Coronavirus Updates

Every year, we are fortunate to bring in a new class that embodies the pay-it-forward culture at Chicago Booth. This ongoing tradition of supporting one another and lending a helping hand when needed is one of the many aspects of Booth’s culture that we take great pride in. Paying-it-forward at Booth is seen as a cycle of giving – Boothies lend a helping hand, without expecting anything in return and can ask for help or guidance when needed. This cycle has helped create an inclusive culture filled with support and generosity within the Booth community.

We recently connected with a few Boothies to shine light on what they appreciate most about the pay-it-forward culture and community at Chicago Booth. Find out more about the supportive, tight-knit community at Booth directly from members of our community.

Grey Placeholder Image

Elise Clark
Full-Time MBA Student

Grey Placeholder Image

Stephen A. Kristiandi
Full-Time MBA Student

Grey Placeholder Image

Cristal Powell
Evening MBA Alum, '23

Grey Placeholder Image

Alexia Wiegandt
Full-Time MBA Student

What do you appreciate most about the pay-it-forward culture at Chicago Booth?

Elise Clark: Being in business school is overwhelming. You are trying to balance a social life, academic demands, and internship and job recruiting. When I started the program last year, I had no idea how valuable the Chicago Booth community would be for all those situations. I have had peers help me practice for interviews, explain complicated class concepts, and give me words of encouragement when I needed it most. It can be daunting as you navigate a lot of new circumstances, but I’ve found that having a community who prioritizes supporting one another and paying-it-forward is invaluable. It has made all the difference in my business school experience.

Stephen A. Kristiandi: Truth be told, one of the reasons I chose Booth to pursue my MBA was because of the pay-it-forward culture. It felt nice to be surrounded by down-to-earth people that are not only selfless, but also eager to share with each other. I always found it easy to reach out to someone at Booth (or even to alums) for help! There’s no judgment and no strings attached. This encourages other people to help and contribute as well, making this an endless cycle of giving, and in some ways or another, receiving help.

Cristal Powell:
The Chicago Booth community is incredibly diverse and wide reaching. Couple that with Booth’s pay-it-forward culture and you have a network like no other! Whenever I’m looking to learn more about a subject or connect with someone, I can leverage either the student Slack channels or LinkedIn connections to find a resource. The best part is, every single person has benefited from the help of another Booth community member, so anyone you reach out to is not only willing to repay the favor, they’re eager to go above and beyond! I’m forever thankful that I get to be a part of this community.

Alexia Wiegandt: The pay-it-forward culture at Booth brings people together in more ways than one, it allows people to feel like they belong, and that their Booth community will always have their back. I also appreciate that it continues beyond graduation, every Booth alumnus I’ve met still embodies the pay-it-forward culture.

What do you appreciate most about being part of the Chicago Booth community?

Elise Clark: The best part of the Chicago Booth community is getting to work with and learn from some of the brightest and most passionate people. It is a privilege to be on teams with individuals who not only care about themselves and their future, but also the culture of the school and the success of their peers. I am continually inspired the more I learn about my classmates, and I am grateful to be part of a group of people who care so much about the Booth community.

Stephen A. Kristiandi: I really love the people and the community. I have met some of the smartest people here at Booth, yet they are not super competitive and will happily share their knowledge with others. Individuals at Booth are down-to-earth and always happy to chat whenever prompted. The community is vibrant with diverse perspectives and backgrounds, which enriches us as a whole. I am truly happy and proud to be part of the Booth community.

Cristal Powell: Being a part of the Chicago Booth community means you are constantly meeting someone new and learning something new. Traveling is especially fun, because at some point in your trip you’re guaranteed to see another Boothie sporting a sweatshirt, bag, or luggage tag. It’s an instant conversation starter!

Alexia Wiegandt: As an Admissions Fellow, I’ve interviewed a lot of candidates, and one thing they always say is that they love how Booth is run by students. I think before hearing this for the first time I took it for granted, but it is so true. There are so many Boothies that are passionate about the community and willing to give a lot of their time to embody the pay-it-forward culture. Talking to some fellow student leaders, we all agreed on one thing: find something that you’re passionate about and willing to put time into. Whether you're interested in leading a professional club and helping 1Ys recruit, like MGC or IBG, or leading a social club and making sure everyone is connecting through common interests, like Ski Club or Rugby Club.