The power of paying it forward

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By: Nandita Bothra, Class of 2019

As an international applying to business schools, one thing that I really cared about was how supportive and collaborative a school was. Community has always played an important role in my life by both helping me succeed and by supporting me when I was down. Booth topped my list because every alumnus and student I spoke to vouched for the strong pay-it-forward culture. Even though that sounded great to me, I don’t think I understood its impact till I started my journey at Booth.

In my first few months at Booth - between corporate conversations, course selection and getting to know my classmates better while getting accustomed to a new country - I was lost to say the very least! I was torn between what to recruit for, whether consulting even made sense to me, or whether it was even worth the time and effort. It was then that my second years, namely MCG co-chairs and my assigned mentors, played a major role in decision making. They sat with me for hours, discussing my ambitions, my reasons to come to business school, and helped me formulate a strategy covering both academics and recruiting.

An instance that particularly stood out for me was receiving a 4000+ words email from my mentor explaining everything he had learnt about interview prep. And that was only the first of many such emails. I couldn’t even imagine how an extremely busy second year could take out time to write such well thought out emails simply for the benefit of first years. This is what formed the basis of my willingness to paying it forward!

There are many who stand with you during the good times, but the mentors that I formed stuck with me even after they graduated and became my pillars during final year recruiting. The amount of confidence they showed in me compensated for my lack of belief in myself when I was about to step into the same interview for the second time.

When the Management Consulting Group (MCG) co-chair applications came out in February 2018, I did my cost-benefit analysis (of course!) of the opportunity. I knew it would be a huge commitment in time and effort - I would have to juggle re-recruiting, Kapnick (LEAD for law school), and give up on a lot of social activities that my classmates would be a part of. On the other hand, I would be able to hopefully positively impact the recruiting experience of 150+ first years, just like my second years had done for me. After this thought came into my mind, it was a point of no return. I knew I was biting on more than I could possibly chew, but I also realized I’d regret not taking the chance to leave my small impact on the Booth community.


Often what people underestimate is what you can get out of being a mentor. A question I’ve been asked by almost every first year I have met is whether I’d do it all over again. And my answer to that has always been the same – YES! I’d go through 200 hours of casing, motivating, wearing suits and checking-in people to events, not to forget fining, all over again. I would do this to share my learnings and pitfalls, to show gratitude to those that helped me and most importantly to build relationships with first years. I now understand that sometimes meaning comes from what you give, not what you get. Because that to me is the power of mentorship – when you get a lot out of it, you’re willing to put a lot back into it.

Best Outdoor Bars and Restaurants in Chicago, according to a Boothie in the Hospitality Industry

By: Julie White, Class of 2020

As summer approaches it’s time to start spending more time outdoor restaurants and bars. See below for a list of some of my favorites across the city:

Julie White Headshot.jpg

Loop

●     Cindy’s

12 S. Michigan Avenue

           www.cindysrooftop.com

Cindy’s (named after Cindy Pritzker) is great for a quick drink overlooking Millennium Park and Lake Michigan. Be sure to go Monday-Wednesday to avoid the line.

Other hotel rooftop bars worth checking out: Upstairs at the Gwen, The Godfrey I|O, Streeterville Social, Raised at the Renaissance Hotel, LH Rooftop at the LondonHouse, Roof on theWit, Cerise at the Virgin Hotel, Boleo at Kimpton Gray, Waydown at the Ace Hotel, the Up Room at the Robey

●     Land & Lake Kitchen

           81 E. Wacker Drive

www.landandlakekitchen.com

Located on the ground level of the LondonHouse, Land & Lake Kitchen has a great location right cross the from the river.

Streeterville

●     The Hampton Social

164 E. Grand

www.hamptonsocial.com

The Hampton Social is within walking distance of Gleacher Center. There’s another location in River North that also has outdoor space.

●     Beatrix

671 N. St. Clair

www.beatrixrestaurants.com

Beatrix has a nice outdoor patio and is within walking distance of Gleacher Center. Be sure to get a Lettuce Entertain you card for points. There are a few other locations, including one in River North.

●     Drumbar

201 E. Delaware Pl.

www.drumbar.com

Drumbar is a swanky rooftop bar in the Raffaello. It’s usually less crowded than the other rooftop bars.

Near North:

●     Blue Door Kitchen + Garden

52 W. Elm St.

www.bluedoorkitchenchicago.com

Blue Door Kitchen is a more laid back restaurant in the Gold Coast. They have a beautiful garden attached.

●     Bounce Sporting Club

324 W. Chicago Ave.

www.bouncesportingclub.com

Formerly Citizen Bar, Bounce Sporting Club has a great rooftop bar with views of the city. Downstairs they have bar games and a DJ.

River North

●     Zed451

739 N. Clark

www.zed451.com

The rooftop of Brazilian restaurant Zed451 isn’t huge and can get crowded, but it’s worth visiting Monday-Wednesday.

●     River Roast

315 N. Lasalle Dr.

www.riverroastchicago.com

River Roast is a lesser known riverfront restaurant on the North side of the river. There are 2 levels for maximum river viewing opportunities.

Lincoln Park

●     The J. Parker

1816 N. Clark St.

           www.jparkerchicago.com

Jay Parker is my favorite rooftop bar in Chicago. See above for additional hotel rooftop bars. It has a retractable roof so it’s open year round.

●     Shore Club

1603 N. Lake Shore Dr.

www.shoreclubchi.com

Opening May 18, Shore Club is a seasonal pop up near North Avenue beach. The outdoor patio is first-come first-served, but they also have cabanas, daybeds and sunbeds for rent. You can lock your bike on the fence and they have a water bowl for dogs.

Logan Square

●     Park & Field

3509 W. Fullerton

www.parkandfieldchicago.com

Park & Field is a fun spot for a bigger group. You can reserve a fire pit for roasting marshmallows. They also offer bocce ball and a camper bar outside. Note the limited restrooms.

●     Parson’s Chicken & Fish

2952 W. Armitage Ave.

www.parsonschickenandfish.com

Paron’s is scattered with picnic tables and that get crowded on the weekends. There is another location in Lincoln Park.

Uptown/Edgewater

●     Waterfront Cafe

6219 N. Sheridan Rd.

www.waterfrontcafechicago.com

Located in a historic coach house on Lake Michigan, the Waterfront Cafe offers amazing views of the city. They have live music on weekends.

●     The Dock

200 W. Montrose Harbor Dr.

www.thedockatmontrosebeach.com

The Dock is a seasonal bar at Montrose Beach from May to October. They have live music most evenings and weekends.

South Loop

●     VU Rooftop Bar

1330 E. 53rd Street

VU opened in October near McCormick Place. It’s on the 22nd floor and has great views of the city. VU offers 3 bars and 2 patios.

Hyde Park

●     Promontory

5311 S. Lake Park Ave. W.

www.promontorychicago.com

Promontory is accessible from campus. They have an outdoor patio and feature live music.

●     Plein Air

5751 S. Woodlawn Ave.

www.pleinaircafe.co

Plein Air is a charming coffeehouse in Hyde Park. Check out the outdoor patio!

West Town

●     The Dawson

730 W. Grand Ave.

www.the-dawson.com

The Dawson is a Michelin star restaurant off the beaten path in River West. They have a large outdoor patio that’s busy during Happy Hour.

West Loop

●     Aba

302 N. Green St.

www.abarestaurantchicago.com

Mediterranean restaurant Aba offers a lounge-style rooftop patio in the heart of the Fulton Market district.

As summer approaches it’s time to start spending more time outdoor restaurants and bars. See below for a list of some of my favorites across the city:

Loop

●     Cindy’s

12 S. Michigan Avenue

           www.cindysrooftop.com

Cindy’s (named after Cindy Pritzker) is great for a quick drink overlooking Millennium Park and Lake Michigan. Be sure to go Monday-Wednesday to avoid the line.

Other hotel rooftop bars worth checking out: Upstairs at the Gwen, The Godfrey I|O, Streeterville Social, Raised at the Renaissance Hotel, LH Rooftop at the LondonHouse, Roof on theWit, Cerise at the Virgin Hotel, Boleo at Kimpton Gray, Waydown at the Ace Hotel, the Up Room at the Robey

●     Land & Lake Kitchen

           81 E. Wacker Drive

www.landandlakekitchen.com

Located on the ground level of the LondonHouse, Land & Lake Kitchen has a great location right cross the from the river.

Streeterville

●     The Hampton Social

164 E. Grand

www.hamptonsocial.com

The Hampton Social is within walking distance of Gleacher Center. There’s another location in River North that also has outdoor space.

●     Beatrix

671 N. St. Clair

www.beatrixrestaurants.com

Beatrix has a nice outdoor patio and is within walking distance of Gleacher Center. Be sure to get a Lettuce Entertain you card for points. There are a few other locations, including one in River North.

●     Drumbar

201 E. Delaware Pl.

www.drumbar.com

Drumbar is a swanky rooftop bar in the Raffaello. It’s usually less crowded than the other rooftop bars.

Near North:

●     Blue Door Kitchen + Garden

52 W. Elm St.

www.bluedoorkitchenchicago.com

Blue Door Kitchen is a more laid back restaurant in the Gold Coast. They have a beautiful garden attached.

●     Bounce Sporting Club

324 W. Chicago Ave.

www.bouncesportingclub.com

Formerly Citizen Bar, Bounce Sporting Club has a great rooftop bar with views of the city. Downstairs they have bar games and a DJ.

River North

●     Zed451

739 N. Clark

www.zed451.com

The rooftop of Brazilian restaurant Zed451 isn’t huge and can get crowded, but it’s worth visiting Monday-Wednesday.

●     River Roast

315 N. Lasalle Dr.

www.riverroastchicago.com

River Roast is a lesser known riverfront restaurant on the North side of the river. There are 2 levels for maximum river viewing opportunities.

Lincoln Park

●     The J. Parker

1816 N. Clark St.

           www.jparkerchicago.com

Jay Parker is my favorite rooftop bar in Chicago. See above for additional hotel rooftop bars. It has a retractable roof so it’s open year round.

●     Shore Club

1603 N. Lake Shore Dr.

www.shoreclubchi.com

Opening May 18, Shore Club is a seasonal pop up near North Avenue beach. The outdoor patio is first-come first-served, but they also have cabanas, daybeds and sunbeds for rent. You can lock your bike on the fence and they have a water bowl for dogs.

Logan Square

●     Park & Field

3509 W. Fullerton

www.parkandfieldchicago.com

Park & Field is a fun spot for a bigger group. You can reserve a fire pit for roasting marshmallows. They also offer bocce ball and a camper bar outside. Note the limited restrooms.

●     Parson’s Chicken & Fish

2952 W. Armitage Ave.

www.parsonschickenandfish.com

Paron’s is scattered with picnic tables and that get crowded on the weekends. There is another location in Lincoln Park.

Uptown/Edgewater

●     Waterfront Cafe

6219 N. Sheridan Rd.

www.waterfrontcafechicago.com

Located in a historic coach house on Lake Michigan, the Waterfront Cafe offers amazing views of the city. They have live music on weekends.

●     The Dock

200 W. Montrose Harbor Dr.

www.thedockatmontrosebeach.com

The Dock is a seasonal bar at Montrose Beach from May to October. They have live music most evenings and weekends.

South Loop

●     VU Rooftop Bar

1330 E. 53rd Street

VU opened in October near McCormick Place. It’s on the 22nd floor and has great views of the city. VU offers 3 bars and 2 patios.

Hyde Park

●     Promontory

5311 S. Lake Park Ave. W.

www.promontorychicago.com

Promontory is accessible from campus. They have an outdoor patio and feature live music.

●     Plein Air

5751 S. Woodlawn Ave.

www.pleinaircafe.co

Plein Air is a charming coffeehouse in Hyde Park. Check out the outdoor patio!

West Town

●     The Dawson

730 W. Grand Ave.

www.the-dawson.com

The Dawson is a Michelin star restaurant off the beaten path in River West. They have a large outdoor patio that’s busy during Happy Hour.

West Loop

●     Aba

302 N. Green St.

www.abarestaurantchicago.com

Mediterranean restaurant Aba offers a lounge-style rooftop patio in the heart of the Fulton Market district.

Julie is the Tourism Marketing Manager at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she works to increase attendance and awareness of the museum outside of Chicagoland. She oversees the museum's hotel and restaurant partnerships, and has been in the hospitality and tourism industry for 3 years. Julie's background is in marketing/social media, the arts, Chinese language/culture, and international relations. She is currently on classes 11 and 12, and plans to graduate in Fall of 2020. 





OUTreach’s Pink Party encourages us to defy stereotypes

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By: Corina Varlan, Class of 2020

“Drag is an exaggerated, theatrical and performative gender presentation. Drag can be an opportunity to defy stereotypes, not just exaggerate them,” our beautiful MC Masala Sapphire said as she opened our annual Pink Party Drag Show, dropping jokes along the way. She went on to explain that drag is not only for LGBTQ-identifying people, and it is not exclusive to men, nor is it an attempt to pass as another gender or mock gender.

We got to see drag in action this past Saturday in Boystown, as over 300 Boothies enjoyed the annual Pink Party, the result of over 2 months of work and preparation from the OUTreach organizers, members, and allies. Most of all, we got to see 7 impressive (and at times entertaining) student performances, from groups such as The Ladies of Booth Dragby, the Whine Club, and Larrye Antoinette and her maids from House of Follies.

Vendetta Ho (aka Vincent Ho) prepares to go on stage for her performance

Vendetta Ho (aka Vincent Ho) prepares to go on stage for her performance

OUTreach throws Pink Party every year with the purpose of sharing and celebrating LGBTQ+ culture with the Booth community. We throw this event in Boystown specifically, so we can engage with and give back to the broader Chicago LGBTQ+ community. This neighborhood is one of the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities in the United States, and is a vibrant part of Chicago well known for its nightlife. We believe that Boothies have a lot to gain by exploring this side of Chicago. I asked my friend Alice Ren what she thought about the party – she said that “it was a way of leaving the Booth bubble without leaving the Booth bubble. It was magical.” And that is exactly what we wanted people to feel! As Ally co-chair of OUTreach, I was particularly impressed with the support we got from our allies. This is a participatory and immersive experience, and I could feel the work and energy the groups put into their performances.

This year marks the first when we have involved three local drag queens in performing. Masala Sapphire was our MC, with Evah Envy and Dixie Lynn Cartwright performing as judges. We believed that having professional drag queens present would motivate our contestants to up their game, as well as help Boothies better immerse in the local culture.

MC Masala Sapphire and judge Evah Envy announce the performance

MC Masala Sapphire and judge Evah Envy announce the performance

Supporting us as judges were not just the 2 Drag Queens, but also 2 Professors. Jonathan Dingel, who teaches Managing the Firm in the Global Economy, and Thomas Talhelm, who teaches Negotiations, served as our firm yet sassy faculty judges. Professor Dingel was characteristically sarcastic in his commentaries about how the Snow Bunnies of BSSC (Ski Club) started us off on the bunny slopes, and criticized GBC for their almost complete lack of lip-synching abilities. Despite the bunny slopes, Ski Club managed to score the highest among all performers and went home with the Booth Drag Race King and Kween Crowns.

We hope that this was not just a fun experience for people, but also an opportunity to reflect on gender – what it means for each of us, how it is constructed and how we can play around with it. See you again in Boystown next year!


Boothies talk about being religious at business school

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By Krithika Narayan, Class of 2020

Last week, with about 50 other Boothies, attended the World Religion Forum – a panel of students discussing their religion in an attempt to widen our perspectives and help people talk about a usually uncomfortable subject. I don’t consider myself a religious or spiritual person. My family generally practices Hinduism, and while I go along with the rituals, I don’t think too deeply about the meanings or implications behind these, and it doesn’t form much of my identity. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the panel, but there were a few people on it that I knew well. I wanted to be supportive, learn something about my classmates and maybe about a religion other than mine. The panelists were (in order):

  • Simon Tiu – Mormonism

  • Haroun Dada – Islam

  • Harluxsh Gill – Sikhism

  • Nakul Gupta – Hinduism

  • Jess Green – Judaism

  • Lily Glueck – Catholicism

  • Dustin Shang – Protestantism

The panelists discuss their experiences as Prof. Harry Davis poses questions from the audience

The panelists discuss their experiences as Prof. Harry Davis poses questions from the audience

We opened with a question about whether the panelists felt comfortable bringing religion into the workplace. The answers were surprisingly varied. While Lily noted that it was less difficult for her to talk about her faith as a white woman and Harluxsh said he was able to forget what he looked like in the workplace, Haroun contended that he often felt the need to hide parts of his identity. Given the historic lack of acceptance of several religions on the panel in traditional corporate structures, it was interesting to see how different the experiences could be. The location of the workplace also factored into this – Jess noted that her boss in Jacksonville had never met anyone Jewish before, which led to some tricky situations.

I found it fascinating how religion played a large role in the identities of the panelists, possibly because I’ve never considered it to be a large part of mine. This was especially interesting when parts of identities clashed – for instance, Simon noted that while his faith dictates not drinking tea (or alcohol or coffee), his Chinese heritage has tea as an integral part of cultural traditions. How does he reconcile these, especially when his chosen profession (Simon will be in investment banking this summer) necessitates networking over coffee/drinks? (Ans: He drinks hot chocolate.) Lily also commented on how the panel focused on being religious in the workplace, rather than diving deep into the theology of the different religions, discussing the comfort and solace she found in her faith in difficult times.

How can we be better allies? Haroun noted that visibly marginalized people were more often alienated, and it was worth making sure they felt comfortable. Jess and Dustin brought up the importance of understanding and education in dealing with religion. Jess also noted that it was important to be aware of the default. For instance, it would be great to not be forced to explain her faith while asking for leave during Jewish holidays. Being a more informed and empathetic manager would greatly help someone who was already sacrificing their time off to practice their religion. Further, Harluxsh reminded us that when treated with tolerance and understanding, even seemingly stupid questions become learning opportunities, rather than being uncomfortable or offensive.

Given continued horrific incidents against religious peoples, from the shooting in Poway’s synagogue to Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka as well as the continued persecution and alienation of religious minorities across the world, anything teaching tolerance is well worth experiencing. One of my goals for business school has been to practice empathy better, both personally and professionally, and I’m thankful for events like this that give me the opportunity to learn how to put this into practice.

Follies 2019 Will Redefine What Crop Circles Mean To You

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By Pato Smith, aka Harry Pato, Class of 2020

ChiBus [CB]: Can you give us an introduction to the Follies family?

Pato Smith [PS]:  Follies is the largest student-run event at Booth and it takes a huge team to make it happen. Follies is led by 8 co-chairs. Peter, Saumit, and myself are the Creative Co-Chairs who are tasked with overseeing the writing of sketches. We lead the writers’ rooms, give feedback on sketches, and ultimately choose the show lineup. Chris, Zidi, and Grace are the Marketing Co-Chairs responsible for fundraising and marketing. Manvitha and Aditi are the Production Co-Chairs responsible for the stage, rehearsal logistics, and securing the best and cheapest props. Follies relies on talented writers, actors, filmers, and editors to make the sketches possible. To put on the best show possible, Follies also includes Booth Dance Club, AudioBooth, and Economies of Scale.

[CB]: How did you get involved in Follies?

[PS]: I first learned about Follies during the First Day club fair. The co-chairs I spoke with were super outgoing and their passion was contagious. They presented as a close-knit group that would always be fun.

[CB]: Any previous experience that has helped you with Follies?

[PS]: In elementary school, I got to play Pirate #2 in the school’s Peter Pan play, but apart from that relevant experience, all of this has been very new to me. That’s actually a big factor in me joining Follies. I see Follies as a way to expand my skill set in areas like filming, video editing, and stage production.

[CB]: Where are you getting the inspiration for the skits?

[PS]: Follies actually has a communal spoon. Each week, we pass the spoon to a new writer who is tasked with stirring the pot at Booth. Honestly, I had a lot of trouble parting with the spoon at the end of my week, but giving it to Lukas Ruiz was a strong choice. This has escalated since migrating the class to Slack, providing us with much inspiration. But apart from ideas falling into our laps, we do our own supplemental research. We assign a co-chair to every Netflix series to steal obscure quotes that Boothies don’t realize are not original. For example, a frequently used line of mine, “I have this theory that if you cut off all her hair, she’d look like a British man”, is actually from Mean Girls. You’d never know, right? Personally, I like to lurk on Reddit and sort comments by “controversial” for extra inspiration.

[CB]: What has been the hardest part of putting it together?

[PS]: In my eyes, the hardest part has been doing work. I thought I just had to be funny. Filming for videos and rehearsing for live sketches has been tough. I had no idea how much work goes into putting together a show, and the difficulty is really compounded by how complex Boothie’s schedules are. I had major issues getting 4 people in a room to film a scene, so I can’t fathom how our other Follies members are creating these larger scenes.

[CB]: What has been the most enjoyable aspect of putting it together?

[PS]: I’ve really enjoyed watching how quickly sketches go from brainstorms to finished productions and being a part of that journey. We had writers come to back-to-back writers’ room meetings with much-improved scripts, then less than a month later, the entire sketch has been filmed and is ready for release. Seeing the talent around me, I’m going to look forward to releasing more videos earlier next year.

[CB]: Any teasers for us?

[PS]: My headshot for this article is a glimpse into the life of Harry Pato. I can tell you that our show this year will have a Lion King theme, but you will need to buy a ticket to learn more than that!

From the Ashes of Winter: AFG Paintball

By Jock Tracey, Class of 2020

The 11th annual Booth Armed Forces Group (AFG) paintball tournament took place this past Sunday, April 28th. Veterans from militaries throughout the world partnered with their civilian classmates at Booth and across the University of Chicago in a spirited team paintball battle. While on the prior day Chicago appeared, it would not release itself from the clutches of winter with up to five inches of snow falling across the city and suburbs, the brave participants were greeted with beautiful sunny weather throughout the day.

The legendary and triumphant Maroons

The legendary and triumphant Maroons

The annual paintball tournament provides students from across the University of Chicago the opportunity to further develop their relationships with students who are former and current members of the military. The event allows teams to work together in a unique environment, better understand the perspective of members of the military who were trained in combat arms and many who have served in combat throughout the world while most importantly having fun and achieving victory for their team.

The tournament took place at Paintball Explosion East Dundee, Illinois less than an hour drive from the Loop. AFG Co-Chair Matt Johnson, Class of 2020 and former United States Marine Corps Amphibious Assault Vehicle Officer, led the organization of the event. The event included a ride to the Paintball arena and lunch before pre-arranged teams of mixed skill level assembled.

The men and women in the area  Photo courtesy of Wyatt McCallum

The men and women in the area

Photo courtesy of Wyatt McCallum

Over 80 participants registered and attended the event which was a resounding success. Attendees included students from the Part-Time and Evening MBA programs, the University of Chicago ROTC program and several Partners. Non-veterans attending the event included consultants, private equity associates, investment bankers and entrepreneurs from India, the United Kingdom, Israel, Taiwan and Singapore among other incredible professions and countries.


Attendees played team versus team battles including elimination, fort defense and capture the flag. Despite years of training and experience, it seemed Dror Ben-Baruch of the Israeli Defense Forces, Steven Galbreath, a former Army Blackhawk pilot and Matt Johnson were everyone’s favorite targets. On several occasions, they sustained multiple paintball shots from their peers most notable during “fort defense” in which one team must continuously attack a building until it is captured.


The Armed Forces Group is the largest veteran organization at the University of Chicago. It is open to all veterans, from any country with the primary goals of placing veterans into top tier employment opportunities, connecting veterans to peers around the world, hosting social events and providing admissions assistance for veteran applicants. Of note, this year’s event was supported by Terrell Odom the Associate Director in the newly established Office for Military Affiliated Communities. The Booth Armed Forces Group looks forward working with the University of Chicago to continue to bring the experiences of veterans from throughout the world to schools and communities across campus.


From Power Couple to Power Ballads

Lifestyle Editor Krithika sits down with musicians Michelle Kim, Matt Bernstein and Dave Menacher to discuss the upcoming Battle of the Bands. Michelle and Matt play on Booth’s Ida Noise, while Dave, Michelle’s fiancee, is part of Rocket Pockets, one of the Kellogg entries!

Thank You, NEXT ’19: BTG Co-Chair checks out the Google NEXT Conference

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Miranda Zhao, Class of 2020

With just one backpack, comfy jeans and a T-shirt, I started my 3-day journey at Google Cloud Conference, named “NEXT ‘19” at downtown San Francisco. My purpose of attending the conference was to learn more about the Cloud, including the latest tools and packages, trends, and key industry players; and connect with Cloud leaders.

The content appealed to a variety of audiences with a range of topics, such as ML & AI, Architecture, IoT, Security, and many more. In addition to the keynotes, breakouts, there were also opportunities to get hands-on experience as a developer in the labs. I got a chance to speak to a few Google AI experts and learn about their auto-ML tools that allow business analysts to run models without training in Machine Learning. One of the most exciting products was the integration of Google AI and Salesforce Einstein to improve contact center performance. For example, when a customer calls Hulu and asks to add the live stream sports option to watch the NBA, a news article about the games would pop up, allowing the agent to better engage with the customer. When the customer decides to add this option, Salesforce automatically takes the agent to the appropriate workflow so the task can be completed in a split second.

Miranda at the Google NEXT conference last weekend

Miranda at the Google NEXT conference last weekend

What I also appreciated was the focus on diversity and inclusion. There was even a “Diversity and Inclusion lounge” where anyone can get a professional headshot, talk to a confidence counselor, or chill and recharge your batteries (literally and figuratively). My favorite event was “Women of Cloud.” Featuring six amazing technologists from Google, this session was an open dialogue to ask hard questions and puts diversity, equity, and inclusion at the forefront from a technical perspective. It was even more interesting when I learned that these speakers were present at last year’s conference in the same panel, and a year later, they shared their experiences of growth and development at Google, and three of them got promoted!

All of the hustle and bustle of the conference, where attendees learned more about the Cloud, key industry players and connected with Cloud leaders.

All of the hustle and bustle of the conference, where attendees learned more about the Cloud, key industry players and connected with Cloud leaders.

Outside of the more educational and inspirational sessions, my stomach also had a blast. My daily routine would consist of snacks (kale & banana chips + sustainable beef jerky), followed by whatever-you-want lunch (ramen, poke, protein bowl + passion fruit juice + sesame ice cream + bubble tea), and concluded with afternoon snacks (chicken skewers, hummus, frosty beverages). The sky was the limit when it came to food options, all for free! I had to add another bag coming back with all the swags from Google and partners: fancy water bottles, an automatic cellphone cleanser (a mini version of rumba), a company branded lightsaber, and, of course, a Google T-shirt.

Those three days spent in San Francisco was definitely inspiring and fun. As I am organizing the inaugural Booth TechCon held this Friday, I can imagine the huge amount of effort that went into NEXT ’19, but I hope that one day, I can also stand on the stage to introduce my product to a room of audience, or share my journey in tech with the next generation of technologists.  


The Boothie and the (Filipino) Beach

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Nicole Newman, Class of 2020

Magandáng umaga -  “Good morning!” While I attempted to memorize as many greetings in the Tagalog language as possible, I just couldn’t pronounce “good morning” with the right inflection. Luckily, when I arrived in the Philippines, the locals appreciated my gesture but quickly switched to over English. Phew!

Chicago Booth’s Spring Break to the Philippines attracted 45 students united by a common mission to soak up as much sun, culture, and nightlife as possible in a nine-day sprint. Fortunately, we had second-years Calvin Lim and Olivia Korostelina to lead the way!

After a 16 hour flight, our trip kicked off in Manila within the city’s financial district known as Makati. The area is filled with shopping malls, outdoor markets and Jollibee - referred to as the “McDonalds of the Philippines”. The next day, we took a walking tour through the Walled City of Intramuros in Old Manila. There were remnants of the Spanish, Chinese and American empires throughout the tour that collectively contributed to the Philippines’ multicultural society.

Boothies enjoy the pristine beaches of Boracay, Philippines

Boothies enjoy the pristine beaches of Boracay, Philippines

We then traveled to El Nido, Palawan located in the country’s western region. El Nido is known for its white-sand beaches, illuminating lagoons and picturesque coral reefs. We explored Nacpan Beach and huddled around an outdoor tiki bar. And just in time for island hopping season, we Boothies trekked from Secret Beach, to Snake Island, and to the infamous Hidden Beach. Our day of exploration culminated with a delicious lunch and siesta on a private island. In El Nido, I tried out lagoon kayaking and scuba diving for the first time. While I can’t say that I’m a professional just yet, it was awesome to step out of my comfort zone.

The group basks in the sun in El Nido

The group basks in the sun in El Nido

As if the trip couldn’t get any better, we made it to our final destination: Boracay. We were grateful to visit the tourist island, which was closed off from visitors until October 2018 due to environmental rehabilitation. The breathtaking beaches and beautiful palms provided the perfect backdrop for some rest and relaxation. I ended my trip in Boracay falling asleep under the sun, and waking up to painful sunburns.

On Day 9, I felt bittersweet knowing my spring break was winding down. Back in Manila, I rushed to check off what was left of my Philippines bucket list. I window shopped at the Mall of Asia, unsuccessfully gambled, and ate at Hawker Chan - the world's cheapest Michelin star restaurant - all in a 6-hour span.

My Spring Break in the Philippines was an incredible life experience that I hope to relive again.


1Ys take on CO-LOM-BIA

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Krithika Narayan, Class of 2020

Colombia was a whirlwind of 360 Boothies living their best (or alternatively most hungover) lives. Landing in Bogotá on Friday, (shoutout to the Boothies stuck in Toronto) we had the chance to experience the joys of MPP - aka bumping into Boothies all the time - on a different continent. Many of us realized our high school Spanish would absolutely not be enough to get sim cards and quickly latched onto that one friend who could pave our way to mediocre Colombian 4G and Google Translate. Over the next two days, we took in the sights and sounds of the city, hiking up Monserrate for stunning views and walking around the vibrant neighborhood of La Candelaria with hole-in-the-wall chicha (corn liquor…I think) bars. Modo organized an incredible Saturday night at the Restaurant Andres Carne de Res slightly outside of Bogotá, where they hosted us with great food, great music, and some strangely dressed animal-head figures who sported BDSM paraphernalia and periodically showered us with confetti.

Hammock line at Islas del Rosario. Photo courtesy Jackie Quartner

Hammock line at Islas del Rosario. Photo courtesy Jackie Quartner

Bright and early the next morning, with face glitter everywhere, we packed our bags to head to Medellín. The city is best known for being the home of Pablo Escobar, who even today remains incredibly divisive among locals. Boothies took tours around Plaza Botero, with its oversized statues, and Comuna 13, which was formerly plagued by drug and gang wars. The Comuna continues to transform its violent history into creativity and progress, prompting many to take the graffiti walking tours and see for themselves the revitalization effort. Some of us visited a local coffee farm, where we acted briefly as free labour as we harvested coffee beans, and enjoyed the views of the surrounding hills from the roofs of our Jeeps.  

Day 4 saw all the Boothies climbing the stark El Peñon de Guatapé, a massive stone rising over 650 feet out of the flat ground and boasting stunning views of the surrounding Peñol -Guatapé reservoir. In true B school style, we ended the day with the first of three yacht parties, complete with free-flowing guaro, the signature #modoColombia playlist and 350 of our best friends.

From Medellín, we continued on to Cartagena, the charming beach town with the most colourful, vibrant streets. Rooftop dinners and parties were the order of the day, along with brilliantly fresh seafood, very humid warmth, and cooling sunset drinks. Modo’s Float Fest was a particular highlight.  They organized the entire group onto ~20 boats and took us out to the beautiful Islas Rosarios for a day-long beach party.

We ended the trip with a relatively relaxed day and yacht party #3, embracing the warm night before we headed back to the 30 degree weather of Chicago. The trip was an incredible experience, and the trek leaders and modo travel did a fantastic job of it! (So many unnecessary #FyreFest emojis.) We walked away with the best memories, strengthened and new friendships, and best of all, a great tan to hide under our coats.  #modoColombiaOUT

Connecting Through Boothright

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Joel Rabinowitz, Class of 2019

This spring break, I traveled to Israel on Boothright with 160 fellow Boothies. Eight of our fellow classmates from Israel served as intrepid leaders and successfully guided us throughout the week. From the beginning, it was an incredible experience.

We started the trip touring the Old City of Jerusalem, visiting holy sites and seeing the numerous intersections among Jewish, Christian, and Muslim history in the same physical space. In a winding tour, we visited the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Via Dolorosa, and the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Quarters. As a Jew, visiting the Western Wall, the last remaining structure from the ancient Jewish Temple, was almost surreal, a moving connection with our collective past.

The next day we visited Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust Museum, to gain a deeper understanding of the Holocaust and how that collective memory pervades the Israeli ethos. The museum’s design is particularly powerful, composed of many narrow, winding passageways structured to make visitors physically uncomfortable. We heard testimony from a Holocaust survivor and her experience hiding as a young child on a French farm, assuming the identity of a Christian girl. There were few dry eyes in the room.

A rainbow completes the perfect Boothright photo in front of the Dead Sea

A rainbow completes the perfect Boothright photo in front of the Dead Sea

From there, we traveled to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth with a salinity that makes all bathers float. As a non-floater, I was in ecstasy, pointing out that I was floating to anyone I could find. The Dead Sea mud left our skin feeling smooth, and, before we left, a rainbow appeared in the sky to cap off a meaningful day.


The following morning, we drove to Masada, the ruins of an ancient Jewish fortress overlooking the desert and Dead Sea. Given the arid climate, much of the original fortress was preserved, and we could even see the remains of the ancient Roman siege ramp. We then visited an Israeli Air Force base to learn about the role of army service in Israeli society and to better understand their experiences. We then traveled to the northeast, riding ATVs in the Galilee, particularly fun given the muddy conditions. We also visited a mountain overlooking Lebanon and Syria, giving us a firsthand view of the complexity of the region.

Dinner in Tel Aviv exploring Old Jaffa

Dinner in Tel Aviv exploring Old Jaffa

After all this activity, we spent the rest of the trip in Tel Aviv, exploring old Jaffa and relaxing. Tel Aviv is an incredibly modern city with excellent markets and a gorgeous beach.  Some of our classmates then went to Bethlehem to see the Church of Nativity where Jesus was born.

The food on the trip was delicious, and we ate enough falafel, hummus, shawarma, and shakshuka for months. The intersection of diverse culture in Israel creates a tremendous cuisine. We were almost too full on the trip!

By the end, we were exhausted but satisfied. Over the course of just one week, we had seen most of the country! I want to thank our trip leaders Daniel Gottesmann, Dor Goldman, Roi Kessler, Ido Goren, Yonatan Ohana, Inbar Goodman, Lior Schahaf, and Gal Amran for creating such a meaningful trip. I look forward to visiting Israel again!

21 Boothies conquered Patagonia on a grueling but fulfilling Spring Break

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Shubhda Hirawat, Class of 2020

Typically, when you hear spring break- it sounds like white sandy beaches, sunglasses, lazing with a side of margarita pitchers. That’s exactly what it was not for 21 of the ‘we will take the road less traveled’ Boothies who decided to go to Patagonia to hike in the wilderness for 6 days. To be fair, we spent a day in Santiago with Pablo Neruda’s poetry and glasses of Chilean wine but that sadly (or purposely!) lasted only a few hours.

Last minute cancellations due to visa delays and missed flight connections were only the beginning of the adventures to come. This one was a trip full of hugs, tears, willpower, resilience, and friends who will last a lifetime.

The Booth Wilderness Expedition, as it was called, began with 3 hours of packing everything we needed for ‘survival’ in the wild. And we needed a ton! We packed stoves, sleeping bags and tents, as well as trail mix (our staple for the next week) and hot chocolate for rainy days. Each of us carried 50 pounds on our backs, a weight that literally weighs us down. With a Booth chip on our shoulder, we embarked on what was to be the ‘trip of our lives’.

The Patagonia crew celebrates the end of an exciting Spring Break

The Patagonia crew celebrates the end of an exciting Spring Break

Day 1 involved getting us used to our 50-pound backpacks, with only 200 meters of hiking that took us over 10 minutes. The day introduced us to the most important lesson of the trip – poop-in-the-wild etiquette. The task was codenamed ‘desire’ in the Booth Patagonia community, and if you know when each person on your team is ‘fulfilling’ their desire- you are best friends overnight!

Next morning was about desires, snacks on the go and preparing for hours of hiking. We walked through grasslands, farmlands, forests, and rivers. Falling into the river and breaking trekking poles in the first 10 minutes of hiking was not something we were expecting, but when does the wilderness behave as expected? We hiked in wet boots through the day, drying our feet, socks and boots in the bright sun every break (which were far too often!). Day 2 was a long, arduous yet scenic walk and we thought it couldn’t get much harder (ha!). The end of the day saw us chatting over hot meals and drinks (tea, not margaritas) and bringing the day to a close.

Boothies walk around Santiago Chile before the trek commences

Boothies walk around Santiago Chile before the trek commences

Tuesday, March 26 remains stamped in our memories as the hardest day of the trek. Steep inclines and bushwhacking would be kinder words to describe that day. We hiked on all fours, hanging onto shrubs, taking hours to walk 100-meter distances. The day also saw a bag roll down a hill, a friend slip (and hang onto another hand), torn pants, wounded knees, long hugs and real tears at the end.  We sat watching the stars that night with the unspoken camaraderie, feeling warm, fuzzy and thankful for everything we had achieved that day.

Patagonia was the best decision for Spring Break for each of us. We came back with memories in tents, under stars, over hot drinks and a sense of common goal and achievement. There is only so much that can be said in 500 words, but if asked if I’d go through this again: yes, a 100 times over.

Culture by day, Sake by night

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Anagh Chaudhry, Class of 2020

After a grueling 13-hour flight (even longer for those without a direct routing), our 80-strong group of Boothies landed in Osaka to bright, beautiful skies and temperatures at a pleasant 50°F. We began our tour in Nara Park, where the shika-yose (the blowing of a horn) summoned the deer from the forest. These ‘messengers of god’ were quick to devour the rice crackers we offered them. The evening dinner included unlimited sake and other frosty beverages, the first of many times on the trip that we enjoyed what the Japanese call nomihodai, or all-you-can-drink!

Our day trip to Kyoto was jam-packed with activity. Known for its natural beauty, Kyoto’s sights included the Tenryuji Temple with its adjoining bamboo grove, and the Golden Pavilion – Kinkakuji – that housed sacred relics of the Buddha. With our Japanese-style lunch, we had the privilege to watch an exquisite performance by a geiko and maiko (formerly known as geishas). They also played what a game with us called konpira fune fune – as typical B-school students, we were quick to convert it into a drinking game. Our day ended with dressing up in colorful kimonos and visiting the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, with over 1,000 orange torii gates – donated by worshippers in exchange for a granted wish.

A visit to Hiroshima’s Atomic Bomb Dome and Peace Memorial Park the following day took us back to the tragic events of 1945. Going through physical remains from the atomic blast, as well as the audio-visual accounts of the day, was a stark reminder of the destructive power of nuclear bombs. After taking a short ferry, we then reached Miyajima Island to see the spectacular “floating” torii gate of the Itsukushima Shrine.

We left Osaka the next day for Hakone – a mountainous town known for its onsen (hot springs). While many of us were fascinated at the Japanese tradition of taking dips in the springs fully nude, others preferred the privacy of individual rooms. What followed was probably the wildest night of the trip. All of us wore the yukata, a simplified kimono, and were treated to another decadent dinner plus nomihodai. In high spirits, we then ambled over to the karaoke rooms to belt out Booth renditions of ‘Complicated’ and ‘Barbie Girl’. Many of us, especially me, found it difficult to wake up the following morning.

The group in yukata, or simplified kimonos, at a post-onsen dinner with nomihodai

The group in yukata, or simplified kimonos, at a post-onsen dinner with nomihodai

The next few days were spent in Tokyo, where we undertook various activities including:

  1. Shopping in the starry, luxurious streets of Ginza, including the oldest stationery store in the world, Itoya

  2. Drinking at the watering holes of Golden Gai in Shinjuku, where the coziness of each bar is matched only by the sheer number of them (over 250 packed in 5 alleys!)

  3. Maricar - donning Mario suits and taking on the streets of Tokyo in go-karts!

  4. Seeing cherry blossoms by the Meguro River. How lucky are we that we visited Japan the one week of the year when these flowers are in full bloom?

  5. Day trips to Greater Tokyo destinations such as Mt. Takao and Yokohoma

Perhaps the greatest contributors to the success of the Japan trek were our 1Y Japanese trek leaders. Their indomitable spirit in handling logistics, helping us communicate with locals, and providing us more options than we could wrap our head around helped prove that the Japanese are some of the kindest and most efficient people in the world. And who can forget their stirring rendition of Freddie Mercury, complete with vests and fake moustaches!

Overall, us participants were treated to a fantastic week where we explored a bit of everything Japan had to offer: a vast history, varied natural beauty, delicious cuisine, a charming cityscape, and an unlimited choice of nighttime activities. Along the way, we built some everlasting friendships and renewed some old ones. Now that we’re back, can’t wait to test out the Chicago ramen scene!

We left Osaka the next day for Hakone – a mountainous town known for its onsen (hot springs). While many of us were fascinated at the Japanese tradition of taking dips in the springs fully nude, others preferred the privacy of individual rooms. What followed was probably the wildest night of the trip. All of us wore the yukata, a simplified kimono, and were treated to another decadent dinner plus nomihodai. In high spirits, we then ambled over to the karaoke rooms to belt out Booth renditions of ‘Complicated’ and ‘Barbie Girl’. Many of us, especially me, found it difficult to wake up the following morning.

The next few days were spent in Tokyo, where we undertook various activities including:

  1. Shopping in the starry, luxurious streets of Ginza, including the oldest stationery store in the world, Itoya

  2. Drinking at the watering holes of Golden Gai in Shinjuku, where the coziness of each bar is matched only by the sheer number of them (over 250 packed in 5 alleys!)

  3. Maricar - donning Mario suits and taking on the streets of Tokyo in go-karts!

  4. Seeing cherry blossoms by the Meguro River. How lucky are we that we visited Japan the one week of the year when these flowers are in full bloom?

  5. Day trips to Greater Tokyo destinations such as Mt. Takao and Yokohoma

Booth students in all their Maricar finery right before they zoom off in go-karts

Booth students in all their Maricar finery right before they zoom off in go-karts

Perhaps the greatest contributors to the success of the Japan trek were our 1Y Japanese trek leaders. Their indomitable spirit in handling logistics, helping us communicate with locals, and providing us more options than we could wrap our head around helped prove that the Japanese are some of the kindest and most efficient people in the world. And who can forget their stirring rendition of Freddie Mercury, complete with vests and fake moustaches!

Overall, us participants were treated to a fantastic week where we explored a bit of everything Japan had to offer: a vast history, varied natural beauty, delicious cuisine, a charming cityscape, and an unlimited choice of nighttime activities. Along the way, we built some everlasting friendships and renewed some old ones. Now that we’re back, can’t wait to test out the Chicago ramen scene!

Highlights from the Booth Winter Formal

The GBC Signature Events committee is tasked each year with throwing two of the most memorable parties of the year for full time students. Rightfully nicknamed “Booth Prom”, the event is one of the few opportunities Booth students have to put on their formal attire without having to sit down for an interview and instead, enjoy an evening with their friends and let loose on the dance floor.  

Innovation and Design Trek - NYC

Booth's Innovation and Design Club (IDC) hosted its inaugural trek in New York City from February 28th to March 1st. The purpose of the trek was twofold: to offer students a glimpse into the day-to-day of careers that encompass both business and design; and to enable MBA students to build rapport and connections for future opportunities.