The 8 kinds of people you meet on Ski Trip

The ski trip gave us enough sample size to categorize the participants into a number of different groups. Now, contrary to everything that MCG has taught most of Booth, this list is definitely not MECE, but similar to popular news channels - none of this is based on any kind of actual fact or reality

An alternate recap of the Steamboat Ski Trip in December 2018

In our infinite wisdom, we at ChiBus decided that our vast readership would also benefit from reading a non-traditional recap of Ski Trip 2018. Luckily the BSSC co-chairs enabled my laziness by sending out a daily email articulating each days MVPs and LVPs. Here are some of the gems from the trip:

Day 0:

Four brave pioneers from the class of 2019 (including yours truly), who ripped the first shotski of the trip. I should have known it would be a slippery slope from there on out, both in terms of alcohol consumption as well as how many times my backside met the ice while skiing

Day 1:

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Mrs. Claus and her elves smashing the patriarchy. TBH the luge was making sure everything and everyone was smashed though.

Rob Lammell for skiing in style and also shushing everyone who claimed that pineapple was a summer fruit. Now if only we could settle that question of whether it belongs on pizzas…

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And while the BSSC co-chairs believed that this group of Boothies’ inability to build a pyramid highlighted how unathletic Booth is, my alternate (mandatorily positive) interpretation as an admissions fellow is that it shows how Booth prides itself on always having a flat structure. (Insert pyramid picture, no caption)

Day 2:

The resourceful (and slightly creepy) first years who tracked down White Panda on the slopes. Also, did White Panda use the same algorithm as DeadMau5 to generate his name? And should we expect to see a Blue whale headlining Coachella in 2020?

Day 3:

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"Esther the pink dino" for officially becoming Strawberry Hot Springs' new mascot and enjoying a rapid rise in fame. Subsequently, Chris Pratt was spotted in Steamboat, sparking rumors that he was there to film the next movie in the Jurassic Park series, titled “Raptors in Rapture”

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Day 4:

The creative and fashionable 1Y who showed that cowboy hats are a versatile fashion accessory, acting as a bridge between generations past and present as well as between glass and mouth.

Day 5:

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The Brazilian crew proved once again that they knew how to party

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...but they were pushed close by Drew Ficken and Kevin Strickland - Christmas Dunne right indeed.

Winter 2019: The Secret Course Menu

It’s news to most Boothies that, just like the secret menu at Chipotle (Quesaritos and Burritodillas, yes please) or Shake Shack (Shack-cago dogs: worth a try just to pay homage to the Windy City), there is actually a secret menu of classes.

First Day Round 2: Translated for Admits

Later this week, Round 2 admits and their partners will arrive to Chicago for a weekend of the royal treatment. Dozens of current students will be on hand as volunteers to make the event a success, in a true demonstration of Booth’s “pay it forward” culture.

Colombia Trek Returnees Afflicted by Spring Break Withdrawal

By Siddharth Sastri, Class of 2019

By Siddharth Sastri, Class of 2019

Spring at Chicago Booth is unique. Rather than ushering in warmth and blooming fauna, the new quarter seems to have introduced a different phenomenon: the sobering reality of about three hundred 1st years going through severe Spring Break withdrawal. Through ChiBus’s rigorous investigation, we have dug through literal dirty laundry to identify several concerning symptoms. The victims can be recognized via their uneven tans, injuries that they have no memory of, and in some cases: a reluctance to make eye contact with individuals they had a lot of other contact with.

Denial was rife amongst the afflicted population. We saw a number of victims trying to convince us (and themselves) that while they loved every minute of Spring Break, they couldn’t have spent another day at beach-front hotel in Cartagena eating fresh fruit and sipping frosty beverages with more than one syllable in their name. Instead, they were eager to get back to their sparsely furnished MPP apartments and participate in the endless elevator wait. We interviewed the victims in the aforementioned MPP apartments and also noticed the victims annoying their non-Colombia trekking roommates by providing commentary during Narcos viewings and acting like insufferable know-it-alls.

Why am I here and not somewhere else?

Why am I here and not somewhere else?

Subjects also seemed to want to relive past glories. A number of students spent hours going through their photo gallery, and either sighing wistfully or exclaiming in surprised delight upon finding yet another Boomerang of them dancing to Dura on a boat. Living up to stereotype, we also saw students obsessing over the perfect Instagram caption and wondering why their friends had more people liking their photos. In some severe cases of wanting to relive the experience, students were also observed going through their credit card statements and reminiscing about the minute details of their evenings. (In unrelated news, Venmo announced a new limited-edition product for Spring breakers).

Not all victims were reclusive though. There were those who were attempting to move forward with their lives despite their overwhelming belief that it was all downhill from here. The more academically inclined souls were perusing dictionaries and trying to understand if “Spring” in the Midwest meant something different than what it did elsewhere - This trait was particularly common for the international students, who hadn’t realized just how misleading American “English” really is.

There were also some brave souls who seemed healthy enough to connect with the larger society and engage in regular conversation – i.e. “how’s recruiting going”. Some students also feigned interest in other Spring Breaks, and enquired after their friends’ adventures in Patagonia. While they nodded enthusiastically and exclaimed appropriately, they later confessed that they failed to understand how that was a “break” at all, and whether they could trust the participants to make future life decisions.

The students furthest along on the recovery curve, and for whom we had the most hope, were those who trekked over to Harper, pretended to look interested during classes, and left the sanctuary of the Loop to go to TNDC. However, their recovery hit a setback when they looked around and realized that partying on land was so 2017 winter quarter

Booth unveils vision for Eating 2.0

Sunday 28th January

On Friday, The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business made history when it announced the opening of the world’s first ever automated check-out cafe. Speaking at the unveiling, a senior school official said “We revolutionized business education before when we were the first school in the US to offer PhD and EMBA programs. Ensuring our students have access to the best facilities in the world is just another example of us setting the tone for management education. Today the world watches closely, for we are not launching a food outlet, but the next great experience.”

As part of a tour of the facility the school conducted for journalists, this reporter took a cue from one of the signs put up  and tried to fool the restaurant’s cutting edge technology by trying to sneak out a Hershey’s under the three layers of clothing that the pleasant, bracing winter mornings of Chicago necessitate… and succeeded. We at Chibus pride ourselves on how light-fingered we are unlike some of our less talented counterparts from the east coast who tried similar feats. However, this seemed an aberration and on the whole, the system seemed to work perfectly.

The inspiration you need when trying to prove your chops at cafe lifting

The inspiration you need when trying to prove your chops at cafe lifting

Speaking with journalists after the event, Chief Designer Geetika Belivardes walked us through some of the features of the cafe. “We have scanners at the door that detect the UChicago cards of each person entering – the cards don’t work on most doors and half the printers at Booth – but we managed to integrate them perfectly with our systems. Once the student picks something up and walks out, we automatically deduct their my.UChicago account (which currently records tuition, insurance cost, etc.) for their purchase. Pilots we ran show this actually increases consumption as it reminds students that they can stuff their faces till kingdom come and their expense will still be a rounding error compared to tuition.  We also prevent students who have a class right now from entering so that we don’t encourage flakers. To address the needs of this late segment, we offer a ‘Maroon mode’ (only $100/month) where students can order through our app and get food delivered to all ‘C’ classrooms within an hour of purchase.”

While some stakeholders have expressed concerns on how their privacy would be affected, others were less worried. Said Jeremiah Spetson, a second year, full-time MBA student “The school having a few photos of me picking up something other than a healthy salad is not something that’ll keep me awake at night. If someone recorded some of my antics after the LATAM party last week on the other hand… #whyBooth. I’d take this loss of privacy any day over the discomfort of having to make small-talk with my Negotiations professor (the one who always cold calls me with unerring accuracy, just when I open GroupMe) for five minutes while waiting in the extra-long lunch lines.”

Finally, some have wondered what this means for Booth in the long-term. Is this a one-off improvement of facilities? Is this the ultimate answer to ‘Why are you here and not somewhere else?’? Or is this part of a long-term strategy to get on a P&Q list that reads something like  “10 coolest facilities that MBA schools have”? Darien Kellorv, part-time “Innovation Sensei and Marketing Sorcerer” at a local startup and full-time podcaster put forward a different theory. “In an increasingly competitive MBA education market, one way that business schools can remain relevant is to diversify their product offering. I see this as Booth testing the e-Commerce and retail waters. I would not be surprised if a large scale acquisition – say of Mariano’s – is in the offing”. It remains to be seen whether this Seer of Management Strategy, this Viking of Customer insight is right, but everyone agrees that Booth has suddenly become  a more interesting place.

With inputs from Vikram Sivakumar, Class of 2018

Startup Diary: 2018's best NVC ideas

Spring quarter inches closer. First Years are eagerly looking forward to spring break and second years are already feeling nostalgic. A small group of our colleagues however are already working around the clock to launch great new companies as part of NVC. In this article, we review some of the most promising startups – from those looking to disrupt the vertical transportation market to a simply delicious juice stand – in this highly competitive pool.

ElevatorPass: Tired of waiting 10 minutes every morning for your apartment complex’s elevator? Want a little privacy coming back from TNDC? ElevatorPass guarantees you personalized access to the elevators (partnerships announced 10+ leading Loop complexes) when you need it. Because they know you’re your best when you’re on the go (potentially great tagline for a creepy ad). For high demand buildings they’re even providing modular elevator shafts that plug on to the emergency exits during peak traffic.

Market size: A plus
Our verdict: C minus. While a great idea, success will depend on developing both sides (apartments, users) of the platform.

SOMO (‘Stop Only Missing Out’): SOMO targets a very specific set of users – those who feel they’re missing out on a large part of Booth and want to do something. SOMO scans social media for the ‘hip’ events and sends you alerts for whenever the whyBooth hashtag is used. It even provides personalized recommendations on what events are right for you and how to navigate conflicting events.

Market size: C-
Our verdict: F. Eww, borderline creepy.

DailyPickup: DailyPickup is designed for people who never use the Metra, are fairly regular to class and are too gosh-darned lazy to book an Uber, every single time. Simply upload your class schedule and forget about it, DP will book a cab for you to reach just in time. You can even add preferred classmates so that you pool with your friends every day.

Market size: B+
Our verdict: C plus. While DailyPickup’s solution is really compelling, like the ChiBus, their target market is all of 10 people.

MiracleJuice: For those of you who can barely make it out of your apartment after a party, MiracleJuice offers a range of their completely organic, freshly pressed juices with closely guarded proprietary recipes that will pick you up after any party. Test users reported a 173% increase in productivity after using MiracleJuice.

Market size: A-
Our verdict: B. Lip-smacking product, but how do they differentiate themselves in the competitive market of healthy foods targeted specifically to MBA students?

Weird Things We Still Do

In this new column, we take a look at things at Booth that are seemingly far beyond the realms of rationality. Today we look at one of the mainstays of industry groups. 

No-show checks:

Consider all the aspiring bankers who have looked desperately at their pants just before a corporate conversation and wondered anxiously if they were too “light”.  The consultants who weighed the pros and cons of taking a bathroom break during a panel talk. The aspiring tech titans who showed up half an hour late for a lunch-and-learn after waking up at 11. Despite the differences in career tracks, there is one thing that keeps us all united – the dreaded no-show check. The subject of so many angry, pleading and minutiae-debating emails and the topic of so many Pulitzer (Pinocchio?) winning accounts of “I got there at 11:44 but the co-chairs had already shut the doors!”.  Estimates show that 26.4% of all students have had at least one no-show check cashed during their time at Booth.

No-show checks: The one aspect of the MBA life you have no difficulty explaining to your grandparents;  Image source:  Afeardv *

No-show checks: The one aspect of the MBA life you have no difficulty explaining to your grandparents; Image source: Afeardv*

But the question arises, why do we still use no-show checks? This is after all, an age when former Pet.com investors pontificate on Twitter on the “growth of the nouveau riche, the pointlessness of the salary person rat-race and the emergence of a new purpose for humanity”– after making a $200 paper profit on their Bitcoin investments. An age when even the more traditional parts of Booth seem to have woken up to this new reality with “The Fintech Revolution” somehow breaking in to the bastion of efficient markets and traditional finance courses. Most first years visit the bank for the first and last time just to pick up check books.

The answer lies in a complicated mesh of how clubs and student groups are set up, plus the fundamental structure of a potential delayed payment, that this journalist is not paid enough to go into.  

However, Booth not have to live with this status quo forever. “NoShowers”, a startup founded by Booth alumni are aiming to solve this problem through a subscription-based, deep learning enabled, AI-powered solution that uses IoT sensors at event venues and blockchain driven transactions to solve this challenging problem. NoShowers recently won “Most buzzwords in their mission statement” and “Most confusingly named startup” at CES. However, it may be a while before they have a product in the market, so Boothies will have to leave the cocoon that is 5807 Woodlawn and go to the uncharted territory of S. Ellis to visit Citibank for at least one more year.

 

* Used under Creative Commons license. Use not endorsed by Creator