2016

Stories related to "My Booth".

perspectives

Are You Convinced?

Picture a salesman. I won’t take it personally if you’ve conjured an image of a slick talker hawking a used car or an overly enthusiastic promoter of super-absorbent towels. As a middle-market lender here in Chicago, I sell, or more accurately, rent money. It may not be the stereotypical form of sales, but make no mistake: I am a salesman. When I started at Booth in 2014, I was an experienced banker who had just transitioned into a sales role. Several current and former students highly recommended professor Craig Wortmann’s Entrepreneurial Selling class. During the first session, Wortmann asked, “What word comes to mind when you hear the term salesman?” I’m cognizant of public perception of sales, so I expected some degree of negativity. Even so, I was surprised by the results. The most common response was “pushy.” Others included “manipulative,” “sleazy,” “aggressive,” “slimy,” and “annoying.” There were a few suggestions of “persistent” and “confident,” but those were by far the minority.

conversations

A Solution for the Caring Economy

Most nights, Chelsea Sprayregen gets a good six or seven hours of sack time—no small feat for a woman juggling being a student at Booth and the CEO and cofounder of the promising startup Provide. “I don’t do anything else besides work,” Sprayregen said without a hint of regret. But, she said, “I can’t function without sleep.” On May 22, however, nerves would keep her tossing and turning all night. It was the eve of easily her most important professional moment, one that would help turn her dream into a reality: overhauling and simplifying how childcare business owners operate. The next day, along with her fellow Evening MBA students on the Provide team, Sprayregen would present to a room full of business-savvy judges (including several Booth alumni), as well as six other finalist teams competing to win the 2017 John Edwardson, ’72, Social New Venture Challenge. <br/>

perspectives

Game On!

Sergey Yun, MBA ’18, MS ’18, was one of the first to participate in a new joint-degree program that allows Booth MBA students to simultaneously earn a master’s degree in computer science through the University of Chicago. Yun graduated earlier this year, and shares his experience in the program here: Technology and computers have fascinated me for as long as I can remember. When I was 6 or 7 years old, I disassembled a cartridge for my video-game console. I was really interested in how this little microchip could produce my experience of playing a game. This is how I became a geek. I never got a chance to learn computer science formally. I always saw it as more of a hobby and not a serious career trajectory. I studied economics and financial management and worked in consulting. Initially when I came to Booth, I thought I might pursue investment banking or another career in finance. But I soon realized I wanted to pursue something I felt more passionate about, and I began to consider a career in technology. So when we got an email announcing a new joint-degree program with the computer science department, it came at exactly the right moment in my life. I knew it would be a perfect fit for me given my interests and my new direction.

perspectives

An Array of Talents

“Coming from an entrepreneurial family, I knew I would be starting companies,” said Shruti Gandhi, ’12. And in 2015, Gandhi founded a San Francisco–based venture capital firm, Array Ventures. While completing her undergraduate degree in computer science at Marist College, Gandhi worked full time at IBM as a software engineer, and she earned an MS in computer science from Columbia University. At Booth, Gandhi discovered a passion for venture capital, landing in venture capital roles after graduation, including at Silicon Valley–based True Ventures and Samsung’s Early Stage Fund in the Bay Area. Chicago Booth Magazine connected with Gandhi to discuss her passion for startups and the edge her Booth experience gives her in the high-stress world of venture capital.

perspectives

A Long Journey Made Short

My journey to Booth has been a very long one, yet somehow also short. It is just as my business professors emphasize: in the globalized landscape, time seems to move faster, and distances between places feel closer. So yes, it seems very far away, my childhood village in northern India, the slant-roof hut I shared among a dozen family members. During heavy rains all of us huddled together under the same dry strip to avoid the leaks. But small steps have brought me far. At the age of 13 I moved out of town with my younger brother, who was just 10, to attend primary school. We stayed in a lodge where we cooked and took care of ourselves. This would be our only hope to eventually get into college. Engineering was all anyone was talking about at the time, and my strength was math. But even the cheapest university engineering program would have cost about $2,000 a year, which my family could not spare. Today, just over a decade later and at Booth, I’m specializing in marketing strategy. The way I think about the subject is this: do not worry about figuring out how to sell things to people. Figure out what people need. That is where the demand is.

perspectives

Building a Global Network

“Building a global network” is one of the most often cited objectives I hear from my fellow students since we started our exciting journey in the Executive MBA Program Europe in 2014. It is not surprising that top ranked business schools nowadays are promoting the size of their alumni networks as one of their biggest selling points. However, the picture is far more complex. The pure size of an alumni network is not the only relevant factor to distinguish it from other institutions when promoting its global reach.<br/>

conversations

Meet the Founders

For entrepreneurs, tapping into a like-minded community can provide that extra push to keep going. That’s precisely the goal of the Polsky Founders’ Fund Fellowship, or PF3, at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, where nine entrepreneurs are spending the year growing existing ventures. PF3, now in its first official run, serves as a yearlong incubator for Chicago-based entrepreneurs, providing everything from funding to coworking spaces to quarterly check-ins. Graduating University of Chicago students, Booth students, and decelerating Booth students can apply for the program. Here’s a look at the newest fellows:<br/>

perspectives

Picking Up the Tempo

Ryan Crane, ’15, stood in his kitchen with a wristwatch in each hand, carefully observing bubbling pots of loose-leaf teas and breathing in spices such as ginger and turmeric. Crane was trying to make a new tea blend that would energize him without the inevitable post-buzz crash. A couple of hours later, he stood with a chilled glass of sparkling tea in his hands. After months of experimentation, stained pots, and pleading conversations with a stubborn SodaStream machine, he had landed on a blend that felt perfect. That was the moment that Tempo became real.

perspectives

The Courage of Conviction

There’s nobody who can’t be wrong, and I know that from what the University of Chicago taught me. As a student, I earned a sense of confidence that you could point out something you might disagree with. Attending my 50-year reunion reminded me of the life skills I learned while earning an MBA. In my second year of the program, I was taking a class from George Stigler, PhD ’38 (Economics), who would go on to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1982. I wrote a paper that was good but only five pages long. I couldn’t turn in such a short paper, so I added another 13 pages of whatever I could. He returned my paper and summarized my work in two sentences: he liked it, but the first 13 pages were worthless. He was recognizing the paper for what it was, and I liked him for that. <br/>