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!   

 

Words of Wisdom for Off-Campus Recruiting

By John Brennan, Class of 2017 Career Adviser

By John Brennan, Class of 2017 Career Adviser

As winter quarter kicks off and the consulting and banking offers begin to cascade down on Harper, it’s a good time for those students involved in less traditional recruiting to keep perspective and double down on your searches.

While most who are focused off-campus have enjoyed avoiding the frantic pace of coffee chats and “suited-up” networking activities of the fall, that self-reassuring mantra that “my recruiting happens late” starts to carry less weight when it starts to feel…late.

So here are four simple tips for those who will be on the internship hunt well into spring.

You still have time. With about 23 weeks before heading out for the summer, you have plenty of opportunities to seek out and pursue your first, second, and third tier choices.  There are second-years who recruited well into May and June, and it’s not evident that there is any correlation between getting an internship early and job satisfaction. For example, Tom Brady didn’t get a job until the end of the 2000 draft, and he seems pretty happy. You made a decision at some point that you wanted to recruit off-campus, and you did so with the understanding that there would be more uncertainty in your process.  Don’t freak out about not having a job because you’re actually right on schedule.

Put your foot on the gas. You likely spent much of the fall laying out a strategy, but now is the time to start executing.  If you want to do venture capital in San Francisco, you need to be out there talking to founders and investors; if you want to work for a start-up in Chicago, you should be a regular at 1871 (222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza). Start grinding through that list of contacts you found on LinkedIn, cash in any chits that you’ve been saving, and if you have any obvious gaps, aggressively address them.

...it’s not evident that there’s any correlation between getting an internship early and job satisfaction.

It’s going to be OK. Internship placement was 100% last year; you are very unlikely to be an unwilling exception here.  You may not get your dream job, but there are a ton of ways to gain valuable experience, and the broader your definitions of success and happiness are, the more likely you are to feel good about your result.  It’s just a ten-week internship – this is as good a time to take a chance on something less traditional, so have fun with it!

Ask for help. There are plenty of people on campus who have dealt with the uncertainties and insecurities that are part of this wonderful recruiting process.  Talk to second years who followed a similar path, and use the stories of their successes and failures to optimize on your recruiting strategy.

Being at Booth, you are already in a great position to pursue your dream job, and while the stresses of recruiting are real, keeping that perspective will help maintain sanity throughout the process. If you view this time as an opportunity rather than as an obstacle, you will be just fine come June.

John is always happy to help with career advice--whether you are participating in on-campus or off-campus recruiting.

World AIDS Day, Allyship at Center of OUTreach LGBTQ Group’s First-Ever “HoliGay Party”

By John Frame, Class of 2017

By John Frame, Class of 2017

For the first time in the history of Chicago Booth, members of OUTreach, Booth’s LGBTQ student group, hosted a “HoliGay Party” at Bull and Bear in River North on Friday, December 2nd for vocal allies and friends.

Over 70 guests celebrated the end of the quarter and solidarity with the LGBTQ community, while also honoring of World AIDS Day (WAD). Guests were treated to handmade red ribbon pins (official symbol of WAD) signifying allegiance to those suffering around the world. With treatment options significantly improving the quality of life for those infected by the illness, HIV/AIDS still plagues communities around the world, with those in poverty most affected.

OUTreach member and lead organizer, Trisha Chakraborty (‘16), acknowledged the juxtaposition of the festive overtone and somber undertone of the event: “We are so thankful for our allies at Booth and recognize that not everyone is as fortunate as us--especially people who have the added burden of being affected by HIV/AIDS. It is with that lens that we raise awareness of and honor World AIDS Day by wearing red tonight.”

This was also a time for folks to relax, unwind, and build community. The event continued a realization of OUTreach’s vision that Booth become a community of open and proud allies of LGBTQ rights which are coming under attack.

Rugby Team Co-Captain and staunch LGBTQ ally, Julian Rowlands (’17), shared why he felt it was important for him and others to be active and vocal allies: “I want to see a world where people have the freedom to be themselves. Being a visible ally is my way of letting the LGBTQ community know that they have my unconditional support in their fight to win the same rights and protections as everyone else.”

The “HoliGay Party” was the culmination of a quarter filled with numerous LGBTQ awareness events spearheaded by OUTreach, from “Coming Out Stories” (in honor of National Coming Out Day) to an inter-MBA program workplace inclusivity pledge (organized in partnership with other top MBA programs around the country), as well as Diversity Day (in partnership with Booth Admissions), and numerous ally meetings.

As OUTreach looks to winter programming, students can expect a partnership with the Armed Forces Group and Graduate Business Council for the inaugural Mental Health Awareness Week and increased anticipation for OUTreach’s well-attended signature event, #PinkParty, happening in May among other events.

I want to see a world where people have the freedom to be themselves. Being a visible ally is my way of letting the LGBTQ community know that they have my unconditional support in their fight to win the same rights and protections as everyone else.
— Julian Rowlands ('17)

Outreach’s increased presence on campus has led to more partnerships across the Booth community. African-American MBA Association Co-Chair and vocal LGBTQ ally, Antoinette King (’17), attended the “HoliGay Party” and spoke of the need for her group to support the mission of OUTreach in order to break down divisions among marginalized groups.

“It’s especially important for me as a black woman to support the LGBTQ community here at Booth, a group so often stigmatized and discriminated against in social and professional settings even by groups that understand the pain of marginalization. I need to be a vocal proponent of breaking down the walls that divide us.”   

John wishes all of his classmates a happy, restful holiday break. Be safe.

[Carousel Gallery (pictured above): Active allies and members of OUTreach, Chicago Booth's LGBTQ student group, celebrate the holidays and honor World AIDS Day at Bull and Bear on Friday, December 2nd. ]

Mutual Savings Corporation and Lilovich Companies Teams Win Top Prize at Business Solutions Group Finals

BSG winning teams.jpg

Class of 2018 members of the Mutual Savings Corporation and Lilovich Companies teams show their excitement for taking home bragging rights and a private celebration with a top consulting company at the Business Solutions Group Finals on Friday, December 2nd.  

Pictured: Back row (L to R): Amy Myers, Alex Panosian, Tom Wichman, Alex Patiev, Robert Vaters, Roberto Arias, Sean Breen (center); Front row (L to R): Giselle Hsu, Xin Wan, Hilary White

Booth Attracts Diverse Candidates at Fall Event

By John Frame, Class of 2017

By John Frame, Class of 2017

On Friday, November 18th, Booth welcomed over 50 prospective students to our fall Diversity Day recruiting event. The event was organized by the Campus Community Affinity Admissions Fellows representing four of Booth’s student groups: The African-American MBA Association (AAMBAA), the Hispanic-American Business Students Association (HABSA), the OUTreach LGBTQ group, and the Armed Forces Group (AFG). Affinity Fellows included Zachary White, Allison Miller, John Frame, and Katie Wurzbach from each of the groups respectively and all members of the class of 2017.

The day kicked off with a breakfast meet-and-greet between current students and prospective students, followed by an introduction from Associate Dean of Full-Time Admissions and Director of Marketing for Chicago Booth, Kurt Alm, who spoke of Booth’s differentiating qualities, emphasizing the unique ability for Booth students to forge their individual paths steeped in inquiry, insight, and impact.

Adjunct Associate Professor of Behavioral Science and Executive Director of the Center for Decision Research, Heather Caruso, followed Dean Alm with a talk about breaking down cultural divisions that might exist among people in social and professional settings, an abbreviation of her research at the CDR and experienced by students in the popular Power and Influence in Organizations course. The talk was followed by a discussion with attendees where Professor Caruso answered poignant questions about communication barriers and cultural differences that sometimes cause problems in the workplace and hinder productivity. To bridge these divides, one must be willing to truly listen to and understand others’ perspectives, she said.  

Indeed, the day was yet another testament to Booth’s ‘pay it forward’ culture...

After, prospective students were treated to a campus tour and a free-flow career-focused lunch where they got a chance to speak with second-year students about internship and full-time recruiting. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive with guests complimenting the presence of Booth students throughout the day. Indeed, the day was yet another testament to Booth’s “pay it forward” culture, with the bulk of the programming organized and executed by current students.

The day ended with a series of panel discussions centered on career exploration and diversity at Booth. Associate Dean of Career Services and Corporate Relations, Julie Morton, spoke of the resources that Booth students have at their fingertips, and the relationships established across classes and between students and Career Services staff, while second-years shared their experiences via a panel discussion. Affinity group leaders spoke to guests in-depth about how their groups contribute to the Booth culture and maintain a closeness that is characteristic of the Booth experience with Jessica Jaggers, Director of Diversity Affairs, moderating a candid discussion.

The day ended at the LPF happy hour hosted by the Media, Entertainment, and Sports Group (MESG). Feedback from the event showed that attendees were impressed with the day’s schedule and were much more inclined to apply to the MBA program. The event’s success has made the Admissions team excited about hosting the event next year with some small changes to enrich the experience. The day was an overwhelming step forward in Booth’s mission to attract even more top diverse talent and continue to improve diversity on all levels in the full-time program.   

John is honored to have been a part of the planning process and execution of this event.

I love it when a plan comes together

By Matt Richards, Class of 2017 Career Advisor

By Matt Richards, Class of 2017 Career Advisor

It took until mid-November this year but fall is finally in the air. Thanksgiving is upon us. For first years, your first quarter is nearly over and Winter Break and all of its ski-trip glory is just around the corner. Almost time to kick your feet up and relax, right? In the words of our President-Elect: “WRONG!”

It may initially seem counterintuitive, but now really is the time to begin putting together your detailed recruiting plan. Corporate conversations have wrapped up and hopefully you’ve found the industry and set of firms that you would like to target. With finals, applications, career treks all looming in the next month, having a well-structured plan is critical to ensuring your success in the recruiting process. Here are some planning suggestions to help you achieve your ideal recruiting outcome:

Solidify your list of target firms. Be sure to prioritize this list into your top choices, your second-tier choices, and your fallback options. Try to target an initial list of at least 10-15 firms in rank order. Yes, that might seem like a lot but it’s always easier to whittle down the list than start too narrow! Keep in mind how many are on-campus vs. off-campus as this will dictate their recruiting schedules.

Map out everything you want to accomplish between now and the beginning of Winter Quarter. Write out the application deadlines for all of your target firms (you could include this info in your above list). How many require cover letters? Make sure you demonstrate you are highly knowledgeable about the firm (and why it’s unique!). Will you need to do case prep over break? Practice valuations? Craft a stock pitch? Make sure you include that into your plan. Are you going on a career trek? Plan on doing some company research. Do you want to have some informal networking calls/chats over the break? Try to schedule those before winter break starts.

Prioritize how you want to allocate your time. This element is critical. How soon are your applications due? Some are due before the break so prioritize your cover letters and applications accordingly. After applications are submitted, will you need more preparation on technical or behavioral questions? What about further company research? This will dictate how much time you allocate to each. Try to be specific with your planning estimates. In addition, overestimate how much time you’ll need and start early. Better to feel over-prepared than cramming come January!

Stick to your plan! While we are all inclined to pull on a cozy sweater, grab a book (who are we kidding? It’s really Netflix), and cozy up by the fire (TV) with our favorite warm beverage, this upcoming break from classes is some of the most valuable time you will have in preparing for interviews. Make it a goal to set aside at least one hour a day preparing for interviews or working on your recruiting efforts.

Building and executing a detailed recruiting plan may not be what you envisioned doing over winter break but it could be one of the most instrumental elements of your recruiting process. Two months from now, offer from your top choice in hand, you may find yourself whipping out a cigar and, in your best Hannibal Smith voice, muttering to yourself, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

Matt is a Career Advisor and he is happy to help with recruiting (by appointment).

Safety, Unity at Risk Following U.S. Presidential Election

By John Frame, Class of 2017

By John Frame, Class of 2017

The world knows how it turned out. While Democratic nominee Secretary Hillary Clinton won the popular vote for the US Presidential election on Tuesday evening, the Republican nominee, business mogul Donald J. Trump was declared the victor via the Electoral College process on Tuesday evening. There was no controversy around ballot counting and hacking (although there were numerous accounts of African-American voter suppression across numerous states). Whether satisfied with the outcome or not, Mr. Trump won based on our electoral process.

However, in the three days following the election, outcry from both sides of the ticket poured into our streets and across our social media platforms. The message was overwhelmingly clear: safety, unity, and identity are at risk. Liberal voters took to the streets to protest outside numerous Trump landmarks across Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. And on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, Hillary Clinton supporters shared heartfelt stories of disappointment and fear.  

On Wednesday, Insanul Ahmed, senior editor at music knowledge-sharing blog Genius, published a lengthy list of “tweets about racist episodes POC [sic] are facing now that Trump is our President Elect” to his Twitter account. The disturbing accounts detail verbal abuse, sexual harassment, and racist, homophobic, and misogynistic slurs. Many express fear and sadness for what they have experienced or witnessed.

On Thursday evening here at home, the Booth Chicago Women in Business student group, along with the African-American MBA Association and OUTreach LGBTQ student group, hosted a post-election discourse at The University of Chicago Pub. Nearly 40 students from all backgrounds (yet not many outright Republican or Donald Trump supporters) attended the session where heated dialogue about the state of our country gave way to strong personal feelings of anger and confusion.

The message was overwhelmingly clear: safety, unity, and identity are at risk.

Students were joined by Director of Diversity Affairs, Jessica Jaggers, and Deputy Dean for Alumni, Corporate Relations, and the Full-time MBA Program, Stacey Kole, who spoke of the need for “honesty and civility” even as we grieve and ponder. The group hypothesized how the election turned out as such, sharing anecdotes while sipping complimentary frosty beverages as a brief respite from heated discourse. There was no immediate relief in the air.

As the world continued to turn, Friday brought a frightening report of African-American freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania waking in the early morning hours to find themselves being added against their will to a GroupMe chat called "Mud Men." The group chat contained overtly racist content related to lynchings and slavery. While hackers from as far away as Oklahoma have been blamed, the news spread quickly across media outlets and university communities who expressed outrage and sent sentiments of support and love to victims.

When we zoom out, we see that many of the culprits committing acts of hatred are under the age of 18, with some as young as five in our grammar school communities. Americans have asked, “How is this happening?” It seems that there are currently more questions than answers. How will our elected officials all across this land respond to these acts of hatred and division? How will we heal and move forward when the wounds we’ve opened are so raw and so very deep?  

John thinks this is a time for all Americans to be more politically active and aware to ensure our president is really a leader for all people.

Your Cover Letter Sets You Apart from the Pack

By Brian Tung, Class of 2017 Career Advisor

By Brian Tung, Class of 2017 Career Advisor

Networking like a pro is well underway and it’s time to start thinking about those stories you will be telling in interviews.  One of the best places to start thinking about what sets you apart from the pack is your cover letter.  

Over this autumn quarter, I’ve met so many talented first-years with impressive and unique backgrounds: from submarine officers and Teach for America administrators, to past consultants, bankers, and analysts.  When thinking about cover letters (and interview stories in general), the biggest piece of advice I’ve given to all of them is to embrace your past.  

To those with non-traditional backgrounds worried that a firm won’t be interested because you don’t have business experience, think hard about how your experiences in the past involved analysis and critical thinking (I promise you, they’re there!) and then highlight those attributes while still displaying the wonderful uniqueness of your background.  

For those with traditional business backgrounds who are nervous you won’t be unique enough, embrace the fact that you’ve seen the way businesses face and address their challenges and how you’ve contributed to those strategic decisions.  Everyone in the Booth community has a tremendous background that can be tailored and articulated in a way that is both impressive and practical.  

Here are a few additional tips as you think about your stories:

1. A cover letter is a complement to your resume. This means that you don’t need to rehash everything you’ve ever done in your career. That’s already in your resume! Pick a story or two that you think effectively demonstrates everything you try to convey in your resume (analysis, leadership, critical thinking, teamwork) and try to tell it in a succinct manner.  The SOAR method works well as a framework for cover letters (not just for interviews)!

2. Don’t be generic with your cover letters. It’s incredibly easy to tell when someone wrote a cover letter designed to say “Dear [Firm], I am interested in [role].”  Some of the best parts about being at Booth are the tremendous opportunities that are in front of us career-wise. You should be excited about whichever job you’re applying for, so tell them why! Do your research about the firm, industry, and role, and then articulate why you are the perfect fit for it.

3. Remember that we have tremendous resources at Booth to help you succeed. If you have any questions or are having trouble telling your story, Career Coaches, Career Advisors, and your peers are all here for you.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to anyone you think can help you.

The last word of encouragement I have for anyone worried about telling their story in an effective manner is this: Admissions is very good at what they do, and you’re here for a reason. Keep that in mind and go win that dream job!

Brian is happy to review cover letters in exchange for a frosty beverage (or a simple GTS appointment registration) at any time!

DEEP DIVE CHI: Explore Your Inner Hipster in Wicker Park

By John Frame, Class of 2017

By John Frame, Class of 2017

A new monthly column devoted to exploring one of Chicago’s many unique neighborhoods.

Wicker Park has a rich and diverse history. Once the Polish center of Chicago, the neighborhood saw a rapid increase in LatinX populations in the ‘60s and ‘70s due to the completed construction of the Kennedy Expressway and expansion of the Blue Line “L” trains. Displaced from rising rents in nearby Lincoln Park and Old Town, Latin folks migrated to Wicker’s more affordable and accessible Location. Due to such rapid movement and turbulent economic times, Wicker Park began to steadily decline. However, that only fueled the opportunity for wealthier business folks to seize cheap land and property, beginning a consistent process of gentrification.

Today, Wicker Park is still a culturally diverse neighborhood—somewhat quirky and hipster-centric, but with remnants of its Polish and Latin history. The hustle and bustle of the neighborhood is concentrated on the Milwaukee Avenue strip, easily accessible from the Damen or Division Blue Line stops.

Hipsters wait or a Sunday brunch seat at Bongo Room. Photo courtesy of Party Earth.

Hipsters wait or a Sunday brunch seat at Bongo Room. Photo courtesy of Party Earth.

To explore, start your day with a blast from the 1980s past at The Wormhole Coffee (1462 N Milwaukee Ave). Creative drinks made with locally roasted HalfWit beans and finished off with intricate foam toppings butt heads with lived-in sofas and cramped window seating for great people-watching. The atmosphere comes complete with a model DeLorean for all the Back to the Future fans!

Once you’re nice and caffeinated, check out The Bongo Room (1470 N Milwaukee Ave) for brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Simple faire like red velvet pancakes and omelets sit side-by-side with tastier creations such as lemon brioche French toast and BLT eggs benedict. Bongo can be pretty busy on the weekends, so prepare for a wait.  

After brunch, head to Ragstack (1459 N Milwaukee Ave) for some thrift shopping. There is a lot of “vintage” denim jeans and jackets, and a fair amount of tasteless men’s overalls. Whatever floats your boat!

If art is your thing, stroll on over to Thr3e Birds Gallery (1323 North Milwaukee; entrance on Paulina St) with cute robots on the front door waiting to greet you. Located in the back of Lenny & Me consignment shop, the gallery features work from local artists with spotlights changing every two months.

Adorable robots greet art-seeking patrons at Thr3e Birds Gallery. Photo courtesy of ArtSlant

Adorable robots greet art-seeking patrons at Thr3e Birds Gallery. Photo courtesy of ArtSlant

You’re likely hungry again after doing absolutely nothing productive, so check out Big Star (1531 N Damen Ave)--a lively, funky Mexican “street food” joint that serves up some of the best tacos in the area. Then make a pit stop at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams (1505 N Milwaukee Ave) for ice cream and frozen yoghurt in unique flavors like sun popped corn or honey butterscotch. And if you’re feeling a bit nostalgic or competitive, Emporium Arcade Bar (1366 N Milwaukee Ave) boasts a bunch of classic arcade games, 60 types of whiskey, and tons of beers on tap.  

To end the night, get your “‘90s dance” on at Crocodile (1540 N Milwaukee Ave; Saturday night), a small but super fun nightclub with really great music and a pretty diverse crowd. I recommend just staying close to the first floor bar while belting out your favorite TLC or Mariah Carey hit with a little bumpin’ and grindin’ thrown in the mix. Enjoy!

John is a second-year who is always exploring Chicago. Catch him if you can!

The Tipping Point of Feedback

By Michelle DiMattia, Class of 2017 Career Advisor

By Michelle DiMattia, Class of 2017 Career Advisor

As a Career Advisor I spend a lot of time helping students sharpen the various tools in their recruiting toolbox: the perfect resume, the attention-grabbing elevator pitch, the compelling cover letter, and the insightful question that cuts through what can feel like recruitment propaganda.

I truly believe that working with someone else can provide tremendous value when preparing for the various aspects of recruiting.  

  1. An outside perspective can see how a point on your resume highlights the success of a project rather than just celebrating the impact you had on that project.

  2. Someone from a different background can help you cut out the jargon you didn’t realize was actually distracting from your elevator pitch.  

  3. Someone who has recently been through the recruiting process can help you focus on highlighting the stories or skills that were top of mind for recruiters.

At Booth, where the pay-it-forward culture is so strong, there is never a shortage of people willing to help and provide guidance!

However, despite the tremendous value that can be gained from external review, there inevitably comes a point when you no longer benefit from seeking out that additional feedback.  There are two main reasons for this.  

First, recruiting is inherently subjective because what is considered valuable or desirable will differ amongst firms.  And this is exactly why seeking out diverse perspectives for input on your recruiting approach is so valuable!  Yet, too many opinions can sometimes lead candidates to dilute or contradict their message in an effort to try to appeal to each person’s definition of “value”.  

Second, in recruiting--as is the case in business generally--the law of diminishing returns applies.  I remember getting to a point last year where I spent hours swapping action verbs on my resume because my mentor told me one thing and Management Consulting Group (MCG) told me another. Or spent hours trying out different ways to emphasize leadership and teamwork in my interview examples because peers gave different advice.  And while it was important to have strong action verbs and punchy interview stories, I definitely hit a point where the effort I was putting in was far greater than the benefit I was getting out.   

...in recruiting—as is the case in business generally—the law of diminishing returns applies.

Again, I am not saying that review and feedback is not important – I think it is critical! But I do believe that it is important to always be conscious of the value you are expecting and the value you are actually gaining. My best advice is to take a minute to think about the value you want to get from each recruiting activity early on.  Whether it is a resume review, a coffee chat or case drills, ask yourself what you hope to gain from each activity. And equally as important, be honest with yourself about when you’ve hit a certain saturation point.  Recognizing that can can allow you to redirect your efforts to another activity where you can truly benefit.

Michelle is ready to complicate recruiting preparation by giving Boothies some of that much-needed career advice. By appointment of course.  

OUT OF THE LOOP: AudioBooth Edition

By Mark Hinken, Class of 2017

By Mark Hinken, Class of 2017

A frequent feature of the hottest happenings (mostly) outside of the Loop.

AudioBooth is happy to contribute to “Out of the Loop” this issue, if only because it’s so easy to suggest things that are interesting to do outside of the Loop. With that in mind, here are a few places you should check out over the next few weeks.

M83| Thurs, Oct 20th @ Riviera Theatre, 4746 N Racine Ave, Uptown – He’s not quite “the hotness” in the way he was a few years ago when “Midnight City” came out, but that works in your favor. The Riv is one of the larger venues for music acts coming through the city (~2500 capacity), but it’s a far cry from any of the stadium-type locations he might have played if he was still in peak demand (i.e. UIC Pavillion, United Center, Allstate Arena). Plus the new 80’s-ish material adds a little more levity to the show.

M83 brings its French electronica to the Riviera Theatre, Oct. 20th. Photo courtesy of Dan W. Young for Vies Magazine.

M83 brings its French electronica to the Riviera Theatre, Oct. 20th. Photo courtesy of Dan W. Young for Vies Magazine.

Acoustic Brunch| Sun, Oct 23rd @ Schubas Tavern, 3159 N Southport Ave, Lakeview Sundays are time to recover, but that doesn’t have to mean suffering in silence. This bar/venue has great brunch food available all weekend in its restaurant section (“Harmony Grill”), but every Sunday they have some sort of folk band on stage and serve food in their music room. I have no idea who Pony String Band is, so to be clear, this is a general place/event recommendation, and not a band-specific endorsement. But bluegrass all kind of sounds the same to me, so just pick the weekend of your choice.

Windy City Soul Club| Sat, Oct 29th @ The Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western Ave, Ukrainian Village You really have to make it to The Empty Bottle at some point before you leave the city. It’s a tiny, bar-type venue that’s rough around the edges in the best kind of way. Some up-and-coming punkish, indie-rock band might be a recommendation better suited to the venue, but they host those type of gigs almost every night. Instead, jump on the chance to dance to some of Windy City’s Motown classics you’ve actually heard before (preferably while wearing your Halloween costume).

Patrons flood the dance floor at a previous Windy City Soul Club event. Photo courtesy of Jordan Cinco.

Patrons flood the dance floor at a previous Windy City Soul Club event. Photo courtesy of Jordan Cinco.

Mitski| Sat, Nov 5th @ Thalia Hall, 1807 S Allport St, Lower West Side/Pilsen Best new venue in Chicago! That’s pretty old news at this point, but it’s yet to be displaced. It’s a well-run venue in a historic theater that’s recently been rehabilitated. And Pilsen remains a really distinct, interesting neighborhood despite a recent influx of new people. If you don’t fill up on the mid-floor hot dog stand during the show, head over to Honky Tonk BBQ (1800 S Racine Ave) afterwards.

For those interested in getting together informally for concerts throughout the year, email Mark (mhinken@chicagobooth.edu) to be added to the AudioBooth GroupMe to feel even more popular in your GroupMe feed than you already are. Cheers!

Highlight transferable skills to switch careers with ease

By Amy Berg, Class of 2017 Career Advisor

By Amy Berg, Class of 2017 Career Advisor

It goes without saying that people use business school as a means to switch careers. Lawyers moving into marketing. Consultants pursuing banking. Engineers seeking PM roles at tech firms. Engineers transitioning into operations roles. Engineers switching to corporate strategy. Okay, those last three are just transitions I pursued last year.

I spent my pre-MBA career as a design engineer at John Deere. I entered business school with deep knowledge of farming, heavy manufacturing, how to work with unions, and how to remove green paint from clothing. How was I supposed to convince a recruiter at a tech company that he or she should spend any time considering me for a job?

I had to spend some time re-framing my previous work experience in order to highlight the transferable skills I had gained and why they made me a serious candidate for whichever role I was considering. When discussing PM roles with recruiters, I talked about my general passion for product development and how the time I spent in the field helped me develop empathy for the customer. For operations roles, I highlighted my experience on the factory floor, working cross-functionally on issues regarding efficiency and manufacturability. Regarding procurement roles, I emphasized that I had often worked with suppliers, negotiating engineering specs and completing projects to decrease cost. The point is, I pinpointed the general experiences that were useful for a variety of roles and I made sure I catered my message to each company.

Think about skills you possess that can take you to the next level, whatever the job.

Think about skills you possess that can take you to the next level, whatever the job.

This exercise of making a list of jobs that interest you and what skills you already have that translate to those roles does a couple of things. First, you start to convince yourself that you are a strong candidate. Confidence is key when you only have a few minutes to make an impression in a Meet-n-Greet or crop circle and when you eventually interview. Second, the exercise helps you start to frame how each role fits into your own career trajectory and what you are really hoping to get out of an internship. You may begin to form a broader view regarding what you might target in full-time recruiting.

So browse job postings and campus interviews in GTS, add the ones that catch your eye to your Hotlist, and skim the job descriptions. You likely already have a few of the critical skills companies are looking for. Then go on a long walk and think about how great you are. And when you start meeting with company representatives at recruiting events, you’ll be armed with insight and confidence that any recruiter will be sure to notice.


While Amy is skilled at all things green paint, she is a master at resume reviews and mock interviews! Make an appointment with a Career Advisor to help you craft your story.

Co-founder of Black Lives Matter: "It's not about Black Supremacy"

By John Frame, Class of 2017

By John Frame, Class of 2017

"If we want to get to a place where all lives matter, we have to acknowledge that black lives are a part of that,” said Alicia Garza, a prominent co-founder of Black Lives Matter (BLM), one of over 50 organizations that make up the international Movement for Black Lives.

In an enlightening conversation, hosted by The University of Chicago Institute of Politics on Wednesday Evening, Ms. Garza spoke with postdoctoral scholar Eve Ewing (AB ’08) about the relationship between reform and abolition, her organization’s rapid growth, and an inclusive vision for the movement’s future.

Ms. Garza, an activist and editorial writer, began by challenging the audience to envision a society without police, a notion she concedes is difficult given the prominent role police play in society.   

Ms. Ewing added, “There are imaginative steps that have to happen.” When slavery was legally abolished in the 1800s, “privileged people had a very difficult time imagining who will do all of the work that slaves had done up until that point.” Rooted in this same mindset, detractors have trouble envisioning a world without police.

Ms. Garza has some words for those folks: “What do police do [now] when people are harming each other? You get shot or you go to prison. We have stripped resources from jails, there is no rehabilitation. People are forever pariahs. Why do we sanction a small number of people to carry guns and enforce the law unequally?”

When asked about her thoughts on the rapid growth of the movement, Ms. Garza said she was extremely grateful and added, "It's hard. I think we are all trying to figure it out, we are all struggling. People are doing incredible work.”

Alicia Garza (left), co-founder of the Black Lives Matter organization, and Eve Ewing (AB ‘08), a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, engage in a deep discussion hosted by the Institute of Politics. Photo courtesy of the Institute of Politics

Alicia Garza (left), co-founder of the Black Lives Matter organization, and Eve Ewing (AB ‘08), a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, engage in a deep discussion hosted by the Institute of Politics. Photo courtesy of the Institute of Politics


So what does Ms. Garza envision for the future? For starters, she pointed the audience to the BLM website and warned against equating every protest with BLM: "This conflation with everything being Black Lives Matter is problematic... Many are part of the movement for black lives. Start to understand the nuances among the many organizations...It’s beautiful.”

Next, she challenged the audience to do more than sit behind a computer screen. “We started by connecting people online so that they could make change offline. Liking things and sharing information isn't enough.”

Moreover, Ms. Garza warns against being fooled by steps to solutions versus real, viable solutions of change. "It’s not about do we reform or not, but do we stop there? So many things are steps, not solutions. Body cameras are not a solution; they're a step toward the solution."

And finally, she believes it takes a unified voice, no matter the complexities of individual identities, to be successful in changing our broken system. “There are class dynamics in this movement because there are a lack of political organizations where we can engage with ideas in a rigorous way. We bring our alienation from [traditional educational] institutions into our movement work… [This movement is not] about identity politics… Isolationism leads to conflating respectability politics with identity politics."

While some proponents believe the queer agenda is disenfranchising the straight agenda in the movement and detractors think it’s about black supremacy, Ms. Garza says it’s actually all “about experiences.”

“We have to be committed to making sure that everyone is powerful... We are still developing in the practice of making room for everybody… We need to change the rules so that people don't aspire to want what someone else has."

John is a proponent of ending excessive violence against black and brown men and women by police. He hopes you will take a stand and demand change by reaching out and getting involved at school or in the community.

(Update 10/4/16, 11:33PM: An earlier version of this article (as well as the print version) identified Ms. Ewing as a "postdoctoral candidate." She is, in fact, a "postdoctoral scholar." We apologize for the error.)

Making Networking Work for You

By S. Abigail Adams, Class of 2017 Career Advisor

By S. Abigail Adams, Class of 2017 Career Advisor

Networking. If the word has begun to induce symptoms of anxiety, you are not alone. While it’s obvious networking is important, it’s not always obvious how to do it right: when and with whom should these interactions take place, and what should they look like?

The key to demystifying networking is to approach it as a tool rather than a task. Consider where you are in the internship search process: what are your current goals, what information do you need to achieve them, and who is best equipped to provide those insights? Grounding the conversations you have through the course of your search in this kind of framework will transform the vague directive to network into organic relationship-building and information gathering.

Right now, you are likely building your resume and considering your recruiting strategy. Your task is to align your interests, experiences, and goals with a directional focus on particular roles and/or industries. You will want to understand, for example, what skills are needed to succeed in a particular kind of role and whether the environment of a given function/industry is consistent with your working style and personal values. Programming during orientation and ongoing deep dives are designed to identify and provide access to the people and resources you need to answer these questions.

Booth students hard at work crossing the “to-dos” off their lists. Courtesy of Chicago Booth Image Library.

Booth students hard at work crossing the “to-dos” off their lists. Courtesy of Chicago Booth Image Library.

When companies start coming on campus and you begin pursuing outside opportunities, your focus shifts to developing a target list. And yes, you are supposed to start “networking.” The key here is to avoid the perspective that networking is a goal in itself. Try not to let the “need” to linger for questions after a presentation, to ask a memorable question in a crop circle, or to reach out to an alumni for a coffee chat distract you from the real purpose of these opportunities--which is ultimately to help you decide which particular companies and roles may be right for you. Depending on what you value most in your search, that might be how a role will offer opportunities to develop and work towards your longer term goals or whether the way a company’s employees interact will make you feel engaged and motivated. This isn’t a new process; it’s just gathering company- and role- specific information from those best equipped to provide it.

As interview season approaches, you will want to continue to develop and maintain your network. How many times should you reach out, and to how many people? Again, you can ground these follow-on conversations in the goals at hand in your search process: writing cover letters and preparing for interviews, which require identifying and communicating the qualities and skills that will make you successful in a role. Perspectives from more tenured employees and more personal conversations with existing contacts can help you do just that.

In the midst of the frenzy, try to remember: networking should help you cross the to-dos off your list, not make it longer.

S. Abigail, a second year Career Adviser, is a happy to be lending a hand to first-year students during the recruiting process.