Upon leaving the CIA, Alex and her husband knew they wanted careers in the energy sector. A few second-year students, who knew of their interests, reached out to help the couple before they even set foot on campus. Now, after a few introductions, each found new roles at reputable energy investment banks in Houston for the summer.
My husband, who worked alongside me for the CIA in the Middle East, left his career behind to join me in Chicago when I came to Booth. We both became interested in opportunities in the energy sector in Houston, a city that we had little exposure to. We knew it was going to be an incredible challenge, but a number of opportunities opened up through the Booth community and the people we met here. He ended up accepting a position that one of our friends put him in touch with, and he’ll be starting soon.
Booth provides many ways to develop your leadership style. It starts with LEAD, the leadership curriculum that all first-year students go through. Having attended those modules, I was able to better understand my own personal style and how I communicate with others – it really helped me evolve the way I approach problems and people.
For example, I'm currently one of the co-chairs of the Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital club, and some of the things I learned about running meetings and communicating effectively, I am able to directly apply as I create interesting start-up programming to really help foster more entrepreneurship opportunities with my classmates.
LEAD is an opportunity for you to meet people with very different backgrounds from your own, and for you to learn from them and see how they approach challenging situations. In addition to the offsite Leadership Orientation Retreat, you are given a series of personality tests, including a first-impression exercise, where your peers jot down their initial perspectives
about your personality.
One thing I learned during the first impressions exercise was how others think of me as reserved the first time I meet them, which is not at all how I see myself! It was feedback that I never had before and a lesson that I put to use during
interviews and meetings.
Booth’s Energy Club, organized by second-years, provides many opportunities for students to learn about the energy industry throughout the world.
It provided many of us with a number of contacts, introducing us to alumni working directly in the field. We visited California and met with companies that work in green energy. We also visited some larger companies like Chevron, and saw their refining facilities. It’s a great way for you to really get hands-on experience before you join the industry, which is priceless.