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.

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!

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.

300 Booth Students Flock to Boystown for Annual LGBT #PinkParty

By John Frame, Class of 2017

By John Frame, Class of 2017

Over 300 Booth students of all backgrounds descended upon Sidetrack Video bar in Boystown, Chicago's LGBT neighborhood, on Saturday, May 21st, to celebrate #PinkParty, hosted by Booth OUTreach LGBT student group.

Students from the full and part-time program attended the event organized to celebrate diversity and LGBT allyship in the Booth community. The three-hour long event featured tons of pink swag, a variety of frosty beverages, and a drag show with performances from LGBT ally members of the rugby and soccer clubs.

Students from the full and part-time program attended the event organized to celebrate diversity and LGBT allyship in the Booth community.
Over 300 Chicago Booth students showed their support for the student drag performers at OUTreach's annual #PinkParty hosted at Sidetrack Video Bar in Boystown on Saturday night. 

Over 300 Chicago Booth students showed their support for the student drag performers at OUTreach's annual #PinkParty hosted at Sidetrack Video Bar in Boystown on Saturday night. 

#PinkParty was emceed by first-year students, Belen Bazano and Austin Fang, the latter of whom stole the show as “$hia Me$$”, wearing a long black wig and a flowered mini-dress. The drag show kicked off with a strip tease performed to Fifth Harmony's "Work from Home" and concluded with members of the audience in wigs participating in impromptu dance solos.

Throughout the hour-long performance, Fang and Bazano quizzed the audience on drag culture and handed out condoms and other fun prizes before winners were crowned. Sidetrack Video Bar, a long-time supporter of the #PinkParty, donated the club space and attendees flocked to nearby Mini Bar for the after-party.

Erik Underwood, a Co-Chair of OUTreach and main project leader for the event, complimented the support from the Sidetrack staff, “The management at Sidetrack was incredible. We’ve been hosting the party there for years, and the bartenders were excited to come back and have a blast with us. As a landmark LGBT bar in Boystown, Sidetrack is a great first exposure to LGBT nightlife for our straight allies.”  

Booth OUTreach co-chair and project leader, Erik Underwood (center), strikes a pose with his fellow co-chairs in front of the signature pink lips at OUTreach's annual #PinkParty at Sidetrack Video Bar in Boystown.

Booth OUTreach co-chair and project leader, Erik Underwood (center), strikes a pose with his fellow co-chairs in front of the signature pink lips at OUTreach's annual #PinkParty at Sidetrack Video Bar in Boystown.

Members of the Booth community paused to take professional photos in front of giant pink lips and let loose to dance tracks under a pink glow. The event was the culmination of OUTreach’s annual Pink Month, which was organized to show support for LGBT rights dating back to Nazi Germany when homosexuals were sent to concentration camps and branded with pink triangles. Following the Stonewall Riots in the late 1960s, Pink Month grew to be a staple of the Gay Rights Movement.

OUTreach Co-Chair, Francesco Schettino (’17), spearheaded the planning for Pink Month and expressed the history behind the month-long celebration, “The main focus of Pink Month is visibility--of LGBT people and allies. It gives people the opportunity to become an active part of the LGBT community. The drag show and deep presence in a historically gay neighborhood shows allies that there is nothing ‘scary’ about our community and, in fact, they too can be a part of it.”

The drag show and deep presence in a historically gay neighborhood shows allies that there is nothing ‘scary’ about our community and, in fact, they too can be a part of it.
— Francesco Schettino ('17), Booth OUTreach Co-Chair

#PinkParty had the largest turnout this year. Allies were all smiles before they head to internships and full-time jobs all over the world. “I came because I wanted to show my support for the LGBT community, have some fun, and experience something new,” said Garaudy Etienne (’17).