Gargi Sen Gupte is a Booth Partner and India's latest export to the United States of America. Prior to her big move to Chicago, Gargi earned a Master's degree in Social Work from the prestigious Tata Institute of Social Sciences in India and worked as a corporate trainer for four years. She got married in Jan. 2012 and moved to Chicago in September to support her husband while he pursues his MBA from Chicago Booth.
Once the initial excitement of getting accepted to Chicago Booth waned, we were left wondering as to what I, a Booth Partner, would do while my husband goes to school. While a new country and a new culture seemed like exciting prospects, I was apprehensive about leaving my comfort zone - home, work, friends and life as I knew it. Starting a new life altogether from scratch and embracing this hitherto unknown world suddenly seemed like a gargantuan task!
In the midst of this state of confusion and apprehension, I received a mail that calmed my nerves considerably. It was from a 2nd year Booth partner who was writing to welcome me to the Booth family. She echoed my sentiments and told me how she went through a similar range of emotions when she and her husband decided to move to Chicago and how the Booth Partners Club has been a great support for her. As I went through the list of things that she did as a Partner, I told myself, 'Heck! I am going to have a lot of fun while the husband goes to School!'
A quarter has passed of being in Chicago and while my husband has been getting busier with assignments, exams and recruiting, I am busy making new friends through the Booth Partners Club. The Club not only introduced me to people from different cultures, but provided me with an opportunity to learn about them as well! I have even managed to add a feather or two to my cap- I am now a seasoned cook in Chinese and Russian cuisines and I have started speaking a little bit of Spanish too!
Among other things, the Partners Club gave an opportunity to the artist inside me to rise and shine. I moulded clay mugs, printed a scarf, made wine charms and even learnt how to paint on a canvas! Add to the list grocery shopping, our own coffee chats to beat the Chicago winter, book reading, ice skating and a host of other activities – the more we Partners got together, the more fun it got.
It is heart warming to have a club solely for Booth Partners. While you are supporting your spouse through his or her MBA, it is important to have a support system for yourself, and the Partners Club does just that! For many like me who are unable to work here in the United States due to visa status, the Partners Club does a great job of providing ample opportunities to keep one engaged. As the process of new admits to the Class of 2015 is underway, I look forward to sending a mail similar to the one I had received a year back and helping another partner settle down to an exciting new life in Chicago!
Cheers to the Booth Partners Club!