Business School – A Family Affair: Including Others in Your MBA Experience

If you’re bringing a few extra people along with you to business school, you may be wondering how Booth supports your partners and families, and helps include them in your student life.  Suzi and Alex have told you how they balance partners and school as well as how First Day is a great introduction for spouses to Booth, but what’s it really like once you get here full-time?  I had these same questions as I was preparing to enroll at Booth, and am pleased to report two years later that I have been very pleasantly surprised with the many partner/family-friendly activities and programs provided by Booth.

The first, and probably most frequent, chance you’ll have to include your family in on-campus fun are the nearly weekly Liquidity Preference Functions (LPFs).  Held on 7-8 Friday afternoons each quarter at the Harper Center in Hyde Park, LPFs are a chance for families and partners to come to campus, meet other Boothies and partners, and enjoy some free food and drinks.  If you have kids, the student lounge is usually the (somewhat anarchical, but isn’t everything with kids?) gathering spot for Boothies with children.  I love the chance that LPFs offer me to bring my family into my student world almost every week, and I know my wife has appreciated the opportunity to mingle with other partners and meet many of my student peers.

Another great Booth-sponsored resource that facilitates family-friendly social activities comes from the Booth Partners club.  Booth Partners is an amazing resource that regularly schedules dinner outings, fun Chicago-centric activities (e.g. kayaking on the Chicago river, architecture tours, etc.), and even has a group specifically dedicated for partners with children (the “parents of little ones” group, or POLO).  Beyond just socialization, Booth Partners has a sub-group aimed at helping partners find employment in Chicago, and is in general a great resource to assist you with figuring out the logistics of having a partner in the city!

The annual Winter Formal is a final Booth-sponsored opportunity for you to bring your partner into your Booth world.  Held each winter quarter at an awesome Chicago venue (last year it was at the world-famous Field Museum, and this year’s rendition is at the Shedd Aquarium), the Winter Formal is one of the biggest events of the year.  An open bar and dinner, along with the chance to see how many of your classmates actually know how to dance, make this a great opportunity to get out and socialize with Boothies and partners.

In the end, these are just a few of the many opportunities partners and families have to socialize and have exposure to the Booth world.  As you get here and become more involved with the Booth community, there will be many more opportunities for group dinners, outings to area attractions, and opportunities to make lifelong friends for both you and your partner!

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