Saturday, December 24, 2011

Quarter Mile!!

Can’t believe a semester is already over. Seems like yesterday that I wrote this POST about moving to Boston and trying to settle down. Reading through it, I realized I wasn’t too happy about moving here. So pleased that Boston, Babson and most importantly the people turned it around. As they say, you are having a good time if you don’t realize when time passed. This is what exactly happened. Got a little busy with school and next thing I know is that the semester is over…!!
It all started with meeting so many diverse classmates from all over the world and going through the pain of helping them pronounce my name only to give up in the end. So far only 2 non-Indians have aced the art of saying my name right. For most of the rest I am baptized to ‘Ana’. I kind of like the name, I do get a lot of slack form my desi group about it but its better than being called Anagaganagdjhsfj.
Pre-MBA was a weeklong induction for the international students to understand US culture. The famous Indian ‘Head Bob’ is now the only hurdle in our way of becoming vilayati babus and bens.
Class of 2013 - International Students

Boston is a place you don’t need too much time to fall in love with. The city is one of the most beautiful ones I have seen. Lot of history, cool places to hang out and lotta eat out places what else you need. The Boston day tour during my first week here was exciting. Not only did I get to know the city but the people a little better too.

Quincy Market, Boston

Tech Mark has so far been the best experience at Babson. It is basically a Business simulation competition that went on for 2 days. The Class of 2013 was divided in teams of 7 and we all competed against each other to meet certain business goals. It was dynamic, real time, fast and exciting. In those 2 days we learnt a whole lot about business and definitely understood what we need to pay attention to during the coming 2 years. An unparalleled experience. We also won ‘a price of unspeakable value’ in the end. And more than anything, I feel the price was the phrase in itself which is overused ad over abused ever since.

Tech Mark Team
One of the best parts of staying on campus is that the party never ends. You are back from a party in Boston and another one starts in the kitchen; it just never stops. You get the liberty of getting up at 8 for an 8.30 AM class. Also I can use the gym facilities anytime. Making use of that I learned to play a new sport – SQUASH. I started in September and with the help of my awesome friends cum coaches, I can play reasonably well by the end of December. Woot!! Learning Squash has definitely been one of the highlights of this semester. Figuring out new stuff to learn in the coming semester, could be piano or probably getting back to drums.  
The difficult part of staying in a dorm especially in the US is the food. But turns out in my case it became the best part of the day. I still haven’t really figured out but just like that a group came along and the 8 of us started cooking as a group. None had any mentionable skills but we were ready to get food poisoned for fellow cooks. Surprisingly, each one of us can today take pride in a specialty dish and some other not-so-special dishes. Dinner is the time everyone comes together and after fights over dishes, spoons, rotis and chairs are settled starts a non-stop conversation about the days happenings, professors, classes and everything under the sun.
Dinner Gang \m/
SLE (Something (I forget) Learning Experience), another interesting and fun part of the 1st semester. My team was pretty diverse - Indian, American, Chinese, Chinese American and Latin American, we had it all. This made communicating a whole lot difficult and funny but nonetheless at the end of the day we all did a great job. The 24 hour exam for Strategy stream was the real test, we slogged all night and submitted 28 seconds before deadline. Phew!! We did pull off some on the spot presentations and submissions which was pretty cool just like our team name - 3D \m/
Team 3D
While the school never took it too easy on us, we never stopped having fun either. Zipcar was not just a case study we did but an enabler for all the fun out of campus. Destinatin 1, Harvard Square + Zipcar + Awesome Music +  Endless time finding parking + Falafel = AWESOMENESS!! Once Zipcar gave us the 'wheels when we needed', anything closer than Harvard Square to have dinner was blasphemy.
1st Snow 2011
Staying in Boston has so many perks. You get to see the RED SOX play and for free if you sign up to pic some trash. Broke MBA students will do anything :P Also get to visit MIT and Harvard for various events and listen to some amazing speakers. Although the Babson pride never stops us from bashing these ahem 'other' schools in Boston.

Red Sox Game
In other news, I did manage to be a part of various club activities and get on leadership of a couple I really wanted to. Being a part of the flagship event of Babson, Babson Entrepreneurship Forum made it possible to share the same frame as Michael Porter, the man behind every MBA's (at least 1st year) most favorite words "Porter's 5 forces". I also managed to lose some elections at school and that was a maiden experience and surprisingly a good one. Definitely got to learn a lot from it, in fact a little more than all the victories of Undergrad :)
Same frame as Michael Porter!!
The achievement of the semester and might as well of the year be finally gathering some courage to perform DANCE on stage. 'I was meant for the stage' may be one of my most favorite songs but dancing as a part of it was never a part of the plan mostly for the safety of the viewers. But being in a completely new environment and having audiences with stronger hearts made even this feat possible. It wasn't as bad as I would imagine in my head or may be it was, who can tell!!!

Sheela ki Jawani ;)
Diwali 2011!!
Time kept flying amidst all these truck load activities. I did scoop some time to study and be answerable to my family back home paying for my tuition. But I truly believe everything mentioned is a part of the experience and not just the academics and classroom teaching. All this craziness adds up to what we call the 'MBA Experience'. Glad so far it has bee great.....

Yale MBA Games
I guess by the end of the 1st semester I did find a new home, new friends and lot of new experiences. Herez to an equally or even more eventful and awesome semester!! Cheers!!
Let the craziness continue!!