For those who are not familiar, Random Walk is the deliciously nerdy name that Booth uses for our pre-orientation travel bonding experience. Groups of 10-12 incoming first years are led by 4 second years in a week-long trip to a foreign country. Through Random Walk, I’ve had the experience of snowboarding down the Andes in Chile and rappelling down a waterfall in Panama. Not only did I experience new ways to descend mountains, but I also developed a tight-knit network of friends who helped me navigate the intimidating transition of starting at a new school. In fact, I felt so close with my first year trip-mates that we decided to go on Random Walk again this year as the leaders of RW Panama. I couldn’t imagine my Booth Experience without Random Walk, and it seems like this year’s first years feel the same way:
Sushi, temples, robot shows, pagodas, baseball games, ramen, kimonos, karaoke, or sake bombs… These words could be used to describe virtually any trip to Japan, but they won’t be enough to entirely express the essence of a Booth Random Walk. No matter your destination, these pre-bschool excursions are corner stones of Chicago Booth’s tight-knit community. First year students depart from O’Hare International Airport as strangers, and return BFFs. Second year students lead these trips around the world, as a prize for our hard work during our summer internships. I was lucky enough to travel to Japan with my best friends at Booth, meeting fourteen fantastic incoming Boothies, while eating sushi every day, what else can I ask for?
Enough words said, enjoy the video:
Before school starts every fall, second year students lead a group of first year students on an amazing adventure to foster bonding and friendship. This is Guatemala through the eyes of Boothies….
Before the official school year starts, almost 300 first year Boothies and partners will be led by a group of second years on trips around the world. These incredible trips—Random Walks—are a way to bond and grow friendships in the Booth community before the start of classes. Random Walks usually end up being one of the most memorable moments of your MBA.
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!