Making the most of the Booth Experience

by Atsushi Yamazaki, Class of 2019

by Atsushi Yamazaki, Class of 2019

When I tell people what I do at Booth i.e. GBC Cohort President, Admissions Fellow, Class Gift Committee, two summer internships at BCG and Goldman Sachs, Japan Trek leader, Battle of the Band and Follies, Fama’s PhD-level class, people ask me how I make time and whether I sleep at all. My answer to them is that being an investment banker taught me how to function on practically no sleep. This is only partially true. The truth is that I understand how precious time is (NPV/time value - banking takeaway!) and have my own discipline about time allocation.   

Time is equal. We all have only 24 hours a day. In business school, time allocation is extremely challenging, since there is always so much going on. Maximizing my time has been my primary purpose since I joined Booth. Looking back on my two years, I truly believe that I was holistic in year 1 and I have been focused in year 2.

In my first year, I tried to do as much as I could. I took on many leadership positions, went on random walk and recruited for consulting and banking. In addition to interning part-time at a PE fund in Chicago, I was also lucky to get three gigs with my band Beluga Fails. While most people believe that they should focus on what they are interested in at business school, my approach was the opposite. I tried what I had never tried before and most of my experiences were eye-opening.

In my second year, I had three rules, 1. Try new things 2. Focus on meeting people, even beyond Booth 3. Focus on the academic opportunities available. I therefore took Eugene Fama’s Portfolio Choice and Asset Pricing, Steve Kaplan’s EFPE, Scott Meadow’s Commercializing Innovation, Raghuram Rajan’s International Corporate Finance, and did the Global Social Impact Practicum with a visit to India over winter. The missing piece of the Booth puzzle was NVC - no experience is truly complete without it and I’m therefore excited to be part of it next quarter.

Ticking a PhD-level class with Eugene Fama off the Booth bucket-list

Ticking a PhD-level class with Eugene Fama off the Booth bucket-list

If I were to ask myself why I do so many things at school and interact with all these different communities, it’s because I like learning from people’s experiences, and understanding what they value. For instance, classmates in Fama’s class are different from the people I’ve met through being on GBC. I love getting different perspectives from the many different types of people at Booth - we all should! Different perspectives change our thoughts and deeds and eventually influence our character. I like to see myself constantly changing. Booth has given me the best environment to grow. I am comfortable knowing that I will never settle will keep on evolving, all thanks to Booth.