By Sura Karralli Giuffreda, Partner of a Class of 2019 Student
I was sitting at my desk at work in Houston when my husband, Chris, called to give me the good news from Booth. My immediate instinct was to jump up and down and scream with excitement, but with my colleagues in close proximity, I had to settle for profuse congratulations and a little happy dance in my chair. It was only after I left work and we got the chance to celebrate that reality set in. I knew that our entire lives were about to change and I had A LOT to do in preparation.
I had lived in Houston my whole life and the thought of moving away from my friends and family for two years was incredibly daunting. Not to mention the stress of starting from scratch in a new place – getting used to the unfamiliarity of a new city and having to make new friends. I know change is good, but I sure was nervous about it. I was excited about the other side of it, though – I would be with my new husband on a phenomenal adventure!
With a moving date looming on the horizon, I gave notice at my oil and gas company and began the overwhelming process of packing, one drawer and one box at a time. 30 rolls of bubble wrap later, we were finally finished and it was time to load up the U-Haul! I’m still completely shocked by how much clutter two people can accumulate in such a short amount of time!
At the time of Chris’ acceptance, we were neck deep in wedding and honeymoon planning, as well as selling Chris’ home. Added to that, now, was the task of packing up our lives and driving 17 hours straight with our 4 year old black Labrador. It was during this 17 hours, when I sat with nothing left to pack and no work to do, that it all hit me like a ton of bricks. I began to cry like a baby and Chris had to remind me of the joyous activities and exciting adventures ahead of us. I would feel better but randomly, a few hours later, would start crying yet again. And again.
Cut to 17 hours later. Everyone thought we were crazy to drive straight and we may have lost a couple screws during that process but it was all worth it by the time we finished unpacking and started exploring this gorgeous city. Both Chris and I joined the Booth Partners Club and quickly began meeting people in our new apartment building! I’m so thankful for that because all the fears I once had disappeared. With my husband’s attention focused on academics and recruiting, Booth Partners Club never left me feeling bored or lonely. I found my farmers market friend and it became a weekly ritual to search for different foods to cook with and sample the delicious tamales they had available!
While it has been an incredible transition so far, finding a new career has been frustrating, to say the least. Falling back on the support of the partners community – whether to help with networking or resume building – helps keep my spirits up. In fact, the Booth Partners Club held an event to assist with resume and cover letter writing that was incredibly informative!
The Partners Club has given me a channel through which to explore the city of Chicago, learn new skills and, most importantly (and deliciously!), eat at all the good restaurants. We have monthly dinners that explore different neighborhoods and allow me to keep up with the constantly changing gastronomic trends in Chicago!
It is because of these amazing people and their support that I decided to run for the Partners Club executive board. I want the incoming partners to have as much of a fulfilling experience as I did my first year. We may have all originated from different walks of life, but now we build great memories together as a community!
Sura is a fun-loving travel addict and food enthusiast who enjoys facials and puppy snuggles. She is Vice President of Marketing of the Booth Partners Club.