STRATEGICALLY LEVERAGING THE BOOTH NETWORK
On September 26, 2013, autumn quarter started off with a bang a the Strategically Leveraging Your Network panel and reception. The event started off with a lively panel (in Gleacher Room 100) about where Elizabeth Rogers (XP 81), Nusreth Baig (XP 82), Adrian Novik (XP 71), and Dave Wasz (XP 71) discussed how each has utilized the Booth network over the years in many different ways. Elizabeth shared how when she recently decided to look for another job, the word got out and support followed - with encouragement and actually job opportunities. While one could expect that job search resources would come from Booth alumni that was only just the beginning:
When Dave, President of B.L. Downey Company, decided to buy a company, he had many questions before jumping headlong into entrepreneurship. While he could have pulled together a team of legal, accounting, and financial types to gain a handle on the real value of his acquisition, he realized that his friends, classmates, and other alumni might be a great place to start. A few calls later, he had his questions answered and realized that there was a lot more work to do before signing the contract. In the end, when the deal went through Dave knew he has a whole group of Booth friends and alumni watching his back and helping him succeed.
Nusreth understood the power of the Booth network from the day he started and he did (and continues) to tap into it. Nusreth knew the support is in the network - whether he wanted to find someone to talk to an alum at a tech start-up, consulting firm, or multi-national company or, even more fun, find the best places to stay in a city he has never been to before. Her writes an email, sends a text or picks up the phone and finds the resources he needs and he is more than willing to reciprocate. Beyond “thank you,” he starts thinking about how he can help any Booth student or alum - now or in the future.
Adrian had many stories to share, but the one that clearly means a lot to him went back to the early 2000’s when he ran in the Chicago Marathon. The program office found the largest shirt emblazoned with the School’s logo they could find so that all of his classmates could sign it. During the race, he knew that everyone was cheering him on during the 26.2 miles. This sense of being part of a larger community continues to inspire Adrian to this day. Like the rest of us, there are mornings when he doesn’t want to get out of bed and run, so he keep that shirt where he can see it and it inspires him to keep pursuing his goals. (By the way, Adrian just finished this year’s Chicago Marathon in a little over four hours start to finish.)
As Adrian and the other panelists were speaking, we all heard a buzz of people coming from the reception area outside of our room. When we transitioned to the networking part of the event, the area outside of Gleacher - room 100 was packed with Booth alumni from many different years and even more XP students. Some people hadn’t seen each other in years and we delighted to reconnect.
As I weaved my way from one end of the reception area to the other, I heard students and alumni connecting. The Booth network is alive and well with deals being made, support being offered, and relationships being built for now and years to come.
More next time,