It's not just for students anymore....

Follow me while I follow my husband to the Midwest and try to navigate the "Partner" world at one of US News and World Report's Top 5 MBA Programs in the country.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ssshhhhh.....he's in!!!

Thank God, the worst is over. Cam got an offer for a summer internship yesterday – one he might actually end up taking! He interviewed with JP Morgan on Tuesday morning and felt, unsurprisingly, “okay” about the interview (this was the “he was old” situation). Well, he felt much better Wednesday afternoon when they called and offered him the position! They aren’t even requiring a second round of interviews, which is pretty unusual :). He also got a call about a second round interview with BNY Mellon, so yesterday was a good day!

In some ways, though, I hesitate to celebrate too much. It is great for us and for Cam that he will not be unemployed this summer, especially since the economy is still a bit slow. He’s excited about both of these companies, and I’m glad that he’ll be doing something other than PE for the summer (incidentally, he also interviewed with a PE firm for a class next term called “PE Lab.” He thought that went really well, so, hopefully, he’ll still have his foot in the PE door if this other plan doesn’t work out.). However, while he has heard, there are so many people here who haven’t…

Just last week, I was complaining with a friend of mine about another partner whose Facebook status was something like, “Congrats (boyfriends’ name)! Time to celebrate!” No other info, just pure gloating – clearly about a summer internship. Very annoying when you’re biting your nails wondering if your husband is going to be THE one who doesn’t get an offer. So what do I write as my Facebook status yesterday? “yay!!! Cam is officially not jobless this summer!!! :) :) :)” (Yes, THREE smiley faces!!) Almost immediately, I wanted to take it down. Too bad people are SO fast with their comments and started replying right away!

This time is stressful enough without having other people’s good fortune constantly being rubbed in your face. All of my friends here are waiting to hear about their husband’s/boyfriend’s interviews – a situation I was JUST in less than 24 hours ago. It’s that same feeling you might have had when applying to college…you hate to say “Yay!! I got in to (blank)” to someone without knowing if they just got their final rejection letter.

For now, I think I’ll just be quietly relieved…I know that, soon, everyone will be ready to celebrate, and then we can really get loud ;).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

God Grant Me the Strength....

I basically screamed at my husband this morning for not using a tissue. I don’t know….maybe it was the fact that our puppy woke up at 3am ready to go, or that Roddick had a disappointing loss last night, or that the bathtub drain I had JUST unclogged seemed to be worse than before, but his sniffling in my space was just about the last straw. “Use a tissue!!!!”

Did I mention he was up early because he had two interviews this morning? Whoops.

I know, I know – not very supportive, right? Well, let me tell you, it is freaking exhausting to be supportive 24/7. Exhausting. Especially when half the time, I feel as though he has reverted back to his 15 year old self. Except that now he’s treating me like his mom, not his girlfriend (yes, we’ve been together a loooong time).

Me: “How was your interview today??”

Cam: “It was okay.”

I raise my eyebrows in that “aaaand” kind of way.

Cam: “I think it was fine.” Shoulder shrug.

Ooooh, the interview you’ve been stressing about for 2 weeks is over, and all you can say is that it was “okay?” It took everything in me not to reach across the table and smack him! Just like with applying to business school, all of this is stressful to ME, too! Except that I’m not IN the interview; I have to wait and wait and wait to hear what HE has to tell me about it. So I wait and wait and stress and stress, and all I get is an “okay” or “he was old.” “He was old?!” Ugh. As I said, it’s exhausting to be supportive. Especially when half the time, I feel like I’m the one who needs all the support!

At any rate, interviews are done for now, so now we just have to wait. He had two more today (one for a class next term, not an internship), and they went well, as far as I can gather. As far as waiting goes? According to Cam, “it’s okay.”

Monday, January 25, 2010

Welcome to Mommy's Group!

No, you didn’t miss anything; I do not have any children. Sometimes, though, it feels as though I would fit in better with the Partner’s Group here if I did! The group is supposed to be a support system for all the partners who have traveled to Chicago to be with their students for 2 (sometimes 3) years while they’re in school. However, it feels more like a group for moms and people who don’t work (a lot of international partners are unable to get work visas here) than a group for male partners or working girls!

This issue is something that has really been bothering me and a lot of the other women I’ve become friends with here. So, we are planning a (hopefully) not-so-hostile takeover. The chair positions are being given out this week, and we are staging a coup! Now, I am not saying that I don’t like children; I LOVE kids. They’re great! And I definitely feel as though the international contingent needs a lot of support when making such a major life change. But there is a big group of partners here who do not have children and have to go to work every day to support our new single income lives. Having events start at 5:15pm on a Friday (I get out of work at 5pm and can’t get anywhere until at least 6pm!) or called “Make your own Sundae” either just don’t work or don’t appeal to the working/no kids set. (The latest Evite for Partner Group? “Not Your Grandmother’s Meatloaf.” Yes. They want us to all go to someone’s apartment and make meatloaf. Seriously??)

Now, despite all the negativity, the Partner Group has been useful for me. I joined over the summer, and while all the students were at some 3 day orientation in Wisconsin, the group set up a lot of events to keep us busy and introduce us to the city – and to each other! Because of those first few events (some of the only ones I’ve been to, I have to say), I’ve made so many great friends here. We basically created our own partner group of non-mommy working women. Just yesterday, we all went to brunch downtown, and I’m planning a super bowl party for the girls and our partners ;).

So, wish us luck in our takeover bid!! I’m going for Wine Club co-chair ;). One thing these non-mommies like to do? Drink :).

Update: Cam’s interviews last week went well…well, one did, at least. He should be hearing about both very soon. Two more this week! Fingers crossed!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It's only the rest of your life.....

I’m skipping way ahead, but it’s necessary :). My husband has an interview for a summer internship today – probably RIGHT now!! It’s his second interview of 5, which I guess, isn’t that many for the average b-school student? It seems like lot to me (considering every available position gets at least 100 applications), but what do I know ;).

Anyway, as I said, he already had an interview 2 weeks ago and was actually offered the job. Without even having interviewed for the 4 other positions, however, he didn’t feel comfortable accepting the offer. He asked for more time to decide, they said no, and he declined. Risky? Um, absolutely. As many of you might know, getting an internship these last few years has become tougher and tougher, and getting an offer from a private equity firm has been almost impossible!! But, he’s not sure if he even wants to do PE post-grad, so he is hoping one of these other interviews pans out. At least he knows the guy who was offered his spot, and he was VERY excited.

I was all for him declining the offer, even though it was in Chicago, and now it is almost guaranteed that we will have to spend the summer apart. One thing that has really irritated me about business school so far is that you start recruiting in about October. You’ve been here for a month, and then they want you to decide what you want to do for the summer and basically for the rest of your life! A lot of these internships lead to full-time offers, so you’re essentially picking your career a month after you get to school. Cam - unlike most people, I guess – wasn’t sure what he wanted to do when he left school. He liked PE, but he was also interested in checking out private wealth management. Well, what if he takes an internship in private wealth management and doesn’t like it? Has he shut the door on PE forever? What if he takes a PE internship and then decides he’s really done with PE? Is he stuck with that career?

I thought going to school was supposed to help you decide what you wanted to be when you graduated, but they seem to expect that you'll know this when you walk through the gates in September. I find it very annoying! And it’s stressful for both of us!

Anyway, good luck, husband!!! I’m sure you’ll be great today, and you’ll have lots of options for the summer….and for your life forever after.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Home Sweet Home

So that’s the very short version of my husband’s application process and acceptance. In reality, it seemed to drag on for an eternity. However, if you’re going through this whole hellish process now, for better or for worse, it will end. The day will soon come when you have your LIFE back! If only for a little while….;).

The months after Cam was accepted were actually some of the best we had in Boston. It was sad knowing we were going to leave, but we really stepped it up and tried to have a good time while we were there. Plus, how can it not be fun to decide on your last day of work (!!) and schedule your big pre-business school vacation (a MUST, by the way, and Yellowstone/Grand Tetons for us)? Of course, it was stressful, as well. I had to start looking for a new job, and we had to find an apartment.

The business of where to live is a major issue when you’re about to attend business school, but Booth has its own set of challenges. Unlike most schools that either have a campus downtown or are just in a smaller town, Booth is about 15 minutes from downtown Chicago. People tend to live all over, but most live in the Loop. Because we had lived in downtown Boston for 5 years, we really felt that we needed to visit and see the areas for ourselves. While we were definitely open to living outside the city center, we were also nervous about a possible move to the ‘burbs.

Now, our 475 square foot apartment in Boston cost a small fortune, but Cam was working while we lived there! Now that we were going to be living on my English major salary (which, incidentally, was ZERO until I actually found a job), we wanted to greatly reduce the amount we were going to pay in rent. That basically meant Hyde Park, Lincoln Park or maybe South Loop. We decided on a price point, researched, looked for places that accepted pets (I was dying for a puppy – more on that later), checked out parking options, and visited. Ultimately, the place that fit the bill for us was Hyde Park. With its Allston/Brighton feel and close proximity to the city, it just made sense for us.

Business school, here we come!

Monday, January 18, 2010

It takes two

So we were in. Yes, we. I haven’t mentioned this yet, but this whole decision to go to business school was not one just made by my husband. It was, most definitely, a collaborative effort. In fact, for quite some time, he didn’t want to go at all! He made a lot of money at his private equity job, we lived in a great city near our families, we went on vacation quite a bit, we saved – excessively, in my opinion – for retirement, and we still managed to eat out and buy basically whatever we needed (or in my case, wanted). Giving all of that up to pay $80K a year for school was not high on Cam’s list of fun things to do.

However, I knew that in order to move ahead in his career and keep up with his peers (yes, that is important), he had to go. I also knew that we weren’t getting any younger and in three or five years down the road, I might not be so open to picking up and moving out of the state. I began pushing him to get going with his applications. But we first had to decide where to apply to. Where were we comfortable moving? What schools made sense? We had visited Stanford on our way to Australia in 2006, but I just didn’t think I could go that far (I am, I admit, overly attached to my family). According to Cam, everyone had to at least apply to Harvard. Fine – one down. I suggested we go somewhere warmer, such as UVA, but that was shot down as not “elite” enough. Based on his career interests, we finally decided Wharton and Booth were the final two. Chicago was about as far as I think I could handle. My sister had attended UChicago undergrad, so I was somewhat familiar with the city and enjoyed it. Hotdogs as a major food group? I’m in.

I only mention this whole decision making process because deciding to attend school for two years – possibly in a new and distant city/town - is a major commitment. Sure, this was Cam’s career, but it was our life. Since I’ve been here, I’ve been surprised more than once by wives or girlfriends who were seemingly dragged here – uprooted from careers they loved and homes they were attached to – just because their husbands (or boyfriends?! I will get to THIS later) decided to go to graduate school. This was a difficult adjustment for me, but at least I felt as though I was part of the decision and had I said “No, we just can’t go there,” I don’t think we would have come.

But, I didn’t say that, and here we are.