Back to School (Or how I’m becoming a Wildcat…)

juice.jpgHow ‘bout the Illini, eh? Taking down then #1 OSU and having an improbable run to possibly 9 wins after back-to-back rebuilding years. I couldn’t be more proud to be an an alum of both the program and the university. The program appears to have turned a corner, and with all the talent that’s starting to pile up down the road on I-57, we should be a force in the Big Ten for many years. This doesn’t appear to be a fluke (like the 2001 Sugar Bowl was).

All that stands in the Illini’s way from a New Years Day Bowl Game and possible BCS bid are the Wildcats from Northwestern this Saturday. Should be a slam dunk win for the Illini, no? It should.

I’ll be going nuts, rooting for the boys from Champaign-Urbana, right?

Ummm….

Not so fast.

What? Am I questioning my allegiances? Sorta.

At age 29, with a day job that I love and a fiancé pursuing her PhD full-time, the time couldn’t be more right for me to head back to school and get an advanced degree. Earlier this fall, I applied to a few part-time MBA programs around town and was excited to be admitted to both at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management – my two top schools. After much deliberation, discussion, research, and a bit of hemming-and-hawing, I have finally settled on attending Kellogg. The decision wasn’t so much “against” the University of Chicago, as it was “for” Kellogg and Northwestern.

kellogg_logo_home2.gifThey’re both highly respected programs (and I’m honored to be admitted to both), but at the end of my evaluation, the program at Kellogg seems like a better fit both professionally and personally. I’ll be working towards a concentration in marketing and entrepreneurship and the team-based environment and real world curriculum will allow me to maximize my time in the classroom. I’ve thought and thought and thought about this decision – it certainly is a big one – and with the help of Equation Boy/Man and Natalie’s dad, I think I made the proper one. Equation Boy/Man helped me more than I can ever have hoped for. I am very grateful for his assistance, advice, and dirty rushing.

There are plenty of other people who helped me through the process including Rick, Tom, Natalie, my Dad, and Patrick. I couldn’t have done all of this and made a decision without their help and for that, I’m extremely grateful.

It’s a 2-3 year commitment, but one that should set a strong foundation professionally for me in the years to come. Balancing work, travel, school, a new marriage, and social time will certainly be difficult, but it is a challenge I’m up for tackling. I have a few more significant changes planned personally, but I’ll save those for another post. Today, I’m celebrating my admission to a new school – and being a Wildcat! Orientation at Kellogg is coming up soon, so I’ll have to get my purple gear from the bookstore in the coming weeks and get registered for classes soon.

So…will I be wearing one of those silly “split” jerseys like Brady Quinn’s sister did last year on Saturday? Half orange, half purple?

No way. I know where my roots are…

GO lLLINI!

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