This is the third installment of our “More Than a Finance School” series. In this edition, hear from students who are pursuing fields outside of financial services, such as energy and technology, impact investing and social entrepreneurship, and even the entertainment industry.
One of the things that makes Booth such a unique place to learn and grow is the LEAD program. LEAD is a dynamic course where first-year students focus on developing the most critical aspects of leadership – cultivating support and influencing others, understanding different working styles and motivating diverse teams, presenting ideas, and managing under crisis. At Booth, we believe these skills simply can’t be learned in a traditional academic setting, so LEAD is a fully experiential program where first-year students are constantly challenging themselves to practice these skills and incorporate feedback from each other to improve.
Booth is all about pushing the limits of your comfort zone. You’re encouraged to take risks. To branch out—sometimes way out—from what you know. The school has your back all the way.
Before Booth, whenever I was asked “Who are you?” I’d say, “I’m a marketer, I’ve been working for over 5 years and happy to count many global brands as my clients.”
However, it was during my MBA application process I encountered a follow-up question that pressed past my comfort zone. The question of all questions—the one that sparks trepidation among many who are embarking on their business school journey.
“But really, Who are you?”
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!
On behalf of the Admit Weekend Planning Committee, I would like to congratulate Round 1 admits on being selected to join the best business school in the world! When I got the call from the Booth Admissions staff last year, the first thing I did was book my tickets to Chicago for Admit Weekend. I knew that the 24 hour-long flight from Mumbai to Chicago would be well worth the experience I would have at Admit Weekend.
Well, I was not only proven correct, but Admit Weekend exceeded all of my expectations. I had such an amazing experience that I knew I wanted to be a part of the next class’s Admit Weekend planning team. So, I volunteered for the position of Social Media Captain for Admit Weekend 2014. As a Social Media Captain, admitted students will hear from me through social media channels, including photos and posts to the Class of 2016 Facebook page.
I grew up in Mumbai, India. I spent three years in investment banking in London, and after that, was fortunate to scale up and successfully exit from my own startup. Yet, as I considered my next career moves, I realized there were some gaps in my business training necessary to advance my goals. I was impressed by the awesome resources at Chicago Booth, particularly in tech and entrepreneurship, as well as by Booth’s discipline-based approach to learning, which further confirmed my decision to apply. I should reveal that I am a child of a tropical climate who had never seen snow. So, when I landed in Chicago for Admit Weekend in February 2013 and was greeted by snow, I was both terrified and excited. What amazed me was the fact that the snow had only made Chicago’s sprawling skyline and magnificent architecture look even more beautiful. After reaching my hotel, I made my way to the Gleacher Center, where international student ambassadors were waiting to welcome the international admitted students. It was amazing to see the variety of nationalities present at that event, and I met many of my current friends there for the first time.
Admit Weekend is designed to give newly admitted students a glimpse into what life as a full-time student will be like. One of the most exciting sessions at my Admit Weekend was a chance to sit on an entrepreneurial sales class with Professor Craig Wortmann, who is founder and CEO of Sales Engine and has been a professional sales person for 20 years. We also learned more about Booth’s Leadership and Effective Development (LEAD) course through some fun team-building activities with our future classmates. We capped the day off with an introduction to the Booth tradition of the Liquidity Preference Function (LPF), which is a bi-weekly happy hour in the Harper Center Winter Garden sponsored by the Graduate Business Council (GBC). During the rest of the weekend, we met representatives from every Booth student group – including the Soccer Club, which I immediately got involved with when I started school – and learned about the wide array of Random Walk locations we could choose from. Admit Weekend ended with a celebration at the majestic Art Institute of Chicago, located in downtown Chicago.
Enjoying beautiful scenery of Fiji during my Booth Random Walk
Overall, Admit Weekend was a sneak peek into what Booth has to offer, both academically and socially. At the end of the event, I could see that many of my fellow Admit Weekend attendees were convinced that Booth was where they were going to spend their next two years. I had also made up my mind, and could not have been more excited to start at Booth in the fall.
Overall, my experience at Booth so far has exceeded all of my expectations. I have made amazing friends from all over the world and have learned so many new things in a short span of time.
Dancing at this year’s South Asia Business Group (SABG) Diwali-themed cruise on Lake Michigan.
I highly recommend attending Admit Weekend for two main reasons: first, it will help you decide for yourself “Why are you here, and not somewhere else”, and second, if you are already sold on Booth, you will get a first-hand experience of a compressed two year b-school experience in 3 days, which is valuable in helping you start to think about how to get the most out of the MBA experience. So, buckle up and get ready for Admit Weekend 2014 – you have to be here to experience it for yourself!