While most of my peers had 10-week internships, I had 12. This meant that I had just one week between the end of my internship and the beginning of the Fall quarter, and I had to return to Chicago two days after the end of my internship. Definitely not ideal but hey I got 2 week’s worth of additional pay so I can’t complain much.
So what did I do with my free week? See Chicago! It sounds crazy when I think about it, but I’d been in this iconic city for over 9 months and still hadn’t taken the time to explore it. I still haven’t visited the Bean, which is a popular spot for tourists, but I honestly didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything by not going. Like any history and science buff, I wanted to see museums, and I wanted to hear about Chicago’s history.
Museum of Science and Industry
A few years ago I read about a live U-boat (German submarine) that was captured by the United States during the second World War, and is currently housed in a museum in Chicago. I promised myself that I’d visit this submarine,but it’s crazy to think that I only got to do so after living in Chicago for a whole year!
The Museum of Science and Industry is probably the best museum I’ve been to in my life. There’s so much to do that I spent an entire day there and still couldn’t cover all of it. I saw a live Boeing 727 plane (which you can interact with), a live coal mine, space artifacts from Apollo missions, and – the best part for me at least – this awesome U-boat. The experience really brought my inner geek to life, and got me wondering about what would’ve happened if I’d visited this place as a kid. I’d probably be at MIT right now studying for my PhD in Astrophysics instead of getting an MBA at Kellogg. #LostOpportunities
Something else I wanted to do with my free time was learn more about Chicago’s history. A typical tour could definitely help in this regard, but it felt too predictable so I decided to do a gangster tour instead. My tour guides (shown above) were named Shoulders and Slippery Sloop, and they were a great double act. They did drive us around Chicago, but rather than talk about the city in broad strokes, they focused on the prohibition laws and the rise and fall of gangsters like Al Capone. Great but blood curdling stories of fame, fortune and violence.
I’m not sure if hanging out with Shoulders and Slippery Sloop is your thing (they do have other guides called Johnny Rocco and Johnny Three Knives if that’s better) but I’d definitely recommend the Museum of Science and Industry to anyone visiting Chicago. It’s really awesome.