As we gather around for the holidays, discover how Boothies extends the spirit of pay-it-forward to the wider community, leaving an impact that resonates far beyond the campus borders. Learn more about the pay-it-forward culture as Chloe and Stephen share their firsthand experiences that defines Booth’s vibrant community.
Tell us about a time when you experienced Chicago Booth’s pay-it-forward culture.
Chloe Spetalnick: This past Spring, I was juggling offers and deadlines while still waiting to hear back from my top choice company. Two second years I’d met through career advising hopped on calls within a few hours and helped talk me down and work through my options. They helped ground me and enabled me to make the best decision even without every piece of information.
Stephen A. Kristiandi: There are plenty of times when I experienced the pay-it-forward culture: from applying to Booth, preparations given by the second year and alumni during my recruitment process, and friends sharing notes and teaching each other as we prepare for finals. But the most memorable experience for me was during the Leadership Challenge last spring. Booth invited prominent alumni (e.g., Executive of a Tech company, Partner at a Consulting firm, CEO and entrepreneurs, etc.) to teach us about leadership by making me and my friends go through simulations, such as consultants giving presentations to the Board of Directors and investment managers persuading a prospective client. I gained a great deal from this experience and am very grateful to the alumni who willingly spent their weekends training us. It meant a lot how much the school and alumni invested in our growth, and the pay-it-forward culture highlights the strength of the Booth community.
Tell us about a time when you embodied Chicago Booth’s pay-it-forward culture.
Chloe Spetalnick: Because of my experience last year, with 2Ys spending tons of their time investing in me, I wanted to focus on giving back in my second year. I am a Career Advisor and a BTG Family lead, and spend several hours each week meeting with Boothies to do mock interviews and provide recruiting advice. I’ve already had one coachee receive an internship offer and am so proud to have been part of the process.
Stephen A. Kristiandi: I always try to pay-it-forward when the opportunity arises: from becoming an admissions fellow, giving mock interviews to my friends, to becoming the co-chair of a Public Speaking and Communications Group, or even small things, such as lending my friend some bar stools for her birthday party. But the concept of pay-it-forward does not end with Boothies or prospective Boothies, we also try to support the community where possible. For example, me and some of my friends took up a role as non-profit board fellows where we support non-profit organizations across the Greater Chicago area. I was paired with D-Composed, an organization that focuses on giving access to music in communities of color and highlights / showcases Black composers and their works. I resonated a lot with their cause and I am honored to help the organization grow and generate an impact on the community in Chicago and even internationally.
The pay-it-forward culture isn’t just a philosophy, it’s a dynamic force that shapes individuals and communities, creating a legacy of support and shared success that continues to resonate.