Prior to starting this week’s topic, I saw there was a question on the last blog entry: “How does the recruiting process at Booth differ from other top business schools?” While I cannot speak for other schools, I can certainly discuss two features that really impressed me about Booth’s approach. First, Booth places a premium on their career services department. Using just one of many examples, out of the recent endowment gift from David Booth, a portion was reserved to expand an already incredible department even further by hiring two additional staff with the sole purpose of finding even more career opportunities after Booth – an effort inevitably benefiting any Booth student looking for a new career. Second, the student body was far more cooperative and helpful than I ever expected. While I don’t know if it is the same at other schools, I could not have asked for anything more from my Booth experience. I was truly amazed at how the whole atmosphere made the recruiting process go so smoothly.
On the note of community, in this post I want to spend this entry briefly talking about how close we become with our classmates while at Booth. During the admissions process, there is a genuine and conscious focus on finding high potential leaders who truly are great fits for the Booth community (something roughly defined as individuals with intellectual curiosity, willingness to take risks, who aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo, and contribute diversity of thought and experience to the community). The effort the admissions team puts into this selection process definitely pays off in the atmosphere, friendliness, diversity, and caliber of people at Booth. Of my class of ~570 students, I would venture to say that I know and hang out with most of the class and am regularly impressed with how much everyone adds to the environment and our educational experience.
The Booth camaraderie can be seen on a daily basis or at any number of regular functions but it can also be very easily seen as our class pans the globe during scheduled breaks (winter, spring, or summer). Recently I just got back from a South American tour with several my classmates which we took during spring break. The trip was amazing; we spent almost two weeks traveling the continent, experiencing new cultures and further strengthening the bonds created while at Booth (picture below). This is not a unique experience. Upon returning from break the two questions that almost everyone wanted to ask was “where did you go” and “who did you go with.” It was exciting to hear the answers because we were literally spreading out across the globe in groups of 3-100 Booth students and everyone had such great stories and experiences. To mention just a few, 25 classmates rented houses in Costa Rica and spent a relaxing time on the beach. Roughly 100 students chose to spend spring break in Mexico. We even had a group of students trek as far as India to visit an area they otherwise hadn’t had much exposure to.
The real point that I am trying to make is that the full-time Booth experience is so much more than just a world class education. Thanks to the great application/selection process, it is two year journey with a cohesive and diverse set of individuals that will inevitably become invaluable friends, travel companions, and the core of a great business network.