First Year at Booth: Top Moments from an Amazing Start to Business School

By John Chiulli, Class of 2019

John Chiulli Headshot.jpg

When I think back on my first year at Booth, what mostly stands out are the chocolate chip cookies at Kovler and the sheer number of emails I received.  Okay, maybe a few other things stand out.

There’s nothing quite like that first month or so at Booth.  My wife Nicole and I packed up a giant moving truck and drove it here from Atlanta, and we were immediately inundated with messages to do this and that, meet at this bar and go to this beach.  It was crazy and it was fun. My random walk trip to Belize was a blast, except when I jumped off of a moving boat and sliced my foot open on an underwater cable. Whoops! Then we settled in for orientation, which seems like a million years ago now, probably because orientation lasted a million years.

All of this innocence and fun ended around the second week of October, when we busted out the nametags and started walking people through our resumes.  The dark ages of business school lasted particularly long for me, probably because I’m a child and don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

The classes here have been a hugely pleasant surprise for me.  For the most part, I have loved my classes and have learned more than I ever expected.  Best class moment awards go to Clare Quinlan, for erupting into laughter and having to excuse herself from a microeconomics class during a group text conversation, and Joel Rabinowitz, who literally brought in a Domino’s pizza box full of analyst reports and articles to prove to Professor Wollmann that Domino’s was an innovative company.  Speaking of Wollmann, he gets my Favorite Teacher Award. Nobody else serves up game theory and network effects with that type of upper body strength. He was terrific.

I had the pleasure of going on the Daddy Yankee music video shoot…. I mean the Colombia Spring Break trip, in March.  I actually had a great “island day” experience unlike most people, and I could’ve stayed in that Booth-wide flotilla all day.  I was at an Indian restaurant full of Boothies when the latest U.S. News Rankings for Business Schools came out, and it was so fun to celebrate that with everyone.  I’ll probably never take another bus ride like the one back from Guatape, where I found myself shirtless and in the aisles dancing to Kanye. And speaking of music, I’ll never forget playing music at the Battle of the Bands TNDC, it was one of the most fun experiences of my life.

The first year here has been an experience that I’ll never forget.  Special kudos goes to my wife Nicole, who has been so supportive and who has really leaned into the business school experience.  I’m headed off to California this summer to work for a non-profit organization called Tesla. Hopefully they can keep the lights on while I’m there.  See you all next Fall!