The past month has passed by in literally the blink of an eye. Actually – faster than that. I can’t believe orientation is over, and I had every intention of writing throughout. But, I was simply having entirely too much fun to stop and write. And, I was too busy talking… Obviously. Now that I am a month into classes, I have a few minutes to step back and reflect.
The first day of Orientation seems like a lifetime ago. I had nervous butterflies of excitement, because it was essentially my last first day of school. Booth Orientation is an indoctrination into what Booth is and how to successfully matriculate into Booth life. Not going to lie – I thought that it was going to be pretty lax going in, and it was anything but. We had two weeks of mostly full days accompanied by small group dinners, bar nights and a weekend long leadership retreat (LOR). Sleep was limited to say the least.
New Faces. New Expectations. New Everything.
Business school is all about building relationships. Orientation is relationship building on speed. Luckily, my ability to remember names somehow sprang up over night, because if you are not able to remember names you’e not just lazy – you’re an asshole. So, you should at least try to remember your new classmates names. With 600 new classmates just in the Class of 2021, remembering every new person you meet is a serious project. It is kind of calming being back in school, building relationships with people that are on the same journey as you.
Same Journey – Different Paths
Booth is big on pick your own journey. Although we are all on this journey together, we all pick different paths. Everything about the way the school is designed from bidding on classes ( we operate on a bizarre dutch bidding system), to joining extra-curricular groups ( these are not included in tuition and you have to pay out of pocket), to simply choosing how to spend your time is expertly crafted to make you choose how to spend your time and money based on what your goals are. The amount of sessions teaching out how to do this well were excessive, but arguably necessary.
Opportunities to Bond
There were endless opportunities for us to get to bond and know our new classmates. The first day of orientation we were broken up into groups and were sent off on a scavenger hunt around the entire UChicago campus, which I admittedly had not explored prior to then (Chicago’s campus is stunning in its gothic beauty with their traditional buildings covered in Ivy and vines). As you can imagine, I was incredibly competitive and wanted my team to win the hunt. We traversed the campus, panting and sweating trying to collect as many points as possible. It was trying, but we prevailed. I would like to believe that I led my team to victory, but the scores were never released, so we’ll never know….
I loved how the school coordinated multiple small-group dinners (Because I love food more than anything) where 14-20 of us would just show up to a great local restaurant with a pre-fixe menu already paid for – it was beautiful. As to be expected, a few classmates would then pick a bar for us to all go to afterwards so we could continue to meet and and hang out. I don’t think Federales was prepared for 300 Boothies to show up at 10pm on a Wednesday night, but I have to believe they liked the money we generated for them.
I also went to my first semi-formal as a student (never got to do that at Vandy)! Booth spares no expense when treating us like royalty. We arrived at the Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier to a botanical garden sanctuary, cheese plates, open bars and a poppin’ dance floor where we partied all night. I can’t wait for our winter semi-formal, which I hear will be at the Museum of Science and Technology.
Dean Rajan is hilariously petty and the epitome of the bringer of epic nerd jokes. To close out orientation he gave a presentation on how Booth compares to other schools in terms of financials, how the school makes their money and how he spends it. It was incredibly enlightening to know where all of this money goes and Dean Rajan got to highlight some of the wins and changes that he’s most proud of such as not increasing tuition for our class and increasing scholarship funding (which I am forever thankful for). Getting to see Dean Rajan in his element was a treat and made me proud to be a Boothie.