to class, partakes in Chicago Restaurant Week and ends her day with a good book (and a class assignment). Let us know what you think and what you’d like to see in the future!


Spring Break

I never thought I would be excited for Spring Break after college was over, after all, it doesn’t exist in the real world. The build-up to Spring Break in business school has been amazing. I’ve been working hard since school started so I really wanted to seize the opportunity and do something amazing. So naturally…MEXICO it is. I never did the Mexico Spring Break in college, the closest I got was Puerto Rico my senior year so I jumped on the opportunity for an all-inclusive trip this time around.

Sometime in December two students sent an interest email about a Spring Break trip to Cabo San Lucas. I was in interview prep mode and knew I wouldn’t want to organize my own trip. This was perfect! I signed up for the 7-day voyage and that was that…it was easy. There are around 100 students going on the trip with more literally being added every day. I am excited as are a lot of my classmates. We have theme nights planned, group dinners, “sport” tournaments, as well as swimming and relaxing on the beach. We definitely have amazingly creative planners in our class!

Cabo is not the only option. There are also other group-run trips for Spring Break including the Greater China Club’s China Trek, the Chicago Global Citizens trip to Vietnam, as well as students going all over the country and the world. No matter where Booth students are venturing off to this Spring Break, I know we’ll all come back with great pictures, stories, and will have appreciated the time off!

Booth “After Hours”

Hi all!

Hope you’ve had a great week! This week at TBE, we bring you the third installment in our Day in the Life video series. Today we follow around Alicia, a second-year student from Lake Tahoe, California, as she embraces a day filled with a morning workout, classes, meetings, and a Valentine’s night Chicago Bulls game with her husband. Check out Alicia’s Day in the Life here!

This week, as I was reflecting on what we could blog about, I went back over our last few entries. I realized we were showing you a lot about the serious (and important!) side of Booth – recruiting, academics, etc. Here at Booth, we fully embrace working hard…but we like to have a good time too! So I want to take you on a tour of “After Hours” Booth by sharing what I did with friends last week. Come along, and hopefully you’ll get a sense of how we balance work with fun here at Booth!


6pm – Happy Hour at the Purple Pig (River North)
The weekend starts with drinks and tapas-style snacks at one of my favorite Chicago establishments, the Purple Pig. Tonight, the occasion is a group reunion. Abby, Eileen, Lindsay and I worked together in Data-Driven Marketing (my favorite class at Booth) last year, and became good friends through the experience. Our schedules are very different this year, but I love the opportunity to catch up with the girls and talk about the classes we are planning to bid on for our final quarter. We even make plans to form a team for Entrepreneurial Selling with Professor Wortmann if we all get into the class!

8pm – Rockefeller Leadership Challenge Reunion (South Loop)
I head home by 8pm to get my apartment ready for guests. Tonight, I’m hosting my Leadership Challenge Team’s get together. Our team of 10 competed together for the Rockefeller cohort in the fall of our 1st year during the Leadership Challenge competition, and we’ve made an effort to stay in touch ever since. Every quarter, one of us hosts a get together to catch up. It’s a great group because we do so many different things at school that we rarely see one another – it’s really nice seeing them and using them to bounce off different ideas and reflect on the Booth experience.

11pm –LaSalle Power Company (River North)

Every Thursday night, hundreds of Booth students gather at a bar in downtown Chicago to catch up with old friends, meet new ones, and generally unwind! This week we were at LaSalle Power Company, a bar in the busy River North neighborhood.


5pm – LPF (Liquidity Preference Function) at Houlihan’s (River North)
Most Friday afternoons, Booth hosts LPF, an event normally held at Harper Center. It’s open to the entire Booth community – a chance for students, partners, faculty, and administratorsto mingle over beverages and steaming appetizers. From time to time, LPF is hosted “off-campus” – as it was this week. LPFs also usually have a theme – this week’s was a Mentor-Mentee LPF. I went to meet up with my mentee, year Liz, a first year from Miami, to see how her quarter’s been so far.

8pm – Potluck Dinner at Dan’s (Gold Coast)
Tonight, my friend Dan, who I met on my Random Walk trip to Nicaragua, is hosting a potluck at his apartment in the Gold Coast. Dan is busy working on his company for the New Venture Challenge, and tonight I meet the rest of his team for the first time. We get to know each other over Dan’s slow-cooked brisket, Jamie’s mac n’ cheese, my Thai fried rice, and much more.

11pm – House Party (Gold Coast)

Booth students live all over the city in a variety of housing options. Tonight, four students who live in the Gold Coast are throwing a party at their big spacious house, and have invited a couple hundred of their closest friends! Great chance to catch up with people and kick off the weekend together.


7pm – Dinner at Chizakaya (Lincoln Park)

A few friends and I decide we are in the mood for Japanese, so we headed over to Chizakaya in Lincoln Park for some Japanese pub food. You should definitely try the Wagayu cheek skewers and chicken skin skewers (for the more adventurous).

11pm – Barrelhouse Flat (Lincoln Park)
After dinner, we hop down the street to check out Barrelhouse Flat, a bar offering late night food and specialty cocktails. We spend the evening people watching and mixing in with the Lincoln Park crowd.


7pm – Dinner at Flaco’s Tacos (South Loop)
One of my best friends from before school, Meghan, comes down from Kellogg, where she is a second year. We grab dinner at Flaco’s Tacos right around the corner from where I live and catch up over tacos and burritos.

9pm – Eli Young Band concert at Joe’s (Gold Coast)
Afterwards, it’s off to see a country concert with Meghan (who is a big country fan!). Joe’s on Weed is a great venue that Booth has used in the past for off-campus get-togethers. It also doubles as an intimate concert venue. The band was lively and the people-watching of the crowd was quite entertaining. We had a great time!


6pm – Dinner at Avec (West Loop)

Tonight I catch up with a Booth friend from one of my old class groups at Avec, one of my favorite restaurants in Chicago. They don’t take reservations, but luckily we can get there early enough to snag a couple of seats at the bar and enjoy their inventive gastropub fare (something I will truly miss about Chicago!).


7:30pm – Cardio Dance class with CWiB (West Loop)

CWiB stands for Chicago Women in Business – it’s a club that brings together Booth’s women and through which I’ve met many of my good friends. CWiB hosts social events regularly, and tonight, a dozen ladies meet at the Lou Conte dance studio in the West Loop for a cardio dance class that gets our hearts pumping as we learn a dance routine.


7pm – Ski Trip Reunion (Gold Coast)
The 5 of us who roomed together on the Aspen ski trip had been trying to get together for weeks to catch up and reminisce about that great week. Tonight, we meet up at Dana’s studio apartment in the Gold Coast, order take-out, and watch Aspen Extreme (a brilliant movie from the early 90’s that will make you want to quit your job and move to Aspen to become a ski instructor too!) to kick up some Aspen nostalgia.

So as you can see, we stay pretty busy both on campus and off!
What are you looking forward to doing in Chicago and at Booth “After Hours”? We’d love to hear your comments and ideas below.

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