The Emerging Markets Summit (EMS) at Chicago Booth is a unique Booth-run conference that gathers professionals and MBA students from and with interests in Latin America, Africa, South Asia, China, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe under one roof. The event showcases the amazing reach that Booth MBAs have into emerging markets-related careers. The Summit will be held on Saturday April 14, 2014 at the J.W. Marriot in downtown Chicago, and is open to the public.
One of the 2014 conference organizers is Ying Liu, a second-year MBA student at Booth. Prior to Booth, she worked in management consulting, focusing on the Life Sciences industry. In addition to helping to organize the EMS, she is a Co-Chair of the Public Speaking and Communications Group, and involved with the Emerging Markets Group.
In this interview, Ying shares why she got involved in planning the EMS, and why Booth is an amazing place to get an MBA for anyone interested in emerging markets business.
How did you get involved with the EMS?
I became involved with EMS last year when I received an email soliciting volunteers to help organize the Summit. The Summit is the only MBA conference of its kind uniting four regional conferences and one pan-regional conference under one roof. The summit facilitates greater cross-cultural knowledge sharing between emerging market business leaders and has been a great way for Booth to differentiate itself as an MBA program focused on developing leaders for firms and institutions operating in any emerging market. The EMS has significant support from the Chicago Booth administration which allowed us to fully leverage our reach to professors and alumni to make the experience as productive as possible for all attendees. I wanted to be involved in conference planning from the time I heard about the EMS, and took on marketing efforts to help promote the event. Due to my close involvement with EMS last year, I was tapped to lead the organization of this year’s event.
What was your experience at last year’s event?
Last year’s event was a great way to learn about the latest trends and issues in various regions of the world. Among a number of other outstanding topics, I attended a talk from a Managing Director at Nielsen on selling to consumers in Africa and heard the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Chile speak about foreign policy in business development. Over 450 students and professionals attended from around the world – it was such an exciting day! As a member of the planning committee, I also had the opportunity to attend dinner with several of the speakers the evening before and spoke with them in a much more intimate environment about doing business in emerging markets. As someone involved in planning the event, it was personally fulfilling to see all of our efforts come to fruition and receive so much positive feedback from attendees.
What can attendees expect from this year’s conference?
The conference this year will build on last year’s success by bringing in a number internationally-renowned speakers. We have confirmed several speakers, including the CEO of Condé Nast in Mexico and Latin America, a former first lady of Mexico, and the President of an energy firm in Africa. We are planning a CEO-panel which includes current and past CEOs of important firms. This year’s tracks focus on critical issues that matter to business leaders in each region, ranging from Investing to Sales & Marketing to Government-Business relations. In addition to building your knowledge and network in emerging markets business, the conference will give you a sense of how you might use a Booth MBA to launch your own career in this field.
How does the conference show some of the unique features about the Booth academic/networking experience?
The conference provides a unique opportunity for students to network among current students at other MBA programs, with top professors at Booth involved in emerging markets research, and professionals working in or with emerging markets. The Summit showcases Booth’s entrepreneurial drive as it is completely run by students and powered by the vast reach of Booth’s alumni network. In planning the EMS this year, Booth’s alumni network has been an incredible resource to help us to tap into executives working in emerging markets. For incoming students, I have heard from current first year students that the EMS was one of the key factors which led them to choose Booth, as the EMS really differentiates and confirms Booth’s foresight in frontier markets.
Any advice for applicants looking for careers in Emerging Markets?
Attend the 2014 Emerging Markets Summit to learn about hot topics in emerging markets and network with professionals from start-ups to large multi-nationals! Also, definitely come visit campus and talk to any of the students involved with the EMS or any of the emerging markets-oriented student groups to hear about how their Booth MBAs have positioned them for great careers in their areas of focus. We have a great community here that is eager to give back in the form of knowledge and advice, so ask away! Visit the EMS webpage for more information, and I hope to see you there on April 14!