John, who’s interested in clean-tech venture capital, believes the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship has been a major resource.
John explains how each Polsky Center professor has had professional experience in startups or venture capital or private equity firms.
John talks about how he became a Career Advisor as a way to exercise the leadership skills he developed through Leadership Effectiveness and Development (LEAD).
The Private Equity Lab allows you to go into the field and get hands-on experience with a private equity or venture capital firm in the city. My firm is Hyde Park Angels, a venture capital firm associated with Chicago Booth. The experience allows the student to go work with entrepreneurs and buy-side finance professionals. And then, bring that experience back to the classroom and couple the new knowledge with practical classroom theories to result in a powerful learning curve.
Participating in student groups and activities here is really the second part of your Chicago Booth education. What I like about the extracurricular offerings here is how they let you create a bond with other people in a way you can't get in a classroom. At Booth there’s an atmosphere that encourages all students to attend the various programs, guest speakers, research centers, and student groups. And, from those programs and groups, a student can learn everything from changing economic policy to how to improve their golf swing.
One of the companies in the Chicago Social Venture Forum created an educational program for elementary students to enhance their reading and math skills. The key is they used modern technology, including iPads and iPods, and games. By helping them prepare for their presentation to investors, they increased their chances of raising capital. Now they’re out there helping students throughout the city.
Chicago Booth has a fantastic alumni network. During my internship search I reached out to many alumni who were senior professionals at the firms I wanted to go to in Boston, Austin, San Francisco, and elsewhere in the country. They all took my calls. It gave me a lot of confidence and knowledge about how to proceed in my search. In a field like venture capital, that kind of access to information is critical to success.