One of my favorite experiences at Booth has been the inaugural London trek - an opportunity for Evening MBA and Weekend MBA students to make connections and open doors outside the United States. The trek provided an invaluable opportunity to learn and connect with our robust alumni network, many of whom helped guide us through some of the premier institutions in Europe.
The trek included deep dives into the London economy and the upcoming Brexit. We learned first-hand the amount of stress Brexit is causing the British people – a local perspective not often available in the United States. Similarly, it was interesting to learn about the Brexit contingency plans firms across England are preparing. We had the unique opportunity to learn directly from leaders in the Bank of England, European Bank of Reconstruction, and other large English institutions. This type of honest exchange was made possible by Booth's open alumni network.
Booth Alumni Network
So let’s talk more about our alumni in London. Our trip started with a tour of the Bank of England, given by an alum who was more than happy to share his advice and experiences with us. It was another reminder of the access that a Booth MBA gives. Throughout the week, we met alumni from many walks of life who happily answered our questions ranging from London's work opportunities to its lifestyle. We also visited Level 39, one of London's premier incubators, for a tour and to meet their entrepreneurs.
The week was capped with Worldwide Booth Night, when Boothies worldwide celebrated from their parts of the globe. In London, we reveled our shared Booth experiences while establishing strong connections for our future. It was fantastic seeing how extensive and vibrant the Booth community is around the world.
Oktobefest in Munich
But the alumni networking didn't stop there. After London, some of us traveled to Munich to celebrate Oktoberfest (we made sure to dress in the appropriate Bavarian Lederhosen!) with Booth students and alumni in Germany. This helped us make fast friends with the locals and other tourists at the festival. In addition, we were able to participate in the traditional dancing and drinking games, a must when you are in Oktoberfest!
At Oktoberfest, we met up with the Booth Germany Alumni Club. Over some steins of bier and schnitzel we experienced one of Bavaria's most famous holidays with our Booth colleagues. Students in the Executive MBA Program even taught us local customs, dances, and history. Without their help we wouldn't have been able to appreciate half of what we saw. Oktoberfest helped us establish closer ties with the Executive MBA Program in a fun and unexpected way.
I hope every Boothie can experience an international trek at least once. They are the perfect opportunity to explore new career paths and establish connections across the globe.
-London and Munich stories shared by Evening MBA student Eshang Saini
Trip to Hong Kong
At the same time, a group of students traveled to Hong Kong to visit Booth’s brand-new campus and to network with peers and alumni. As in London, the Booth alumni network was happy to share more about the business climate in Hong Kong. During their week, they visited alumni at various corporate offices, took in company tours (including Hong Kong's startup and tech community), listened to a Booth alumni panel, learned more about working and living in Asia, and wrapped up the week with Worldwide Booth Night.
Of course, there was plenty of time to take in the amazing sights and culture!
As the world becomes increasingly global, so do our Evening and Weekend MBA students. We're looking forward to next year's trips!