As I look back at my application process to B-Schools late in 2008, I recall my aspirations of doing an MBA. Broad has definitely fulfilled them.
The first thing I wanted to do was refine my leadership and interpersonal skills. Here at Broad, I ran and won the election for MBA Student Council. Also, I received intensive training from the Career Services to improve my networking and communication skills. As a member of the Student Council, I led a workshop on the recent financial crisis and participated in a consulting conference. Through Spartan Consulting, I had a chance to lead a consulting project and get hands-on experience with consulting.
Did these events improve my confidence? Did Broad fulfill my aim to improve my interpersonal skills? Absolutely it did. I realize how much I have changed during this first year, and I am very happy with how Broad has helped me grow and evolve.
Broad gave me a chance to participate in top case competitions. I could not have thought of a better opportunity to meet students and alumni from the other top B-Schools. Meeting people and learning about their career aspirations and perspectives are tremendous value adds – something that can’t be gained in the classroom. I traveled to five different states to compete against the top U.S. B-Schools. As an international student with limited knowledge about the U.S. culture and norms, this was the greatest value add to my first year. I had to work in diverse teams of four or five and these experiences greatly helped build my teamwork skills.
My experiences do not end here. I also had a chance to work on a research project with one of the professors here and what I learned while working on the project is something that coursework could not have taught me. Hands-on experience cannot match mere academics. Not only this, I might get a chance to co-author a paper to be published in a leading supply chain magazine! I could not have imagined this kind of exposure while I was writing my essays a year ago. So did I get more than academics? Absolutely I did. I have even gotten much more than I expected!
Coming from an engineering background and having worked in a technical area for four years, I wanted to get a more formal introduction to finance and marketing and to understand the strategic challenges of companies. I wanted to learn to have a vision. Broad gave me an opportunity to find the right kind of internship for me, and this has given me a foundation to do what I would like to do after my MBA. I had heard about activity-based costing, but I never expected that my upcoming internship project would be as challenging as implementing activity-based costing in a company and then improving the supply chain performance of the company. Whatever I learned in supply chain and finance will be put to use, and what more could I have expected from my MBA!
However, what really distinguishes Broad is the bond between the students and the faculty. Life for us doesn’t stop at academics. I find it hard to recall a week when we don’t hang out with our team and classmates. Events like Community Honors, the MBA Social, and the picnics are what bind us together.
So has the program met my expectations? In short, I never knew I would get so much from Broad. I am thankful to the Broad School and to all those who make Broad the way it is.