Tag Archives: Booth Community

Living and Learning in Hyde Park

Adam Hanselman is a second year MBA at Chicago Booth.  After graduating from BYU, Adam worked in economic consulting with the Analysis Group and then in operations strategy at Capital One.  After graduation, he will move to Houston to work in energy investment banking.   Adam is a member of the Dean’s Student & Alumni Representatives (DStAR),the Investment Banking Group (IBG), and Energy Group , and he and his wife are members of Parents of Little Ones at Booth (POLO).  He is married with two children (future Boothies?!?!).
Adam is also a proud Hyde Park denizen.  While many students live in downtown Chicago, Hyde Park, the home of the Harper Center, is a vibrant community which offers many amenities and a great intellectual environment around the University.  Adam shares why he loves living in Hyde Park, and how he and his family have built their academic and social lives in and around the University of Chicago community.
–Matt Richman
When I decided to return to school for my MBA, the impact on my family was one of my main considerations in choosing which program to attend.  Chicago Booth and Hyde Park are a unique combination of a great MBA program and a family-friendly neighborhood.  Chicago Booth has been a great experience for my entire family and living in Hyde Park is a big reason why.
On the way to school
My family and I live within 3 blocks of tons of other families with one or sometimes both parents in graduate school at Chicago Booth or elsewhere at the University of Chicago.  There are fellow MBA and Law School families that we do babysitting swaps with for date nights on a regular basis (gotta keep the romance going!).  It’s always fun to stop by the University tot-lot, which is only one block away from our apartment, and catch up with whoever is there letting their kids get the wiggles out.  My son goes to pre-school a block from the Harper Center and it’s convenient that I can drop him off at school and then go right to my classes. Our apartment is also a nice size for our family, for a very reasonable price.  My family and I get a great quality of life in a walkable neighborhood.
Hyde Park soccer league
In addition to the community of families in Hyde Park, I love that I can walk to school in about 10 minutes or I can head over to one of the two (super nice) University gyms, get a workout in, and then go to school.  The gym is free for students and my wife also has a membership (she gets a discounted price).  We like being so close to Lake Michigan, with its beaches and footpaths, and there’s even a beautiful vintage movie theater two blocks away.  Although there is great public bus service within Hyde Park, we can walk to most everything we need and want, and when I need to go downtown it’s only a 15 minute Metraride from the station between my house and Chicago’s Loop, including our downtown campus at the Gleacher Center.
Hyde Park has helped my family to develop lifelong friendships and to enjoy the 2 year Boothexperience more than I could have hoped.  We’ve taken our kids trick-or-treating in the neighborhood and at the Harper Center, and put them in sports leagues in Hyde Park.  My family is part of the social life at Booth, and we rarely miss a Friday afternoon Liquidity Preference Function (LPF) at Harper.
Booth kids trick-or-treating in Hyde Park
Whether or not you have a family, Hyde Park is a great place to get access to everything that Booth and the city of Chicago have to offer, at a relaxed pace.  Booth students have so many options for which neighborhood to live in, depending on their preferences, and I’m glad that I picked Hyde Park.  Although I’m looking forward to moving to Houston, I’ll really miss the community my family and I built in Hyde Park.

 

Adam’s kids playing in a Hyde Park park

Modern Families: Booth’s Flexible Cohort System

Chicago Booth has a cohort system which matches our independent and flexible outlook on the MBA experience.  We start off with our cohorts during orientation and our leadership development class in the first few weeks of school, but our flexible curriculum means that we have the opportunity to take the classes we want, with any of the other 1,000+ first- and second-years at Booth.
Jen Tan is a first year MBA student at Booth, and was elected by her peers as president of the Bond Cohort.  Jen is currently the only dual-degree MBA-MSW in both of her programs. Her earlier career includes unicorn hunting (“recruiting”) for the Clinton Foundation and rainmaking (“fundraising”) for Facing History and Ourselves, two non-profits headquartered in her hometown of Boston, Massachusetts. Jen is transitioning into healthcare as part of her pursuit of social justice.
Here, she shares her unique perspective on what the Booth cohort experience means to her, but before you get started, she’s just got to say that Bond is the best cohort at Booth of all time. OF. ALL. TIME.
–Matt Richman (Bond Cohort)
For the first decade of my life, I grew up in a house that contained 15 people: my two parents, three brothers, four cousins, and six aunts and uncles. In the years that have followed, the families have moved apart. But my big family, which has only gotten bigger and closer, has provided me with a lifetime of experience in building and maintaining relationships that are as deep and complex as they are diverse and time-tested.
For me, the Booth cohort experience creates that same sense of home for its individual members, much in the way that sharing a house together provides the essential bonding experience by which most families grow together. Booth students are assigned to cohorts which operate primarily during the first two months of school. Students begin orientation together as a cohort by participating in our one required course, Leadership Effectiveness and Development (LEAD) and spending a weekend out-of-state competing against other cohorts in the Leadership Orientation Retreat (LOR), Fall Frolics, and a host of other events offering equal parts delight and aggressive competition (at least, for Bond cohort). Throughout the remainder of the MBA program, the Graduate Business Council (GBC) hosts occasional cohort competitions, trivia nights, or t-shirt days to show cohort spirit.
The Booth cohort experience is unique among business schools. At other programs, cohorts take all of their classes together for part or all of the first year, sometimes in the same assigned seats. At Booth, however, the onus to maintain the cohesion that was initiated at the beginning of the year is largely up to the cohorts themselves. Specifically, it is a responsibility of the cohort president to set the tone for the culture and to help foster the sense of community that each cohort ultimately has. For all of these reasons, I decided to run for president of my cohort, a role that I serve with joy and pride.
Much in the way that one’s family can often feel like a household that has randomly gathered together people who share very little aside from an address and, perhaps, some facial features, the Booth cohort provides students with a space to share with people who are smart, social, and passionate in an infinite combination of ways. But while your cohort is assigned to you and you to your cohort, ultimately, each person is given the choice to determine how much meaning that designation can have. It is an arrangement that provides us with the opportunity to forge deep relationships with people we might not have met otherwise, while also allowing us the freedom to hang out with other people if we choose. As one would expect at Booth, given the similar flexibility provided by the course selection process, students are trusted to learn to the best of their abilities and respected for the choices they make in doing so.
Indeed, the opportunities and challenges that are uniquely presented by the Booth cohort echo the school’s philosophy toward the community it has created: that people can find a social environment in which their individualities are respected and appreciated, and that every person feel encouraged and supported in pursuing whatever it is that makes her/him happy.
Growing up in a large family wasn’t without its challenges. As with any large group, you find variety across interests, personalities, and communication styles. But being able to grow into our individual selves and forge unique relationships with each other in the process is the thing I love most about my large family and the lives we now share, no longer in the same house but now across states and time zones.
The same is true for this school we love: your Booth cohort is the big family that will always welcome you with open arms—all you have to do is reach out.

A-Team Perspectives

Admit Weekend is a great opportunity for admitted students to experience life as a Chicago Booth MBA. Admits learn about the Booth curriculum, tour Chicago neighborhoods, and have plenty of time to get to know prospective and current Booth MBAs. The “A-Team” is a group of volunteers who are members of the Booth Dean’s Students Admissions Committee (DSAC), and who are responsible for planning all of the weekend’s activities. Here, several A-Team members offer their perspectives on Admit Weekend.

–Matt

Tiffany Lee, International Captain

I ultimately chose not to take the 15-hour flight from Hong Kong to attend Admit Weekend here at Booth, and boy, did I regret it. Many of my fellow first years still often fondly refer to the “you-had-to-be-there-moments” of their own Admit Weekends. So, I chose to do the next best thing when I became a Booth studenthelp plan Admit Weekend and convince international admits to not make the same mistake I did. What I like about being International Co-Captain is that not only do I get to interact with potential new classmates from all over the world, but also, I am able to use my past experiences to help make the selection and transition process easier for students that are moving to the US for the first time. For example, my co-captain and I created a moving guide that is tailored for international students to answer any questions they may have, such as where to buy winter clothes and which country captains they can reach out to. We hope to see many international students at Admit Weekend and in the coming school year!

Marina Lidow and Amanda Litzenberger, Partners Captains

Working on the A-Team and planning Admit Weekend has been a great experience! Both of us attended Admit Weekend last year with our partners and were inspired by how the weekend was not only a great opportunity for us to interact with and learn about Booth, but also a wonderful way to show our partners what the next two years would really be all about. As Partner Co-Captains we help plan and execute the partner-specific programming for Admit Weekend. Through events such as panel discussions and conversations about neighborhoods, we illustrate the Booth partner experience, clarify what to expect, and answer questions about Chicago. It has been a great experience making new friends with each other and the rest of the A-Team, and also getting to know the members of the incredible partner community at Booth!

Emily Stetler, Music and Stage Captain

I had such an amazing experience when I attended Admit Weekend last year that I knew I wanted to be a part of it this year. As Music & Stage Captain, I am responsible for planning all of the music that you will hear throughout the weekend as well as the slideshows showcasing life at Booth. Given my love for music, this role enabled me to embrace my inner DJ in an effort to help create a fun, high-energy weekend that you won’t forget. Being on the A-Team has been a great opportunity to work alongside my classmates and meet the incoming class, who we are excited to have join us next year!

On behalf of the A-Team and Booth Admissions, we look forward to meeting you all this weekend!

Black Tie, Dancing, Camaraderie, and…Jellyfish?

As the Winter Quarter draws to a close, Matt Tracey recaps one of the quarter’s biggest events: Winter Formal. You can check out all of the glitz and glam of the evening on PhotoBooth’s Facebook page.

Dana
***

Chicago Booth’s “Winter Formal” came with a bang three weeks ago…what an event. On the surface, it is what it sounds like: an elegant evening affair characterized by shiny black tuxedos, dashing cocktail dresses, food, drink, and photos galore. But Winter Formal, Booth-style, is so much more than that.

Socially, the Formal is rather unique in that it brings together so many people all at once. “Semi-formal” in the fall quarter, for example, involved only first-year students (that event was fantastic in its own right). Furthermore, our weekly bar events all over the city of Chicago involve both first-years and second-years, but total turnout—although strong—pales in comparison to the 800+ who eagerly attend the Formal. The end result of Winter Formal is a rich social experience that, beyond providing ample opportunity for friend-to-friend interaction, enables students to meet and talk with a number of new and different classmates as well as helps students experience nearly the whole Booth community in all its awesomeness. Connecting with so many peers at once reminds us that not only are our immediate friends and classmates so great in so many ways, but the entire Chicago Booth community is as well.

The Who/What/Where/Why/When
Who? Chicago Booth students. Roughly 800 of them, both first-years and second-years (and their significant others). What? Winter Formal. An epic social event that—in the twilight of winter quarter—gives students and their plus-ones a chance to unwind, share some quality time, dance, talk, look awesome in front of one another, and… Where? …watch some dolphins and beluga whales chase each other around the Shedd Aquarium, a Chicago landmark that features—beyond the aforementioned dolphins and whales—a pretty sweet collection of aquatic life (including a rather unique jellyfish exhibit). This venue offered something for everyone. Those who wanted to eat could do so liberally at one of the many buffets; those who wanted to drink could find an open bar probably within 100 feet of wherever they found themselves at a given moment; those who wanted to dance could hit the dance floor for the Harlem Shake, Booth edition; and those who wanted to carry on a real conversation (yes, there were plenty of those as well) could meander off into one of the Aquarium’s many scenic corridors and park themselves on a bench. Why? Fun, obviously. That and friendship, camaraderie and celebration, all wrapped into one. When? Every year during winter quarter (February 23rd this year).

While a number of first-year students still are evaluating internship opportunities (depending primarily upon target industry), many attended Winter Formal having just emerged from the recruiting process. For those recently finished with recruiting, Winter Formal was an awesome reintroduction to the Booth social scene. For those students still pursuing internships (first-years) or full-time positions (second-years), Winter Formal served as a reinvigorating break from the process—and the perfect opportunity to share interview stories in a relaxed environment.

The Bottom Line
The sense of community amongst the students at Winter Formal was powerful, and the opportunity to celebrate life at Booth together pushed school spirit to a new high. The people make the Booth experience what it is. Check out some photos from the event here: Winter Formal 2013

Already looking forward to the next occasion for which I have to solicit help tying a real bow tie,
Matt Tracey

Booth On-Campus Interview Week: The Superbowl of Recruiting

The Winter Quarter is such a busy time for first-year students because most are interviewing through the on-campus program for internships. This week, Matthew Richman gives a first-hand perspective of what the investment banking interview process is like.
We huddled together, nervously clutching our leather portfolios, adjusting ties and name tags, and spending one last minute going over the finer points of corporate valuation. Suddenly, with a pronounced “click,” a nearby door opened and a head poked out.

Continue reading Booth On-Campus Interview Week: The Superbowl of Recruiting