International Student Experience at Fisher

Visiting a new place exposes you to the flavors of that world. You step in a new culture amidst the strangers who soon turn out to be your friends and family away from home. The risks and sacrifices that once cloud you mind while making the decision, fades away when a welcoming community awaits your arrival with all warmth and support. This was the feeling when I stepped in Columbus in the last week of July 2019, a year before the pandemic. Interestingly, everything seems a lifetime ago since the pandemic engulfed us yet these memories are all worth to keep rising beyond any obstacles, "Together as Buckeyes!"

"Buckeyes" - I am a proud buckeye and humbled to be a part of this huge privileged network of OSU students/alumni. I am in the second year of the Full-Time MBA Program. The year of pandemic and so many changes since I joined. Those stories are for the next post in the series. For now, grab a cup of coffee, sit back, relax and hop in with me through the one intensely exciting journey of Fisher 1st year MBA life!

As my flight landed in Columbus, the beautiful fall colors greeted me. It was my first time ever in the US and my heart was exploding with excitement for the next phase of my life - being a student again after having been in the corporate world for 6 years. A month prior, I was still an engineer working for a manufacturing company in India and now back to being a student exploring the facets of business education. For an initial couple of days, I was reeling and mesmerized while wandering around the scarlet and grey buildings in the campus and wondering in amazement how the huge campus of OSU holds more than 50,000 students and provides courses across a menagerie of majors. A place for a new future. A milestone in the next journey.

The MBA program started with a month of orientation and introduction to the redesigned features of the course. The pedagogy was thoughtfully crafted into aspects of Personalization, Integration and Experiential (PIE) wherein you get to create your own pathway, lean into relationships among varied business courses and apply the skills beyond the walls of a classroom. The orientation phase helped to bond with fellow classmates who were from all around the world. Fisher maintains a great diversity in the program in terms of culture, background, professional experience, and future aspirations. As a result, you intrinsically gain so much knowledge from the hugely diverse experiences of your classmates. This is such invaluable learning that stays with you and develops your interpersonal skills. At the same time, the networking events, fireside chats and luncheons with career management team connects you with the alums working at Fortune 500 companies, while giving you insights into the career path of the leadership teams. On the other hand, outbound events such as happy hours and leadership activities strengthened the bond in the cohort. Every session brought with itself new information that left you to think in new dimensions, slowly nudging you towards transformational leadership skills.

The MBA program started with a rollercoaster ride over core courses, case competition, technical club sessions and cultural programs. Time management and prioritization skills become important in navigation across the schedules. At every step, you have a second year mentor, faculty guidance. academic and career coaches to mentor you and help you with your questions. By the time you end your first semester, you become already accustomed to multitasking and realizing the areas of your interest.

In the next series, I would discuss about the career management team's role in helping you find the career opportunities and networking! 



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