By Sneha Gayatri and Michael Reardon
“It was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together … and I knew it” – Tom Hanks, Sleepless in Seattle
14 names. 14 people. 14 lives. Trust the power of match.com to bring together the most amazing team that would help welcome the newest kids on the block into Thunderbird. 14 individuals who had never really worked with or even met with each other. How was that going to work?! I’m sure the admin were constantly worrying about that, but little did they know that this would blossom into more than just students working for Foundations.
It all began in the third week of April when we each received an email that they had found our perfect match(es), but that some of us weren’t in the same locations. And so commenced a period of online dating – emails, Facebook, Dropbox, Google Drive, Skype and, of course, those initial awkward meetings and phone calls. Thank you technology, you make long distance relationships so much easier!
For months, we emailed, texted, IM’d each other, and it was time to take this to the next level and meet each other in person. Finally! I thought this moment would never come, but we decided to meet in the first week of August. That Monday morning, the desert temperature was raised by several degrees. The meeting of 14 individuals in the Honor Council rooms—it was intense. Our eyes met. Hands were shaken’. It was love at first sight.
Like typical MBA students, we aimed to use best practices for efficiency and optimization in a global diverse setting such as ours. We assigned roles and responsibilities that included mini team projects for the major activities we would conduct during Foundations – the Foundations video, ThunderCrawl, ThunderOlympics and of course the flash mob dances. We laid down guidelines for our relationship, and made sure we looked out for each other. Whoever failed to make it to time for our morning meetings, for example, had to bring breakfast the next day, overall, Michael was the winner in the highest breakfast-bringer category!
Acting our parts for the superpower-themed Foundations video, watching Brady finish up all the food the Commons had for the day, watching people fall of their chairs, etc. are fond memories of our honeymoon period. And then it was time for the best courtship ritual—rehearsing for the dances. Our first dance. Watching Amar fall while dancing because he was laughing so hard—priceless! Performing at the Commons and the TEC were some of the happiest moments we had. Tiago, obviously, had the best hips-that-don’t-lie.
Of course, every love story needs to have a bad guy. Count Mahmood arose from the ashes and sought to destroy the love that was blossoming. It was too much for him—too hot for him to handle. He sought corruption and devastation. He set a plan in motion. One that he believed would ruin everyone’s happiness. And you all thought that music catastrophe in the Commons during our first flash mob was an accident. It was the Count’s undoing! He sought to ruin the night for all. But he stood no chance of winning this battle as we had Captain Nikhil by our side. “Captain, my Captain,” the crowds would shout. And there he was, to save the day! Our prince—our hero.
Lest the stress and sleepless nights affect our beautiful relationship, we threw ball together, solved puzzles, played the human knot game and just talked about things. Communication is key. People outside of our lives were important too and we tried to not to let our lives revolve around only our love.
It was here that a particular few were drawn to each other. It was that once in a lifetime kind of love. It was—the bromance. Young Tiago’s eyes casually darted across the room and fell upon Santiago’s soft supple skin. It was attraction in every sense of the word. The bromance was formed. What could be better? SANtiago… it just goes together! Nights were spent in nervous laughter as the two shared stories and giggles. It was the love of novels. So precious and true.
Another relationship also began to unfold upon the Foundations Leaders. But, this was the mistress. The cohorts began to take more time that the Leaders could imagine. Dates were missed between Leaders for the sake of their cohorts. It was complete anarchy. Across the campus, the wolves’ howl could be heard and Michael would have to answer the call. He would have to abandon his true love in the Foundations Team to answer his summoning mistress.
Every story has those unnamed people who have lent a hand, helped in the most demanding times and we would like to attribute the success of our love story to these amazing individuals. Chelsea, Jay, Torrey, Chris and the several teams who were the backbone of Foundations—we cannot thank you enough. To special friends and special projects, we have been lucky to be able to share your love as well. Thank you!
“So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s gonna be really hard. We’re gonna have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, you and me, every day…” – Ryan Gosling, The Notebook