A few months after we got married, we made an important purchase: two GMAT prep books. It was January in Chicago, and we were to spend the months ahead working toward the next big event in our lives, our enrollment in business school. We applied to schools all over the country and crossed our fingers that our admission decisions would align. When we both got into Booth, we couldn’t have been more excited. We would be embarking on our next big life change in tandem, only miles from where Megan grew up on Chicago’s South Side.
Booth has proven to be a great place for us to pursue our long-term goals, both as a couple and as individuals. The school really encourages students to chart their own paths through the program, which has given us the flexibility to focus on our respective areas of interest. We both saw business school as an opportunity to pivot from careers in professional services to careers in brand management. While many of our peers zeroed in on the client service environments we came from, we felt encouraged and empowered to pursue marketing.
One of our favorite experiences during internship recruiting was the Marketing Group trek, West Quest, when we teamed up with about 10 classmates to visit Bay Area companies over Winter Break. While Will used the trip to network with the wine companies he was interested in, Megan used the time to learn more about the company at the top of her target list, Nestle. Even while participating in similar activities at Booth, we’ve been able to grow as individuals.
The culture at Booth has also allowed us to maintain a balance between the unique world of business school and the real world of our nearby family and friends. At Booth, there are countless social activities in which to engage on a weekly basis, but no social pressure against opting out to do your own thing.
We’ve enjoyed many Booth traditions and events, from Random Walk in Chile to Winter Formal to Wine Club’s Dom Night (a cocktail party where only Dom Perignon is served, not to be missed). But, we’ve also enjoyed taking friends to our favorite Chicago restaurants, and spending time with family on the weekends. We’ve had the best of both worlds in a lot of ways.
Coming into business school, we didn’t know how much of our experience we’d be sharing together. Outside of marriage, we hadn’t worked together before, and we wondered if we’d make good classmates and teammates. What we found is we’ve really enjoyed going through Booth together. Whether studying for exams, prepping for interviews, or planning social events, we’ve had a firsthand view into each other’s strengths and passions, and that’s been really valuable.
We’re looking forward to continuing our Booth experience in the future as married alumni in marketing!
*Megan and Will Shea are second year Booth students, pictured in Casablanca Valley during their Random Walk trip to Chile in 2016.