Making the Most of Micro

Courtnei Krider has always loved data.

Courtnei Krider, Class of 2019

Courtnei Krider, Class of 2019

Knowing that, she says Booth was always “in the back of her mind.” She knew Booth would teach her about data, but even two quarters in, Courtnei has already learned about creativity, challenging the status quo, and leadership.

While working in Accenture’s Energy/Resources practice as a Finance & Enterprise Performance Consultant, Courtnei has the opportunity to work on a lot of projects. One project in particular spoke to her and inspired her to apply what she has already learned at Booth.

“One of my consulting projects allowed me the opportunity to develop original thought capital to facilitate a finance workshop conversation. The client’s senior leadership team wanted to inspire their finance organization to consider ways to increase effectiveness (monetary) and optimize operations,” she says. “In seeing this, I was tasked with developing thought provoking conversation starters based on current processes.”

Courtnei thought back to her first quarter Microeconomics class with Dr. Ram Shivakumar, which gave her the inspiration to creatively solve her consulting project. “As I completed this task, I thought back to the Plutarch quote used by Dr. Shivakumar that read, ‘The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be lit.’”

“In class we were reminded that the mind should not be used to retain facts and execute, similarly to how employees should not be hired to merely complete tasks. The mind, in its essence is complex, and with a bit of inspiration, can be pushed to draw insight and create. When developing these questions, I served as the flame –unlocking the potential of this client’s employee base through prompted conversation.”

Courtnei agrees that Booth takes Plutarch’s advice. “Booth lights a fire in students due to the insistence of unconstrained thought during class discussions. Each professor encourages students to engage in dialogue of the same topic from multiple perspectives. At Booth, there is no right or wrong answer – each student is allowed to freely express their opinion and develop independent theory without constraints, given that the argument can be supported.”

Catherine Napier, Class of 2018

Catherine Napier, Class of 2018

Not only has she been lit with a Booth fire that she has already applied in her fast-paced job, Courtnei is already applying LEAD leadership lessons into her daily life. LEAD’s first impression feedback assignment offered her the unique opportunity to learn how people view her in a safe setting.

“The saying ‘first impressions are lasting’ is used often but rarely does one get the opportunity to learn exactly what your first impression is! The anonymous feedback from all ten members of my group was just about the same- to my classmates, I was seen as confident, friendly and talkative! Consulting is a career where you are working closely with a new client leadership team often. In seeing the feedback given from my classmates, I have actively chosen to listen to the client a bit more initially, rather than immediately speaking on my analysis,” she adds.

Already, Booth has become a family to Courtnei. “Chicago Booth has a family like culture. Despite diverse backgrounds and professional experiences, in the classroom, we are all one Booth.”

Catherine Napier works at Northern Trust in wealth management, loves yoga, creating content on, and the peanuts at the Midway.