Monday, August 23, 2010

Connecting with Our Future

This morning we met with Andrew B., a Kelley grad who works at BDT Capital. Andrew did a great job of explaining what BDT does. BDT buys and sells companies, specializing in family-owned businesses. Andrew went on to explain that the company works with very large businesses, with family members who are thinking in terms of the legacy of the company, in 50-100 year increments, not daily, monthly, or weekly profits.

He traced his career path from beginning at Kelley through his first full time job at Goldman Sachs. He also described how he ended up at BDT Capital. After a brief description of his experiences, we were able to ask questions. The students asked about the importance of an MBA degree, how important he thought study abroad was, and how he feels he helps people in his work. Andrew shared how he has prioritized giving back as part of his personal life, by choosing to volunteer with Big Brothers while in New York City, and by currently working with a Chicago-based organization that provides work opportunities for the homeless. He encouraged our group to find these same types of opportunities for themselves.

On the return trip down the Magnificent Mile, several of our student talked about how much they enjoyed Andrew's session. Their comments were along these lines: "This was the best one yet." "What he said about the different classes and majors was so helpful, because we are getting ready to start in those classes." "What he said about picking activities that interest us, not just because everyone else is doing it, that was me...I feel like I can choose new things now." Andrew gave our group a new perspective on the college experience awaiting them.

Part of what made this morning a bit more challenging was not only the earlier start, but the fact that our typically quiet breakfast location was overrun by retired Canadians on a group tour. Several member of our group had to settle for a granola bar and fruit snack breakfast. Luckily, we were able to be back at the hotel by 10:30am to use our breakfast coupons.

We also had our first day in more professional dress. Our group looked sharp! Between our professional appearance and excellent questions, I'm sure we made a good impression today.

For the rest of the day, we have a scheduled visit with the American Girl Place, which is located just down the street from our hotel and then an evening concert in Millennium Park.

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