Chicago Booth: Where Fun Comes To Live?

Boothies proving that fun can actually live at the University of Chicago

Boothies proving that fun can actually live at the University of Chicago

The University of Chicago has long been known as an academically grinding place for true bookworms and serious thinkers–so  much so that over the years the more sardonic students have rolled out a series of T-shirts with slogans to reinforce the stereotype.

You’ve heard some of them: “The place where fun comes to die.” “The level of hell Dante forgot.”  “The University of Chicago: if it was easy it would be…your mom.” And a more recent, if slightly off-color, catchphrase, “The University of Chicago: where the only thing that goes down on you is your GPA.”

Well, the MBA students at Chicago’s Booth School of Business apparently want to counter the notion of their school as merely an academic bootcamp. At the school’s recent follies show, students romped around campus lip-synching and flash dancing to “The Best Days of Our Lives,” proving that fun can actually come to live at the Charles H. Harper Center. And then there is a lively hip hop dance interpretation of a job interview set to Taylor Swift’s “Blank Page.”

Of course, even in this lighter portrayal of the Booth culture, you’ll find plenty of ultra-serious students in classrooms and study rooms–and even worse, professors teaching. One skit, built around the ubiquitous song from the movie Frozen, “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?” humorously rephrases the question asking “Do You Want To Build A Model?”

It is, after all, the University of Chicago.


  • avivalasvegas

    Yale has a business school?

  • James D

    And ^ THIS is how you know someone’s spouting opinion as fact.

    I turned down Booth to go to Yale. So did a dozen classmates of mine here that I can recall just off the top of my head – including those who went to U of Chicago. Not all of us grab the latest rankings list released, along with some hand lotion, like you do.

    The Ivy League brand matters because Ivy League business schools tap into their elite, broader alumni network. Try telling anyone outside the US, you picked Booth over Yale or Wharton or Columbia.

    Much respect to Booth, but even their dean left to join us. The Ivy League is still the most powerful draw in the world.

    Ill bet you aren’t even a business school student.

  • Shelley

    Maybe you should get your facts straight before posting negative comments on another school’s article.

  • Booth_Alumn

    Actually, when you talk to recruiters from investment banks, they put Wharton, Chicago Booth and Columbia in the same bucket of “the best of the best” finance schools.

    For Investment Management, I’d say recruiters are a little bit more “school agnostic”, and they put Wharton, Chicago Booth, Columbia, MIT, and HBS in the same bucket, with a lot of weight in their respective geographies.

    I’m just referring to these areas because I know them pretty well.

  • OhHeyMBA

    Yes, because clearly Kellogg was the first school to ever do a lip dub. Get over yourselves.

  • 2cents

    …oye. Have fun with your tree buddy

  • WhoCares?

    Agreed, David is an idiot whether he’s from Booth or somewhere else. Nobody cares if Booth or Kellogg is better there are just for different profiles. Kellogg = Marketing, CPG, Booth = PHD, Economics

  • Just Sayin

    …Says the guy who can’t use “nor” properly in a sentence.

  • avivalasvegas


  • Matt

    Lol @ reading these comments. I would almost guarantee these neg comments are not coming from actual Boothies. Both are among the best programs in the world and obv have different cultures/strengths but will likely get their students where they want to in the end. Anyone arguing over a USN 4 vs. 6 ranking is just asinine, similar to anyone thinking Booth kids aren’t partying.

  • 2cents

    Focusing on this is why people think business schools don’t create leaders… There’s a whole forest out there and you focus on a few trees.

    Fwiw, location can matter greatly to one person and not to another. If you’re a career switcher, NY/SF offer more value than Chicago, of course unless you want CPG or Midwest or you prefer tighter not cultures or… You can only speak from one individual at one school’s experience. In reality pretty much 95% of the schools in the m7 are exactly the same.

  • Checkyanumbaz

    Again, check the list/number of electives at CBS and compare those to Booth. Boy, you ain’t got breath, trust me. The # of courses taught at Booth are one of the lowest of any top M7 school. You are really making a joke out of Booth if you insist on defending your argument…

  • David

    CBS has a lot of electives in value investing, but that’s about it. Booth has electives covering macroeconomics, banking systems, fixed income, derivatives, venture capital, you name it. Employers prefer Booth students over CBS precisely because of Booth’s analytical rigor.

  • David

    You’re an idiot. The ivy league label doesn’t matter at all with b-schools. Yale SOM and Cornell Johnson are both ivy, but no one is turning down Booth to go there. And everyone at Yale and Cornell would kill to be at Booth.

    Booth has made very smart strategic moves while Dean Hubbard at CBS has been terrible for the school. Booth has revamped its career services, used scholarship to attract top notch applicants, and the school in general is very well run. And of course, Harper blows away Uris, which is absolutely disgusting and unworthy of a top b-school.

  • avivalasvegas

    Now you just had to go and try to prove me wrong, didn’t you?

    1) Kellogg does churn out more consultants than Booth –
    39% of its class vs 28% for Booth. Just look up a recent P&Q article for those statistics.

    2) Just because there are finance/ IB openings at Kellogg, doesn’t mean that the school sends grads to those professions on a level that is comparable to Booth. Not even close actually.

    You took the “fun” out of this debate.

  • BoothVsKellogFIrst

    I think the argument should be Booth vs Kellogg because cross-admits are relatively split evenly between both. I think once Booth or Kellogg has surpassed the other, only then can they compare to other reputable institutions such as Columbia or MIT

  • TheTruth

    Booth ain’t even an Ivy league school, just a school that has climbed in rankings because of $$$, but the perceptions last way longer and CBS has a much better reputation than Booth in any place outside Chicago. In fact, many people outside the US don’t even know what Booth is..

  • NoFreakingWay

    Wider Breadth of Finance electives? Prove it! Booth has like wait mmmm 5 electives in finance, CBS has more than 80 only on finance. Plus, CBS’s proximity to Wall Street makes it the top Wall St feeder only second to Wharton. The street hates creepy Booth alumns because they’ll come brainwashed trying to apply APM and EMH when everybody knows how useless these concepts are. Almost as useless as turning down CBS to go to Booth.

  • PoorEugene

    Yeah!! Hahahaha!!

  • David

    You gotta be freaking kidding me. There is no reputable ranking that puts Columbia ahead of Booth.

    Even for finance, Booth is better than Columbia: better faculty, wider breadth of finance electives, and better job placement despite being in Chicago.

  • lol!

    No way. Your ranking of Columbia over Booth is like ranking Fuqua the number 1 bschool.

  • Esuric

    Poor Fama, has to deal with these idiots.

  • Idon’tthinkso

    My take is:

    H>S>W>>Columbia>>Kellogg>Booth>MIT>>>>All others.

    Booth has no edge over these other schools: Columbia = Finance, Kellogg= Marketing, MIT= Entrepreneurship. Booth has a strong economics program but nothing else that is really helpful in the business scene.

  • Baseless Claims

    Absolutely no chance this dude has spent any time at either school. Fun is absolutely a part of Booth’s culture and we send as many kids into consulting as Kellogg. Also heard from Kellogg kids that if you want to do banking, those jobs are absolutely there for you, many by selecting Kellogg know thats not the route they want to take

  • 2cents

    Clearly you both of missed the idea of seeing the forest through the trees…

  • Alex

    Actually the reality is:


    And in terms of effective leaders, Booth actually has more F500 CEOs than Kellogg has.

  • RankingsDef

    Kellogg vs. Booth is a tough debate. School’s are roughly at the same level.
    H/S/W >>>>>Columbia>>>Booth/Kellogg> MIT>>>>>Haas/Tuck>>>>>>>>NYU

  • avivalasvegas

    My 2nd post on this – I actually agree that Booth > Kellogg when it comes to almost anything analytical. Hardcore analytics just isn’t part of Kellogg’s culture just as “fun” really isn’t a part of Booth’s.


    Collaboration, team building, influencing, networking and approachability are part of Kellogg’s culture. Combine those with some okay number crunching and you’ve got a pretty effective leader who people want to work with.

    This is why Kellogg will always be greater than Booth at sending grads into consulting, marketing, healthcare etc. And why Booth will always outperform Kellogg at sending grads into finance, investment banking or analytical roles. It’s just the way the two schools are set up.

  • 2cents

    This seems like a childish debate… Good cinematography, though would have loved to see them actually rewrite the lyrics. As for the urban v suburban thing it makes sense.

  • Booth? What’s that?

    The sad thing about Booth is that they aren’t smart nor fun. Period. Their professors may be smart but the students really fall way far behind any top M7 school except perhaps Kelloggs.

  • Just2Corny

    Eww, these guys again…

  • Living Downtown…

    This reply is spot on. Had a good time meeting the Kellogg kids, def cool people and I hope they enjoyed their night in the big city. Understand the rep U of C gets in general, particularly the undergrads, but have no clue how the idea that Booth isn’t fun gets proliferated at all (I’m assuming it’s people who have never met Boothies or visited the school). Been an absolutely amazing two years, can’t believe it’s almost over

  • Dave

    Dude chill the ef out. The article isn’t trying to bash Kellogg or anything by saying Booth is more exciting. It’s not trying to rebrand Booth as a party school. It’s merely showing that Booth students have a life outside of academia.

  • Cmoney

    Devil try to remember Booth’s students are immersed in the rich social scene of Chicago. Don’t get me wrong, I love battle of the bands but in the context of all the activities happening in a major city it is no surprise the student body has mixed interests. On the other hand, I could see the mass of appeal of escaping the suburbs to enjoy a night in the city.

  • avivalasvegas

    Fun….at Booth? Hahahahahaha!!!

  • Boothie

    Was talking to some friends about BotB last night, Kellogg always has a great turnout, nothing new there. In fact they seemed down to earth and a lot of fun. We had a great time.

    I think I speak for the majority of Boothies and b-school students in general when I say most of us have a lot of respect for other schools and don’t feel threatened by comparisons. No one’s trying to redefine anything – we’re just doing us and having fun. Ain’t nobody got time for anything else.

  • OhHeyMBA

    Boothies don’t even see Kellogg as a rival. We win on every real dimension, so it’s not that we don’t have fun, it’s that we don’t care about devoting our lives in preparation to beat Kellogg – we don’t have to prove anything, we’ve already won. We don’t need to beat you – our ranking and yield (when students get into both schools, most choose Booth) prove it.

  • mbaoath98

    Your obvious inferiority complex (not uncommon for Kellogg) is what’s misguided. Maybe you should focus on changing your school’s reputation of lacking substance and being too fluffy?

  • Alex

    Wow. Get over yourself. Booth is a better school and is known as the best b school in Chicago.

  • Devils0508

    Lol, seriously? We had a kellogg versus booth battle of the bands last night…kellogg sold 400 more tickets than booth and outnumbered them 3 to 1…despite it being a much further difference. Booth is a great school, but it’s efforts to redefine itself as “fun” is misguided to say the least.