Meet the Couple:
- Name: Kylie Kies
- Hometown: McLean, VA
- Undergrad: Cornell University, Hospitality Administration
- City before Booth: Chicago
- Industry after graduation: Tech
- Name: Rich Cornett
- Hometown: Wichita, KS
- Undergrad: University of Kansas, Finance and French
- City before Booth: Ft. Bragg
- Industry after graduation: Investment Banking
How We Met
We first met on the Leadership and Development (LEAD) orientation trip, where the entire class goes to Lake Geneva for two days to cap off the orientation experience. Although we were in different cohorts, we were in “sister squads,” which meant doing activities such as the ropes course and improv class together.
After orientation, we didn’t see each other around much. While we both spent a lot of time socializing with fellow Boothies, Rich was in the depths of investment banking recruiting and Kylie was getting her bearings in the entrepreneurship scene at Booth.
Fast forward to December. Rich scooped up a ticket for the second half of the annual Booth Ski Trip immediately after securing his banking internship offer. Kylie was on day three of hitting the slopes in Breckenridge with 300 other Boothies. We met again at the apres ski party and immediately connected. With instant and strong support from our Booth friends, we started dating shortly thereafter.
January and February included lots of fun – winter formal, TNDCs, volleyball club, wine club, and our first few dates bopping around Chicago. We cooked together, drove to class together, melded our friend groups together, and started planning some group trips.
And then March 2020 hit. When we first heard the news that classes were virtual, we thought it would only be for a couple weeks. We decided it would be fun to go to Kylie’s parent’s house in Middleburg, VA to wait it out.
Finding Love in a Hopeless Place (aka a pandemic)
Two weeks turned into twelve. Many hikes, Tiger King, virtual happy hours, Love is Blind, and daily badminton matches in the backyard made the time fly by, and though we missed our Booth friends, we had a pretty ideal quarantine situation. Kylie found a strategy internship at a startup and spent most of her days on zoom with her New Venture Challenge (NVC) team. Rich met Kylie’s family and worked on his business idea for a boxed wine aerator.
Back in Chitown
We finally headed back to Chicago in May, because Kylie was moving apartments. She had spent the first year living in the River North neighborhood and quickly realized that the building most Booth students lived in, MPP, was the place to be. She snagged a spot in a triple bedroom apartment after a good friend from her Random Walk moved (to a different MPP apartment) to live with her husband.
Both now living in the same high rise, we continued with our socially adjusted lifestyle during COVID-19, doing lots of park meetups with friends and going on a few small group trips to Michigan and North Carolina. Through movie nights, game nights, cooking together, and venturing around Chicago, our relationship continued to grow.
Sealing the Deal
We became serious quickly (moving in together to quarantine during a global pandemic will do that), and knew we wanted to get married after only nine months. A week before Christmas, while Rich was visiting Kylie’s family in Virginia, he asked her parents for her hand in marriage. A few weeks later, on our anniversary, we got engaged on the very first hike we took when we first started dating.
Fast forward a month, and our family is growing! We picked up our golden retriever puppy, Franklin, on February 10. He is looking forward to being our ring bearer at our wedding on October 16, 2021!
We will be spending the coming months finishing up our incredible experience at Booth, moving to Houston for our new jobs, planning a wedding, and managing Franklin’s instagram (follow @goldenpupfranklin for adorable puppy content).
Shoutout to Booth for bringing us together. We never knew the most important relationship coming out of Booth would be finding our spouses!