Full-Time MBA

Entrepreneurship at Booth

Thursday, January 16, 2014, 12 p.m.— 1 p.m. CT

Join us for a live chat about entrepreneurship at Booth. Students and staff from the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Career Services, and Admissions will answer your questions regarding resources and opportunities available to students who would like to pursue careers in entrepreneurship, private equity, venture capital, and social entrepreneurship. Learn about recruiting, competitions, curriculum choices, concentrations, student groups, and more.

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Tolu -> EveryoneHello, name is Tolu, second year here at Booth. I worked in management consulting over the summer and work at a start-up now. Ask me about working at a start-up during the school year.
joshH -> EveryoneHey all--my name is Josh and I'm a second-year concentrating in Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management. I spent my summer working at Groupon, and I currently TA for Waverly Deutsch's Building the New Venture class. Ask me about entrepreneurship classes and recruiting for large tech companies at Booth!
Erika -> EveryoneHello! My name is Erika Mercer, and I'm a senior associate director in the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. I manage the Center's private equity and venture capital programming, and I also work on some programming on the start-up side, including the New Venture Challenge and SeedCon. I do a lot of student advising and run events throughout the year.
Kirsten -> EveryoneHi I'm Kirsten Nelson, a Career Coach in Career Services! I look forward to answering any career related questions regarding pursuing Entrepreneurship, Private Equity and Venture Capital.
Tricia -> EveryoneHello all. My name is Tricia Felice and I am a second year here at Booth and a co-chair of the EVC group. Looking forward to answering your questions about early to mid stage startups, the EVC and the Polsky Summer Accelerator.
chrisT -> EveryoneI am Chris Trick and I am a second year student at Booth. Prior to school, I spent time in investment banking and three years in private equity at KRG Capital Partners in Denver. I am currently working part-time at the Pritzker Group and will be joining them full-time upon graduation. I look forward to answering questions about private equity as well as working while in school.
Erica P -> EveryoneHello. My name is Erica Phillips and I work at the Social Enterprise Initiative. I am happy to answer questions about social entrepreneurship, impact investing opportunities, interests in education, corporate social responsibility, nonprofit board service and other ways to use your MBA to solve social problems.
manuseve -> TriciaHow does the Polsky centre contribute to new projects, proposed by students?
Tricia -> manuseveHi manuseve: The Polsky Center works closely with students both individually and through the EVC student group. I have participated in their "coffee chats" to run through some ideas for companies and sort through proposed business plans. Additionally, in lieu of a summer internship, I was funded through the Polsky Center to launch my company over the summer in the Polsky Summer Accelerator.
Amit -> joshHI want to pursue entrepreneurship post my MBA.. I want a conducive environment for e-commerce industry.. I know about some companies like e commerce headquartered in Chicago.. Is e commerce any focus area at Booth.. Also what kind of experience I can expect for e commerce at Booth
joshH -> AmitAmit--great to hear from you! There is definitely a lot of ecommerce around Chicago: Groupon and Orbitz are both headquartered here, GrubHub was founded by Booth students as part of the New Venture Challenge, and every year, many students go on to work at places like Amazon, Groupon, etc. Moreover, many of our courses talk about ecommerce--last year, I took marketing with a former eBay analytics exec. Does this answer the question? What specifically are you looking for?
Ash -> JoannaHello. I would like to know if the MBA/Master's in Eastern European & Russian Eurasian Studies program includes a field knowledge, trip or stay in Russia or other Russian speaking countries. And if a previous knowledge of Russian language is necessary.
Joanna -> AshAsh, Hello. You can seek info form the center at the U of C here: http://ceeres.uchicago.edu/
KP -> chrisTFor the students that did not have prior PE work experience, what skills/ prior work experiences do you feel have most helped you with PE internships/experiences?
chrisT -> KPBusiness valuation, financial modeling and due diligence are three core skills that can help students prepare for a career in private equity post-MBA. At the same time, there are a lot of opportunities at Booth to bridge the experience gap including relevant courses - PE Lab, Entrepreneurial Finance and Private Equity, Commercializing Innovation and others. Furthermore, there are modeling programs that provide students with a good opportunity to develop these skills. Lastly, outside of the PE Lab, there are opportunities to intern at PE funds during the school year which is a great opportunity to build your resume.
archit -> KirstenHi. Thanks for organizing this chat. I wanted to know whether students play any role with Hyde Park Angels? Say, provide help with consulting or investment analysis?
Kirsten -> architYes, students will work part-time and have internships with Hyde Park Angels, both throughout the school year and during the summer. Yes, those who work at Hyde Park Angels will get an opportunity to conduct due diligence and look at potential investment opportunities.
Nishrit -> JoannaQ1. How many incoming students usually have extensive experience with entrepreneurship prior to joining Booth?
Joanna -> NishritHi Nishrit, It is not a piece of data we report specifically but it is not uncommon for incoming students to have this type of experience. Extensive experience however is not a requirement to working with the Polsky Center or in considering a career in entrepreneurship.
ssarma -> ErikaGood afternoon - could you please speak to the programs / classes / activities that are available in the healthcare arena as it relates to entrepreneurship?
Erika -> ssarmaThere are a lot of opportunities for students interested in healthcare entrepreneurship. Through our Entrepreneurial Internship Program, you could work with a healthcare startup over the summer. We also have a lot of students launching their own startups in the healthcare space, who participate in startup programs like the New Venture Challenge and Accelerator Program - these programs provide extensive mentorship, workshops, and funding for students working on startups. The Polsky Center also recently launched a course called D4 Foundations, which looks at how to apply the design process in the areas of healthcare and education to better understand the problems facing those industry and craft thoughtful entrepreneurial solutions to address them. Finally, there is an active student group focused on healthcare.
Ash -> ToluHello joshH. The entrepreneurship classes at Booth are more relevant for entrepreneurs or early stage investors or both?
Tolu -> AshHello Ash, the content of our entrepreneurship classes cover the entire spectrum. Classes such as "Entrepreneurial Finance and Private Equity" discuss how to value ideas as an investor and classes such as Building the "New Venture/Entrepreneurial Selling" focus on how to thrive as an entrepreneur.
Ryan_O -> JoannaI've heard that entrepreneurship is the fastest growing concentration at Booth and that most students earn from one to three concentrations. What are the most common concentrations that students choose to obtain alongside their entrepreneurship concentration? Is obtaining three concentrations realistic, or is that particularly difficult to accomplish?
Joanna -> Ryan_OWith the flexibility of our program, you would find many concentrations that students have pursued alongside their entrepreneurship concentration.
Chase_G. -> Erica PHello everyone and thanks for your time! I'm very interested in social entrepreneurship and I was hoping one of you would be able to provide some color on the programs that Booth has in relation to that field. For instance, what are some exciting projects that the Social Enterprise Initiative and/or Net Impact are pursuing?
Erica P -> Chase_G.Hi Chase - nice to meet you. We have many programs going on through the Social Enterprise Initiative and co-sponsored with the Polsky Center related to social entrepreneurship. Some include: Social New Venture Challenge, a competition and associated course teams take with a social venture and compete for funding; Social Entrepreneur in Residence, an alum social entrepreneur that spends one day per week on campus mentoring students; a Social Enterprise Lab course; and a speaker series where social entrepreneurs speak with students at large events and small round tables. Visit the SEI website: chicagobooth.edu/sei for more info!
Mike -> joshHHow does the curriculum accommodate entrepreneurs?
joshH -> MikeSo there are a ton of classes around entrepreneurship--I personally have taken Building the New Venture and New Venture Strategy, and the Strategy Lab, and these have been super-helpful in thinking about how to start a business. There are also classes all around funding and PE/VC, as well as stuff that is indirectly related, such as all of the marketing, finance, and strategy courses. And there is the New Venture Challenge course, which helps people create their business plan and get in front of investors.

Many students here are already starting their own companies, and one of the really cool things is people will take the classes they need when they need them. Building the New Venture in particular is conducive to people who want to understand a lot of the issues around executing on a startup idea.

One last thought--Booth will accommodate students whose business ideas are taking off and who need to take some time off to work on their businesses full time.

Hope this helps!
smack -> joshHI want to know if people who want to take up entrepreneurship after MBA need to have a business idea before-hand
joshH -> smackDefinitely not! Many many students use their time at Booth to network with students and find co-founders, research industries that could benefit from innovation, or simply learn more about the company. I don't know for sure, but my expectation is that entrepreneurs who come in already knowing their business idea are the exception, not the rule. But great question!
Gerardo -> Erica PHello everyone, I'm Gerardo Ruiz from Mexico, I know that entrepreneurship is big in Booth, however is there any focus on Siocial Entrepreneurship? Are there any classes related to this? Thanks!!
Erica P -> GerardoHi Gerardo - nice to meet you! There are a couple courses specifically on social entrepreneurship including New Social Ventures, which is taken in association with the Social New Venture Challenge and the Social Enterprise Lab, in which students have the opportunity to work with a socially focused company over the course of a quarter. There are also many entrepreneurship classes you can tailor towards your interests in the social sector and internship opportunities as well.
mwallace -> TriciaWhat recruiting opportunities are available for students who want to work in a start up but don't want to start their own business?
Tricia -> mwallaceHi MWallace: Startups both in and outside of Chicago recruit from Booth. Students can choose to use oncampus resources, such as the Career Services department and Polsky Center, to be connected to startups, or can choose to do off campus recruiting through resources such as the EVC group and Startup or Tech treks that are organized by students. These treks take place in Chicago, New York and San Francisco and directly link students to a great number of small, midsize or late stage startups.
Shiva -> ErikaHi guys, Thanks for doing this. What is the best thing about the Polsky Center.
Erika -> ShivaHi Shiva - great question! I would say our strengths are: 1) the network that we can connect you with (we have a huge network of amazing alumni entrepreneurs and investors, and we are always happy to connect students to people who can help them with their careers); 2) the experiential programs we've developed to help students get hand-on experience in entrepreneurship, VC, and PE; 3) the staff and faculty - we love working with students and are always available to talk through your questions and help you advance in your career!
Nishrit -> joshHQ2. Directed to JoshH: What classes in entrepreneurship would you recommend for someone who has already been in the industry for some time and specifically wants to get insights from the investment side of it.
joshH -> NishritOne the great things about Booth is that the Core Curriculum allows you to choose which courses you want to take and which will be most helpful to you. So this is going to really be driven by you. Commercializing Innovation is definitely a great class for understanding the financial implications of entrepreneurship, as is Entrepreneurial Finance and Venture Capital. Many students will also work in the PE/VC lab, where they are working on live projects. I recommend checking out the course directory so you can see all of the entrepreneurship courses that are offered: http://boothportal.chicagobooth.edu/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_0_308_205_0_43/http%3B/bushjob01.chicagobooth.edu%3B80/Facultycourse08/CourseList.aspx
caleb -> chrisTFor students that were in PE and returning to PE, I am curious as to what you learned or developed at Booth for career development.
chrisT -> calebBooth provides PE professionals with an opportunity to build on the skills developed prior to business school. There are a number of case based classes that give students the opportunity to make investment decisions and act as though they are a senior partner at a PE fund (i.e. no one else to rely on to help shape your investment thesis aside from our peers). Stepping away from the PE-focus, there are great strategy, management, leadership and entrepreneurial courses that supplement pre-MBA real world experience well. As a student with prior PE experience, I believe these courses will make me far more effective as a post-MBA when it is my job to manage associates, serve on boards, etc. In my experience, the post-MBA role in PE is far different than the pre-MBA experience. Lastly, there are various competitions, including the New Venture Challenge, which provide students the opportunity to explore and develop business ideas in a low risk environment. These competitions undoubtedly help make people better investors in the long run.
bsan -> JoannaWhat is the adcoms view on people who have tried their hands at entrepreneurship but haven't been quite successful ? Does it affect the candidature in any way (positive or negative) ? What are the career options for entrepreneurs at Booth - going back to industry, starting up again ? Would love to know some existing examples.
Joanna -> bsanHello bsan, Great question. yoru past experience is a smaller part of your greater story. Whether a business failed or succeeded is not as relevant as your total experience with the venture.
Amit -> ToluHi all... Glad to meet you..@ Tolu .. What are the opportunities for working at a start-up during the MBA.. Do we have start-ups in e commerce (particularly travel) we can apply to..
Tolu -> AmitHi Amit, we have an online recruiting platform that allows firms to list jobs as their needs arise, so finding an opportunity to work is usually not a problem. One just has to make sure to properly balance working at a start-up as a student, with all the other exciting things going on, on campus.
Benny -> Erica PHello Erica, can you elaborate on what exactly impact investing is and some of the impact investing opportunities?
Erica P -> BennyHi Benny - nice to meet you! Impact investing is a field within investing in which the social mission of the company is taken into account when making the investment. We participate in a program called MIINT (MBA Impact Investing Network and Training) where students participate in trainings alongside 9 other business schools across the country and then compete by sourcing an impact investing deal, conducting the due diligence process, and presenting it to judges at a finals competition at the Wharton School of Business for a chance to win funding for the company. We also bring in impact investors for lunch and learns with students and support students interested in this field in finding internship opportunities with impact investing firms.
Samir_Patel -> TriciaHi, I think it's really neat you can work at a startup during the school year... my specific question revolves around entrepreneurship... what have you learned (from Booth or other resources) on how to raise capital for your various ventures? Is there a "class" on how to raise money from VCs, angels, investors, etc...?
Tricia -> Samir_PatelHi Samir_Patel: Great question. I have learned a great deal on how to raise capital for various ventures. There are a several different resources based on how you are trying to look at the issue. In classes such as "Entrepreneurial Selling" and "Building The New Venture", students gain insight on different ways to raise capital and strategies to go about doing so. Additionally, I've found it helpful (as an entrepreneur) to look at the situation from the stance of a VC. I am currently participating in VCIC, which is sponsored by EVC group and Polsky Center, which has given me in depth insight as to how a Venture Capital Fund goes about analyzing a company and a proposed deal.
Ryan_O -> ErikaThanks for hosting this chat! As a prospective Booth student hoping to earn an MBA with a concentration in entrepreneurship, I've enjoyed actively following multiple Twitter accounts associated with entrepreneurship at Booth: @UChicagoAppChal, @BoothCapIdeas, @BoothTechGroup, @ChicagoBoothEVC, @TheBoothExp, @polskycenter, and @BoothInsider. Question: are there any important or interesting Booth entrepreneurship Twitter accounts (or other social media accounts) that I'm missing? Thanks!
Erika -> Ryan_ORyan - thanks for your question, and also for staying so tuned in to us on Twitter! The list of Twitter accounts you're following is pretty comprehensive, though you could add @ChicagoCIE, which tweets about activities happening at UChicago's new "Chicago Innovation Exchange," a coworking space designed to bring researchers, business students, and others across the university together around entrepreneurship.
hpat -> joshHHi Josh, does the New Venture course cover topics specific to social innovation as well as entrepreneurship? Could you elaborate on some of the highlights of the course?
joshH -> hpatIn Building the New Venture, you in a team of about four students "create a company" on paper and, over ten weeks, write about what you would be doing in each of the first six quarters, focusing on how you will tackle issues such as fundraising, marketing, and operations. You can choose any company for this, so if you want to do a social venture, that's totally cool!

In addition to the "YourCo" assignment, the case also features guest speakers and cases from a range of start-ups. Definitely one of the best things I've done at Booth!
Adelina -> dominicHi everybody, my name is Adelina and I am an MBA candidate. I will like to know what type of internships in private equity does Booth offers? I am specially interested on the education and healthcare sectors.
dominic -> AdelinaHi Adelina - Each spring, Booth offers the Private Equity & Venture Capital Lab, where students are matched with Chicago-based funds. There are typically 35-40 funds that host Booth students. Students work 10-20 hours per week at their host fund and also attend a weekly class that provides frameworks/strategies for thinking about the industry. Additionally, Booth students find summer internships with PE funds through Career Services postings and traditional networking efforts. Many funds are focused on education and healthcare, so it's really a matter of building a list of targeted internships that work for your focus.
AbhinavGupta -> joshHHi Josh! I'm particularly interested in the New Venture class, what can one typically expect from the course? What did you find particularly interesting?
joshH -> AbhinavGuptaCheck the answer I just sent hpat :)
nikhil -> KirstenHi Kirsten. I seek to start a real estate brokerage in India after my stint at Booth. I think a summer internship at a big real estate brokerage in US will help me a lot. Does Booth provide support in getting such niche entrepreneurship oriented summer internships.
Kirsten -> nikhilHi Nikhil, yes there are many opportunities to meet other students with similar interests as well as alumni via networking events, industry panels, etc. which will happen throughout your time at Booth. There is also a Real Estate student group which will keep you abreast of networking opportunities, real estate student conferences, etc. Additionally, students will go on treks to visit firms in different industries, including real estate firms. There is also career programming and coaching to help you in your specialized search.
Luke -> VladimirHi Guys, with Booth considered a finance school, how has your perception of the schoold changed upon enrolling?
Vladimir -> LukeThanks for your question, Luke. The Finance department is one of the strongest at Booth and many of us (self included) take advantage of having access to world-class faculty. That said, I have found the quality of the faculty to be strong across various departments (marketing, entrepreneurship, accounting, to name the ones I've taken a number of courses from). The ability to pursue concentrations (even though having one is not a graduation requirement) naturally guides people to other departments than Finance. Similarly, and importantly, employers that recruit at Booth are aware of the breadth of students' academic experience and that is reflected in the type of jobs they hire Booth graduates for.
Sumit -> ErikaDoes Polsky Center have projects targeted towards Healthcare and Social innovation?
Erika -> SumitThe Polsky Center partners extensively with Chicago Booth's new Social Enterprise Initiative, which offers events and programming throughout the year around social innovation (including in the healthcare sector). You can visit SEI's website for more information. My colleague, Erica Phillips, is also on this chat - she is an assistant director at SEI and can answer any questions about the work their center does.
Ben_B. -> dominicI'm attempting to transition into Private Equity from a non-traditional background (i.e. not Investment Banking). Can you talk about opportunities at Booth to Gain "real world" experience, build my resume and network with industry professionals?
dominic -> Ben_B.Hi Ben -- The PE/VC lab is a great way to gain real world experience with funds. The Polsky Center also organizes the Sterling Partners Investment Thesis Challenge, where students organize in groups of 3-4 and submit PE investment ideas. The best ideas are then matched with Chicago funds who mentor the student groups and attempt to develop the proposal into an actionable investment opportunity. Your fellow students will also be a great resource, as they can make introductions to their industry contacts.
Alessandro_Palmieri -> joshHHi all! My name is Alessandro and I work for a management consulting but in my next future I would like to launch my own Company. I would like to ask what's in your opinion the most valuable thing you gained in entrepreneurship courses among professional networking opportunities, theory in entrepreneurship and practice (business planning, execution, etc.)? Thank you in advance.
joshH -> Alessandro_PalmieriThis will be different for everyone, but I can give you my answer. Coming to Booth, I felt like "other people" were entrepreneurs. Starting your own company just felt like this giant and intimidating thing that I was in no way prepared for. Booth has shown me that entrepreneurship is a process just like anything else, and just as you can learn the process of accounting, you can learn a process by which to start a company. And it has also shown me that a lot of entrepreneurs are people like me--smart, humble, not egomaniacs, etc. This doesn't mean that everyone should be an entrepreneur, or that it's the best approach for people (and indeed, I'm going to a big tech company after I graduate) but it pulled away a lot of the fear and unapproachable-ness of starting up. Even though I don't know if I will found a startup later in my career, I now feel comfortable that I _could_
RyanK -> ToluHi Tolu, are there a number of Booth students who work at start-ups during the school year? How challenging is it to balance your classes and your work at the start-up?
Tolu -> RyanKHi RyanK, as a result of our flexibility, you are able to tailor your class workload to allow balance in other parts of your school life. For example, I chose to take three classes during the Fall quarter when I started my role at the start-up and found it manageable.
archit -> dominicThe BETA student group seems to be very interesting. Could you tell me more about the specific activities the group undertakes?
dominic -> architMuch of BETA's programming is centered around supporting student-organized search funds. BETA plans a number of panels with lawyers, accountants, entrepreneurs, and others who have experience setting up search funds. Booth has also recently launched an initiative called Booth Search, where Booth reviews search fund proposals submitted by students and provides funding/mentorship to the submissions deemed most qualifed.
Timka -> joshHWhat main courses(modules) do you get for understanding the concept of entrepreneurship? Is this more on finance or business strategy? Thank you
joshH -> TimkaAgain, this is different for everyone--because there are so many courses available within entrepreneurship and because everyone is looking for something different, the courses you take tend to be the ones that are most aligned with your own goals and gaps. So I recommend checking out the list of classes within entrepreneurship at http://goo.gl/vzuqWS and seeing how those look to you. My guess is you'll find several that fit what you're looking for :)
AAlexander -> ErikaHello - I am interested in the PE/VC Lab course. With the application and matching/interview process, do you know the overriding % of applicants who end up with a position? Is this % considerably lower for students without direct prior experience in that field? Thank you!
Erika -> AAlexanderThanks for your interest in the PE/VC Lab! It's a great program and one of our capstone offerings in the PE space - it combines an academic course on private equity and venture capital with internships in the industry. The Lab is offered once a year, and each year, about 65 students participate through internships at around 40 local firms. The acceptance rate is around 30-40%. Typically, about half of the participants have prior PE experience, and half are transitioning from a different industry. We encourage students to apply whether or not they have prior PE experience - it can be a great experience for both types of student!
AbhishekMehta -> Erica PHi Erica. I have been planning a new project in educating the youth about freedom, rights, and social responsibility. At Booth, I expect to broaden the scope of my project while retaining the focus on giving our youth a chance to build their own future. How do you see Booth's MBA helping my objective?
Erica P -> AbhishekMehtaHi - great questions! Chicago Booth is a great place to focus on your social venture. A few options are to form a team and apply to participate in the Social New Venture Challenge, meet with a Social Entrepreneur in Residence for mentoring, attend workshops through the Polsky Center called Entrepreneurship Essentials which range from topics on marketing, sales, pitching, funding, etc., applying to participate in the summer Accelerator program or the Social Entrepreneurship Internship Program (SEIP) to gain mentoring and resources over the summer to further your social venture.
Mike_P -> TriciaTricia - did the Summer Accelerator help you find any good mentors? If so, how did that process work?
Tricia -> Mike_PMike_P: Yes! The Summer Accelerator offered numerous potential mentors. I was paired with two mentors within the Chicago Startup ecosystem that the Polsky Center chose specifically for my company. In addition to these pairings, we were supplied with a list of mentors that offered insights into more specific areas of our business. For example, I met with my assigned mentors several times during the accelerator program and then reached out to people from the list for specific questions such as legal issues and operational strategies. I am still in contact with most of these mentors and it has helped my network exponentially.
anthony_philipp -> KirstenWhat percentage of the class works during the semester? Does this vary for 1st year or 2nd year students?
Kirsten -> anthony_philippHi Anthony, we don't keep track of the percentage of students that work during the school year quarterly but I would say for those pursuing entrepreneurial interests it can be quite common to work part-time and/or on a temporary basis while taking classes. There are also experiential classes and lab course students will participate in like the PE/VC Lab that will help connect students with local PE and/or VC firms looking for part-time help during the school year. Career Services and The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation also host a Start-up Networking Night in the fall quarter to help connect students with start-ups which are looking for temporary and part-time help during the school year.
Ryan_O -> joshHPrior to starting business school, I'm doing a lot of preparation by reading a number of highly regarding business books and books written by Booth professors (Slicing Pie by Mike Moyer, A Capitalism For the People by Luigi Zingales, etc...). Do you have any suggestions for books and/or resources related to entrepreneurship that you would recommend to incoming students? Thanks!
joshH -> Ryan_OSpecifically for entrepreneurship? Everyone has their own answers for this. I like reading The Lean Startup. Some like The Innovators Dilemma. I think the question is less about whether some books are the _right_ books than just about exploring. At Booth, we like people who are curious, and this is doubly true of entrepreneurs. It sounds like you are already looking at a lot of interesting stuff--just keep reading what interests and excites you. If all else fails, surf Twitter to see what books and articles keep coming up
KP -> chrisTI am interested in Private Equity down the road but have no prior Private Equity/I-Banking experience. What resources does Booth and Polsky Center offer to help me learn more about Private Equity and get my feet wet while in school?
chrisT -> KPKP - Good question. There are numerous resources for career switchers into private equity.
1) Career Services has a significant amount of industry data, prep materials, and contacts in the industry that are helpful to get students up to speed.
2) Career Services also puts a lot of time and effort into mock interviews for students.
3) There are a number of case competitions that give students the chance to practice their modeling skills and develop investment theses and get tangible feedback.
4) There are modeling seminars to help students learn how to model to help bridge the experience gap.
5) There are numerous classes that are directly applicable to private equity that provide students with opportunities to ask as though they are a private equity professional and screen and evaluate deals.
6) Polsky Center plays a big role in the PE Lab which is a lab course that gives students the opportunity to intern at a PE fund during the school year.
7) The Private Equity Group hosts different events including one of the largest student run private equity conferences in the country that also serve as a good way for students to get more involved in PE.
Long story short, there is no shortage of help from Career Services and the Polsky Center.
manuseve1 -> TriciaHi Tricia, how does the process work at the Polsky summer accelerator, and is there a maximum amount of funds available per project?
Tricia -> manuseve1Manuseve1: The Accelerator is an 8 week program that offers office space, funding and mentoring to students to launch or continue their own startups. I applied and was chosen along with 9 other companies to participate for the summer. This year, the program gave a $10k stipend, but the program is fairly new and that stipend could change year to year.
Moderator -> EveryoneWe've reached the halfway point of our chat. Please continue to submit any questions you may have for our panelists.
rgrenis -> Erica PHow does Booth support social enterprise programs? And, what are current projects at the social enterprise initiative?
Erica P -> rgrenisHi - nice to meet you! The Social Enterprise Initiative (SEI) has many programs including the Social New Venture Challenge, the Social Entrepreneur in Residence Program, the Social Enterprise Lab course, the Social Impact Leadership Series, a Lunch and Learn series, support of Net Impact and 10 other socially-focused student groups, partnership of the Net Impact Board Fellows program, and a series of programs on social enterprise opportunities planned in conjunction with the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Career Services office. For more info on these and other programs, visit chicagobooth.edu/sei.
Moderator -> EveryoneWe've reached the halfway point of our chat. Please continue to submit any questions you may have for our panelists.
Tuoyo -> ToluHi Tolu, my name is Tuoyo and I've applied to Booth for the Fall of 2014. Currently an entrepreneur and planning to continue on that path, I'm curious as to how you were able to effectively manage the rigor of course work with launching your start-up?
Tolu -> TuoyoHi Tuoyo, I have found that most of my friends with start-ups have been able to cope with the rigor of school work. Our flexibility allows you to build a workload of classes that makes it easier to work on your idea and school, simultaneously.
Fernando -> dominicI would like to learn a bit more about specific program concentrations related to entrepreneurship. How flexible is the curriculum to allow a student to focus in a project? Other than summer internships, how is a student encouraged to structure and develop a business idea during regular courses?
dominic -> FernandoHi Fernando -- The Chicago Booth MBA is incredibly flexible and, as a result, all about prioritization. It's really up to you to decide how much time you want to spend on a project outside of class. Chicago Booth offers tremendous support for entrepreneurs via the Polsky Center and through the New Venture Challenge. I found that the most valuable component of the NVC was access to an incredible network of entrepreneurs and VCs who helped my team refine our business idea. If you have time, peruse the course descriptions (on the Booth Portal web page) in the Entrepreneurship concentration -- I think you'll find many courses that can be immediately applied to your business ideas.
Mike_Verhagen -> ErikaWhat sort of classes are offered that are tailored specifically to entrepeneurship and what sort of things do you learn?
Erika -> Mike_VerhagenHi Mike! We have a lot of great classes for students interested in entrepreneurship. Some of the most popular include Building the New Ventures, which includes a gaming element and simulates the first year in a startup's life cycle, New Venture Lab, which lets you work directly with a local startup on a specific business challenge they have identified, Entrepreneurial Selling, which helps students use selling skills in different contexts, tell powerful stories, and manage the entrepreneurial sales process. This is just a sampling, though - you should check out all of the courses available on the Course Search site: http://boothportal.chicagobooth.edu/portal/server.pt/community/course_search/205. We also have a lot of offerings on the PE/VC side, including the PE/VC Lab, Entrepreneurial Finance and Private Equity, and Commercializing Innovation.
Chase -> chrisTHi Chris, did you secure your part-time work at the Pritzker Group as part of the Private Equity & Venture Capital lab? How did you evaluate the trade-off between taking fewer courses and your PE experience during the academic year?
chrisT -> ChaseHey Chase - my part-time work with Pritzker is directly related to the full-time offer I received from them. It made sense for me to start early based on their current needs. Regarding classes, I am still taking three classes this quarter and plan to next so that I graduate on-time with my class. It is a full schedule but entirely doable. The flexible curriculum and scheduling allow me to load my classes over two days and work the others. I think you will find that there is a decent number of students doing something similar. I should note that some PE/VC Lab internships do turn into summer internships. It is not the expectation by any means but it does happen. The PE/VC Lab is a great way to get into the Chicago PE market network while you are in school. I took the class last year and made several relevant industry contacts that helped me during full-time recruiting this year.
kalraadi -> KirstenWhat are the different roles available for MBA graduates at large tech companies?
Kirsten -> kalraadiThere is a wide variety of roles available to MBA grads at large tech firms; some of these roles will include:business development, product marketing, product management, general management/ leadership development rotational programs, finance, operations, etc. You can also review the Employment Report to view some of the roles students will go into within the technology industry: https://career.chicagobooth.edu/fulltime/employmentreport/
Mike_Verhagen -> VladimirWhat determines the type of companies you interview with during your time at Booth? Your interest, your background, or your performance or what?
Vladimir -> Mike_VerhagenHi Mike, thanks for your question. I would say it's the combination of your skills/background and the industry/function you are interested in. Career Services does a good job making sure everybody is pursuing what they are passionate about, but also remain realistic how achievable that goal is (where the background and degree of skill transferability come in). With that in mind, many of us are successful career changers, if this is what you are looking to get out of business school. Performance, as in academic performance, is certainly important for recruiters -- although they are of course aware what the overall quality of the Booth student body is. Areas that are important are undergraduate GPA + GMAT (when you apply for internship) and potentially if you have been awarded any merit based scholarship for your second year (when you apply for FT jobs). Booth grades are not shared with employers. Finally, academic performance is more important for some industries (e.g., consulting) than others.
Alan_Holden -> TriciaHello, thank you for taking the time to do this chat. I was wondering if someone could talk a bit about how the Polsky Center/Booth helped equip them with the skills to take their ideas from concept to reality. Outside of formal classes, of course.
Tricia -> Alan_HoldenHi Alan_Holden: You're welcome! Glad to chat. The Polsky Center offers programming along almost all steps of the entrepreneurial journey. For concepting, I participated in their "coffee chats" to run through some of my ideas and sort through proposed business plans. Polsky also works on specific programming to help students build teams, market ideas, and launch the companies. The New Venture Challenge and the Polsky Summer Accelerator are two other programs that specifically help students launch their ideas.
KP -> chrisTThanks, Chris. With regards to the internship opportunities at PE funds during the school year, are those Booth-coordinated or are you talking about students going out and finding internships through their network?
chrisT -> KPBoth. Some of the internships come through Career Services while others are cultivated through individual networks. In PE, it is important to explore both avenues as the universe of job opportunities is smaller than say consulting or I-banking.
KR-MBA -> dominicI'd like to take part in the New Venture Challenge but don't have a solid idea yet. Are there ways to connect with classmates who have ideas but need to round out their teams?
dominic -> KR-MBAYes -- I'd say the vast majority of NVC participants come to Booth without an idea. While there are a handful of formal events to connect students with classmates who have ideas, I found that the best teams were developed more organically (through friendships, informal networking, etc.). My team last year included 2 other Booth students and 3 non-Booth students.
Jared -> Erica PErica, can you please tell us a little bit more about how the Social Enterprise Initiative supports student led social initiatives, and what kinds of projects students are currently working on?
Erica P -> JaredHi Jared - nice to meet you! SEI supports students in a variety of ways. We offer the Social New Venture Challenge, the Social Entrepreneur in Residence Program, and individual mentoring and coaching opportunities. We also offer workshops in conjunction with the Polsky Center on different aspects of entrepreneurship that can be applied to student led initiatives. Students are currently working on projects in education, agriculture, youth development, disaster relief, financial literacy, and hunger and food distribution among others. Students are also encouraged to reach out for team members so even if you don't have your own social venture idea, there are opportunities to get involved with fellow students.
Juan_W. -> joshHHello! Are there companies/corporations looking for "intrapreneurs" within Chicago? How is the Polsky Center connected with this companies to locate students?
joshH -> Juan_W.There are definitely large companies that are looking for innovative people to disrupt things within their company. I recruited for a large global media conglomerate that was looking specifically for entrepreneurial people to go on a rotational program throughout many of their subsidiaries and shake things up. Earlier this year, a Fortune 500 Chicago-area retailer put out a call looking specifically for entrepreneurially-minded Booth students after graduation. And there are lots of large tech companies that come to campus (Google, Amazon, Groupon, LinkedIn) looking for people who move fast and break things within larger organizations. If you want to be entrepreneurial within a larger company, Booth is a great place to be. I would say that this is less aligned specifically to Polsky than it is to traditional recruiting channels, but that's not to say they are mutually exclusive. Hope this helps!
Shany -> joshHHi all. JoshH - how do you feel the entrepreneurship program prepared you for a future position in large tech companies?
joshH -> ShanyExtraordinarily well. A lot of companies are looking for people who are comfortable taking ownership over projects and dealing with ambiguity, and that's a lot of what I've taken from my entrepreneurship experience. I came to Booth knowing that I probably wasn't going to leave here running my own company, so I have used the entrepreneurship classes as a way to get those skills and learn how to do it in a way that will help me in larger companies while also thinking about what I might want to do later down the road.
Cathy -> Erica PAt Erica P: What are examples of jobs students pursued post graduation in social responsibility? also, is there loan forgiveness opportunities if students take a nonprofit role?
Erica P -> CathyHi Cathy - We have students who have taken jobs and internships at Education Pioneers, Teach for America, Civic Consulting Alliance, Social Venture Partners, and many others. There is not a loan forgiveness program for full-time but there is a funding opportunity if you work at a nonprofit during your internship summer called the Community Catalyst Fund.
Shre_IISc -> ToluHi Tolu. My name is Shreyas. I am interested in knowing about opportunities to work in health care start ups
Tolu -> Shre_IIScHi Shreyas, there are three potential paths to working in a health care start-ups (as with other start-ups) -
1) You can bring an idea to school and recruit classmates - most people recruit co-founders and other teammates during the New Venture Challenge (NVC)
2) You want to join a team that has an idea you find attractive - similar to 1), you find out about the opportunity during NVC and pitch yourself to the team. Additionally, the Polsky center is usually aware of start-up opportunities before most people do, and they have an open door policy.
3) You apply to a start-up opportunity that is listed on our online recruiting platform. Firms use the platform to list jobs when they need people. I found out about the start-up that I currently work with through our career services platform.
Chase_G. -> VladimirBooth provides great flexibility in its program through its willingness to let MBA students take classes in other University of Chicago departments. Have any of you found that opportunity to be especially valuable to your MBA experience?
Vladimir -> Chase_G.Hi Chase, thanks for your question. I took a class at the law school last spring quarter that was highly applicable to the industry I am returning to following Booth. The course was about structuring PE/VC transactions, which was something I already did before school but feel much better prepared to handle now. I am also keen to take a class in the Healthcare area, some of which are offered at the undergraduate level at the College, since this is the specific sector that my PE fund invests in.
jordan.b.joseph -> chrisTchrisT... what was your experience like when recruiting for full-time PE roles? I didn't see that you did PE during the summer after the first year, but if you have insight on how you or your colleagues have approached that process as well, that would be appreciated. Thank you!
chrisT -> jordan.b.josephJordan - I actually interned at another private equity firm in Chicago over the summer. It was a great way to stay in the flow and see how another firm operated. It also helped me when it came time for full-time recruiting, both because I received an offer from the firm and because I was able to speak intelligently about current market dynamics. Recruiting for full-time PE roles takes some dedication and resilience. It is important to enter the recruiting cycle with a game plan and a list of firms you would want to work at. Additionally, it is important to network as much as you can. A warm lead goes a long way when recruiting in PE. Firms hire infrequently so when they do, they want to make sure they have a good read on the candidate. As such, working through others is a necessary part of the PE recruiting process.
Adelina -> TriciaHi Tricia, what are the functions of the EVC group? Also, I will like to know what are the international experiences in Private Equity that Booth offers.
Tricia -> AdelinaHi Adelina: The EVC group offers programming and networking for students looking into Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital. We are student led and look for opportunities to integrate Booth student and the Booth brand into the startup ecosystem of Chicago and beyond. This year, we've developed a "Startup ABC" course for students who want to learn the basics or are career switchers. We've also run a Startup Weekend, where teams go from concept to launch in a 48 hour competition, and "Booth Hacks" where non-technical students can learn basics of coding and hacking. There is also a separate Private Equity group that focuses more in that industry.
Cathy -> joshHare there opportunities to get some experience alongside an entrepreneur the summer before starting MBA?
joshH -> CathyAdmitted students can get referred to startups in the Booth accelerator program the summer before their MBA. @Patricia actually had a Booth '15er working on her startup this summer that got to her through one of the networks open to admitted students.
Arjun -> Erica PWhat's the best way to learn about impact investing at Booth?
Erica P -> ArjunHi Arjun - nice to meet you! SEI supports students interested in impact investing through MIINT (MBA Impact Investing Network and Training), a training and competition program done in partnership with Bridges Venture and 10 leading business schools throughout the country. We also bring in impact investors to meet with and mentor students interested in the space.
AChander -> KirstenHave students pursued entrepreneurial opportunities in developing countries? If so, what resources did students leverage from Booth to be successful?
Kirsten -> AChanderYes, students will pursue entrepreneurial opportunities in developing countries. They will often tap into Booth's alumni network, as well as our employer relations team is international and will identify entrepreneurial opportunities which will be shared with students via our job postings, the Career Services blog, and through student groups. Students will also learn about opportunities in emerging countries through connecting with alumni, firms, etc. via recruiting events, student events and conferences they attend as well as going on a student trek to visit developing countries (e.g. Africa).
Moderator -> EveryoneWe have about 15 minutes left in our chat. Please continue submit your questions for our panelists.
Cathy -> chrisTchrisT: where did you intern while in school and how did you balance? (I assume you were full time?)
chrisT -> CathyHey Cathy - During my first-year, I interned at Baird Capital Partners as part of the PE/VC Lab. I was in their office two days a week, which is pretty standard for the lab. It was a great experience I am happy I had the opportunity to do so. I am currently working at the Pritzker Group part-time which is where I will be working full-time after school. Currently my schedule is pretty full but it is definitely manageable. This quarter, I was able to stack my classes over two days so that I could be in the office the other days.
Ab -> JoannaIf someone does not have an experience in starting a venture but has a goal to do so after MBA.. is it taken as a unrealistic goal by the admission committee?
Joanna -> AbHello Ab, It's up to you to tell your story and why it makes sense for you!
AbhishekMehta -> ToluHi Tolu. Can you please elaborate more about the start-up you are currently working with. Also, please describe how do you manage to integrate Booth's curriculum into the venture?
Tolu -> AbhishekMehtaHi AbhishekMehta, I work with a start-up in the pet CPG space and my specific role is as a Marketing Analyst. In this role I constantly analyze how our marketing-spend is enabling our company goals, and make recommendations to adjust strategy as necessary. I find that classes such as Competitive Strategy, Marketing Strategy and Microeconomics have prepared me well for this role.
Sumit -> JoannaHi, Will we get a copy of this conversation today?
Joanna -> SumitYou can check our site for transcripts of the chat within a few days!
dg2014 -> ErikaWhat are ways in which Booth helps prepare students to launch a start-up during the program or immediately after versus other entrepreneurship-focused MBA programs?
Erika -> dg2014Great question! We are very committed to helping students launch companies both while they are here and as alumni, and we offer a lot of resources to help students and alumni vet their ideas, get customer feedback, and launch their startups. Our capstone program is the New Venture Challenge (NVC) - a yearlong process that helps students come up with business ideas, test those ideas, and ultimately launch the company. The NVC process includes workshops, one-on-one mentorship, advising from faculty and staff, as well as an academic course that helps you write a full business plan and refine your investor pitch. It concludes in the spring with a Demo Day, where students present their businesses to a room full of VCs and vie for funding. We also run an Accelerator Program over the summer, a 10-week intensive program to help you get your business off the ground. In addition to those programs, we have a lot of other events throughout the year. Feel free to check out our events website for examples of what is offered: http://entrepreneurship.uchicago.edu/calendar.html.
caleb -> dominicHi Dominic, what type of work is done in the lab? deal related or operations related?
dominic -> calebHi Caleb -- The content of your actual internship will vary based on the host fund and your prior experiences. Past intern experiences have ranged from industry research projects to actually leading term sheet negotiations on a new deal. Part of the matching process is to have host funds and students discuss mutual expectations so that everyone is satisfied with the experience. In the lab course, content includes term sheet structuring, deal evaluation, financing sources, and deal dynamics.
Kenny -> Erica PIn regards to social entrepreneurship, aside from internships, are there any programs or conferences that allow current students to interact with recent Booth grads or alumni that may have lauched a successful start up in the social enterprise space?
Erica P -> KennyHi Kenny - nice to meet you! We bring in alumni social entrepreneurs to meet with students in small round tables throughout the year. We also host a Social Entrepreneur in Residence each quarter to mentor students interested in the space. Lastly, if you are interested in a particular sector, we do our best to find alumni to talk meet with students - they are eager to do so. We also have a Linked-in group for students and alumni which allow you to find alumni who have started their own social ventures.
Zubey -> TriciaComing from Africa, My interest in VC stems from my desire to contribute to boosting entrepreneurship amongst people, and provide financing opportunities for viable projects. How extensive is the program at booth to help me make this impact, and what groups/club would be perfect to stir me in the right direction.
Tricia -> ZubeyHi Zubey: That's wonderful. The Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital group sounds perfect for your interests. We look specifically into Venture Capital Funds and how to strategically find viable projects. We are also very open to new ideas for programming and students can start taking leadership roles within the group right off the bat!
adrian -> joshHJosh with respect to large tech firm recruiting, how was the process? Are those companies only looking for individuals with pre-MBA experience in the tech sector?
joshH -> adrianAdrian--many large tech companies are definitely open to career switchers. So when I came to Booth, most of my experience was in marketing and I had never worked on the internal side of a company, and I know this is true for many others people who are going to end up in tech. That said, they will be looking for some real demonstrated interest, and that's where a lot of Booth's clubs, case competitions, and classes can be helpful.

I'll also note that some jobs in particular are definitely looking for a technical background. So for instance, at Google, you can hire into a sales or finance role without knowing any coding. But if you want to be a product manager, you really need to have serious technical chops. So TL;DR: you can definitely do a career switch into tech, but not every tech position will be available to every non-techy person.
arpan -> Erica PHi @EricaP, this is Arpan, prospective Booth MBA candidate. Would you happen to know of "for profit" startups that deal with social problems, and if I might get exposure to some of those at Booth?
Erica P -> arpanHi Arpan - nice to meet you! Most of the companies we work with through SEI are for profit, either through the Social New Venture Challenge or through our work with alumni social entrepreneurs. There are many ways to gain exposure through our Social Impact Leadership Series, the Social Enterprise Lab course, our SEI Linked-in group, our Social Entrepreneur in Residence Program, and SNVC.
Adelina -> ErikaHi, is the ARCH Venture Partners New Business Incubator a competition or everybody can participate?
Erika -> AdelinaHi Adelina! The Polsky Center runs two incubators - the ARCH incubator, which provides year-round office space and office amenities to Chicago Booth startups (often including but not limited to startups that have participated in our programs like the New Venture Challenge), and the Accelerator Program, a 10-week summer incubator program. Students apply to be in both incubators. In general, though, the Polsky Center has an open-door policy, and a lot of students will stop by and work on their companies or coursework in our Center.
Aldo -> JoannaWhat specific characteristics is the AdCom looking for, if any, in candidates who are aspiring entrepreneurs that have not founded their own business in the past?
Joanna -> AldoAldo, We are looking for the same qualities in all applicants. You can learn more here http://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/apply/criteria
Larsen_Booth2016 -> KirstenHi. It sounds like internship recruiting on the entrepreneurial side is far less structured than say banking on consulting. Are there any established time-lines or events for PE/VC/Startup internships?
Kirsten -> Larsen_Booth2016Hi Larsen, you are correct in that recruiting is much more specialized and often opportunities tend to be more just in time for entrepreneurship. However, given how important networking is it is important to start early in this regard, both with classmates, second years and alumni. Career Services offers programming throughout the year to help students create some structure in their search to help them be successful in this regard. This will include programming and events for building a target list, networking (i.e. Start up Networking Night in the fall and spring), informational interviewing, interviewing, job search strategy, etc. Also, students will often meet with Career Coaches regularly to help them in their individual search and creating timelines and having an effective strategy.
sctaylor -> TriciaWhat have been some of your best class experiences related to entrepreneurship, innovation, design, and VC?
Tricia -> sctaylorHi sctaylor: Love this question! Some of my favorite classes in these areas have been Technology Strategy (which takes a look at disruptive innovation from both the viewpoints of the startup and the incumbent company), Internet Startups (taught by Groupon co-founders who give real-world insight and are just flat-out awesome) and Developing New Products and Services (a lab-based class where students work on projects for existing companies looking to enter new spaces or develop new initiatives).
Amit -> joshHIs Technology a core focus area at Booth? What kind of courses are available to choose from?
joshH -> AmitTech is definitely a focus at Booth--something like one in eight graduates goes directly to a tech company, and there are tons of extra-curriculars and resources available around tech.

As for classes, many touch on technology but two in particular come to mind--Austan Goolsbee's Economics and Policy in the Telecom, Media and Technology Industries, and Marc Knez's technology strategy.
justinpik -> ToluTolu - thanks for participating. with regard to working at a startup during the year, can you choose a startup or is one assigned to you. For instance, I have a unique opportunity in which I may assist in beginning a startup prior to matriculation - could I choose to focus on my own startup? Would this be ill advised?
Tolu -> justinpikHi justinpik, working at a start-up is not a requirement to matriculation. I wanted to work in a start-up before leaving Booth, so I sought one out. If you have start-up ambitions, you can found one yourself, found one with classmates, or join an already established start-up (which is what I did). One key thing to pay attention to, before joining a start-up, is that you are able to balance the demands of the start-up with other aspects of your life as a student. I find that most of my classmates who work at start-ups are able to manage well.
Stephen -> ErikaHi everyone--thank you for hosting this chat. What percentage of full-time MBA students at Booth participate in the New Venture Challenge?
Erika -> StephenHi Stephen - I don't know the exact percentage of Booth students who participate in the NVC, but I can tell you that we typically have between 400-500 students who participate in the NVC each year. This includes Chicago Booth students, other students, staff, and researchers from across the university, and alumni.
arpan -> joshHHi @JoshH. Could you take other courses, in say CleanTech or Energy etc. at UChic, if you're interested in a tech startup after the MBA?
joshH -> arpanSo look at my answer to @amit just now about tech classes. There are some courses specifically focused on clean tech at Booth (Energy and CleanTech Lab, and Energy Policy Practicum: Alternative Transportation Fuels). Beyond that, at the rest of the University, there are certainly advanced courses on chemistry as it relates to energy that you could take, though I am far from expert on them.
KP -> ErikaDo students typically to the PE/VC lab in their first or second year?
Erika -> KPBoth! The program typically comprises about 2/3 first-years and 1/3 second-years. It is also open to students in the part-time programs at Chicago Booth.
ssarma -> joshHHi Josh - thanks for the link to the entrepreneurship classes available at Booth - it appears that the link leads to an error page, is there another way to access that page? Thanks in advance.
joshH -> ssarma@ssarma Sorry about that! Go to portal.chicagobooth.edu and click on course search at the top to get there.
hpat -> Erica PWhat are some of the organizations that Board Fellows support?
Erica P -> hpatHi! The Net Impact Board Fellows works with a variety of organizations in Chicago including organizations in education, the arts, environment, international development, health, etc. Students apply and are accepted into the program and then nonprofits are chosen that match with the interests of students. We have worked with small start-up organizations or large organizations such as the Joffrey Ballet. We have also had students seek out nonprofit organizations that they would like to work with and we do our best to find a contact.
Tobias -> ToluQuestion for Tolu: How did you come across the start-up you are currently working on? How does Booth enable those connections?
Tolu -> TobiasHi Tobias, our career services department facilitates all job searches at both established firm and at start-ups. Firms in need of Booth talent reach out to career services and career services in turn lists all jobs on our online recruiting platform. I found my job through this online platform.
Nishrit -> VladimirQ3. I am currently in the process of taking my current E-Commerce company global, starting with Europe. What courses/resources does Booth offer which could give me insights on expanding a medium sized business globally.
Vladimir -> NishritHi Nishrit -- thanks for your question. I would say there are two primary areas that could be helpful: courses and alumni. On the former, there is a popular class on Commercializing Innovation, which helps you identify strategies to get an idea to commercial phase / make money, which I suspect would include thoughts on international expansion. There are also some marketing classes that could be used. On the alumni side, if you can find individuals working in that area in Europe, you can leverage the Booth alumni network to connect and get personalized advice, maybe even referrals.
smack -> ErikaHi, I am keen to know whether Booth will be helpful in helping with the viability of a business plan if the student wants to start the venture outside USA
Erika -> smackYes, we have worked with a lot of students who are launching companies outside of the US! We have a lot of wonderful alumni who can advise on questions specific to launching ventures outside the USA, and we are happy to connect you with them.
SeanWest -> TriciaNice to meet you, thank you so much for being available for questions today. I was wondering what you might see as the pro's and con's of attempting to launch a Venture or VC based career while at Booth, or working in consulting for a few years and then coming back to entrepreneurship. Do you see experience in a consulting setting as complementary to future entrepreneurship, or an entirely separate career path? Thank you.
Tricia -> SeanWestHi SeanWest: Thanks for the question. An honest answer to this would have a lot to do with your personal risk-tolerance. The great thing about Booth, however, is that you will find peers that are doing either one of these two options. Your peers, the Career Center and programming within Entrepreneurship and Consulting can help you sort through the pros and cons and apply them to see what the best choice is for your specific goals.
aanchal -> KirstenHello Everyone, I'm Aanchal. What opportunities does Booth provide to network with Venture Capitalists in Chicago and outside Chicago?
Kirsten -> aanchalThere are several opportunities to network with venture capitalists, including industry panels and events held throughout the school year by the Polsky Center, Career Services and the EVC Group. Students will network with venture capitalists by attending Seedcon conference in the fall, visiting firms on student treks each year (i.e. NY, Chicago and Bay Area), taking part in a Venture Capital investment competition, taking part in the PE/ VC lab, taking part in the New Venture Challenge competition, etc. as well as a number of entrepreneurial events which will take place both in Chicago and via Chicago Booth throughout the school year.
WCEnright -> Erica PGood afternoon! Thanks to the Booth folks for hosting this chat. My question is for Erica P.: I am interested in learning more about Booth's impact investing opportunities. I have read about the school's new Social Enterprise Initiative (SEI) and London Impact Investing Conference, but would like to hear more about specifically about what Booth is doing in the impact investing space (e.g. classes, competitions). Can you share any additional information?
Erica P -> WCEnrightHi! We work with MIINT (MBA Impact Investing Network and Training) which has both an education component and a competition between ten top business schools. There is more information about MIINT on our website, chicagobooth.edu/sei.
Jennifer3 -> JoannaHi, how does the AdCom view MBA candidates who is interested in starting a company in the education scetor?
Joanna -> Jennifer3Hi Jennifer, We don't evaluate you on your goals per se, but more on how such goals make sense for you and your story. So in short, your future goals is not going to hurt you or out you at advantage. What's important is to be authentic in your story and how an MBA will help you achieve your goals.
kaybell -> ToluHi Tolu, My name is Kayode Bello from Lagos. I worked in the corporate banking group of First Bank of Nigeria and I am interested in Chicago MBA, how does Chicago support student who are interested in business start-up during school
Tolu -> kaybellHi Kayode, students are supported through traditional and experiential classes. Experiential classes include internships and entrepreneurial competitions.
Liliya -> VladimirDo you think that CFA designation will be usefull for me? Or would MBA be sufficient? I intend to pursue a ce
Vladimir -> LiliyaHi Liliya -- I am a CFA Charterholder, which I completed in June before enrolling at Booth. That designation is much more relevant for careers in equity research, investment management, private wealth management, risk analysis. For PE, the CFA has minimal applicability. The MBA can help there much more -- realize, however, that background in finance and/or deal-making before business school will be critical to successfully landing a job in the industry.
Andy -> VladimirHi all! I love Booth's flexible curriculum but I guess it can be difficult to choose the right courses to take. Does Booth offer any advice on how to approach course selection??
Vladimir -> AndyHi Andy -- absolutely. Everybody gets an academic counselor they can approach, and this is particularly helpful during the first quarter. Another wonderful resource are second year students. I always talk to them.
Aaron -> chrisTHi! Thanks for taking our questions. To all: Chicago has a reputation for focusing heavily on the quantitative. How does that emphasis affect the way the program approaches entrepreneurship? I’m particularly curious how significant of a role soft skills such as leadership, team-building, communications, etc. play in Chicago’s curriculum.
chrisT -> AaronHey Aaron - good question. While Booth does offer a lot of great finance classes, I believe the curriculum is very robust and well-rounded. There are numerous classes that focus on entrepreneurship and soft skills. In fact, I have only taken 4 finance classes out of 17 classes to date. Booth offers the LEAD program, which is a great way to work on leadership, communication and team-building skills. I would encourage you to take a look through the course list (http://boothportal.chicagobooth.edu/portal/server.pt/community/course_search/205) to get a better feel of the courses offered.
RRubin -> ToluTolu, can you talk about some of the benefits of working at a start-up? And to those current students who are working- how you best manage your time?
Tolu -> RRubinHi RRubin, the key thing I wanted, was experience in a cash-constrained environment, such as a start-up and I am getting that experience on this job. I find that our flexible curriculum allows me to select the appropriate class workload to balance the demands of the job.
RRubin -> ToluTolu, can you talk about some of the benefits of working at a start-up? And to those current students who are working- how you best manage your time?
Tolu -> RRubinHi RRubin, the key thing I wanted, was experience in a cash-constrained environment, such as a start-up and I am getting that experience on this job. I find that our flexible curriculum allows me to select the appropriate class workload to balance the demands of the job.
Erica P -> EveryoneThank you for your thoughtful questions. For more information about the Social Enterprise Initiative, visit chicagobooth.edu/sei. Goodbye!
joshH -> EveryoneIt was great chatting with you all! Congratulations to those of you who have been admitted, good luck to those who are currently in the application process, and for those who are earlier in the process, we hope this has been helpful.
Erika -> EveryoneThanks so much for joining the chat today! Take care!
Vladimir -> EveryoneThank you everyone for participating on today's chat! Hope our responses were helpful.
dominic -> EveryoneThanks for your questions! Hope you found the responses helpful!
Joanna -> EveryoneThanks for joining us today and for your great questions. You can always ask more questions anytime by using #BoothMBA on Twitter!
Tricia -> EveryoneThanks for joining and all the great questions. Good luck on your journey.
chrisT -> EveryoneIt was great chatting with you all today. Best of luck with your applications/decision-making and hopefully we will see you on campus in the future.
Kirsten -> EveryoneThank you all so much for joining the chat today and for your interest in Booth! There are a TON of resources at Booth to support you, so please let us know if we can be of further assistance to you. Thanks!
Tolu -> EveryoneThank you all for being here and I hope our responses were beneficial. Good Luck!
Moderator -> EveryoneThank you again for participating in our chat. The chat transcript will be posted within 48 hours.
Tricia -> EveryoneGO Booth!