Recruiting season: Paying-it-forward every year!

Recruiting season: Paying-it-forward every year!

You must have heard about the “Pay-it-forward” culture at Chicago Booth. During our application process, it was a phrase that was in many a Booth-related article. These words buzzing around as you spoke to current students or alums, but didn’t understand what it truly meant until you arrived at Booth and lived the experience yourself. Paying it forward has been one of my biggest takeaways at the university, going above and beyond to pave the way for your peers, incoming classmates, and prospective candidates. It’s not just a phrase at Booth, it’s a way of life that Boothies live by. For me, one of the biggest support systems where I witnessed this was during recruiting when I was a first-year student recruiting for management consulting. You’d be embraced by this massive community of second-years who are committed to helping you succeed in your journeys.

Recruiting can be very stressful, you’ve just embarked on your business school journey and within the first week, you start receiving notifications about your first recruiting session by the respective student groups and your heart starts beating faster with stress, anxiety, and some excitement. But as you start cruising through this behemoth task, you know you’re not alone, a mentor is supporting you, a set of 2Ys you have connected with who are there to answer all your questions over a cup of coffee, walk, or lunch. Each year, there’s a select group of 2Ys who dedicate themselves to pay-it-forward, shaping the recruitment journey of the 1Ys. Here are a few stories capturing the journeys of our beloved co-chairs:  


How supportive was the community of your consulting recruitment journey at Booth?
The Booth community was incredible during my consulting recruiting journey. Management Consulting Group (MCG) is a student-run organization guiding both first- and second-year students through the consulting recruiting process, and truly exemplifies the pay-it-forward culture. Second-year students volunteer their time for coffee chats, case preparation, and to lead recruiting “families” each Fall and Winter Quarter. Outside of current students, Booth alums were also extremely supportive through the process—they help connect you with folks in the office you are recruiting for and provide a firm perspective on networking and interview prep.  This shows how the Booth consulting community reaches far beyond your two years at the school.

What motivated you to be a part of the MCG as a co-chair?
I applied to be an MCG co-chair for two reasons—to provide the same level of support to incoming students as was given to me, and to share specific challenges I faced through the process. While recruiting may be cut and dry for some students, with a non-traditional background and limited business experience, I struggled with certain parts of the consulting recruiting process and wanted to share my perspective and advice with students with similar paths.

How has the booth community influenced you to play a more active role in paying it forward?
It is easy to talk about the pay-it-forward culture, but it is another thing to see it so present on campus. I took on a leadership role in MCG to ensure I provided the same, if not a higher, level of support I received from the 2Ys above me. I am passionate about Booth and try to pay it forward in the areas I’ve received the most from—MCG being the top! I am also an Admissions Fellow and a GBC cohort representative leading the Academic, Career Services, and Alumni facing the committee.


The Booth community has been instrumental in a successful tech recruitment journey for me. 2Ys and my fellow 1Ys were with me every step of the way from the beginning to the end of the application and recruitment process. BTG provided comprehensive support throughout the recruiting process starting with resume reviews with 2Ys, “Get to know the company” days, role fairs, expert panels, and more. Further, BTG slotted us into Interview families led by a 2Y where a small group of 1Ys (4-6) was paired with a second year with relevant experience that the 1Ys were trying to recruit for. This was only the tip of the iceberg in terms of involvement from BTG as well as the 2Ys throughout this process. The scale of the impact that BTG could make in positively influencing tech recruiting journeys is what motivated me to be a BTG co-chair.

While my experience was great, I (along with my other co-chairs) had many ideas to take it even further and learn from the leadership experience that being a BTG co-chair would offer us. My journey throughout Booth has been filled with me on the receiving end of pay-it-forward gestures. A former BTG co-chair agreed to jump on a call with me within 15 minutes of my email as a prospective student, despite my reaching out in the thick of Winter Break. Boothies are eager for everyone to succeed and have selflessly spent time sharing tips, conducting mock interviews, and being the best support systems one could ask for throughout the recruiting process. Being surrounded by such people inspires me to never stop paying it forward because I am forever on the receiving end of the same benevolence. 


How supportive was the community of your IMG recruitment journey at Booth?
The community was a constant source of support for me. In addition to helping me brainstorm about my application and recruitment strategy, they also became my closest confidantes—the kind of people you could reach out to, confide in, and get honest feedback from. The alumni and 2Ys were only a call or email away, and I really enjoyed getting their perspectives. They selflessly helped many of us think about IMG careers and the pay-it-forward culture truly stood out.

What motivated you to be a part of the IMG as a co-chair?
As an IMG co-chair, I want to pay it forward to 1Ys and help them carve out investment management careers for themselves, too. Organizing BEAT (Booth Equity Analyst Training) sessions have been the highlight of my co-chair journey so far, and I’m grateful to the school for creating such a rich ecosystem for students to succeed.

How has the booth community influenced you to play a more active role in paying it forward?
As an incoming Boothie, the pay-it-forward culture became the central pillar of my experience. I found a lot of help from others, and that has motivated me to pay forward my dues and play my part, too. The community truly comes together to help each other achieve excellent outcomes, and ‘pay-it-forward’ soon becomes a way of life for everyone who is part of this community!