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Campus Chronicles: Chicago Business

Welcome to Campus Chronicles, our weekly peek at the news at top business programs. This week we check in on students at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business by examining their student newspaper, Chicago Business.

The economist and self-proclaimed anarcho-capitalists David Friedman visited Booth in early January. Friedman, the son of the famed Chicago economist Milton Friedman, spoke to a group of nearly 50 Booth students about the “market for law” that he theorizes would arise as a result of market forces in an anarchist society; under what he terms “legitimized coercion,” citizens would contract with corporate enforcement agencies for physical protection. While acknowledging that such an anarchical society is far from being realized, he noted that he does see some trends in this direction, citing the rise of home schooling as an example.

Fewer Booth students are pursuing sales and trading careers on Wall Street, according to Booth student Aaron Toomey. In fact, he notes, this year saw many bank fixtures in the Booth recruiting lineup cancel on-campus interviews for these positions, a result of broad scaling back by firms like UBS, Barclays, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, among others. Internship opportunities for these positions have similarly fallen off, with some Booth students nothing that firms aren’t willing to pay the cost-premium for a qualified MBA intern over an undergraduate intern.  Melanie Scarlata, who works in Booth’s Career Services office, noted that Booth has been encouraging students to “expand how they think about sales and trading” by exploring opportunities in this field outside of the big banks, like in the energy industry.

Finally, Michael P. Polsky, a Booth graduate and entrepreneur, recently supplemented his 2002 donation of $7 million for the Michael P. Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship with another $8 million gift.  The center, renamed the Michael P. Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the wake of the new gift, serves as the hub for student entrepreneurial ventures on campus. A majority of the most recently enrolled class of Booth students cited Entrepreneurship as their intended concentration. Historically, a number of incredibly successful student ventures, including GrubHub, Braintree and Bump, were founded at Chicago.

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