By Aakash Degwekar ‘16
She’s had a tough commute to Harper, with her car being stuck in snow in Hyde Park, turning back to MPP and then getting a ride from a fellow Graduate Business Council (GBC) Executive Board member to make it, but KR Ling brushes that off and starts chatting enthusiastically about her plans for next year. She is joined by Jamarr Buchanan, who exudes a sense of calm authority. Your correspondent is already looking forward to the conversation with this yin-yang pair.
KR is the new GBC President, and Jamarr is the Executive Vice President. They are part of the Your Booth slate that was elected to be the next GBC Executive Board last month. The rest of the slate includes Emily Ruff (VP-Student Experience), Ryan Bickham (VP-Marketing), Isabel Arana (VP-International Affairs) and Siddharth Nair (VP-Outreach). ChiBus caught up with KR and Jamarr to learn more about them and their plans for next year.
Chicago Business [CB]: Congratulations on your win! How does it feel?
KR Ling [KL]: I’m really excited about this opportunity! The campaign was a lot of fun and we had two great slates running, so the community couldn’t go wrong. A lot of thinking went into putting together our slate and we are excited to get moving.
Jamarr Buchanan [JB]: I wasn’t quite sure it would work out, so I was quite relieved. We have already received some great suggestions and I’m looking forward to implementing some of them (though definitely not all).
[CB]: What’s the most interesting suggestion so far?
[JB]: A persistent request to put a FoodCam in the lounge with a live feed online to know when there’s free food in there.
[CB]: Why are you here and not somewhere else?
[JB]: My wife is an alum from the Class of 2012. Her experience was fantastic. She was really well received by faculty and staff, as was I when I was a partner. I felt that the balance between the social and academic experience at Booth couldn’t be replicated elsewhere.
[KL]: The Midwest wasn’t a natural destination for me but I really felt welcomed and appreciated by the school after I got in. All the outreach by students and alums made me feel like I was already part of the community, and Admit Weekend sealed the deal.
[CB]: What are your goals for the Booth community?
[KL]: Our three goals are best embodied by our campaign slogan- Your Voice. Your Community. Your Brand. The first is streamlining the process by which people’s concerns get to the appropriate ears within the administration.
The second is improving the student experience while at Booth. We want it to start even before students come to Booth, with Cohort Presidents personally welcoming students over the summer. We want to strengthen first and second year interactions, and build on the cohort system so it extends beyond LEAD.
The third goal is defining Booth for the long term. What does the student body want Booth to look like as Alumni, and what do we want it to mean for prospective students five years from now? That involves getting the student body’s pulse on what programs and classes should be offered and how the Booth brand should be marketed globally.
[JB]: There’s a lot we want to do and a year isn’t enough time. Getting the ball rolling on these goals, and having an impact that people perceive will be very gratifying.
[CB]: What are your pet peeves about Booth?
[KL]: People stealing cookies out of the boxed lunches.
[JB]: Can’t get enough apples, man.