Overall review of my experience at Booth

This post answers your “well, how was it?” question. My three weeks in the Summer Business Scholars Program were inspiring. It was great to be surrounded by so many smart, driven people. I learned so much crammed into those three weeks… some of it academic, a lot of it personal.

  • I can be intimidated by large groups of people. My roommate, towards the end of the program, said that she thought I was very introverted/independent when she first met me. I’ve always known this about myself, but I still believe I am a people person, and these two attributes seem contradictory. I’m also not convinced it is something that needs to be resolved… only understood.
  • I’d much rather sit down and get to know someone 1:1. I like truly getting to understand someone rather than get the basic filler information. How will I remember this person? What is it about them that will encourage me to pass their name along to someone else? How can I help this person advance, and is this someone I want to work with?
  • Life, business, and entrepreneurship are all about relationships. As I’m meeting people I need to put my best food forward and nurture relationships with those I have a great connection with. There is the theory that you should surround yourself with people smarter than yourself and I want to make sure I have those people rooting for me too.

There are other components of my experience that I didn’t like as much, and either way those things are very helpful to understand.

  • I’d like Booth a lot more if it were downtown Chicago. We were in a dorm in the most perfect area (i.e., 1 block from a Maserati dealer!), but had to bus down to Hyde Park every day for class. This is not the ideal situation for me. I like fully immersing myself in my education and community and if I have to live outside of a big city area in order to be close to school, I’d need a really compelling reason to do so (read: Stanford).
  • This epiphany makes re-evaluate NYC schools. I loved my experience in NYC so much (I did a 5 month study away program there in 2010). The downsite? I remember feeling that it was so big. It would take a lot of work to be the big fish in that pond, but not impossible.. Intimidating nonetheless.
  • The upside? I totally love creeping on people, and NYC is the place to do it. OnLocationVactions (@olv) is my most favorite resource in life.
  • An article I recently read highlights the advantages of starting your business within your own community. This makes sense. You have the support of friends and it isn’t like starting fresh. For me, that community is Macalester. The neat thing about that though is that the Macalester community is everywhere. I treasure my education there more and more each day.

In general, marketing was a difficult class to take as I feel like “it” tries to take all the credit of a successful firm. Is it necessary? Yes. Are other departments just as important? Yes.

Finance was awesome and it is exciting to know that this program has helped me identify a core competency (see what I just did there? That’s a term I learned in Marketing).

As far as the program goes, it is definitely something I would do again. Or, rather, would do over given the opportunity to go back in time.

For Business school… I see many benefits in holding off a bit. It is still something I definitely want to do, but waiting another year will only make me a better candidate. Unless I become a crazed crack addict, in which case I don’t think business school would be relevant anymore.


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