Last weekend I had the great fortune of joining an unofficial trek to Dallas (yes, treks do happen during the school year!), led by 2Y Will Fischer who’s from Texas. The best part of the trip: it was organized by a local who showed us his city and explained all the cultural nuances of his hometown. The second best part: it was an opportunity to experience Dallas with a group of international Boothies who hailed from Lebanon, India, Syria, and England. We enjoyed some fascinating discussions and reveled in the uniqueness, authenticity, and hospitality of our fellow Texans.
At Booth, we pride ourselves on the flexible curriculum, but there is one required class every first-year student must take their first quarter: Leadership Effectiveness And Development—or LEAD for short. Through LEAD, students explore how their personality and cultural experiences impact their leadership style and receive valuable 360 feedback on how their professional behavior is perceived. But the course doesn’t only provide value to first-years. For a select group of ~40 second-year students (including me), it provides the unique opportunity to develop and facilitate a curriculum for the incoming first-years that directly impacts the culture of leadership at Booth.
We call ourselves LEAD Facilitators (Facils for short)—recognizable by our stylish Leadership Development Office polos and unmistakable charm. But we don’t do it (just) for the free swag and recognition. Every Facil’s motivations may be different, here are mine…
Prior to business school, incoming MBA students generally take the opportunity to explore long-delayed passions, discover new corners of the world, or earn a few extra paychecks. This year, 70 Boothies (nearly 12% of the class!) achieved all three as part of the school’s groundbreaking Startup Summer program.
A uniquely Booth experience, the program connects incoming Booth students with Chicago Booth alumni who have founded and currently run early-stage startups. In pure win-win fashion, students are exposed to the startup environment and paid a summer stipend while organizations benefit from an infusion of talent.
For more about this exciting Booth experience, let’s hear from our very own Michael Kovach and David Noel, who worked at a Palo Alto-based startup over the summer!
Our Class of 2020 has arrived on campus and they are finishing up their first week of Orientation. In true Booth fashion, this class is made up of a diverse group that represents a wide range of industries and functions. For example, one incoming student, Grace Zimmerly, was previously a lead for overdose reduction initiatives with the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area in New York and New Jersey.
While we may all come from very different professional backgrounds, Grace says there is a common factor across her Booth classmates, “Intense curiosity, broadly applied.” Hear more from Grace’s interview with Poets & Quants about her past job, what led her to Booth, and what she’s most looking forward to during the next two years.
Although I’ve never lived in the Bay Area, I moved to San Francisco for my summer internship knowing that I would benefit from the extensive network of Boothies also interning in the region. In fact, the running joke was there were more Boothies living in the Bay Area than in Chicago for the summer. Throughout the course of this summer, I’ve always had something fun to do with fellow Boothies on the weekends, whether it was indulging at one of San Francisco’s many beer gardens, biking across the Golden Gate Bridge, or hiking in Muir Woods.