I have always been fascinated by computers. You press a button, and magical things can happen. For example, you can submit an application to business school 5,000 miles away (of course, then you realize there was a typo on your resume… unfortunately, human error is still a factor and time traveling back to fix it is still something computers can’t do). People who could actually write code were like gods to me. At the same time, I never had enough focus to become one myself—instead, I embarked on a business path, getting degrees in economics and financial management, and later working in consulting. And, although I had tried to teach myself to code, without direction and a real goal to work towards, I had never gone beyond the basics. But the passion has never gone away.
Let’s face it, even though business school is a two year vacation, sometimes you’ll want to do something productive, whether it’s shoot out a couple of recruiter emails or plan your Spring Break itinerary. When those situations arise, Booth has a variety of productivity enhancing spots. Here are the Top 10, ranked.
When I started at Booth I knew that one of the skills I wanted to continue to cultivate was public speaking. I had always been in awe of the fluency with which great business and political leaders were able to speak in front of their respective audiences. While I wanted to strive towards that oratory ease, I still maintained a common case of stage nerves and fear of blanking in the middle of my speech.
I knew the more I practiced the better I would be, so I leveraged all of the different opportunities at Booth as ways to develop this muscle. Whether it be running for cohort president (where candidates are required to make a small speech in front of classmates) or signing up for Persuasion class, I was determined to find ways to get more practice reps in.
The unique thing about Booth’s cohorts is that after our single required Leadership Development class is completed in the fall, any additional time we spend with our cohorts is completely optional. Because of this, each cohort really gets a chance to form its own personality outside of just studying foundational classes.
There was a colorful photo to which I gravitated when writing Booth’s unique application. It was a picture taken at a school event of a performance of a traditional Chinese dance. Alongside the photo, I made a connection to my nerdy excitement for the Emerging Markets Summit (EMS), Booth’s largest student-run conference, and my ambitious plans to convince some big names like President of Brazil to come speak at the event. Now that I am at Booth, I’m surprised by how much of what I wrote in my application has come true.