February 9, 2015

The Road goes ever on and on...

Eeshan Srivastava is a first-year student from New Delhi, India, in the full-time MBA program.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
--sourced from "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien

The road began for me on August, 8 2014, when I set out on my journey to a land 8,000 miles away, a land that shall quench my thirst for knowledge and where I shall find my dream job.

As dramatic as it sounds, it really was something special for me as it was my first time away from home. I worked hard to build my application and was honored to be selected by the Weatherhead School of Management for the full-time MBA program, that too with merit-based scholarship. My objective was to learn about business, develop management skills and get work experience in the U.S.

I had been working as a Software Engineer specializing in Automation at S&P Capital IQ. I decided to pursue the MBA at Weatherhead because I wanted to position myself at the intersection of technology (my education, passion and work experience) and business (creation and exchange of value). While I had this high-level view of what kind of job I wanted, I was still trying to figure out what "exactly" would be my career fit. I rested my hopes on finding this out once I got more knowledge from the course and from interaction with alumni and the career management office.

Fast-forward to today. I've started with the 2nd semester, already buried deep under lots of case studies, readings and other homework, besides my part-time jobs. And this is normal. MBA was never supposed to be easy and it requires a lot of dedication and focus to extract the value you need. The subjects of finance, statistics, accounting, operations, marketing, strategy, etc. have all been new to me, but thanks to the professors and my classmates, I have been able to comprehend and actually develop a new mode of thinking.

My classmates are a diverse group of intellectuals with amazingly varied backgrounds and experiences who make every class discussion as rich as a gold mine. Furthermore, we do most of our homework in scientifically-formulated learning teams where each team member has a different learning style. And these team meetings have been tougher and richer in content than any I had done during my 3.5 years on the job.

On the other hand, Weatherhead's Career Management Office has provided us ample opportunities and resources to connect and meet with alumni, local as well as international, who have proven to be extremely generous in sharing knowledge and advice, and have really helped me get more clarity on my career vision.

Now far ahead the road has gone and I must pursue it with eager feet! The adventure is taking shape and I am grateful for the friends I have made and for the people I have met. The summer internship search is still underway and most of us are trying hard to secure that precious first work experience in the U.S. at the firms and roles of choice. All I can say is that the road will keep going on and on and just keep your feet and you’ll be there!

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