Reflections on Applying to Booth

Hi all! Dana and I have enjoyed interacting with you over the last few weeks as your DSAC Communications Co-Chairs. Today, we’d like to take a minute to introduce the rest of the DSAC Co-Chair team. Our fellow Co-Chairs have been working tirelessly to make events that provide prospective and admitted students a glimpse into the Booth experience – both on campus and around the world – possible. Below they share a little bit about who they are and why they chose to be involved with DSAC. I hope you enjoy getting to know them better here and throughout the upcoming year!

Continue reading Reflections on Applying to Booth

9th Annual Latin American Business Group Conference

In this week’s TBE blog post, Sandra Scoseria-Katz, a first-year student and co-chair of the Latin American Business Group, describes the group’s annual conference. LABG has approximately 150 active members and hosts both professional and social events that encompass the Latin American business world and culture at Booth. To learn more about LABG, head to their official website.

On Friday, April 27, 2012, Chicago Booth welcomed distinguished guests from around to globe for the 9th Annual Vale Latin American Business Conference.

Organized by the Latin American Business Group (LABG), with the generous sponsorship of VALE, a global mining and logistics company headquartered in Brazil, the conference brought together leading professionals from across the Americas and distinguished faculty and students from University of Chicago community to discuss cutting-edge business trends in Latin America.

This year’s conference focused on Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth. Dean Sunil Kumar opened the conference, followed by a welcome address by Roberto Castello-Branco, Director of Investor Relations at VALE.

The first panel explored how public policy can spur innovation and entrepreneurship. Professor Marianne Bertrand moderated the discussion, featuring former Minster for the Economy, Mr. Juan Andres Fontaine and Mexican Vice-Minister of the Economy, Ms. Lorenza Martinez.

Mr. Fernando Fabre, President of Endeavor, delivered the Luncheon Keynote Address, “Entrepreneurial Networks in Emerging Economies – The Endeavor Case.” Fabre shared data on global trends in entrepreneurship, comparing the U.S. and Latin American markets and focusing on opportunities for further growth. Second-year MBA student Carolina Ratto, from Argentina, was fascinated by Fabre’s presentation. “He was incredible,” noted Carolina. “Mr. Fabre’s experience in entrepreneurship is unparalleled. He shared powerful facts with us and brought great energy and insight to the conference.”

Mr. Fabre moderated the second panel, “Taking the Bet – The Entrepeneurs’ Perspective” which featured Mr. Mark Barcinksy (Founder of ProPay, Brazil), Mr. Enrique Gomez-Junco (Founder of Optima Energia, Mexico), Mr. Boris Hirmas (Angel Investor & Vice Chairman of Yellow Pepper, USA) and Mr.
Heberto Taracena (Founder of Metros Cubicos & InventMX, Mexico). These entrepreneurs discussed their adventures in business, highlighting the ups-and-downs of starting one’s own business. Carla Casares, a first-year MBA student from Mexico, appreciated the speakers’ unique perspectives and candor. “Not only were the panelists high-profile and tremendously successful, they were also very down to earth. They shared specific details with us about how to start a business, truly aiming to help inspire students, while also warning of the great challenges entrepreneurs face – namely securing funding, recruiting talent, and growing a client base.”

The last panel, “Risks and Returns: Venture and Growth Capital in Latin America”, brought together Professor Scott Meadow and Mr. Eric Acher (Founding Partner, Monashees Capital, Brazil), Mr. Raimundo Cerda (Managing Director, Aurus Tecnologia, Chile), Mr. Jaime Sanchez (Manager, Mexico Ventures I, Mexico & USA) and Mr. Ariel Muslera (Partner, CAP Ventures, Argentina). The venture capitalists discussed about the different risks of investing within the region along with the proven strategies to mitigate them. They emphasized in the high potential and opportunities in Latin America.

The LABG Co-Chairs would like to the conference’s sponsor, VALE, the panelists, guests and volunteers for making this event possible. We look forward to welcoming you to the 10th Annual Conference next spring!

Discover Forté…In L.A!

Hello TBE Readers! We’re back with another post about the Forté Foundation, an organization that brings together women from top corporations and MBA programs to promote their advancement in the business world. We hope you enjoyed reading Vivienne’s TBE post last week about her experience at Forté Foundation Financial Services FAST Track. This week, first year student Katie Blodgett shares how she geared up for business school by attending the Forté MBA Women’s Conference last summer. Whether a recently admitted or current female MBA candidate, this year’s conference, aptly titled “Advantage Women: Use Your Strengths to Build an Exceptional Career,” is a great way to prepare for the upcoming year and expand your network. The conference will take place June 29 – 30, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.

Check out Katie’s story below to hear firsthand about the conference experience and visit the 2012 Forté MBA Women’s Conference page for more details and information on how to register for the event.


When admitted to an MBA program, a door is opened to innumerable opportunities – both for the two years of your MBA program and beyond. As a new admit last spring, I found this to be incredibly exciting, but I also found myself a little nervous about what the coming two years would entail and how to best use that time to build my career and grow as a person. When the invitation to attend the Forté Foundation MBA Women’s Conference hit my e-mail inbox and I perused the agenda for the weekend, I thought that it sounded like a great way to help acclimate myself to business school and allow myself to feel better prepared for what the next two years might hold. The event definitely lived up to my expectations and then some.

During the course of the Forté MBA Women’s Conference, I was exposed to so much helpful information about potential future career paths and ways to help prepare myself for internship interview season. I found a workshop session I attended on perfecting your elevator pitch to be extremely helpful and put my mind at ease a bit about the recruiting process. The panels of women leaders were inspiring and motivating, and I had the opportunity to meet wonderful women from MBA programs around the country, as well as from Chicago Booth.

Looking at the agenda for this year’s Forté MBA Women’s Conference, it once again looks filled with many helpful workshops and panels, and will surely be an opportunity for new MBA women to become better prepared to hit the ground running in August and September when orientation starts. If I can make it work with my internship schedule this summer, you may see me there!

Forté Foundation Financial Services FAST Track

It’s hard to believe that summer is almost here, and with summer comes one of Booth’s favorite events, the Forté Foundation MBA Women’s Conference. A founding sponsor of the Forté Foundation, Booth strongly believes in the organization’s mission of supporting women as they pursue leadership roles in business. In addition to the Conference, the Forté Foundation hosts the Financial Services FAST Track (FSFT), a two-day program for incoming MBA women interested in the financial services industry. This year’s program will be held June 4-5 at NYU’s Kimmel Center in New York City. If you were recently admitted to Booth and are considering a career in finance, you may be wondering if the program is right for you. Today on TBE, first-year Vivienne Ko recollects her experience at the 2011 Financial Services FAST Track and shares how it helped her with the recruiting process at Booth.****

As a newly minted MBA admit last year, I was wondering what I should be doing the summer before the start of the MBA program. I had heard about the Forté Foundation’s Financial Services FAST Track Conference in New York City so I decided to apply. And I am so glad that I did!

The two-day conference provided a low-risk environment to explore the different career paths within financial services. The representatives from sales and trading, investment banking and asset management/private wealth companies were there to speak candidly about their positions more so than to recruit for their companies, so we really had an opportunity to learn about the industry. One of my favorite parts of the conference was the chance to hear about the challenges faced by women in the financial services industry and how the women overcame those challenges. Not only were the stories inspiring, they also provided practical advice for situations I may encounter in my career. Additionally, the Networking Reception and Career Expo that occurred outside the panels were great ways to network with recruiters who were coming to campus in the fall.

The conference helped fine-tune my career interest and gave me a head start in career exploration. I went into Chicago Booth with a better idea about the internship recruiting process and the positions I would like to target. Additionally, I got a chance to meet some of my future classmates for the first time at the conference and foster friendships with women from other MBA programs whom I have seen again during the internship recruiting process. The knowledge and connections gained through the conference have proven to be invaluable during my recent internship search, and I feel confident as I prepare to start my internship in a few weeks.

Are you interested in a career in financial services? Learn more about the Forté Foundation’s Financial Services FAST Track and how to apply here!

Anticipating Admit Weekend!

Can you believe that Admit Weekend 2 is already here? Almost 350 admits and partners will be arriving at the Harper Center for an action-packed weekend of receptions, activities, tours, dinners, faculty discussions, trivia, and after-hours outings. This week, we have Sheelu Nandigam, a first-year student, reflect on her experience as an Admit Weekend Squad Leader and the things about Booth she loves most. We also have our next installment of the Day in the Life series, featuring yours truly. I’ll give you a glimpse of just how time consuming the New Venture Challenge really is and how great it’s been to be a Wine Club co-chair. On behalf of all of us at Booth, congratulations to our Round 2 admitted students!



As Round II Admit Weekend approaches, it’s hard to believe that just a year ago many of us were in the same position as the hundreds of admits that will descend upon the Harper Center in a few short days. Ask any first year and there is a common sense of disbelief at how fast a year has flown by, but also how excited we all are to celebrate the latest round of admits and to share our experiences over these past nine months with all of them. Particularly as a Squad Leader, I have a unique opportunity to help admits get a taste for what life at Booth is really like.

I will confess though that before coming to school I was always a bit skeptical when I heard people talk about how business school is such a transformative experience. Ever the pragmatist, I just didn’t see how it could really be that different from undergrad except for the fact that we were all a little older (and probably a few pounds heavier). Well, it was my experience as a Squad Leader during Admit Weekend I that truly helped me realize that maybe those people weren’t just making it all up. Hearing Dean Kole welcome the Round 1 admits in February, I found myself nodding along a she mentioned how Booth helps prepare its students for an ever changing environment or as she explained the strength of our community. I always thought I knew my answers to the inevitable “why Booth” question, but over the course of the weekend I discovered more answers to a question I have answered countless times and it is my hope that I can help admits do the same. It is all the things that can’t be measured in stats or read on Poets and Quants that truly make Booth a special place to be – it is the classmate who invites you over just mere hours after moving to Chicago or the second-year who brings her husband (who you don’t know) to Starbucks on a Sunday to help you prep for an interview. It is winery tours in Argentina during Random Walk, Winter ski trip to Aspen and dancing the night away with 80+ of your classmates on spring break. Most of all, it is sharing these experiences with admits and helping them create new experiences together during their short time with us Chicago that makes Admit Weekend so much fun (not to mention getting to know who will be sharing the Winter Garden with us next year)!

From LEAD to Random Walk to exploring Chicago nightlife with classmates, there is so much about the Booth experience to enjoy but there is one common thread makes it all so wonderful – the Booth community. Whether it’s hanging out in the Winter Garden, running into classmates in downtown Chicago or traveling the globe, I am excited to help admits experience the richness of our community first hand. If Admit Weekend I was any indication of the level of awesome that is to come, I can’t wait to do it all over again for Admit Weekend II!

Official Student Blog for Chicago Booth. Here we talk about our experience and share stories about our time at Booth.