Introducing the New Graduate Business Council
By Danielle Novy '14 | january, 2013, Issue 2
Chris Welch, incoming president of the GBC.
Following the mid-January Graduate Business Council elections, Chris Welch was named the Booth School of Business Class of 2014 GBC President, a role he'll official assume at the beginning of the spring quarter.
The St. Louis native will take the reins from the Class of 2013 GBC president, Donnie Phillips, and will be joined by a slate of classmates with whom he campaigned to run the GBC's executive board.
"I was fortunate to be able to team up with five awesome individuals with diverse perspectives and strong qualifications," he said. "After speaking as a team about our potential campaign effort, the roles we would play, and our common goals, we were all excited about the opportunity to serve as the GBC Executive Board and decided to commit ourselves to the effort."
Likely the question on the forefront of students' minds is "What issues exactly will the new GBC executive board aim to tackle in their year of leadership?" Welch said he and his team already have a concrete vision.
"Our slate hopes to improve upon two major aspects of the Booth experience—community and communications," he said. "We plan to rework the cohort experience to encourage greater cross-class connectivity and to create new opportunities to interact with alumni. In addition, we have many ideas related to connecting Booth students to members of the broader UChicago community. We also plan to create more streamlined communications among students, alumni, faculty, and administrators," he continued. "The GBC receives a wide variety of great ideas from students that we attempt to shepherd to the appropriate contact(s) within the school. We hope to implement technology that will enable ideas to be routed directly to the relevant contacts(s) to create a more responsive system that will facilitate active collaboration. Such a system will allow the administration and GBC alike to track issues across categories over time and will enable more informed management through better understanding of the student experience."
Welch said the new executive team views their collective primary role as representatives of the student body. "Booth is a premier business school not only because of the tireless efforts of its administration and faculty, but also because of the creativity and passion of its students," he said. "We are eager to collaborate with students to think of ways to improve the Booth experience and to work to make those ideas reality. Through teamwork between students and the GBC, we can build a better Booth for current and future students."
While Welch said prior to Booth he was never involved with student government, he noted that his track to GBC began with cohort elections.
"I have never been involved with student government but I was encouraged to run for Davis cohort President by my LEAD facilitator, Gene Rapoport," Welch said. "After initial resistance, I decided to keep an open mind and take his advice. Upon being elected and joining GBC, I was impressed by both the group's impactful work within the GBC and with the broader student body. Over the course of the quarter, I began to recognize opportunities for further improvement that I wanted to pursue and I decided to evaluate the possibility of campaigning for GBC president so that I could act on my ideas."