I waited two days to write this post because I wasn’t sure if I should.
On Saturday, I attended a Booth event (Women’s week) here in Lagos, as it turned out, I was the only ‘applicant’ in attendance, *sigh* I’d secretly hoped to check out the competition. But I got to hang out with three amazing ladies and eat a great meal all courtesy of ‘papa Booth’ as one alum put it.
The event was scheduled for 11:00am so I was more than a little worried when I was leaving my house just 15 minutes shy of eleven. It also didn’t help that it took me all of 10 minutes to get a taxi; I’m one of the few Lagosians that don’t drive by choice. Driving in Lagos would definitely drive me over the edge, pun intended. To my utmost surprise, I was only the second person to arrive and more surprising, the only person I met there was Lady A (just assume that’s her name), my interviewer.
Luckily, there was no awkward silence (thank God, it would have killed all of my hope), we had a bit of chit-chat then decided to move to a smaller table as it became obvious that we were never going to get to half the original number she’d planned for. Lady B and Lady C joined us just as we moved which meant I was now in the midst of graduates from 2011, 2012 and 2013. I felt intimidated and fortunate at the same time.
A few minutes later, I’d forgotten about my initial reserves and the only feeling I had, was jealousy, they were talking about their booth experience mostly for my sake but I felt like the outsider, the person who didn’t have that common denominator that brought all of ‘us’ together. But I did listen and soon forgot all about that as they talked about the different experiences they’d had while doing their MBA at Booth, including the perks of living in Chicago as against living in Lagos, Nigeria. As expected, we deviated from the initial talk that revolved around Booth and got talking about the living in Nigeria, working for our various industries (there were two of us in consulting, one in retail and one in general management), then we got into talking about natural hair which for some reason we all had and our various escapades with giving out personal phone numbers at work or work related events. Also, we talked about night life and the social scene in Lagos.
Now, for some honesty, they mostly talked and I mostly chipped in when I had something to contribute which was not as often as I’d have liked but I really didn’t have the information/ experience they were talking about. And I was grateful, Lady A and I’d had that brief chat about our conversational skills or lack of. She said she had the same problem and suggested I attend some classes for that, she was aware there were some even though she hadn’t attended any. (I took that to mean she believed I would get into Booth).
Lady B was heading my direction so I hitched a ride with her, while we waited for her driver, we talked a bit. This time, it was actually a conversation, she was the most outspoken person in the group. We talked a little about my plans post MBA and she told me I’d love living in Chicago and studying at booth, we also talked about the best way to prepare for the application process, she wanted to encourage one of her colleagues to apply.
I remember thinking, as I sat in the taxi heading towards my afternoon rendezvous with best friend, that I had a lot in common with these ladies and that I was going to be more than a little miffed if I did not get into Booth. Fingers crossed, my MBA decision will be out next week. Fingers crossed.