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.
Decision making is a vital prelude to any business transaction or strategy execution.
My two years at Booth have provided me tremendous resources to learn not just from the best faculty but also from the best leaders in industry. And who better to learn from when it comes to decision making than from the people who deal with it every instance of every day –- the CEO alums of Booth.
As a part of the Road to CEO speaker series, I got the opportunity to interact with one of the most powerful people from the energy sector, John S. Watson, CEO of Chevron. Make or break decisions involving billions of dollars, managing relations with political heavyweights, and in spite of all that, staying level-headed in an industry that is literally ‘volatile’ at all times, were just a few of the topics covered.
Product management has become the darling of the tech world with the boom in startups, and as more companies become savvy to the value of having good product managers in place. The job description varies from company to company, yet there are some overall aspects that remain consistent. Still, it’s hard to wrap one’s head around this fairly ambiguous role. To understand more about what the heck product managers do exactly, I recently attended a Product Management (PM) boot camp hosted by one of our alumni, Satyajeet Salgar, ’07, who currently leads Google Search.
Satyajeet has had a very interesting couple of years at Google where he worked with teams at YouTube, Google Play Games, and Google+. He’s led some incredible product launches and I could trust no one better to help me understand the ins and outs of product management.
On April 29, the fifth annual Booth Emerging Markets Summit (EMS) went off (seemingly) without a hitch. Like a proud mama, I watched the entire conference unfold and basked in the enthusiasm and comments of attendees.
In the six months leading up to that day, I’d spent countless hours along with four other Boothies planning the details of the conference. I wrote hundreds of emails, made maybe half that many calls, and called in favors I was saving for life-or-death situations. But it wasn’t all grueling. Looking back today from the vantage point of knowing the event was a huge success, I would say that planning the EMS was a good way to see the changes that the past year and half has brought me, as well as effecting some of those final transformations.