I moved to Chicago sometime in July of last year, two whole months before starting Booth. Sure, I've heard of Chicago summers—cool breeze in the air, $4 beers and shirtless Midwestern fratstars chest bumping each other and reenacting scenes out of Point Break and Top Gun at the beach. What I didn't realize was that my Hajj to the Loop would coincide with the renaissance of online dating. One of my best friends from college was crashing on my couch during his summer internship prior to starting Kellogg. He had just broken up with his cheating girlfriend of several years and he wasn't getting mad—he was getting even. He was filling that empty void by fully leveraging these online dating platforms and introduced me to the world of Tinder. I reluctantly signed up, calling him a desperate beta who can't meet girls in real life. Next thing I knew, I was on my 23rd Tinder date two weeks before LOR and was constructing an excel spreadsheet of my dates. Anyhow, going into business school with some 600 classmates, 33% of whom are female and half of whom are likely single, I thought that I would eventually put my Tinder/OkCupid/Grouper summer days behind me and transition from digital to analogue.
Soon after LOR, I realized the powerful omniscience of the Booth rumor mill and the sage wisdom of the century old mantra: don't crap where you eat. Business school students are some of the busiest, most driven, most motivated and, most importantly, most gossipy people I have ever come across. After one TNDC, I shared a cab with another first-year who confided in the fact that he is considering moving out of MPP after a few too many awkward encounters. He told me that some of his elevator rides have turned into confinements in a torture chamber. This forced me to reassess the situation—maybe online dating wasn't too bad after all. Sure, I miss that thrill involved with having to down two bourbon shots before approaching some girl at the bar. Yeah, instead of being able to talk about some complex geopolitical issues as I would with a Booth girl who has a Mensa membership, I would be talking about the latest Kardashian scandal. Maybe I am not taking advantage of the benefits of the flexible curriculum but I wasn't burning bridges, being talked about or awkwardly navigating the Winter Garden minefield. I was keeping my professional life completely separate from my personal life—like the separation of church and state.
I did have to go on a sabbatical to rot away in crop circles and interview prep, but there have been some serious advances in the online dating industry in my absence. Coffee Meets Bagel sends you a "match" every day at noon and a new disruptive market entrant, Hinge, sends you twelve to fifteen matches every day at noon. All I gotta say is that the 12:00—12:15 PM window has become my favorite time window and has replaced all the recruiting drama and then some. Regardless of what my friends say, I will continue to stick to core competencies, minimize inefficiencies and streamline operations—I know my true love is just a right-swipe away.