To celebrate the coming of fall and the exciting times that Halloween brings, the MBA Association, which is the student government organization of the Illinois MBA program, hosted a festive get-together at Curtis Orchards. Curtis Orchards is located on the outskirts of Champaign and offers private pavilions to roast s'mores and hot dogs on open fires, as well as hayrides around the farm and pumpkins that one can hand-pick from the pumpkin patch. The MBAs decided that Sunday afternoon following the Midwest Career Fair would be the perfect time to enjoy the crisp fall air and participate in all that Curtis Orchards has to offer.
Upon arriving at the orchards, we were placed in a private pavilion with three separate fires roaring and waiting for us to roast food on them. Roasting sticks in hand, many of us grabbed hot dogs, bratwursts, veggie dogs and even marshmallows and gathered around the fire to prepare our feast. Once everyone was satiated, we followed the owner of Curtis Orchards to the start of the pumpkin patch. There, we grabbed a few red wagons to wheel our loot back to the pavilion and started the trek to the very back of the pumpkin patch where the owner assured us the best pumpkins were. Being MBAs who enjoy process efficiency, we all hooked our wagons up to each other and had the strongest of the bunch pull the wagons to the back of the patch.
After everyone in the group found the perfect pumpkin for carving, we headed back to the pavilion. We quickly began carving our pumpkins while continuing to enjoy the novelty of roasting marshmallows on campfires. Once bellies were full, fires were extinguished and pumpkins were carved, we cleaned up our pavilion and headed home.
After the event, I briefly spoke to Rob Hunter, a second-year MBA student who brought his wife and child to the event. When asked his thoughts on the event, Rob stated, “It was nice to see people in a setting outside of school as well as meeting their families. These types of events make students in the MBA program feel more like friends than just colleagues.” Rob went on to mention, “[This event] was nice because organized events like this one ensure that we get a taste of local Champaign/Urbana culture while we are here.” I couldn’t agree more! While schooling and the extra-curricular organizations and activities associated with the MBA program are extremely important, so is making lasting connections with your colleagues. Fun events like this one enable us to take a break from studying and enjoy the community around us.
All in all, this was a fantastic event. Autumn is so beautiful in Champaign and going to Curtis Orchards was the perfect way to experience it!