I love reunions. My favorite things in the world—good
friends, laughter, and photography—blended together in one adrenaline-high of a
weekend. Poly, Williams, and Chicago all made me who I am, and those
communities remain the most treasured to me.
Reunions can bring out a lot of feelings. Excitement about
seeing friends and reliving good memories and good times. The requisite “holy
shit we are old” moment. And a bit of reflection: Are we where we thought we
would be at this point in our lives?
As we ramp up towards our 10th b-school reunion, consider
two classmates’ state of affairs.
Chicago Booth Grad A: Four promotions. Making more than 2x
the money since first position post-graduation. Got married, had three healthy,
adorable boys. Sojourns to Fiji and Paris, and semi-regular trips to Hawaii.
Volunteer leader for leading higher educational institutions.
Chicago Booth Grad B: Desperately unhappy in current job.
Reads about classmates starting companies, classmates with titles like VP, SVP,
CEO and feels woefully unaccomplished. Wonders where she went wrong and how she
can course correct to get back to achieving what she set out to upon leaving
Who is more successful?
Now, fans of Matthew Berry know where this is headed: A and
B are the same person. Me.
I’ve got excuses and reasons by the bushel. Thinking well
I’ll be pregnant any day now so I shouldn’t start a search now, and having that
turn into an emotionally draining multi-year journey. The fatigue of new motherhood
delaying the search for just a little longer. And I mean, it’s good for one of
us to be stable and corporate while my husband takes a position at a startup. Another
year passes. I just had twins, I shouldn’t be so hard on myself!
So I will be at reunion, and I will be smiling, and I will
genuinely be so, so happy to see you. I will show pictures of my three adorable
boys, and re-tell funny stories. I’ll tell you about our delicious home brew,
and you’ll think that’s pretty cool. I’ll steer the conversation away from my
career and back to yours. I’ll say I’m unhappy in my job and you’ll say “but
look what a beautiful family you’ve built.” And I have, and that is certainly
my most prized accomplishment.
Except it’s not enough. I came to Chicago because I set out
to achieve something remarkable in the world of business. And I haven’t lived
up to my end of the bargain. Yet.
But one of these reunions, I will stand before you and tell
you about something I am proud of in my career, something I have built. I won’t
hide behind stories about my kids and our latest vacation (that’s what Facebook
is for). I owe it to myself, and I owe it to our community, to the next
generation of Booth grads who I’d like to hire someday.
There is still time for me to write a new chapter. There has
So if you feel like you are nowhere near where you wanted to
be in your career, 1) you are not alone, and 2) well of course you feel that
way! We are a group of talented over-achievers who have only just started to
make our mark on the world.
Looking forward to reconnecting and getting re-inspired at