By Rafael Tuachi, Class of 2017
At Booth we are exposed to over a thousand people. Naturally, we can expect to get to know some very closely, others somewhat, and the rest only from afar. What we come to realize not even a month into our academic tenure at school is that Chicago Booth is a place where people are by and far the most amazing thing in it. The experiences, knowledge, perspectives and diversity the average student faces is as wide as Admissions will allow (and more than most of us can handle, anyway.) I address here only a few archetypes of the people you will meet, or have met if you are so lucky, and those same people that make this school great.
1) The Friend – You will meet people with whom you’ll become friends. The fact that you already share many a common ground with them provides an excellent baseline on which to found your friendship (also, sharing some frosty beverages doesn’t hurt at all). But when I write friends, I mean true friends. Those with whom you deeply relate, and those you know will be present in your life for the long haul. Not to be confused with 2) The Buddy – That one person you enjoy hanging out with, but who shares only certain parts of your experience and that you find hard to connect with more deeply. You expect these people to be present always, but deep down you realize this might just be a B-school phase.
3) The Adversary – Let’s face it, there are only so many spots at x firm. You realize that some people, nice as they might be, are also going for your ideal career, and make everything harder due to increased competition. So you meet this one person with whom you know you are competing, that is always present at every corporate conversation, every meet-n-greet, and every club you join. You keep it civil, but you wouldn’t necessarily want to hang around that person at every moment. However, there are those who for some reason seem to be 4) The Peer – No matter how obscure the class you bid on, or the company you are visiting, these people are also genuinely interested, and therefore you encounter them everywhere, all the time. They are not your competitors - they are simply interested in the exact same things, so you develop a curt relationship with them, just knowing you’ll just see them at that next event in your calendar.
5) The Teacher – That one person you can count on to be there whenever you need something explained, you need someone to practice with, or someone that can talk to you about whatever. Closely related, we also have 6) The Mentor – That one you can open up completely without the fear of being ridiculed, who will offer one or two words that make everything fall back into place, and that can solve your existential crises with only a look.
What we often fail to realize is that there are fewer people at Booth than the amount needed to fill this entire list for the whole 1,200 of us. This means that everyone, including you, are more than one of these archetypes for everyone else. Think about it. I assure you will remember someone that is obviously a Buddy and an Adversary at the same time. Or a Mentor and a Peer. Weird, how this little community we have functions in a way so nurturing, and how we who compose the student body take so many roles unknowingly. Weird, but good. These are formative years, still. Awesome, that these people are so amazing to begin with.
Rafa is a first-year still looking for that one person who can be all 6 at the same time.