What is in your mind when someone mentions a business with more than 100 million monthly (27 million daily) active users? For me, social network and instant messaging seemed to be the only safe bets – it is the same size as Pinterest or LinkedIn according to Statista 2016 data. But let’s try harder and I will give you some hints – the average session length is around 40 minutes… in a row! Still no clue?
They all go to Booth! Get to know some of the newest Boothies on campus through Poet & Quants‘ recently published article, Meet Chicago Booth’s MBA Class of 2018…
P&Q: While the Class of 2018 is unquestionably brainy, they are anything but stiffs. Victoria Yunger is an Israeli Ministry of Defense veteran who describes herself as “fashion blogger turned digital marketer, with a knack for details and long sentences.” MyKinseyite Anh Dang is destined to be the life of any party, calling herself “free and bold” and the one who loves “to do the unexpected, push my limit, test boundaries, drink and dance.” She’ll fit in well with Georgette Monika Mould, a Ghana native who’s “a humorous humanist with an optimistic outlook on life and a curious open mind.” Anjuli Koshal, also known as Jules, is someone you naturally follow. Not only is she always on the lookout for adventure, but she has a flair for turning “goals into projects, and projects into experiences.”While Randaccio’s resume may be intimidating, he comes with a major weakness: chicken wings.
They were the two most difficult words I’ve ever said to my parents. I was barely able to say them out loud as I was driving my family to lunch hours before I headed back to NYC. It was June 2011, and I had returned home that weekend to suburban Maryland with the sole purpose of coming out to my parents. However, I couldn’t bring myself to do it until just before I had to leave. When I was finally able to say those two words, I felt a huge weight off my chest. Initially, my parents did not receive the news very positively, but over time they have accepted me for me. What a difference five years makes.
Today is National Coming Out Day, which is why I wanted to take a few moments to talk about my own coming out story and why it was important for me to be out during my MBA. While some people choose to hide their sexuality during their MBA experience, I refused to go back into the closet after living as a proud out man in NYC. As an active founding member of the LGBT group at Bloomberg, I was proud to promote the visibility of our community and proud of the partnerships we created with Out in Tech and OPEN Finance.
Sweat drips down my face and I’ve been hiking for two hours. At this point, I’m just concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other. Then we get to a clearing and I see majestic rock formations. Time for pictures! Instagram filter, check. Ummm…I’m closing my eyes in this one. Do you mind taking it again? On to the next trail!
While some of my classmates are busy having adventures in Asia, Europe, Africa, I’m in the exotic land of…Illinois! Starved Rock State Park is only two hours away by car and it’s a nice place to go to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. It’s a place not many of my classmates know about, but it’s very familiar to me. I moved to Chicago when I was in high school and have lived here since (except for two years in Korea, 3 months in France, and a summer in Paraguay). As a Booth Experience blogger, some of my posts may cover similar hidden gems in and around Chicago, although I must admit that my fellow Class of 2016 Boothies from other cities have been doing a pretty good job of exploring in just the year they’ve been here!
But that’s not only reason I wanted to write about my hike at Starved Rock State Park. I realized as I was walking that it’s actually a pretty good analogy for MY interpretation of life in business school. For some of you laboring to finish the GMAT or write those essays, it might feel like you’re scaling a mountain and if you just get to the top, it will be smooth sailing from there. As Boothies, we can fall prey to the same thinking (if I just get this perfect internship, I’m set!) What I’ve gradually been realizing during my time here is that it’s more like a long hike through a wooded trail. Yes, there will be highs and lows, and you might change your mind about what you want to do “when you grow up” several times. The great news is that the flexibility at Booth allows you to choose your own trail. You might go left while others go right, but here at Booth, that’s ok!
If you do find that your path is leading you towards Booth, you can look forward to a community that will support you. Even though a large part of why I came to Booth was to transition to a new career path, I know that what I’m learning through my classes, extracurricular activities, and the Booth community, goes beyond just helping me get that first job. I’m gaining skills and making friendships that I can carry throughout the whole rest of my career, and THAT, to answer the question posed by my fellow blogger, Gordon, is why I’m here and not somewhere else.
Boothies all recognize the light installation that adorns the Harper Center asking “Why are you here and not somewhere else?” As a student body this is something we think about often. If you come to Booth you’ll find everyone has a story and many are here because they want to make a career change. Yesterday’s Economist MBA rankings placed Booth #1, largely because it offers unparalleled new career opportunities and “its graduates find employment in the widest range of industries.” We’re proud to be part of a community that has extremely varied interests and an institution that provides the resources for us to pursue so many paths. If you speak with Booth students, you will hear over and over that Career Services, academic flexibility, and strong community are what makes this possible. Today, four students reflect on why they believe Booth is #1 and share why they are here and not somewhere else.