It has just been 3 weeks since I have been in Los Angeles, but it seems like a long time. Business school is a lot of fun and hard work at the same time. It doesn’t take much time to realize that. One week of International orientation, followed by a week of MBA orientation and one week of classes exposed us to multitude of activities that reduced the sleeping hours to bare minimum required – create-a-country, career services, guest speakers, outdoor activities, Trojan marching band, parties, barbecue, baseball game, student clubs, case competition, and assignments.
International orientation steadily prepared 50 odd international students to the onslaught that was upon us in the following week. It created a smooth transition to the american education system, culture and its nuances. It didn’t take long to know each other and were thrilled to learn the different blend of cultures we bring together. Though dominated by students from China and India, there are few from Spain, Bulgaria, Australia, Russia, South Korea, Lithuania – total of 20 different countries.
MBA orientation made a bigger impact and seemed intimidating when walking into the lobby with 220+ people. I was meeting most of them for the fist time. The schedule of the orientation week was hectic to say the least, from 8am to 8pm on most days. Wonderfully crafted orientation gave us enough time to mingle with each other and learn more about fellow classmates. There are people from diverse backgrounds – film makers, producers, professional gamblers, professional tennis players, wildlife photographers (ya, that’s me) amongst many bankers and consultants. Provided breakfast, lunch and dinner on most days saved me a lot of trouble as I was just settling down in the new apartment. The last two days of the orientation was the most enjoyable and trying at the same time. 3 cores with 39 teams were to compete in a series of outdoor activities on penultimate day, and a case competition on the last day. Executives from Nestle, trojan alumni, were on the judging panel for the case competition and the finalist teams had a great opportunity to showcase their analysis skills to them. Winners were from core C, but everyone had a great learning experience. Parties followed the end of orientation.
Starting August 1st, we had our regular classes with a case and few other reading before the first class. Interspersed with academics is various community activities, one of which is a plane pulling event to raise funds for special olympics. Please have a look here. Also the career service activities are keeping us busy with many workshops. All these means less time to sleep. My average sleep hours in the last few weeks is about 5hrs. But it’s fun!
There’s an article on Bloomberg Businessweek about our MBA orientation with comments from our super energetic assistant Dean, Diane Badame. Have a look here. Here’s a small video of orientation – visit to dodgers game on last day of international orientation, outdoor activities with different cores and finally the performance of Trojan marching band :
Many of my friends are asking me how is LA. I love the weather, it’s very very much like Bangalore. I haven’t got much time to go out and explore LA much, but I’m having a great time in the business school. But I did travel around San Francisco and San Diego on my first week in the US, and will write about it some time in future. LA can wait.
P.S.: The image and video were captured on my HTC Inspire phone – impressive, isn’t it? Of course the image quality.