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, February 25, 2010

February Fretting

I don’t know if it’s the fact that it won’t stop snowing (I thought Chicago was supposed to be less snowy than Boston??) or that the Olympics have kept us up past our bedtime for too many nights in a row, but Cam and I seem to be feeling a tad overwhelmed lately. Partner’s Group, classes, Admit Weekend, Walter, internship choices, vacation planning (I know – boo hoo us), summer housing…everything seems to need our attention now, and everyone seems to need something from us.

Cam went to New York City last week for JP Morgan’s “sell day,” even though because it had been postponed due to inclement weather, he’d already had to accept the offer the week before. So this was a “man, I hope you don’t hate this!” kind of trip. Thankfully, he didn’t hate it :). In fact, there were only a few people there whom he wanted to ask “what their deal was,” which is pretty good for Cam. While the trip was good, it was a whirlwind of flying, eating, drinking, networking, listening to panels, and trying to remember everyone’s names and positions. He came back tired and with a cold (that he so nicely shared with me). He also came back with more “to dos” related to this summer: try and secure a Boston office rotation, find a NYC summer sublet (preferably for not much over the $1,500 housing allowance?!), figure out how we’re going to get Walter to and from Connecticut, and plan some business school-worthy vacation for post-internship August. [Side note: I was looking over Cam’s shoulder while he was on the computer last night, and he had craigslist up and was looking at NYC sublets. The one he was looking at was for 6 months starting in June. Me: “So, a little change of plans, dear?” He closed it ;).]

So, all of this future stuff is taking up a lot of our brain space, but we need all that space for what’s going on in the present! Poor Walter was neutered last week, which took up a lot of time and emotional energy (I know, I know, all dogs get neutered – but MY dog doesn’t always get neutered! It was very sad to see him hurting and pathetic!), Cam’s class load seems to be a lot more strenuous this term, and I seem to have become a bit more entrenched in Partner’s Group than I bargained for…

I won our little election to be the leader of the group, and I’ve since been getting 50 emails a day reminding me of that fact. I’m copied on everything, and everyone seems to need my opinion before they can make even the tiniest of decisions. Hm. What have I gotten myself into? I am also helping out with the Partner’s Program for next weekend’s Admit Weekend. Basically, this entails getting bossed around by the Admissions Office via my friend and her husband (both of whom I love dearly!). Last year’s program (which I did not attend) was awful according to everyone here, but Admissions is very “concerned” about all of our changes and wants to make sure we are closely monitoring the answers of our panelists. What’s the point of having a panel if they can’t say what they want? Tonight’s meeting should be interesting.

On another note, my friend is hosting a “Back to Undergrad” party this weekend, complete with Keystone Light, jello shots, pizza and plenty of Nelly and Outkast. Let’s hope we can make it until then.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

“Honey, I’m (Still!) Home!”

So, it’s actually a weird day for me to write this post, as Cam is out of town and not at home, but in order for me to move forward with future posts, this one needs to happen!

Before we came to Chicago for business school, everyone was constantly telling me how busy Cam was going to be. Parties, classes, homework, internships – I was never going to see him. I didn’t attend Booth’s Admit Weekend with Cam (I’d been to Chicago, and I just didn’t feel like it), but friends here who went say they heard the same thing over and over: Say goodbye to your husband/partner. One girl I know even said she left one of the panels in tears because she was convinced she and her husband weren’t going to see each other for 2 years!

Did these people work before they followed (I use the term loosely) their students here? Did the students work? Or were they just sitting next to each other all day every day holding hands and snuggling? If that were the case, then yes, I’d say the amount of time you see each other when one of you is a business school student would be unacceptable.

Let’s compare schedules.

Pre-business school (and I’m going to use Cam’s last job in PE – if I did this based on his consulting schedule, it would be way less “together” time):


7:00am: I get up

7:30am: Cam gets up (except on Mondays when he got up at 6am)

8:00am: I leave for work

8:10am: Cam leaves for work

5:00pm: I leave work

5:15pm: I go to the gym

6:00pm: I watch some show I’ve DVR’d

6:45pm: I start making dinner

7:45pm: I finish making dinner

8-8:30pm: Cam comes home

11:00pm: We go to bed

Together time = 3.5-4 hours

Business School (keeping in mind that we live in Hyde Park right near the school)


6:00am: Cam gets up to let puppy out and then goes back to bed

6:55am: I get up

7:55am: I leave for work

8:15am: Cam gets up

12:00pm: Cam eats lunch

1:00pm: Cam goes to class (three times a week)

4:30pm: Cam comes home

4:30pm: Cam goes to study group (on days when he doesn’t have class)

5:00pm: I leave work

5:30pm: Cam gets back from study group if he had one

6:00pm: I get home

6:30pm: We make dinner

7:30pm: We eat dinner

8:00pm: Maybe Cam reads while we watch American Idol

11:00pm: We go to bed

Together time = 5-5.5 hours/average

Obviously, there are times when this is different. There are weeks when he’s gone a few nights a week at “recruiting” events or Lunch and Learns or a club meeting. There are times when I’m gone trying to plan Partner’s Group events or at book club. But on the whole, we see each other 10-13 hours MORE a week than we did before! And you’ll notice, of course, the things left out of my schedule: gym and tv. I will talk much more about that later.

So, partners everywhere: don’t flip out! Married/committed students say no to the occasional night out or party, but neither of you are going to miss out on much. He/she will get the full student experience, and your relationship isn’t going to fall apart. Just make sure you really like each other because there is no escaping your better half once business school begins.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Do you like me??

I haven’t run for a “position” in a group since I was in High School. I ran for Secretary, unopposed, my senior year, and I’m still living with that choice now (I swear, they don’t TELL you that the senior year officers are lifelong roles – I am now planning our 10 year reunion). I don’t like running for things. Elections are popularity contests, and I like to be liked!

The Partner’s Group here is transitioning its leadership roles from 2nd year partners to 1st year partners, and I find myself in the middle of it all. I was more than willing to co-chair a club or two, but a few people from last year’s club suggested that the group really needs a “leader.” Here at Booth, no club is structured the way a club is normally structured. There is no President, Vice President, etc – I guess that is far too hierarchical for them (everyone in business school is a leader, in case you were unaware). They simply have co-chairs – not even just plain old chairs! So, there are two people “in charge” of every group. Well, the Partner’s Group is different in that it is split up into 8-10 clubs within the group, and each of these clubs has two co-chairs. That means there are 16 people in charge of the entire group. How do you run a meeting or delegate tasks efficiently with 16 people in charge? Well, based on the way these transition meetings have gone, you can’t. A leader it is.

Our transition meeting was Monday, we indicated our “interest” in becoming the leader yesterday, and the group is voting on the leader today. The whole thing is silly, I know. It’s the leader of the Partner’s Group, not the free world or anything. However, contests of any kind make me nervous. I get nervous playing Cranium with a group of friends or even playing Guitar Hero with my husband! I’m just not cut out to be a competitor.

Incidentally, I told Cam that I might end up being the Partner’s Group leader, and he said, “What? No! Why are you always leading things! I’m the business school student; I should be leading things!” I quickly assured him that we could find yet another place on his resume for my new leadership roles ;).

Of course, one might ask why I said I was interested in becoming the leader if I really don’t think it’s a big deal and I hate competition….well, as a fellow partner here pointed out, while all of us should be Type B personalities to complement our student’s Type A’s, it turns out opposites don’t necessarily attract in this case. We’re all Type A’s, and many of us, including me, have the need to lead.

Wish me luck

Friday, February 5, 2010

A New York State of Mind?

So, I thought I should do an update on Cam’s summer internship search. Things have become a little more complicated than they were a couple weeks ago, but we’re still not going to complain! Cam is heading to NYC next week for a kind of “Admitted Internship” evening (he said, “they’re paying for me to fly there for a party!”), and if all goes well, he will probably just accept JP Morgan’s offer. BNY has indicated that they want a second interview in Boston, but they can’t give him a final decision until after February 16….which is when JP’s offer “explodes” (I had never heard this “exploding offer” term until the last few weeks…why don’t they just say “expire” or, god forbid, “we have to tell them by February 16 if we’re going to accept”?).

Anyway, this whole BNY situation made everything slightly more complicated. Should he wait until after the NYC trip to tell BNY he is going to back out of the process? Should he just tell them now in case they want to extend a 2nd interview to someone else (he is one of three candidates at the moment)? If he was offered the BNY position, does he think he would take that or the JP Morgan job? This seems to be the most important question to me, and it’s the question he has the toughest time answering. All he can say is that there is a good chance he would accept the JP position even if he got the BNY job. In that case, it’s tough to give up a sure thing for a 33% chance of getting another position. Oy.

In either case, it looks like I am spending 10 weeks of the summer in Chicago alone! Cam will be in NYC and Boston, and, though I wish I could, I can’t just quit my job right now and follow him ;). And because Cam is the primary puppy caregiver, Henry will head to puppy summer camp at Cam’s Mom’s house in Connecticut. It will be weird being single and childless for 10 weeks, but I’m committed to having a good time! We’ll see each other most weekends and rendezvous in Connecticut to visit the pup. More on this Chicago alone time later; it’s a big topic of conversation amongst the working partners….

Also, our Partner Group takeover has pretty successful! Things are looking up there, and we are getting ready for Admit Weekend!

Busy, busy….with all this business school stuff going on, it’s a wonder I have any time for my actual job….;).

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Oh, right – I AM a Mommy!!

A few posts ago, I mentioned that the Partner’s Group seemed a bit like Mommy’s Group….and I was not a Mommy. But how could I forget Henry?! Cam and I are definitely parents – to a 7 month old cockapoo :).

Last year when we were discussing business school and moving, we attended an “Accepted Booth Student” event in Boston. We all had to say one interesting thing about ourselves, and I said, “I am moving to Chicago so that my husband can go to business school….and when we get there, I’m getting a puppy!” Needless to say, my fact was, by far, the most interesting of all the facts we heard that night ;). People still come up to me today and say, “So, did you ever get that puppy?” Well, yes….we did get that puppy. And he’s been taking over our lives ever since.

In retrospect, perhaps we were dealing with enough life changes in September without adding a BABY to the mix. Perhaps moving, looking for a job, leaving our friends and family, and getting used to having a student in the family was stressful enough without bringing an entirely dependent being into our lives. Perhaps...(I can just see my mother rolling her eyes and saying, “I told you so!”)

It’s definitely been a struggle – much more difficult than I ever could have imagined. Everyone said, “Oh, it’s like having a baby! Are you sure you want to do this?” And I said, “God, it’s not like we’re the first people to get a dog! People have dogs, you know!” Well, that is certainly true….but we weren’t quite prepared for what bringing Henry home really meant:

1) Up every 2-3 hours (the 3rd floor seems like the 20th floor at 2am….)

2) Following him around EVERYWHERE while he’s loose in the apartment

3) Crazy barking the ENTIRE time we leave him alone in his crate (it’s a wonder we weren’t kicked out of our building)

4) Puking every time we go in the car. Even for 5 minutes.

5) Not being able to leave our apartment for more than 4 hours at a time (what parties? Chicago has a downtown?)

The beginning was rough. Thankfully, he’s come a long way, and a lot of these charming behaviors are no longer. He’s 95% housetrained, can be alone for up to 5.5 hours, sleeps through the night, and no longer barfs at the sight of the car :).

And did I mention he is ADORABLE? Even when I haven’t slept all night for a week or when he’s taken my socks hostage and won’t give them back, he can just cock his head and look at me with those puppy dog (literally) eyes, and I remember he’s my baby and I love him no matter what.

I guess I am a Mommy.