By Kate Blankinship
Third-year Ben Levine has already held the title of Vice President of Recruiting. Levine started working at a company called Fresh Prints during the summer between his first and second years. Fresh Prints sells custom apparel to various student groups, but Levine had the gumption to reach out to bigger companies, such as Warner Bros. and Dell, to sell the apparel. It was not long before the company’s CEO rewarded him for his efforts in expanding the company's reach, promoting Levine from a Campus Manager to Vice President of Recruiting. Soon Levine had a full-time job with his own interns and hired 30 individuals at Fresh Prints.
However, Levine, an economics major, put what he learned in Sanderson’s Econ 198 class to use when he “used an economic framework to realize that the marginal benefit to continue working was not worth the marginal cost of all the time and energy I committed to this job when I could have been better enjoying my college experience. So I stepped away from my role at Fresh Prints, grateful for the skills I had built there but truly excited to finally relax and take more advantage of my time at UChicago.”
As a student, Levine is involved in the Trott Business Program, Maroon TV, and Fire Escape Films. He finds he enjoys filmmaking on campus the most.
“There are not many more special feelings than working with a cast and crew to create a piece of media that you’re passionate about,” he said.
Levine expanded this passion the summer between his third and fourth years. Working as an analyst in 21st Century Fox’s Digital Consumer Group, he combined his long-term interest of working in a strategy role with his passion for creating media. His experience allowed him to venture into new territory as well. The Digital Consumer Group focuses on developing ways to direct people to watch traditional TV, rather than using streaming services like Netflix or Hulu.
“We are trying to stay in front of this and lead the industry into uncharted paths,” Levine said. “My role at Fox allows me to be involved in strategic decision-making despite my youth as I help to evaluate the potential financial impacts of different decisions.”
Being a UChicago student has helped Levine in many of his endeavors. During his time as a student here, Levine has learned to think critically about his opinions, a quality he believes has aided him thus far and will continue to be an asset in future careers.
Now in his third year, Levine is looking forward to engaging in more diverse conversations.
“The conversations I have on this campus are so meaningful and interesting that I fear that I will be disappointed when I leave here by being unable to match this level of conversation anywhere else in my life.”
This is the same aspect that drew him in as a high schooler as he watched the student panel discussion at Rockefeller during an admitted students weekend. “The whole experience was burned into my memory and so clearly stood out amongst the many schools I had visited.”
For Levine, his excitement for UChicago has not lessened during his time as a student. It’s only strengthened as he’s now taking part in these conversations and experiences that he merely watched from the outside a few years ago.