Top 3 Vegetarian Picks

Veggie-lovers! Check out Cait's top 3 veg-friendly restaurants in Pittsburgh!

Joining a CSA

Read about Morgan's experience with joining a CSA in Pittsburgh!

Red and White Party

See photos from our Red and White Party 2014!

The Tepper Partners Club aims to provide support for all partners of Tepper students by offering organized events and gatherings. Our goal is to ensure all partners are situated in Pittsburgh and have the proper resources to succeed in both professional and personal settings. We also provide the Tepper community with social events for students and partners to bond and network.

Monday, June 9, 2014

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.

Monday, May 19, 2014

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!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Volunteering in Pittsburgh

by Kate Souza
After years of volunteering in Seattle, I knew that an important part of acclimating to Pittsburgh for me would be getting involved with the local community. Volunteering can be a great way to get to know a city, build skills, fill gaps in your resume, and meet new people who share your passions and interests!

Luckily for us newly-minted Pittsburghers, there are literally HUNDREDS of volunteer opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. Many large organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Children’s Hospital have formal volunteer programs that require training and a weekly commitment, while other non-profits look for casual volunteers for special projects and one-time events. The key to finding an opportunity that works for you is to take some time to research organizations and choose assignments that match your skills, interests, and availability.

Here are some online resources to help you get started on your search:

Tepper Cares is a campus club open to all members of the Tepper Community.  Tepper Cares organizes the community service day during BaseCamp as well as annual events with Habitat for Humanity and City Charter High School.  Partners interested in joining the club should visit the Tepper Cares website for more information.

Pittsburgh Cares is a great one-stop shop for finding both short-term and long-term volunteer opportunities.  If you don't have time to volunteer but still want to support Pittsburgh non-profits, you can check out the Pittsburgh Cares Wishlist to donate much needed supplies to local organizations.

And finally, don’t underestimate the power of Google to connect you with interesting causes! Here are a few that I found with a quick online search:

Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry
Animal Rescue League Shelter and Wildlife Center
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Allegheny CleanWays
Computer Reach
The Gay and Lesbian Community Center

Don’t be discouraged if it takes time to find an organization that fits your needs. Sometimes an opportunity looks great on paper, but ends up being a bust in person. Try to visit different organizations to get a feel for what they’re like and find out if you click with the staff and other volunteers. The more satisfaction you have as a volunteer, the better your contributions will be. As for me, I was lucky enough to land a great volunteering gig with the Chevron Center for STEM Education and Career Development at the Carnegie Science Center. There, I have had the opportunity to work with a great team of professionals and share my love of science and education with Pittsburghers of all ages! The experience has allowed me to grow both personally and professionally in ways that would have been impossible otherwise.

So go boldly, Tepper Partners! Whether you’ve been here for a while or are new to the city, it’s never too late to give back to the community.

NOTE: If you're interested in working with kids or vulnerable populations, you'll likely have to provide Act 33 and 34 clearances, as well as an FBI Background Check (Act 73) before you start volunteering. These clearances can take anywhere from 3-4 weeks to complete and cost about $40. For more information about clearances and background checks, visit Duquesne University’s Volunteering website.

(Image Credit: Carnegie Science Center, Phong Nguyen, via Flickr)

Kate Souza is a member of the Partners Club.  She is a volunteer at the Carnegie Science Center where she encourages middle school and high school students to take part in original science and engineering research.  Outside of volunteering, she enjoys cooking, metalsmithing, and exploring Pittsburgh's brunch scene with her partner Ryan.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Pet Guide: Top 3 Dog Parks (and a bonus)

by Rachel Morgan

Having a dog has kept me sane while being a partner at Tepper.  While my fiance was busy with school, clubs, on-campus jobs, late-night homework assignments or the many other time requirements being a student at Tepper demands, our lovable French bulldog Henry has kept me company.   He hangs out with me while I watch bad TV; he entertains my guests when they come over for wine nights; he even deals with the top-floor walk-up we’ve lived in for the past two years. (Trust me, those 47 steps are no joke.)

Since not many Tepper students and partners (including Mike and I) are lucky enough to have a yard or any sort of outdoor space to speak of, I have become pretty familiar with some local dog parks in the area, partially because it’s hilarious to watch Henry run around leash-free with that crazy Frenchie grin of his, but also partially because I know he needs to get out and work those “zoomies” out of his system.

Here are some of my favorites in the area:

Lucky Paws Pet Resort
This is hands-down my favorite dog park in the area.  It’s especially great for brachycephalic breeds, (pugs, French bulldogs, English bulldogs, etc.) and perfect in hot weather, since it has a dog pool. Yes, a pool.  It’s zero entry, so even helicopter dog moms like me needn’t worry if their dog isn’t a strong swimmer.  I was actually quite surprised at how easily each dog knew their limits – the strong swimmers – labs, retrievers, and the like-- bounded into the water with abandon, chasing tennis balls or toys.  Other breeds, like the bulldogs or pugs, would wade into the water, but would never venture into areas they couldn’t comfortably stand in.

Henry having the time of his life at Lucky Paws last summer. (Photo credit: Jenny Nemlekar)

The pool – which is very clean and has a slip-resistant surface – also really extended the amount of time we were able to spend at the park, since whenever Henry got hot, he would just go into the water and cool off.  While any dog can overheat, Frenchies are extra-prone to heatstroke and other heat-related illnesses, so we have to be super careful about how long he’s outside and in what temperatures.

The 3,000-square foot park also has a few dog playgrounds and tunnels, even an air-conditioned indoor area where your pooch can roam if it rains or they need to cool off or separate from the pack for a bit. The grass is all synthetic too, so there’s not even a worry of getting muddy, which, at most dog parks, is a harsh reality.  Parking is no problem, they have a lot that's never full.

But beware, it’s a bit high maintenance.  Lucky Paws cost $10 per day for the dog park, and you must supply current proof of vaccinations (rabies, distemper and bordatella) upon entry.  If you don’t have them, they will turn you away.  But, you get what you pay for – everyone we met while there, human and dog, was perfectly well-behaved and friendly, a must for an enjoyable dog park experience.

2273 Lovi Road
Freedom, PA, 15042
(724) 728-1484

Riverview Dog Park
This North Side park is a bit of a drive, but so worth it!  We actually just went here for the first time a few weeks ago, and we will be back.  The dog park area is located directly behind the Allegheny Observatory, the beautiful white building set up on the hill.  The dog park is pretty large – but not too large – shaded by beautiful trees.  It’s a double-gate entry, too.

There are many benches for the humans to rest on, and every single dog we met while there seemed well-behaved and well cared for.  If you are a slightly overprotective “dog mom” like I am, you know how important this is!  I want Henry to be able to play with other, unfamiliar dogs without fear that they will become aggressive, and I never got that feeling here.  There are also great hiking trails throughout this park – and some of the people we met at the dog park even told us there are organized dog/people hikes on the weekend!  There is on-street parking, but the area is residential and relatively uncrowded, so it didn't seem like it would be an issue.

1 Riverview Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15214
(412) 321-4107

Frick Park
I know I sound crazy.  But I’m really not a fan of Frick’s dog park.  A portion of it is completely in the woods, so it’s hard to keep an eye on your pooch at all times.  It’s also extremely muddy and the dogs there seem to be extra wild.  Maybe I’ve just had bad experiences, but that’s what I’ve observed.  I’ve found that the best dog parks tend to be located outside the city.

But it must be said – Frick Park’s many trails are amazing for long, shaded walks with your dog through what seems like the middle of the woods, even though it’s right in Pittsburgh proper and just minutes from Shadyside and Squirrel Hill.  Mike, Henry and I make it there pretty often – and Henry always has the best time.  He also gets super muddy, which he loves -- until bathtime!  Parking can be a bit hairy -- pun intended! -- as Frick's in a super congested area and it's usually just easiest to snag any spot on the street you can find.

Pittsburgh, PA 15217
(412) 255-2539

Camp Bow Wow Highland Park
This is not a dog park, but if your pooch desperately needs exercise but you don’t have the time to do it yourself, drop-in daycare at Camp Bow Wow Highland Park is the best.  The counselors there are amazing. They know your dog’s name, they keep an eye on any special needs, likes/dislikes and every single dog that walks into that place seems absolutely thrilled to be there.  Each and every time I take Henry there, he squeals with excitement upon arrival, and returns to me one tired – yet extremely satisfied – pup.  I’m not joking, he falls asleep before we even pull out of the parking lot.

Dog safety is no issue at CBW, either, as all dogs must post a temperament test before they are admitted to daycare/boarding.  The only thing worth noting – they are only open until 7 p.m. on weekdays and have very limited hours on Sundays, so if you don’t get off work until later or have a long commute, it might be cutting it close.  Parking is no problem, but Washington Blvd is a relatively busy street, so I always carry Henry inside.  (I told you, I'm crazy!)  But don't worry - the play yards have super high, sturdy fences.

1325 Washington Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(412) 362-7529

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.  Their 2-year-old French bulldog Henry is a bit of a celebrity – he has an agent and his very own Instagram account! Follow him @henrythefrenchie2.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Partner Life: Moving from India

Featuring: Shivali Juneja Tacker

You moved from India, that must have been quite a journey!
Wow...It's been exactly one year and one month since I moved to Pittsburgh from New Delhi, India.

It all started when my husband, Amit, thought of pursuing his MBA at Tepper and got a job offer from Xerox which he accepted and moved here.  He is a FlexTime student and I am a home maker (not by choice!).

What do you think about Pittsburgh? (Be honest!)
Quite frankly, the first few months were busy apartment hunting and Craigslist became my best friend.  I got to know about the best areas of Pittsburgh and found that Shadyside, Squirrel Hill and Strip District were the areas to be in, so decided to stay in Shadyside which, in fact, is not shady at all!

Pittsburgh made me more patient.  No, no, don't get me wrong here.  I am not talking about being patient with your spouse/partner while they are busy at Tepper (wink wink), but being patient for the weather to get better ... I know it sounds silly but trust me you will wait for the winters to end ASAP!!!  And if you are not a winter person like me, you'll want to hibernate in winter and come out in April!

But, every cloud has a silver lining, and in my case, Tepper hosted some amazing events such as the winter formal and Red & White Party which made you forget how cold it was outside.  I also had an awesome time going ice skating and skiing with the Tepper crowd.  I got to experience all these fun sports with wonderful people.

What was your profession before you moved to Pittsburgh?
I was an elementary school teacher in India.  Finding teaching opportunities in Pittsburgh is difficult with its limited openings, and even tougher for international residents, who require sponsorship.  So, I decided to do something else.  That's how my new “job” as a home maker began...

What do you do now?
I spend my free time cooking!!  Yes you heard it right.  I was always fond of cooking but now I have found a new love for it and the Tepper crowd loves my Indian cooking :)

Now that it has been over a year since your move to Pittsburgh, how have you adjusted?
Moving here has been fun and exciting --it’s been a big change from what I was used to in India, but the Tepper family made it easy and now it’s become my home away from home!

What advice would you give to Tepper newcomers?
A big welcome to Pittsburgh!  Get your warm clothes ready and tell your partner to join the Partners Club! You get to know and experience everything with a group of extremely amazing people.

Cheers and hope to see you in Pittsburgh soon!

(Photos c/o Shivali Tacker)

Shivali is a member of the Partners Club.  She cooks delicious Indian food for those homesick (or just craving) a home-cooked Indian dinner.  You can get in on her meal deals at SJT's Kitchen on Facebook.  She posts a meal, you RSVP, then pick it up!  Deliciousness, served.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Welcome Weekend

Phew, that was a long weekend!

Welcome Weekend is an event-packed weekend that gives admitted students the opportunity to visit the Tepper School and Pittsburgh.  They connect with current students, faculty, alumni, staff as well as meet their future classmates.  It's a great way for admitted students to get a sense of the Tepper community!

It's full of social events and partners are highly encouraged to attend! 

This year, we hosted our Partners-only event at The Porch at Schenley on Saturday afternoon.  We picked a time that was during the students' class preview lectures (which sounds like a ton of fun and all but it can't beat mingling with other partners over appetizers and a glass of wine, right?).

Cait and Morgan booked the venue, planned the menu, and divvied up the duties to the rest of the board and our partner volunteers.

Morgan, Alex, and I rallied up the partners during their lunch break with students (right before the lectures began) and we met at the Mellonhead in Posner. Then we all took a short walk to The Porch, enjoying the beautiful sunny Saturday.  (With a forecast of cloudy skies and rain, we were so happy that the weather decided to change its mind.)

At the Porch, we met up with Kelsey, Erika, Cait, Molly, and our trusty partner volunteers!  From there, it was all mingling and answering questions or addressing concerns from prospective partners.  (i.e. lots of pizza, laughs, and showing off pet photos).

(L-R) Top: Morgan, Alex; Bottom: Molly, Erika, Cait, Kelsey, Jenny (We missed you, Bina!)

HUGE thank you to our partner volunteers:  Shivali Tacker, Kate Souza, Jami Cairnes, Josephina Munoz, Martha Larrazabal, Jason Saunders, and Kristen Blanks!  We could not have done this without you!

We really enjoyed Welcome Weekend and we hope prospective students and partners did, too!

We have tons of fun activities planned for the year, so we hope to see you at the Tepper School very soon! :)

(Photos by Jenny Nemlekar; board photo taken by Jami Cairnes)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Food Guide: Joining a CSA

by: Morgan Kruse

The moving boxes were (mostly) unpacked, Base Camp was well underway for Patrick, and I was tired of eating out.  I was ready to explore what delicious summer produce Pittsburgh had to offer!  I headed to the grocery store and bought some easy-to-prep standbys: asparagus and strawberries.  To my dismay, they were terrible.  “Ugh, I miss my southern California farmers markets”, I thought to myself.

What I didn’t realize is that I was buying the wrong fruit and veggies for Pittsburgh in mid-August.

Enter, Penn’s Corner CSA.

My 1st CSA box: tomatoes, nectarines, cucumbers, onions with tops, banana peppers, pea shoots, corn, cantaloupe, an issue of Table

A CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) is a service that provides produce and other food items from local farms on a regular basis.  Penn’s Corner delivers boxes weekly (during the main season, April-November) or bi-weekly (during the winter, November-April) to locations all over Pittsburgh. They work with 30+ local farms to offer the best veggies, fruits, and other farm products (like eggs, cheese, and honey).

One of the biggest incentives for me to sign up for a CSA was being told exactly what was fresh/local/seasonal that week in Pittsburgh.  If I had been a CSA member instead of visiting the grocery store that day, I would have known I should be eating peaches or cantaloupe instead of strawberries, and patty pan squash or string beans, instead of asparagus.

Penn’s Corner offers several types of memberships throughout the year, but they all generally come out to $20-$26 per week.  Depending on the week, there can be 7-10 (or more!) different items in your CSA box.  My experience during the normal season Harvest Share was that the weekly box was just the right size for my husband and me, given that we cook dinners and lunches at home regularly.  In fact, the only “extra” produce I needed to buy during the Harvest Share were lemons/limes, herbs and occasionally more onions/garlic.

Tart I made with nectarines and mint from CSA

Another advantage to the CSA membership for those who like to cook- it sometimes forces you to break out of your comfort zone!  There have been some items I’ve never bought on my own, but loved experimenting with such as prune plums, daikon radishes and rutabagas.  For those weeks, the Penn’s Corner blog comes in handy- they provide some background on your produce as well as recipe ideas!

I highly recommend signing up for a CSA, and have convinced a few other Tepper partners and students as well.  Can’t wait to see what this growing season has in store!

For more info on Penn’s Corner, visit their website.  For examples of past CSA boxes, visit their blog.

Morgan is our VP of Finance.  She takes care of all things finance for the Partners Club (i.e. she makes sure we can maximize our paid-for fun!).  Read more about Morgan on our Partners Board page.