Chicago Booth Follies!

Hi everyone,

Over the past week or so, the Winter Garden has been abuzz with filming and students with scripts in hand. There have also been some pretty witty messages left in the student mail folders in the past few days. Why? It’s all part of the preparation that leads up to Follies. In this week’s post, Renata Johns and Geoff McQueen, our Follies Creative Team co-chairs do a great (and funny) job of explaining what Follies is all about and have left us with a “trailer” to get us that more excited for Thursday, May 3!



Hey there!

It’s mid-April, which means only one thing – the inaugural annual “What is Chicago Booth Follies About” post on The Booth Experience blog. Follies is Booth’s annual variety show where we come together as a community to share some laughs, highlight our class talents, and poke fun at ourselves and life at Booth. This year the evening’s events start out with a special LPF event complete with heavy hors d’oeuvres and a few frosty beverages, lead to the Booth Follies show, and end with a trolley ride to an after party event. (No frosty beverages if you’re on stage though…*cough*Tim*cough*) Last year’s show created some amazing memories for everyone involved (Asian boy band anyone? “Real Harper Heroes” anyone?) and it’s up to us the creative co-chairs of Follies along with our other co-chairs to build on that experience and make it bigger and better each year.

The amazing thing about Follies is all the different ways to get involved. Even with no prior experience on stage, Booth students can audition to sing, dance, or act in front of all of the Booth Community and show off a side that may not come through during class or a Corporate Finance study group meeting. Or, for those who are more of a ‘behind-the-scenes’ type, there’s a production team that works to coordinate lighting, sound, and equipment. For those who feel like they used to be creative, only to have the real world and 80 hour work weeks turn them into Excel automatons in their previous jobs, they can rediscover those creative talents on our writing team and help write a full-length two hour show from scratch.

One of the best parts about Follies is that it isn’t limited to just Booth students. Follies involves professors, staff, and of course, Dean Kumar, whose Tony for last year’s performance must have gotten lost in the mail.

The other unique aspect of Follies is in how it brings the community together not only for the night of the show but for the months leading up to the event! The three first-year co-chairs work directly with the four second-year co-chairs learning how to take the reins for the following year and working side by side on managing the entire process. In addition to that, there are at almost 100 Boothies that touch Follies directly in some way, whether it is directing a skit, recording audio, editing a video, writing a sketch, designing lighting, singing, coordinating rehearsals, or choreographing a dance routine. It takes a large part of the community to make the show happen, and given how busy Boothies can be, it’s no small feat! The reward is in discovering just how talented and gifted the community really is! (And not just with academic stuff!)Regardless of any past theater experience, production skills, or writing talent, Boothies can be a part of Booth Follies, the only show produced by Boothies for Boothies. Even with absolutely zero relevant skills, someone has to write next year’s second annual “What is Chicago Booth Follies About” post!

Meet Booth’s Dream Dates

Happy Friday! Hope everyone’s week is wrapping up well. Here at Booth, we kicked off our weekend on Thursday with a fun fundraising event. Last night hundreds of Boothies filled the Chicago Cultural Center for Giving Something Back’s Annual Charity Auction. A silent auction featured prizes including dinner with professors and photo opps with Booth’s Nobel Laureates, while a live auction offered students a chance to bid on a date with one of their classmates. Today at TBE, we hear from some of the students who were auctioned off and learn why they went for thousands of dollars last night.

David Osei
Boothies should bid on me because I’m a great listener and self-esteem booster. Also, I once won a dance contest at a Mexican-themed bar in Canada. Just saying.

A dream Booth date would start with a drink at the fifth floor Gleacher Center bar, followed by dinner at the secret basement Gleacher Center restaurant. (I know people there.) After dinner, we’re off on a stroll to MPP. I don’t live there, but it’s great people watching.

Jess Scrimale
Boothies should bid on me because:
1. I can say bad words to you in Italian
2. I know the entire “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit’ It” rap and have some sweet dance moves to accompany it
3. I’m a cheap date and a 12 year old at heart – my favorite things include Sour Patch Kids and chocolate milk

My dream booth date would go something like this: You pick me up at the Metra station. We head to the Harper Center and hit up some recruiting events for some Potbelly’s sandwiches, grape tomatoes and hummus, or maybe if we’re feeling really classy, some pulled pork sliders. We play a game or two of pool in the student lounge. Then, we take a scenic stroll through the winter and summer gardens and head to Ida Noyes to finish the evening off with a few beers.

Anna Yang
Why should Boothies bid on you?
1. I’m a good chef
2. I don’t get the Asian flush
3. I have all my teeth (and they are all real)

What’s your dream Booth date?
Dream date: You buy me fro-yos from Kovler (free with $6 purchase!)
and we sit underneath the Charlie Brown Christmas tree statue in the
summer garden to get to know each other better.

Want to check out another Booth student? Vamsi wasn’t auctioned off but his DITL video shows a pretty great day at Booth.

Have a great weekend all and check back in next week to see more springtime fun at Booth!


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.

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