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Chris Payne

Featured Member

Smith Soc Featured Member

Questions and Answers with Adam Smith Society Featured Members

Chris Payne | Chicago Booth Chapter

Chris PayneChris is a class of 2021 MBA student at Chicago Booth. He is active in the Adam Smith Society, Armed Forces Group, Soccer Club, Rugby Club, and others.

Name something you’ve gained from your membership in the Adam Smith Society that you feel like you could not have gotten elsewhere in your MBA program.
Our chapter has established a great culture for the open exchange of ideas. I feel like many of the deepest and most thoughtful conversations I’ve had have been either with members of the Society or stemmed from one of our events.
How do you curate your intellectual diet? What blogs, plublications, etc. do you read regularly?
In addition to the Wall Street Journal, I follow a broad range of personalities on Twitter and curate perspectives and articles there. I also read a blog called Epsilon Theory by Ben Hunt and Rusty Guinn regularly. I enjoy listening to podcasts as well to continue learning when I don’t have time to sit for a longer article. Hidden Forces by Demetri Kofinas and MacroVoices by Erik Townsend are two of my favorites. I feel these sources provide excellent deep dives into many relevant aspects of our world and have helped me understand many different perspectives on pivotal issues.
MBAs are used to being interviewed and having an employer make an offer. But, let’s turn it around. What if you could pick your boss? If you could choose any entrepreneur, CEO, or political leader to go work for, and learn from, who would it be and why?

This is a great and really difficult question. There are so many great leaders I’d love to learn from. I’d say both Marc Andreessen and Mark Cuban are at the top of my list. Both succeeded as entrepreneurs through their brilliant insights and risk-taking. They are also deeply respected for their heterodox thinking and ability to recognize great businesses across sectors.
Do you plan to continue in the consulting space following graduation?
Yes. As a Green Beret I often felt like a military consultant advising partner military forces on many aspects of their training and planning. I enjoyed boththe deep relationships that form when you work together to solve a problem and the constant requirement to adapt and innovate to achieve success. I look forward to learning across industries while working with my team to advise businesses on their most challenging problems.
Who is your favorite 90s rock band?
I've got to go with Pearl Jam here. There are so many great options, though. I think what’s really clear is that the 90s edges out the 80s as a better decade for rock music.
More About Chris
Before attending Chicago Booth, Chris spent ten years in the U.S. Army as an Infantry and Special Forces Officer. Across all his leadership roles he deployed five times to six countries ranging from Afghanistan and Syria to Central and South America. Chris graduated from Centre College with a B.A. in Economics in 2009. He recently started a podcast called Pivot Points with Chris Payne focused on the decision-making process his guests utilized in the pivotal points, or watershed moments, of their lives. It is focused on veterans, but Chris hopes anyone can learn from his guests’ experiences. He enjoys reading (especially about decision research), investing, snowboarding, being done with a workout, all forms of competition (usually manifested through cards, fantasy football, or board games these days), traveling with his fiancé, and helping veterans with their transition to the private sector.



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