There were countless reasons why I chose to come to Booth: flexible curriculum, variety of companies and industries that recruit on campus, rigor of the academic program… the list goes on. However, one of the biggest factors was the school’s location in the city of Chicago. Having grown up on the east coast, I wanted to explore a new city during the two years of my MBA. Booth was the perfect fit since it puts on display the best of what Chicago has to offer. Harper Center in Hyde Park is surrounded by beautiful parks, interesting Gothic architecture, and Harry Potter-esque libraries. On the other hand, Gleacher Center in downtown is located right in between the shopping district of Magnificent Mile and Cloud Gate (aka The Bean) in Millennium Park.
Having moved from New York City, I knew that I wanted to be in a city that was bustling with the same excitement and that had the same cultural and social vibrancy. Fortunately, at Booth, 60% of the student body lives downtown, so you’re able to experience the city life of Chicago while also receiving a top-rated education on the beautiful campus in Hyde Park. During the school year, I was able to see many of the different neighborhoods in Chicago. However, summertime is when the city truly comes alive bringing even more experiences and chances for exploration.
Fortunately, the combination of two events led me to truly discover Chicago this summer. First, I landed an internship at Spokin, a health tech startup located in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago. Second, the release of Pokémon Go gave me an additional reason to visit different parts of Chicago that I wouldn’t typically frequent. In my quest to “catch ‘em all,” I’ve been all over the city and have found some great new neighborhoods. Here are some of my highlights:
Monday, 8AM: I know I was feeling tired this morning after a busy weekend, but my Drowzee looked worse for the wear. The bags under his eyes weren’t fooling anyone! Here we are on our morning commute on the CTA Blue Line from Clark/Lake to Division. It’s only a quick 8-minute ride to get to Wicker Park, Chicago’s hipster neighborhood. Much shorter than the half-hour subway rides on the oft-delayed L train from Manhattan to Brooklyn.
12:30PM: During my lunch break, I decided to walk to nearby Wicker Park (the namesake of the neighborhood) to eat outside. I happened upon this Staryu who was sunbathing in the open field. Must be nice to be #funemployed (looking at you, incoming first years! =P).
5PM: A couple of co-workers and I decided to grab happy hour drinks at the pizza bar across the street. With its outdoor ping pong table and cold brews, Parlor Pizza Bar was the perfect place to unwind from a long day at the internship. Unfortunately because of their no smoking policy, I had to leave my Koffing outside.
6PM: After a quick drink, I really had to run! I had a beach volleyball game at 7PM all the way north at Montrose Beach! I was at the Divvy bike station where I ran into this Magikarp looking for a ride. With no arms or legs, it must be hard to commute through the city. I threw him onto my Divvy and booked it to the beach.
6:30PM: As I biked through Lincoln Park, I ran into a Psyduck looking super lost and confused. I couldn’t tell if he accidentally walked into one of those glass windows or was just baffled by how expensive their products were. With only 500 Pokecoins to his name, Psyduck unfortunately had to go home
7PM: I finally made it to Montrose Beach, and I was on time for our game! Fortunately, our MVP Kabuto was also there. Even though she is deceptively short and one of the older players on our team at 300 million years old, she covers the court well and has a fierce serve. We ended up going 3-1 on the night.
9PM: After a long day, I was ready to go home. On the way back, I passed by Belmont Harbor and wished I could just boat back to my apartment instead of walking. However, someone left their Ratata to guard their boat, so I walked briskly by without making eye contact. The goal for this upcoming school year is to make boat friends by next summer with my Pokémon Go prowess.
All in all, it’s been an amazing summer! I’ve been learning a lot at my internship while being able to explore everything Chicago has to offer during the summer. I’m super appreciative of all the opportunities that I’ve had through Booth and can’t wait for what’s in store for the future.
P.S. If you need an additional reason to come to Booth, Harper Center is a Pokéstop while classrooms in Gleacher are in range of 3 Pokéstops (or so I’ve been told).