Campus Happenings

  • The Emerging Markets Summit, Booth’s largest student-run conference, draws crowd of over 200 hundred. Co-sponsored by nine student groups, headline speakers included C-suite executives, entrepreneurs, and economic development leaders from around the globe.

 

  • E/W students launch new student group “Booth Creative Culture Club” to cater to creative and artistic minds on campus. Its kickoff event on April 26th included live performances and drew several dozen students interested in improv comedy, arts, museums,galleries, theatre, dance, and more.

 

  • Booth Soccer makes history by taking the 2016 Tuck MBA World Cup. The Class of 2016 graduates having won its third soccer tournament.

 

  • Booth Follies and Dance Club put up a great show “Follies 2016”, enthralling the audience with drama, humor and dance! The event drew a crowd of over 300 that cheered and laughed the entire evening!

 

  • Booth decides to move up Consulting recruitment timeline for the incoming class of 2018 to keep in sync with the hiring timeline of all schools at the top consulting firms.

BOOTHIES ON SOCIAL MEDIA

NVC Startup Diaries: Nip- Redefining Premium Food Delivery Service

Francisco Cantor, Booth ’16, was bitten by the entrepreneurship bug during his undergrad days when he built a company for importing and distributing mobile phone accessories in Venezuela. The company was a huge success and was acquired.

 Shikha Kapoor, '17

Shikha Kapoor, '17

Coming into Booth, he knew he wanted to do something in the restaurant space. After brainstorming on several potential ideas, he finally found his niche with Nip. The idea came after a not so pleasant experience ordering off of one of the popular food delivery apps- the quality as well as service experience left much to be desired. He realized that while the food delivery space is crowded, no one offers a premium solution as a whole- simple fast and quality food coupled with a premium experience.

Nip works with restaurants to identify menu items that will travel well and easily integrate into kitchen logistics. Customers simply swipe to the menu item they want to purchase, tap to order, and are charged one flat fee for the meal, delivery, and tip. Launched a couple of weeks ago, Nip offers a carefully-curated menu of top dishes from acclaimed Chicago restaurants Beatrix and Oak + Char. The app takes the headache out of food delivery by making dish selection as easy as a few swipes, and by delivering each order in under 30 minutes door-to-door.

 Nip- A Premium Experience Made As Easy As Swipe, Tap, Eat

Nip- A Premium Experience Made As Easy As Swipe, Tap, Eat

With the recent launch and encouraging customer feedback, Nip has come a long way from it’s early days. Francisco kept working on establishing relationships with restaurants, identified their pain points and successfully built a first prototype of the app during his first year. In fall 2015 he focused on establishing relationships with restaurant groups. These groups typically had a portfolio of several high end restaurants, and they all wanted to invest in improving the customer experience. The idea also was to be as little intrusive to their operations as possible.

All this was easier said than done. Francisco faced several rejections from potential customers and partners. Resources and guidance at Booth came in handy during those times. He especially credits courses such as Entrepreneurial selling in this respect. The course taught him tangible lessons that could be applied to this process. He focused on establishing relationships as opposed to selling his company. The Booth brand name also helped in creating these connections. He put his energy into understanding his customers and their pain points, asking for feedback- and this automatically helped create strong relationships as well. In addition to the course, Cantor leveraged several other resources offered at Booth. In addition to courses, he credits the Polsky Center for his success. ‘They have been super helpful.’

He credits Nip’s early success to his team (Alex Weigend, Angela Lin, Nishant Kumar, Rikki Singh, Youngeun Kim). They went through the Polsky Summer Accelerator last year and are currently participating in the New Venture Challenge. They are planning to raise a seed round when the competition is over.

Advice for entrepreneurs: ‘Launch as quickly as possible. Don’t have stage fright. Once you have a good enough MVP (minimum viable product,) just launch it. The worst possible outcome is that you would get feedback- which would only help improve your product’.

Shikha Kapoor is a first year student trying to make the most of her BoothExperience while it lasts

Coffee on the third floor- Jean-Pierre Dubé

 Araba Nti, '17

Araba Nti, '17

Even if you have a remote interest in marketing at Booth, Jean-Pierre Dubé is your guy. In his roles as the Sigmund E. Edelstone Professor of Marketing, director of the Kilts Marketing Center, and the course scheduler for the Marketing department, Prof. Dubé is the primary gatekeeper of the breadth of marketing knowledge that reaches Booth students.  He is also an appointed Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, such that his research areas span both quantitative marketing and economics.

While Dubé has made a home for himself in the Booth Marketing department since 2000, there once was a time in his academic career when his name was not affiliated with marketing. As an Economics Ph.D. student at Northwestern, he discovered his interest in marketing while seeking marketing data for his industrial organization research, formally switching his allegiance to marketing after receiving his Ph.D. While Dubé’s entrance into the field of marketing may be partially attributed to happenstance, the Booth Marketing department’s decision to hire an Economics Ph.D. reflects Booth’s “core discipline” approach to marketing that has drawn faculty members trained in specific fields that are representative of the building blocks of marketing, such as economics and cognitive psychology.

 Prof. Jean-Pierre Dubé

Prof. Jean-Pierre Dubé

Why, of all marketing concepts, teach pricing strategy? Dubé sees it as a topic that is particularly ripe for a healthy inflow and outflow between the classroom and industry: “I’ve done pricing in the field and research, so I have a good idea of what tools are practical as well as ahead of what most firms are doing in this field. Because of this, there’s a lot of feedback from students that the content of the class is stuff that they’re going to use right away. Whether you’re going into consulting, a consumer goods’ company, a tech company or a business-to-business setting where you’re setting prices. Or if you’re going into private equity and trying to evaluate companies where pricing is the key driver of short-term revenues and profits, understanding their pricing strategy or lack thereof will help you assess whether the company has potential.”

Regardless of the industry or function in which Booth MBAs end up, Dubé has confidence that our students have what they need to leave an impact: “One of the things I love about Booth is that not only do we get a lot of smart students, but the school has attitude. People argue here, and if something doesn’t sound right, they argue about it. And that’s how they behave in the workforce. That’s a trait that recruiters observe about Booth students, that Booth students are willing to challenge the status quo. They are also not afraid to dive into deep analytics when the need arises.”

With that, Dubé leaves words of advice to Booth students: “Read history. Despite getting the scientific knowledge you get from theory and methods, I still think there is a lot to be learned from history. In the last 10 years or so, most of my personal reading has been history. Especially from military history, we can learn a lot from mistakes of the past. We can learn a lot about strategy. We can also learn about our current society and culture by understanding history, especially the major conflicts in our recent history.” While it’s safe to say that history will not be featured on the next Pricing Strategies final, Dubé can relate it directly to your marketing education: “In my own research, I have found that history can be very predictive of current marketing performance. In consumer goods for instance, launch and diffusion patterns from the mid to late 19th century are still highly predictive of market structure today. Patterns of entry in the 19th century continue to explain a large portion of the cross-market variance in market shares for consumer packaged goods today.”

Araba is a first year at Booth who recently discovered that there’s life above the 2nd floor of Harper Center.

 

Improv at Chicago Booth: A ‘Yes, and’ story

It took all my nerves (and a few frosty beverages) to sign up for my first improvisation (or improv) class at The Second City, Chicago’s most famous troupe. On day one, the instructor said that “the first rule of improv is “Yes, and”… that is, a complete acceptance of the given situation (don’t deny what has already happened in the scene) and add something meaningful to move it forward.” “Damn,” I thought to myself, “that philosophy sure would have helped me navigate through campus recruiting”.

Fast forward 8 weeks; I had completed my Level A class at Second City. My newly acquired superpower was that I didn’t care about making a fool of myself anymore. If my contribution in a case was an idea that a fellow classmate had already voiced, I could now shrug it off (“so… valuable recap, right Professor?”), when I might have been mortified and dwelled on the moment for weeks before. I found the improvisation experience to be so valuable that I solicited my Second City instructor to teach the Level A class at Booth where it’s now offered as a 6-8 week workshop through the Public Speaking Group.

 Mukund Multani, '16 

Mukund Multani, '16 

Around the same time, I was taking a class with Professor Austan Goolsbee, who in addition to being voted the 2009 Funniest Celebrity in Washington, have always had the uncanny ability to lead case discussions that often left the class in splits. My classmates and I appreciated his unique style that made the concepts interesting and entertaining and left you with lessons that you actually remembered.

I recently reached out to Professor Goolsbee to chat. I discovered that, during his college years, he not only was a member of an improv group called ‘Just Add Water’ and toured the country doing shows, but also had the opportunity to play with Chris Farley and Tim Meadows at Second City.

I asked Goolsbee how that experience affected him personally. “One of the basic premises of improvisation is to go with whatever someone gives you, to not reject it, and that's proved pretty helpful throughout life. My dad always said that fault finder is a minimum wage job.” What about teaching – has improv helped you be a better instructor? Probably so, Goolsbee admits, “I find that I often make lots of off-the-cuff comments in the case discussions that feel a lot like the old improv days, for example. And certainly the knowledge that we can have insights together that weren't in the lesson plan at the outset is an important thing in my book”.

On whether he had any last words to encourage Boothies to try improv: “As long as you've got your homework done, sure, why not? Can't be afraid to make a fool of yourself is the main thing. It's an important lesson to remember.”

Mukund is a second-year who doesn’t ‘have his homework done’, yet doesn’t want to leave, and is currently nervously approaching his first stage performance at Second City as part of the Level C class.

Coffee on the Third Floor - Steve Morrissette

One of the most striking things you may notice about Steve Morrissette is his modesty. While insisting that there are many other terrific courses students should take at Booth, Morrissette brings his vast industry experience and meticulous preparation each year to deliver his Mergers and Acquisitions strategy class to Booth.

 Araba Nti, '17

Araba Nti, '17

After receiving his MBA from Booth in 1990, Morrissette has held numerous CFO and CEO roles, primarily in commercial banking. From this, he has developed a toolkit that runs the gamut from mergers and acquisition strategy, corporate development, post-merger integration, and entrepreneurship—skills he continues to use in the “real world” through his consulting company and his work with start-ups and search funds. Morrissette’s decision six years ago to add teaching to his busy schedule was highly influenced by his experience at Booth: “I was tremendously appreciative of the education I have got at Booth. I learned a lot from my professors here, it built upon my strengths, and it stretched and grew me significantly.”

 Steve Morrissette in the Alps

Steve Morrissette in the Alps

Reflecting on how Booth has changed, Morrissette recalls what it was like teaching at Booth for the first time: “When I got my course evaluation forms back, students were saying that they spent 4 ½ or 5 hours a week on my course. I went to my mentor and I said ‘I’m embarrassed that students are only spending 4 ½ or 5 hours on my class.’ Because when I went to school, the more time consuming classes were more like 10 to 12 hours a week. And my mentor said ‘One of the things that has changed is that now there are so many other activities that we want students to participate in such that 5 hours now is a very appropriate level of coursework.’”

Why should all Booth students care about mergers and acquisitions? “Thinking about acquisitions forces a clarity of understanding of a firm’s core strategy. To use an analogy, you get the x-rays and bloodwork, and you’re tying together a series of diagnostics that allow you to look at a strategy or an acquisition from multiple dimensions, understand it, then come to a critical thought on whether or not a strategy or an acquisition is going to be effective.” To go beyond a class of “practitioner war stories”, Morrissette spent approximately 250 hours conducting research for his course. To keep his subject matter up to date, he invests time each year interviewing industry practitioners and hours each work reading industry-related material.

How does he have time for all of this? Using an investing analogy, he describes his time management strategy as one of keeping a balanced portfolio—making sure his time is being spent in a way that gives him the greatest return (both non-financial and financial): “I spend about a third of my time teaching, a third consulting, and a third doing board and investing work. I track all of my hours. Because I came from a billable consulting world, I literally track them in a software package so that I know where my time is going…I don’t track personal time—I’m not that extreme.” Still not clear on how Morrissette has time for all that he does? Well, he admits that he doesn’t get enough sleep.

Banking vs. consulting? Morrissette chooses none of the above for fresh MBA graduates: “I am of the side that line experience, ‘real jobs’—running something in an operating business as opposed to providing services to an operating business—are extremely valuable. I believe that there is no substitute for real line experience.” Although Morrissette acknowledges the value that professional services can provide to those who are new to business, Morrissette has other ideas for fresh MBA graduates: “There are thousands of companies in the U.S. that need new ownership. There are thousands of new ideas to come up with, but sometimes finding that great new idea is more difficult and much higher risk than buying one of those thousands of companies out there.” A search fund provides a vehicle for MBA graduates (the “searchers” in search fund speak) by committing a $10 to $15 million investments in a company like what Morrissette describes, while providing the MBA graduate with two years of post-MBA salary ($300 - $400k) plus a 20% stake in the company. Morrissette speaks of a Booth graduate and guest speaker in his class who headed a six employee company through a search fund, growing the company to 600-800 employees through a series of eight acquisitions over eight years. For searchers who are not able to achieve this type of success, Morrissette still views the experience as a win: “Even if the company fails, in three or four years, you can say that you had 15 wealthy investors willing to back you, it didn’t work out, but it was a great experience searching for an acquisition where you looked at hundreds of companies, streamed them down, did due diligence, and ran one.’ That’s a hell of a lesson. That is not a failure on the resume. For the searcher, instead of being an MD at Goldman or a manager at McKinsey, they would have to start over after five years. But the skill set they build is tremendous.”

One last piece of career advice Morrissette has for Booth students is to not overlook the skillset one develops from middle-market companies, going so far as to argue that admitting more students from middle market companies and family businesses will positively impact the learning experience for all at Booth.

Araba is a first year at Booth who recently discovered that there’s life above the 2nd floor of Harper Center.

Managing Your Time at Booth

 Mike Sharifi '18

Mike Sharifi '18

Many Evening and Weekend MBA students understand very well that being a member of the Booth community comes with sacrifice. Whether it means spending less time at the gym or less time with family, we are all giving up something important to attend class. To contrast with our friends in the Full-Time program, we have at least fourteen hours of class work each week, in addition to full-time jobs and Booth extracurricular activities we engage in. With all of this on our shoulders, excellent time management is necessary to both keep us organized and sane. We each have different techniques for balancing our schedule. However you do it, this article should help you with some useful pointers from your peers.

Tip #1: Prioritize Tasks Every Day

 Planning ahead is necessary for avoiding the feeling of helplessness

Planning ahead is necessary for avoiding the feeling of helplessness

    It may not be the most natural or exciting task to do, but it is especially important to plan out our days and prioritize what needs to get done. “If I start to think about what I need to do by the end of the week, I usually freak myself out. When things pile up, it helps to just focus on the next 24 hours,” notes Karen Sanchez (’18). Whether by creating to-do lists or setting notifications on our Google Calendars, we all can benefit from optimizing our days to make sure we don’t fall behind in the classroom and the office.

Tip #2: Review the Syllabus Ahead of Time

    Back in undergrad, many of us - myself included - would forget about midterms until the week of and neglect to study until the night before. While we could manage that lifestyle because the opportunity cost to pulling an all-nighter studying was often a frat party or Netflix binge, we have more pressing priorities in our lives today. Knowing this, Vijay Rajan (’18) makes sure to map out key assignment and exam days as soon as he has access to the syllabus. With busy days in the office and constant travel for work, noting big school events months in advance helps him to best arrange his work schedule accordingly.

Tip #3: Keep Your Friends, Family, and Co-workers in the Loop

    Starting up at Booth isn’t only a change of pace for each of us, it also affects those around us. During the quarter, we might not be able to attend every company Happy Hour or catch mom up on every little detail about our lives, but it’s important that we give those in our lives realistic expectations. Antonia Lee (‘18) makes sure to give her friends and family plenty of notice on the days/weeks that she might be off the grid. Everyone that we’re close to understands that we’re “busy”, but unless they’ve known others doing Booth part-time, it will be hard for them to completely relate unless we provide insight.

Tip #4: Do Something for Yourself Each Week

    If my life was a revolving door that only involved school and work, I’d be absolutely miserable. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and I love Booth, but each of us needs something to take our mind off both, especially when they get stressful. Whether it’s making time each day to read Game of Thrones or playing pickup basketball on Tuesday nights, it’s important to do things for you. Life is much more than just work and school…don’t forget that!

Editor Mike Sharifi is an Evening MBA Student and Director of Business Development at Built in Los Angeles. His hobbies include running, volleyball, and exploring local restaurants.

 

How Exactly Do You Design a Good Life? An Interview with Nick Epley

Didn’t bid enough points for Designing a Good Life last quarter? I had a chance to sit down with Nicholas Epley, the John T. Keller Professor of Behavioral Science at the University Of Chicago Booth School Of Business. Famous in the academic world for his work in personality and social psychology, he is popularly known among students as the man behind one of the most “expensive” classes of Winter Quarter. Dressed down in jeans and a polo shirt, his casual demeanor amidst an office full of books was an appropriate representation of his mix of intellectual and outdoor pursuits. 

 Araba Nti, '17

Araba Nti, '17

On how he spends his time: “I grew up in rural Iowa and have always been a farm boy at heart, so I like to be outdoors. Hunting, fishing, working in the woods. I do a lot of gardening at home. I have an orchard, and I’m planting trees with great regularity. We own a little bit of land in Central Illinois—50 acres that we manage as part of a forestry program. We’re doing a prairie grass restoration there, so I’m actually going out there this weekend to do some turkey hunting and also burning some of the grassland and wood to beat back the invasive species and make it better for wildlife.”

Despite his love for the outdoors, Epley was drawn to an academic career in social psychology after his first psych course in college: “I was really interested in why good people do bad things. A classic problem in intellectual thought and everyday life. Philosophy gives you lots of ways to talk about this issue, but no ways to really answer that question. But psychology allows you to think those kinds of big questions but also gives you the tools to answer them.”

In his 11th year at Booth, Epley has found the environment at Booth to be one which has not forced him to narrow down the scope of his research to an explicit business focus. Rather, it has enhanced his research by forcing him to think hard about why the work that he does matter. (After a little provocation), Epley responds to the “soft” label often heard applied to Organizational Behavior courses at Booth: “The mind is the most complicated thing ever. Ever. It’s not reducible to a simple math problem, not even a complicated math problem. So referring to [research that addresses this] as ‘soft’ is very odd.”

 Nicholas Epley, the John T. Keller Professor of Behavioral Science

Nicholas Epley, the John T. Keller Professor of Behavioral Science

Offering the course for the first time this year, Epley’s goal in creating Designing a Good Life was to provide a course that explores ethics in a manner that would be both interesting and useful to students: “The class builds up from a basic understanding of what ethics are and what leads us to do things that aren’t in line with our own understanding of what would be good. It builds up from a basic understanding of the psychology of this to the organizational level—how to create an organization that helps good people not do [the things that they recognize as unethical], then it ends by asking the question of whether ethics and hedonics are aligned—whether being good feels good.”

So does being good go with feeling good? Epley argues “yes”: “Being good and feeling good are deeply aligned. Ethics is about pro‐sociality, and having good social relationships is one of the key ingredients of happiness.” Don’t believe this? Take the course and participate in an original experiment that substantiates this.

The one idea that he would want all Booth students to leave with: “Overconfidence is the biggest problem that psychologists have identified in everyday life. You can always learn better. There is always a lot that you don’t know. The most critical element of learning is having some sense of humility.”

On what’s next for him: “I’ve gotten really interested in how we misunderstand each other in fundamental ways. The things I have gotten interested in most recently is a phenomenon we might refer to as ‘de‐humanization.’ These are cases where we fail to understand that somebody has a fully human‐like mind like we do. There are lots of subtle instantiations of this. You think that someone is not quite as smart as you are. Not quite as compassionate or as empathic, not quite as moral. These are all judgments that someone lacks some fundamental feature of humanity. That’s gotten me really interested recently in the power of a person’s voice. We’re finding that the ability to communicate fundamental capacities—your ability to think, your ability to reason, that you’re a thoughtful, compassionate person—are not so much a thing that you can read about or see in others. It turns out that people can hear it. That your voice communicates thinking, empathy, compassion, feeling. And when people communicate in mediums that lack a voice, they are more likely to dehumanize a person.”

Araba is a first year at Booth who recently discovered that there’s life above the 2nd floor of Harper Center.

Startup Diaries: Disrupting the Online Shopping Experience

What if your favorite fashion e­commerce portal could read your mind?

That's the idea behind Riviter, a startup in this year’s Kaplan New Venture Challenge.

Riviter, the brainchild of Andi Hadisutjipto, a Booth ’16 student, uses image recognition technology to analyze users' fashion pins and social media likes and offer shopping recommendations on e­commerce websites. Andi worked in e­commerce for several years and noticed that people are more likely to shop online than ever before, but large retailers still rely on textual keywords and manual product tagging to understand what a customer might want.

 Emily Ruff, '16

Emily Ruff, '16

 Shikha Kapoor, '17

Shikha Kapoor, '17

"Shopping for clothing is obviously a very visual decision, and yet a lot of the tools out there are built around language."

Through conversations with a friend and prominent Austin blogger, Andi found that shoppers usually tend to know what they want, but are not able to find it very easily.  Further, the problem of inaccurate search results gets even more aggravated, since categorization of e­commerce data is mostly manual, and tends to be prone to errors. Andi envisioned disrupting this area using latest Computer Vision technologies. She came to Booth determined to execute this.

Andi credits resources, people and opportunities at Booth for supporting her in this journey. She started off by brainstorming and iteratively refining the idea with her peers, building a highly talented and motivated team along the way. She utilized her Booth classmates’ network, resources at Polsky Center, and classes such as Entrepreneurial discovery, Building a New Venture etc. to propel the idea further. The Entrepreneurial Internship program helped her focus on the startup over the summer as well, when she took it to the Plug and Play StartUp Camp accelerator in Silicon Valley.

Last but by no means the least, the faculty at Booth have added immense value. Says a team member and Booth’16 student Emily Ruff, “The Booth entrepreneurship faculty is beyond compare. These professors are not only top investors, advisors, and practitioners in their fields, they are also available at a moment’s notice to support, critique, and mentor. The week before the 2016 SXSW MBA Pitch competition, Waverly Deutsch sat down with our team and helped us build a streamlined, vastly improved storyboard. We got equal support from Steve Kaplan.”

Andi has helmed Riviter through some amazing achievements: one of the top three finalists in SeedCon 2014’s Napkin Pitch Competition, one of 12 companies selected from 900+ applicants for the Plug and Play StartUp Camp accelerator, one of 15 companies selected for the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps Accelerator, in addition to being one of 30 teams participating in this year’s NVC.

Most recently, the team won the SXSW Pitch Competition, taking top prize over 12 very impressive semi­finalists from Babson, McCombs, Tuck, HBS, Ross, Wharton, MIT, and Fuqua.

Today, Riviter has grown into a fully functional B2B image recognition company that allows online and mobile retailers to read shoppers’ minds based on social media pins, likes, and tags. Over the next few months, Andi and team are working with large retailers to integrate their technology and offer customers a highly personalized shopping experience.

Shikha is a first year Booth student enjoying all things Spring in Chicago.

Emily is a second year student and Director of Technology Partnerships for Riviter.

 Riviter with the winners prize for SXSW'16 Pitch Austin Competitio

Riviter with the winners prize for SXSW'16 Pitch Austin Competitio

Leo Bottary: Building your Peer Advantage

Leo Bottary, Adjunct Professor in Strategic Communication at Seton Hall University and Vice President of the Peer Advantage initiative at Vistage Worldwide Inc., visited Prof. Moyers’ New Venture Lab on February, the 25th, to share his research on The Power of Peers. Starting March 22, his findings can be seen in a book by the same name which he co-authored along with Leon Shapiro.

  Pushya Jataprolu, '16 

 Pushya Jataprolu, '16 

[ChiBus]: Your work is primarily in Strategic Communication. How did the idea for Peer Advantage and the book come about?

[Leo Bottary]: It was an evolution. My first experience with peer groups was when I owned a public relations company. Meeting with agency Principals was a great learning experience for all of us, within the same PR industry but from different geographies. Secondly, I see executives learning from each other in class at Seton Hall University. I’m sure, even at Booth, students drive the ultimately edge in the quality of the education and team experience. At Vistage, I was curious about their peer group approach for CEOs from a diverse set of companies and industries. Very quickly they discover their common challenges and help each other resolve and share meaningful practices. Over time I realized that we did not have a clear message about how valuable this approach is. So we made sure to express the value proposition, as a horizon beyond just our company and include our competitors. It is still nascent in the business world though we see peer influence in every step of life.

[CB]: How is this different from a CEO seeking advice from her board members or VP’s?
[LB]: Quite often CEOs find it hard to express that, ‘I don’t know what we should do next’ to their senior staff. Also, the day to day usually takes up a lot of time for a CEO even though she plans a great deal on the vision and wants to work on it. So, taking the time once a month to step out of that and talk to people outside of the company, and industry, has huge value to gain a third person’s perspective on the challenges and learn new practices that might work for her context.

 Leo Bottary

Leo Bottary

[CB]: I look around and see that happening to some extent at school already. Do you think people lose the trend somewhere along the road to CEO?

[LB]: I believe there have been a few changes for good in business schools lately, First, there is the focus on leadership and secondly much more focus on teamwork with its advantages and challenges . So, now there is a generation of MBA graduates who see merit in collaboration. But we, baby boomers, grew up in an environment where shielding your paper was right and individual accomplishments more rewarded. One of the other business schools, Stanford, published a study in 2013 which said two thirds of the CEOs are not seeking outside leadership advice however, would be open to it if it were made available. Of course, the prerequisite is that you cannot be an ego-maniac, should be open to ideas and see others’ perspective. Some CEOs even bring these learnings about collaboration to their organizations and make it a part of their culture.

[CB]: How do you avoid a peer organization from getting cliquey?

[LB]: Group think and Abilene’s paradox come to mind. I can see it playing out inside an organization where you have a strong culture and leadership dynamic. But when you’re in a peer group, it is liberated from those aspects. People tend to be fearless about challenging one another. They wouldn’t allow you to get out of that room that day without letting you hear what they wish to say. It is crucial that the group is built around trust and honesty and instilling the courage to act through accountability.

[CB]: When you start forming a peer group and define the skill set of the peers you would gain value from, how do you find peers to guide you on the unknown-unknowns?

[LB]: It starts with a group whose skillset will surely help you. Often times leaders realize that they are missing some pieces and conduct an empty chair exercise. Periodically identifying the specific skill set that the group still needs is very important. So, you still address those areas as known-unknowns.

Pushya is a second year, former People Editor at ChiBus.

How to Switch Careers at Booth

 Mike Sharifi '18

Mike Sharifi '18

Evening and Weekend Students are here at Booth for a variety of reasons. Some of us are striving for that next promotion and some of us are seeking personal growth or validation. Some of us are looking to start our own companies or just looking to impress the in-laws. However, a large portion of us are here to make a career or industry change before our time at Gleacher is up.

    As someone who has helped hundreds through career changes, I’ve offered up various pieces of advice to a few of my peers these past two quarters. I wanted to use this article as an opportunity to share a few of these tips with those of you contemplating a switch.

Tip #1: Use the Booth curriculum to discover new passions

    Many of us know that we want to make a professional change, but are unsure what that change might be. It’s difficult enough to decide what we want to wear to the office tomorrow, let alone what we want to be doing for the rest of our working lives. However, a great place to start is by discovering passions we might not know we had by taking classes outside of our areas of expertise. Unless you’re trying to graduate with five different concentrations or take every Analytic Finance class Booth offers, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to try something new.

Tip #2: Make the most of Career Services

    Contrary to popular belief, the Career Services team isn’t just here to send weekly emails and nitpick resumes. Through the Booth Intranet, you can discover the wealth of knowledge that Career Services has provided to answer a majority of the questions you may have on changing careers. From advice on “Telling Your Story” on LinkedIn to tips for sourcing opportunities, any jobseeker can take away something from this section. In addition, Career Services has an extremely well-connected Employer Relations team that can give us the inside track with companies. I’ve heard several stories of students visiting Career Services with only a general idea and leaving with introductions to their “dream jobs”.

Tip #3: Connect with Booth Alumni

    It is  difficult for some of us to muster the courage to send an email to someone we don’t know asking them to make time to chat, but increasingly, I have come to realize that Booth alumni are open to helping current students when they can. Maybe Tom Ricketts won’t get back to your inquiry about a front office position with the Cubs right away, but the Chicago Booth connection is a bond that resonates strongly with most alumni. Use our alums as a resource to learn more about their company, their industry, or to just get their advice.

 You can never understate the importance of networking

You can never understate the importance of networking

Tip #4: Utilize your Classmates

    We often fail to realize that our best asset in our job search may very well be the person next to us in the classroom. Given the diversity of work and industry experience in the Evening and Weekend population, don’t be shy to ask your classmates about their jobs and the companies they work for. Often, they are the potential resource that may give you the most balanced perspective, and one that may personally vouch for you to his or her company.

If you’re set on changing careers, or just reevaluating your options, it is important that you make the most of the unique tools at your disposal to get the upper hand in a highly competitive environment.


Editor Mike Sharifi is an Evening MBA Student and Director of Business Development at Built in Los Angeles. His hobbies include running, volleyball, and exploring local restaurants.

BoothStories is Back

 Pushya Jataprolu '16

Pushya Jataprolu '16

By Pushya Jataprolu '16

The avenue at Booth that encourages you to open your heart, wear it on your sleeve and tell your story to a supportive audience is back. The first event of this year was on ‘Spectacular Failures’, conducted on February 17 and the next one is slated for March 9. ChiBus took this opportunity to understand the perspective of two of the conveners this year, Sid Nair ‘16 and Ryan McDonnell ‘17.

[ChiBus]: How did the concept of BoothStories start?

[Sid Nair]: BoothStories was started in Winter quarter last year by a second-year at the time (Linh Lam ‘15). There was no real institution behind it so the turnout tended to be small. The motivation to bring it back is: to get people to talk about things beyond recruiting, classes, and what happened at TNDC. This quarter has been challenging for our community in many different ways, and at GBC we brainstormed ways to get people talking about real things again. With BoothStories coming up at dinner a few weeks prior and Kelly Fee mentioning it during a GBC meeting, it suddenly built momentum. It was easy to rally a team around the idea, and we knew from survey-data that the appetite for meaningful conversations was strong. 

 Nish Hansoti ‘16, sharing his story

Nish Hansoti ‘16, sharing his story

[CB]: What made you want to work on BoothStories?

[SN]: I thought the idea was really cool, and that its scope was limited last year (e.g. very few first-years showed up to events). Anecdotally, I would hear things like “I feel like I don’t really know ANYONE at Booth” or “why is everyone so cliquey?” etc. There seemed to be all this anxiety around building meaningful relationships, but no real avenue to change it. BoothStories can do just that, especially, in a way that is inclusive and sustainable.

[Ryan McDonnell]: I used to be a teacher and found that stories were a great way to get some of the most important concepts across to my students. That realization grew my interest in storytelling as means to share and express oneself. I think BoothStories is a great way to engage in storytelling and, for many of us, try something new.  

 When a story triggers conversation.

When a story triggers conversation.

[CB]: What do you want your fellow Boothies to gain out of BoothStories, as a storyteller versus the audience?

[SN]: I’d love to see Boothies step out of their comfort zone at BoothStories by telling a story or asking a difficult question. Telling a personal story before 70 or more people takes courage. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn't be nervous or afraid of doing that. What’s been amazing yet not surprising to see is how supportive and appreciative the audience is. When one person shares, it impacts everyone else in the audience. It gets maybe two to three others to open up that day in the audience. Then people talk about it and discuss it after the event. A single story can be really powerful in its reach. In Professor Epley’s class we talked about how stories can reaffirm an informal culture in much stronger ways than a mission statement can. So if you want to share one for yourself or to impact your community, we encourage you to do it!

 Sid Nair '16, one of the conveners of BoothStories

Sid Nair '16, one of the conveners of BoothStories

[CB]: Have you faced any open detractors? What would you say to them?

[RM]: Not at all. Everyone has been incredibly supportive. We had fantastic turnout and stories during our February event. I have heard some hesitancy from people that feel they don’t have a story or are nervous about sharing, but we want to encourage everyone who is even slightly interested to speak with us; we are happy to help you identify your story or act as a sounding board. Most importantly, attend our upcoming March 9 event!

[SN]: I believe every single person at Booth has something useful to contribute, if they find the courage to do so.

Pushya is a second-year, signing out on her last edition as People Editor with this amazing story. Au revoir!

Beyond Booth: Mr. Flexible

By Ritika Bipin Singh

 Ritika Bipin Singh

Ritika Bipin Singh

Keeping up with the many things Boothies do outside of class -- recruiting and student group activities -- ChiBus found an interesting story with Mario Yang ‘17 and his hobby -- yoga. Apart from the sports, running and other outdoorsy or fitness-oriented clubs, we found out that there is growing interest to pursue fitness collectively, through yoga too.

[ChiBus]: How did you get involved in yoga and what kept you interested?

[Mario Yang]: I stumbled upon my passion for yoga after first trying out a class in 2012 to help improve my flexibility.

I was very into weightlifting at the time, and a friend suggested that increasing my flexibility would actually help me lift more, so I made the commitment. Very soon, I stopped caring entirely whether improving flexibility affected my lifting at all, or even if yoga improved my flexibility. I just kept going back to class because of how great it was to explore  different poses and how much I was learning about my body. Then, a curious thing happened. When I let go of any of the preconceived notions about what yoga might do for my body, my flexibility or my lifting, my yoga practice took off. The pace of improvement in my yoga practice was so rapid that I couldn't bring myself to stop practicing. I practiced seven days a week. It just all felt so great. Fast forward three years, I decided to take my yoga practice to the next level and became a certified yoga instructor.

 Mario’s handstand mad skills.

Mario’s handstand mad skills.

[CB]: How have you pursued it while at school?

[MY]: I try to stay committed to two or three yoga classes a week in studios around Chicago. Classpass is great. I am on the staff at a studio called Yoga Six, but I've also been to Corepower, Yoga Loft, and Exhale, among others. I practice my yoga at any studio that's convenient, and I practice my teaching on anyone that will listen.

[CB]: How can others get involved with you in this?

[MY]: How great of you to ask! Several of us have just founded the Booth Yoga Club (shout out to my co-founders Cassie, Farhan, Mary, and Yanran!), and four of us are certified instructors. We offer yoga classes accessible to all levels of practitioners right in MPP on the 38th floor. We hold the classes twice a week on Wednesdays and Sundays. It's a safe environment physically and mentally. No judgments whatsoever. We are also working on more offerings and yoga programming as we get the club going, so check us out on the Booth Groups site that will be going up very soon!

Ritika is a first-year who, after the whirlwind of recruitment, is now trying to define life at Booth outside of it.

Booth Family Dinners

Andy Jassen, ‘04 and Lena Jassen, ‘04 hosted ten students for dinner on February 18 as part of the Booth Family Dinner series organized by the Alumni Relations team. It was a chance to strengthen and grow the Booth community over a shared meal and good conversation.

Beyond Booth: Iron Chef

 By Pushya Jataprolu '16

By Pushya Jataprolu '16

By Pushya Jataprolu '16

[ChiBus]: What is the idea behind your group’s version of Iron Chef and who’s idea was it?

[Jenny Rose]: It is loosely based on the show Iron Chef, something I did in Boston. Each person in the group would host a dinner every two weeks. But instead of a set ingredient, we’d have a random theme like a poem, a movie or a phrase. 

The host of one week would set the theme for the next dinner. Guests just brought drinks and everybody had fun!

[CB]: How did the group form out?

[JR]: I had been wanting to do this for a while, but never got around to it till the spring of last year. I knew three other people who were into cooking and each of the four of us invited one other person. It started with myself, Dana, Michelle and Heather. Andrew, Jana, René and René’s husband were next. And when my fiancé moved to Chicago, he joined as well. I didn’t know all these people well at the time. So, you can see how, we had the perfect setting to connect over our love for cooking. It’s a great way to connect with a small group of people over our love for food and cooking. I especially feel that I connect better in a smaller group setting.

[CB]: It seems obvious that food comes up as a topic of discussion during these dinners. What are the conversations like?

[Dana Robinson]: Just nerd out over food and go off on weird tangents like our favorite Trader Joe’s and Costco products [both laugh], Chicago restaurants, Chicago Culinary Fight Club – it is an underground fight club for food!

[CB]: Is that a real thing?

[DR]: You buy tickets and watch these culinary fights. It’s almost like the Chopped competition, witnessed in person. We’re actually thinking of changing the name of our group to it now.

 Iron Chef members from left - Michelle Oh, Jenny Rose, Dan Cuzzocreo, Todd Lake, Heather Rubacky, Jana Zagorski, Andrew Kreitz, René Grafwallner and Dana Robinson

Iron Chef members from left - Michelle Oh, Jenny Rose, Dan Cuzzocreo, Todd Lake, Heather Rubacky, Jana Zagorski, Andrew Kreitz, René Grafwallner and Dana Robinson

[CB]: Iron Chef sounds confrontational as it is! Has anyone tried to challenge the next chef in line with the theme?

[DR]: The challenge is not so much with the theme itself but people have so many options on how and what to make, right from showcasing and sharing favorite dishes with friends, to experimenting on new recipes from cooking magazines because this is the kind of place you can unleash that weirdness. We don’t make it stressful.

[JR]: Yeah, it’s all about fun and drinks! We’ve tossed around the idea of a cook-off like a Dumpling Night where everybody would bring one kind.

[CB]: Speaking on themes again, what are some of the themes people have cooked on?

[DR]: There was the Alphabet theme, where I cooked dishes with names starting with each letter of the alphabet. I remember your Disney theme; you had a powerpoint!

[JR]: I did [chuckles]. Each course of the meal was a different movie. We also had a rainbow dinner; a Korean theme because we really wanted Michelle to cook Korean food.

We had a pie theme where René made a chicken pot pie and taught us how to make pie crust. Heather did one titled, “Things are not the way they seem”. And there was one with alcohol in food as the theme and another with a chocolate theme, a fusion food theme of Middle-East to Mid-West. We do have a bucket list of things we’d like to geek out our cooking on or have an Iron Chef field trip before graduating.

Well, that sounds like fun!

Pushya is a second-year looking to unravel what Boothies do beyond, you know, being Boothies.

First Day: Heard from Admits and Students

 By Pushya Jataprolu'16

By Pushya Jataprolu'16

First Day for Round 1 Admits -- those couple days of packed schedules for admits to dispel any ambiguity before they leap into the embrace of 5807 S. Woodlawn.

Student Life and Resources Fair -- that inevitable Friday afternoon with the roar and bustle of about 60 student groups and a hundred odd admits and partners.

It truly was a fair -- last time. With overlapping programming this past Friday, there were very few admits at the Student Life and Resources Fair, between 1:00 - 3:30PM. The admits appear pumped and got a lot out of their overall experience. But co-chairs of most student groups felt they couldn’t share the same excitement.

The admits surely had a great time with all the programming that helped them get to know their squadmates better and take a closer look at the Booth life, classes and everything in between. Justin Chang said, “I decided to visit for First Day because I wanted to feel the energy of the Booth community and meet the students and other admits. Your next question on feedback for improvements is a tough one -- maybe adding an extra day to extend the fun? It has been super exciting meeting everybody in my squad and the student groups here.”

 Student Life and Resources Fair - co-chairs and a few admits.

Student Life and Resources Fair - co-chairs and a few admits.

Megha Agarwal enjoyed her experience very much. She said, “I’ve been to Booth twice before and immediately felt at home here. I believe that is how you’re supposed to feel when it is the right fit for you. Booth has always exceeded my expectations. Everybody is so talented, and warm at the same time. And it was great to speak with students while waiting for interviews and visiting for Booth Live.”

Amy, who felt a pang of nostalgia from her high school editorial days, stopped by the ChiBus booth. She said, “First day was really a confirmation for me. I went to UChicago for undergrad, so I am all the more excited to come back. It was a great couple days offering hands on experience and a chance to sit in on a class, meet a lot of people. Now I feel a lot more confident to make this decision.”

With what seemed like a bunch of twenty admits in total scouring the circles of student group booths in the winter garden, most co-chairs stated, and yours truly concurs, that they had the chance to speak with only about four or five admits on average. Some of the admits also stated that they had no idea the fair was going on. Yoni Sarason is a second-year, co-chair of JBSA. He said, “I think I would simply have appreciated a better understanding of what I was getting myself into. I am still recruiting and have mid-terms coming up. So it would have been a better use of my time if I knew there was going to be no one here. I would at least have been in a study room.” Michael-David Fiszer, another second year and co-chair of JBSA said, “We have nice neighbors, the Hispanic American Business Students Association, so that’s our saving grace in spending almost three hours here.”

First Day co-chair Leland Brewster cited that the Student Life and Resources Fair and the Career Fair were separated by schedule so that admits had enough time to gain exposure to all student groups. But given the expanse of activities planned, the SLRF ran alongside a few sessions on the classroom level. The admits got the same choice and flexibility to prioritize as we do as students every day. For First Day 2, the team plans to make a more concerted effort to expose SLRF as one of the choices. Leland Brewster and Sarah Reinemann, co-chairs of the First Day Committee are happy to continue the conversation with co-chairs who wish to do so.

Pushya is the People Editor with ChiBus, who enjoys the rendezvous with admits and new students at fairs

Coffee on the Third Floor:

With Professor Steve Kaplan on Entrepreneurship, Public Schools and everything in between

  Paritosh Kumar ‘16

Paritosh Kumar ‘16

  Shikha Kapoor ‘17

Shikha Kapoor ‘17

Named one of the top 12 business school teachers in the country by BusinessWeek, Steven Neil Kaplan enjoys a legendary reputation that extends far beyond the hallowed portals of Harper Center.

While an early passion for economics and finance drove him to get a PhD in Business Economics at Harvard, he chose to come to Booth, rejecting offers from MIT and Harvard. “First because for what I do, this is the best place in the world and second because my wife didn’t like Boston”, he says. In 1995, the dean at the time asked Steve to do entrepreneurship given the school only had three courses in entrepreneurship at the time, all taught by adjuncts. “I didn’t know any better so I said ‘yes’.” He became the Faculty Director of the Entrepreneurship Program and started teaching a class on Entrepreneurial Finance in 1996. In 1997 he started the New Venture Challenge.

“The big moment was hiring Ellen Rudnick to become Executive Director of the program. She devoted all her time to developing entrepreneurship. Every year, she and I would do something extra. First we did the NVC and turned that into a course. Then Ellen did the New Venture lab and the PE/VC Lab. Then Scott came in and did Commercializing Innovation. We had Waverly do Building the New Venture, we had Craig do Entrepreneurial Selling, then we did Hyde Park Angels, we have the SPITC competition and the SNVC. We make sure that what we do, we are doing well. It is very student driven. Most of the things we do, are because the students come and tell us they want it. And if we hear enough from the students that they want a certain new program, we figure out that there is probably demand and we should be doing it.”

Thoughts on students: “I always tell my students and alums that students get better each year. Over time the students have gotten more polished and more ambitious. There are more really good students now than there have ever been, so it’s quite fun on my end to be here.”

  Professor Steve Kaplan

Professor Steve Kaplan

On what he would say to comments on him being a tough professor, he says, “The only thing I always say is students can be more ambitious. I can tell you I teach and I’m pretty tough and some students are scared of me and think I’m too tough and that really annoys me. In the real world there are going to run into people much tougher than I am and the right response is to push back and argue. So I would encourage people to be more aggressive.”

What does he do outside of work? “I spend a lot of time with family. I have 2 kids -- one is a sophomore in college and the other in junior high school. I support my wife who is on the senior leadership team at Chicago Public Schools. My wife was the Chief Administrative Officer at CTA and is now a senior person with Chicago Public Schools, and I support her to help her fix the city. I am on a couple of boards which keeps me busy. I run. (Shikha expresses doubt -- “Oh really?”) -- in 15 years I have run a half marathon 13 times and my best time is 1:43 and I usually hit 1:50. I like to go to good restaurants and travel. I am very fortunate in that the stuff I do for work I do for pleasure too. I read business and the economy, politics, political economy (laughs).”

Does he have any memorable experiences from the class? “One quarter when I was a little too tough in class, someone wrote on the evaluation form, ‘If Prof. Kaplan won the Nobel Prize, it wouldn’t justify his arrogance.’ So that was a little tough.”

“In the old classrooms, I used to lock the door and this one guy showed up two minutes late and knocked on the door and said I’m sorry. And I said you’re late. Go back.”

Shikha is a first year who is surprisingly still enjoying the Chicago weather and Paritosh is a second year, soaking it all in before he graduates.

 

 

Beyond Booth: The Wall Climbers

Meet Kevin Lam, a second year who found a new hobby -- wall climbing. As it turns out, there is a group of Booth folks who are into wall climbing these days. Here is what Kevin has to say about his experience.

1) How did you get interested in climbing?

To be completely honest, I was petrified of rock walls growing up. Then about ten years ago, I reluctantly went climbing for an undergrad event much like LEAD and so, happened to fall in love with the sport. There's something exhilarating about hanging 40 feet in the air by nothing more than your fingertips. Once you embrace that edge, it easily becomes an addiction. You just want to get higher and higher, and soon enough, it becomes a lifestyle.

 By Ritika Bipin Singh '17

By Ritika Bipin Singh '17

2) How have you pursued it while at school?

The completion of Brooklyn Boulders (BKB) in the West Loop has really livened up the climbing scene in downtown. It has become a go-to spot for many Boothies and locals that is fully equipped with a work area, yoga studio, and weight room. It's also a convenient getaway from the hustle and bustle of Michigan Avenue.

  Kevin captured climbing

Kevin captured climbing

Since BKB opened, other spots have descended upon Chicago. First Ascent recently opened in Wicker Park and Maggie Daley Park has that wicked new outdoor wall for when it is not blisteringly cold outside. For a true adventure though, you've got to get out of the city to Devil's Lake in Wisconsin, which some of us may do in the spring -- for those interested.

3) How can others get involved?

There's an ever-growing community of climbers at Booth. If you'd like to come out, hit me or any of the other climbers up to join the GroupMe. Chances are, at least one of us is at BKB on any given day of the week.

Ritika is a first-year trying to find a viable plan Z (if all else fails) through her columns!

 

 

 

Coffee on the Third Floor: With Professor Scott Meadow

As I enter the office, looking at an array of accomplishments and carefully preserved pictures of cherished accolades, I think, “clearly, an office of someone who has had a distinguished career.”

Sharing his journey in detail, Prof. Scott Meadow, Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship, says “A year after I graduated from HBS, there was a solicitation for someone to join a Venture Capital firm in town. It was competitive, but I came in second. Shortly afterward, through the legendary Stan Golder, I met my long-time partner Sam Guren who was starting the Private Equity Venture Capital Fund at William Blair in 1981. Sam asked me to join as his associate. 

  By Shikha Kapoor ‘17

By Shikha Kapoor ‘17

"I developed my skillset watching him. We were wonderful partners; he was technically very sound, while my forte was seeing the big ideas. He made me better and I hope I made him better too.”

At that time every project was syndicated. So, I was lucky at a very young age, to focus on Healthcare Services and Consumer Services, rather than on 10 to 15 different sectors of the economy and remained from 1984 almost through my whole career on those two sectors. Healthcare Services became an enormous field, covering 10% of the GDP. I had a wonderful time and a reasonable amount of success; I was even voted one of the 5 outstanding investors in Healthcare Services in 1998.”

  Prof. Scott Meadow and his dog.

Prof. Scott Meadow and his dog.

What made him stand out among his peers? “I tried to come up with one or two original concepts myself every year and syndicate those with my colleagues from other firms. They were grateful and generally paid me back with growth equity projects, which carried far less risk. That allowed me to close 4 to 5 deals per year, which is a higher degree of productivity. I became a partner at William Blair and a general partner of their venture fund when I was 30.”

He shares that leaving William Blair was one of the biggest regrets of his life.“The pace at my next job was slower than what I was looking for, and so I joined the Sprout Group, one of the leading Venture Capital firms in the industry.”

An interesting turn of events led him to come to Booth. “Around the 1999-2000 timeframe, my West Coast partners insisted on gaining exposure to internet and telecom deals. Sprout trained me to be analytically rigorous. But the pace of investment demanded by emerging internet companies highly valued in the VC arena, did not allow for that level of analysis. I found myself voting “No” on most of those ideas. Since I was one of five members of the investment committee, it felt like I was hurting the culture by constantly being negative on these very popular ideas. While speaking with Steve Kaplan about a variety of things, he offered me the opportunity to teach his class during the summer because he was going to teach at INSEAD, in Paris. I taught that class and absolutely loved it! And that’s how my experience at Booth started. Sprout allowed me to be a venture partner – which means that I would not introduce any new deals, but would manage my portfolio, and support any projects that needed help. I did that for several years. Later, Sprout broke up, and I just continued to teach.”

How do students get the most out of their experience in his class? “The more time students put in, the more they get out of the class. I hope that I’m teaching them a system that will help enhance their professionalism when they leave. The people who are getting educated here are responsible for many peoples’ lives, and even if a little bit of my material seeps in, I hope that will help them be impactful in businesses they are passionate about.

“You have to spend the time on Commercializing Innovation! If you want to come in and just sniff the air, it’s your money! Hopefully you will get something out of it, but it won’t be much.”

He is impressed with the quality of his students overall, though. “I try to make myself available to anyone who’s doing an MBA at Booth. I have taught over 8,000 students, and I would hire 75% of them to any firm where I was a partner. The culture at Booth creates students that have the self-discipline and intellectual integrity to be talented participants in the entrepreneurial world. 75% is a pretty good ratio!”

 Prof. Scott Meadow receiving a standing ovation from his students.

Prof. Scott Meadow receiving a standing ovation from his students.

Besides leaving William Blair, what are his other regrets? He says, ”Oddly, the next one is not playing golf! It’s a great way to meet people, source deals, and it’s not very hard! Third, not looking at things more objectively has been another mistake! And a major one -- not staying close to the money! I always managed the portfolio. I was never involved in fund-raising. That was a monumental mistake!”

Why? “The golden rule! One who has the gold makes the rule.”

Moving away from work discussion, I ask him how he likes to spend time outside of his commitments at Booth and elsewhere. He says, “I am an avid cyclist, a big swimmer and love movies!”

What was the last movie he saw? “Carnage, for the tenth time. I am also a fanatic Ohio State fan, the state I was born in, even though I have no connection with the university. Other than that, at my age, I am worried about my parents, and how I can make their life as comfortable as possible.”

His parting advice to students is: (1)“Save 10% of your gross income; (2) Look at the world objectively; and (3)Remember that you have a professional duty to make your employees’ lives better. Doctors save lives. We make lives. People that work for you will have a better life and fewer heartaches based on your professionalism. So, the fact that you were able to go to Booth puts a fair amount of weight on your shoulders, because chances are, a fair number of people will depend on your competence. And most important: If yofu don’t like something, change it. To draw on Thoreau’s wisdom, don’t live an ‘affluent’ life of quiet desperation.


Shikha is a first year who is surprisingly enjoying the Chicago weather