Greetings from sunny Southern California! Amidst friends’ weddings, writing cover letters, and spending time with friends and family while home for the holidays I’m staying extremely busy, but still reminding myself that I’m on a break and happily enjoying it. This gives me an opportunity to finally reflect on my first semester at Columbia Business School and get geared up for the next.
As warned (or reassured, depending on how you look at it) by second years and alumni, the first semester was an absolute blur. In August, my biggest challenges were making the move across the country and adjusting to a world of public transportation, claustrophobic spaces, and days without sunshine. But once I set foot onto campus, I was consumed by the business school community. I never realized my fear of homesickness because I never had less than a dozen to dos on my mind and thus no capacity to even contemplate the possibility.
Due to my hypertensive paranoiac tendencies, I had spoken to many MBA students in advance to understand what I might expect. This over-preparedness allowed me to get at least five hours of sleep on most nights, to hit the gym a few days a week, and to eat at least two meals a day, although sometimes at odd hours. Between cluster events, learning team meetings, company presentations, and club meetings, I made time to tutor weekly at a local junior high through the Harlem Tutorial Program and to listen to impressive speakers on campus such as Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat & Chrysler, and Keith Sherin, CFO of GE.
Next semester will include aggressive summer internship searching; independent research with a professor; an international trip organized by fellow classmates through the Chazen Institute; and hopefully more time to explore New York City. I am so thankful to have the Columbia community as my support network and am looking forward to more time with my incredible classmates!