Words from the Wise: How to Succeed in Your Summer Internship (or What Not to Do)

By Audrey Lancaster and Sarah Donohue-Rolfe, Class of 2017

Now that we are graduates and about to return to the adult world, we wanted to impart some advice on how to be successful in your summer internship. Most advice you receive will be on how to behave or build your network effectively. But we think it is more helpful to share how NOT to behave at your internship, unless you desire to be a perpetual career changer. So long as you avoid these pitfalls, you can guarantee at least a recommendation, if not a full time offer.

1.    Don’t show up late. Your internship is only 10-12 weeks and you want to make a good impression. You have plenty of time to sleep in as a second year because let’s be honest, you have to rest up before TNDC but the internship is not this time.

2.    Facebook stalking is not your profession - stay off social media while at the job and you won’t risk finding awkward photos of your boss. You should be working hard and not playing on social media.

3.    Avoid making personal calls to your friends and mom while at work. That call or text message can surely wait until you leave work and your friends and cube mates will thank you for not boring them with your monotonous daily routine.

4.    Leggings are not real pants and picking up the closest article of clothing from your hamper does not make a good impression. An iron can be your friend. Also, Febreze does not count as doing your laundry. Dress appropriately.

5.    Never pick your nose or fart in your cubicle. This is not how you make friends or impress your manager; maybe bring a bowl of candy instead. Cleanliness really does matter.

6.    Don’t act like you know it all. Booth does a great job of providing you with the foundations to be successful but that doesn’t mean you can tell your manager how to do his/her job better.

7.    Don’t be anti-social. Eat lunch with your teammates or other interns and join after-work events; remember there is a world outside of Booth and here is an opportunity to grow your LinkedIn network!

8.    Speaking of networking, don’t network with other firms while you are at work. This is a great way to not receive a job offer after the internship. After all, you wouldn’t want your significant other to find out you were still playing the field after you agreed to settle down (for at least your summer internship).

9.    Know your boundaries. Don’t expect to meet with the CEO one-on-one unless your project requires it. CEOs are typically busy people and likely have no idea who you are, so keep that in mind. If you want to meet with them, try and leverage your network to get you in the door.

10.  Don’t forget to have fun - it is still summertime and you should try to enjoy it!

Good luck! Don’t forget career services is always available to help!

Out Of the Loop: Exploring Boystown through the Pink Party!

OUTreach co-chairs pose after the incredible performances

OUTreach co-chairs pose after the incredible performances

If the amazing gifs in the promotion emails were any indication, OUTreach’s #PinkParty was bound to be a fun-filled evening. This Saturday, over 300 Boothies from the Full-Time and Evening / Weekend program ventured out of the loop and descended upon Sidetrack Video bar in Boystown. After briefly selling out earlier in the week, Pink Party managed to find tickets for those who were having no success on the secondary market. The second wave sold out quickly too and people on the waitlist continued searching for last-minute tickets on GroupMe.

Row 1 (L to R) The LEAD queens pose for the cheering crowd; “Adele” croons for the crowd; Krissy Feetface ready to own the stage. Row 2 (L to R) Tasha Fierce and Hay-Z ready to rock it; Winners of the Pink Party 2017 Crown; Rugby team celebrates a victory on the field, on the stage

Row 1 (L to R) The LEAD queens pose for the cheering crowd; “Adele” croons for the crowd; Krissy Feetface ready to own the stage.

Row 2 (L to R) Tasha Fierce and Hay-Z ready to rock it; Winners of the Pink Party 2017 Crown; Rugby team celebrates a victory on the field, on the stage

The evening featured tons of pink, a variety of frosty beverages (including Sidetracks’ slushies) and amazing, raucous drag performances! The emcees, Christine Groesbeck and Andrew Janiszewski (as his fuchsia-clad alter ego Alexa Playmusic), kicked off the evening by introducing Chicago Drag Queen Krissy Feetface, performing for the first time at Pink Party! Her stage shaking, fierce performance had the crowd screaming and applauding, and ready for the competition to follow.

The bar had been set. And the Boothies were ready to cheer on their classmates in the amateur drag competition. After a few words from the judges - Chris Collins, Associate Dean for Leadership Development, Jessica Jaggers, Senior Director Diversity Affairs & Student Life, Maria Ocasio, Director of Diversity Affairs and Thomas Winberry, Assistant Professor of Economics - the performances commenced. As one judge said, the crowd wanted the “queens to work it and kings to slay” and that they did.

Fresh from their win over Kellogg, the Booth rugby team made an appearance, trading out their short rugby shorts for shorter skirts and pink boas. Not to be outdone, the LEAD facilitators for 2017 stepped up with not just one queen on stage, but two! “Adele” represented the Evening / Weekend program and the audience joined her in her lip sync performance because she truly had “our hearts inside of her hand” as she crooned to Rolling in the Deep. And then Tasha Fierce stepped up with Hay-Z and as one of the folks up front, I can attest that we couldn’t hear the music over the screams of the crowd. However, it was the first ever Pink Party Drag King performance by the Cunning Linguists that stole the show, and the Pink Party 2017 crown, with their rolling, grinding and swagger, it was a (pun-intended) pants dropping performance.

The incredible entertainment aside, this evening was able to highlight and celebrate the diversity and LGBT allyship in the Booth community. This was step forward for Boothies who ventured out of The Loop, to a historically significant neighborhood in Chicago, and perhaps some, to a place outside their comfort zone.

Pink lights at Sidetrack Bar added to the evening’s festivities

Pink lights at Sidetrack Bar added to the evening’s festivities

For those hoping to explore Boystown more, a few recommendations from OUTreach co-chair Taylor Carson - “Wood is a great place to grab a bite. Hit DS Tequila for margaritas. Salsitas has THE BEST late night greasy, cheesy quesadillas. And if you want late night, sweaty dancing, Hydrate and Scarlet are great.”

One thing is for sure, looking back at that evening, we can definitely say, “Oh my Gaga, that was so good!” Major kudos to the OUTreach co-chairs who worked tirelessly to get this event together.

Preparing for your Summer Internship: Finding your Anchors

Rohan Hemrajani, Class of 2017

Rohan Hemrajani, Class of 2017

As you start your summer internships, you are going into a new and unfamiliar environment, where you would need to prove yourself worthy for a full-time gig in less than 10-12 weeks. I walked into Ecolab Inc. in Minneapolis for my summer internship that encompassed a whole lot of unknowns: the city, the industry, the role, the team and the company itself. In order to maximize my productivity and experience, I had to anchor myself to people within the company who can help me settle down quickly, and also contribute towards a success summer: people who can support me beyond the professional context. I called them my “go-to team.”

Who can they be?

Essentially, your anchors should be employees within the organization who have spent a considerable time in the company as well as the location. They can be someone who you have some similarity with, such as company division, business school, work floor or even ethnic background. My “go-to team” comprised of my manager, my team’s director, 2015 Booth alumni and a fellow Indian who had his work station right next to me.

What can they support you in?

It is important to build personal relationships with your anchors, to enable trust and support beyond your project. Some of the different areas I took support in were: feedback and run-through on final presentation, who to network with and how, fun things to do in the city, and even pursuing common interests together. The interactions could range from personal to professional contexts: from a formal meeting to getting drinks or even catching up over the weekend.

Recognize that you may need more than just one type of anchor. Find a diverse group of people to surround yourself with.

Recognize that you may need more than just one type of anchor. Find a diverse group of people to surround yourself with.

How can you sustain these relationships?

Your anchors should know that you value their feedback and trust their opinion. This makes them more invested in your development and experience. I often openly communicated this to my anchors, and it fostered a stronger bond with them. Beyond communication, it was also important for me to maintain regular interaction with them. The conversations shouldn’t always be when you need some kind of support. I used to often catch up with my anchors, and have meaningful conversations with them about their personal interests and background or their professional goals. This way, you are also building long-term relationships, but do not do this with the intent of sustaining anchors; be genuinely interested in building these relationships.

The first few days of your internship are overwhelming because you are getting to know new people, while trying to figure out the scope of your project. Hopefully, you find your anchors in these days so they could help get you over this feeling faster and can direct you towards a successful summer stint.

Reflections on the Harper Center Art Tour

You’ve encountered the Harper Center art in your Booth life, passively or actively - you may have been lucky enough to sign up in the first 5 minutes and 13 seconds to get a spot on the art tour, you may laughed about the provocative video by the mail-folders highlighted in the Follies promo, and now that the weather is getting better, perhaps even stared at the tree in the Summer Garden a little closer - but what if you didn’t get on the tour? We reached out to a few lucky Boothies who did to ask them about their favorite pieces and what made them pause and think, rather like the “Why Are We Here And Not Somewhere Else” sign makes us think.

Drew Jacob, Class of 2018

Drew Jacobs, Class of 2018 discusses Simon Denny's 08.55 Textbook Disruption (pictured) and Janice Kerbel's Ballgame.

Drew Jacobs, Class of 2018 discusses Simon Denny's 08.55 Textbook Disruption (pictured) and Janice Kerbel's Ballgame.

“The first thing Professor Prendergast told us on the Harper art tour was that the collection was not devised as an investment, but for the enjoyment of the Booth community. So you’re meant to interact with it, and pause and think. It is always a pleasure to discover a new piece of art, particularly when the encounter is unexpected. Some of my favorite pieces are the ones that are easily overlooked: Prior to going on the tour, I had not examined Simon Denny's Textbook Disruption, a piece hanging outside the first floor study lounge, because I had assumed it was marketing material.

However, one piece I really enjoyed was was unexpected in that it wasn’t visual. Janice Kerbel's Ballgame, an audio installation in a set of staircases that plays 2 innings of a baseball game followed by 7 innings of silence.”

David Mendez, Class of 2018

David Mendez, Class of 2018 talks about Tomoko Taneda's thought provoking pieces

David Mendez, Class of 2018 talks about Tomoko Taneda's thought provoking pieces

“The most thought-provoking pieces for me is a series of three photographs by Tomoko Yaneda on the 5th floor.

I really liked them because at first glance they are just three photographs of amazing landscapes but then, Professor Canice Prendergast told us that these three places, peaceful as they looked, had been in fact war zones - Lebanon-Israel border, Sarajevo and The Korea’s border. That stuck with me. I realized that at the time of the photograph everything looked so peaceful, but that there was way more story behind what the photograph was able to show. It kind of also reminded me that despite the fact that time really heals or at least washes away pretty much everything.”

Rahil Bharani, Class of 2018

Rahil Bharani, Class of 2018, enlightens us on the secret of Mark Grotjahn's series on Level 1. Seen in installation on the top right and as close ups in Row 2.

Rahil Bharani, Class of 2018, enlightens us on the secret of Mark Grotjahn's series on Level 1. Seen in installation on the top right and as close ups in Row 2.

“I particularly like the set of five paintings outside the academic services offices on level 1. They are by an LA artist - Mark Grotjahn. I was always intrigued by what the dates meant and the background story about the painting makes them very interesting. These paintings were commissioned for $5000 before the artist became famous. He went to an LA casino and wagered the $5000 on 5 different days. Each painting mentions the date and the amount he won or lost. Since then, the painter has become exceedingly famous and is known for the perspectives in his painting, hence the projecting lines.”

Lisa Twu, Class of 2018

Lisa Twu, Class of 2018 discusses two pieces by an artist who moved her. Pictured above Wolfgang Tillman's photo of Venus eclipsing the sun (center) and a close-up of a sheet of paper (right).

Lisa Twu, Class of 2018 discusses two pieces by an artist who moved her. Pictured above Wolfgang Tillman's photo of Venus eclipsing the sun (center) and a close-up of a sheet of paper (right).

"My favorite pieces were from Wolfgang Tillmans. For the first piece, which Wolfgang calls his 'proudest work' I liked that at first glance, the photograph doesn't look like much. Once you realize that it is actually Venus eclipsing the sun, the most impressive part is that next time this is going to happen isn't until 2117. He was able to time the photo just right and its a reminder how it's so easy to take things for granted.

I also really the second piece which is part of a collection of images. To me, it looks like some strange vortex. However, it's only one sheet of paper folded on itself. I think it speaks to me that we can find beauty even in the simplest things."

Parker Ito's A Lil Taste of Cheeto In the Night and FggitCxx3

Parker Ito's A Lil Taste of Cheeto In the Night and FggitCxx3

As the author of the piece who, unluckily, hasn’t had the chance to go on the tour, I was lucky to learn more about a piece I encounter quite often, the one outside the locker room. Parker Ito’s mass of colorful paintings, chains and LED lights that's impossible to miss – Parker Ito’s A Lil Taste of Cheeto In the Night and FggitCxx3 – a giant mass of LED lights and strung up canvasses that’s impossible to miss. As I sat down with some of the folks who made it on the tour, they were able to voice what I always thought - this piece is supposed to make you look up and take notice. It is a way of capturing the sensory overload in our lives that spills over the lines.

One of the things that makes the environment at the Harper Center truly unique is this amazing collection. And we’re glad to get these perspectives. After all, “Why Are We Here” right?

Disha Malik is an art enthusiast who bemoans the fact that she hasn’t been on the art tour yet. However, she is happy to chat with your experiences if you have. For more check out http://art.chicagobooth.edu/

Out of The Loop: Venture to the Glorious Chicago Gold Coast

Charles Fisher, Class of 2019

Charles Fisher, Class of 2019

Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood has both the nightlife and dining to make it a great evening. From the notorious middle-aged hookup bars at “The Viagra Triangle” (Rush and State) to the late night fun at the Division Street bars, it is always a fun night.  

Bordered by Old Town and the Near North side, the neighborhood is easily accessible via Michigan Avenue or the Clark and Division Red-line. If you feel like spending some serious money on apparel or accessories, Oak Street shop’s is where it is at – don’t tell your girlfriend. If you need to take a shopping break, Fred’s at Barney’s has a great outdoor patio on the top floor. Not too far are Le Colonial (French Indochina food), Q Restaurant (BBQ), and 3rd Coast (great brunch), which are local favorites.

Then venture a little farther north to State and Rush. Affectionately named for the clientele that patron the restaurants, “The Viagra Triangle” is a great place for food and drinks early on in the evening. Get a drink and watch the couples while playing the “Sugar Daddy or Regular Couple” game. This strip is home to the Chicago’s well-known restaurants including Gibson’s, Tavern on Rush, and Lux Bar. If you are looking for a little more casual meal, Velvet Taco offers some of the more creative takes on taco combinations.

Once you have wandered the triangle, the Division Street bars should be next on the list. If it is still too early, you can always go to Restoration Hardware, or “RH”, drink and look at overpriced furniture to replace the Ikea in your home. This restaurant/showroom always has a line to get a table, so expect to put your name down for a wait. As seems to be the trend these days, you can drink and shop while you wait - probably to facilitate the impulsive buying process. If you are looking for a more rustic feel, Glunz Tavern on Wells and Division is the place; I know I am encroaching on Old Town territory, so neighborhood purists please forgive me. The old school German bar has the best authentic German food and you can get a boot too! If you don’t know what a boot is, watch the epic poem Beerfest. This place is classier though and no theme music.

Wander through Restoration Hardware and peruse furniture with drink in hand or grab a seat under the beautiful skylight for a leisurely meal.

Wander through Restoration Hardware and peruse furniture with drink in hand or grab a seat under the beautiful skylight for a leisurely meal.

It should be late by this time, so it is time to head back to the Division Street bars. My favorites are Hangge-uppe (“Hang-up”), Hopsmith, Butch Mcguire's, and Zebra Lounge. All the other bars will blend together at this point. As all Boothies should know, if your feet aren’t sticking to the floor when you go to Hangge-uppe, you are there too early. Leave and come back at 3am. Zebra Lounge, on the other hand, is a great small live music piano bar that cannot be missed. Before you leave to go home, make sure to go to Five Faces on Division and treat yourself to a gyro or hamburger. You deserve it.

Charles is an Evening / Weekend student who calls The Gold Coast his home. A Chicago native, he’s always happy to help folks explore new neighborhoods in the city.

“A Commitment To Doing Good & Doing Well” at the DuSable Conference

For more details on the DuSable Conference, look out for emails from AAMBAA, learn more on Booth Groups or visit  www.dusableconference.com

For more details on the DuSable Conference, look out for emails from AAMBAA, learn more on Booth Groups or visit  www.dusableconference.com

With AAMBAA’s signature event, the 32nd Annual DuSable Conference, just around the corner, Chibus sat down with Zachary White ‘17 and Ameerah Phillips ‘17, the conference co-chairs to learn more about what makes this conference so special.

Chibus: The theme of “A Commitment To Doing Good & Doing Well” struck me immediately applicable to me a business school student. Tell me a little about why that was such an important theme for you to highlight?

ZW: “The idea was born out of our desire as leaders of AAMBAA to continue the conversation about our engagement with society as business leaders. For the last two years now, we've all observed the various movements and conversations our society is having about ensuring equitable treatment and access to opportunities for all members of our society. The reality is that we as business leaders have a voice in that discussion and the opportunity to have a positive impact. And we are excited to share this with other Business Students, recognizing that we are going to be at the forefront of leading businesses, new ventures, industry, and we can use this opportunity to think about how we can leverage our experiences to make an impact and give back to the communities in which we live. We've assembled an amazing lineup of speakers who will share their experiences at the forefront of business and community engagement.”

AP: "Moreover, it was really important to us to debunk the myth that doing good and doing well are mutually exclusive concepts. Given our current political and social climate, we want to encourage our colleagues--fellow emerging professionals--to integrate personal values into their work to make a meaningful impact, while still advancing their respective interests."

Ameerah Phillips, Class of 2017

Ameerah Phillips, Class of 2017

Zachary White, Class of 2017

Zachary White, Class of 2017

 

Chibus: Chicago Booth is known for being an engaged community. Did you see a desire for this particular conversation in the rest of the community?

ZW: “Absolutely. We have a long-standing legacy of students and alumni at the school who have been engaged in shaping community here in Chicago and elsewhere. AAMBAA had a few events throughout the year highlighting social issues such as the #BlackLivesMatter movement in addition to a few members participating in Booth Insights. We found that there is a hunger and desire in our classmates to have this type of conversation.

Moreover, we had the support to really make this vision come to fruition. At Chicago Booth, we’re privileged to have access to and the support of partners like the Social Enterprise Initiative, which has been instrumental in helping us shape this conference. With their help, we've assembled speakers and panelists that can share powerful insights on what it means to maintain a commitment to doing good and doing well.”

Chibus: Tell us a little about what we should expect?

ZW: “The DuSable Conference will be filled with powerful insights and practical takeaways from individuals who have had success in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors.  Chicago Booth students continually look for ways to engage and hopefully, students will be encouraged to take action.

We're lucky to have Martin Nesbitt, Chicago GSB ‘89, join us to share his story in addition to providing some tangible steps for balancing one's career and community engagement. Martin is Co-Founder and Co-CEO of The Vistria Group LLC based in Chicago.

In addition to establishing a private equity firm, Martin has leveraged his network for civic engagement. He’s been incredibly involved as the Chairman of the Obama Foundation, leading the development of the Presidential Library and community center.

Additionally, with the help of the SEI, we were able to secure Elizabeth and Don Thompson. Don is a former CEO of McDonald's while Liz serves as a Trustee for The University of Chicago. Here are two people who are balancing business and philanthropy by creating an organization focused on the community, the Cleveland Avenue Foundation for Education alongside a successful business venture, Cleveland Avenue LLC, a VC firm and startup accelerator focused on building new food and beverage businesses.

And of course, if you didn’t have the opportunity to join Professor Epley’s Designing a Good Life last quarter, he will be there to set the tone of the conference and share research that supports the importance of doing good while also doing well.”

AP: "To add to Zac's point, we'd like to highlight the fact that the DuSable conference places a strong emphasis on interactive discussion and action. We'll have the opportunity to engage with these dynamic speakers, but it doesn't stop there, we hope that this conference will also encourage attendees to develop a plan of action to make a meaningful impact in their communities.

Beyond this, DuSable is also a great networking opportunity. It gathers current students, alums, graduate students from across the city, and Chicago civic and business professionals. It's a great way to meet new people and build relationships."  

Chibus: What do you hope attendees with take away from this conference?

ZW: "Considering that this is Spring Quarter with Boothies close to graduation and summer internships, we hope that students take away from this day a greater sense of the impact they can have in their communities as business leaders. They can take inspiration from speakers and identify avenues in their lives where they can give back.”

Sign up for the DuSable Conference on Booth Groups. The conference will be held on Saturday, May 6th at the Gleacher Center and the ticket includes all the conference sessions, lunch, post-conference reception with unlimited frosty beverages, and entry to the late night social!

Out of the Loop: Hyde Park Edition. The World beyond Woodlawn

By Disha Malik, Class of 2018

By Disha Malik, Class of 2018

Spring is, dare we say, here and summer is on its way. As the weather improves, Boothies find themselves stepping out of the Harper Center to Summer Garden, perhaps venture as far as the outdoor patio at Plein Air Cafe. As a double Maroon (former UChicago undergrad) I love it when people explore beyond the bubble of Harper. Hell, we’re going to Mandel Hall for Follies! So this article is an introduction to just a few more places in Hyde Park and the great big university just beyond Woodlawn.

Coffee - Hallowed Grounds. (1127 E 57th St)

Up on the second floor of the Reynolds Club is the dim-lit, dark paneled, gothic Hallowed Grounds coffee shop complete with pool table. The soundtrack is barista’s choice, making this feel even more like a coffee shop by the students and for the students. Its cozy vibe and devoted customer base creates a homey atmosphere that you discovered all for yourself.

Quick Bite - Grounds of Being (Swift Hall, 1025 E 58th St)

The Divinity School Cafe known as “Grounds of Being” would be my pick for a quick bite, a cup of coffee, and a great place to see how the Battle of the Gods tip jar competition is progressing. It’s super pun-ny right now, with Protestant Reformation vs. Beyonce’s Formation my recent favorite matchup. The cafe curates lunch options from around the neighborhood so if you want a falafel or some pad thai, or both, go grab lunch and maybe an Irish Catholic coffee. After all, as their mugs put it, it’s “Where God Drinks Coffee.”

Collectibles at Grounds of Being Cafe

Collectibles at Grounds of Being Cafe

Leisurely Meal - Medici on 57th (1327 E 57th St)

Medici or The Med, is a Hyde Park institution. Go for the Garbage Pizza (or Garbage Salad if you’re being healthy) and stop at the Med bakery next door for a fruit tart or a mexicana shake! Before you leave, make sure you find a moment to scratch your name in with the millions of inscriptions in the tables and walls.

Frosty Beverages - Woodlawn Tap aka Jimmy’s (1172 E 55th St)

Go beyond The Pub to Jimmy’s, nicknamed after its legendary bartender and owner (you may find it on Yelp as Woodlawn Tap) for cheap food and fare. Walk up to Woodlawn and 55th Street to sit amongst a mix of students, professors and Hyde Park locals and order up a side of fries with your drink. You won’t regret it. (PSA: It’s cash only.)

Best View of the Chicago Skyline - The Promontory Point (5491 S Shore Dr)

This was a close one between the Astronomy Tower and Logan Arts Center, but since frisbee season is almost here, I went with The Promontory Point, also known as The Point. The Point (not to be confused with the restaurant The Promontory, which is also great) is a little oasis on the South Side. It’s right on the lake, you get an amazing view of the skyline and you can always sunbathe there.

Secret Escape - Osaka Garden or Garden of the Phoenix (6401 S Stony Island)

While you’re at The Point, visit the Osaka Gardens right behind the Museum of Science and Industry! The beautiful serene space has an art installation by Yoko Ono. It’s worth it.

Study Space - Harper Memorial Library (1116 E 59th St)

This doesn’t happen often but every once in awhile, Boothies need a study space that's not the Winter Garden. For that, head over to Harry Potter… uh… Harper Memorial Library. Comfy chairs, coffee supply from yet another student run shop, Common Knowledge Cafe, and the opportunity to enjoy a little slice of the Harry Potter world.

Fantastic Find - $1 Shake Day at the C-Shop (5706 S University Ave)

$1 Shake Day! If Wednesdays are getting you down, and the “hump-day” camel isn’t helping with the fact that the weekend is far away, step over to Einstein Bros Bagels at the C-Shop to grab a shake for just a dollar. Personally I wait for the Cookies N’ Cream but I respect your decision to get that Strawberry Shake with Oreos too.

Disha loves revisiting her favorite spots on campus and would be happy to lead a tour or give suggestions to anyone who wants to wander beyond the world of Woodlawn.

Spring Break Israel: History, Culture & Adventure at BoothRight

By Brian Gracia, Class of 2017

By Brian Gracia, Class of 2017

This Spring Break, over 130 second-year Booth students, from 19 countries, experienced the culture, history, and nightlife of Israel on what has become an annual student-led trip nicknamed BoothRight.

The journey began in the holy city of Jerusalem. There, the group was greeted by the Mayor of Jerusalem who discussed a wide range of topics including movement of the US embassy, the Palestinian conflict, and decriminalization of cannabis. After, small tour groups experienced some of the world’s most important religious sites including the “Wailing” Wall, Temple Mount, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre while others took a trip to Jerusalem’s Western Market. Daniel Ochoterena (Class of 2017) described the old city as “awe-inspiring: ancient, thriving and majestic.” The group wrapped up their Jerusalem experience at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The next stop of the journey was a luxurious day floating in the Dead Sea with spa-like mud treatments. Unfortunately, the group could not stay forever and soon departed for an evening with the nomadic Bedouin people. Participants Andrew and Liz Ward found the Bedouin tent party to be one of the highlights of their trip, where “they had belly dancers who pulled each of us out of the crowd to shake it in front of our fellow BoothRighters!” The visit included a sunrise at Herod’s palace-like fortress Masada.

Boothies stop to take a cheery photo during a sunrise visit to Masada

Boothies stop to take a cheery photo during a sunrise visit to Masada

A special treat was an Air Force Base tour organized by trip co-leader and former fighter pilot Lior Sahaf. The group learned about Israel’s air capabilities in addition to watching F-16’s take-off up-close on the runway. Next, the group transitioned to the Golan Heights to take an ATV tour to a former Syrian base. The remainder of the trip included stops at the Sea of Galilee and Nazareth before two days of shopping, relaxation, and beach time in beautiful Tel Aviv.

Other highlights included “Bus Fun”, “Wakey-Wakey”, ladies favorite ‘Steve’, and “Thank You for Your Service.” Student leaders Lily Rapaport, Itai Koren, Lior Sahaf, Eran Lewis and Maayan Aharon did an amazing job leading a transformative experience on Booth’s largest annual second year trip and have earned lifelong appreciation from the participants. Class of 2017’s Rikki Singh put it best: “Israel provides the perfect background for honest conversations and getting to know 130 friends better without being overwhelmed!”

The group returns to the US with a new affinity for hummus and pita.

Spring Break Colombia: Painting Colombia Maroon

By Jehana Vazifdar, Class of 2018

By Jehana Vazifdar, Class of 2018

Off to a delayed start, my Colombia adventure began with a flourish. I was part of the “lost” crew; a cancelled flight, unexpected night in NYC, and another delayed flight later, 23 other Boothies and I finally made it to the party in Bogota’s legendary steakhouse Andrés Carne de Res. After an Aguardiente-fueled ride on the party-bus, we entered a labyrinth of what felt like a massive 3D doodle, with every inch of the sprawling bar decorate with neon signs and eclectic hangings. In the one-day head-start other Boothies had on us, they seemed to have already gathered a collection of moves they rocked to the tunes of Luis Fonsi’s Despacito. The song became the anthem of our rollercoaster Spring Break trip.

Although the travel rigmarole meant that I had missed the Bogota city tour, I got to soak in culture in Medellin the next day. 60+ Booth students trekked through what was once the most dangerous neighborhood in the world – the comunas (slums) of Santo Domingo. We ascended the steep hill on a wobbly bus packed with locals. Atop the hill, we bought beers from a local bar before traversing Camino de la Vida, or the path of life – designed to create a sense of pride and community amongst the slum dwellers. The landscaped path presented stunning views of the slums sparkling like jewels below us as the last embers of the sun faded.

The highlight of my trip was a boat party in El Peñol De Guatape. Caps bearing our names added a host of color against the landscape of green hills and water. The Booth flag was flourished as we conquered Colombia with our revelry. It was flourished again when a hundred of us committed our loyalties to the Colombian soccer team as they defeated Bolivia in a qualifying game for the 2018 World Cup. In our bright yellow jerseys matching the crowd, we felt fully immersed in Colombian culture.

But nothing could match the fiesta on Isla Grande (the big island). The party began in the morning on a boat – the best ones always do! Our matching neon shirts filled the white yachts with color. Each boat belted its own beats as its inhabitants dived into the ocean. The party continued on the glorious sands of Isla Grande, punctuated by a delicious meal of shrimp and plantain fritters.

Shrimp, sand and surf; it was a befitting last day in Colombia for many of us. For the others, we got another day of sun and fun on the islands.

A big thank you to Booth students Sebastián Pérez Restrepo, Valentina Díaz and Camilo Alvarez for organizing this trip. I'd also like to acknowledge the Vaova travel company team, especially Juan Pablo Toro and Christian Byfield, whose energy, enthusiasm and creativity infused the trip with fun. 

Spring Break Japan: #KonichiWhyBooth

By Alejandro Lozano, Class of 2018

By Alejandro Lozano, Class of 2018

As someone who likes to think of themselves as decently well-traveled, I have never felt so out of place or so far from home than when I was in Japan. However, what I can clearly say is that the country was absolutely phenomenal and in some ways completely indescribable. After a thirteen hour flight, 42 Boothies landed in Tokyo to experience what Japan had to offer. While the group as a whole got to visit a number of cities including  Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Nara, Hakone, Tokyo, I found myself recalling specific occasions more than specific cities.

Stepping off the plane, Japan felt like an entirely different planet, but that could be because it was my first time in Asia proper. Tokyo in particular feels like stepping into a sci-fi movie, where you are surrounded by hundreds of people in dark suits rushing about their day. Stimuli in every way, shape and form constantly surrounds you, from an immense amount of human activity at the Shibuya crossing, to maid cafes where you are referred to as “master” in the anime-capital Harajuku. A visit to the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku truly brings all that together with an absurd, larger than life robot show which really drives it home that Japan is nothing that what you may have ever experienced before.

Group at the magnificent Miyajima Floating Torii. 

Group at the magnificent Miyajima Floating Torii. 

In stark contrast, Kyoto and Osaka had more traditional atmosphere, and our time there was spent visiting serene, ancient sites. One of my favorite things of the entire trip was visiting a traditional farm-to-table restaurant in a cul-de-sac in a residential part of rural Kyoto. Here we sampled the top-grade “legendary” Japanese wagyu beef and then, were able to exercise it off by doing a twenty minute hike up a mountain to a monkey park where macaques roam freely and you get a spectacular view of Kyoto.

What also struck me was that visiting Japan was way more challenging than any other country I’ve been to without having a native speaker accompanying you constantly. Yet the politeness, generosity and patience of each person you meet can take you aback, especially if you are an American living in an urban city. You are greeted everywhere you go with a bow and sent off with a thanks. Even the subway transit conductors will turn around and bow every time they move from train cart to train cart. Try getting the Chicago Metra folks to do that.

Shout out to Yoko Ushioda and Yala Su for organizing a life-changing trip. The Boothies return to Chicago with a greater appreciation of the diverse offerings Japan holds while recognizing that while the country has it all, it could do with a few more English speakers.

Spring Break Morocco: Bargaining and Barakah with Boothies

By Enrique Hederra, Class of 2018

By Enrique Hederra, Class of 2018

Who would have said that travelling with more than 50 unknown people from all over the world, in a country where you get lost in translation, and where you cannot drink tap water (but you always get a super sweet peppermint tea as soon as you step into a place) would have been such an amazing experience.

I participated in the Explore Morocco spring break trip, and this experience will remain vividly in my memory not only because of the magnificent country but also the friendships I walk away with.

The whole trip was a perfect blend of cultural visits, clubbing, relaxing and eating. We visited Tangier, Casablanca, Essaouira and Marrakech, each city offering a completely different experience; we walked through ancient medinas, did horseback riding at the sunset at a beautiful beach and climbed the Atlas Mountains on donkeys. We also ate like kings! Moroccan food has huge French and Spanish influence, which we were able to taste in lots of Tagines, including the meals we prepared ourselves in a cooking class!

Group enjoys the sites in the seaside town of Essaouira

Group enjoys the sites in the seaside town of Essaouira

The Moroccan sense of time, bargaining and barakah (good luck) were also some interesting learnings. Whenever we were told someone would arrive in 20 minutes they really meant one hour. Whenever somebody asked 800 dirham for something, you could easily buy it for 300. And you can attribute  to barakah nearly everything. I remember a friend buying a tagine. After getting the price down from 300 to 90 dirhams he found it full of dust. After complaining, he was told to better to keep the dust because it would bring him barakah.

As much as I was impressed by the country, I was equally impressed by the group of Boothies and their partners in the trip. I will honestly say that I have never been in a group with so many interesting people of so many different nationalities. Already in the very first minutes, I met people from as countries as far from mine as Botswana, Albania and Ethiopia. However, the conversations in the days that followed made me wish I could take more than just one spring break trip a year.

Finally, I want to thank Ziad Abouchadi who organized this trip to show us his beautiful country and its amazing culture.

Spring Break Patagonia: Falling Off The Grid and Becoming Leaders

By Christine Groesbeck, Class of 2018

By Christine Groesbeck, Class of 2018

Over the spring break, 16 Boothies embarked on a hiking expedition in Chilean Patagonia with NOLS, an organization that has been providing experiential leadership and wilderness training to students worldwide since 1965. Our group had a variety of reasons for signing on to the trip. Some wanted to learn proper Leave No Trace backpacking skills, others wanted to meet new Boothies in a smaller group setting, and a few of us signed up solely because Patagonia was high on our bucket-lists. 

The reality of the trip set in sometime between the hours we spent at REI poring over the extensive equipment list and the moment we tried to lift our heavy backpacks for the first time. We left our phones behind for a week off-the-grid and boarded a bus to the Cerro Castillo National Reserve. We were joined by three knowledgeable instructors who taught us everything from how to safely scale a steep mountain slope, to how to make some of the world’s best “camp-stove” pizza.

A magical moment under the stars. Photo Credit: Gustavo Centeno

A magical moment under the stars. Photo Credit: Gustavo Centeno

We hiked over two mountain passes, forded rivers and bushwhacked around waterfalls. The NOLS curriculum fit in seamlessly and we had the opportunity to set personal goals and take on leadership roles to ensure our group would successfully complete the course. We spent our last night in the backcountry on a local farm enjoying a traditional Chilean asado, or barbecue, and learning about the regional culture

Arriving back at the basecamp was bittersweet. Showering for the first time in seven days felt amazing but we were sad to say goodbye to our expedition family.

We headed home with a new appreciation for the power of nature and fond memories from one of the most challenging, rewarding and fun weeks of our combined Booth experiences.

Spring Break Tanzania: How Close Can We Get to That Lion?

By Tanya Puri, Class of 2018

By Tanya Puri, Class of 2018

The Booth Spring Break trip to Tanzania attracted over 20 Boothies united by the common mission of spotting as many wild cats as possible on our four days of safari game drives.

The trip kicked off with a traditional Tanzanian dinner in Kilimanjaro, followed by an early morning departure to the Tarangire National Park. Split into three jeeps stocked with binoculars, cameras and of course, unlimited frosty beverages, the Tanzania Spring Break had officially begun!

While we didn’t see any big cats at Tarangire, we saw zebras, giraffes, wildebeests and plenty of impalas and gazelles. We even spent a night in a tented lodge with the peaceful wildebeests as our neighbors. The next morning, after a half-day game drive, we stopped at a Masai Village where we were invited in to learn about their nomadic lives and learn some not-so-easy Masai dancing (read: jumping). Next, we drove to the Ngorongoro Crater which, at over 7000ft, is the world’s largest inactive volcano and is home to several animals, such as hippos and rhinos, and also featuring some incredible views.

Group pauses during an exciting game drive at the Tarangire National Park in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Group pauses during an exciting game drive at the Tarangire National Park in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

The highlight was Serengeti National Park, where we were able to get close to our favorite wild cat, the lion. While it can be unnerving to be so close, with temperatures going up to 30 degrees Celsius, the animals were unaffected by our passing safari jeeps and were either seeking shelter from the harsh sun or searching for water. We spent two nights at the Serengeti, sleeping under the African sky full of stars and being escorted by Masai men back to our rooms after dark to avoid becoming lion prey.

The last day was a drive back to Arusha, with some Boothies making their way back to Chicago and others (ahem, second years) deciding to skip week 1, to explore more of East Africa. The group takes a moment to acknowledge James Levinson for fearlessly leading 20 Boothies to the African Savannah. James made sure we were close enough to the Lions to get incredible pictures but far away to escape with all limbs intact. In all seriousness, he handled all the logistics and planning and made this a once in a lifetime experience!

Confessions of a Double Maroon

By John Frame, Class of 2017

By John Frame, Class of 2017

As a second-year full-time student, now is about the time where the reality that the end is near starts to set in. Whether it’s the creepy nostalgia of “senioritis” from my high school days, the emails that remind me I need to apply for graduation, or the passing of the baton to the next group of ChiBus editors or admissions fellows, it’s no secret that the Booth experience is coming to a close for half of the students here. Since leaving a place you love can be hard, I’ve learned to begin saying “goodbye” early.

I came to Booth as somewhat of an anomaly. I studied English as an undergraduate at The University of Chicago and spent eight very long, yet rewarding, years in education as an English teacher, charter school co-founder, and non-profit manager. I knew very little about how corporations make the world go ‘round. I was fairly naive and even scoffed at the idea that business folks could care about anything other than making money. My experiences had incorrectly taught me this. Booth flipped the script.

When I came to Booth, I initially longed for my college and teaching days where I could debate the radical philosophies of Friedrich Nietzsche with a classmate or interpret voice and memory in Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf with fellow undergraduate thespians or my nerdy students. But I now know that the purpose of this leg of my journey is not to change all of the experiences I’ve had in the past, but rather it’s to enrich those experiences with new colors.

I’ll admit I haven’t always loved my time here at Booth. Consulting recruiting was one of the worst moments for me, and a memory I cannot sooner forget. I was not always impressed with my professors’ abilities to break down material and or even to find the joy in teaching at times. I longed for more intellectually stimulating conversations that didn’t involve talk of careers or superficial musings.

...I’m preparing to leave this place (again) with a renewed sense of the possibilities.

But I am also critical of my own engagement and my own naive expectations. While I’ve certainly pushed myself to be more involved in the community as an Admissions Fellow, as an editor for this newspaper, and as a representative on university-wide councils, I can’t say that I’ve taken total advantage of all of the resources that exist here at the Harper Center. I haven’t scheduled many office hour chats with professors, attended many of the speaker series around campus, nor worked to create the spaces where students who long for deeper, more meaningful conversations like me can find one other.

However, I know that there is never enough time and I need to be easier on myself. So, I’m preparing to leave this place (again) with a renewed sense of the possibilities. The College before and now Booth have given me a powerful sense of confidence and self-worth. I am ready now more than ever to take on the world with all of the forward motion of a trailblazer.

At the end of the day, I have to remember that this Booth moment is just a stop on a longer road through many more unknowns. And I’m happy to traverse that road--full speed ahead--with some new, wonderful friends; a much larger network of innovative, passionate thinkers; and with the support of some really cool administrators and staff. With my favorite Beyonce song blasting in the background, bring it on.

If you’re feeling nostalgic, reach out and ask John to grab some tea or coffee to talk it through.

OUT OF THE LOOP: Lake View's Eclectic Views

By John Frame, Class of 2017

By John Frame, Class of 2017

A recurring column about the hottest things to do outside of the Chicago Loop!

Anyone who has ventured outside of the Chicago Loop area will have stumbled--either intentionally or somewhat by accident--upon one of the city’s liveliest neighborhoods: Lake View. Geographically amorphous, Lake View mostly covers the area east of the Chicago River and west of Lake Shore Drive, while being bordered to the south by W Diversey Pkwy and north by Irving Park Blvd. However, nestled in those boundaries are baseball fanatics’ Wrigleyville and Chicago’s LGBTQ mecca, Boystown. Nevertheless, no matter what you are looking for, Lake View has something for everyone.

Take the redline CTA train up to Belmont and head east until you reach North Broadway. There you’ll find great independent restaurants and some pleasant coffee houses. Grab a hot mocha and a window seat at the Chicago-born Intelligentsia Coffee (3123 North Broadway). While you could use the space and time to study for winter exams, it’s much better to flirt with the cute Chicagoans traversing by.

For a late lunch or dinner, check out DMK Burger Bar (2954 N Sheffield Ave). Try the crispy prosciutto or aged cheddar in classic beef, turkey, bison, or a thick portobello, with a side of jazzed up fries adorned with Amish blue cheese and smoked bacon or parmesan, truffle cream. Cap off your meal with a craft beer. If burgers aren’t your thing, check out the small, but very popular, Crisp (2940 N Broadway), serving up some of Chicago’s best and crispiest (get it?) Korean fried chicken doused in signature sauces. Also part of the draw are the eatery’s bibimbop rice bowls and BYOB laissez-faire attitude.       

Industrial decor lines the interior of Intelligentsia Coffee Shop, Lake View. Photo Courtesy of Intelligentsia. 

Industrial decor lines the interior of Intelligentsia Coffee Shop, Lake View. Photo Courtesy of Intelligentsia. 

To wash down the fried chicken or to continue the pre-game, head over to Sheffield’s Beer and Wine Garden (3258 N Sheffield Ave), a neighborhood staple, where you can drown yourself in the flavors of over 30 draft beers, an extensive craft beer menu, and featured brews of the month. Don’t stay too long or you’ll get swallowed up by the noise of the young and rowdy crowd. Instead, head to Bobtail Ice Cream (2951 N Broadway), serving up classic homemade ice cream in an old time shop. Check out the Tuesday special for a discount on one of the creamiest milkshakes you’ll ever have!

For some organized entertainment, grab a ticket to one of the many improv comedy shows at the Annoyance Theatre & Bar (851 W Belmont Ave). Particularly great is the weekly show “Messing With a Friend” (Thursdays, 10:30pm, $5), featuring Susan Messing and a rotation of Chicago’s top improvisers from legendary improv houses like Improv Olympic and Second City, among others. If you want something even more ambiguous, catch Blue Man Group at Briar Street Theater (3133 N Halsted St; tix from $35 w/ student ID). Founded in 1991, Blue Man Group has garnered a reputation for combining music, technology, and comedy into performances that have been heralded as innovative and entertaining all around the world.

Exterior beer garden at Sheffield's, Lake View. Photo courtesy of Sheffield's. 

Exterior beer garden at Sheffield's, Lake View. Photo courtesy of Sheffield's. 

If you’re just getting started, stroll up North Halsted and get your dance on at one of the many bars and dance clubs along the Boystown Strip from Belmont to Addison. A favorite is Sidetrack Video Bar (3349 N Halsted St), a large modern venue showcasing reasonably priced drinks and theme nights featuring the hits of popular artists like Beyonce and Madonna (Beyonce Night is March 15th!). Sidetrack will once again be the venue for this year’s annual #PinkParty in May, hosted by the OUTreach LGBTQ student organization at Chicago Booth.

John is always exploring pockets of awesomeness all over the great city of Chicago. Join him!

OUTreach, Armed Forces groups highlight mental health issues

By John Frame, Class of 2017

By John Frame, Class of 2017

In a recent study from the University of California at Berkeley, researchers found that roughly 67% of graduate students report feeling hopeless at least once annually and 54% experience depression. Mental health and wellness are not easy subjects to broach, even with our closest friends. Yet the consequences of remaining silent on such matters can be extremely harmful

On Wednesday, February 8th, the OUTreach LGBTQ and Armed Forces (AFG) student groups co-hosted a panel during Booth’s Health and Wellness Week titled, “Courage to Reach Out.” Moderated by OUTreach co-chair, Rachel Chamberlain (‘17), participants spoke candidly and bravely about their experiences with depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and general feelings of hopelessness to a crowd of Booth students and faculty.   

Katie Wurzbach (‘17), a veteran of the United States Army, shed light on veterans’ battles with PTSD: “You feel like you should be able to deal with it,” she said. “It’s so different for each person that it can be really hard to understand.” So many times popular opinion tells us that if you’re having a tough time, then you are not strong. But the panelists reminded us how important it is to resist those uninformed notions and to seek help.

Austin Fang (‘17), a member of the Graduate Business Council Executive Committee and an active member of OUTreach, reminded the audience that we cannot forget the marginalized communities who do not have the resources to cope with mental health issues. “Transgender populations have some of the highest levels of depression and suicide,” he said. “We have to remember that some people really need the extra support.” Fang also urged attendees to “have deeper conversations that go beyond the span of the morning Metra ride” with those that seem unwell.  

Katie Wurzbach and Rachel Chamberlain, class of 2017 leaders of the Armed Forces and OUTreach LGBTQ student groups. respectively, share the purpose of gathering to discuss mental health issues. 

Katie Wurzbach and Rachel Chamberlain, class of 2017 leaders of the Armed Forces and OUTreach LGBTQ student groups. respectively, share the purpose of gathering to discuss mental health issues. 

Wurzbach encouraged the audience to be forthright with asking tough questions of friends who seem ill: “Sometimes folks don't know how to share how they're feeling...I feel really thankful that I was taught to ask people if they’re having suicidal thoughts...it opens up the conversation.”

Depression and feelings of sadness can make it difficult to connect with coworkers and can negatively impact our professional outcomes. It’s important to understand the warning signs so that we can help ourselves and others. Students should recognize excessive weight gain or loss due to changes in eating habits, excessive lethargy, and irritability lasting longer than a couple of weeks as clear warning signs that it’s time to seek help. Thoughts of suicide should be taken seriously.

"If you can catch things early, you have a better chance of managing the symptoms than if you wait," shared Andrew Janiszewski (‘18), a dual member of both OUTreach and AFG. “Even if you don’t have any serious signs of clinical illness, counseling is a resource that can be valuable for everyone.”

As a first step, students should seek confidential support from Student Counseling Services, located at 5555 S Woodlawn Ave, in person (weekdays, 8:30am-5:00pm) or via phone at (773) 702-9800 (24 hours).

Additionally, if you are experiencing the Chicago winter blues, take some of the following measures to begin feeling better: get outside for a walk or run, create a regular workout schedule, invest in a sun lamp for those cloudy days, and be sure to reach out and talk with a close friend or family member. And remember: you are not alone.

John encourages Booth students and faculty to take care of each other during this winter season. Be well.

Making the Switch

By Priyanka Prakash, Class of 2017 Career Advisor

By Priyanka Prakash, Class of 2017 Career Advisor

So, it’s that time of the year again. Congratulations are due to the Class of 2018. Why? Because you braved through January. The incredible cold and the first batch of interviews. You now know the in’s and out’s of the Interview Center, and know exactly where Room 214DD is hidden. For some of you, the process is just beginning, or ongoing. The process can take a while for some. And the process may even require that you reassess strategy and switch lanes.

I’m a strong believer in the fact that recruiting, as stressful as it may be, is actually CEO boot camp. I think of this as “Future-CEO-training.” How many times have we seen CEO’s make decisions where they’ve had to reassess, recall products, or reinvent strategy.

Remember that the MBA internship is probably the last time in the next several years you’ll have complete, unbridled freedom to explore and experiment with unconventional career options. Why do I say this? Because I urge you to explore an avenue that excites you, even if the process takes a little longer. Internships are adrenaline-filled journeys of intense learning. So find one that excites you – whether it’s modeling content amortization schedules, creating a cool new tech product, or working with a social advocacy organization.

So, if you need to reassess your options, or switch to an alternate strategy, here are some ideas that might help:

  1. Prioritize what your industry and functional focus should be. Consider exploring functions that are adjacent to the ones for which you previously recruited. For instance, if you were recruiting for consulting, consider strategy roles at companies that have a robust off-campus process. If you were recruiting for investment banking or management roles, consider corporate finance as an option.

  2. Leverage your background and your network. If you studied biochemistry in undergrad, healthcare companies (many of whom have off-campus processes) would love to hear from you. Reach out to former bosses, mentors, and people that you met at events in the past.

  3. Leverage the Booth network. Invariably, a company that you are interested in will have Boothies there who want to grow the Booth network within their company. Reach out and connect.

  4. Build “just in time” connections now. Several companies have late recruiting schedules, particularly for tech and start-ups. Reach out early.

  5. Talk to second year students. They are always happy and willing to share personal stories, experiences, and will also direct you to others who may be able to help you as you search for the best roles.

I will leave you with one thought: if you are in the process of finding an internship, seek out opportunities with companies that you would love to join. Remember that careers take several different routes to reach the same end goal. Chart your course, and make it your own.

We understand that it’s stressful. And we are here to help. Good luck, and happy February!

Priyanka is always happy to meet with anyone who needs help discovering their next move. Reach out!

The Oscars: So White and So Elitist

By John Frame, Class of 2017

By John Frame, Class of 2017

Last week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science released its nominations for its annual Academy Awards (known as the “Oscars”), which honor outstanding achievement in filmmaking. Following two years where the Academy “failed” to nominate a single minority actor (remember “#OscarsSoWhite”?), the Academy made amends this year including seven minority nominees across all four acting categories, as well as recognizing four films (of nine) about non-whites in the Best Film category.

But what does it say that minority filmmaking is still not consistently provided the same recognition as films made by and about the majority? And what about favoring the obscure over the blockbuster?

To answer this question, one need only look at the membership of the Academy, which, according to a 2016 report from the Los Angeles Times, is 91% white and 76% male. Blacks, Asians, and Latinos make up just 7% of the total membership body. With a mean age of 63, the membership is a whopping 85% over the age of 50.

With those statistics, it’s no wonder that the Academy skews more traditional in its selection of nominees and winners each year. Many of the films that receive recognition rarely earn the big bucks while in theaters, and very few blockbusters earn recognition, let alone a win.

The last blockbuster film to win the Academy’s top prize was 2003’s Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($377M), the final installment of the groundbreaking trilogy. Many believe that film’s win was a honor for the entire franchise and the technical achievements of director Peter Jackson and his mastermind team. But that’s neither here nor there.

The statistics on minority nominees and winners in the major categories are so low that Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, an African-American, had to walk a fine line in support of diversifying the Academy’s membership and, most recently, when she instituted initiatives that aim to double the number of minorities and women by 2020. Only one black female has ever won the Oscar for Best Actress (Halle Berry, Monster’s Ball, 2001); four black men have won the Best Actor Oscar; and a total of 10 black actors and actresses have won in the supporting categories over 88 years.    

...minority filmmaking is still not consistently provided the same recognition as films made by and about the majority...

So the Oscar voters are white and old and out of touch. Perhaps even racist. But who cares, right?

Well, not exactly. At a time when our nation is more visibly divided than it has been in recent memory, the importance of honoring the diversity of American culture is really the issue at play here. Americans, on the whole, appear to view our government, media, and public figures as elitists. This continues to fuel a rebellion of what makes America unique and, dare I say, great. The Academy, like many other public institutions, has a duty to represent all facets of American culture. After all, the Academy is at the heart of our most authentic and oldest of pastimes: movie-watching.

This year, the Academy has a chance to honor some of the greatest performances in some of the greatest films ever made by minorities: from Viola Davis’ and Denzel Washington’s masterclass acting in the adaptation of August Wilson’s award-winning play, Fences, to the filmmakers of--and performers in--films like Moonlight, Hidden Figures, and Lion. The hope is that we will see a turning point this year, where the Academy members start looking towards a future of honoring the whole of the film industry and not just a few of its obscure parts.               

John is a lover of films and hopes that the Academy does the right thing this year and awards its top prize to Moonlight, over the fluffy La La Land.

Stay focused on your chosen career path

By Madeline King, Class of 2017 Career Adviser 

By Madeline King, Class of 2017 Career Adviser 

January and February can be challenging times if you’re doing a specialized search that involves mainly off-campus recruiting. The pull of the “herd mentality” is stronger than ever as people file in and out of Harper in suits, chatting eagerly about their on-campus interviews and offers. However, if that’s not your chosen path, don’t get distracted! Instead, focus on what you can do to put your own best foot forward, even if it looks quite different from many of your peers.

As someone who is running their own specialized search, I can vouch for the start of the New Year as an incredibly valuable time to make substantial strides in networking and job applications for a wide range of opportunities, whether it’s in social impact, venture capital, or entrepreneurship. Here are a few tangible action items to pursue:

  1. Keep up the networking! For many people doing specialized searches, such interactions can create leads for both summer and full-time roles. This is a marathon, not a sprint, so leverage the flexibility you have now in your schedule to build relationships that will pay dividends for years to come. If you met with people earlier in the school year, now is the time to touch base with them via an update email or phone chat.  

  2. Spend more time off-campus in winter and spring quarters than you did during the fall quarter to ensure that you are getting valuable facetime with the opportunities you want to pursue. Consider arranging your academic and extracurricular schedule to accommodate those coffee chats you’ve been wanting to have or self-guided treks you’ve been wanting to make. Remember that you have to go find things—they are probably not going to come to you!

  3. Take a lab class or access other experiential learning opportunities--great ways to start building real work experience in a new space. You can source these through a combination of the Booth curriculum, clubs, competitions, and the alumni network, as well as the various incubators and affiliation groups located throughout Chicago.

  4. Remember that on-campus resources are still valuable. Continue to monitor on-campus events and GTS for opportunities that may be a good fit for you. Pro tip: set up alerts using the “Advanced Search” function so that you don’t have to check GTS manually.

  5. Iterate on your target list as you get new information and make connections. A place that you really liked in October may no longer be viable by January, and that’s fine. At any given point in time, try to have 5-10 places you’re pursuing, in terms of networking, learning about their work, and so on.

The Booth community can offer a tremendous amount of support for non-herd activities, especially if you’re courageous and speak up about what you’re looking for. Best of luck staying strong and focused on your chosen career path, and know that we are cheering for you and always available to help!

Madeline is always available (by appointment) to chat with students about their career paths.

OUT OF THE LOOP: Exploring Pilsen, Chicago’s Mexican Mecca

By John Frame, Class of 2017

By John Frame, Class of 2017

A recurring column about the hottest things to do outside of the Chicago Loop!

Chicago is a city full of wonders. You can easily traverse the its unique character distinctions by riding the entire Red Line “L” route, north to south, from Howard to 95th Street. While you’ll clearly notice its economic disparities along that ride, you’ll also experience the vast diversity of the third largest city in the United States.

But let’s diverge from that seminal route and head slightly southwest off the Pink Line “L” to a beautiful cultural mecca known as Pilsen, Chicago’s largely LatinX community. While it may very well succumb to the inevitable effects of gentrification in the next decade, Pilsen remains a timepiece in the city’s rich cultural history.

Your first stop should be the National Museum of Mexican Art. The first and largest museum and cultural center dedicated to Mexican, Chicano, and Latino culture in the United States, the NMMA is the only member of the American Alliance of Museums dedicated to Latino culture. Boasting over 6,000 pieces of art in its permanent collection, art shows, and educational program, the NMMA is the recipient of the Time Out “Love Chicago” 2016 Award. 1852 W 19th St; Tuesday-Sunday, free admission; Pink Line: Damen or 18th St.

The colorful interior of The National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen. Photo courtesy of Getty/ Chicago Tribune. 

The colorful interior of The National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen. Photo courtesy of Getty/ Chicago Tribune. 

For a no-frills delicious bite to eat, La Casa Del Pueblo Taqueria (also includes an adjacent grocery store) is as close to unpretentious as they come. Their signature tender tamales are the draw, as well as the homemade pico de gallo--green not from cilantro, but from jalapeño. Eat up for under $10! 1834 S Blue Island Ave; Pink Line: 18th St.

The vintage selection at Knee Deep Vintage in Pilsen. Photo courtesy of Knee Deep.

The vintage selection at Knee Deep Vintage in Pilsen. Photo courtesy of Knee Deep.

For some thrift shopping, avoid the north side of the city and check out Knee Deep Vintage, founded by locals Trent Marinelli and Carlos Lourenco in 2008. Specializing in fashion-forward vintage clothing and accessories, as well as hard-to-find pieces from the '20s-'50s, Knee Deep brings in new finds daily (and accept trade-ins for store credit or cash), so shop often! 1425 W 18th St; Open daily; Pink Line: 18th St. 

 

The bar at Simone's in Pilsen made out of recycled pinball machines. Photo courtesy of Simone's.

The bar at Simone's in Pilsen made out of recycled pinball machines. Photo courtesy of Simone's.

When you’re ready to relax and engage in that favorite MBA student pastime (drinking), head to Simone’s. Entirely made of repurposed materials, Simone’s dons a rooftop herb garden and numerous solar panels, and is one of a few environmentally-friendly spots in the neighborhood. Catch tons of live music, art, extensive food and drink menus, and several event spaces. 960 W 19th St; Open daily; Pink Line to 18th St.

 

So, grab a friend or two, hop on the Pink Line “L” train (or catch an Uber if you must), and head to one of Chicago’s hidden, yet bustling, gems. Fill up on tamales and vintage clothing, art, and all the live music and drinks you can stomach. Then spread the word about this cultural mecca.

John challenges Boothies to get out and explore more of what Chicago has to offer!