2010 Alumni Survey

This past year, alumni were invited to take part in a survey regarding their involvement with the Chicago Booth community. More than 6,300 respondents took the time to share their perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors with the school, providing valuable feedback and helping us to enhance our graduates' experience.

"Alumni input guides us in thinking about how to improve services, so they can be more relevant to alums," said Tracey Pavlishin, '06, senior director of Alumni Affairs and Events.

Conducted by Slover Linett Strategies, a Chicago-based research firm, the survey found that nearly all Booth alumni respondents (98 percent) were proud of their degree, and the vast majority (89 percent) believed they have a better education than their peers who attended business school elsewhere. A large number (70 percent) also report an overall confidence with Chicago Booth's leadership and long-term strategy.

The results helped the alumni office to benchmark responses to earlier findings from both the 2004 and 2007 surveys. The 2007 survey found that a majority of alumni wanted more opportunities to engage with the Booth community and to network.

In response, the Office of Alumni Affairs and Development worked aggressively to expand its offerings, establishing local and national events, including both the alumni breakfast and lunch series, which regularly bring alumni back to campus and allow them to share their career experiences with current students. Career Services, Admissions, and Alumni Affairs also worked in conjunction to expand Chicago Conversations, a series that brings alumni and corporate partners together for discussions on specific industries, to include more cities and a larger scope of topics.

Evidencing the impact of these efforts, 84 percent of alumni report that they have promoted Booth to prospects, colleagues, and the media this year and 36 percent have helped fellow alumni to find jobs after graduation. During the past three years, more than 1,475 have attended reunion activities and over 250 have served on reunion committees.

While the 2010 survey found that alumni are satisfied with events–and 69 percent believe that the Booth network is improving–39 percent of alumni still report that they'd like to see greater connectivity with the school. Many voiced a desire to see more virtual reporting and an increase in coverage of local events.

Dean Sunil Kumar has formed the Alumni and External Relations Committee, co-chaired by professors Steven Kaplan, Neubauer Family Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance, and Anil Kashyap, Edward Eagle Brown Professor of Economics and Finance, to carry out a strategic assessment of how we maintain relationships with our alumni and engage with external audiences. The survey will be a useful guide as this group gathers information and formulates recommendations for the Dean's Office.–E.O., J.S

For more on the 2010 alumni survey, visit ChicagoBooth.edu/ontheweb and enter the keyword "2010 survey."

Sharing Experience: Amy Lehman, MBA '05, MD '05

Photo by Beth Rooney

Business Leader Lunch Series Connects Alumni with Students

The Alumni Business Leader Lunch Series kicked off this year offering alumni an opportunity to engage in dialogue with faculty and share their experiences with students. The events, sponsored by both the Office of Alumni Affairs and Development and the Evening and Weekend Student Advisory Council, featured seven alumni, interviewed by faculty, over seven months at Gleacher Center on topics ranging from internet marketing to career transitions to developing nonprofit business plans.

In February, Scott Meadow, clinical professor of entrepreneurship, interviewed Douglas Barnard, '98, vice president of Illinois-based CF Industries, about taking a company public and strategies for successful transitions in the face of corporate takeovers. Second-year Dan Moll, a full-time MBA student, called Barnard's account of the takeover process "a compelling story with intricate decisions."

In another event, Catharine Carroll, '97, was interviewed by Harry Davis, Roger L. and Rachel M. Goetz Distinguished Service Professor of Creative Management, on how to navigate a career path consistent with one's values. After spending six years as a travel agency accounts director at United Airlines, Carroll switched to Pro Equine Group, a rodeo equipment manufacturing business, where she currently serves as president and chief operating officer, managing $20 million in annual sales.

The lunch series was expanded from the Alumni Breakfast Series, which ran for the fourth consecutive year with 27 events. One of the lunch speakers, Amy Lehman, MBA '05, MD '05, founder of the Lake Tanganyika Floating Health Clinic, spoke about her plans to build a 600-ton marine vessel to provide health care for three million people living in Burundi, Zambia, Tanzania, and Democratic Republic of Congo. After Lehman's talk on growth strategies based on the model of leveraging smaller grants to attain larger donations from foundations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, full-time MBA student Alejandro Solis said, "She was in our shoes a few years ago. These discussions let you see the path of where you're heading and what you can accomplish."–S.H.

Milestone Events Celebrate Booth's Global Campuses

This past year, members of the Booth communities in Europe and Asia gathered to commemorate nearly two decades of a global presence. The 20 events–which attracted more than 400 alumni–featured opportunities to network, attend back-to-the classroom sessions, and hear faculty and business leaders discuss economic trends. Booth continues to be the first and only business school with permanent campuses on three continents.– E.O., J.S.

Global Booth Gathering Recognizes A3 Award Winners

They gathered in Singapore and San Francisco, in Munich and Montreal–and in 88 other cities, all around the globe. On April 14, more than 2,400 members of the Booth community–alumni, students, and recently admitted students–met for the ninth annual Worldwide Booth Night.

Not only did alumni have the chance to reconnect with old friends and network with new ones, they also honored four of the school's most dedicated alumni. Class agents, elected representatives of the fulltime student body who are dedicated to cultivating interaction between students and alumni, announced the winners of the fourth annual Alumni Angel Awards. Established in 2008, the A3 Awards acknowledge and celebrate alumni who contribute to the professional and personal development of current students.

This year's winners included Erik Wallsten, '04, cofounder and managing partner of Adobe Capital; Jason Heltzer, '02, principal at OCA Ventures John Robb, '99, senior director of VMWare; and Chris Saunders, '04, a director at Deutsche Bank in London.

Wallsten was praised for helping students identify job opportunities in Mexico and Latin America, and for his help in aiding prospective students through the application process. Heltzer was honored for counseling students pursuing careers in venture capital and supporting Booth's Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital group. Silicon Valley veteran Robb has helped students seeking internships and jobs in the Bay Area and has provided support and mentorship to the High Tech Group. Saunders has mentored students interested in careers in sales and trading, and has facilitated internships for dozens of students in London.–E.O., J.S.

Graduates Give Record-Breaking Gifts

In what became a friendly contest, students from the Executive MBA Program responded for the first time with 100 percent participation for the Class Gift campaign, a Chicago Booth tradition of alumni commitment and investment in the school. Student donations totaled more than $98,000 as the Chicago, London, and Singapore campuses competed against one another to see who could raise the largest sum.

Alumni contributed an additional $50,000, and the school matched many of the donations, bringing the combined total for the campaign to more than $322,500, roughly $60,000 more than the previous year. "This would never have happened if we didn't feel so strongly about each other and what Chicago Booth and XP-80 meant to all of us," Ben Wong, '11 (XP-80), said. The Class Gift, which is a new initiative with the Evening and Weekend students, is up 10 percent from last year, with efforts underway to enhance the program.

The 2011 Full-Time MBA Class Gift campaign had an equally impressive participation rate of 96 percent, totaling just over $57,300–more than doubling the gifts of the last two years. "The numbers themselves say a tremendous amount about the enthusiasm of our class toward the school, Dean Kumar's global focus, and the role we see alumni playing in Booth's future," said Dena Koren, '11.

The gift was presented to dean Sunil Kumar at the Class of 2011 Celebration on June 4 and allocated to the Global Visibility Fund, the Annual Fund, and the Case Competition Fund.–S.H.

Last Updated 9/16/11