Acquaintance to grad life – learn to unlearn

I cannot just believe that it has been over 2 months since I first set foot in Columbus and Fisher. Boy O boy they were not kidding when they said time whizzes past when in an MBA program from a good school! I still remember the summit outdoor adventure (what a fun day that was!!) like it happened only last week! And beyond that life has been an adventure indeed.

Well for an international student, from India to step into such a rigorous program, especially after working for about 7 years, I felt like fish out of water. It took some getting used to get back into the “school mode”. Not to say that I am there already, but I realized it’s a process and a continuous one at that. So for all you international folks out there (especially from Asia), its going to be tough, challenging; but then what you get out of it at the end of the day makes it all worth it.

What did I get out of it so far? Quite a bit!! Got a great bunch of friends, a great team, constant interaction with great faculty, friendly admissions folks and Graduate Programs Office, an amazing career office.

But a couple of the most important things I learned was that it is absolutely essential (as tough as it may be for people like us) to be able to shed all inhibitions of shyness and respect and go out there and talk! I learned the importance of networking and making connections, meaningful ones at that; we will always be making connections to socialize, but I realized that connections are needed for career, too. After some really embarrassing situations initially whilst networking with company representatives, I slowly have started getting the hang of it and understand the importance of it. It is an art, it is not rocket science though and can be mastered through practice. And of course, the amazing people from the Fisher career management office and peers will help out a lot.

Probably the most important thing I learnt was to “unlearn” and have an open mind. All of us come here with some sort of career ambitions or a clear career path in mind. At least some do and many of us who come here are clueless; and I would like to reassure you all that its absolutely fine to be clueless. Because that is as important as having a clear knowledge of what and where you want to be (because, trust me, most of the times – as it was with me – it changes). I learned that what I thought I wanted to do and be in life was actually not my calling. Now don’t misinterpret this as I know what I want to do already, no; absolutely not. But, I have now started checking off what I do not see myself doing. Have an open mind to everything and understand that knowing what you don’t want to do is as important as knowing what you do want to do, they are 2 sides of the same coin!

If I have had so many takeaways in just over 2 months, I am excited at the opportunities and learning which is round the corner; I have over 1.5 years left and cannot wait to go through this rollercoaster MBA program at Fisher and come out a better individual. Go Bucks!! (yeah, you learn to love American football as well :-))