Blogging at Net Impact Conference 2010

MBA has been a crazy ride. So many things to do and so little time !!! I already completed my mini 1 last week and looking forward to begin my next mini semester this week. There are some interesting things happening in next 2 weeks. This week I will be attending the National Hispanic MBA Conference at Chicago and the next weekend I will be at Ross School of Business attending Net Impact Conference 2010.

I am really excited about NI Conference. My association with Net Impact has been very strong as I founded and led Bangalore professional chapter of Net Impact in 2009 which was a defining experience for me in terms of personal and community leadership. So I always wanted to attend the Net Impact annual conference. This time I have been selected to be the official blogger by Triple Pundit to blog in the conference !!!  This is a wonderful opportunity for me to get involved in the conference at the same time giving back to the community in the form of blog posts.

More Later !!

4 weeks @ Tepper - QSRP and Orientation

Its really true that time flies by. Its been almost a month since I came to Pittsburgh and started my MBA journey. Am already so engrossed by the MBA course that I have not been able to take out time to blog. Here is a brief list of things I did in these 4 weeks.
  • First 2 weeks was a math refresher bootcamp called QSRP - Quantitative Skill Review Program. Coming from an engineering background, the course was not of great use to me as  I had covered most of the topics in my undergrad courses. But this course did help me to settle into the school atmosphere, get to know my classmates and etc.

    Swartz Entrepreneurship bootcamp also ran in parallel but I did not enroll for it but heard from my friends that it was a good experience for people with plans to turn entrepreneurs in short or long term.
  • Attended my first ever baseball game during the QSRP week @ PNC park in downtown Pittsburgh. Though I din't enjoy the game  so much, the crowd, stadium and the experience as a whole was enjoyable :)
  • Orientation was very useful in terms of introducing us to various things that MBA life will be made up of. Various career sessions, alumni panels, networking sessions were really useful.
  • One day picnic @ Camp Guyasuta was an amazing experience. We were challenged to perform different physical activities like rock climbing, ziplining, pole jumping. I pushed my own physical n mental boundaries that day by daring myself to do activities which seemed impossible at the first look. Amazing day, amazing learning !!
  • Most special part was mostly the celebration of Indian Independence day on August 14th Midnight (August 15th). Dressed up in Indian attire, Indian National Anthem, Indian food  = One memorable night !!  
Also exploring the city of Pittsburgh a bit. So that sums up my first 4 at Tepper. Classes start at next monday and I cant wait to get completely engrossed in the experience. 


A Glimpse of the beautiful CMU Campus

Hello !! You all know most of my posts contain atleast one photo which I think is relevant to that post. Sometimes I spend more time searching for an photo than I spend on writing the post. I am a visual person and I like my posts with photos.. But this post is a lil different. Am gonna upload some of the pictures I clicked in the beautiful CMU Campus. So go on and have a look !!!

Inside the Tepper School of Business.

Do plan for a campus visit to explore more if Tepper is among your target schools..

How to deal with homesickness

Hey all, this is my 1st post after coming to USA. I dint write blogs immediately because I was not in a great state of mind just after coming here. This is first time away from home for me and I was all terribly homesick (I still am, but getting better everyday). I dint wanted to write about all those emotional turmoils I was going through and scare the readers who are also potentially gonna go abroad for their studies.

Now am a lil OK, things are getting settled. So I thought I will write on how I dealt with this terrible phase. I hope it helps someone who is also going through the same phase. So here is what I did (you can also do) to get over home sickness and blues.
  • Keep yourself engaged.

    This is the first and most important rule. All of you know that empty mind is a devil's workshop and that's every bit true. The idea is to keep yourself busy in some or the other things when you come to a new place. The moment you are free with no work, you will start feeling lonely and all that. So don't let that happen and be engaged as much as possible. You will have lot of options on how to do that. Go explore the new place, visit the campus, shop for your new place, make friends with locals. There are some essential things to be done once you are in a new place. I will write a separate post about it.
  • Get enough rest and proper food

    Being said about the 1st rule, its also equally important to give importance to your health and physical condition. When you come to a entirely new place, you will need time to recover from jet lag , adapt yourself to the local food and etc. Please don't ignore this part. I had to suffer a lot initially as I was not getting my choice of food (I am a strict vegetarian and too choosy about what I eat) and when I was hungry I use to feel worse. So make sure you get good food and good sleep to keep you going.
  • Don't stay alone (if possible)

    If possible try to share an aptmt with your classmate or friend so that you are not alone at home. Also try to make some friends in the new place and try and do things together. Remember others may also be going through the same thing and supporting each other in such times will make your lives easier.
  • Talk it out

    After doing everything, its still not possible to completely avoid being homesick. It will happen and it is OK. We are all human beings and its in our nature to miss the people and things we are associated with. And when it does happen, make sure you handle it right. This can differ from person to person. For me crying out helps to come out of deep blues. Once you are a little OK, talk to your parents or siblings or friends whoever you are close to. Talking out about your situation will help lighten the burden on you. Never try to take on everything on your own. Involve others to help you out and you will be happy that you did it.

    If you don't have a phone connection yet, make sure you keep in touch through online messengers, voip applications, facebook, email etc. Make full use of technology at this time and you will technology for the way it touches our lives.
  • Believe in your decision

    This is entirely from my experience. At time I felt so bad so bad that I was getting the thoughts of going back to India ditching everything here. That's the kinda emotional turmoil I was going through. But then when I talked to my friends about it, they made me realize that its ME who have taken this decision to pursue and MBA abroad and its upto ME to stand up to that decision.

    Yes, you have to become strong so that you justify your decision. Believe in your decision and put your best to it.
So that's about how I dealt with homesickness and let me tell you I dint expect it to be so bad. It did hit me real hard. But by talking out with my people, keeping myself busy, am slowly getting over it. There are still times when something somewhere reminds me of home and makes me feel sad. But accept that these things will happen. Keep faith in your decision and keep it going :)

At the end I am sure we will be happy that we did it and it was worth the effort !!

Let the journey BEGIN !!!!

Photo : Selva

How much ever cliched it might sound, its true that every end is a beginning to another journey. And for me tomorrow marks one such important moment as I fly to Pittsburgh. This journey also marks the beginning of the new phase of my life as a MBA student. Away from my home and my people, this phase is going to be challenging in all ways.

In next 2 years, I hope to learn a great deal of things - personal & professional, meet a lot of new people, make some lasting bonds and be a better me :-)

This will be my last post from India. Next update from the other part of the world :) 
Wish me luck !! Let the Journey BEGIN!!!!