I am going to start off my first official blog as a full-time MBA student by admitting that I am already a two-time grad from Ohio State (both degrees in engineering – and yes – this does mean I’m a bit of a nerd). However, it’s been a year or two (or eight) since I’ve been a student, so the prospect of returning to writing papers and taking exams was a little daunting (not to mention the fact that I’ve never had a single business class). So, in my quest to prepare myself to transition back to student life (and out of engineering), I decided to start off my second academic career with a summer internship in Hong Kong.
At the Fisher Red Carpet event last April for incoming MBA students, Kurtis Roush, the director of Fisher Professional Services, gave a presentation on the Global Summer Program, which offers Fisher students the opportunity to work as part of a team on a special project for a company in Ireland or Hong Kong. My fiance, Mark, attended the presentation with me, and as soon as it was over, I turned to him and told him I had to go. Fortunately, he’s extremely supportive, and the first words out of his mouth were “Go for it.”
I ended up as part of a great team of students (two second-year MBA’s, three undergraduates, and myself) working in Hong Kong at the Asia Pacific headquarters of the Parker Hannifin Corporation. I’d never been out of the US (except to the English-speaking parts of Canada and the Caribbean, which I don’t count), so living someplace totally out of my comfort zone for 7 weeks was definitely a learning experience. I made new friends, got some great teamwork experience, and learned some new presentation skills. While I was happy to come home to my fiance and family in the end, I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. I also can’t wait for my next international experience (maybe Brazil in the spring or Ghana next summer).
This summer was the first step in my plan to say “yes” to all the great opportunities that present themselves while I am at Fisher. Over the next year, I’ll continue to post about my experiences (good and bad!), and try to convey the realities of life as a grown-up (at least in terms of age) who is trying to be a student again.