I’ve always heard that it takes sweat, determination and hard work before a dream becomes a reality. Years ago, I had a dream to earn an MBA. Yesterday, tears filled my eyes during the entire commencement ceremony. I could not believe it; I had come a long way to see this dream come true.
My journey began simply enough. I had the ambition to do better and make the best of the world around me. Before I go on about my career journey and how it brought me to New York, I would like to thank every person involved who helped me shape my future.
I began my career in India where I had earned my Bachelor of Technology in computer science. After graduation, I was doing very well with a position at Capgemini, where I specialized in business intelligence. There was no shortage of appreciation for my work. I enjoyed learning new things and there were plenty of opportunities for growth. However, after a few years, I was bored. My innate curiosity for knowledge and the desire to lead others by example gave me the courage to get out of a comfortable job and to explore a more challenging path to success. To me, that path required an MBA.
Imagine the challenges for an international student to apply to an American university. There’s a lengthy process with the possibility of rejection at every turn. Maybe it was taking the GMAT exam, English test, or the application or visa approval process. A single negative outcome would have cut my ambitions short right there and then. However, they say: “Fortune favors the brave.” I was one of the fortunate people to make it through the end. From the seat of the GMAT examination center to the waiting lobby of the visa interview, to my cozy economy seat on my flight to Buffalo, what connected my every step was a forward-thinking attitude. I dreamt, I chased and I achieved.
I chose to study my MBA in the U.S. because I wanted the excellent quality of teaching from an American business school, access to an enormously experienced faculty, and the chemistry and networking opportunity of studying with a diverse group of classmates. The University at Buffalo offered me everything I could ask for. There was an opportunity around every corner to learn and adapt. I worked with a group of students from diverse backgrounds, experience, skills and ideas.
UB fostered a very positive environment – there was no visible stress of results, no limit to thoughts and no competition to overpower each other. With every class project, our bond became stronger, our thoughts matured and our results improved. All the courses were engaging and helped me see knowledge from different perspectives. Not to mention, the LeaderCORE program was the biggest contributor toward my transformation from a team member to a team leader. To be honest, even though I had chosen to study far from my own country, I was intimidated by all the change I was experiencing. But I was determined to embrace change and drive excellence to help me through this journey.
During these two years, one of the most important things the UB School of Management taught me is networking. You won’t realize the power of it until you explore it. It is a unique practice and a big contributor to your career growth as a leader. Both my MBA internships at Merchants Insurance group and Rel8ed.to Analytics gave me opportunities to network with some wonderful people and to develop my technical and management skills. I cannot thank enough the UB CRC for all the guidance and help over these two years.
Overall, my journey was very challenging and exciting. I have created new memories, polished my knowledge and broadened my network. I see myself transformed both personally and professionally. I feel fully prepared to take up new responsibilities and to overcome any challenges. I am now a proud alumnus of #UBMBA. Once again thank you, everyone, and of course my school #UB.