The fact that I started writing this blogpost roughly a month ago, but am posting it right now should be an indicator of how much happening your life at Tepper can get, during your MBA. And if you think, this is just because of studying and recruiting, think again. Every day, you’ll basically be making choices about which event you want to go to, which after party do you want to go to after that, which people you want to meet and know more, the list is endless.
I often introduce myself as coming from the West Coast, but the west coast of India. Growing up in Vadodara, Gujarat, and then spending the last few years working in Mumbai and Pune, India, I can definitely make that claim. I’ve worked in both consulting and tech, across multiple industries, so finally doing an MBA seemed like the perfect choice. So, 0.75 semesters into the experience, how does it feel?
As an international student, the MBA is a very unique experience that will define not only your career but also how you shape up to be a person in the years to come. You move away from your friends, family, the place you’ve called home, and its resources and networks to start afresh. Also, given that most of us have worked for more than 3 years when we apply, its right at that time when life was just starting to get good. You are generally at a better place in your career than you began at, your plans with your social circle are now becoming realities than just plans, and you’re able to pursue some personal goals alongside. And then you decide to leave all of this behind, to move and start the struggle all over again in a new country with new people. Its a challenge for the most hardened of souls. Then what’s the purpose of all this? And does it get easier?
It does, if you’re at Tepper, in a wonderful community of students. Every student out there, is trying to have your back, help you settle in, from the small cultural anecdotes, to sharing their personal stories to make you feel right at home. And how can you not grow as a person, when there are people from more than 30 countries in your class, available to share their life experiences and stories with you to learn from? More importantly, not only are they here to share, but also be a part of your stories and cultural experiences. I celebrated my first Halloween festival dressed up as a favorite anime character, but my classmates were equally happy to come and celebrate Diwali with all of us, over potluck, lights and lamps!
And there’s everything you can imagine in this experience. You literally are investing 2 years of your life in upskilling yourself in every way possible, from your networking and presentation, to your analytical thinking skills, but most importantly, you are having an absolute blast while doing so. You can be camping in the woods, go fishing, learn skiing or climbing (absolute thanks to Serena and Nick for starting the climbing madness in our class), or golfing. Or any of those passions that got lost in the grind of work routines, you have a chance to rediscover it, and hone it and make it a part of your life again.
And yes, the internships, the cases and the assignments will all become solvable, once you start allowing yourself to be a part of this community, and start being yourself again. There is so much mentorship available, from seniors to the resources at school, that you will land that internship and that job (this last line is self-motivation lol, its that time of the year)!
So, here’s what it means to be on your MBA journey at Tepper, especially if you’re an international. Until next time folks! Enjoy some of the pictures, and hopefully my next post will come in much quick!