To set the record straight—this is not a stereotypical, morally-gray, business school student’s “How to Commit Petty Theft.” This is a guide to maximize your student loan dollars (so that you can go on Winter ski trips and island Spring Break getaways). Presenting, the top 10 sources of free food at Booth:
1. How ‘Bout Them Apples
Who says b-school isn’t healthy? Thanks to a donation from Howard Haas—Professor Emeritus—Boothies can enjoy a quick snack filled with vitamins and nutrients any time they are at Harper Center (our main campus building).
2. Mix-it-Up Dinners
Sponsored by the Office of Student Life (administration friends) and Graduate Business Council (student government), these happen during Orientation+ and throughout the quarter. Restaurants and groups are random and dinner is covered. I went to Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba this fall and shared small plates with old and new friends.
3. Dean’s Office Coffee Hour
On the opposite end of the apple health spectrum, our Dean’s Office holds biweekly coffee hours to chat with students. Not only is this a great opportunity to connect with various program offices and people, there’s always delicious treats like Oreos and Milanos (I have a refined palate, I know).
4. Corporate & Academic Lunch & Learns
The 200+ companies that come to campus to recruit Booth talent will often host lunchtime and afternoon events filled with fancy lunches like this bento box (both the steak and asparagus were amazing) or hot appetizers of chicken skewers, shrimp, and drinks to wash it down. In addition, the office of Alumni Affairs and various organizations (e.g., Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation) will host talks with lunch provided. At Booth, not only are our minds enriched but also our bellies.
5. Cohort Events
As you’ve heard from me multiple times, we don’t only compete in athletic events or make movies with our cohorts, we also break bread with them. Cohort reps will plan many free and subsidized events (snacks during finals, trolleys to locations with food, and squad dinners are examples).
6. Lunch with Prospective Students
Paying it forward can also get you paid (in food that is). Every academic quarter, Booth’s Admissions Office hosts weekly lunches for prospective students to get to know what it’s like to be a student at Booth. Whether that’s sitting in on a class, going on a tour of Harper Center, or having casual conversation with current students over Dominos, Jimmy Johns, or salads (not sure where they’re from).
7. Staking Out the Student Lounge
For an effortless way to munch, pro scavengers hang out in the student lounge from 1:15 PM onwards. All leftovers are nicely delivered by facilities to be consumed by hungry students. I’ve had extra PF Changs, Qdoba, Rajun Cajun (local Indian), and snagged many a bag of chips for that afternoon class slump.
8. Free Samples In Our Apartment Buildings
The perk that no one talks about living downtown is the amazing status of being a large customer segment that local brands can market to. Every new business that opens up within a five block radius stops by to showcase their wares. From Nandos peri peri chicken to Sweetgreen salads to food delivery apps that hawk full entrees, you can definitely make out with a meal just like at Costco!
9. Almost Weekly (6-7x/Qtr) Liquidity Preference Functions (LPF)
As covered in prior TBE highlights, LPF is the stacked happy hour that occurs after most Friday afternoon classes. No cheap wings here, the menus are fully themed based on the co-hosting club’s culture or lineage. Whether it’s a culturally relevant Diwali feast or the Star Wars menu to the left, there’s always something delicious to be had.
10. Group Socials and Events
Thanks to group co-chairs who all aced negotiations, Booth student groups have major budgets from corporate sponsorships and funding allocations. This enables them to hold sweet quarterly socials at trendy venues around the city (heavy apps and drink included) or host fun events like this sushi-rolling workshop I went to last spring.
With such a bounty available at school, the “Food” line item in cost of attendance can be used for other purposes. I’ll leave it up to my peers in Consumer Behavior to advise me. ‘Til next time, readers!