Red and White

See photos from our Red and White Party 2015! (You must be a member of the Partners Club on FB to view these.)

Welcome Weekend for Me

by Kelly Derry

The fun and excitement of Welcome Weekend is upon us!  I remember being so excited, yet nervous, to finally meet people that were going to experience this MBA journey with us when I attended Welcome Weekend last year.  I was scared to be “the new kid" at school.

Throughout the weekend, Cal (my fiance) and I attended most events together, with the exception to the Partner Only events.  Being surrounded by all of the unfamiliar faces made me nervous at first, so  I stuck by Cal's side initially.  But, when I decided that I would join conversations with groups of people I didn't recognize, I found that nearly everyone else was just as nervous as I was about the new MBA journey that was upon us.  There are a few students and partners who are Pittsburgh locals, but most are moving to come here, many from other countries!  Then, I started to feel less intimidated by our move to Pittsburgh.

My little, relatively isolated, world as a girl from a town called Niceville in the Panhandle of Florida, was instantly broadened during this weekend.  I met more people from more countries and states in one weekend than I had in my entire life (FYI, I have traveled abroad on several occasions, so I wasn’t completely sheltered!).  My world continues to grow with each social gathering, as I meet new people, and am exposed to new cultures.

Not only have I been culturally enriched by this experience, I have been blessed to meet and make so many great friends!  I don’t just mean the kinds of friends who are fun to hang out with on a Friday night (we have those, too).  I mean the good-hearted, have your back, do anything to help you, come over on a random Tuesday to vent about your day, watch your dog so you can go on a trip, bring you hot meals when you are sick, go explore a new area of town on a Sunday, and help you pick out bridesmaid dresses kind of friends. These are people who are trekking to Costa Rica to be with us on our “Big Day” --in fact one of the students is officiating our wedding!  See?  We are talking TRUE friends!

Now, I’m not saying you will meet your friend soul mates during your experience... but the experience is what you make it.  My advice?  Accept that random Facebook event invite from a Partner you barely know.  Attend the events whether they’re “your thing” or not.  Insert yourself into a group conversation at B**rs.  Chances are, those people in that conversation don't know one another either.   Post “Anyone want to grab brunch in Highland Park this weekend?” to Facebook.  Get out there!  You may be busy with work, kids, settling in, wedding planning, being a student yourself, running your own business, but make time to meet people.  I met some of my closest friends at Welcome Weekend just by randomly starting a conversation with them.  So join the conversation, and enjoy the ride!  We're all in the same Tepper School boat!

Kelly is the President of the Partners Club.  You can read more information on Kelly, and the entire Partners Club board here!

Food Guide: Blue Apron

by: Katy Leonard

In my profession, there’s no such thing as a “work-life balance.”   Instead, I balance my life around my work and its long, unpredictable, and sometimes very odd hours.   For my other half, Greg - the current Tepper student, he equally is as committed and busy with school as I am with my job.   I know this is typical for so many Tepper students and partners.  For us, and I imagine for many in the Tepper community, we’re feeling accomplished if we’ve met all of our job or school commitments for the day, managed to eat a couple of meals, and are going to bed with clean clothes for the next day.

While I do love my job, it often makes getting “life things” done difficult.  One of those “life things” that I love is cooking and eating a meal with Greg.  However, finding time to meal plan, grocery shop, cook, and get dinner on the table on a regular basis is next to impossible for me with my schedule.  In the past, I’ve tried to do a big weekly grocery run so I had everything I needed for meals for the week.  Often though, I’d be throwing away piles of food at the end of the week when I ultimately didn’t have the time to make the meals I planned or when a recipe called for an ounce of cheese that I had to buy at least eight ounces of at the store.  We’ve also tried living only within walking distance of a grocery store.   Over the past four years, the Whole Foods prepared foods section really has been a savior for healthy eating in a rush, but warming my chicken breast and two sides in the microwave doesn’t really count as cooking to me. Recently, thanks to a number of fellow associates at my firm, I discovered Blue Apron.

Lemon parsley chicken w/ squash and zucchini salad | Maple and ginger-glazed salmon w/ watercress salad

Every Tuesday, Blue Apron delivers a cold-packed box to my door step.  The box includes recipes for three meals for two people and contains every ingredient required to make those meals.  The ingredients are seasonal and sourced directly from farms and family-run purveyors.   Each recipe includes step-by-step instructions with pictures, is 500-600 calories per person and can be prepared in 30 to 45 minutes.   The best part is that there’s no waste!   If I need two ounces of cheddar, there are two ounces of cheddar in the box.  If I need three tablespoons of soy sauce, there are three tables of soy sauce in the box.   The only ingredients that I need to have on-hand are salt, pepper and olive oil.

When I’ve told other people how amazing Blue Apron is, the response often involves a raised eyebrow and something to the effect of “well aren’t you fancy.”  Really, though, it’s not.  It’s just plain practical.  A box of three meals for two people is $60, or $10 per person, per meal, and that includes overnight shipping of a 15lb. box to your doorstep.  Although there have been a few misses, the food is almost always fantastic.  We’re also getting to try things I wouldn’t buy at the grocery store: amaranth, kohlrabi, beet pasta and drum fish to name a few.

The bottom line: Blue Apron is life changing - and I mean that in the most non-sarcastic way possible!   There’s a reason why this NYC-based start-up is hiring employees literally by the hundreds and was able to recently close a $50 million investment round that valued the company at a half a billion dollars.

Katy Leonard is a member of the Partners Club.  She is an associate at K&L Gates LLP, where her practice focuses on corporate mergers and acquisitions and advising clients with respect to public and private securities offerings and compliance and corporate governance matters.  In her free time, she enjoys trying new restaurants with friends, being outside (although probably less than when she lived in LA!), and going on traveling adventures with her partner, Greg.

Partner Life: Moving from NYC

by: Rachel Morgan

Ah, the Tepper work-life balance.  It’s a tricky subject and tenuous balance for students.  And for partners, many of whom have moved to Pittsburgh, leaving behind a job, friends and life in another city, it’s a near-impossible feat.  And it’s most definitely not easy.

When I found out my fiancĂ© Mike was accepted into Tepper, we were living in New York City together.  He was working in finance and I was the editor of a luxury lifestyle magazine. We were living the life. I worked in SoHo, a bustling, fashion-forward and ridiculously “cool” neighborhood. (I say that because I am most definitely not cool!) He was a finance guy, working long hours, but making great money and enjoying the clout that came along with a coveted Wall Street position.

But, I knew Mike wanted his MBA – and how could I argue with that?  He began the process: studying for the GMAT, applying to schools, making contacts, the works.

When he got into both Tepper and the Goizueta Business School at Emory University, I was unabashedly pushing for the latter. We had already been to Atlanta many times.  I loved the weather, the people, the Southern hospitality.  But it wasn’t quite as highly ranked as Tepper, so Mike, being the practical, numbers-oriented guy that he was, wanted Tepper.

So, we made a weekend trip to visit Pittsburgh. We saw the city, toured the school, met some great people. I found myself back at Pittsburgh International Airport departures that Sunday night, crying on the sidewalk like an idiot, because I hated Pittsburgh so much.

There, I said it.

I hated Pittsburgh. It was old. Rusty. There weren’t taxis. It wasn’t a walking city.  It was so Midwestern, just like the city I grew up in.  It felt like a step backward.

Not to mention the fact that there were hardly any newspapers, and even less magazines. For a journalist who had worked so hard to keep a foothold in a very tough industry, that didn’t bode well. I had known I wanted to be a journalist since I was just 19 years old. I worked in the industry for years, slowing working myself up from tiny, small town papers to editorships at two major magazines, even getting my master’s degree at New York University, one of the best journalism schools in the county. I was working a great job in a great city when I picked up and moved hundreds of miles across the county – for a guy, no less.

But for me, the decision came down to one simple thing – my relationship.

I believe that in today’s society, one person in a relationship will always have to sacrifice geographically.  As a generation, we are just so mobile.  We move across the county, for a job, an acceptance letter from a great school.  To me, it is so rare that both partners will be satisfied with the career and educational opportunities in the same city, and even more unlikely to find a couple who had never moved.

Also, there is some aspect of being mobile that lends itself to success in the business world – and isn’t that what nearly every student at Tepper wants, to be successful in business?  Isn’t that what their partners want for them?  I know that’s one thing that Mike and I had always agreed on—we both wanted to be successful professionally.

What made it even harder – or easier, depending on your perspective -- I knew I wanted to marry Mike. We got engaged right before Welcome Weekend in 2010, just weeks before leaving New York and moving to Pittsburgh.  So I made a sacrifice for the person I loved.  It was really the first time I had ever sacrificed for someone else, or really done something that I didn’t want to do.  And it wasn’t easy.  I will even say that moving to Pittsburgh for two years isn’t the right decision for every partner.  Some will be happier, more content in both their professional lives and relationships living apart for 20 months. But for me, that just wasn’t the right decision.

The balancing act that came later, once we were set in Pittsburgh, came easier.  I made a ton of great, lifelong friends, many of which will be attending our wedding in just a few weeks.  I made plans with partners every single week.  I didn’t plan my schedule around Mike’s – and pretty soon, he realized that I wasn’t going to wait around for him, and started making plans with me, sometimes weeks or days in advance. We synced our iCalendars – yes, I know that sounds crazy, but it worked. And I busied myself planning our wedding, which took up a ton of time.

Now, after graduation, being weeks away from getting married and moving, I can say it was worth it.  Mike and I are happy. Our relationship is stronger than ever. We are moving to Philadelphia, a city where we can both succeed professionally.

I guess the moral of the story is this: every couple is different. Some partners move to Pittsburgh.  Some love it, some don’t.  And some choose to embark upon a long-distance relationship instead.   But no matter what you choose, there will be another partner who understand what you are going through.  And after all, that’s what the Partners Club is all about.

(Photos c/o Rachel Morgan)

Rachel is our former Partners Club President.  She is marrying her partner, Mike Cautero in May, just two weeks after his graduation!  They will be moving to Philadelphia shortly after the wedding, where Mike will start his job at the Campbells Soup Company.  They have a 2-year-old French bulldog, Henry, who is a bit of a celebrity – he has an agent and his very own Instagram account!