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Joint Ventures in Chicago
Joint Ventures Group in Chicago

By Thaleya Freitas

What is a JV? As Joint Ventures (or JVs), we leave everything behind to follow our spouses through their MBA journeys. It’s difficult to go somewhere away from your family and friends. Thus, we are afraid, insecure and wonder what we can expect in this new life.

When I arrived in Evanston four months ago, I had a lot of different feelings. My first thought was, “Now I’m here, so what can I do?” In the first week, my husband and I went to Ikea and bought all the furniture and appliances for our place. After the house was ready, I started searching for an English course to improve my ability to communicate in this new country. The first few weeks went fast, and then I realized it was time for two events that were helpful to my adaptation here.

Kellogg Worldwide Experiences and Service Trips (KWEST)

The first thing that helped me was KWEST, and the trip was amazing. I went to Vietnam with 21 people. Most of the group was American, and this made me feel inside the American culture. I started to understand the way they think, talk, make jokes, play games, etc. In that trip, I felt part of the Kellogg student group. I made good friends that I still hang out with today.

KWEST Vietnam 2012
KWEST Vietnam 2012

Complete Immersion in Management (CIM)

The second thing that helped me here was CIM. In that week, I took a tour around Kellogg and met with other JVs. It was a great experience to meet other people that are in the same situation that I am. Since that week, we frequently organize JV meetings. It is good to be able to talk about our lives, our partners and do an activity that we love (shopping is at the top of our list)!

The JV Experience

I believe it is important to see this time as an opportunity for the JVs, too. Here we have the possibility of meeting new people, experiencing different cultures than our own and maybe finding something to do, like a new job, hobby or course. However, I think that the most important thing is to spend time with our partners. I am trying to take advantage of this opportunity to be near my husband, since we will have less time together when we return home.

Life will lead us through major challenges, and our time together will be short. Therefore, I think this is a unique opportunity, and even with the challenges, I’m trying to make the most of my couple of years here!

Embracing the Kellogg Opportunity
Embracing the Kellogg Opportunity

Thaleya Freitas is the Joint Venture of Felipe Godoy ’14. Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, Freitas worked at an advertising and event agency before moving to Evanston with her husband in 2012.