Two months back I came to Shanghai with absolutely zero expectation. I had zero expectation not because of the fear of disappointing myself but because I really didn’t know what to expect from this completely new environment. After a week long smooth orientation, where I met my learning team, I was faced with a contrasting horde of lectures, case assignments and presentations. During the opening ceremony our Associate Dean mentioned that we should consider ourselves lucky if we could sleep before midnight on any particular day. So there were indeed some late nights but I was “lucky” on most days :-D. With a completely new set of subjects the learning process for me was terribly tedious but thanks to my heightened sense of curiosity I learned most of the subjects well (I guess 😛 ).
In these two months in China after interacting with my batch-mates, I had one major realization; I am a geek not just by Indian standards, but by global standards too 😛 :-D. With people from various backgrounds you have a good sample to evaluate yourself against. The best part about the first term was the team I had. At CEIBS, as part of the learning experience, everyone is assigned to a study group (I like to call them learning teams) these groups change every term so that we have the opportunity to work with different kinds of people and achieve a more global orientation. Without any prior knowledge in the core subjects they teach in MBA, I was mostly clueless first about them and this is where the learning team comes in. Discussing these innumerable cases and assignments with the team members makes you learn more in depth, thus enriching your experience. It was amazing to see not just my team but the whole cohort work together as a big family in this first term making the entire learning process fun and easy.
Now something about my team. I was part of, what I feel was, the best team to work with. There were six of us, two girls and four guys. This is us on the day we met. Little did we know that in a
span of two months we were going to be friends for life. The best thing about my team was the quality of conflicts we had and the amount of time we spent together. An assignment that could be done in an hour or two would take double the time because we loved being together. We would eat moon-cake and dumplings during our case studies and some-time even play some silly games, but we still managed to submit all the assignments in time with high quality :P.
The term is now over and we have to move on. New teams, new subjects, new challenges and new friends. I hope the new experience lives up to my expectations (now that I have some 🙂 ).