On Wednesday, March 2, eleven Boothies bravely presented speeches at the second annual Ignite Booth, a TED Talk-style event where students speak about diverse topics to nearly 80 classmates. Sponsored by the Graduate Business Council (GBC), the event provided students an unrestricted five minutes to share their different talents and interests. A few highlights from the event:
“Can Art Heal? How Music Helped Me Find Myself”, Priyanka Prakash ’16
Prakash kicked off the event with a personal story about the healing power of Carnatic music, a genre of Indian classical music characterized by a complex system of ragas (melodic scales) and talas (rhythmic cycles). As a teenager, Prakash was privileged to perform at a festival in India and music helped her “find…and understand [myself].”
“Let’s Talk About IT”, Davis Yang ’17
Yang gave the first “rousing” presentation with his talk about Fiera, “the first non-drug arouser for women.” Yang is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the firm that produces the product that is championed by President and CEO, Karen Long (LifeScan, Acclarent), and many other powerful women. Yang stated, “If you’re wondering if we’re making a toy, I ask you, ‘Do these women look like toy makers?’”
Untitled, Aditi Sodhi ‘16
Sodhi reflected how “crossword puzzles…fill the human urge to solve.” Sodhi shared how she was diagnosed with dyslexia and, at the age of 12, began to immerse herself in the intersection of “culture, language and trivia,” which helped her gain “a sense of achievement when I didn’t get it from anywhere else.” Hard work led her to the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, an “epic competition” that is “the stuff of legends.”
“Small Talk…And Then?”, Gloria Zhang ’17
The first truly comical moment came from Zhang, whose poignant talk building deeper human connections urged classmates to do so by resisting “small talk.” “What are you trying to accomplish today and how can I help you?” is the “deep, awkward question.” Zhang began asking classmates to surprising success after she found that the only benefit of talking about the weather was that she nearly “became a weather expert.”
Untitled, Nipur Mahajan ’16
Closing out the presentations, Mahajan outlined several reasons for supporting a presidential campaign for “Kanye West in 2020,” including: Kanye gets the key takeaway from the Constitution that “No man should have all that power (reference to his hit song “Power”)” and the fact that Kanye stood up for justice when he interrupted Taylor Swift’s confusing win for Female Video of the Year at the 2010 MTV VMAs over eventual Video of the Year winner, Beyonce. Mahajan ended with an Obama-inspired poster of Kanye proclaiming “’Ye We Can.”
Other great speeches included: Daniel Lozano’s (’16) “How to Handle Relationships with Journalists”; Andi Hadisutjipto’s (’16) “Pattern Matching 2.0” about making decisions based on past successes; Sanjana Rao’s (’17) case for the spirit of adventure through the lens of the new Doctor Who; Lavinia Popinceanu’s (’16) meditation on culture and fit in the workplace; Hamid Dalglijli’s (’16) uncanny explanation of how croissants, the Great Irish Famine, and a soccer club are connected; and Claire Liu’s (’17) poker and entrepreneurship parallels.
GBC is still debating whether to offer more opportunities to present in the spring. After attending these enlightening presentations, I hope they will consider making this a quarterly offering.