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Reflections of a Frustrated Global Graduate Student

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“You’ve done it before and you can do it now. See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination.” – Ralph Marston

*Wasn’t sure if I was going to post this, but I think it really shows the meaning of the word epiphany. This was a really hard semester.*

XLRI is one of the premier graduate institutions in India. It is most well known for its Human Resources program, but the XLRI Business School is also touted to be a best in class school. So when coming to a best in class institution, there are certain expectations that one automatically believes will come from attending this particular school.

You can expect:

Disciplined academic structure

Tough teachers

Even tougher classwork

Many late nights studying

Mental agony…

And this list could go on and on and differ for many people, but when I think of a best in class institution, the first thing that comes to mind is disciplined academic structure.

[Start Rant]

What I didn’t expect was sheer chaos.

As always at the beginning of the semester, the whole cohort was given a schedule of when are classes were, but even within that week there were changes.

And then the next week more changes.

And the week after that there was again another round of changes.

Fast forward to end of March – there was not one week that went by this semester that classes were not cancelled or rescheduled. The schedule given to us at the beginning of the semester wasn’t even close to the schedule that had to be followed.

The last few weeks were particularly crazy. Sometimes we had assignments due the next day, but we weren’t given the assignment until much later that night. It’s not a problem if the assignment is given in class, but an assignment that isn’t given until 11PM the night before and still due the next day? I haven’t ever experienced anything like it.

I asked my Indian classmates many times if this was normal in Indian university levels. Most said that their undergraduate levels weren’t like this, but some did mention that this was how it was done. I was and still am utterly flabbergasted.

I get that school is supposed to be challenging and stretch you and build you up…but in my mind without having a structured environment where you feel safe enough to do that in, it just poses problems.

[End Rant]

For the people who know me well, they know that this makes me a very unhappy human being. I love planning and I love order. I thrive in those environments. Coming into an academic situation where there was no order and stumbling through the semester just with sheer will power alone was excruciatingly painful at times.

Don’t get me wrong. I learned that I have the strength to get through it. I learned that even though ambiguity and uncertainty doesn’t sit well with me at all levels that I can push past it. I even learned I can think on my feet a bit better now and I fight more for my voice, than I have in the past.

And that was really what I had to remind myself of in the end. I didn’t come to get my MBA, or more importantly, voluntarily go abroad to get my Global MBA to just play it safe. I wanted to do this, because I wanted to grow. Honestly if I didn’t learn anything out of this whole semester, then attaining an MBA while traveling the world wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing. This whole experience forced me –literally – out of my shell and made me work. I can say I worked harder than I’ve ever had to, in order to get the grades that I did.

As I look back on the whole semester as it winds to a close; I’m thankful.

I’m thankful that I decided to take this risk.

I’m thankful that I made it thus far.

I’m just – really thankful.

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