This summer, 24 members of the Class of 2019 got a head start to their Booth experience through the pre-MBA program called Startup Summer. Across the globe, soon-to-be Booth students were paired with Booth-founded startups to explore their entrepreneurial function and industry goals. Cofounded by Booth alumna Andrea Sreshta, ’16, LuminAID is a women-founded Chicago-based startup that makes solar-powered inflatable lanterns for disaster relief and outdoor recreation. Find out what incoming Booth students Erich Bao, Jessica Goldberg, and Michael Hull had to say about their experience at LuminAID, and how it will impact their time at Booth going forward.
International travel is a popular passion for many Boothies and if I had a plan to visit any location in the world, I’m sure I could find a classmate who could give me a recommendation in the area. So, when I read in our class GroupMe that a small group of my classmates were interested in taking a weekend road trip to the Cleveland/Akron, Ohio area over the 4th of July weekend, I was honestly shocked. “With all the travel opportunities available here, why on EARTH would anyone want to visit Cleveland or Akron?” I thought to myself.
However, like any other Clevelander, I’m passionate about where I’m from and could show them things they wouldn’t find on a travel site. I conveniently did not yet have plans for the weekend, so I immediately offered to be their tour guide.
It’s intimidating to walk into a new career (even an internship) with zero work experience in the field. But that’s exactly the situation that I, like many of my peers, are finding ourselves in at this moment.
Like many Boothies, I’m a career transitioner (military to consulting, in my case). Though I was comfortable leading 150 combat soldiers, I was quite nervous thinking about how I should interact with a client. Also, like many of my peers, I like experiential learning in addition to classrooms and coffee chats – feeling like I need to touch & feel a process before I really understand it.
Fortunately, Booth built a course that’s exactly what I needed: Strategy Lab, which is a hands-on class that pairs small teams of students with real clients, solving real problems, mentored by real consultants.
Coming from a non-traditional background of majoring in biomedical engineering and working as a software developer, I have to admit that I was nervous about coming to business school. Not only did I have a lot to learn in the classroom (since I had only taken one business course during my entire undergraduate experience), but I also had a lot to learn outside the classroom when it came to management and leadership styles. The flexible curriculum at Booth really helped me brush up on my business skills for the former, but Leadership Exploration and Development (LEAD) was what really helped me excel at the latter.
A great thing about going to school in Chicago is the chance to dine in some of the most incredible restaurants in the world… and with some of the most notable minds as well. Every spring quarter, Booth’s Epicurean Club hosts its major event – Dean’s Dinner, the most coveted outing of the year. With 44 Epicurean Boothies and one Dean all dressed to impress, we gathered at the famed French restaurant, Tru.
The event was fabulous yet bittersweet, because we were honoring two touching goodbyes. The first farewell is to the Class of 2017, full of friends that us first years got to know well through the flexible curriculum—allowing us to take classes whenever and with whomever we chose—and through the many social activities at Booth (current dinner included!). Second, we bid adieu to Dean Doug Skinner who will be handing over the reins to Madhav Rajan this summer. Dean Skinner is highly regarded by the student body, thanks to his dedication to Chicago Booth and sharp sense of humor, so it was certain that this would be a night to remember.