I can hardly believe it, but school starts on May 13. We had orientation in Boulder this weekend where we finally met our classmates and learned a little bit more about what to expect from an Evening MBA program. I will spend the next two years in a cohort of approximately 45 students, nearly half of which are women! Apparently it’s the highest percentage they’ve ever had, which is a good sign that women are prioritizing higher education while in the work force. I’m going to miss the first two weeks of school (statistics – eek!) for a business trip then vacation to see my sister in the DR, so it will be my first test at making sure I watch the recorded lectures and keep up with assignments while I’m gone. It’s going to be tough to balance work, school and personal life but I’m up to the challenge. Aaron came with me to Boulder so we could enjoy the city together! Here’s the five things I’m loving lately, including the scoop on our mini staycation:
1. Boulder. Nestled in the foothills, I LOVE Boulder. Or perhaps I should say “The People’s Republic of Boulder”, aptly named for its idealistic culture. Our first night of orientation took place at the Hotel Boulderado, an iconic historic hotel close in the heart of the city. After a nice dinner, our group took to Pearl Street for some late night bonding, though not too late because we had a full day of team building, info sessions and a family BBQ at CU the next day. After orientation, we took advantage of our Marriott points and switched hotels. We decided an early Cinco de Mayo celebration was in order so we walked 15 blocks to Rio Grande for margs. We stayed out on Pearl Street, which was packed with college students who didn’t seem to care finals are next week! This morning, we grabbed brunch at The Buff Restaurant before heading home. This place is clearly popular with pictures of their feature on Man Vs. Food and visit from Obama adorning the walls. I went for the chicken and French toast!
Outside Koelbel Hall, where I will be spending a lot of time the next two years.
2. Mom’s Graduation! Speaking of higher education, I’m so proud of my mom for recently completing a distinguished Entrepreneurship Scholars program through UMKC. Over the years, she’s tested various entrepreneurial endeavors but she has an AMAZING idea that she developed through this program that could change the way we furnish our homes. No more details until the business is launched but stay tuned :). I’m just so proud of her!
3. Gourmet Ramen at Uncle. I finally got to try Uncle, a hip place in the Highlands modeled after Momofuku, a noodle bar concept in NYC. Uncle has some of the best brussels sprouts I’ve ever tasted with a unique vinegar-like sauce and crushed peanuts. We also got the fried green tomato steamed buns for an appetizer, before diving into our “upscale” Ramen and noodle dishes. With entrees under $15, I definitely have a new favorite spot in town!
4. Leaning In. On my last business trip to Seattle, I made an impulse purchase in the airport book store. Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg’s, new book Lean In, has been on my list ever since it hit shelves and I’m about halfway through. I both agree and disagree with some of the book’s messages, but overall think it’s a valuable read for women in the workforce. One of her most impactful remarks was “Don’t Leave Before You Leave”, meaning that many women start turning down new opportunities or leading new projects when they start thinking about having children. It’s important to be invested up until you leave, if you choose to do so.
5. Paleo coffee shop. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t follow the Paleo diet but I do enjoy checking out establishments that are diet-specific from time to time. I heard about MMM Coffee from a friend and decided to give it a try. I went over lunch so I passed on the coffee (I’ll be back), and got an antioxidant smoothie topped with homemade Paleo granola and tomato chicken soup. The food was delicious, the people were friendly and I love supporting small, local businesses in Denver. I would definitely recommend it – Paleo or not!