This past week, the Booth student body held elections for the next Graduate Business Council (GBC) Executive Board. The 6-person team works with the elected president and representative from each of our 10 cohorts to provide services, plan events, and represent the student body to the administration. The election was bittersweet for me as it meant my time as VP of Student Affairs on this year’s GBC Exec Board was coming to an end.
Anyone who reads about Booth is sure to stumble upon two key differentiators: our flexible curriculum and our cohort system. Through discussions with dozens of prospective students, I’ve noticed that they tend to love the former and show some concern about the latter. When I was applying, I too shared a lot of these feelings. But I’ve also noticed that both of these Booth trademarks are all-too-often misunderstood. So here’s my take on what the flexible curriculum and the cohort system really mean to Booth students, and why I wouldn’t want them any other way.
Admit Weekend is a terrific opportunity for admitted students to experience life as a Chicago Booth MBA for a weekend. Admits learn about the Booth curriculum, tour Chicago neighborhoods, and have plenty of time to get to know fellow future Booth MBAs.
It takes lots of planning to make this happen, but fortunately we have a huge team of great volunteers. The students involved on the Admit Weekend Planning Committee take a “Co-Captain” role in a specific, key aspect of the Admit Weekend experience, from neighborhood and housing tours to partners’ programming.
Several of our Co-Captains offer reflections on their experiences and discuss why all admitted students should come to Admit Weekend!
We both attended Admit Weekend last year and we had such a great time meeting everyone and learning more about the Booth community that we were excited to be involved in planning and organizing the 2014 events. As the Squad Leader Co-Captains we are responsible for selecting and training the squad leaders (current students who help lead admitted students through the Admit Weekend activities) and for organizing many of the events that you will take part in over the weekend. As you may know, Booth uses a cohort and squad system for the LEAD course that all first year students will take. After LEAD, students take whatever courses they want independent of any cohort; however cohorts and squads still function like your home base throughout your time at Booth. Admit Weekend squads work the same way. The squad and cohort activities of Admit Weekend will give you an opportunity to have fun and get to know both your new classmates and Booth’s current students. We hope that you will enjoy participating in the activities as much as we have enjoyed preparing them. Your Admit Weekend squad will introduce you to many of your closest friends during your time and Booth, as it did for us. We look forward to meeting you soon!
Starting business school is an exciting journey for not only us, but also for our partners. While moving to a new city can be hard for a couple, Booth has great resources, such as the Partners Club, and an inviting culture that help make our significant others feel like an integral part of the Booth community. The experience so far at Booth for me and my husband has been wonderful, and I wanted to give back as part of the Admit Weekend team. Working as a co-captain to plan the partner-specific programming is a great opportunity for me and my team to share our experience and help admitted students and partners get ready to make the most of their time at Booth. Through the partner experience panel, we will invite students and their partners to talk about the fun and surprises they had living in the Booth community, offer tips, and answer questions about Chicago. We also planned a Chicago resource fair to create an opportunity for partners to share information, make new friends, and bond with this amazing community at Booth! It has been an incredible experience for us to be part of the Admit Weekend Planning Committee to share our excitement about being at Booth with the incoming class!
Neighborhood and Housing Tours Co-Captain
I am a former UChicago undergrad, and although I moved to NYC after graduation, I was hesitant about coming to Admit Weekend last year, because I felt like I already “knew” Booth and Chicago. However, I am glad I went against my instincts, and flew out for Admit Weekend. The Booth that I saw at Admit Weekend was vibrant, intelligent, and incredibly fun! In the three days over Admit Weekend, I met my current roommate, talked to 2nd years who got me interested in technology and consulting, and saw the city of Chicago in a completely new light. Now, as a Co-Captain for the Neighborhood and Housing Tours, I hope to provide admitted Booth students with a fun, informative and engaging way to see the city for themselves. We have student hosts and tour guides to take our guests around some of Chicago’s most popular neighborhoods, and give them a chance to see some of the apartments that current Boothies live in. I hope many of you will take this opportunity to get to know Chicago, and I look forward to seeing you on a tour around one of Chicago’s many exciting neighborhoods!