Born and raised in New Delhi, India, I moved last fall to Philadelphia to join the Fox Global MBA program as an international student. I am lucky to have gained multiple international exposures through representing India at the International Leadership Camp in the UK and working as a CGA assistant in the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games. These experiences taught me to be a better person, have a global outlook and learn from the different perspectives of the various people I encountered at the events. These experiences influenced my decision to come to the U.S. to pursue higher education.
The past 10 months have been a roller coaster ride with amazing and overwhelming experiences. From the strategy course last fall semester where my team and I met every week to formulate the strategy for a major airline, or attending happy hours with the MBA cohort at the campus bar Maxi’s—every day has been fun filled with experiences for self-learning and fun. Pursuing a full-time MBA is far from easy and I had my share of days when I felt like quitting but the promise that I had made to myself to create a better life and career kept me motivated. One ritual I developed was calling my family daily, which kept me closer to them and eliminated the homesickness.
The majority of American Universities are mini-melting pots which bring students together from countries across the world. This multicultural assimilation allows an individual to enhance one’s personal skills and gain a unique global perspective for individuals which helps them become a future leader. New environments can be intimidating due to language and cultural barriers. Add in the MBA academic curriculum and being away from your family, and the pressure can be immense. One important lesson I learned from the past few months can be summed up in the famous Rocky movie quote:
“The world is a very difficult place and no matter how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. Nobody is going to hit as hard as life. But it isn’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”
Being a full-time MBA student is not easy, especially for an international student, but it allows for an amazing new learning experience. The first year of graduate school has not only been about business strategies, marketing jargon, and financial statements, it has also been about making many amazing new friends. My cohort helped me celebrate my first Halloween and Christmas and I have shown and taught them about the Indian culture by hosting potlucks with Indian delicacies, attending Diwali celebrations and teaching them Bollywood dancing. I have tried rock climbing, dancing and other activities that Temple University offers to its students. I have also represented Temple University in multiple racquetball tournaments and hope to win matches next year during the new season.
Currently I am a member of the Temple Consulting Club and the GMBA Chair of the Fox Graduate Student Association. The main point of this blog post and really what I am trying to get across, is that in order to have a holistic experience, you should immerse yourself in every activity you can.