Student Groups - the Wind of Change

by Harmesh Bhambra '16

Harmesh Bhambra '16

Harmesh Bhambra '16

The wind of change is blowing through the Harper Center. Our beloved second-year co-chairs have passed the baton to the first-years, whose responsibility it now is to improve further the student groups for the next generation of Boothies.

There are 378 student group co-chair positions for 2015-16 (excluding DMAC and DSAC). Further, many students involve themselves in more than one group; 122 Boothies have more than one co-chair position and the highest number is four positions.

The feeling of slight trepidation fills the minds of all first-year co-chairs. The activities of the student groups are visible to the whole Booth community and are regularly the source of comment in this newspaper. Student groups are important for various reasons: the Management Consulting Group, Investment Banking Group and Technology Group are integral to the recruiting success of students; other groups such as Dean's Student Admissions Committee are integral to enhancing the experience of the admissions process at Booth and bringing the best talent to the school.

The second-year co-chairs have set the standard, which the new co-chairs have to emulate. What is daunting, and what is required, of co-chairs is to strike a balance with honoring past successes and evolving the student group. Ramona Lapadus, a new co-chair of the BoothEd group, understands this challenge: “It's hard not to be somewhat overwhelmed by the incredibly high bar set by the past BoothEd co-chairs. They have done an outstanding job growing beyond expectations and the pressure is on to keep the same pace going forward.” Co-chairs, however, benefit greatly from working with a team of other co-chairs and Student Life that provides support throughout the year, and helps put student ideas into reality. Jessica Jaggers, Director of Student Life, offers reassurance to the incoming co-chairs: “We know it can feel a bit overwhelming in the beginning, but everyone needs to know our team is here to help.”

We have all benefited greatly from the support and knowledge of student group co-chairs. Thus, the motivation for many first-years to become a co-chair is driven by a sense of commitment to the community and the desire to give back. This is the pay it forward culture in action. “I’m really excited to be part of the pay it forward culture at Booth. It is one of the main things that drew me to the school initially and makes our program unique”, says Spencer Holmes, an incoming co-chair for the Booth Energy Group.

We can also all rest easy knowing that the outgoing co-chairs have three months left to handhold us and we have many more months before we are let loose on the new first-years. So remember to use the great resources offered by Booth and have fun.

Here at ChiBus, we are undergoing the same transition and as always, we appreciate your feedback, so please feel free to reach out to us. Good luck for the next year in all your endeavors!

The writer is the incoming News Editor for the Chicago Business newspaper.