Being new to town, with time to kill after her MBA interview and no need to rush back to her hotel three miles away, Cecilia Araya Mohr figured she’d stroll around campus for a bit.
It was February in Champaign-Urbana.
In her native Chile, that usually means sunny skies and temperatures in the high-60s.
It didn’t take more than a few steps for the regrets to kick in.
“Bad decision, considering February weather. After five minutes of walking, I was absolutely freezing myself,” says Mohr, who prefers the climate in her current home base — southern California, where she’s the data and analytics director at FTI Consulting.
But back to her 2010 adventure.
“I quickly entered the first building I saw to warm up and try to get a taxi since I wasn’t familiar with the buses or transportation alternatives,” she says. “I was lucky that the first building I saw was the ARC. I found the facility so spectacular, that really made a difference when making my final decision to attend UIUC.
“Once I joined the MBA program and moved to Champaign, I spent so much time at the ARC and it inspired me to continue my fitness journey. I’m currently working for a global advisory firm in Los Angeles. I travel frequently and still manage to work out and stay active. I’ve run multiple marathons and competed in fitness competitions — and it all started in the ARC.