Booth’s Student Managed Investment Fund to Contribute Almost 120K to Scholarships

Every year, a handful of students at Booth are fortunate enough to receive scholarships from the school to cover the ever-increasing cost of tuition and fees. Most students, including those scholarship recipients, are unaware that a portion of the scholarships paid out annually is funded by returns generated by the Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF).

AFG Paintball: Not for the Faint of Heart

 by Chris Treyz, Class of 2019

by Chris Treyz, Class of 2019

The Booth Armed Forces Group (AFG) hosted their annual paintball tournament last Sunday, on May 6th.  The event, in which veterans partnered with their civilian classmates provided Booth students the unique opportunity to see former military members, some of who served in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, show their teamwork, tactics, and ultimately have some fun too.

The tournament took place at Paintball Explosion East Dundee, Illinois – approximately an hour drive from the Loop.  AFG Co-Chair Daniel Gottesman, Class of 2019, and former Israeli Air Force Fighter Pilot, planned the event.  Preparation for the event was months-long and involved working with the staff at Paintball Explosion, coordinating buses, and designing and producing t-shirts for those attending.  According to those who attended, the event was an overwhelming success.

  Determined paintballers walk onto the battlefield, preparing to face off against friend and foe alike. Many will enter, most will get welts.

Determined paintballers walk onto the battlefield, preparing to face off against friend and foe alike. Many will enter, most will get welts.

Approximately 70 students, including several undergraduates, took part.  Attendees had the chance to play team versus team battles, including elimination, “fort defense,” and capture the flag.  The veterans, who played on both teams, were admittedly impressed with their civilian peers.  “I think some of the best players were the non-veterans.  I’m glad we got to see them come out,” said Scott Jones Class of 2019, and former US Navy Submarine Officer.
Non-veterans attending ranged from future veteran undergraduate ROTC members to a former National Football League player.  Additionally, non-veterans had the chance to see one veteran, Mike Sanchez, Class of 2019 and former US Navy Submarine Officer, wear his old uniform.  His uniform, a digital blue pattern, unfortunately failed to offer any real camouflage in the woods and buildings at the complex.  It still, however, caused a lot of smiles amongst the students attending.  Leila Rohd-Thomsen, Class of 2019, told her friends, “I was a bit apprehensive at first, but I actually had a ton of fun.”  

  The Armed Forces Group and their Battalion of Civilians pose for one last picture before entering the field of battle.

The Armed Forces Group and their Battalion of Civilians pose for one last picture before entering the field of battle.

The Armed Forces Group is the largest veteran organization at the University of Chicago.  It is open to all veterans, from any country.  Its primary goals are getting veterans into top tier jobs, connecting veterans to their peers around the world, hosting veterans’ social events, and providing admissions assistance for veteran applicants.  Currently, the AFG has members from not just the United States, but Israel, South Korea, and Turkey.  Veterans in the club range from Logistics Airmen to Navy SEALs and includes veterans of every rank and gender.

Thus, making Booth one of the few places where you can ‘battle’ alongside Army Rangers, SEALs, Scouts, Fighter Pilots, and Military Accountants.  

Chris Treyz is a first year student at Booth and interning at Kraft Heinz for their CEO Leadership Program. Prior to Booth he served as a US Army Cavalry Officer with combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Since leaving the Army, he has worked in intelligence agency consulting and banking.

Gender in the Workplace Panel Aims to Spark Discussion, Reflection for the Booth Community

By Andrea Mazzocco, Class of 2019

Andrea Mazzocco Headshot.jpg

A coalition of student groups - Graduate Business Council (GBC) Diversity Committee, Chicago Women in Business (CWiB), Common Chromosome, and OUTreach – are co-sponsoring a Gender in the Workplace panel event on Thursday, April 5th at 11:45am in Harper Center 104. The panel event is meant to start a school-wide conversation around gender equality, a topic that is highly relevant to all Booth students as they learn to navigate the workplace as future business leaders. The event will be followed by additional small group events facilitated by CWiB and Common Chromosome in order to continue the conversation.

The panel will be moderated by Booth’s Dean, Madhav Rajan, and will feature three panelists: Bryony Winn, Jaclyn Wong, and Jane Risen.

Bryony Winn is a partner at McKinsey & Company and is a leader in both their Healthcare Systems and Public Sector practices. She has supported several gender equality initiatives, including the company’s participation in’s annual Women in the Workplace study. Bryony has also supported the launch of 'All In', a 'HeForShe' approach to gender equality that will engage male and female colleagues to address the implicit biases, policies, and processes that hold females back in the workplace.

Jaclyn Wong is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago. Her research examines the intersection of gender, work, and family. She is currently studying how dual-career couples make career and relocation decisions. She has also researched how one’s attractiveness affects their earnings in the workplace and has studied the experiences of Chicago-based female lawyers in a male-dominated profession.  

Jane L. Risen is a Professor of Behavioral Science and the John E. Jeuck Faculty Fellow at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She conducts research in the areas of judgment and decision making, intuitive belief formation, magical thinking, stereotyping and prejudice, and managing emotion. She is currently in the process of creating gender equality-related curriculum for Booth students.   

Vamos Colombia!

By Andreina Chacin, Class of 2019

Our commitment to making Colombia #thetrek at Booth began with each of us making our ACT speech about why everyone should visit our country for Spring Break. We can confidently say – it worked! Over 350 of us traveled together to Colombia for one week of culture, parties, sun and sand. Though some dubbed it ‘a massive TNDC’, we tried our best to ensure there was something in it for everybody. We started off in Bogota with its rich colonial architecture that stems from the Spanish colonization of the Americas. We visited Botero’s (the pinnacle of Colombian Artists) museum, soaked in Bogota’s social commentary expressed through graffiti and danced the night away at the capital city’s most famous restaurant and club – Andres Carne de Res. It’s a well-known fact that everyone from the President of Colombia to Shakira have dined there and of course, 350 Boothies! Bogota introduced us to its traditional food, Ajiaco (chicken soup), and quickly reminded everyone that there was more to latin music than Despacito.


Medellin gave the Narcos (Netflix)-obsessed a chance to walk through Pablo Escobar’s life – visiting his prison, grave and cartel neighborhood. Tours of the graffiti in Comuna 13 and the historic cable car rides complemented Medellin’s vibrant nightlife. ‘Aguardiente’ was on everyone’s mind. In Medellin, we were introduced to the traditional Paisa cuisine comprised of beans, rice, plantains and meat. Boothies braved the steep climb up El Penon de Guatape (the rock) to take in the breathtaking views of Guatape. We then cooled off with the first of many boat parties.

The last leg of the trek was in Cartagena, one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites and home to the happiest people on earth. We explored brilliant Caribbean beaches and islands (with many more boat parties!), its vibrant cultural scene with music and dance and effortless indulgence. Seafood lovers were spoilt for choice and music lovers added Reggaeton to their list of favorite genres. What we realized at the end was that the best part of the trek was the relationships we formed with each other. Though we were a big group (the biggest spring break trek to date - including for the travel agency), we formed deeper bonds with some of our classmates, and several new friendships: this was our goal and Colombia helped us achieve it!


Experiencing Morocco to the Fullest

  By Amrita Dixit, Class of 2019

By Amrita Dixit, Class of 2019

“Slices of Morocco make the Star Wars bar scene look bland,” says travel writer Rick Steves about the North African region. Our group of eighteen Chicago Booth students and partners got a taste of just that during the 2018 Morocco Spring Break Trek coordinated by Experience Morocco. Whether winding through narrow, smoky alleyways or off-roading into the desert dunes, we were constantly introduced to novelties – slurping snail soup sold by street vendors, watching goats climbing high into argan tree branches, or engaging in Arabic-French-English shouting matches to bargain down taxi fares, to name a few. 

Our trip itinerary was jampacked. We began in Marrakech with a hike into the High Atlas mountain range, followed by a cooking class of chicken tagine (slow-cooked savory stew). After a hot air balloon ride for an aerial view of the city and surrounding farmland, we traveled to the seaside town of Essaouira and rode ATVs across the beach overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. We enjoyed the hotel poolside and Turkish bath-style spa treatment, and then traveled to the city of Ouarzazate. There, we took a tour of the earthen dwellings at UNESCO World Heritage site Ait-Ben-Haddaou and saw the film location of movies and shows such as The Gladiator, Game of Thrones, and Lawrence of Arabia. We then made our way to the Sahara, where a caravan of dromedaries transported us to a campsite surrounded by sand dunes. We concluded our time in Morocco with one last visit to Marrakech, where we tried our hand at bargaining for rugs, leather sandals, and paintings in the ruthless bazaar. 

However, behind the scenes of this speedy schedule, the eighteen of us had many opportunities to gradually get to know one another better. Long rooftop dinners were the perfect setting to learn about each other’s backgrounds, from second-year student J.P. Mills’ devotion to all things heavy metal, to first-year student Teresa Wang’s time in Uganda with the Peace Corps, to Booth partner Michelle Wang’s residency match into dermatology. Of course, gathering over glasses of wine also resulted in hilariously absurd debates about credit card rewards and digital data privacy. The trek began, for many of us, as an opportunity to explore a new country with the guidance of our trip leaders, first year student Herbert Zea and second year student Emma Sotomayor, along with our assigned local guide Jaffar. However, we realized that traveling among our classmates actually added another element of discovery and enjoyment to the trek. Herbert Zea commented that, “the trek was a great opportunity to meet people and make new friends,” and that “getting to know my peers at a more intimate level,” was his favorite part of leading the trip.

Although many of us were excited to fly back to Chicago to dump the grains of sand out our suitcases and return to stable WiFi, we’ll always retain the grains of amazing memories we formed as a group touring the beautifully unique country of Morocco together.


Spring Break Patagonia: LoTR Edition

  By David Vaimberg, Class of 2019

By David Vaimberg, Class of 2019

Boothies are constantly hard at work, whether it’s in the classroom, the office, or the Social 25 dance floor at last call. So for most, spring break is a great opportunity to kick back and relax, on a beach, a ski slope, an exotic foreign city, or with family.

For a group of roughly 25 Boothies, however, spring “break” brought with it harsh physical labor, in the form of lugging >50-lb backpacks across nearly 40 km of Patagonian wilderness, with almost 1,000 m of elevation change along the way (Ed. note: units of measurement will vary by metric so as to make the actual numbers as big as possible). All the while, we learned how to cook pizza on a Bunsen burner-like stove, built expertise in setting up a tent with frozen fingers (pro-tip: keep your knots knotted!), and developed a deep understanding of the finer points of literally all the known forms of precipitation.

Our modern-day Fellowship of the Flamingo, comprised of Aragorns (North-South Group) and Frodos (South-North Group), trekked through dense vegetation, up (and down, shudder) steep mountain passes, through fast-flowing rivers, and even deep into the mines of Moria. Each day of the trip brought with it new outdoors skills, as well as a gradual reversion to our prehistoric selves in terms of hygiene practices. Thankfully, most are back to normal, though I have seen one particular member of the trip gazing longingly at the ground around the tree in Summer Garden…

  Booth North-South group at the conclusion of the trip

Booth North-South group at the conclusion of the trip

Some highlights from the trip:

Day 1 (think “Concerning Hobbits”): Spirits were high as we set out for what promised to be a short initial hike on a cold but clear day, only for us to experience all 4 seasons in the span of 45 minutes. Welcome to Patagonia.

Day 2 (think “The Bridge of Khazad Dum”): Tackling a steep incline where the dirt and loose rock shifted under our feet with the slightest misstep, followed by an incredible sense of accomplishment upon being rewarded with spectacular mountain views from the top. Then realizing we still had to find our way back down the other side of the pass… (honorable mention: the most stars we’ve ever seen in our lives)

Day 3 (think “The Ring Goes South”): Post first river crossing, initial moroseness at the knowledge that our feet wouldn’t be dry for the remainder of the trip, followed by gradual acceptance and resolve 50 crossings later. Personal growth day (and backcountry pizza and calafate pie day!).

Day 4 (think “Many Meetings”): After days of seeing no one but the same exhausted, dirty, soaking wet people, spotting a friendly face fighting through some shrubs at the bottom of a marsh just ahead. Two groups of the socially functional nerds that are Boothies, meeting up in the middle of nowhere in the southern hemisphere, was a beautiful thing.

Day 5 (think “The Breaking of the Fellowship”): Due to an unruly herd of cows slowing the early hiking pods and allowing the laggards to catch up, the entire group walking, as one, down the home stretch to camp, followed by the quickest tent set-up ever done and, for the first time, a wonderful campfire to sit around and tell stories.

All in all, it was an amazing experience that I don’t think any of us will ever forget. I’m pleased to say that many of us enjoyed an extra couple days of true “break” in Chile, whether at Santiago wineries or at an “island party” of our own (Chiloe!). But the highlight remains those crazy 5 days and 6 nights in the backcountry.

David considers himself an experienced hiker and a proponent of minimalism in the outdoors. Even if it means arriving in hiking boots that cracked wide open day 1 and sans feet-protecting gaiters. He also likes writing articles with unnecessary themes, and long walks on the beach river.

Spring Break Israel: BoothRight of Passage

 By Fred Akansu, Class of 2018

By Fred Akansu, Class of 2018

Disclaimer: This is a retelling of my week in Israel and does not address or reflect any opinions on the sensitive political situation in the region.

Booth’s student-led trek to Israel, cleverly nicknamed BoothRight after the Jewish youth heritage trip, sent approximately 150 second-year students to the Middle East on our own rite of passage. Despite having been to the region before, I was blown away by the rich and unique culture Israel has to offer.

Our first stop was Jerusalem, the hotly-disputed holy city for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It was surreal exploring the Old City and seeing the Temple Mount and Western Wall, important sites for Muslims and Jews, respectively, all within one vantage point. And just steps away, we toured the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

We spent one night in a Bedouin tent and, soon enough, belly dancers emerged to entertain us, randomly selecting unlucky participants to flaunt their dance moves. After some nargile, or hookah, we woke to see the sunrise from Masada, an ancient fortress. At the Dead Sea, we sloppily covered ourselves in mud and took copious photos. Despite having heard how easy it is to float, I was still shocked to find myself rolling backwards and forwards as I floated on my back. In the north, we ATVed, took in the views from Mount Bental, and toured a kibbutz, an agricultural commune of sorts. Israel has a surprisingly vast topography for a country the size of New Jersey!

  Boothies in front of the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem

Boothies in front of the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem

During the nights, we enjoyed some fine dining. In the later hours, Boothies cut loose at bars, lounges, pool parties, campfires, and nightclubs, all over shots of arak. And in the mornings, we rejuvenated over bountiful breakfasts. In jest, one tour guide kept describing us Boothies as “doing the unholiest of things, in the holiest of lands.” Similarly, student Liam Kennedy often commented, “this is sordid.”

All things were not unholy, though. En route to Nazareth, we stopped at Caparneum, home to ancient synagogue ruins and the supposed home of Saint Peter. In Nazareth, we visited the Basilica of the Annunciation, where it is said that the angel Gabriel spoke to Virgin Mary. In the West, we read so much about the region, often from the context of politics, so it was interesting to hear different opinions throughout the trip. On the political and historical fronts, we visited an Israeli Airbase, and also heard from the Mayor of Tel Aviv and a journalist panel. Personally, most impactful was the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, where we also had the opportunity to listen to an emotional narration from a Holocaust survivor.

We wrapped the trip up in Tel Aviv, where we explored Old Jaffa, the flea market, and, of course, more of the nightlife. And on Saturday, the sabbath, we had our own day of rest at the beach worthy of a true Spring Break.

A special shout-out to our awesome trip organizers. The transition to chilly Chicago has been difficult, and very lacking in hummus.

Fred once had a hot sauce collection of over 30 bottles.