#WhyBooth: A Partner’s Perspective on B-School

I was sitting at my desk at work in Houston when my husband, Chris, called to give me the good news from Booth. My immediate instinct was to jump up and down and scream with excitement, but with my colleagues in close proximity, I had to settle for profuse congratulations and a little happy dance in my chair. It was only after I left work and we got the chance to celebrate that reality set in.

Back from Barcelona: Michael Teh Sheds Light on Experience in Spanish Culture

                              Michael Teh MBA '18

                              Michael Teh MBA '18

Nikhita Giridhar (NG): What made you pick Barcelona?

Michael Teh (MT): Language played a critical factor in choosing where I wanted to go. I always knew I was going to do the exchange program in a country that allowed me to practice my Spanish. Spain and Mexico were my two choices. I was committed to getting better at the language and picked IESE in Barcelona for that reason.


NG: What was the highlight of your exchange at IESE? 

MT: The most fun event that IESE organized was this big party called ‘multi-culti’. As the name suggests, this is a 700-person school-wide multicultural event. Everyone dresses up in their traditional clothes, performs dances from their home countries and sets up stalls of their national food and drink. We put together a traditional Aussie stall with food and frosty beverages and played games for people to learn our unique Australian lingo!


NG: What was the one main difference between Booth and IESE? 

MT: One light-hearted difference that I noticed was that the Europeans dress really well! There’s a certain dress-code that most people follow, unlike in Chicago. No hats in class, either. Academically, IESE is 100% case-based which made for a unique experience and engaging class-environment.


                Vespa like the locals in Barca! 

                Vespa like the locals in Barca! 

NG: What would you recommend to those considering an exchange next year?

MT: Research matters. I researched the school really well and thought about my reasons for wanting to do an exchange – it’s 1/6th of your time at Booth spent elsewhere so it’s important to be sure. It also helps to speak with Boothies who have done an exchange program at your target school. Knowing how each school is different academically and socially is key to a good experience. There were 10 Boothies in Barcelona while I was there which was also great!


NG: What’s the final word on Spain?

MT: The cool aspect of being situated in Barcelona is the ability to travel easily and cheaply in Europe. I travelled around Spain, Paris and Israel while I was there. One highlight was going to a Barca game and watching Messi in action! I’m also a huge Nadal fan and wanted to visit his home island but it was unfortunately too cold to go. I guess I’ll just have to go back again in the summer!


Know Your New GBC President - Elise Hogan

Elise Hogan ('19), Booth's new GBC President

Elise Hogan ('19), Booth's new GBC President

Author: Nikhita Giridhar ('19)

Nikhita Giridhar [NG]: Leadership obviously comes naturally to you – what’s your earliest memory of taking a stand?

Elise Hogan (EH): I switched elementary schools between 2nd and 3rd grades and to ease the transition, my parents put me in a summer program at my new school. Part of the program was a musical production and I was very dismayed to learn that there was only one solo vocal part and that it was for a male character. I made my case for being allowed to audition for the male part and a video of the final performance may or may not be on YouTube. I made a great Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk.

NG: Who influenced you the most to get to where you are today?

EH: I have almost never not taken my father’s advice. My dad is my adoptive father – he opted in to being a parent to me when he met my mother, who was raising me on her own, and I think I would have been lost at points in my life without his love and support. I know that people say that you “don’t choose your family,” but I disagree – we do get to choose, every day, through our actions and commitment to the wellbeing of others. I was never shown the way or told what to do with my career… I mean, I got to college and didn’t understand why anyone who didn’t live in New York City would care to read The New York Times. That’s a silly example, but I think a good one. I’ve been shooting from the hip this whole time and struggling with imposter syndrome, but when I check in with my dad all of the noise quiets down and I know that I can keep pushing forward. Sometimes we are both out of our depth, but he believes in me and it is amazing how just one person believing in you can change your life.

NG:   Is there anything no one (not everyone) at Booth knows about you?

EH: I started studying classical singing and musical theatre at the age of 8. That turn as Jack must have really lit a fire. In high school I performed in 9 musicals both at school and at the community theatre and competed in state-wide vocal competitions, one of which gave me the opportunity to perform with the Naples (Florida, don’t get too excited) Philharmonic. In college, I was the musical director of an a cappella group called the Dartmouth Dodecaphonics and continued to perform with the Glee Club, Dartmouth Chamber Orchestra, and local opera/theatre companies. Hit me up, AudioBooth!

NG: When did you know you wanted to represent your peers as GBC President?

EH: During the first few weeks of school, I attended a lunch with Dean Kole during which I voiced some of my frustrations and fears. When I got to Booth and I wasn’t immediately happy, I was looking for someone or something to blame; I missed my friends, I felt alone, I felt out of my league professionally, and I was afraid that I had made a huge mistake. In that conversation with Dean Kole she encouraged me to run for GBC if I had ideas for how to better the Booth student experience. The longer I was on GBC and at Booth, the more opportunities for coalition forming I saw and I thought that I could assemble a team of genuinely kind, approachable people, who could be your friend and who could make you feel less lonely and who could really hear what people wanted and make those things manifest. Another Dartmouth alum, Mindy Kaling, wrote a book called “Why Not Me?” and in moments of self-doubt I ground myself with that same question. Those of you who know me know that I can roll with the punches, am very open to feedback, and have an annoyingly loud laugh. Those of you that don’t, just follow the annoying laugh and tell me anything you’d like to see improved upon at Booth. I’m here and I’m willing to put in the work to make a better Booth.

NG: If there’s one thing you want your GBC slate to be remembered for – what will it be?

EH: I know that each member of our slate is talented, kind, and genuine and wants our GBC legacy to be one of servant leadership – we are committed to the growth of this community through empathetic and open-minded engagement with all of Booth’s varied stakeholders. We want to be remembered for taking action together as a slate, the student body, the alumni community, and the administration. If you leave Booth feeling like we really heard you, we will have done our jobs.

Boothie Profiles: Rockin’ the Stage

This past Friday, AudioBooth hosted an LPF at Reggie’s Rock Club in South Loop showcasing some of Booth’s finest musical sounds.  Talented Boothies took the stage and serenaded us with their DJ spinning, acoustic and a cappella melodies, and guitar jamming skills.  ChiBus spoke with a few of the artists to learn a little about them.

Renuka Agarwal ('18) and Corey Ritter ('18)

Renuka Agarwal ('18) and Corey Ritter ('18)

Kyle Veatch (KV): How are you involved in the music scene at Booth?

Renuka Agarwal (RA): I'm a co-chair of Economies of Scale and AudioBooth, and sing in the Booth band Maroon 7.

KV: Share with us a bit about your music background.

RA: Growing up in an Indian household, I was immersed in song and dance. When I had to pick a musical class in middle school, choir happened to be the easiest and cheapest option!  Since middle school, I've sang mainly in choirs, jazz ensembles and a cappella groups. While at Booth, I joined my first band and have absolutely loved it! I love the rush of performing on stage - it's unlike anything else, and Booth audiences are always supportive!

KV: What has been your favorite music moment at Booth so far?

RA: Definitely performing at Battle of the Bands last year. The Vic is an unreal venue, and I felt very professional on that stage.

KV: Anything you are looking forward to in the Booth music scene before graduation?

RA: I've always wanted to crowd surf - maybe my fellow Boothies can help me with that?... I am really looking forward to continuing to jam with my band (some of the most talented and humble people I know), singing fun arrangements with Economies of Scale, and finally winning against Kellogg at Battle of the Bands!

KV: Plans to continue singing after Booth?

RA: Singing is definitely a tough talent to keep up while working, but I would love to find some peers at work in SF or friends in the area to jam with for fun. There's also always karaoke! I would love to learn to play guitar, and maybe even expand to writing my own music.

DJ KMAC ('18)

DJ KMAC ('18)

KV: Tell me a bit about your music background.

Kevin McCarthy (KM): I’ve been into music my entire life, starting with very uninspired piano lessons as a child. However, I got an electric guitar for Christmas in 8th grade and the rest is history. Throughout high school I was a huge metalhead with long hair and a general appearance that most people at Booth couldn’t imagine. I also picked up the drums in high school. Most of my time not in school/sports was spent jamming and playing music. I sadly got away from playing music when I went to college but I gained something else - a deep love for music festivals and electronic music.

KV: How did you find yourself DJ’ing on stage at the Reggie’s Rock Club?

KM: My sole inspiration for playing was a chance morning Uber ride with Renuka Agarwal because it took nine minutes to get to the ground floor of MPP and I missed the train. The MPP elevators are the worst - but in this case the best.  

KV: How did you feel about your first DJ performance?

KM: To say I had a blast would be the understatement of the century. I was on cloud nine. I practiced and rehearsed my set a ton, although there were a couple of unanticipated hiccups during the set. For example: when mixing in ATLiens from Unforgivable I was flabbergasted at barely being able to hear the incoming track, ATLiens, in my headphones. I thought I looked at every knob but it turns out that I had the high pass filter on from that deck’s previous transition-out. Oops. All you can really do in that situation is keep moving forward.

KV: What’s next?

KM: I would absolutely love to DJ going forward and am available to any and all Boothies that want to hire me. I come at a pretty good price (free ninety-nine). I had so much fun. The best part of it all was seeing people moving and dancing from what I was playing on stage. I consider myself an extrovert who gains energy and happiness from the vibe of others around me. D’Jing is the perfect match. Sorry Goldman, KMAC is here.


New Year, New Me

Author: Kyle Veatch (‘18)

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Aman Parikh ('19)

Hometown: Chantilly, VA

I'll be honest, I usually forget about my New Year's resolutions by mid-January. But not this year - New Year, New Aman!  I'm going to start eating healthier (i.e. stop getting donuts after every TNDC), become a morning person, exercise more often, and learn how to cook more kinds of food.  I'm also making an effort to get out of the Loop and explore more of the city, so let me know if you have any recommendations when you see me around the Winter Garden!


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Rebecca Beagan ('19)

Hometown: Belleville, MI

Since starting the sedentary lifestyle and long hours of management consulting in 2013, my resolutions were always "eat better, exercise more," but 2017 was different. I actually did it - after the weekly travel stopped, I started cooking for myself, jogging every other day (usually...), and lost some pounds to boot. My 2018 goals (not into New Year resolutions anymore) are focused on the simpler things: flossing and using mouthwash more consistently (because TNDC close quarters is real...), learning how to use my Instant Pot with a fellow Boothie, who also recently acquired an Instant Pot (please join us for some cooking), joining/attending events for wine and epicurean clubs to make even more Booth friends, and getting back into Latin/ballroom dancing! Hope to see/meet you in 2018!

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Matt Freund (‘18)

Hometown: East Lansing, MI

 When it comes to New Year's resolutions, I’ve historically lived by the words of Canadian Poet Laureate, Aubrey “Drake” Graham, that “you got the resolutions, we just got reservations.” This year, however, I’ve changed course and I’m taking a momentary respite from frosty b’s (colloquially known as “Dry-uary”). This has opened up a strange new world to me: plans made at TNDC that actually come to fruition, turning directly to the “mocktails” page of drink menus, and a (very slight) decrease in “insufficient funds” notifications per week. Like old me, new me still “got reservations,” they’re just for a spot in 6am Yoga Sculpt.  

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Emma Boston (‘18)

Hometown: St. Petersburg, FL

You may not know that I spent the first formative years of my life in Baton Rouge, the heart of cajun swampland, hundo p True Detective first season type of stuff. I was raised in the art of voodoo ways, but have lost touch over the decades. The new me plans to re-master the use of good voodoo energy to ward off evil spirits from Booth students -- to prevent things like winding up on crutches multiple times and having dead people's body parts put inside you, or getting sent to Aspen jail on ski trip, or being made fun of at Tuck Winter Carnival for our consumption skills. Laissez les bon temps rouler...and be careful not to cross me.